Best Instant Pots

If you’re like me and lead a busy life but still love to cook, an Instant Pot might just be your new best friend. These versatile kitchen appliances have skyrocketed in popularity because they offer speed, simplicity, and unmatched convenience. Whether you’re pressure cooking, slow cooking, or even air frying, an Instant Pot can make meal preparation a breeze.

Choosing the best Instant Pot model depends on your cooking style, the size of your household, and your budget. With a plethora of options available, you can find models that air fry, sous vide, and even connect to Wi-Fi for remote control via your smartphone or smart home devices like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Most Instant Pots come in three sizes—3, 6, and 8 quarts—each offering unique features, programs, and price points.

The 6-quart models are the most popular and are ideal for families, comfortably cooking for three to five people. If you’re cooking for just yourself or a couple, a 3-quart model might be sufficient and more budget-friendly. For those who often prepare meals for larger groups, the 8-quart size could be the perfect fit.

All Instant Pots can handle the basics like pressure cooking, slow cooking, warming, and sautéing, but if you need specific functions such as cooking eggs, making yogurt, or canning fruit, you’ll need to choose the right model. Different models excel in various cooking tasks, from precision programs to air frying and sous-vide cooking.

I’m here to help you navigate the options and find the best Instant Pot for your culinary needs. Here are my top picks for Instant Pot models to help you find your perfect match.

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Best Instant Pots

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker


The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is a game-changer in the kitchen. Its popularity is well-deserved, thanks to its ease of use and versatility. With seven cooking functions—pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and warmer—it simplifies meal preparation remarkably. Available in 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart sizes, there’s a model to fit every household’s needs.

What sets the Instant Pot Duo apart is its affordability and the inclusion of yogurt and poultry programs. It also allows pressure cooking on both high and low settings, making it adaptable to various recipes. The primary function, pressure cooking, dramatically reduces cooking times and enhances flavors, outperforming traditional slow cookers.

Despite the initial intimidation factor of pressure cooking, this electric model feels incredibly safe with its numerous built-in safety features. It’s crucial to follow the instructions, but rest assured, the Instant Pot Duo prioritizes user safety. Its compact, sleek design, brushed stainless steel exterior, and intuitive control panel make it a stylish and practical addition to any kitchen.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks. The sealing ring can retain food odors, but regular cleaning helps mitigate this issue. Additionally, even the 6-quart model is somewhat bulky and requires significant counter space.

Overall, the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 is an indispensable kitchen appliance that caters to both novice and experienced cooks, offering convenience, efficiency, and a wide range of cooking options.
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Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate Lid

Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate Lid


The Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate Lid 6.5-quart model is a remarkable hybrid that combines the functionalities of an electric pressure cooker and an air fryer into one convenient appliance. It aims to streamline your kitchen by eliminating the need for multiple devices.

This model excels in versatility, offering 13 different cooking functions including pressure cooking, air frying, slow cooking, steaming, sautéing, warming, roasting, broiling, dehydrating, making yogurt, sous vide, bread proofing, and even functioning as a mini oven. Despite its higher price, it proves to be cost-effective compared to buying separate appliances for each function.

Switching between pressure cooking and air frying is seamless. You simply pressure cook your ingredients, then remove the inner stainless steel cover to reveal the air frying unit, making it easy to finish dishes with a crispy texture. The large LCD display provides step-by-step cooking instructions, taking the guesswork out of the process and ensuring consistently great results.

Cleaning is straightforward, thanks to the removable protective inner cover that keeps the air frying element clean from pressure cooking splashes and is dishwasher-safe. However, the cooking pot itself isn’t non-stick, which might be a minor inconvenience for some users.

Overall, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate Lid stands out as the most functional and versatile model in the Instant Pot lineup. Its ease of use and multitude of cooking functions make it a valuable addition to any kitchen, promising to revolutionize your cooking experience.
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Instant Pot Pro Plus Wi-Fi Smart 10-in-1

Instant Pot Pro Plus Wi-Fi Smart 10-in-1


The Instant Pot Pro Plus Wi-Fi Smart 10-in-1 is a standout in the world of multicookers, offering seamless wireless control via a compatible smartphone app. This fully connected model provides access to over 800 recipes, guiding you step-by-step through the cooking process. You can even release steam remotely, choosing between natural release, quick release, or a controlled pulse release.

One notable feature is the inclusion of a second silicone sealing ring, ideal for switching out when cooking highly aromatic dishes. The inner pot, superior to those in basic models, has handles for easier lifting, carrying, and pouring. It’s also stovetop-safe, induction-compatible, and dishwasher-safe for effortless cleanup. The pressure cooking rack and lid share this dishwasher-friendly design.

The flat cooking surface is a significant improvement. Unlike previous models with domed bottoms that caused oil to pool around the edges, the Pro Plus has a flat bottom, ensuring even cooking. The addition of helper handles on the pot further enhances ease of use, and the improved fill lines on the side wall are more user-friendly.

Preprogramming the pressure release and experiencing a quieter release process are welcome upgrades. These enhancements make the Pro Plus a leading choice among multicookers. Even without internet connectivity and the app, it stands out as a versatile and efficient kitchen appliance.
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Instant Pot RIO

Instant Pot RIO


The Instant Pot Rio is a sleek update to the classic multicooker, featuring a redesigned exterior that makes it appear slimmer on your countertop, despite only losing about an inch in total width compared to the Duo. When I first unboxed it, the narrow base made me skeptical about its capacity, but it accommodates the same 6-quart cooking pots and accessories as previous Duo models.

The Rio’s exterior is a matte black plastic that’s easy to clean, a welcome change from the stainless steel of earlier versions. It retains the lid design from the Duo Nova, including the separate pressure release switch and convenient lid fins that keep the lid out of the way post-cooking. The visible and accessible float valve is especially handy for foods that tend to foam.

Included with the Rio are a stainless steel inner cooking pot, a silicone gasket, and a stainless steel steam rack with handles. It’s compatible with all standard 6-quart pressure cooking accessories.

The display on the Rio has been simplified, using indicator lights to show the cooking progress and a smaller LCD that displays only the cook time. This updated interface makes it straightforward and user-friendly, perfect for both new and experienced users.
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Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Mini

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Mini


The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Mini is an excellent choice for those with limited counter space or who need a compact, versatile cooking appliance. This 3-quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker packs all the multipurpose features of its larger counterparts into a smaller package, making it perfect for small kitchens, first apartments, or specific tasks like making yogurt.

With its smaller footprint, the Mini can handle smaller portions of food. While it won’t accommodate a large chicken or turkey breast, it’s ideal for cooking poultry parts, small hams, side dishes, beans, vegetables, and grains. Boiled eggs are a breeze, and the Mini is perfect for preparing meals for one or two people.

The wattage is lower than larger models, but the cooking time difference is minimal. For instance, brown rice takes 28 minutes plus natural pressure release in the Mini, compared to 22 minutes in the 6-quart version. Dried beans might need a bit more time, but most foods cook just as efficiently.

The Mini comes with its own trivet, rice cup, spoon, and ladle, though 6-quart accessories won’t fit. The included cookbook and instruction manual are handy for getting started.

If you’re new to Instant Pot, the Mini is a great entry point. It’s also a fantastic addition if you already own a larger Instant Pot and want something for side dishes or traveling. Compact, efficient, and versatile, the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Mini is a small appliance that delivers big results.
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