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The Best Instant Pot to Buy (2021)

Which model is the best Instant Pot in 2021? Are you deciding which Instant Pot to buy and wondering which Instant Pot size is the best for you?

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We know that reading all the Instant Pot Reviews & videos on different Instant Pot models can be very overwhelming.

Don’t worry! We developed this Best Instant Pot Guide, based on our hands-on experience & users’ feedback, to help you decide which is the Best Instant Pot for you!

best instant pot | which instant pot to buy | compare instant pots #AmyJacky #InstantPot

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Amy and Jacky have worked directly with the Instant Pot company, pressure cooker manufacturers, and 35+ restaurants.

For the past 5 years, we’ve dedicated our craft to learn the ins and outs of Instant Pots, publish helpful Instant Pot Guides, and develop hundreds of tested Instant Pot recipes.

Plus, we constantly listen to our readers & users’ experiences on what they think about their Instant Pots.


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Best Overall Instant Pot

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus

instant pot duo evo plus

What we like:

  1. New Multipurpose Stainless Steel Inner Pot
    1. Silicone handles: cool to touch & easy to grip
    2. Flat bottom: stovetop-friendly
    3. Won’t spin when stirring or sauteing
  2. Large easy-to-read LCD Display
  3. Easy to navigate control panel with one-touch buttons & center dial
  4. New Steam Release Cover: more gentle pressure release
  5. Better lid design: easier to handle and operate

What to look out for:

  1. Control dial can be a bit harder to use for new users
  2. Not compatible with the current Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid
  3. Inner Pot is not interchangeable with other models.
  4. Sous-vide function performs the same as previous models.

Duo Evo Plus Summary:

Released in 2019, Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus brings some refinements to the previous generations of Instant Pots.

If you have a standalone air fryer or don’t need the air fry function, the Duo Evo Plus is the best-rated Instant Pot in 2020.

The new flat-bottom inner pot allows better oil distribution and you can saute a bit better compared to the older inner pots. It’s really awesome that you can also use this inner pot on electric, ceramic, gas, and induction cooktops. You’re also going to love the two silicone handles that make transferring the inner pot a lot easier.

Thanks to the new steam release cover, steam will be dispersed and softened when releasing pressure. This makes the pressure release process less scary, especially for new users.

Overall, the new features & refinements make Duo Evo Plus a more polished Instant Pot that’s both easy to use & worth the price.

Buy it Here: Check Price & Availability

Best Instant Pot for Beginners

Instant Pot Duo Plus

instant pot duo plus

What we like:

  1. More budget-friendly: usually cheaper than Duo Evo Plus
  2. User-friendly, easy-to-navigate control panel
  3. Compatible with the current Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid

What to look out for:

  1. Doesn’t have the multipurpose inner pot with silicone handles & flat bottom.
  2. Not as customizable as Duo Evo Plus
  3. Get the updated version of Duo Plus because it comes with a newer lid and sous-vide function.

Duo Plus Summary:

Released in 2017, Instant Pot Duo Plus V1 introduced further improvements on the already popular Duo series. The new user-friendly interface is simple to use and perfect for new users.

The 2020 Duo Plus V2 has been upgraded with a newer lid and sous-vide function. The venting knob on the lid will tilt away slightly for the steam to be released away from your hand.

For now, most of the current stocks are Version 1. But don’t worry! Duo Plus V1 is still the best Instant Pot for beginners.

Buy it Here: Check Price & Availability

Best Instant Pot on a Budget

Instant Pot Duo or Duo Nova

instant pot duo

What we like:

  1. Great price: usually sold at a lower price than Duo Evo Plus or Duo Plus
  2. Has almost all of Duo Plus’ features except Sous Vide & Auto-Sealing Lid (Duo Plus V2)
  3. Compatible with the current Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid

What to look out for:

  1. Doesn’t have the multipurpose inner pot with silicone handles & flat bottom
  2. Control panel is slightly less user-friendly than Duo Plus
  3. Some new users or beginners may be a bit scared of releasing pressure manually with the Venting Knob

Duo Summary:

The bestselling Duo is our top pick for the Best Budget Instant Pot. Compared to Lux, Duo offers the yogurt function, high & low pressure settings, better lid, venting knob, and lid fins. These useful features make Duo a better deal than Lux.

Instant Pot Duo Nova and Viva have very similar features, control panels, and prices as Duo. Duo Nova is somewhat a fusion model between Duo and Duo Plus with no Sous Vide function.

Therefore, Duo, Duo Nova, and Viva are also great choices for new users because it’s usually more budget-friendly & straightforward to use.

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Best Instant Pot & Air Fryer Combo

Instant Pot Duo Crisp

instant pot duo crisp

What we like:

  1. 2-in-1 Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer
  2. Save money & counter space
  3. Control panel is simple & very straight forward to use

What to look out for:

  1. Doesn’t have the multipurpose inner pot with silicone handles & flat bottom.
  2. A standalone air fryer will usually perform better & may be able to cook more food at once.
  3. A more powerful Instant Pot & Air Fryer combo just came out with new & improved features & functions.

Duo Crisp Summary:

Duo Crisp transforms the already awesome Instant Pot into a super versatile kitchen appliance! Yes, a standalone air fryer will usually perform better, but not by a large margin. 

We recommend buying the 8 quart Duo Crisp over the 6 quart Duo Crisp because the larger air fryer lid seems to perform slightly better. Also, it gives you more space to air fry bigger chunks or a bigger batch of food.

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Which is the Best Instant Pot Size?

Currently, the smallest Instant Pot size is 3 quart Instant Pot, and the biggest Instant Pot size is 10 quart. In the US, Instant Pot mostly comes in 5 sizes: 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart, and 10 quart.

instant pot size
Instant Pot size comparison: 3qt (left), 6qt (middle), 8qt (right)

The best Instant Pot size is the size that’s most suitable for you & your family’s needs.

The best size depends on the type & quantity of food you cook, your budget, and your counter space.

instant pot size comparison
Instant Pot size comparison: 8qt (left), 6qt (middle), 3qt (right)

6 Quart Instant Pot

The 6 quart Instant Pot is by far the most popular size among different users. Depending on your family’s appetite, it’s the best Instant Pot size to cook meals for 2 to 5 adults.

To give you a rough idea, it can fit a 3.3lb whole chicken or a 7″x3″ Cheesecake Pan.

Whole Chicken
Whole Chicken in 6 qt Instant Pot

8 or 10 Quart Instant Pot

If you enjoy hosting gatherings, have a larger family, like to meal prep, or cook a lot of soups or stocks, the 8 quart or 10 quart Instant Pots are great for you.

To give you a rough idea, an 8qt Instant Pot can fit an 8.6lbs, 7″ thick bone-in ham.

Ham
Ham in 8 qt Instant Pot

3 Quart Instant Pot

The 3 quart Instant Pot doesn’t take up as much counter space, so it’s a great size if you’re cooking for 1 to 2 people.

It’s a good option for college students, people living in RVs or boats, or to take on vacations or road trips.

instant pot 3 quart

The smaller size also makes it a great secondary Instant Pot for making yogurt, cooking sides, or desserts when your bigger Instant Pot is cooking the main dish.

Since it’s lighter in weight, it’s great for those who have trouble lifting heavier objects.


How about Other Instant Pots?

which instant pot to buy

1. Instant Pot Max

It’s a good model jampack with features, but it comes with a price.

We love the touchscreen, but it’s a bit pricey and harder for beginners to use. It may be excellent for techies.

Keep in mind that most online Instant Pot recipes are developed with the High Pressure setting (10.2 – 11.6 PSI), so you’ll need to make adjustments when using the max pressure setting (15PSI).

Max is a good buy if the price falls below $130.

2. Instant Pot Ultra

Ultra is also pack with features & customizable programs. The user interface is sleek but slightly harder to use. It takes more time to navigate & adjust from one program to another.

It’s a solid model, but the newer Duo Evo Plus is a better choice.

3. Instant Pot Smart Wifi

The wifi feature may sound awesome at first. But if you’re like us or some of our readers, you’ll most likely stop using the app after a week or two. It’s a solid buy if the price falls below $100. 

4. Instant Pot Duo Gourmet & Duo SV

These two models are not as widely available as the other options, but they’re quite similar to Duo Plus. They’re great if you find them on sale.

5. Instant Pot Viva

Viva offers very similar features as Duo, but it’s not as widely available as the other options. It’s another great beginner or budget option if you find them on sale!

6. Instant Pot Lux

It lacks some of the basic features on other models such as Low Pressure setting or yogurt function. But, if you’re on a budget and Lux is on sale for less than $50, it’s still a solid buy.

*Note: The above standard prices are in US dollars based on the 6 quart Instant Pot models.

Which is the Best Instant Pot for you?


best instant pot | which instant pot to buy | compare instant pots #AmyJacky #InstantPot
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