Diameters Of The Inner Instant Pot Liners:
- 8 Quart Models have an inner pot diameter of 9.25 Inches
- 6 Quart Models have an inner pot diameter of 8.5 Inches
- 3 Quart Models have an inner pot diameter of 7 Inches
For those of you who like to use all the Instant Pot accessories that can make cooking fun and exciting, these measurements come in handy for determining if certain accessories will work in your pot. Its also great to know for sizing batches of whatever meals you are cooking or baking.
Best For Beginners: Instant Pot Duo Plus 6
Capacity: 6 quarts | Dimensions : 12.2 x 12.2 x 12.9 inches | Weight: 11.5 pounds | Programs: 15
If youre totally new to the multi-cooker world, this intuitive version of the Instant Pot Duo might be ideal for you. The 6-quart Duo Plus can do all the things that the Classic Duo can do, including pressure cooking, sous vide, and slow cooking. But it also has an automatic sealing lid, which takes some of the guesswork out of the process, and keeps you from accidentally leaving the steam valve open and making a mess of your kitchen. There’s also a progress indicator that will keep you updated in real time.
The Duo Plus also features 15 “smart” program options, which allow you to start your meal by just pushing a button. Our tester, senior editor Sara Bir, tested the yogurt and sous vide functions. She was pleased with how intuitive the yogurt setting was, especially compared to the other Instant Pots she’s used, adding, “I’ll be using this pot to make my yogurt from now on.” The sous vide function, however, was underwhelming, particularly because it’s this setting that makes this Duo model a “Plus.”
When using the setting to make sous vide carrots, the cooker was never able to heat the water above 190 degrees Fahrenheit . “It’s not terribly accurate, it does not circulate the water, which is important for maintaining a constant temperature,” Sara explains. The carrots themselves turned out too al dente for her taste.
Instant Pot 3 Quart Vs 6 Quart: Which Size Is Better
Instant pots have become one of the most popular kitchen appliances over the years because they make cooking faster and easier. You can cook a wide range of delicious dishes with them quickly and efficiently.
Theyre available in different sizes, so choosing one might be a bit tricky. If youre on the fence about which size to get, our comprehensive Instant pot 3 quart vs. 6 quart article will help you out. Lets jump right into it!
Cleanup: Size Does Matter
Another factor to consider is cleanup. While most of the inner cooking pots used in these instant pots are dishwasher safe, depending upon the layout of your dishwasher, anything over a 6 or 8 quart may not fit.
Hand washing the pots usually isnt terribly difficult, but do take a look at the size of your sink and think about whether you feel up to wrangling a wet and soapy 14 quart pot and getting it rinsed thoroughly on a regular basis.
If you dont want to deal with washing a larger pot, but still want to be able to cook larger quantities, you might consider buying two smaller cookers.
For instance, if you got both a 6 and an 8 quart, youd have the option to cook 14 quarts at once, divided between the two pots.
Better yet, youd also have the option to cook two different things at once.
This might sound excessive now, but once you start using your new cooker and loving how easily you can make things you couldnt before, you might very well find yourself wanting a second one!
How To Choose The Best Instant Pot For You
Here are the key things to consider when choosing an Instant Pot:
Features: Some Instant Pot models come with preprogramed cooking functions and even additional capabilities such as Yogurt Making and Sterilization. However, these preprogrammed functions merely mimic low- and high-pressure cooking, and you can re-create them manually. Additionally, we found that some preprogrammed functions were unreliable .
Evaluate the kind of cooking you typically do before splurging on bells and whistles that you don’t need. You should also realize that you may still need to adapt your cooking times to get the results you want. We frequently found that the more features an Instant Pot had, the more confusing the controls were.
Size/capacity: We tested only 6-quart models, as they’re the most popular size on the market. However, many Instant Pots are available in 3-quart sizes, which are better for individuals or couples, and 9-quart sizes, which are better for larger families.
Price: It’s surprising how widely the prices vary for Instant Pots, given that most of them offer the same basic features, give or take a few specifics. Your personal budget for cooking gear will influence your decision on which price is best.
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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.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer
This standout 11-in-1 pressure cooker was the first Instant Pot model to offer an air-frying function by way of a second air fryer lid. When youre done frying, you can simply switch back to the standard lid for pressure cooking, steaming, sautéing, and more. Like all Instant Pot models, this one comes with advanced safety features and access to a digital library of more than 1,000 Instant Pot recipes. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp even lets you broil, and until the Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer came along, this model was the Ninja Foodis fiercest competitor.
Built-in smart programs: 11Functions: Pressure-cooking, slow-cooking, air-frying, steaming, sautéing, food-warming, sous videcooking, roasting, baking, broiling, dehydratingSizes available: 6- and 8-quart Instant Pots
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What Size Pots Does Instant Pot Offer
You will be able to get pots in 3, 5, 7, and 8 quart sizes with Instant Pot. It is important to remember that not every model offers the same size options. You can get a 3 quart pot with the DUO, DUO Plus, Ultra Series and LUX models. If you go to certain stores, you can find the LUX model in a 5 quart pot size.
You can get a 6 quart size pot with any of the models Instant Pot offers, including Viva, Nava Plus, Smart Bluetooth, Max and Ultra. It is likely that any new models this brand releases will be available in this size as well.
Only the Ultra, LUX, DUO and DUO Plus models are available in the 8 quart pot size.
How Do You Clean An Instant Pot
The good news is that most Instant Pots have dishwasher-safe components. At the least, the stainless steel cooking pot and the silicone ring are dishwasher safe. On many models, the entire lid is dishwasher safe. The lid has a few removable parts that should be removed and cleaned, but the process for that is different depending on the model, so its best to check the user manual to see what parts are removable and how to clean them.
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Instant Pot 8 Quart Models
The 8 quart Instant Pot is the largest size currently sold. The seven options available for the 8 quart include:
- Duo 8 Quart
- Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 8 Quart
- Pro Crisp 8 Quart
- Viva 8 Quart
The Instant Pot Pro and Instant Pot Pro Plus were introduced in 2021 and other models were discontinued.
The Duo Evo Plus, Lux, and Duo Nova 8 quart options have been discontinued. You may still be able to find them online or in local stores.
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!
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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.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Donna Currie is a cookbook author and writer for The Spruce Eats. Having tested both the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker and the Instant Pot Lux Mini 6-in-1 Pressure Cooker, she knows what to look for in an Instant Pot model: versatility, an intuitive design, and consistent results.
National Center for Home Food Preservation | UGA Publications, n.d. Online. Internet. 18 Aug. 2021. . Available: https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_press_canners.html.
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Cooking Functions And Programs
The main cooking function on every Instant Pot is pressure cooking. You can customize the pressure level and cooking time depending on what youre cooking, or press buttons with cooking settings specific to certain foods, like poultry, multigrain, rice, bean/chili and more. Weinstein said these settings are conveniences, but not necessarily across the board instructions for how to cook a particular dish. In recipes he shares on his YouTube channel and cookbooks, Weinstein includes details about the pressure level and cooking time to manually set the Instant Pot to rather than using the preset functions.
Instant Pot models differ in terms of the cooking functions each offers beyond pressure cooking certain models offer functions like sauté, yogurt, sous vide and more. Select Instant Pots also offer a slow cooker setting, but experts agreed that the appliance is really meant to be a fast cooker. If you want to slow cook food, they recommended purchasing a dedicated slow cooker.
Some Instant Pots also have built-in air fryer capabilities, or you can add the air fryer function to some models with a special lid. While the Instant Pots air fryer function gets the job done, Weinstein said theres limited room inside an Instant Pot to space out food. Because of this, he said you may want to buy a standalone air fryer instead.
Do Instant Pot Recipes Work In Any Multicooker
In our testing, the recipes from Eisner’s “The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook” turned out just as good in the off-brand pressure cookers as they did in Instant Pots, which Eisner used to develop the recipes. Instant Pot recipes appear to translate well across brands.
Though Eisner has never used another brand, he says his recipes work in non-Instant Pot multicookers. “I’ve had people write to me who have other brands,” said Eisner. “And, they say the recipes in my book work just fine for them.”
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What Size Should I Get
The 6-quart Instant Pot is the most popular size by far, and its the one we recommend for most folks. It offers plenty of capacity for weeknight dinners, soups and stews, a pot of beans, or even a whole chicken, yet it doesnt take up a crazy amount of counter or shelf space.
But the choice is entirely up to you, and it depends on your cooking habits and available storage space. The Instant Pot Duo also comes in a 3-quart Mini size and an 8-quart size, whereas the Instant Pot Pro comes only in 6- and 8-quart sizes.
The 3-quart Mini version is a good option for one or two people or for folks with limited kitchen storage. But the appropriately named Mini has a tiny pressure-cooking capacity that tops out at 2 quarts. For foods that expand when they cook, such as beans and grains, the total volume cant exceed 1½ quarts.
If you cook for a lot of people or frequently make stock or broth, consider the 8-quart size. The hulking 8-quart Instant Pot will take up as much space on your countertop as a dish rack , but it can yield almost 1 gallon of stock.
Lets Start With How Tall Are Instant Pots
Starting out lets look at their general size. The little 3 qt. is just adorable and lightweight. It would be easy to find a place on your counter for it.
The 6 qt. is a nice moderate height. I have an old farmhouse and the upper cabinets in my kitchen come down low so not very many appliances actually fit under my cabinets. But this one does! I always pull it out when I cook with it so when I release the steam it doesnt go directly on the cabinets.
The 8 qt. is definitely a big girl. She isnt going to be tucked away anywhere. Shes going to be a show stopper and take up her fair share of the space.
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If I Already Have A Slow Cooker And A Rice Cooker Do I Really Need Another Appliance
Well, we cant dictate what you need. However, the Instant Pot is more functional than a slow cooker and a rice cooker combined because it can also pressure-cook. The word instant in the name gives it away: You can cook things astonishingly fast in a pressure cookereven notoriously slow-cooking or labor-intensive foods, such as risotto and brisket.
We think rice cooked in the Instant Pot is fine for most people, though the grains dont come out as fluffy and light as they do from a high-end rice cooker like our top pick, the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10. Rice aficionados might want to keep their rice cookers, especially for cooking sushi-grade grains.
If youre worried about clutter, you can donate your old appliances to a charity, or hand them off to someone in your life whos just starting out. Were sure theyd appreciate them.
Best Instant Pots: Closing Thoughts
Our article has come to an end, and we hope that by reading it, youll have a better understanding of what an instant pot is, what it can do, and how you can choose the best one for your kitchen.
More so, remember that there are plenty of other instant pots out there besides the 10 entries from our list, but we concluded that as far as what 2021 has to offer, these are the best as far as the price-to-performance ratio goes. Speaking of price, we also tried choosing entries that will fit a wider range of budget, from the incredibly affordable Instant Pot Duo to the premium Instant Pot Lux.
Weve written plenty of other guides featuring the best kitchen appliances that you can get, so go ahead and browse our website to find them.
Not only that, but if theres any particular subject that we havent already covered that youd like to hear about, leave us your submissions in the comments section below and well create a guide just like this one in no time.
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Instant Pot Smart Programs Vs Functions
Instant Pots are beloved because of their ability to cook foods quickly using pressure. But theyre also wildly popular, in part, because theyre true multi-cookers that can be used to braise, sauté, steam, and so much more. But all Instant Pots are not created equaler, not every model can perform every function, and theyre billed accordingly . All Instant Pots can pressure-cook, slow-cook, sauté, and keep warm, and fancier models tack on additional cooking methods like yogurt-making, sous vide cooking, broiling, and air-frying. The functions are customizable, and while you cant air-fry or broil in a model that doesnt have an air-frying lid, people still manage to bake cake in models that dont offer mini oven functionality and make yogurt in models that arent officially marketed for yogurt-making.
The Instant Pot Smart Programs allow you to engage each cookers listed functionality with the touch of a button. Many models also have additional Smart Programs that take the guesswork out of specific items like cake, yogurt, eggs, brown rice, and more. The buying guide below details which and how many functions and Smart Programs are available with each model.