Since rounding out its line of Instant Pots, Instant Pot has released a slew of non-Instant Pots. The air fryer (and air fryer oven), a blender, rice cooker and sous vide circulator arrived with standard-issue preset functionalities and lots of black plastic and stainless steel. Then the Instant Pot Zen arrived.
Unlike the others, Zen was released on Amazon without warning. It is a 1.5-liter electric kettle will all the bells and whistles those come with — variable temperature setting, “keep warm” mode, auto-shutoff, vacuum-insulated, etc. The issue: those specs aren’t too far off the majority of kettles on Amazon, many of which are markedly cheaper. Where the Instant Pot Zen costs just north of $100, other 1- to 2-liter kettles are parked in the $30 to $50 range, and they all boast automatic shut-off features, quick-heating and so on. More premium kettles like the Bonavita 1.7-liter ($65) do what the Zen does, plus adds in a gooseneck spout for precise pour-over coffee and 200mL greater volume.
The most unique of Zen’s features is the temperature range, which allows users to set the machine to heat water from 105 to 212 (boiling) degrees. That’s a wider range than most kettles allows, but I’m unsure how many foods or drinks require sub-140 degree water. Anyway, Zen is available on Amazon now for $101.
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