With an Instant Pot, cooking meals is so much easier. You can create quick and simple recipes for everything from shredded chicken to dessert with less time and effort.
Our pick for the best Instant Pot is the tried-and-true Instant Pot Duo 80. The Duo 80 is large enough to fit a whole chicken or roast, yet versatile enough to cook everything from cheesecake to chili. If the Duo 80 isn’t for you, we’ve also chosen our picks for the best Instant Pot models to choose for an individual, a family of four, a large family, and for those on a budget.
If you’re looking to snag a discount, you can also check out our list of the best Instant Pot deals available today.
Best Instant Pot at a glance:
Best Instant Pot: Instant Pot Duo 80
Why we picked the Instant Pot Duo80:
When people think of an Instant Pot, the Duo is usually the model that comes to mind. The 8-quart Instant Pot Duo stands out for its features and affordable price point. This is not to say other models aren’t solid devices, because many other Instant Pots are excellent multifunctional pressure cookers. However, the Duo strikes a perfect balance between affordability and the features offered.
The Instant Pot Duo combines a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, and warmer into one convenient package. It boasts a variety of user-friendly features, ranging from a slot on the handle to place the lid to a steaming rack with handles so you can easily remove it from the pot.
You can fit a lot of ingredients in the 8-quart Duo, too. You can easily fit a whole chicken into this Instant Pot, brown 3 to 4 pounds of frozen ground beef, or cook a large roast. If you like making stews, this pot can hold enough to feed eight to 12 people. For dessert lovers, the 8-quart Duo can easily fit an 8-inch springform pan and some 9-inch round pans.
Check out our full review of the Instant Pot Duo.
Best instant pot for a single person or couple: Instant Pot Duo Mini
Why we picked the Instant Pot Duo Mini:
For single people, roommates looking to save cash on takeout, or couples looking to cut down on cooking time, the Instant Pot Duo Mini is a great place to start.
The small size also makes it an ideal option for college dorm rooms, camping trips, and even boating excursions. But you can still cook a decent amount of food in this appliance. Soup, stew, broth, yogurt, risotto, potato dishes, and fall-off-the-bone meats are all fair game, albeit in smaller doses.
With the Instant Pot Duo Mini you’ll receive a bundle of accessories with your pressure cooker, including a rice measuring cup, stainless steel steam rack, soup spoon, and recipe booklet. If you want a larger version of the Instant Pot Duo, it also comes in 6-quart and 8-quart options. You can check out our full review of the 6-quart Instant Pot Duo here.
Best Instant Pot for a family of four: Instant Pot Ultra 6
Why we picked the Instant Pot Ultra 6-quart:
The Instant Pot Ultra electric pressure cooker covers just about anything you might want to do in the kitchen. It has a whopping ten functions: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, sauté/searing, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer. That means you can have just one appliance take the place of several. It’s also easy to use, with a central dial that makes it easy to select different programs, adjust times, and more.
The Instant Pot Ultra 6-quart also features an embedded microprocessor, which helps to monitor the pressure and temperature while adjusting the intensity accordingly, helping to ensure perfectly cooked food every time. Plus, the pressure cooker offers 11 safety features, including a new steam release reset button that makes it safer for users to handle the appliance. The mid-sized 6-quart size is perfect for a family of four, but you can also choose the 3-quart or 8-quart option.
Best instant pot for a large family: Instant Pot DUO Evo Plus 8-Quart
Why we picked the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 8-quart:
The Duo Evo Plus has 10 programs, serving as a faithful pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sous vide, sauté, food warmer, cake maker, and stockpot. For a large family with people who like different foods, this cooker is ideal because it’s extremely versatile.
Cooking is faster and easier in the Duo Evo Plus, as the pressure cooker lid automatically seals in place, and the QuickCool Tray lets you release pressure naturally up to 50% faster. The embedded microprocessor constantly monitors the pressure, temperature, and intensity of the cooking process, evenly distributing heat to ensure a perfectly pressure-cooked and delicious creation every time.
Another cool feature of the Duo Evo Plus is the inner pot design. It has handles, and you can actually use it as a stovetop pot. The handles make it so you can easily carry the pot between your stovetop and your Instant Pot.
Best Value Instant Pot: Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-quart
Why we picked the Instant Pot Duo Nova:
The Duo Nova, one of the newer models in the Instant Pot lineup, sells for around $70 to $100 for the 6-quart size. You can find the device on sale for cheaper during events like Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. There’s a 10-quart version of the Duo Nova (sells for around $130 to $160) for when you’re hosting a large group of people or when you want to cook an exceptionally large meal. Like the Duo, it combines seven appliances in one. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, and warmer. It has 14 different programs, so you can cook anything from soup to a whole chicken to dessert.
One great feature of the Duo Nova is the lid. It automatically sets to seal in pressure when you close it, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to set the sealing valve in place. The lid also includes a steam release button, which makes it much easier to perform a manual pressure release (without burning your fingers). All in all, the Duo Nova offers a whole lot of features for only a little bit of cash.
Research and buying tips
How is an Instant Pot different from a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker can either be an electric device you plug into the wall, or it can be a stovetop cooker that uses the heat of your cooktop. A pressure cooker builds up steam pressure inside of an airtight pot to quickly cook foods.
An Instant Pot is a multifunctional pressure cooker, meaning it has additional cooking functions outside of pressure cooking. Instant Pots are also slow cookers, sauté pots, warmers, steamers, and more (depending on the model).
How many different Instant Pot Models are there?
Currently, there are 13 different Instant Pot models: The Instant Pot Lux, Instant Pot Duo, Instant Pot Viva, Instant Pot Duo Plus, Instant Pot Ultra, Instant Pot Smart, Instant Pot Max, Instant Pot Duo SV, Instant Pot Duo Nova, Instant Pot Duo Crisp +Air Fryer, Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer, Instant Pot Duo Gourmet, and Instant Pot Evo Plus. Instant Pot comes out with new models regularly.
Are Instant Pots safe?
You may have heard stories in the past of exploding pressure cookers that resulted from a malfunctioning unit or a random case of bad luck.
Instant Pots have multiple built-in safety mechanisms such as lid closing and locking mechanisms, anti-blockage vents, automatic temperature controls, high temperature and burn warnings, pressure regulation and excess pressure protection mechanisms, and extreme temperature and power protection features. These safety features help to prevent accidental fires and other dangerous situations, and encountering a dangerous situation is pretty rare.
Can you buy an Instant Pot with an air fryer?
Yes. Instant Pot came out with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer, which has all of the features of a regular Instant Pot, and it air fries, too. Instant Pot also came out with an air fryer lid you can add to compatible Instant Pot models. The lid is an add-on accessory you can place on your Instant Pot, and it basically turns your regular Instant Pot into an air fryer. These Instant Pot models are compatible with the air frying lid: Duo 60, Duo Plus 60, Lux 60, Ultra 60, Viva 60, Nova Plus 60, Duo Nova 60.
Where can I find Instant Pot recipes?
Over the past few years, Instant Pots have increased in popularity, and so have Instant Pot recipes. Creative home cooks and chefs all over the place have published countless recipes online. You can find recipes for almost anything, from desserts to appetizers to easy weeknight dinners.
What can’t I make in an Instant Pot?
You can make almost anything in an Instant Pot, but