Do I Need 6 Or 8 Quart Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Duo 3, 6, & 8 qt UNBOXING – WHICH INSTANT POT TO BUY

Published: by Mike Vrobel · This post may contain affiliate links ·

I was all excited when I got my Instant Pot IP-Duo 8 quart pressure cooker. It pushed my IP-DUO 6 quart out of the location of honor, under my kitchen island, ready to be pulled out at a moments notice. My IP-DUO 6 moved to the basement, on the shelf of backup pressure cookers. I loved the extra space in the 8 quart I didnt mind that it barely fit under the kitchen island. Thats how things stayed for a few months. The IP-DUO 6 quart would come upstairs when I needed a second pressure cooker for a side dish, but otherwise was relegated to the minor leagues.

Then, one night, the kids did not clean out the 8 quart pot. It was crunch time, and I had to get dinner started right away. I dont have a spare pot for the 8 quart yet – Instant Pot says they are coming, but keeps pushing off the date – so I went downstairs and grabbed the IP-DUO 6. When we were cleaning up the kitchen, out of habit, I put the 6 quart back under the island, and moved the 8 quart downstairs.

Now, Im glad I have both – I love the day-to-day usability of the 6 quart, with the size of the 8 quart available if I happen to need it. And, its great to have a second cooker. If I want a main course and a side dish, both under pressure, I can pull out my backup. Now, the fact that I also have a third, fourth, and fifth pressure cooker available? I may have a problem.

Can You Cook Small Portions In A Large Instant Pot

Absolutely! However, there is a minimum amount of water that needs to be added each time you use the Instant Pot. This minimum will vary depending on model and size, so its important to check the product manual to verify this before use.

As long as you adhere to this guideline, your portions can be as small as you want!

Qt Vs 8 Qt Instant Pot: Here Are Differences

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Whether you live alone, are a working parent who needs to cook food for your family, or are a member of a large family, an Instant Pot is a must-have. After all, it can cook any meal 70% faster than the conventional method. When buying one for your kitchen, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the size 6 qt or 8 qt?

Anything smaller will not be practical as you do not want to stuff food in there, and a pot that is too big for the food youre making will cook the food less efficiently. In this article we will discuss the 6 qt Vs 8 qt Instant Pot. Let me begin by saying that there are a lot of differences between the two other than just the size.

Even though the Instant Pot craze started in 2010, it has come a long way from its humble beginning. Today, you can find Instant Pots of various sizes with a wide variety of features. We will discuss some of the other models and features further down in this article, however, the first thing we will look at is how to choose the ideal size for your needs. Instant Pot

  • What are the different accessories I can buy for my Instant Pot?
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    Instant Pot Sizes: The Quart Sizes Available By Models

    Thinking about buying an electric pressure cooker, but are not sure which Instant Pot sizes are available? Lets take a quick look at the sizes available and in which IP models.

    There are 4 Instant Pot sizes across the different model lines: 3 quarts, 6 quarts, 8 quarts, and 10 quarts.

    There are 3 primary Instant Pot sizes are: 3 quarts, 6 quarts, and 8 quarts. Not all quart sizes are available in all series.

    The most common, and most popular of the 3 sizes is the 6 quart model. And for the most part, the 8 quart is the largest Instant Pot available for most models, except for the Duo Nova series that also has a 10 quart option.

    The largest Instant Pot size available is a 10 quart, released in August 2019 as part of the Instant Pot Duo Nova series.

    The 5 quart model was an earlier size that the Instant Pot Duo and Lux models were available in.

    And if you want to know what size Instant Pot you have, here are 3 ways to figure that out.

    That’s Good To Know But Does The Instant Pot Size Affect Cooking Time

    First Look at the 8

    For the 3 and 6-quart sizes, a good rule-of-thumb is to always have at least one cup of water or thin liquid in with what you’re cooking. The 8-quart, since it’s larger, should have at least two cups of thin liquid with whatever you’re cooking.

    It’s always important to note that you need a thin liquid with whatever you plan to cook in the Instant Pot. This is because you need steam to create pressure, and the only way to get that is to have a thin liquid.

    Some ingredients release their own thin liquid as they cook, so you may not need as much. Think of chicken and certain vegetables, like cabbage or onion. On average, for a 6-quart to come to pressure , it can take up to 20-30 minutes, depending on how much liquid is in the pot.

    If there’s a lot of liquid, such as with soup, it will take longer to come to pressure. This also applies to the 8-quartsince it’s larger and needs more liquid, it takes a bit longer to get to pressure than the smaller versions.

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    Instant Pot Cooking Differences

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    All Instant Pots are the same, right? Not really! There are a few differences in cook times for the 6 and 8 quart Instant Pot, but once you know your pot youll be all set. Some of the Instant Pot cooking differences are time to come to pressure, release time, water needed, and wattage.

    What Size Instant Pot Should I Buy

    One of the questions I see regularly in my Meal Planning group an on this blog is, what size Instant Pot should I buy? And I totally get it because I asked the same question not too long ago! There are so many Instant Pot size choices it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

    Here for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales?? This Instant Pot with Air Fryer option is deeply discounted today this is probably the one I would get if I was shopping for an Instant Pot today. You cant go wrong with an Instant Pot AND Air Fryer in one.

    The Instant Pot comes in four different sizes 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. Not all sizes are available for all models. The biggest debate I see is between the 6 and 8 quarts. so Im going to focus on thosebut I have a notes on the 3 quart option, too!

    Based on our FB group and the main Instant Pot FB group , I feel pretty confident that the most popular Instant Pot is the 6 qt Duo Plus . Heres a quick rundown of the benefits of each sizehopefully, this will help you decide what size Instant Pot you should buy.

    Recommended Reading: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot

    Instant Pot 6qt Vs 8qt

    The bigger pots are great for so many things. Here are some reasons why youre going to want either the 6qt or 8qt Instapot.

    6-qt Instant Pot Pros and Cons:

    • Pro: Most recipes are made for the 6 qt cooker, as this is the most popular size.
    • Pro: Can cook most roasts and meats and doesnt require as much storage space.
    • Con: Not as large as you need it to be sometimes.

    Pro Tip: you can cook recipes that are created for the 6-quart in an 8-quart Instant Pot, you may just need to adjust the time slightly or add a little more cooking liquid.

    8-qt Instant Pot Pros and Cons:

    • Pro: The 8qt is great for a larger family or someone who cooks with the pressure cooker quite frequently.
    • Pro: This size is ideal for cooking for more than 4-6 people and great for feeding crowds and weekly meal prep.
    • Con: The 8qt does require more storage space and can take slightly longer to come to pressure due to its size.

    Speed Up The Coming To Pressure Time By Using The Saute Function

    6 Qt vs 8 Qt Instant Pot with Air Fryer

    A little expansion of pro tip #1 above. Yes, you can saute in your Instant Pot, but you can also use this function to speed up your come to pressure time.

    Pour any liquids of the recipe in first, hit saute, and let it warm up while you prep the rest of the ingredients. This will reduce the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to full pressure for your recipe.

    Also Check: Reheating Tamales In Instant Pot

    How Long Will My Instant Pot Take To Come To Pressure

    While it may take longer for the 8 quart to come to pressure than the 3 quart and the 6 quart, once it comes up to pressure your cooking times should be the same. You might not notice any significant Instant Pot cooking differences when it comes to cooking times though. They should be relatively spot on no matter which pot you are using.

    It takes an average of 5-10 minutes for my 6 quart Instant Pot to come to pressure, depending on how much food is in it and if that food is frozen. An Instant Pot with frozen food takes longer to come to pressure than one with refrigerated food.

    Note: Technically the cook times should be the same. If you want to see how crazy different cook times can be, head over to the Instant Pot Facebook group and ask how long it takes to make hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot. Youll quickly see what I mean by every pot and every size being different.

    You can safely assume that unless noted otherwise, every Instant Pot recipe online is made for a 6 quart size. If youre using a 3 quart size or mini Instant Pot, divide the recipe in half and the cook time stays the same. If youre using an 8 quart Instant Pot, you can easily double the recipe youre cooking and the cook time stays the same.

    Tips For Adjusting Recipes For 8 Qt 6 Qt And The 3 Qt Instant Pots:

    The Instant Pot website says that you do not need to adjust cooking times between the three sizes. That stays the same. But you do need to adjust the liquid that you add to the pot to bring the food to pressure.

    • For the 6 qt, it calls for 1 cup liquid to be added to the pot.
    • For the 8 qt, it calls for 2 cups liquid to be added
    • And the 3 qt calls for 1/2 cup liquid to be added.

    Except for foods that absorb the liquid like rice, pasta, or oatmeal. You leave the liquid amount the same.

    Recommended Reading: How Long To Cook Turkey Tenderloin In Instant Pot

    The Size Of The Instant Pot Matters

    For safety reasons , the Instant Pot should be filled no more than 2/3 full. That means if you buy the6 quart Instant Pot , you can only safely put 3 1/2 quarts of food inside. If you buy the8 quart Instant Pot, you can put 6 quarts of food inside.

    This may not be a big deal, but I know that one batch of chicken stock in my 6-quart slow cooker gives me a full gallon worth of stock. I would have to make multiple batches of stock in a 6-quart size Instant Pot to get the same yield.

    What Is An Instant Pot

    First Look at the 8

    The short answer: The Instant Pot is a convenient multi-cooking machine that lets you cook fast or slow.

    Because the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker and slow cooker wrapped up in one , its designed to help you remove the guesswork of figuring out the ideal amount of heat, pressure, and time your food needs. Its great for beginner cooking and simple meals, like stews and oatmeal. But once you get more comfortable with the machine, its excellent for tougher cuts of meat like baby back ribs or proteins that usually require a long cook time. With a willingness for some trial and error, many recipes can be adapted for the Instant Pot. Generally speaking, when adapting for pressure cooking, the liquid and cook time will be cut and adjusted from a manual pressure cooker. For slow-cooking, there youll need to adjust for less liquid and more time.

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    You Can Use The Instant Pot To Reheat Food For Real

    I was kind of skeptical on how you could reheat food in the Instant Pot at first. I mean, if youre reheating stew or soup or something else thats okay to touch the cooking surface, I can see how it would work. But what if it was a casseroleor shredded chicken wouldnt that make a mess? Or ruin the leftovers?

    Solution steamer insert pans. These pans fit in 5, 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and allow you to put food inside while putting water or something else on the outside. The Instant Pot heats the water, and the water reheats your leftovers. Done!!

    It Helps To Consider What You’ll Be Cooking

    I know it’s hard to think of what a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot can hold. Let me give you some examples.

    Whole chickens The 6-quart will fit a 5 to 6-pound whole chicken comfortably. The 8-quart fits 5 to 6-pound whole chickens comfortably side by side.

    Yogurt The 6-quart will make 4 to 5 quarts of yogurt comfortably while the 8-quart will make 6 to 7 quarts of yogurt comfortably.

    Spaghetti squash A medium-size or 2 smaller will fit in the 6-quart Instant Pot 2 medium or even a large spaghetti squash will fit in the 8-quart.

    Batch cooking If you batch cook at all, whether rice, beans, pre-cooked chicken, etc., you will fit more in the 8 quart, making your efforts stretch farther.

    Accessories Many of the accessories I chose fit in both the 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pots. An exception is the stackable pans I showed you in the second video above. Those ONLY fit the 8-quart Instant Pot. However, there is a greater capacity for stacking and using larger containers inside the 8-quart Instant Pot. Wondering what I’m talking about? Like making this sourdough cornbread in a 7-cup Pyrex bowl it will fit in either size Instant Pot.

    See the second video above for real-life examples of how these foods fit in the 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot!

    If you’d like more ideas for using your Instant Pot, be sure to check out 11 Creative & Surprising Things To Make In The Instant Pot. I think some will astound you!

    Back To Size, Though

    Recommended Reading: Are Instant Pot Lids Dishwasher Safe

    Which Instant Pot Is Best For A Family Of Four

    Both the 6 quart and 8 quart sizes will accommodate a smaller family, but the 6 quart may be better for you if you will regularly be using your Instant Pot for four people or less.

    The 6 quart costs less, is slightly easier to store, and most recipes are created with the 6 quart size in mind, although these recipes can be used for the 8 quart Instant Pot.

    If you want to have the capability of cooking larger portions, the 8 quart model is also viable even if you have a smaller family.

    Check The Sticker On The Back Of Your Instant Pot

    Which INSTANT POT to Buy in 2020? | 6 Quart vs. 8 Quart, LUX and DUO

    There is a sticker on the back of your Instant Pot with a few pieces of useful information on it. Be warned, the type is a little small so you may need bright light and a magnifying glass to read it clearly.

    On this sticker is both the model name and number of quarts of your specific Instant Pot. Look for the Volume line below the Model name. Its about the 3rd line down from the Instant Pot logo.

    If you havent turned your Instant Pot around recently, the sticker wouldnt be something youll notice unless youre specifically looking for it.

    Also Check: How To Convert Slow Cooker Recipe To Instant Pot

    How To Know What Size Instant Pot To Buy

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    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Have you been considering buying an Instant Pot? The fact that you can put the food in, close the lid, push a couple of buttons, and then walk away, even out of the kitchen makes this a must-have appliance in todays kitchen. Its just so easy to use. But what size Instant Pot should you get?

    Maybe you already own one and youre thinking of buying another one and youre not sure which size you should get. Well, I took the three main sizes of Instant Pots 8 qt., 6 qt., and 3 qt. and compared them to help you have a better idea of which one is right for you?

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