Wondering Which Instant Pot to Buy? I will share with you my thoughts after making healthy Instant Pot recipes for 2 years.

If you are new to whole pressure cooker game, you might have heard but not know what Instant Pot is. If so, check out my Instant Pot guide.

instant pot duo 8 quart

What Is Instant Pot?

Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. It is a small kitchen appliance that cooks food fast under pressure. The end result is tasty and tender food in fraction of time and with minimal effort. It is a multi cooker that can be a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker and even “bake” cakes. All depends on a model.

But before you blow your mind with a bazillion Instant Pot models out there, let’s decide on a size you need.

And by the way, don’t worry about 10 different models. It is easier than you think to choose one because I “cracked the code” for you. Just watch this video.


What Size?

Instant Pot comes in 4 sizes: 3, 5, 6 and 8 quart.

It is important to know that when pressure cooking you can fill up Instant Pot only 2/3. The other 1/3 should be left for the pressure to build up. So, basically you will end up with maximum of 2/3 of the pot of final meal. Keep that in mind.

3 quart

  • For a single person.
  • For 2 people who do not batch cook or don’t like leftovers.

5 quart

It just came out and is pricey. I would just get 6 quart size.

  • For 2 people who like to batch cook and enjoy leftovers.
  • For a small family of up to 4 people.
  • Family of 4 more likely will not have leftovers.
  • Anyone who has limited counter and storage space.

8 quart (I have)

  • For a family of 5 and more people.
  • For 2-4 people families who like leftovers and batch cook.
  • For meal prep enthusiasts.
  • If space is not an issue, this size is for you.

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Things to Know About the Size

Larger 8 quart Instant Pot takes longer to come to pressure and to bring it down. If making soup with a lot of liquid, larger Instant Pot will take longer to heat the liquid – about 40 minutes. You can always used boiled water to speed up the process. I share about 15 other tips like this one in my Instant Pot guide.

It is really not a big deal in real life. If you make soup, it means you make it beforehand anyways. You throw everything in the pot and walk away. If you need quick soup, you can always make it on the stove in 30 minutes max.

You can also cut recipe in half and use in your 8 quart Instant Pot. Food will cook faster.

Which Model?

This is where most people close Amazon page and give up. There are just so many models and descriptions! I can help you.

Here is what every model of Instant Pot can do:

  1. Pressure cook any food under high pressure.
  2. Make rice, slow cook, saute and steam.
  3. Keep food warm.
  4. Delay cooking.

Then it depends what extra options you need.


See on Amazon

  • The most basic model.
  • The cheapest.
  • Doesn’t have Yogurt function.
  • No low pressure option.


See on Amazon

  • The most popular model.
  • A step above Lux.
  • Yogurt function.
  • Low and high pressure.

Duo Plus

See on Amazon

  • Sterilize function.


See on Amazon

  • Yogurt function.
  • Sterilize function.
  • Extra options like altitude and cooking temperature adjustments by decimal.
  • LCD display.


See on Amazon

Just like Duo but you can control it with an app from your device. See on Amazon.

So Which Instant Pot to Buy?

I own 8 quart Duo and 6 quart Lux. And I would buy either one again. I love them both!!!

Why? Because:

  1. The only buttons I use are Pressure Cook, Saute and Keep Warm.
  2. I cook on High Pressure all recipes except Instant Pot quinoa. And yet you can cook it on high pressure too.
  3. I never used Slow Cook because there is no point if you can Pressure Cook with Delay Start or Keep Warm.
  4. I use Yogurt occasionally, more in summer. But hey, you can make Instant Pot yogurt without yogurt function.
  5. 8 quart is perfect for our family of 4 because we are Ukrainian/Russians. We like stew, soup and leftovers. But 6 quart is often enough too.
  6. 99% you will never use Chili, Porridge, Soup, Meat etc. buttons because they are just presets with different timers. Every recipe you will use will call for different time for different cuts of meats etc. Just a neat marketing trick.:)

Maybe if I had a formula fed baby or was a canning enthusiast, Sterilize would matter to me. Or if I was into the latest and coolest gadgets, Smart model would be important. But keep in mind for every extra option you pay extra. Sometimes, twice more.

I personally think if you are on a budget, Lux will do just fine.

So, here is my 2 cents on which Instant Pot I would buy today. Got one? Check out my most popular collection of 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

What do you think?

More Instant Pot Resources

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

5 Secrets to Easy Healthy Dinners

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. I received my insta pot for Christmas and love love it! I am still trying new things out. I made mashed potatoes for the first time and it was great. No 45 minute wait. I noticed that the starch builds up on the inner pot. It was very hard to remove. Any suggestions? Is there an easy way to brown a whole chicken? I had a hard time with saulte and didn’t like using the broiler? Thanks

    1. The best way is to soak inner pot for a while and then starch comes off easily. Instant Pot is more for steaming cook method, it doesn’t do a great job at browning. I usually cook whole chicken first and put under broiler after.

  2. Enjoyed your video as I’m new to instant pot duo crisp and air fryer and a little anxious.
    Thank you

  3. Hello, I just came across your page while looking for spaghetti recipes. Anyway, I am wondering if a Cook Fast Pot would work the same as an Insta Pot? I got one last Christmas and haven’t used it. I want to try doing your chicken recipe, but it doesn’t come with a trivet tray. Can I do it without it?

    1. As per Goggle your pot is a pressure cooker so will work. read the manual and make sure you use it on high pressure or whatever pressure recipe states. For the trivet, you can look for one or see if any on Amazon like this one https://amzn.to/3bJMjil will fit your pot – just measure. You can cook without trivet just part of chicken will be cooking in liquid which is fine by me but some might dislike. Enjoy!

    2. You could always take foil and wad up balls of it. Put them in the bottom of the pan.
      You may not want to spend a lot on foil if you are going to use this item a lot. However it would give you an idea if you want to try it out before spending on a trivet. 🙂

  4. Enjoyed your video on which instant pot to buy. Although I am retired I still love to cook for my married children and grandchildren …and of course for my husband. I have always been a cook who was about healthy cooking and homemade. I have been thinking about the instant pot and not sure I would make use of the convenience of getting a healthy meal on the table faster. However I am active and busier than when I was a working mom. So again thank you for the video. I will now get the 6 quart.

  5. Hi there! Thanks for all of the info and resources! I want an instant pot AND I want and air fryer. I’ve heard you can get both of these in one appliance. Do you have any knowledge on this? Ideally it’s about saving the space of 2 bulky appliances. The cost savings is t really there. But I don’t want to buy a 2 in 1 if it’s going to do a mediocre job. Thoughts? Info? Tell me what to do!!

    Thank you!

  6. Thank you for the info.Your info was very informative, and even though I do not have a lot of counter space,, I will probably be buying the 8 quart because I cook big pots of soup as I need to have enough for 5 people plus leftovers.

  7. Nice comparisons, but what about the newer Duo Evo Plus? It’s got a few nice changes based on a huge amount of feedback to the company. For example:
    – Cool (as in not hot!) handles on the inner pot.
    – Automatic sealing, with the seal/vent button not close to the steam release valve.
    – A vented cover over the steam release value to soften and disperse the steam release. (I know you release out the window but some of us are too chicken.)
    – Sauté function 1 to 6.
    – And the lid rests in a slot toward the back rather than the side, so it out of the way. There are a few other changes. For me, just having the inner pot cool handles is, well, cool. 😉

    P.S. I love your recipes and content. My grandparents were from the Ukraine and Russia, and I have some recipes passed on from my grandmother to mother to me.

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