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Best Instant Pots for 2023: Amazon Buyer’s Guide

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When you want a meal that is fresh, healthy, and fast, what do you grab first? If it’s not an Instant Pot, it should be.

In this article, we’ll outline the reasons why you should use an Instant Pot, how to choose a size that works for you, compare some popular 2023 Instant Pot models available on Amazon, and, finally, recommend some simple cookbooks. If you want to skip straight to the product comparison, click here.

Article Summary


What is an Instant Pot?

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The simple answer is that an Instant Pot is a multi-cooking machine that allows you to cook slowly or fast and is a combination of a slow cooker and a pressure cooker.

The advantages of these multi-cooking machines are that they allow you to cook an entire meal in one device and speed up the cooking time, or slow cook – whichever you prefer – with the convenience of applying a setting and not having to watch over it.

It’s worth noting that the term “Instant Pot” is a trademark brand name (similar to how Kleenex is used when referring to facial tissues or Google is used when referring to an Internet search).

Some companies who sell competing products might refer to their multicookers as a “one-pot,” “electronic pressure cooker,” or other such jargon.

Be aware: You want to make sure that when you’re shopping for an “Instant Pot,” the name is a brand, and they do make some non-pressure slow cookers, air fryers, rice cookers, and other products that aren’t the 6-in-1 (or more) multicooker. 

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At the same time, be aware that Instant Pot models are also 7-in-1, 8-in-1, 9-in-1, 10-in-1, and 11-in-1 in their functionality.


What can be cooked in an Instant Pot?

It’s more like what can’t be cooked in an Instant Pot. There isn’t much you can’t cook using this multicooker. 

You can even make cornbread, baked potatoes, cheesecakes, and other desserts. You can put frozen meat straight in. People even use Instant Pots to make popcorn, wine, moonshine, and more.

Of course, as with anything, it may take trial and error to adapt and perfect certain recipes for the Instant Pot.

Pro tip: An Instant Pot pressure cooker is slightly different from cooking in a manual pressure cooker if you’re already used to that. Therefore, the liquid and cooking time will need to be reduced and adjusted. Likewise, for slow cooking, you must adapt to using less liquid and a little more time than you might use with standard slow cookers (Crockpots).


Why Should I Use an Instant Pot?

The main reason is that cooking with an Instant Pot provides the convenience of simplicity and the advantage of speed when desired. An Instant Pot delivers these benefits while maintaining fresh flavor.

The Instant Pot is a perfect countertop cooking device for all experience levels – from beginner to pro. 

For beginners, it simplifies the cooking process and allows you to make simple meals. There are tons of great recipe books available to show you just how easy it is to throw together fresh, delicious meals.

For more advanced cooks, an Instant Pot can greatly speed up the cooking process, especially with certain cuts of meats, such as ribs, that normally require a longer cooking time.


What Size Instant Pot Do I Need?

The size of an Instant Pot you need depends on the size of meals you need or want to cook. Luckily, there is a size option to fit every need. Here is a list of the available options.

3 Quart (mini): Feeds: 1-2 people 

Pros:

  • Minimal to no leftovers.
  • Takes up less room. Perfect for limited kitchen space and RVs.
  • Great for side dishes (especially if the larger Instant Pot is cooking the main course).

Cons

  • Won’t fit large food such as corn on the cob, whole chicken, ribs, or roast.
  • The air fryer accessory lid won’t work with this size.
  • Can’t do pot-in-pot cooking.
  • Can be just as expensive as the 6-quart model.

6 Quart: Feeds 3-5 people

Pros

  • Meets most people’s needs. 
  • Perfect for small families who like having leftovers.
  • Takes up less room than larger sizes.
  • Most popular size and most recipes designed/tested on 6 quarts.
  • Can use an air fryer lid accessory.

Cons

  • Can’t fit large food such as six-pound chicken, ham, or roast.

8 Quart: Feeds 5-8 people

Pros

  • Designed for large families or groups, big eaters, or those who like leftovers.
  • Can easily fit a whole chicken, a large rust, or multiple slabs of ribs.
  • Can cook two dishes at once using the pot-in-pot method.
  • Great for freezer meals.
  • Can Sous Vide more food.

Cons

  • Takes up more counter space than smaller models (especially with models with an air fryer lid).
  • The cord is not detachable as is with many 3 or 6-quart models.
  • Some recipes require modification.

10 Quart: Feeds 9 or more

Pros:

  • Feeds large families and groups.
  • Great for large meal prep or freezer meals.
  • Can handle large pieces of meat (whole chicken, roast, small turkey, large ham, multiple racks of ribs).
  • Accommodates larger pans with the pot-in-pot method.

Cons

  • Heavy.
  • Cooking takes longer to reach pressure due to size.
  • Lead cannot be propped open as with other sizes.
  • No dedicated accessories for this size (must use 8-quart accessories).
  • Could have wait times availability of spare parts

The 5 Best Instant Pots for 2023: Amazon Buying Guide

Now that you know what an Instant Pot can do and what the various sizes offer, the following guide will break down the 2023 Instant Pot models to help you find the one that fits your unique cooking needs.

Remember that while every Instant Pot comes with the same basic multi-cooking functionality, some models are more versatile than others. Apart from size, they will also feature some variations in wattage and voltage.

However, where the biggest differences will be in the quantity of “smart” cooking settings each model features, as well as preset heat, cooking time, and pressure levels.

This guide will break down all these features to help you decide which Instant Pot model is right for you in 2023.


1. The Classic Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Classic
Amazon

The most popular model and size that started it all is the Instant Pot 6-Quart electric round Dutch oven.

This model features 5-in-1 functionality. Settings are Braise, Slow Cook, Sear/Sauté, Cooking Pan, and Food Warmer. It provides precision cooking with exact temperature and time controls that are impossible with stovetop cooking.

This multicooker has a removable, heavy-duty, enameled cast-iron cooking pot that is also oven and stove-top-safe. This model allows the same features as a traditional Dutch oven and is powered by 1500 watts.

The cooking pot and lid are dishwasher safe, allowing quick, easy cleanup. Convenient silicone hot pad and handle covers included.

What real users are saying

The most often-used word that owners of this product uttered to describe how they felt about it was “love.” Users had praise for each one of the various 5-in-1 cooking settings. While pressure cooking is renowned for speeding up the cooking process, users commented on how much lower and slower the Instant Pot could cook certain foods, such as roasts, providing a more tender result than most crockpots. Other users commented on the convenience of browning and cooking in a single pot.

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2. Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1

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Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1
Amazon

This 6-quart electronic multicooker features 10-in-1 functionality, including Pressure, Slow, Sous Vide, Sauté Pan, Steamer, Cake Baking, Food Warming, Sterilizing, Rice, and Yogurt Maker. You can also program 5 settings of your own for frequently-used or special recipes.

This model is the only one featuring a premium cookware-grade inner pot with stay-cool silicone handles. 

It also features overheating protection and a safe-locking lid. 

This model also includes a gentle steam release switch that features a diffusing cover that prevents splashing and reduces noise.

What real users are saying

Users are impressed with the extra features the Pro model provides, including the 10-in-1 functionality, the preset buttons, and the large LCD screen with a digital display. They also love that the unit comes with a mute button so that you don’t have to listen to annoying beeps if it is running at night. Users also appreciated that the unit will allow you to delay the start of cooking time up to 24 hours and apply the “keep warm” setting for 10 hours. Overall, users loved that the unit cooks fast, delivers delicious food, and cuts down on the number of dishes and clean up in preparing meals.

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3. Instant Pot Pro Plus Wi-Fi Smart 10-in-1

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Instant Pot Pro with Wifi
Amazon

Features 10-in-1 multi-cooking, 6-quart capacity, and smart Wi-Fi.

The 10 cooking settings include Pressure, Slow, Steam, Sauté Pan, Warmer, Rice Cooker, Canning Pot, Yogurt Maker, Sous Vide, and NutriBoost.

Probably one of the “smartest” models on the market, you can remotely operate the Instant Pot Pro Plus over Wi-Fi using your mobile device via the Instant Brands Connect app. You’ll also have access to more than 1,900 highly-rated smart recipes.

In terms of safety, this model also features the one-touch button easy steam release, which can also be controlled through the smart app.

This model offers 20 percent higher cooking power, providing a better sauté/sear performance and a shorter preheat time than other electronic pressure cookers.

What real users are saying

Nearly unanimously, people talk about the ease and speed of cooking while retaining tenderness and delicious flavor in their foods.

While some people loved the Wi-Fi feature, as with all things technical, some struggled with the mobile app. One person complained that software changes had made finding their old saved settings difficult.

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4. Instant Pot RIO

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Instant Pot RIO
Amazon

Formally known as “Duo,” the Rio is a 7-in-1 electric multicooker with a 6-quart capacity and 13 customizable smart programs.

The 7 cooking settings include Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker, & Warmer.

This one-touch programmable cooker can remember 13 settings for your favorite or custom recipes.

Included app features 800 recipes.

Cook slowly or make one-pot meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods with its powerful 1000 watts.

What real users are saying

Overwhelmingly, users are commenting on the ease of cooking and how quickly they can now prepare meals using their Instant Pot. Users commented on how this cooking device has changed their life. Several people said they couldn’t cook before, and now with the Instant Pot, it was nearly impossible to mess things up.

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5. Instant Pot Duo Plus

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Instant Pot Duo Plus
Amazon

The main features of the Instant Pot Duo Plus are 8-quart capacity, whisper-quiet operation, and its powerful 1200-watt cooking.

The 8-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus is the perfect solution for those who need to feed a family or group or want a good supply of leftovers.

The duo plus has 9-in-1 cooking settings which include: Pressure, Slow, Rice, Steam, Sauté, Cake, Sous Vide, Keep Warm, and Yogurt.

A great safety feature is its whisper-quiet steam release, which also delivers an “okay to open lid” message. Other safety features include overheat protection and a safe-locking lid.

Its 1200-watt cooking power can deliver pressure-cooked meals 70% faster than traditional cooking methods while being more energy efficient.

The cooking pot and lid are dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup.

What real users are saying:

Overwhelmingly, users commented on the versatility of this unit. Some users had upgraded from a 6-quart version and were happy they did.

Users of the 8-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus appreciate the pot’s flat bottom, which allows oils to spread evenly.

Another feature users appreciated the handles on the inner pot, which prevent it from spinning during sauté mode and make it safer to remove the pot when it’s full.

Many users like the fact that the pot is stovetop safe.

Several users commented on how well its air fryer attachment works and how easy it is to attach and remove. Users also commented on how they got excellent frying results faster than the traditional method.

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Instant Pot Cookbooks

Besides the included recipes that come with your purchase of an Instant Pot, there are many popular, best-selling recipe books to give you countless ideas on what you can create with your electronic multicooker. Here are two of Amazon’s most current, best-selling Instant Pot recipe books.

One-Pot Mediterranean Diet: 101 Simple Meals for Your Skillet, Baking Sheet, Dutch Oven, and More

One-Pot Mediterranean Diet
Amazon

One-pot is just another word for meals that can be cooked in an Instant Pot. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest and was rated the best overall diet for the sixth consecutive year by US News & World Report and is the most doctor-recommended diet in the world as well.

This book is packed with recipes for main dishes, information on the Mediterranean diet, nutrition, and a lifestyle for staying healthy. Currently a #1 best seller on Amazon.

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The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Two: 125 Easy, Perfectly-Portioned Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker and Multicooker

The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Two
Amazon

Also a #1 Amazon bestseller, this book is geared at creating family-style meals that are perfectly portioned for two people. It includes over 100 recipes and helpful tips on cooking with your Instant Pot.

Includes: 15-Minute, 30-Minute, 5-Ingredient, One Pot Meals, Paleo, Vegan/Vegetarian, and more.

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Bon Appetit!

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