Our Guide to Instant Pot: How to Decide Which Model is Right For You
Instant Pot sells more than one popular model—so we’re breaking down the differences between each of them.
You've finally decided that its time to give into the multicooker craze and buy an Instant Pot for yourself—but, which do you buy?
Before heading off to the nearest home store, you should know that each model is a little bit different than the next—and one Instant Pot may better than another for your kitchen. Each Instant Pot's price could definitely be a huge factor: but size and functionality are all important things to consider before committing to one model over another.
We're walking you through each of the five most popular Instant Pot models and answering the essential question: Which Instant Pot should you buy?
Instant Pot Lux
The Instant Pot Lux is one of the brand’s first models, and certainly it's most basic. But it still gets the job done! This six-in-one model functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, a food warmer, and another way to sauté veggies. There are 12 preset programs and seven preset temperatures to help you cook a variety of foods with ease. This model is available in three, six, and eight-quart sizes and retails starting at $60.
Shop Now: Instant Pot Lux V3 (6-Quart), $79
Instant Pot Duo
The Duo is the next step up from the Lux model, as it possesses all the same functions, along with a yogurt-making capability and two more built-in programs. It also has the ability to pressure cook at a low temperature, while the Lux model can only pressure cook at high temperatures.
This is the most popular of the Instant Pot models, as you can usually find one for $100 or less, and comes in three, six, and eight-quart sizes. There is also a super-charged Duo Plus, for the tech-obsessed, which offers an LCD screen as well as sterilization capabilities and a few more cooking functions.
Shop Now: Instant Pot Duo (8-Quart), $89.95
Instant Pot Ultra
The Ultra is perfect for any control freak—this 10-in-1 model comes with an altitude adjustment feature to provide precise cooking times and desired results for those high-altitude dwellers. It'll be a nice change from having to adapt recipes yourself.
This model also offers the ability for you to exercise total control over all types of cooking settings rather than just one standard option. You can pressure cook (or otherwise!) based on your personal preferences, making this model a great gift for those who have already spent years experimenting on a Duo or Lux.
The Ultra comes in three, six, and eight-quart varieties and typically retails anywhere between $90 and $180.
Shop Now: Instant Pot Ultra (8-Quart), $179.95
Instant Pot Max
The Instant Pot Max is one of the latest models to hit the market—but it is also the most expensive.
The Max cooks ten-to-fifteen times faster than the other Instant Pot models, according to the company’s website. This model also has 13 safety features, compared to the other models’ 10 or 11 features. It is also the only series that allows for sous vide cooking. The Max is only offered in the six-quart size, and retails around $200.
Shop Now: Instant Pot Max (6-Quart), $199.95
Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi
We’ve mentioned that digital tech is one of the biggest kitchen trends for 2019, and this Smart Wi-Fi model is a exciting new way to bring this trend into your own home. While you can’t exactly start pressure-cooking from your office, you can still control your Instant Pot from another part of the house.
The best part of having a Wi-Fi enabled Instant Pot, however, is access to hundreds of prescripted recipes on your phone and the ability to create you own that can be easily uploaded to your cooker. The Smart Wi-Fi model is only available in the six-quart size, and typically retails around $150.
Shop Now: Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi (6-Quart), $90