Instant Pot Ace review: Instant Pot cooks up a successful blender with the Ace

The brand Instant Pot has become synonymous with electric pressure cookers, the product that made this Canadian company a favorite on the internet for home cooks and food bloggers. Now, the company has entered a new appliance category with the $ 99 Instant Pot Ace Blender.

Instant Pot Ace is a wizard at making smoothies.

Chris Monroe / CNET

At first glance, the Ace (which you can only get from Walmart) seems like a stretch for a company that has made a name for itself with a countertop cooking appliance. But the Ace’s most notable feature, a heating element at the base of the jug, makes this product a good fit for the company’s pressure cookers. A blender / stove combination is suitable for the dishes you need to reheat is mixes such as soups, baby food, and dairy alternatives. This means you can forgo using an immersion blender or transferring a dish from the hob to the blender to make it smooth. And you don’t have to worry if the ace will make your soup hot; I recorded temperatures of over 200 degrees Fahrenheit inside the jug.

Ace is also as good at blending as he is at cooking. The blender pulverized a variety of foods including a block of cheese, almonds and spinach pesto, and did it in a short amount of time thanks to useful presets. The Ace had problems with some of our more difficult tests, such as turning almond flour into almond butter and chopping ice evenly, something that more expensive models like the Vitamix Ascension 3500 handle with ease. However, those shortcomings don’t take away from the high points of the Ace, which made the smoothest tomato soup I’ve ever had.

The Ace fulfills a lot of needs for $ 99 and performs better than other blenders at similar prices. I recommend the Ace if you’re looking for a new blender or if you’re just really excited about soup season.

The basics of the Ace

The 60oz pitcher contains the important parts of the Ace: the eight stainless steel blades that chop the food and the heating element at the bottom of the container. The blades are built into the pitcher, so you can’t remove them. The blender is also equipped with a lid, a tamper to guide food to the blades as you blend, a cleaning brush, a pouring bag and a measuring cup.

The Instant Pot Ace control panel is similar to that of the Instant Pot electric pressure cookers.

Chris Monroe / CNET

The base of the Ace will look familiar to anyone who already owns an Instant Pot pressure cooker. There are buttons for cold blending programs (smoothie, crushed ice, ice cream and nut / oat milk) and for hot blending programs (puree, soy milk, rice milk and soup). You can manually choose to whisk your food on low, medium, or high, and there’s a pulse / clean button to trigger short bursts of blending over 48 seconds.

We’ve seen blenders that forgo a slew of presets in favor of a simpler design, like the Salton Harley Pasternak Power Blender, the Braun PureMix and the KitchenAid Pro Line Series. But I prefer the all but kitchen sink approach to the Ace because it really makes mixing a specific dish as easy as pressing a button. Most of the presets completed the tasks they should have done without having to add more mixing time.

Cooking with the ace

To cook in the Ace, put all the ingredients in the jug and select one of the four hot mix programs. The blender will then begin to heat up and a temperature display will appear on the base of the Ace. The blender blades pulsate intermittently during the cooking cycle, which varies in time depending on the program used.

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