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What is the best Instant Pot this holiday season?

Whether you're an advanced Chef or a beginner in the kitchen, there's an Instant Pot for you. We rounded up the best Instant Pots you can invest in to make cooking even easier.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Emery Wright
Instant Pot Duo Plus | Best Instant Pot overall
instant-pot-duo-plus
Instant Pot Duo Plus
Best Instant Pot overall
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Instant Pot Duo | Best Instant Pot for value
instant-pot-duo
Instant Pot Duo
Best Instant Pot for value
View now View at Amazon
Instant Pot Duo Crisp | Best air fryer Instant Pot
Instant Pot Duo Crisp
Instant Pot Duo Crisp
Best air fryer Instant Pot
View now View at Amazon
Instant Pot Pro Plus | Best smart Instant Pot
instant-pot-pro-plus
Instant Pot Pro Plus
Best smart Instant Pot
View now View at Amazon
Instant Pot Ultra | Best Instant Pot for families
instant-pot-ultra
Instant Pot Ultra
Best Instant Pot for families
View now View at Amazon

Forget your old way of cooking. The Instant Pot offers automated cooking and multiple cooking methods, so you no longer have to fuss over hot pans and overflowing pots -- the Instant Pot takes care of everything for you. Plus, it makes cooking for a crowd during the holiday season a breeze. Now you just need to find the best Instant Pot for you. 

We can help.  We compared the top Instant Pots to find the best device for your budget and needs. Whether it's a gift for a loved one or a new addition to your own kitchen, these are the best Instant Pots on the market right now.

Read more: 12 kitchen tools that make great holiday gifts

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Intuitive
  • Two sizes available
Cons
  • Tough to clean
  • Lacks steam feature
More Details

Features: Size options: 6 quart, 8 quart | Number of presets: 9 | Cooking methods: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer and food warmer   

With nine different settings, the Instant Pot Duo Plus wins our vote for the best Instant Pot overall. It has a stainless steel build complete with an easy-release steam switch and built-in progress bar, so you always know how much time is left. 

Available in 6 and 8-quart sizes, it can function as a pressure cooker, yogurt maker, sterilizer, and more. You can pressure cook, slow roast, or go straight to sautéing. Either way, this Instant Pot is up to the challenge -- and at an affordable price, too.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Multiple sizes
Cons
  • Lacks progress bar
  • No start button
More Details

Features: Sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart  | Number of presets: 7 | Cooking methods: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer

The Instant Pot Duo is a programmable Instant Pot that has seven functions, so it can function as a pressure cooker, rice maker, sauté pan, and more. It has a capacity of almost 6 liters and seven functions, making it the best Instant Pot for beginners. Plus, there are 13 customizable Smart Programs that you can use to automatically pressure cook a variety of dishes like ribs, rice, yogurt, and desserts. Basically, it makes cooking easy.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Dual display
  • Easy to navigate
  • Extra cooking settings
Cons
  • On the larger side
  • Slow preheat
More Details

Features: Sizes: 6 quart, 8 quart | Number of presets: 11 | Cooking methods: Air fry, roast, bake, dehydrate, pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer and food warmer  

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp has the most functions on our list: 11 total. The device can serve as a dehydrator, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, and more. Plus, EvenCrisp technology allows you to use the Instant Pot as an air fryer. It can hold 8 quarts in its stainless steel container, making it perfect for air frying sliced potatoes or even reheating leftovers.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Smart device
  • Multiple cooking methods
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Pricier model
  • Mediocre app
More Details

Features: Size: 6 quart | Number of presets: 10 | Cooking methods: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, warmer, canning pot, sous vide, and NutriBoost   

The Instant Pot Pro Plus is the brand's most expensive option, offering 10 different functions. The device can serve the typical role as a pressure cooker or saute pan, but there are also exclusive functions like sous vide cooking. You can use your phone to control the unit and use Wi-Fi to connect to the Instant Brands Connect app. This model holds 6 quarts, so it's smaller than other Instant Pots, but for many, the extra functions are well worth it.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Progress bar
  • Adjustable temperature
  • High-altitude setting
Cons
  • Must turn on using start button
  • Takes up more space
More Details

Features: Sizes:6 quarts, 8 quarts | Number of presets: 10 | Cooking methods: Pressure cook, slow cook, sous vide, sauté pan, sterilizer, yogurt maker, food warmer, cake baker and steamer   

If you're looking to feed a family, the Instant Pot Ultra offers ten different cooking methods for a large group, including sous vide, yogurt making, and even cake baking. There's an embedded microprocessor to check pressure and temperature, and it adjusts as needed while cooking your food. Plus, no more fighting over the dishes because this Instant Pot is dishwasher-safe. It's available in both 6 and 8-quart sizes.

What is the best Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot Duo Plus is the best Instant Pot overall based on its affordability and versatility. It covers all the basics and more, with many of the key cooking methods you'll likely use. 

To see how it stacks up against the competition, this is an overview of the best Instant Pots. 

Best Instant Pot

Cost

Number of functions

Functions

Instant Pot Duo Plus

$79.99

9

Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer and food warmer

Instant Pot Duo

$79.00

7

Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer

Instant Pot Duo Crisp

$124.95

11

Air fry, roast, bake, dehydrate, pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer and food warmer  

Instant Pot Pro Plus

$149.95

10

Pressure cook, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, warmer, canning pot, sous vide, and NutriBoost  

Instant Pot Ultra

$101.95

10

Pressure cook, slow cook, sous vide, sauté pan, sterilizer, yogurt maker, food warmer, cake baker and steamer   

Which is the right Instant Pot for you?

If you're having trouble deciding which Instant Pot is right for you, consider our expert suggestions.

Choose this best Instant Pot...

If you want...

Instant Pot Duo Plus

A budget-friendly Instant Pot for beginner and advanced Chefs alike

Instant Pot Duo

A budget option for beginners

Instant Pot Duo Crisp

An air fryer capable of feeding larger families 

Instant Pot Pro Plus

Smart features integrated into your Instant Pot

Instant Pot Ultra

An Instant Pot ready to feed a full household

How did we choose these Instant Pots?

In searching for the best Instant Pot, we consider several critical factors, including these.

  • Cooking methods: All Instant Pots come with several different cooking functions, but the more advanced models, like the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and Instant Pot Pro Plus, have extra capabilities like air frying and cake baking. 
  • Size: Whether you're cooking alone or feeding a big family, Instant Pots likely have a size that works for you.
  • Control panel: Instant Pots are notorious for large control panels, making accessibility a key feature. 
  • Cost: The cost of Instant Pots is an important consideration for most shoppers, so we keep price in mind when comparing the different Instant Pot models.

How many different Instant Pot models are there?

There are five models that are available, including Instant Pot, Instant Pot Duo, Instant Pot Pro Plus, and Instant Pot Ultra. Each model comes in different sizes, so you can find the right size for your household. 

What is the best Instant Pot size?

Singles and couples are likely to do well with a 6-quart model, but if you have a big family or intend to cook large batches, you might fare better with the 8-quart size.  

How much does an Instant Pot cost?

The cost of an Instant Pot varies, depending on the size and model you choose. Our picks for the best Instant Pot vary in cost from $79 to $150, respectively.

Are there alternative Instant Pots worth considering?

For other options, check out these picks that almost made our list of best Instant Pots.

For other options, check out the best pressure cookers, the best food processors, and the best air fryers!

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