pot with chillies

How to Choose an Instant Pot

It seems like everyone loves instant pots. If you are ready to join in this great cooking trend, then choosing the right one that suits your family and lifestyle are important.

Instant pots are know for being a kitchen appliance that does it all, a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and an air fryer. Knowing how to choose an instant pot is important so the one that is chosen meets not only your cooking goals but budget as well.

There are various needs and cooking styles that instant pots are designed for. Find the right instant pot that suits your lifestyle and budget best.

Number of People

The first factor to look at is how big of an instant pot do you need. Are you cooking for an average family or larger? The one that is most often purchased is the 6 quart instant pot which works for a group anywhere from 3-6 people.

The larger 8 quart is good if the cooking is being done for a bigger family or larger gatherings. If it is just going to be used for a couple, then the 3-quart mini instant pots are perfect.

The Menu

Instant pot recipes are vast, there are so many uses for this handy kitchen appliance. While many people want to pressure cook, instant pots can do so much more.

They are much more versatile than the standard pressure cooker and can take the place of multiple cooking appliances. Many offer the ability to cook, sauté, bake, make yogurt and more. They can even slow cook, steam veggies and make great rice.

Many instant pots come with programming that will specifically cook various meats, poultry, oatmeal, cakes and more. Others have programs that are good for sterilization that works for baby bottles, utensils and canning products.

There are even some that automatically adjust for altitude allowing for pressure changes if you live above sea level.

Knowing what your main menu is, or the main purpose of getting instant pot is going help with choosing the one that is suitable for you.

If you want to make yogurt then that function is important, if it is not and soups and stews are important then it is important to find the one that is extra good at those. It is all about choosing the ‘right instant pot’ for you!



If an instant pot is something that is going to be used often, many will want one that looks good when it is sitting on the kitchen counter.

This is easier than having to haul it out each time you want to use it. If it is sitting on the counter though, you will want one that looks nice and fits in with other appliances.

Stainless steel is one that goes with almost anything and has a classic look but there are also colored exteriors and lids as well. Some can even be found with floral patterns if you want something a little more different.


With instant pots being so versatile with various functions and programs, the display should be clear and easy to read. Knowing when it is on or off, heating or cooking and which program or function is running is something that needs to be clearly communicated.

Smart displays are helpful with this. Some have LED screens and others have an LCD. They come in various colors as well.

While much of this is a personal preference, the most important thing is that the screen is simple to read and has all the information you could need about the status of your cooker.

Interacting with the Instant Pot

This sounds odd but it is important. Interacting with the pot focuses on how you set and work with it. It could be buttons, dials or a touchscreen.

Each model has a way of interacting with the user. When choosing this, it comes down to personal preference. Most pots are easy to use and figure out. Choose what you find easiest to use.


In a world of connectivity, even instant pots are getting on board. Some now come with WiFi so you connect with it through your mobile device.

These apps not only connect to the pot but can also offer instant pot recipes, grocery lists and other features that work with your cooking. The apps tell you what the pot is doing as it cooks so you always know what stage you are at. Some also work with Apples Alexa as well.


Like most other products, instant pots can go from the low end to high end with price choice. You want to find one in your budget range that maintains both quality and functionality.

Prices go higher as the functions and programs increase. There is going to be one that works for you. Here are some great options:

Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 8 Quart, Easy-Seal Lid, 14 One-Touch Programs

The Instant pot Duo Nova 7in1 is a great instant pot for a good price. It steams, sautés, cooks rice and much more. It comes in various sizes and can work for a larger family or a student in a dorm room.

It’s not a complicated model but comes with lots of useful functions and programs. It is a good pressure cooker, rice cooker and slow cooker and it can also steam, cook rice and sauté food.

If food is ready it can keep it warm as well as make yogurt too.  It has a Smart Seal lid and is easy to clean. Great for beginners and advanced users. There isn’t much this instant pot can’t do.

Easier with the new duo nova multi-cookerRead the directions carefully
Best for beginnersMade its cool noise
Plenty of recipes can you do
Instant Pot Reviews

Instant Pot Smart WiFi 8-in-1, 6 Quart, 13 One-Touch Programs

The Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi 8in1 is a little more expensive for a 6 quart instant pot but it can link to your smartphone when you are home. This means you don’t have to be in the same room to see how the cooking is going.

While you can’t control it outside of a 45-foot range, the Wifi allows you to check on it without having to go into the kitchen to check on it. This instant pot has a lot of great features letting you sauté, cook, steam and so much more.

It can keep things warm as well as make yogurt. There are lots of unique things you can do with this instant pot.

Cooks fast and saves timeRead the directions carefully
Best for beginnersIf you connect wifi required to signup for an account
Plenty of recipes can you do
Instant Pot Reviews

Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 8 Quart|11 One-Touch Programs

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 has almost everything you can think of including an air fryer. The 8-quart version is great and can roast, bake and dehydrate along with all the other great features that come with a regular instant pot.

It costs a bit more but the extra ability to fry food without oils and fats makes it a great multi-food cooker.

The instant pot that air friesRead the directions carefully
Best for beginnersHave a minor noise
Cooks fast and saves time
Instant Pot Reviews

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