The best Instant Pots will make delicious meals easily and quickly. Whether you will be batch cooking, slow cooking, or making a delightful hotpot, an Instant Pot will soon become one of your favorite small kitchen appliances. Even the most basic Instant Pots can be used as rice cookers, while some higher-end options can air fry food.
Although an Instant Pot may sound like a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, they are so much more. The best Instant Pots can be electronically controlled and can steam, slow cook, and even sauté or fry your food. Some models also have additional features like being able to sous vide your food. There are a number of models available which are great for beginners and seasoned chefs alike. To help you choose the best Instant Pot for you, we will break down and assess the features and functions of each model.
In terms of price, one of the best Instant Pots on the market is also very affordable. The Duo Nova, which is our top-rated Instant Pot, comes in a variety of quart sizes, including 3, 6, 8, and 10 quarts. It is priced at just under $100, which is a great price, especially considering that it is like seven different kitchen appliances rolled into one. If you're looking for more kitchen gadgets to make cooking easier, be sure to check out our guides to the best rice cookers and the best bread makers.
The best Instant Pots we recommend in 2024
Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews
We're on a mission at Top Ten Reviews to review everything we feature in our buyer's guide. While we haven't been able to test every entry in this guide in person, we've instead honed in on top-rated brands and used our knowledge of the best Instant Pots to help you make the right decision.
The best Instant Pot overall
The Instant Pot Duo Nova is one of the brand’s best sellers – and we can see why. It acts as seven appliances in one. You can use it as a pressure cooker or steamer, and you can also sauté food. Plus, it acts as a second oven thanks to its ’warm food’ feature. It’s available in four different quart sizes, which means there is a Duo Nova for every kitchen.
This kitchen gadget is the cheapest Instant Pot in our buying guide, as you can get an 8-quart Duo Nova for around $100. This makes it perfect for first-time cooks or those looking to invest in their first multi-cooker.
It was hard to find any negatives about this device as the Duo Nova ranks as the number 1 slow cooker to buy on Amazon. If you’re after an Instant Pot with air frying capabilities, though, the Instant Pot Duo Nova isn’t the one for you. While it offers great value for money, it doesn’t have as many cooking functions as some of the other models we’ve included.
The best Instant Pot for creative cooks
The Instant Pot Max is a standout addition to the brand’s range, with tweaks that make it more capable than models before. This includes the increased sustained pressure of 15psi, previously only found in stovetop pressure cookers, and amped-up safety measures, such as the automatic steam release.
Instant Pots are known for their speedy cooking, and the Instant Pot Max can cook up to 15% faster than previous models, making it a great choice if you’re looking to upgrade.
The Instant Pot Max is an extremely customizable multicooker, meaning you can set it to very exact temperatures and pressures. This is great if you’re an experienced home cook and no longer need to benefit from the presets built into other models.
However, the improvements of the Instant Pot Max come at a hefty price, and it can retail at over $200. If you’re just starting out on your Instant Pot journey, a more affordable model such as the Instant Pot Lux may be better for you.
The best Instant Pot for experienced cooks
The Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is the third release in the brand’s Duo line, and in terms of features – you could say it’s the best so far. This Instant Pot comes with a larger LED screen in comparison to the Duo Nova and three more one-touch buttons for easy cooking.
This includes being able to cook a stock pot, use the Duo Nova as a rice cooker, turn it into a yogurt maker, warm food, or use it as a steamer. You can also bake and use this machine to sous vide food, along with using it to slow cook, pressure cook, and sauté food.
The Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus also has 11 safety features, and it’s available in two different sizes - a 6-quart option and an 8-quart model. However, some users criticized this Instant Pot’s ability to cook rice, and others found it tricky to navigate.
The best upgraded Instant Pot
The Instant Pot Ultra lives up to its name with a wide range of modes and smart programs, including a feature that remembers the specific preferences set in your last use. Ten cooking options include a brand new cake-making function, as well as the usual pressure cooker, slow cooker, and steamer. It comes with a sterilizer mode, too, making it an even more practical addition to a family kitchen.
In terms of aesthetics, the Instant Pot Ultra has an extremely refined interface; its large LED screen replaces the multiple buttons of previous models. More than just looking great on a kitchen countertop, it also has improved technology to update the user on every possible change, from preheating to keeping cooked food warm. Those cooking at a higher altitude will also thank its ‘Altitude Adjustment’ feature, which automatically converts recipes according to the user’s elevation.
The Instant Pot Ultra is available in three sizes (three, six, and eight quarts), so for those regularly cooking for over eight people, this pot may not hold enough volume. Some reviewers found this Instant Pot’s manual to be lacking in clear instructions, and others expressed frustration with the ‘burn’ mode being triggered very easily.
The best Instant Pot for slow cooking
The Instant Pot Aura Pro gives you the most functionality in comparison to the other gadgets we have reviewed. It effectively works out as 11 kitchen gadgets in one machine. However, you do pay the price for it as it is one of the most expensive models in this lineup. But the price can be justified with how many features you get.
The Instant Pot Aura Pro is available in an eight-quart size, and it has a great deal of power thanks to its 1500 watts. According to Instant Pot, despite its modest size, it can actually fit a medium-sized chicken in it. It’s oval in shape, and it comes with a range of accessories to help you cook. This includes the likes of a measuring jug, a sous vide rack, a roasting rack, and a steam rack, which are all able to fold away, making for easy storage.
Despite being able to do many different functions, the Instant Pot can’t pressure cook food. Some users of the machine marked it down because of this. You also won’t be able to air fry with this model either.
The best Instant Pot for air frying
This Instant Pot is your guilt-free answer to all your fried food needs. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp enables you to fry a whole range of food (think French fries, chicken strips, onion rings, and more) with 95% less oil.
The clever contraption is from the brand’s best-selling Duo line. Essentially, it takes all the great things about the Duo range but has added the air fryer component on top. The air fryer is a kitchen device with two lids. One lid you use for when you want to slow cook or pressure cook foods. The other lid is only to be used when you want to air-fry food.
One thing to bear in mind with this Instant Pot is the fact it’s quite bulky when it comes to storing it, and you’ll need to find room for the two lids.
The best Instant Pot for customization
The Instant Pot Viva is a capable and affordable multicooker, complete with nine modes and easy-to-use controls. In addition to the classic stainless steel design, the Instant Pot Viva is available in five colors: black, blue, cinnamon, copper, and eggplant. That makes it the perfect pot for adding a pop of color to your kitchen or coordinating your Instant Pot with your countertop.
The Instant Pot Viva is extremely popular with users, with 97% of purchasers on BestBuy saying they would recommend it to a friend. This is likely due to its range of functions, including the new cake-making mode and simple interface, which makes it easy to operate. The Instant Pot Viva is also available in the 8-quart size, which is perfect for those with bigger households or who want to cater to family functions.
The Instant Pot Viva lacks the extensive features and customization options of later models, such as the Instant Pot Ultra. It also doesn’t have air frying capabilities and only has ten safety features, while later models have 12 or 13. However, overall, the Instant Pot Viva is an incredibly affordable and efficient appliance and would be a great addition to any kitchen.
The best basic Instant Pot
The Instant Pot Lux is the best option for getting to grips with the fundamentals of multi-cooking. Its six modes are plenty for a beginner, not to mention that it’s the most affordable Instant Pot available. A sturdy and reliable choice, the Instant Pot Lux has all the classic functions of the brand, like pressure cooking and slow cooking.
One advantage of the Instant Pot Lux is its range of sizing options. With the three-quart pot, the Instant Pot Lux Mini is ideally suited to smaller homes. Perfect for those who live on their own or who would prefer their Instant Pot to be portable, the Mini is an accessible option for many who wouldn’t be suited to a heftier model. The interface of the Instant Pot Lux has been designed with simplicity in mind, meaning a range of cooking presets for various foods are available at the touch of a button.
The Instant Pot Lux doesn’t deliver on the extravagance of later models, with a limited feature set. Some reviewers of the product were also disappointed with the provided recipe manual, as it did not size down for users of the three-quart model.
The best Instant Pot for smart homes
If you’re looking to make your cooking even smarter, look no further than the Instant Pot Smart WiFi. This clever device allows you to adjust, monitor, and take back control over your cooking via your phone or by using voice commands if you’ve got a smart speaker.
The Instant Pot Smart WiFi connects to the internet and is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. Once you have downloaded the app, it also gives you access to more than 1,000 Instant Pot recipes. This Instant Pot acts as eight kitchen gadgets in one, thanks to its ability to slow cook, pressure cook, make yogurt, cook rice, sauté, warm food, cook cake, and sous vide.
However, some users criticize the amount of control you actually have in this Instant Pot’s app. You’ll also pay a premium for the smart features but won’t be getting as many cooking functions as the other Instant Pots offer.
The best high-heat Instant Pot
The Instant Pot Pro Crisp is an impressive pot in terms of aesthetics and features, with 11 different cooking modes and a further 11 smart programs allowing you to cook your favorite meals at the touch of a button. However, for its hefty $215 price tag, the Pro Crisp is not distinctive enough from the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, the model that preceded it.
The Instant Pot Pro Crisp has certain tweaks that may interest those looking to upgrade their Instant Pot or those interested in their technical abilities. It has the widest temperature range of any of the Instant Pot models and can cook foods at up to 450°F, which is ideal for the pot’s air frying function. It also has a new inner pot design, with fill markings and a flat bottom, for more even cooking.
If you’re taken by the new look of the Instant Pot Pro Crisp or want to capitalize on its new features, then an investment in this model is advisable, as it is a very versatile multi-cooker. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative with almost all of the same features, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp will not disappoint.
Instant Pot FAQs
Are Instant Pots pressure cookers?
Most Instant Pots primarily act as pressure cookers, with a tight seal around the lid that helps to create a large amount of heat and pressure within the pot.
Instant Pots usually have a few extra features compared to a conventional pressure cooker. The extra features vary across models, with some offering sauteing capabilities while others can be used as yogurt makers.
This is the general rule for most Instant Pot models, but there is the odd outlier across this multi-cooker range. For example, the Aura Pro model doesn’t function as a pressure cooker but instead essentially works as a slow cooker with some additional features.
How do Instant Pots work?
As previously mentioned, most Instant Pots feature a tight seal that closes over a container. As this sealed container is heated, steam is trapped inside, which causes pressure to increase.
The increased pressure pushes up the temperature past boiling point - you will be achieving a temperature within this sealed space that can't be achieved in a normal cooking atmosphere. It’s this increased temperature that speeds up the cooking process. And handily, as the steam is trapped within the sealed space, the food doesn’t dry out.
Are Instant Pots dishwasher safe?
Almost every part of an Instant Pot is dishwasher safe. This includes the stainless steel cooking pot, the lid, the steam rack, and the sealing ring.
The steam rack and inner pot are made of food-grade stainless steel, which means they are sturdy and won't rust or tarnish in the dishwasher. These are best placed on the top rack for cleaning.
The only part of an Instant Pot which isn’t dishwasher safe is the cooker base. This is the part that plugs into your socket and is essential to heating up your cooker, so it mustn’t get wet. To clean the cooker base, you can use a damp cloth.
Can you make Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs?
You absolutely can because an Instant Pot really is the small kitchen appliance that keeps on giving! Using an Instant Pot, eggs can be perfectly boiled and easy to peel in under 15 minutes thanks to their high-pressure cooking capability.
To make them, you’ll need your Instant Pot, the metal trivet that the kitchen appliance comes with, and a pair of tongs to remove your eggs once they are perfectly hard-boiled.
Pour one cup of water into the Instant Pot, place your eggs on the trivet, and cook for two to 10 minutes, depending on how well-cooked you would like your eggs.