Browse the most popular models and sizes and learn which of the best Instant Pots are right for you and your lifestyle. Discover how to choose the best one and fall in love with cooking. Find the one I recommend the most!
What Is An Instant Pot
Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that can also work as a slow-cooker, rice cooker, and even yogurt maker. There is a reason they are also called a multicooker – they can cook just about anything.
It cooks your food by using steam under pressure. Basically, the temperature becomes higher than the boiling point of water since the steam can’t escape. This is how the steam is able to cook the food so effectively and completely.
To learn more about the Instant Pot, check out my beginner's guide, complete with FAQs.
There are currently about 8 models of Instant Pots out there from which you can choose. It might feel overwhelming - which is the best one to buy? I'll break it down and tell you which ones are the best for your lifestyle.
Instant Pot Sizes
Instant Pot makes multicookers in 4 different sizes - 3, 6, 8, and 10-quart options. Not all models are available in all 4 sizes. Some are only available in one size.
How do you know which size to buy? It depends on how you are going to use it.
- 3-Quart: perfect for cooking rice or side dishes, or meals for up to 3 people.
- 6-Quart: perfect for feeding up to 6 people.
- 8-Quart: perfect for feeding large families or preparing meals for an entire week.
- 10-Quart: best for preparing meals for a crowd or to fill up the freezer with family dinners.
Most recipes that you find will use a 6-quart Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Models
Now that you know which size you want, let's look at which model is best for you. It might seem confusing to look at all of the different models, so I'm going to break it down easily for you.
The biggest difference between Instant Pot models is how many cooking programs they have. They range from having 12 programs all the way up to 16 different programs.
I sorted through all of the models and picked out the best things from each one to help you make a smart choice.
I have to tell you that there really isn't a bad choice when it comes to buying an Instant Pot. If you find one that is on sale, get it! You are going to love it!
The Duo is the easiest Instant Pot model to learn. It only has 7 programs built-in, so it isn't overwhelming. Plus, it has dual pressure so it can operate at high or low pressure.
MOC Recommended - My favorite and most used model that I recommend is the 6 QT Instant Pot DUO with yogurt option. This is also a perfect Instant Pot option for Indian cooking.
This is available in 3, 6, or 8-quart sizes.
This is the most budget-friendly. The Lux model offers 6 built-in smart programs - which is the least amount on this list. It also only operates at high pressure. It has such basic features because it is the oldest model as well. At a suggested retail price of $79, this is the most affordable one you can buy.
They make it in a 3, 6, or 8-quart size.
This is the only Instant Pot that can also air fry your food. It also comes with 11 built-in programs like the others. They only sell it in an 8-quart size right now.
This is the best Instant Pot for new parents. Duo Plus has a bright, easy-to-read LCD display and a sterilization setting (perfect for sterilizing baby bottles).
It is also the most fingerprint-resistant. It comes with 9 programmable settings and is available in 3, 6, and 8-quart sizes.
The Duo Nova is the best Instant Pot for beginners. It has the same amount of smart programs built-in as the Duo (7 of them), but the lid is easier to use and it has a cooking progress indicator too. The LED display panel is really easy to read.
It comes in 3, 6, and 8-quart sizes and is the only one available in 10-quart size.
The best all-around Instant Pot is the Viva. It's budget-friendly and it used to be a QVC exclusive. It is just like the DUO, except it has 2 more functions - searing and cake making.
It is available in both 6 and 8-quart sizes.
This Instant Pot is a hybrid of Duo and Duo plus. It used to be a Costco-exclusive but is now sold at other retailers like Walmart, but it goes out of stock very easily.
People love this model because the large LCD screen has 4 status indicators that display the status of the meal. It is only available in 6-quart size.
The Instant Pot with the most custom controls is the Ultra. This is an amazing device for cooks that want to create their own recipes or control every single detail in the cooking process.
The control panel features a dial where you can choose the cooking time, pressure level, delay time, and you can even change the cooking temperature 1 degree at a time, from 104 degrees up to 208 degrees F.
This is available in either 3, 6, or 8-quart sizes.
This is the best for canning. In fact, it is the only model that operates at 15 psi pressure which can effectively be used as a canner.
Instant Pot Max also has NutriBoost™ technology that improves the nutrition, flavor, and texture of risotto, soup, and bone broth.
This is only available in 6-quart size.
The best Instant Pot for tech-lovers is the Smart WiFi. As long as you are within 30-45 feet of your Instant Pot, you can start and adjust the settings on your Instant Pot. It works with both Android and iOs devices.
You can even receive alerts when you cooking starts. It has 9 built-in programs and is only available in the 6-quart size.
The Best Instant Pot Slow Cooking Multi-Cookers
The Instant Pot company also makes 2 products that function like a slow cooker with extra settings. These two appliances do not pressurize, so they are not pressure cookers.
This is a 10-in-1 programmable multi-cooker. It's like a slow cooker that can do so much more. The removable cooking pot is oven-safe. Use this for slow cooking, searing, roasting, and baking. It is available in a 6-quart size.
The Aura Pro is just like the Aura, but it has an extra setting - it can Sous vide cook. Plus, it is available in an 8-quart size.
You Can't Go Wrong
When it comes to buying an Instant Pot pressure cooker, you can't go wrong. Just make sure you buy the right size for your lifestyle. Beyond the size, you can pick out things like how many presets it has and the type of screen it has.
When you are ready to begin cooking, browse my Instant Pot recipes. They are beginner-friendly with plenty of tips and instructions.