Lets Talk About Instant Pot Sizes
Instant Pot 3 qt If youre cooking meals for one or maybe two, the 3 qt might be all that you need. With most of the features of the larger versions, this option has a smaller footprint and is perfect for small spaces, an RV, or travel.
This is also a handy second pot if you want a smaller one for cooking rice or soups or eggs while your larger pot is in use .
If you are single or cooking for two but do a lot of meal prep or batch cooking, youll probably want to size up to to the 6qt. You can make bigger batches of food in the 6 quart, and if you have the space for the larger pot, I feel like you cant go wrong with the 6 quart.
If you like cooking larger food items, like a full butternut squash or a chicken, opt for the larger pot.
Instant Pot 6 qt This is what I have. I have a family of four, and its plenty big enough for my pretty basic cooking needs. I use it to meal prep . Its also been great for dinners .
You can easily fit a whole chicken inside the 6 qt.
This would be my recommendation if youre cooking for 3-4 people or doing meal prep. If youre doing a lot of meal prep, check out the 8 qt.
Instant Pot 8 qt This slightly bigger pot is perfect if you have a large family or do a lot of cooking. If youre the person who spends Sunday making giant batches of food for the week, this might be your pot!
If you are cooking for more than four people, this is probably a safe bet.
Do you have an Instant Pot? Which size did you get, and what were the deciding factors?
Why Arent The Other Instant Pot Models Wirecutter Picks
The Duo Plus is an upgraded version of the Duo series . But the differences are so minor that we dont think the price hike is warranted . The only real changes in the Duo Plus are a sous vide setting and the display . But compared with the Duos design, the Duo Pluss screen is smaller, and the control panel isnt nearly as streamlined. Also, the Duo Plus lacks features that make the Pro special, namely the improved inner pot, the additional temperature-control options, and a quieter steam-release valve.
The Instant Pot Max offers a higher pressure setting than other Instant Pot models have, as well as stirring and sous vide features. In theory, such features should increase the overall functionality of the cooker and speed up cooking times. Unfortunately, during testing, we found that the Max took longer to come up to pressure, the sous vide feature never reached its target temperature, and the stirring function left much to be desired. Ostensibly, the Maxs higher pressure setting makes it a better option for those whod like to use their Instant Pot for canning. But we havent tested it for that use specifically, so we cant address those claims.
Are Pressure Cookers Safe
Yes, electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot are generally safe and easy to use. The Instant Pot has so many safety mechanisms built in that its hard to make a catastrophic mistake. As we found in our research and reporting in 2019, the lid has two safety catches: a float valve with a pin mechanism and a lock . If for some reason the steam-release valve doesnt do its job, the appliance has another sensor, which shuts off the heating element if excess pressure builds inside the pot. As an added safety measure, starting in 2021 all Instant Pot lids have an easy-to-use steam-release switch, so you can release pressure after cooking without getting too close to the valve.
In general, if you follow the safety instructions, you should be good. But, as with any method of cooking, using an Instant Pot isnt entirely risk free, and accidents can happen. In 2021, a woman filed a lawsuit against Instant Pot and Target because she opened the cooker, thinking it was depressurized, and the hot contents spewed out and burned her toddler. Instant Pot told us: While we are unable to comment on ongoing litigation, please understand that the Company takes consumer complaints and products claims seriously.
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The Instant Pot Ultra
The Instant Pot Ultra was introduced in April 2017 and is considered the newest product from the family. The main thing youll notice is its large LED display, one dial, and two small buttons. Very sleek interface. It is a 10-in-1 cooker, with more versatile functions than the DUO. It includes egg, sterilize, cake, and ultra cooking programs. Ultra cooking program allows you to control every part of the cooking process , which 9-in-1 Duo Plus does not offer.
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!
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How To Find Instant Pot Recipes
Now that youre comfortable using this new electric appliance, youre ready to branch out and start to look for some other fun recipes to try.
There are plenty of home cooks who share their favorite recipes, tips, and adaptations on blogs and popular Instant Pot Facebook groups. We have our own collection of Instant Pot recipes on this site. When you join our mailing list, we also have a free Instant Pot Cookbook to share with you.
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Instant Pot Smart Wifi
Sizes: 6 quart
Functions: 13 smart programs. The Smart Wifi has all of the functions of the Instant Pot Duo and possibly more.
- You can program your Smart Wifi Instant Pot from your phone. You can also check on the cooking progress of the Smart Wifi using your mobile device. Since you have to be home when cooking with your Instant Pot, I dont see much benefit of this feature. The biggest benefit may be that you can use pre-programmed cooking programs right from your phone using the Instant Pot App.
- The Smart Wifi has an LCD display and 5 cooking status icons: Wifi On/Off, Heat, Pressure Cook, Keep Warm On/Off, Sound On/Off.
- The Instant Pot Smart Wifi may be a good choice for you if you are into technology and gadgets. It replaces the discontinued Smart Bluetooth model.
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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 youll be able to use the most. If you want to venture into making your own yogurt, or if you love hard-boiled eggs, its 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 Pots Wi-Fi model and comes with an integrated scale, nonstick pot and helpful iOS or Android app. It costs $200, so if youre not ready to graduate to a high-end model, Instant Pots more affordable options are great for beginners.
If youre still not sure which model will be the best Instant Pot for your kitchen, take a look at Instant Pots 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.
Which Instant Pot Size Is The Best
The size of Instant Pot you need is going to depend on how you plan to use it and the size of your family. In general, the Mini 3 quart Instant Pots would work well for small families of 1 or 2 people, the 6 quart is a great option for most families up to 6 people , and for larger families of over 6 people the 8 quart Instant Pots would be the best bet.
The 6 quart Instant Pots are the most popular size of Instant Pots purchased.
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The Smart Bluetooth Model
Truly the Cadillac version of the Instant Pots. If you love technology, boy you will be in heaven with this model. It offers all your awesome cook options and has 14 smart programs for you to choose from. It is a Bluetooth model so you can sync to your phone to watch the progress of your meal cooking away while you are off in another room folding laundry, working, or relaxing.
It is really neat, and if you love having the option to monitor food easily while in a different room, this is the option for you.
Should I Buy An Instant Pot
Everywhere you turn, people are raving about their Instant Pot. The excitement of cooking a roast in such a short time has everyone in a tizzy. But is a digital pressure cooker really a smart buy? Not always. In fact, there are a number of reasons you shouldnt buy an Instant Pot.
I bought one in the summer of 2017. There was an awesome deal online, somewhere, I forget. And it sat and sat and sat. In the box. Occasionally Id move it from my basement to my pantry and vice versa. But I never once got it out of the box. Then, it was Christmastime of last year and they were all the craze. And stores were out of them! I did well putting it on eBay and made a tidy profit because no one could find them to buy and I had one brand new in box. Ka-ching!
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The Cons Of Cooking Rice With An Instant Pot
The cons of cooking with an instant pot include
- An instant pot is a non-stick pot one has to be very careful not scratching the pan
- Some users may feel it unsafe while taking the inner pot out of it, so there will need to be a precaution
- If it is not known the optimum amount of water as well as the length of time to cook, it may need to create a few batches
- It is more expensive than other cooking appliances
Can You Cook Frozen Chicken In An Instant Pot
Yes. There are a number of recipes devoted to cooking all kinds of foods from their frozen state in an Instant Pot. For some recipes, a little extra time is required to fully cook the meat, but in other cases the extra time required to come up to pressure is enough extra time to completely cook the food.
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Which Instant Pot To Buy In 2021
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Published: by Paint the Kitchen Red |
There are so many Instant Pot models and sizes that deciding which Instant Pot to buy can be a daunting task. This Instant Pot Comparison Guide will help you make the right choice on the best Instant Pot model for you. Most importantly, this is a no holds barred honest summary of the Instant Pot product line, without the hype.
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.
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How Instant Pots Work
Instant Pots and other pressure cookers have unique lids that create an airtight seal. Once the lid is locked in place and the cooker is set, steam gets produced in the pot and can’t escape.
The trapped steam increases the atmospheric pressure inside the cooker, increasing the boiling point of liquids and speeding up the time it takes to boil, braise or steam foods.
Turn Your 8 Quart Instant Pot Into A Serious One
I was looking for a beef and broccoli recipe and what I found was either people were eating mushy broccoli OR they were steaming the broccoli separately .
The fix is to use a 6 quart insert INSIDE the 8 quart pot.
Basically, you put the meat and sauce directly in the 8 quart liner and follow the recipe directions. When its done, you put the6 quart liner ON TOP of the cooked meat, inside the Instant Pot and make steamed broccoli in it using the trivet. The extra few minutes of cooking wont hurt the meat, and you truly can cook your entire dinner in the Instant Pot! The only downside is that this only works for the 8 quart Instant Pot
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Why Not To Buy An Instant Pot
Think about appliances that have been around proven themselves useful over time. Things like blenders, hand mixers, stand mixers and toaster ovens. Will the Instant Pot be one? Im not so sure. I remember a friend telling me Oh but its so easy to cook rice in it! Look, Im not trying to be a condescending jerk, but is it really that hard to boil water in a pot on your stove?
Versatility And Special Features
What sets different models of Instant Pots apart from each other is the different features that they offer. While some Instant Pots just offer basic pressure cooker and saute functionality, others have modes for making specific foods or various cooking options, such as steaming. Other features include delayed cooking, keep warm settings, temperature controls, Alexa compatibility, remote cooking capabilities, high-altitude adjustments, sterilize features, air frying, and sous vide.
Clearly, there is no shortage of special features that this appliance can offer, so definitely prioritize which features are important to you and look for a model that offers them. Theres no need to buy an appliance that offers a laundry list of features if youre only looking to do basic pressure and slow cooking.
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How To Know What Size Instant Pot To Buy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Have you been considering buying an Instant Pot? The fact that you can put the food in, close the lid, push a couple of buttons, and then walk away, even out of the kitchen makes this a must-have appliance in todays kitchen. Its just so easy to use. But what size Instant Pot should you get?
Maybe you already own one and youre thinking of buying another one and youre not sure which size you should get. Well, I took the three main sizes of Instant Pots 8 qt., 6 qt., and 3 qt. and compared them to help you have a better idea of which one is right for you?