When it comes to the Instant Pot, there's a lot to love. Primarily, the electric multi-cooker—which is a fancy term for "all-in-one pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and more, that plugs into your wall instead of cooking over an open flame"—can create the type of deep, caramel-y flavor typically associated with an all-day braise in under an hour. It can tenderize the toughest legumes (sans a pre-soak!) in the time it takes to watch one episode of Great British Baking Show. It can slow-cook with the best of 'em.
So it's no wonder that Instant Pot models have nabbed the top four bestseller spots on Amazon's electric pressure cooker list.
But if you're thinking about investing in one of Instant Pot's electric multi-cookers, it can be tough to parse all of the information out there. Which model makes the most sense for your day-to-day? Behold, a quick(ish) guide to choosing the correct Instant Pot for all of your kitchen needs:
Most Instant Pot models come in the 3-, 6-, and 8-quart sizes, with a few exceptions (as noted in the "Models" section below).
This is the part of the conversation that sort of makes my head spin. The summary-level version? There are tons of different models—aka "series"—of the multi-cooker, and generally (when sales aren't going on), the more expensive the model, the more functionality it has. In my opinion, the Duo models are amongst the strongest contenders when you take into account price, size, and common uses—but that said, some of the pricier models do have functionalities others might use more than I do. Additionally, the prices have been fluctuating quite a bit as the holidays approach, so you're likely to see some of the typically more expensive versions priced closer to the classics, over the near-term.
Some specifics on each broadly available series, with prices listed as of Dec. 11:
Do you own an Instant Pot? If so, which kind? If not, would you ever consider purchasing one? Let us know in the comments.