Shopping for an Instant Pot but don’t know which model you want? Use this infographic to help you decide which is best for you!
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Are you in the market for a new Instant Pot? I have been using Instant Pots for a few years, have owned four different models, and just published an Instant Pot cookbook! Let me help you figure out which one is right for you!
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Instant Pots Models
I currently own three different Instant Pot models (the DUO PLUS, the ULTRA, and the MAX). I started with the DUO 7-1 and used it for years before passing it along to my brother-in-law after receiving the MAX for Christmas.
I’ve written about the differences between the DUO and the ULTRA before, but with so many different models, I wanted to give you a more thorough overview of each of the different models.
I did not include the Smart or Wifi models in the infographic. The main additional features with both the Smart and the Wifi is that you can control and monitor the Instant Pot from your phones.
INSTANT POT MODELS
The LUX is the baseline model of the Instant Pot. You can make most recipes in the LUX, but there are some features that the models after the LUX have that lead me to not recommend it as much as others. Especially since the DUO is often on sale for as much or less than the LUX.
Three features the LUX does not have:
- a Low pressure setting (I do use the low pressure setting regularly, and a few recipes in my cookbook utilize this setting as well)
- a place to rest the lid on the sides of the pot
- a Yogurt setting (good for making yogurt and proofing bread)
The DUO is one of the first Instant Pot models, and still remains one of my favorite Instant Pots to recommend. Even though it does not have some of the bells and whistles of the later models, you can still use it for almost any Instant Pot recipe (exceptions would be sous vide recipes).
The DUO often goes on sale in each of the different sizes. If you are just starting out with the Instant Pot, this is an excellent model to start with.
The DUO PLUS is available in all three sizes: 3qt, 6qt, and 8qt. It boasts two extra presets than the DUO.
I have an 8qt DUO PLUS. I really like this Instant Pot, however unless you find a great deal on it (I did), I do not see any added features significantly making it better than the DUO, which is less expensive and still a great Instant Pot.
The ULTRA is my current favorite Instant Pot to recommend to people, budget-permitting. I fell in love with the ULTRA as soon as I got it over a year ago. The ULTRA has a few extra preset cooking settings (sterilize, cake, & egg), but that isn’t actually why I love it. Though I do use the sterilize setting regularly.
My favorite things about the ULTRA are:
- it automatically seals (no need to remember to turn a valve to sealing)
- the digital screen is easy to use and looks very nice
- the progress bar on the bottom of the screen helps to see exactly where the pot is in the cooking process (coming to pressure, under pressure, releasing pressure)
- the pressure releases with just the push of a button
The Instant Pot MAX is currently only available as a 6qt. The added features are the MAX pressure setting, which cooks food at a higher pressure, reducing the cook time by about a third. The MAX pressure setting is also what allows it to pressure can food*.
Another great new feature the MAX can boast is that there is a setting on the touchscreen to automatically quick release the pressure. This is a new feature that none of the other Instant Pots have, and I have personally found it to be very useful. There is also an option for automatic intermittent pressure releasing.
*I have successfully pressure canned my homemade chicken stock several times without any issues. However, the MAX has not been approved as a pressure canner by the FDA. From what I’ve read, this is because the internal temp cannot be monitored during the cooking process, and because the regulations are currently only for quart jars while only pint jars fit in the MAX.
I will leave it up to your research and discretion whether you trust the MAX to pressure can or not.
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