You’ve heard about the Instant Pot and are ready to buy one and give this modern take on pressure cooking a try. You head to the store or your favorite online store and discover that there are quite a few different models of Instant Pot available, in different sizes, with different functionality. Let me quickly run you through the most popular models and sizes so you can make an informed decision on what to get.
Let’s start by talking about size. The size of meals you want to cook, or even the size of your family will determine what Instant Pot is the right size for you. Most come in the following sizes:
The 5 quart size works well if you’re mainly cooking for one to three people. It works great for dorm rooms, and is a must have in a small apartment. Unless that description fits you, I highly recommend going with the standard 6 quart size.
The six quart model is the most versatile and also the most popular size. Some of the models available will only come in this size. It’s perfect for the average family and will fit all your pressure cooking needs. If in doubt, go with this size.
The 8 quart size is available in a few models and is a good fit for larger families, or if you know you’ll be cooking a lot of large meals for family gatherings, church dinners and such.
With size decisions out of the way, let’s take a quick look at the different models available. There are three different main models with a couple of variations thrown in to keep you on your toes. Here are the main models.
The Instant Pot Lux
This is the basic Instant Pot model and the one I recommend for most people new to pressure cooking. You may also hear as this one as the 6-in-1 model. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, with sauté and keep warm functions as well for a total of six different ways of cooking.
The Instant Pot Duo
This is also called the 7-in-1 and will do everything the Lux can, but is also a yogurt maker. If making your own yogurt at home is on your list of things you want to do regularly, spring for the duo, otherwise, go with the basic lux model and save a few dollars.
The Instant Pot Smart + app
The latest main model in the Instant Pot lineup is the Smart one. It will do everything the previous two models do and more. The digital interface on the pot itself and the app that connects to your instant pot, allow you to control temperature and cooking durations for your meals as you see fit.
If you like gadgets, prefer the ease of being able to save your favorite recipes and instant pot settings on your smart phone, and love full control over your pot, this is the model to get.
If you’re on a budget, go for the Lux model. If you’re a big fan of making yogurt, consider the Duo, and if your budget allows, go for the latest model with full smartphone app integration. To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to go wrong no matter what model of instant pot you choose.