This Overlooked Instant Pot Deserves a Second Look

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I am one of the very few people in the world who wasn’t a huge fan of the Instant Pot at first. I actually sold mine and wrote a post all about it. I received a lot of backlash in the post’s comments and even got some hate mail sent directly to me. I did expect it, though. I know that most people love their Instant Pots — I just didn’t. (I explain why I didn’t like it in that other post.) However, I’m writing this now to let you know that I’VE BEEN WON OVER!

By the cute, little 3-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus, which people rarely seem to talk about. For the most part, people focus on the 6-quart Instant Pot (in any model). This very site suggests that the 6-quart is the best size for most home cooks.

Me? I’m now totally obsessed with the smaller version. Here’s why.

1. The food tastes better in it!

I kept hearing that food seems to taste better in the 3-quart models than the larger ones, and that’s what really got me curious. And I have to agree that it’s true! Also, I swear it does a better job of cooking grains and rice because it comes to pressure faster.

2. It’s obviously smaller.

Now, let’s talk about the obvious: the size. The 3-quart Instant Pot is half the size of the more popular 6-quart option. I cook mostly for just myself and don’t like batch-cooking, so the volume is really perfect. It also takes up less space on my counter or in my cabinets. And it’s lighter, so it’s easier to pull out once I’ve put it away, which means I’m more likely to actually use it. Instead of making something on the stove or in the microwave (think: oatmeal, rice, steamed veggies, soup, etc.), I’m now more likely to reach for the Instant Pot. And I strongly believe that the more you use an appliance, the more it’s worth the money you spent on it.

3. It’s still got all the functionality of the bigger versions.

People assume the smaller Instant Pot does a lot less than the larger ones. Bigger has to be better, right? Nope! The 3-quart Duo Plus is just missing two presets — the Cake and Multigrain buttons — compared to the larger 6-quart Duo Plus. And I don’t even miss them.

4. It’s cheaper.

The 3-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus is at least $20 cheaper than the 6-quart option (depending on if you found a sale or not, which you usually can). After buying an Instant Pot and selling it, I wasn’t sure I was ready to shell out more money to give it another try. It felt like a fool me once, shame on you kind of situation. But I just kept reading about the IP’s greatness and it was getting harder and harder to ignore. So the cheaper option was definitely more appealing — no reason to spend more than I have to, I figured!

How do you decide if one of the 3-quart models is right for you? If you’re single, a dorm-dwelling college student, or you just prefer cooking smaller servings of dishes, the 3-quart model is definitely something I’d recommend. In fact, if the Instant Pot folks ever came out with a 2-quart option, I’d probably buy that one instead!

What do you think of the smaller, 3-quart Instant Pot? Discuss in the comments below.