What Size Instant Pot Do I Need The Bottom Line
Summing up everything weve talked about above, there are a few questions to keep in mind when deciding upon a size. These are:
- What will I be cooking with the Instant Pot? A few eggs? Or a few pounds of meat? For bigger ingredients, youll want to go with the 8 qt models
- What functions will I be using? Will I need to cook my foods on a high or low temperature setting? Do I want to make yogurt? Remember, the Lux model is not capable of making yogurt
- Will I be doing batch cooking? If so, youll want to make more food with the 8 qt
- How many people will I be cooking for with the Instant Pot? Am I just preparing food for myself? Or four others?
- Am I interested in having smart capabilities? That is, do I want to connect my Instant pot to my smart phone/tablet? If so, youll want to choose the Smart model, which is only available in the 6 qt size
- How much counter space do I have? Do I have enough room to fit an 8 qt cooker in the kitchen? If space is an issue, you may wish to look into getting a smaller model, such as the 3 qt
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.
How Many Different Size Instant Pots Are There
With such a variety of different brands and sizes, youre likely asking yourself, what size Instant Pot do I need? You want to make sure you have an Instant Pot that fits your needs and your familys needs.
Luckily, these tips and suggestions should answer those burning questions and youll feel confident knowing which Instant Pot size is right for you.
If youre buying the Instant Pot Brand of Pressure Cooker, they offer these Instapot sizes:
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Which Instant Pot Do I Like The Best And My Recommendations
The 3 qt. didnt make my rice cook any quicker, but its so cute and handy I think Ill be using it a lot as an additional helper. Plus itll be perfect to cook sides in or when cooking for 1-2 people. My sister loves to use this size to keep her cheese dips warm during parties. She likes it better than using a slow-cooker as the sides dont get overcooked or hard.
The big 8 qt. will go with my daughter when she gets married, but I have a feeling Im going to miss it. It can hold a lot. Cooking for a family of 5 or more this would be the one to go with.
The 6 qt. will probably always be out on my counter ready to go. Is it just right? Its pretty close, but if I had a growing family I think the 8 qt. would win out. And if my cabinets were just a little higher. Overall, if you are cooking for 2-4 people I think this would be the best size.
Research And Buying Tips
How is an Instant Pot different from a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker is a device that cooks food under pressure. Its either an electric device you plug into the wall or a stovetop device that uses the heat of your cooktop. An Instant Pot is a multifunctional pressure cooker, meaning it has additional cooking functions outside of pressure cooking.
What is an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a countertop appliance that plugs into a wall outlet. Instant Pots are pressure cookers, but they can also slow cook, steam, sauté, warm, and more . They have presets for certain food items like poultry, rice, and stew, so you can simply press a button to cook your meal.
What can you cook in an Instant Pot?
You can make just about anything in an Instant Pot, especially if you have a model with an air frying lid. Before Instant Pot came out with the air frying lid, one of the biggest complaints about Instant Pots was that you couldnt make dry foods no breaded chicken or French fries, and chicken skin would come out soggy. With the addition of the air frying lid, you can now make crispy and crunchy food items. Just be careful not to overstuff the Instant Pot because it wont properly cook your food, and it could lead to problems with the pot itself.
Can you can food in an Instant Pot?
Which Instant Pot size is right for me?
Are Instant Pots safe?
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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!
What Are The Available Sizes For The Instant Cooker
Generally speaking, there are two size options for the Instant Pot- the 6 qt and 8 qt. While other brands of electric pressure cookers may come in smaller sizes, those two sizes are the most typical. With that said, some Instant Pot models are 3 qt.
To make it easier to visualize, a 6 qt pot can be used to hold 24 cups of liquid, while an 8 qt pot is equal can be used to hold 32 cups. One way or the other, both sizes are in no way small if youre looking for something more miniature, you may wish to look at other options. If however, youre looking for something capable of preparing food for 4-6 people, this is it.
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What Size Should I Get
The 6-quart Instant Pot is the most popular size by far, and 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 doesnt take up a crazy amount of counter space or shelf space.
But the choice is entirely up to you, and dependent on your cooking habits and storage space. Both the Instant Pot Duo and Ultra also come in a 3-quart Mini size and an 8-quart size.
The 3-quart Mini version is a good option for one or two people, or 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, which is why it isnt for everyone, but it can yield almost 1 gallon of stock. If for some reason you want to go even bigger, the Duo Nova model also comes in a 10-quart size.
Which Size Is My Instant Pot
In terms of model, I chose the Duo Evo Plus .
The Duo Evo Plus and the basic Duo’s functions include yogurt and low pressure, which are musts for me. I’m glad I have those .
In terms of the operating functions , the Duo Evo Plus wins. I have no need or desire for smart functionality or the additional features of the Ultra.
Size, though? This was tougher for me!
When I purchased our first Instant Pot, the 8-quart wasn’t even available. So I chose the 6-quart Duo . That was a no-brainer.
Then the 8-quart Duo came out. I knew I wanted to get another Instant Pot, but I hemmed and hawed for months because the 6-quart was working pretty well for me.
My thought process was: Should I get another of the same size so they match? Should I even get another one? Should I get a bigger one?
Anyway, finally, I decided I would get the 8-quart Duo as my second Instant Pot. I don’t regret it in the least! I’m so happy to have the larger one! In spite of them not matching.
If I knew then what I know now, and I was purchasing my first Instant Pot all over again, I would actually choose the 8-quart because the extra room makes a significant difference in batch sizes for batch cooking or large family cooking.
And even with normal size meals, there’s not much extra room in it. Which means it’s not too big.
So bottom line for us I’d pick the 8-quart no matter what.
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How To Tell What Size Instant Pot I Have
If you take an Instant Pot as a gift from someone or if you dont know your Instant Pots size because of a different reason, and wonder about your Instant Pots size, you can check the sticker on the back of your Instant Pot. The sticker on the back of your Instant Pot has a few pieces of useful information.
Instant Pot Elevation Adjustments:
Elevation effects cooking in any pressure cookerthe IP is no different.
If you havent had a chance to check out my post on how elevation or altitude impacts pressure cooking you can see it right here > High Altitude Cooking Time Adjustments< this post has lots of great info on how to adjust for different altitudes.
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How Do I Use My Electric Pressure Cooker
Once youve purchased your pressure cooker, read my post on getting started with your new electric pressure cooker. If you decide to purchase an Instant Pot brand multicooker, be sure you also read through my post on which Instant Pot buttons to use to help you understand how your pressure cooker works. My How to Use the Power Pressure Cooker XL post has some great information that is applicable to many brands of pressure cookers.
The holidays are a great time to purchase a multi cooker, because many online retailers have sales on them. Check for great prices on Amazon, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, Walmart, Target, and Costco.
Quart Instant Pot Vs 8 Quart Instant Pot
If you have a large family you may be debating between the 6 quart Instant Pot and the 8 quart Instant Pot when deciding which Instant Pot to buy.
There are 6 people in my family, and I find that the 6 quart size has been roomy enough.
The 8 Quart Instant Pot IP-DUO80 is roomier but there are a few things to consider when choosing between the 6 or 8 qt Instant Pot. The 8 quart unit is
- taller so you won’t have much space between your upper cabinets and your Instant Pot. When you use the Quick Release function, you will have to move the Instant Pot slightly to direct the steam away from the upper cabinets.
- more expensive currently the price on Amazon is $204.99 which is more than twice the Instant Pot IP-DUO60.
- not as common. So, it will be harder to find accessories and recipes that fit this size.
If you feel that the 6 quart will be too small, and you have the space in your kitchen, you may want to consider getting two 6-quart Instant Pots instead of the 8-quart.
The cost will still be less, and you have the option of cooking two different dishes at once .
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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.
Is The Size Of A Pressure Cooker Important Can It Be Too Big
When we talk about the size of a pressure cooker, we arent discussing the aesthetics of how big the casing is, or other such cosmetic concerns. Instead, what were talking about its volume the amount of food it will hold inside with the lid closed.
In simple terms, this is the amount of space inside the pressure cooker, and it directly affects the quantity of food youre able to prepare in it at any one given time.
When it comes to pressure cookers, size does matter, and making sure that you have the right sized pressure cooker for the kind of uses youll be putting it too is vital. Otherwise, you may end up losing out some efficiency gains, which your new pressure cooker could afford you by having to cook the same meal twice in order to feed several hungry family members with the same, too small appliance!
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- Keep an eye on the fill line. To work properly, pressure cookers need a certain amount of room between the food and the lid.
- Dont double the cook time. Your Instant Pot is super smart when you add more ingredients it will automatically adjust and take more time to come up to pressure.
- Not every recipe requires double the liquid. As a rule of thumb, you should double liquid ingredients that add flavor, such as pasta sauce and broth.
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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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