The Best Instant Pots To Buy 2021
The Instant Pot is a self-contained, electrical pressure cooker thats controlled through a digital interface and built-in safety features. It sits on your counter top and plugs into an outlet. It takes up about as much space as a rice cooker or slow cooker.
The best Instant Pots you can buy, including the Duo, Lux, Smart, Ultra, and more. Get a side-by-side comparison of the top-tested Instant Pot models on the market.
A 3 -quart Instant Pot is suited to cooking meals for one or two people, as long as you aren’t interested in batch cooking. The Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, and Ultra come in 3-quart sizes. A 6-quart Instant Pot cooks for smaller households of up to four, or for one or two people who like to batch cook.
As the former presenter in Instant Pots product videos, Im often asked by readers which Instant Pot they should get. While most manufacturers retire an older model and only sell the newer one, Instant Pot still markets earlier models while introducing new ones.
8 qt Instant Pot. If you have to feed more than four people, the 8 qt Pot will be a fine option. This Pot is perfect for every working person who has to cook batches of food that lasts the entire week. Instant Pot has a huge footprint, which signals more space. However, this size of Instant Pot will take more time to create pressure. But again, you can cook more food in it.
Ok Ok So Which Instant Pot To Buy
Actual Size Remember that, for pressure cooking, you typically dont want to fill the pot more than 2/3 full , because a too-full pot can cause the quick-release pressure valve to clog. So, when youre considering which size to purchase and how much room youll need to make your favorite recipes, its important to think about the actual usable size, not just the total size.
What Do You Like to Cook? When debating about which size to get, think about whether you like big-batch cooking, cooking to freeze ahead, or the ease of making enough to have leftovers for a few days. If so, then you probably want to choose a slightly larger option, rather than going a little smaller.
How Adventuresome Do You Truly Plan to Be? Reality check. Heres where you need to ask yourself things like, Do I really plan to make yogurt with my Instant Pot? Its easy to get lured in by the promise of all the fun you could have with more moreMORE functionality. But, since each step up in model also means a step up in price, you might want to have a serious talk with yourself about what kind of cooking is actually likely to be happening, and if the lure of I might make yogurt one time or I might one-day-maybe write my own recipe scripts is actually worth a higher price tag. If youve got the bucks and you think some added bells and whistles could be fun, though then by all means go for it!
Lux80 Lux60 And Lux Mini Instant Pots
Instant Pot LUX60 Lux V3 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker Instant Pot with enhanced version including a cake and egg program in addition to the Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer. This model is also available in an 8 quart size Instant Pot Lux80, 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker and Instant Pot Mini LUX, 3 Quart. They all feature 10 Smart Built-In Programs Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Cake, Egg, Sauté, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, and Slow Cook, your favorite dishes are as easy as pressing a button. It has the latest 3rd generation microprocessor technology, up to 240 minutes pressure-cooking up to 24 hours delay start, automatic Keep Warm up to 10 hours, 3 temperatures in Sauté & Slow Cook. It comes with a stainless steel inner cooking pot with 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution. UL and ULC certified, includes 10 safety mechanisms to provide users with assurance and confidence, designed to eliminate many common user errors. Accessories include, stainless steel steam rack without handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, recipe booklet with time tables and manual.
The LUX model does not have the yogurt making feature, low pressure setting or lid holding handles
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Which Instant Pot Is The Best For Beginners
Instant Pot first-timers may want to keep it simple at first, with clear and easy-to-use presets front and center. We recommend the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus for beginners. It’s got an amped-up design to make steam release even safer, which is ideal for those who are intimidated by the thought of pressure cooking. The new plastic cover will prevent any splatters of steam from leaving the lid, and it also makes the process less noisy.
Even for beginners, you’ll want an Instant Pot that will allow you to experiment once you get to grips with it. The Duo Evo Plus is great for this. It has the classic settings such as Slow Cook, Sous Vide, and Pressure Cook available with buttons that line the display, so you won’t have to get involved with the more specific presets for rice, stews, and even cheesecakes until you’re comfortable.
The Duo Evo Plus has 48 settings in total, and the digital display will keep you up-to-date with how your recipe is coming along. If you do want to get more experimental, there’s also the Instant Pot app, although we did miss the inclusion of a recipe book when we tried it hands-on.
That’s Good To Know But Does The Instant Pot Size Affect Cooking Time
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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Find The Right Fit For Your Household’s Needs
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Electric pressure cookers existed long before the Instant Pot was created, but with a catchy name and a clever marketing plan, the Instant Pot took made the appliance almost as common as your mamas slow cooker. Pressure cookers reduce cooking time so tough meats, dried beans, and sturdy vegetables can be part of a weeknight meal in minutes.
With the popularity of pressure cookers, there are plenty of recipes for them, like cheesecakes, lasagna, easy-peel hard boiled eggs, soup stock, and perfect rice. The standard cooking pots are made from stainless steel, which many users prefer over pots with nonstick coatings. However, there are replacement nonstick-coated pots available for those who prefer them. The Instant Pot product line has evolved from a single pressure cooker to several product families in different sizes. Whether you prefer the ease of pre-programmed functions or you prefer to set your own time and pressure for recipes, theres something for everyone.
Here, the best Instant Pots available.
Duo Evo Plus Aka Instant Pot Pro *our Top Pick
If youre ready to take your game to the next level, the Duo Evo is the sweet spot. Its about $20-40 more expensive than the Duo, but has more functionality and a better design, so cooking in it is easier and a bit less frustrating.
This model has 9 functions, instead of 7. It can perform the following: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, grain maker, steamer, saute, yogurt maker, sous vide, bake, and warm. It retails for about $20 more than the base Duo model.
It comes with 48 customizable program modes. Youll also notice that there is even more information given on the display screen.
The Evo also has the following newly improved features:
- The inner pot has handles so you can easily move it in and out of the machine.
- The inner pot has a flat bottom that can be used on all cooktops, including induction. The flat bottom also make sautéing in the Instant Pot much improved.
- New easy-seal lid automatically seals the pressure cooker
- The new and improved steam diffusing cover takes the fear out of the pressure release process
- Pressure release time is shortened with our new quick-cool technology
- New 1200w heating element reduces preheating time allowing you to make meals faster
Instead of having two separate kitchen appliances, you get both products in one.
- Unlimited programs
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Best For Large Servings: Yedi 9
The best option for feeding families, dinner parties, or other large groups, Yedi’s 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker is a super versatile appliance that comes with a large 8-quart pot. Like other multi-cookers, this option allows you to pressure cook, slow cook, saute, steam, cook rice, make cakes, and keep food warm. But it also has a customizable function and conveniently comes with accessories to make your cooking experience even easier, like egg racks, steaming trivets, and cheat sheets. Another bonus? New recipes are uploaded weekly to the Yedi app, which is free to download.
One owner of the Yedi pot wrote: “My family is trying to eat more grass-fed meat and less commercially raised animal products. It’s very expensive for a family of four. This product allows me to buy cheaper cuts like stew meat and cheap roasts but still serve very tender meat. Hard-boiled eggs are amazing, they peel right open and they’re always done perfect. I love that you can sear in this pot and then add your liquid for cooking. The safety features work very well. The quick guide allows you to make a meal right out of the box. We have loved everything we have made.”
To buy: $170 at nordstromrack.com or $130 at
Qt Vs 8qt Instant Pot
Lets draw out some of these criteria and help you apply them to your family and needs:
What are you cooking?
No matter what your family size is if you batch cook or cook larger sized whole foods, get the 8-quart.
How big is your family?
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Instant Pot Duo Vs Lux Model
- LUX is a 6-in-1 electric pressure cooker and the DUO is a 7-in-1.
- The main difference is that LUX does not have the yogurt mode and low pressure setting.
- LUX has the preset cake and egg mode, however these can be made in the DUO with the pressure cook mode.
- LUX does not have the lid holder, which comes in handy in the DUO model.
- LUX model is a bit cheaper than DUO model.
Buying An Instant Pot Here’s What You Need To Know
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Over the past few years, Instant Pots have become a staple in small kitchen appliances. Busy parents use them to get dinner on the table in minutes, while batch cookers use them to simplify midweek meals. Some people prefer them for their ability to cook just about everything from pot roast to yogurt. Staying home has become the new norm to help prevent coronavirus from spreading, so you’re probably using your time indoors to cook more and try out new recipes. Alongside summer cooking staples like grills, an Instant Pot is a relatively quick, easy and affordable way to whip up home-cooked meals while under quarantine. Here’s everything you should know about an Instant pot, including how it works, best Instant Pots to buy and more.
A few years ago the idea that people would be cooking in pressure cookers en masse was unthinkable, says Elizabeth Barbone, a cookbook author and the creator of the pressure-cooker blog Cook Fast, Eat Well. Its been really fun to see folks not only embrace it, but to embrace it in different ways.
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Course Instant Pot Barbecue
Use large, tough cuts of meat for your Instant Pot. Pork shoulder is a great pick for pulled pork sandwiches.
Add some nutrition to your barbecue with some tender, steamed artichokes.
Side dishes like corn on the cob can be made in the Instant Pot while you man the grill.
For mac and cheese or pasta salad, make the noodles in the Instant Cooker first, then add the cheese.
Whip up a dessert in your Instant Pot the night before, from cheesecake to cobbler.
Should You Get An Instant Pot Blender Or A Vitamix Blender
Due to overall quality, power and versatility, Vitamix is the clear winner. Though expensive, Vitamix blenders end up paying for themselves in reliability, durability and an impressive manufacturer’s guarantee. However, the cost is still prohibitive for many. If you’re looking for a lower-cost, high-powered blender capable of both cooking and blending, the Instant Pot Ace Nova is a great second pick.Katy Severson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
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Which Size Of Instant Pot Should You Buy
Depending on the model, you can choose from the mini 3 quart Instant Pot, the standard 6 quart or the large 8 quart. A few models also come in a 5 quart size.
6 Quart Instant Pot
For the average user, I recommend getting a 6 quart Instant Pot. Most recipes that you will find online and in cookbooks are tested in a 6 quart Instant Pot. The six quart is large enough to cook for a family of 4-5. I most often use my 6 quart to cook for my family of 6 .
8 Quart Instant Pot
If you have a large family, have a family of big eaters, or like to meal prep big batches of food, I recommend getting an 8 quart Instant Pot. The 8 quart is also great for cooking for a crowd if you like to entertain.
The 8 quart Instant Pot is bigger than the 6 quart, so you will need to plan for more storage space. Its a little bit taller and a little bit wider. Heres a photo of my 6 quart and 8 quart side by side.
3 Quart Instant Pot
I dont recommend getting the 3 quart Instant Pot, unless you are very comfortable adapting recipes and are always cooking for just one or two. Since most recipes that you will find are designed for the 6 quart, you would need to scale them down to fit in the 3 quart mini Instant Pot.
Cleaning Them Is Easy
Its easy to think that time spent in the kitchen is time spent cooking, but many forget about how much time they spend washing the dishes after everyones had their full. Well, thats not something that youll have to worry about when dealing with an instant pot.
You see, they have simple and compact designs, and cleaning them only takes up a couple of minutes . Besides, most instant pots have plenty of non-electric parts, all of which are dishwasher safe:
- The outer surface
- The silicone ring
- The lid
Note: Even with the best maintenance, the silicone rings can develop a smell if used daily over a long period of time, so always make sure to buy extra one. Ideally, they should be replaced about once every 6 months.
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Which One Is Best For You
Food-specific modes and options will be the difference-maker when it comes to picking the best Instant Pot for your cooking needs, or the one you’ll be able to use the most. If you want to venture into making your own yogurt, or if you love hard-boiled eggs, it’s worth it to pay a bit more for an Instant Pot that can do those things.
When it comes to choosing the right size, Instant Pot recommends a 3-quart model for one or two people. Families of six or fewer will likely be happy with the 6-quart multicooker. If you have a large household or host large groups often, consider springing for an 8-quart model.
There are options from other brands, too. We recently reviewed a great Wi-Fi multicooker from ChefIQ. It does more than Instant Pot’s Wi-Fi model and comes with an integrated scale, nonstick pot and helpful iOS or Android app. It costs $200, so if you’re not ready to graduate to a high-end model, Instant Pot’s more affordable options are great for beginners.
If you’re still not sure which model will be the best Instant Pot for your kitchen, take a look at Instant Pot’s product comparison chart or its guide to choosing the right cooker. At the end of the day, all of these models offer the basic pressure cooking and slow cooking modes Instant Pot is known for performing so well.