Qt Vs 6qt Instant Pot
I find that this is the BIGGEST and HARDEST buying decision when it comes to getting an instant pot pressure cooker. This is because they are similar in size and its hard to know what is best for you.
We originally had a 6 quart instant pot and found that it was perfect for us and never felt like we were missing out.
Then we bought an 8 quart instant pot and found that it was even better for us.
Now when we use the 6 quart we comment on how tiny it feels because of what we have got used to using.
Why Do Different Size Instant Pots Take More Time To Come To Pressure
The difference in times it takes to build pressure and release pressure in electric pressure cookers are significantly different between the 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart models. This is not surprising because they are all different sizes . The 8 quart pot will take the longest to build and release pressure because there is more space to fill and empty.
That being said, I would always assume that recipes you see online are built for the 6 quart model unless its noted otherwise. That means you have to adjust for cooking times and the amount of liquid added in the other sized models: more on this below.
Which Instant Pot Is Best For Me
Published: · By Libby Jenkinson May contain affiliate links.
This article will help you figure out which Instant Pot is best for your needs with easy comparison charts.
I’ll even show you the accessories every Instant Pot owner needs in their kitchen!
There are many types of Instant Pots and pressure cookers, so I’ll be sure to cover all the pros, cons, and uses for most Instant Pots to help you make your choice easier.
Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Roast Recipe
Update: Amazon Price Specials On Instant Pots
- Three years ago during Amazon Prime Day, I purchased a 6 qt. Instant Pot that was on sale. And I quickly realized what a great addition it was to my kitchen. The first thing I made was a continuous beef bone broth. I cooked the bones and water under pressure and then switched to slow cooking and kept it going for several days. We were having cups of delicious and healthy bone broth every day and I simply added additional water each day to replace what we had taken from it.
The next year when Amazon Prime Day came I wanted to get my daughter her own Instant Pot as she was getting married that fall. The one that was on special was the 8 qt. size. When it arrived we realized how much bigger it really was than the one I already had.
Then just a few days later my sister told me about the newest Instant Pot that was a 3 qt. size. I immediately began thinking of ways that this size would be helpful. When it arrived we were instantly struck by how small and cute it was!
Now one thing about Instant Pots is that even though they are called Instant they really arent instant. They still need to come up to pressure to cook and that can take several minutes or more. But would the smaller Instant Pot come to pressure quicker and make my meals a little faster? Which one would work best for everyday use?
So I decided to test and compare them and see which one I liked best. I compared their sizes inside and out and how fast they came to pressure.
Instant Pot Duo Nova Dimensions
The Instant Pot Duo Nova is the newest model released in August 2019. The dimensions for this model are comparable to its electric pressure cooker siblings. The weights are as noted on Amazon, but will likely be updated as I think they include the shipping materials, not just the appliance itself.
Lets take a closer look at the Instant Pot Duo Nova dimensions for each quart size. The 3 quarts, 6 quarts, 8 quarts, and 10 quarts are available models.
* The Instant Pot Nova Plus, not to be confused with the Duo Nova Plus, was previously a Costco exclusive model thats no longer available.
** The height of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer comes with two lids to accommodate both cooking methods. The Air Fryer lid adds about 1 inch of the overall height of this model.
Read Also: How To Use Instant Pot To Reheat Food
Instant Pot 3 Quart Models
The 3 quart Instant Pot is available in 3 models. You may also see this size referred to as the Instant Pot Mini. The 3 quart models include:
- Instant Pot Duo Mini
- Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini
- Instant Pot Ultra Mini
And for Star Wars fans, there is also a Duo Mini available as a BB-8 droid.
In the past, there were two additional 3 quart models including the Lux Mini and Duo Nova Mini. The Duo Nova Mini was introduced in 2019 and since discontinued.
They updated the Duo Plus Mini with new features in 2021 to make it a nice upgrade from the basic Duo.
What Kind Of Liquid Should I Add To My Instant Pot
When we say that you need water or liquid for your pot to come to pressure, know that liquid can also come from the food in your pot. Vegetables usually release a lot of liquid when cookingthink about zucchini.
Also, frozen chicken releases a lot of liquid when its cooking, which is why its great to use when cooking dry beans and rice like in my Instant Pot Burrito Bowl Recipe.
Don’t Miss: How To Seal Instant Pot Valve
What Size Is The Largest Instant Pot
As of 2021, the 8 quart size is the largest Instant Pot sold by the company. Previously the 10 quart model was the largest but the Duo Nova series was discontinued.
For the 8 quart models you have multiple options to choose from, depending on what you need and how much you want to spend:
- Duo 8 Quart
- Duo Crisp + Air Fryer
- Viva 8 Quart
There were also other 8 quart models previously sold along with the 10 quart. You may still be able to find them online or at a local store.
Which Instant Pot Should You Buy All Of The Models Compared
Instant Pots are multifunctional pressure cookers with enhanced features and multiple settings to make an even better meal. The best Instant Pots not only offer faster cooking times but other handy features like preprogrammed settings, LCDs, smartphone apps, and customizable parameters. In this article, we compare the current Instant Pot models, examine their unique features, and explain how each products settings work.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Iced Tea In The Instant Pot
Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart
The defining feature of the new Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart is that you can pair it with your iPhone or Android to automatically engage the cooking functions from more than 800 smart recipes on the Instant Brands Connect app. This doesnt mean you can press Start while youre at the office and come home to your Instant Pot braising ribs , but you can control almost everything through the appincluding the steam release! The Pro Plus Smart also features a premium inner pot with easy-grab handles and comes with NutriBoost, a function that mimics the motion of boiling by moving food in the pot to enhance the flavor and texture.
Built-in smart programs: Access 800+ smart recipes via the appFunctions: Pressure-cooking, rice-cooking, slow-cooking, yogurt-making, steaming, sautéing, food-warming, sous videcooking, baking, sterilizing, NutriBoostSizes available: 6-quart Instant Pot
What To Consider When Buying An Instant Pot
With such a wide array of models available when it comes to Instant Pots and multi-cookers, choosing the right one for you can be confusing.
Start by considering the different cooking methods offered by the best Instant Pots and multi-cookers, and the dishes you prepare most. While some offer a handful of cooking modes including pressure cooking and slow cooking, others including the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus have as many as 48 different ways of cooking and can do everything including proving bread and making yogurt.
Next look at the capacity the Instant Pot can hold and whether it’s sufficient for the number of people you have to cook for. Multi-cookers with a 6 quart / 5.7-liter capacity and above are ideal for those with a large family to feed, or those that want to batch-cook, while a smaller Instant Pot can hold around 3.2 quarts / 3 liters should suffice for an individual or couple.
On top of that, look out for Instant Pots and multi-cookers that have inner pots that can be used on the stove, when browning meat before slow cooking and are dishwasher safe to make sure you have as few utensils to wash up as possible.
Also Check: What Can You Make In An Instant Pot
Is Instant Pot Healthy
Depending on what ingredients you add to your Instant Pot it can have added health benefits. For example, vegetables cooked properly in an Instant Pot retain up to twice as many of their nutritional value as opposed to conventional boiling.
This is because items cooked in an Instant Pot are actually cooked at a lower temperature than conventional cooking, the pressurized steam speeds up the cooking time, not higher temperatures.
What Does The Instant Pot Duo Mini Come With
This Instant Pot potentially replaces seven cooking appliances . Although the appliance doesnt come with as many features or cooking settings as other Instant Pot multi-cookers, it still has a decent setup:
- 11 standard one touch cooking settings
- Saute setting
- Keep Warm setting
As for cute accessories, this Instant Pot comes is bundled with a steam rack, rice paddle, and condensation container. I also have an authorized Instant Pot cookbook tha you have to purchase separately.
If youre wondering about compatible accessories, you have more options that fit the Duo Mini than other Instant Pots out there.
The Instant Pot Duo Mini does not come with the Poultry and Multi-grain program functions.
Also Check: What Instant Pot To Buy
Instant Pot Vs Pressure Cooker
Ok, since most people think of an Instant Pot as a newer version of the pressure cooker their mother or grandmother used to use, I thought it may be a good idea to compare some of the biggest differences.
- Both use pressurized steam and heat to cook dishes thoroughly.
- Both offer the ability to manually release the pressure.
- An Instant Pot offers the ability to set a timer and walk away from it. On the other hand, a pressure cooker often requires regular monitoring and possibly adjusting the heat to properly cook your food.
- Another difference is the natural pressure release. An Instant Pot is designed to hold onto pressure so using natural pressure release will take a long time.
- A stovetop pressure cooker begins to naturally release pressure as soon as it is removed from the heat source. In recipes that call for you to let the pressure release naturally, an Instant Pot will require a significantly longer up to 4 or 5 times longer for the pressure to drop naturally.
- While there are many Instant Pots that offer the ability to sear, the process is easier in a stovetop pressure cooker. This is due to the smaller, curved design of an Instant Pot. A stovetop pressure cooker is essentially a large pot when the pressure lid is not in use, this allows for easy searing and browning of meats. You can then add any stock and convert to pressurized cooking.
Do Different Sizes Of Instant Pots Cook Differently
Im sticking by my statement that each Instant Pot is different. This is so true when you hear people talk about how long they cook their hard boiled eggs.
In addition to each pot being different, everyone has preferences about their hard boiled eggs, and how old your eggs are makes a difference too. There are a lot of cooking variables to consider.
With regard to noodles, I have realized that I like my noodles overcooked a little rather than undercooked. After making a few recipes in my IP, I know that if I am cooking a dish with noodles Ill always add a minute.
You can make changes to recipes you find online to get the best possible results when you make them at home. Like I said, every Instant Pot is different. It is always going to take some trial and error to figure out how your own pot differs from others, and understand what your cooking preferences are.
These tips and tricks will show you some common Instant Pot cooking differences and how to adjust your timing, pressures, and liquid in order to avoid a flop!
Read Also: How Do I Cook Rice In An 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.
Is An Instant Pot Really Worth It
Thereâs no denying an Instant Pot is a great kitchen appliance but you may be wondering if itâs really worth it? Or will it simply end up as another kitchen gadget that languishes on your countertop gathering dust?
Itâs important to remember that while Instant Pots offer a multitude of cooking methods, many of which means you no longer need to use an oven or a hob, they canât cook everything. For example, theyâre not an option if you regularly prepare pasta, noodles, or stir frys. And while some do come with lids that can air fry, we found making fries in an Instant Pot wasnât as good as using one of the best air fryers.
At the same time, you canât just pop the lid off and check the dish youâre cooking, as you would when using the hob, the oven, or a slow cooker. Youâll need to release the pressure, effectively stop cooking, and detach the lid. Then if the dish isnât ready, youâll need to start cooking again.
Similarly, an Instant Pot can certainly shave a few hours off cooking stews, ribs and other dishes that usually take the best part of a day to cook, however with dishes like rice or steaming vegetables the time saving is minimal, which may mean an Instant Pot isnât worth the investment.
Don’t Miss: What’s Natural Release On Instant Pot
Check The Sticker On The Back Of Your Instant Pot
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.
Instant Pot Lux Best For Beginners
This is the best Instant Pot for beginners and families that plan to only use theirs occasionally. This model has all of the most popular basic functions of the large, and pricier, models including manual pressure cooking, rice, and can even make both dinner and a dessert at the same time.
The Instant Pot Lux 60 V3 features 12 built-in programs, including easy settings for manual or pressure cooking, one-touch rice cooking, cakes, eggs, and much more. This versatile Instant Pot is a great way for beginners to get their feet wet, with added features that included sautéing, slow cooking, and warming for up to 24 hours.
- 6-in-1 works as a pressure cooker, sauté, steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker, and warmer.
- Offers 1000 watts of cooking power
- Delayed start up to 24 hours
- Sauté and slow cooking at 3 different temperatures
You May Like: Can I Make Pasta In My Instant Pot
Is Instant Pot Worth It
I am obviously biased, but I do believe for most families an Instant Pot is absolutely worth buying. They really do offer many more options than many other types of kitchen appliances, and these days kitchen space, whether on your counter or in your cupboards, is valuable real estate. Having one appliance that can potentially take the place of up to 9 or 10 other gadgets equals huge savings in my book.
However, I will admit that getting an Instant Pot just because it is trendy is probably not the best idea unless you are going to use it. I use my Instant Pot on a regular basis and really do not know how I would do without it now.
I wrote a full post about this subject , so if youd like you can check it for more info.
Recommended Reading: Which Is Best Instant Pot