What Is An Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
An Instant Pot® is a multi-use electric pressure cooker designed to be dependable, convenient, and most importantly safe. Pressure cooking is a way to prepare your meals faster and using less energy, making it an energy-efficient meal preparation method.
If this is your first time looking into the Instant Pot, you may be trying to figure out which size is best for you. The Instant Pot comes in 4 sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart, and 10 quart.
Specifically if youre considering the smallest Instant Pot, this guide looks quickly at the dimensions of the 3 quart models currently available to help you as you research your options.
A Few Additional Differences Between The Instant Pot 3 Quart Models
For all of the Instant Pot 3 Quart models, youll have pressure cooking at high pressure, the ability to keep your food warm, and have at least 10 safety features. Each 3 quart Instant Pot has a 700 watt heating element, and uses 120V~60Hz. In general, the Instant Pot Mini models are about 8 1/2 to 9 lbs. For dimensions, theyre approximately 11.5 x 10.5 x 11.2 .
There are a few differences between the Instant Pot mini models that may sway which one you want to buy. Of course, the model prices increase with the additional features. Check for sales and discounts to help you buy a great deal.
Lets take a closer look at the differences between the 3 quart Instant Pot models.
|Automatic Keep Warm|
The lid holder can come in handy especially when you just finished cooking a dish and are awkwardly trying to figure out what to do with a hot lid.
On the Instant Pot Mini, the quick-release button being separate from the steam value is a great feature. The Mini Ultra also has an auto-seal feature so that you dont have to worry about forgetting to put the steam valve in the right position.
The Mini Lux, Duo, and Duo Plus use push buttons to program your cooking and the Ultra uses a dial wheel to make your selections.
How Much Does An Instant Pot Mini Hold
The Instant Pot Mini holds 3 quarts of liquid which, depending on the size and type of food, can usually accommodate food for 3-4 people. That being said, its a great option for side dishes, desserts, and single portion meals.
The design of the inner pot makes efficient use of the limited space, so larger pieces of food, like a roast or chicken, will still fit. For larger meals, the Instant Pot Mini might need to be used in tandem with a larger model, like the 6-quart or 8-quart models.
Recommended Reading: Can You Use Tomato Sauce In Instant Pot
Instant Pot Duo Plus Versus Pro
The Instant Pot Pro is a modest step up from the Duo Plus. The Pro enjoys a baking mode which gives it an edge, but an optional air fryer add-on is available for the Duo Plus. The Duo Plus is available in a 3-quart version if you need something with a smaller footprint, while the Pro has a whooping 28 one-touch smart cooking programs available, and an interface with lots of control available. Its a close call between these two.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes For Two
Making up a main dish in the oven? Whether its steak or meatloaf, these mashed potatoes are an undeniably delicious and comforting side dish. We all know they taste the best fresh from the pot anyway, so dont worry about using up leftovers with this recipe for the 3-quart pot. Recipe from Dessert for Two.
Recommended Reading: Duo Air Fryer Instant Pot
Breville Fast Slow Go Pressure Cooker
Best Fast Slow Cooker
This versatile Breville ® Fast Slow GO Pressure Cooker can do everything a standard crock pot can and more! The pressure cooker/slow cooker combination has fourteen shortcut settings to choose from: soup, stock, meat, stew, steam, saute, legumes, rice/grains, risotto, yogurt, reduce, sous vide, pressure cook, and slow cook. The electric cooker features stainless steel construction and stainless steel trivet, so the options are truly endless.
Three hands-free steam-release options and the three-way safety system keep you safe. It also includes a natural setting that slowly subsides inside the pot, a pulse setting that releases in quick bursts to reduce food disturbance, and an automatic, ensuring pressure is released quickly to prevent overcooking. With two sensors, you will get precise temperature control. To serve the perfect dinner on time, use the delay start and keep warm functions.
Why Is It Taking So Long For Instant Pot To Pressurize
Instant pots are amazing. They make cooking so much faster and easier. But, there is one downside- the wait time to pressurize. It seems like it takes forever for the pot to reach pressure. Why is that?
It turns out that there is a good reason for the long wait time. Instant pots work by trapping heat and steam inside a sealed pot in order to cook food quickly. The longer it takes for the pot to reach pressure, the more heat and steam are trapped inside. This allows food to cook more evenly and thoroughly.
So, while the wait time can be frustrating, it is actually necessary for perfect results. Fortunately, most of the cooking time happens after the pot has reached pressure, so you dont have to wait too long in total. Just be patient and your Instant Pot will do its thing!
Read Also: How Long Corned Beef Instant Pot
How Many Chicken Breasts Can You Cook In An Instant Pot
Instant pots are all the rage right now. And for good reason! Theyre incredibly versatile, cooking everything from meats to vegetables in a fraction of the time it would take in a traditional oven or stovetop. So how many chicken breasts can you cook at once in an Instant Pot?
Well, that depends on the size of your Instant Pot. If you have a 6-quart pot, you can fit up to six chicken breasts inside. If you have an 8-quart pot, you can fit up to eight chicken breasts. Just make sure theyre all laid out in a single layer and not touching each other, or they wont cook evenly.
Once your chicken breasts are in the pot, add 1 cup of water or broth.
Which Model Of Instant Pot Should You Buy
Im just going to give you a quick overview of the models and options. No need to spend a ton of time on that, since right on the Instant Pot website theres a terrific Instant Pot comparison chart that maps out all the models, functions, features, and sizes.
Basically, there are six main models : The Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, Ultra, Smart, and Max. Falling somewhere in between these main models are the quasi-hybrid Nova Plus and Viva models that are basically a slightly different cocktail of features launched exclusively in partnership with Costco and QVC, respectively.
Each newer or more advanced Instant Pot model is targeted at offering some additional functionality, enhanced levels of control, or changes in the display screens and user interface. Obviously, the main question youve gotta sort out here is whether each of those changes and additions is truly important to you and actually worth the additional money, depending on the type of cooking you plan to do and how much complexity you really need to have to accomplish that.
Don’t Miss: Electric Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot Lux Mini 6
Apart from being a trustworthy and amazing brand, instant pot upholds the quality of their products, so you know that what you expect is what youll get.
Ive used several pots, pressure cookers, and canners in the past, and not all of them were of the best quality.
Each product displays different quality and poses differences in their cooking time, steam release valve, heat distribution, accessories, and display panels.
But one pot that I found which is amazing and a perfect cooker regardless of all the other products available in the market is the instant pot lux mini cooker.
Its an affordable and lightweight model, so it was very tempting for me to pick this one up and start cooking in it.
When youre getting the work of 6 pots in 1, then who needs a backup rice cooker, steamer, slow cooker, and whatnot.
In the package, I received multiple accessories as well, for example, a steaming rack with handles, condensation collector cup, instructions guide, measuring cup, rice paddle, and soup spoon.
After all these accessories come within the pot, it cuts the cost of buying accessories separately.
Hence it becomes even more cost-cutting.
The lux includes 6 options for cooking different dishes, and this one might not be the most advanced pot, but believe me, this can still do all the other functions that other instant pots can do.
Even with the absence of a yogurt-making preset, I made my own yogurt by customizing the temperature, pressure, and timing.
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7
Another amazing and spectacular small-size pot from Instant pot is the duo nova pressure cooker which is marketed as a 7-in-1 electric cooker, and its proclaimed to have 7 different cooking options for you.
For example, it can slow cook, pressure cook, steam, sauté, make rice, keep your food warm, and make yogurt.
It also includes a number of presets with one touch, you can cook any kind of food you want, from porridge to soup, from rice to meat.
And even with all these presets, you can choose your customized function and set your personalized timing and pressure settings.
This pot is even cheaper than the rest of the instant pot in this list, and for this price, all the features youre getting are definitely a steal.
Look at all the things you will be able to cook for yourself, and you dont even have to worry about storing this pot as it is very small and will fit into any corner of your kitchen.
It also has a reasonably sized LED panel on the interface, which helps immensely with controlling the settings.
To test out this pot, I decided to cook a little bit of porridge in this as I had been craving for it for many days.
Sweet oat porridge is always my go-to for cooking in the instant pot, so for the lux, I also opted for the same thing.
I put 1 cup of oats in the pot along with 2 cups of oat milk as it is a healthier alternative to whole milk.
Along I added a little cinnamon stick, agave syrup, apple, and nuts for the earthy taste.
The oats were cooked to perfection.
Recommended Reading: What Is Quick Release On Instant Pot
Appliances Combined Into Each Instant Pot 3 Quart Model
Each Instant Pot mini model combines multiple appliances into one electric pressure cooker. This is especially great if you have limited kitchen space . While pressure cooking is a top reason to buy an Instant Pot, there are a bunch of other ideas for dishes to try beyond what youre thinking.
For the Duo Nova, the Smart Programs and features are mostly the same. The Duo Nova Mini has a new updated display and a different set of accessories compared to its siblings.
Other Uses For Your Instant Pot
As youve been doing your research while thinking about instant pot sizes to buy, you may have noticed people are using theirs for a lot of things besides cooking dinner.
In fact, many models come with presets specifically for different foods. If you like hot cereal for breakfast and want to cook with truly whole grains, rather than cracked or rolled, consider cooking a large batch overnight.
Think about how many youre cooking for, and how many days in advance youd like to have it prepped.
Be sure to remember that you have to reduce the amount you put in when cooking grains. This useful function alone may help you decide to go with a larger multicooker.
Many people have also started making homemade yogurt using their electric pressure cooker.
Some models even have a button to keep your yogurt at the perfect temperature while it cultures. Yogurt makes a great healthy breakfast or snack, and you can save a lot of money by making it at home.
You can even strain your finished yogurt to make your own homemade Greek style yogurt. If you choose a 6 quart instant pot size, you can make 4-5 quarts of yogurt at a time.
This sounds like a lot until you think about how much yogurt a family with growing kids can go through in a week.
If youre straining out the whey to make a thicker finished product, youll lose quite a bit of volume.
Choosing an 8 quart model that will let you make 6-7 quarts of yogurt at once could be a better choice for you.
Read Also: How To Make Eggs In Instant Pot
Why Use An Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
If you dont have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. Also see our guide to How to Use an Instant Pot for more information.
- Dont Have an Instant Pot Yet?This guide can help you choose the right one.
- find more recipes to make in your Instant Pot.
How Big Is The Mini Instant Pot
The Mini Instant Pot is 6 quarts in size, which is roughly equivalent to 10 cups. Its both a pressure cooker and slow cooker, as well as offering additional modes such as steaming, sautéing, and yogurt making.
The dimensions of the mini Instant Pot are 12. 2 x 12. 2 x 13 inches. This compact size makes it a great choice for small households or couples who dont typically need to cook for large groups.
Recommended Reading: Gluten Free Instant Pot Recipe Book
How Do I Choose The Right Model
If you know the size you need, you will also have to determine which model you should get.
The LUX model just offers the basics with no frills. As long you dont require low pressure, you should be fine.
The DUO model is a great choice if you want to make your own yogurt at home, as it has a button specifically for this purpose.
The SMART model has built-in Bluetooth technology, allowing you to control everything from your smartphone or tablet.
The ULTRA model gives you a few extra features like a backlit display. It is good for those who want the ability to cook food at any temperature.
Finally, the MAX model is also worth considering because of its pressure canning capabilities. You also have a Sous Vide option, which can really come in handy.
Oxo Silicone Pressure Cooker Lifter
Barbone said a silicone rack with handles is helpful when cooking anything youll need to lift out of the Instant Pot, like a small chicken, meatloaf or cheesecake. Instant Pots come with a metal steam rack, but she said the silicone one is easier to maneuver. This dishwasher-safe option from OXO fits 6- and 8-quart Instant Pots, the brand says. It has two large loop handles that connect to fit under the appliances lid while youre cooking, and you can detach them while moving it in and out of the pot. The lifters flat base allows you to pile food directly on top, or you can place it under a pan.
Also Check: How To Lock An Instant Pot
How Much Water Do I Need To Add To My Instant Pot
We all know that different sizes of pots need different amounts of water in order to cook food properly. After all, theyre using steam and pressure to cook things quickly. Here are the breakdowns of water needed in order for each size pot to function correctly.
- The 8 Quart Models need 2.5-3 cups of liquid
- The 6 Quart Models need 1.5-2 cups of liquid
- The 3 Quart Models need .75-1 cup of liquid
- these numbers came from the Instant Pot website. The numbers have changed over the years and as of 8/2021 they are what I can find directly from Instant Pot.
Ive mentioned it before and Ill mention it again, your Instant Pot is going to be at least a tiny bit different from every other one out there. Do your own test to see how much water your pot needs in order to come to pressure and hold for 5 minutes. Use the amounts above as a general guideline.
What Are Mini Crock Pots Used For
Because of their small size, mini crock pots can be used for slightly different tasks than larger models. While standard-sized crock pots can cook up a week’s worth of leftovers, small crock pots work well for:
Cooking meals for one or two
Cooking in an RV or camper
Keeping gravy, dips, and sauces warm
Heating up soups and stews, both out of a can or homemade
Reheating leftovers without using the stove, oven, or microwave
Serving fondue, simmering broth, and other dippable dinner party delights
Keeping beans and other side dishes warm when serving buffet style
Though modern models feature more versatile functions, crock pots are best for low and slow cooking. Turn it on in the morning, and you’ll have a delicious meal ready when dinner rolls around. A mini crock pot can cook up everything a full-size one can, including:
Don’t Miss: What Is The New Instant Pot