The best pick, is the Instant Pot IP-DUO60, represents the very best bang for the buck. It’s the least expensive Instant Pot that has 2 pressure-cooking levels (low and high), and it can keep warm for up to 99 hours. The Duo design also has a big handle on top, additional slots in both side handles that old the lid, as well as a detachable cord (3- and 6-quart versions only), unlike Instant Pot’s earlier Lux-series model.
The display and user interface look complicated (and frankly, a bit dated), but they’re easy to find out as well as the instruction manual is obvious (we promise). The Instant Pot Duo series offers three sizes: 3, 6, and 8 quarts. Should you don’t want to shell out $100, wait for Prime Day or Black Friday, when Amazon has historically knocked $30 to $40 off of the regular price. For further on which we love regarding the Duo series, have a look at our full help guide to electric pressure cookers. This upgraded Top 5 Instapot 2019 allows total control of temperature and time, including low-temperature sous vide-like cooking.
If you want to spend an additional $50 roughly for further features and control, get the Instant Pot Ultra, our upgrade pick. In comparison with the Duo design, the Ultra model: features a bigger LCD screen that’s easy to read and displays a graph showing what’s happening inside the pot (preheat, pressure cook, keep warm) enables you to make changes during the cooking process without canceling the program and starting over, has a streamlined control panel with a main dial to toggle between programs and settings (it’s significantly less intimidating compared to the cluster of buttons on the Duo), gives you precise temperature control (as opposed to simple low, medium, and high settings) for slow-cook, warm, and sauté programs, adjusts cooking time in accordance with your elevation (you need to set this, it isn’t automatic).
Like the Instant Pot Duo series, the Ultra design has two pressure levels, a detachable cord (3- and 6-quart versions only), and three size options (3, 6, and 8 quarts). Again, if you’re still hungry for more information concerning the Ultra, we’ve covered it more extensively in our electric pressure cooker guide.
Why aren’t another Instant Pot models Wirecutter picks? The Instant Pot Lux is the oldest model of the bunch. By the time we considered to test it, the Duo series was already available, with features the Lux model lacks. Mainly, the Lux offers only one pressure-cooking level (high). And also the lid of the Lux has no handle, a smaller yet still irritating drawback.
The Duo Plus’ display, that has a similar variety of function buttons and a more advanced display readout. The Instant Pot Duo Plus is really a minor upgrade from the regular Duo series we don’t think it’s well worth the extra cost. The Duo Plus is an “upgraded” version of the Duo series (our top pick), but its changes are extremely minor that we don’t think it warrants the $30 xmlkxo hike. The only real difference is the LCD, which displays more details and contains a simple-on-the-eyes blue background. But in contrast to the Ultra design, the Duo Plus’s screen is smaller, as well as the user interface isn’t as streamlined. The Duo Plus also lacks features which makes the Ultra special, namely altitude adjustment and customizable temperature control.
What size should I get? The three Instant Pot models on a counter, big to small. From left to right: 8-quart Instant Pot Duo, 6-quart Instant Pot Ultra, and 3-quart Instant Pot Duo Mini. The 6-quart Instant Pot (in any series) is the most popular size certainly, and also the one we recommend for the majority of folks. It gives you plenty of capacity for weeknight dinners, soups and stews, a pot of beans, or possibly a whole chicken, yet doesn’t use up a crazy level of counter space or shelf space.
However the options are entirely up to you, and influenced by your cooking habits and storage space. Both Instant Pot Duo and Ultra also come in a 3-quart Mini size as well as an 8-quart size.