Instant Pot Complete Buying Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Instant Pot is a slow cooker and pressure cooker combined in one. There are a lot of Instant Pots. Most of the models are similar in size, voltage, and wattage. They mostly differ in software. The buttons take out the guesswork of identifying the right amount of pressure, time and heat. The Instant Pot is an excellent choice for simple meals and beginners. It can also be used for tougher meat cuts such as baby back ribs. For pressure cooking, you can reduce and adjust the cooking time and liquid. You can use less liquid and increase cooking time for slow cooking.

What are the Sizes and Models Available?

The Instant Pot is available in different models – Lux, Max, Duo, Smart, Ultra and Duo Plus. The Lux series has up to 12 cooking programs, the Duo Plus series up to 15, the Duo series up to 14 and the Ultra series up to 16. Most of the cookers are available in 3-, 6- and 8-quart options. Each model is a bit different, so you should read the manual to learn the settings and features of your Instant Pot. Every model has an outer with buttons and display panel, a steam valve, a lid, a plastic collector cup, a pressure valve, a sealing ring, a steamer rack or a nonstick inner pot. You can choose from the following models:

  • Instant Pot Duo – You can use the Instant Pot Duo to sauté, steam or make rice. It is the perfect option for beginners. The Instant Port Duo is not too small or too big. It’s also not as complicated as the more expensive models. You can also use this model to make yogurt.
  • Instant Pot Duo Plus – The Instant Pot Duo Plus features a large blue LCD screen and several cooking programs such as sterilization, egg cooking, and cake-making. It’s also fingerprint-resistant, which is perfect for those who want to keep their appliances clean at all times.
  • Instant Pot Lux – The Instant Pot Lux has fundamental It is similar to the Instant Pot Duo, but it can’t make yogurt or toggle between high- and low-pressure cooking.
  • Instant Pot Ultra – The Instant Pot Ultra offers custom control over the settings, allowing you to pressure cook, slow cook or warm food based on your preferences. It’s equipped with an auto-closing pressure valve that improves safety when pressure cooking. The Instant Pot Ultra is the perfect option for those who want a larger display screen as well as complete control over their pot.
  • Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi – One of the best things about the Instant Pot Smart is that it can be paired with your Android device or iPhone. You should be within 30′ to 45′ of the Instant Pot Smart to maintain the Wi-Fi connection. The cooking functions of the pot are similar to the Instant Pot Duo, but the main difference is that it has 3 “keep warm” temperatures. You can also make your recipe scripts on your mobile device and upload it to the pot.
  • Instant Pot Max – The Instant Pot Max can pressure work 10 to 15 times faster than other options. You can also cook stovetop pressure cooker recipes using the pot. The Instant Pot Max is equipped with quick automatic

How to Choose a Model

If you want to be able to make yogurt anytime, you should consider the Instant Pot Duo or the Instant Pot Duo Plus. Pressure cooking uses low pressure to cook delicate foods such as pasta, eggs, and seafood. If you are a techie, you should consider the Instant Pot Smart. You can create a script with the app to pick the time, pressure or temperature and additional cooking time or pressure and temperature combinations. The Instant Pot Ultra is a good option for those who don’t mind manually setting up the pressure and temperature setting and cooking time. You can also upgrade the slow cooker.

Most Instant Pots are available in 3 sizes. The 3-quart size is called the “mini.” It’s ideal for those who are living alone. This size reaches a lower pressure than the other options, which means that you need to make adjustments to your recipe and other things. The 6-quart size is the most common size, and it is ideal for households as this size allows them to cook meals for 1 to 6 people. You can also cook more than one recipe simultaneously thanks to the vertical space offered by the unit. Try different stacking techniques to find the one that works for you. The 8-quart size is ideal for larger families.

Regardless of your choice, make sure that it fits your exact needs and budget. You don’t want to waste your money on something that you will not be able to use for a long time.