What Instant Pot Should I Buy?

I love my 6 qt. Duo. If you frequently cook for more than four people, I’d go for the 8 qt.

Instant Pot spoonful of soup

What can I cook in an Instant Pot?

Let’s just get this out of the way first — you can’t use it for EVERYTHING. I know it’s tempting! Too often, people try cooking all of their recipes in the Instant Pot, and it just doesn’t work like that. It should be used for convenience, and can cook a lot of things quickly. It’s also a great tool for making things that never seem to be quite right on the stovetop. Remember: the Instant Pot cooks food with water, broth or other cooking liquid. When the liquid boils, it creates steam in the closed appliance. The trapped steam then raises the Instant Pot’s internal pressure. Temperature rises with it! Since steam is what actually cooks food in the Instant Pot, you probably wouldn’t want to make things like steak in your Instant Pot. Trust me on this.

How do you use an Instant Pot?

Add a cup or so of cooking liquid or water to the pressure cooking pot. The exact amount depends on what you’re cooking! Lock the lid in place and be sure the valve is in the sealing/pressure cooking position.

Select a pressure cooking button and let it cook! Use quick release or natural release (see below) after cooking, then enjoy!

Note: There are so many Instant Pots now-a-days, so make sure you glance at the manual for a deep dive reference.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

How is an Instant Pot different from a pressure cooker?

The Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that can function as an electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot. All seven tools in one!


A pressure cooker functions as, well, a pressure cooker. 

How do you quick release the Instant Pot?

Turn the valve from sealing to venting once the Instant Pot signals that it’s finished cooking. 

How do you natural release the Instant Pot?

Let it be! Once the Instant Pot beeps, leave it alone! It will natural release on its own, and when the silver knob drops, you’re ready to open the lid.

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