Overview: In this Instapot Reviews article, I’ll share with you everything you need to know to pick the right instapot for your kitchen.
I’m assuming you’re a real person, cooking in a real kitchen for a real family—just like me—and you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning how to use a new appliance or unnecessary money.
If that describes you, keep reading.
An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that’s safe and easy to use. For some recipes, it can dramatically speed up the cooking time.
For other recipes, it makes cooking a lot more convenient—think a super fast crockpot.
There are a lot of models of Instant Pot available, which can make choosing one a bit overwhelming.
Instapot Reviews: A Sneak Peek
Before we get started, here are the winners of my instapot reviews:
- Instant Pot Lux 6 Qt Red 6 in 1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
- Instant Pot Duo 60 TEAL 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure
- Instant Pot IP-DUO80 Pressure Cooker, 8-QT, Stainless Steel/Black
- Instant Pot Duo Nova 3-Quart 7-in-1, One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
Two Main Questions When Selecting Your Instapot
You really only need to answer two questions in order to choose a good one for you:
- How many people will you be cooking for most often?
- Will you want to make yogurt?
Once you can answer these two questions, you can purchase any of the Instant Pot models that fit these criteria.
Picking the Right Instapot Size
Let’s talk size first.
If you regularly cook for six to eight people or less, go for a 6 quart model. If you have more than six or eight people in your family, you’ll want an 8 quart model.
It doesn’t hurt anything to put a small amount of food in a very large Instant Pot. (The same is not true for a slow cooker, where not filling the pot enough can cause food to overcook.)
The only downside of going with a larger pot is you’ll need a bigger storage area for it. But larger also means you can cook very large cuts of meat, or big pots of soup or dry beans without worrying that you’ve overfilled the pot.
Unless you’re only ever going to cook for two people and you don’t want to cook large cuts of meat, I’d avoid the smaller 3 quart models. The exception would be if you’re looking for a second Instant Pot to use for side dishes, alongside your main pot.
Key Instapot Functions
In many instapot reviews, they’ll highlight features that you’ll likely never use. Instapots have a lot of functions, but you don’t need all those buttons.
In most cases, the simplest thing to do is to ignore most of them and use the Manual or Pressure Cook button instead. Keep reading and we’ll cover how to do that and which buttons you will use most often.
The main cooking functions you’ll want to use are:
- Pressure cook/Manual
- Keep warm
- Delay start
Let’s go through these individually:
You’ll see buttons for Soups, Rice, Eggs, Multi-grains, Beans, Chili, Meats, Stews and more.
I don’t use any of those buttons. I use the Manual or Pressure Cook button, along with the up or down arrows to select the amount of time I need. This simplifies the cooking experience and let’s you customize the time for the type of recipe you have, instead of relying on the pot to set the time.
Every Instant Pot model includes either a Manual or Pressure Cook button.
I’ve never seen an Instant Pot model that does not include this feature, so you should be covered no matter what model you buy.
The Saute feature is handy for browning meats, cooking onions or other vegetables before adding the remaining ingredients in a recipe. It’s a simple way to turn recipes into a true one-pot meal.
Again, every Instant Pot model includes this feature. Once the pot has finished pressure cooking, it will automatically switch over to the Keep Warm setting. You can also choose this setting yourself.
Most models also include the Delay Start feature. This is handy for things that don’t need refrigeration before cooking. You might use it to set up steel-cut oats at night so they’re ready in the morning.
Most of us aren’t going to be making homemade yogurt on a regular basis, but if that’s something you plan to do, you’ll want to be sure to buy an Instant Pot that includes the yogurt function.
It is possible to make yogurt in an Instant Pot that does not have a yogurt function and it’s not hard to do. So even if you buy one without that option, you can still make homemade yogurt.
The yogurt button will time the first step of boiling the milk and also will hold the temperature steady during the culturing process.
Now that you know what size Instant Pot you need and whether you need the Yogurt function, you can buy any model that fits those two requirements.
And my advice is to buy the one that’s on sale!
But I know if you’re a researcher, you might still want a little more info. Here’s a bit more about several models.
Instapot Reviews: My Top 4 Picks
Here are my instapot reviews of the best models:
This 6 quart model is one of the Instant Pot models I own. I’ve cooked for up to ten people using this pot and have not felt the need for a larger model.
This one has all the functions I’ve talked about above, with the exception of the yogurt function.
I also own this pretty teal 6 quart Instant Pot model. That color is so close to the main Eat at Home color that I couldn’t resist! You can also get this model in white or red.
This model does include the yogurt function button and I’ve used it to make yogurt several times.
Instapot IP-DUO80 Pressure Cooker, 8-QT, Stainless Steel/Black
If you have more than 6 to 8 people in your family, you’ll want to get this larger version.
I would only buy this 3 quart Instant Pot model if you get it on sale and even then, only if you’re cooking for just one or two people or you’re buying a second Instant Pot for side dishes. (You can always use a 6 quart for sides as well.)
Instapot Reviews: What’s best for you?
Again, the main two factors that matter are the size of your instapot and whether or not you want the ability to make yogurt.
My goal with these brief instapot reviews was to clear up the confusion and make it easier for you to select the best instapot for your kitchen.
How to use your new Instapot
Now that you’ve decided to buy an Instant Pot and you’ve figured out what model you need, you’re going to need to learn how to use it.
When you sign up for my FREE Instant Pot School, I’ll show you everything you need to know to get started.
In four easy lessons, we’ll cover everything from getting the Instant Pot out of the box to making a full meal in it.
You’ll also get recipes that were developed in a real kitchen, for real people and tested by real families.
Now that we’ve gone through all the instapot reviews, and you know which instapot to buy, you’re probably looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
I’ve got you covered! Click here to find a whole group of recipes that are perfect for people who are new to cooking with an Instant Pot.