3 Quart – You’re ready to buy an Instant Pot, but the sheer number of models and sizes can make it difficult to decide which one to buy. Find out which Instant Pot size is right for you.
When Instant Brands first came out with the Instant Pot multicooker, there were few models, so you didn’t have many options. Over the years since their initial introduction, they have introduced many new models and sizes and discontinued some.
You’re probably here because you’ve decided you want a new Instant Pot and you’re having trouble deciding on a size. There are so many Instant Pot models and sizes that it’s completely understandable why you might get confused.
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In this article, I will walk you through all the Instant Pot sizes and the differences between them. To help you decide which model to buy, please read my guide on which Instant Pot to buy.
The Instant Pot is a multipurpose pot from Instant Brands. A multicooker is an appliance that has many functions, including a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, etc.
Features offered by each model may vary. Some models have additional features such as air oven and/or sous vide. All these features are also known as smart programs.
Although the Instant Pot multicooker has many different functions, the most commonly used is the pressure cooking function. Pressure cooking allows food to be prepared in a fraction of the time it would take in a pan or oven.
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If you’re new to the Instant Pot and don’t know how to use it, here are my instructions for using some popular Instant Pot models:
The Instant Pot comes in four different sizes: 3 qt is the smallest Instant Pot size. The 6 qt is the most popular size, the 8 qt is the next size, and finally the 10 qt is the largest Instant Pot size.
Available sizes vary by model. For example, some models are 10 liters and some models are only 6 liters.
Some sizes (especially 3-quart and 10-quart) do not have all the features that other sizes have. For example, it is impossible to open the lid on a 10 liter bottle. The 3-quart has fewer smart programs or features than the larger sizes.
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Instant Brands is constantly introducing new Instant Pot models and discontinuing other models. I will try to keep the information up to date, but the information below is subject to change.
The dimensions and specifications listed in the Instant Pot size chart below are provided by Instant Brands. Get details on Instant Pot dimensions, including internal pot dimensions, space required to store the Instant Pot, and accessories that fit each Instant Pot.
Below you will find the pros and cons of each size and what each size is good for.
Most recipes are written with 6 liters in mind. The 3-quart may require some recipe changes, including the amount of liquid and pressure cooking time. Minimum liquid requirement: 1 glass
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I have a lot of 6 liters and love the size. For my family of five, this size is big enough to make a full meal with some leftovers. This is the size I recommend for most people if they have the space to store it. I keep mine on my desk. Minimum liquid required: 1 1/2 cups
I have an 8 quart and I find it most useful when I want to double or triple a recipe. It also comes in handy for guests or when cooking during the holidays. It easily holds larger foods like a whole chicken or roast. If you’re debating between a 6-8 liter capacity and you’re cooking for 5 or more, you might want to go with the 8-litre capacity. Minimum amount of liquid: 2 cups
Most Instant Pot recipes are written with 6 quarts in mind, so you’ll need to adapt recipes for 10 quarts because it requires more liquid. Getting this size for everyday use can be overwhelming for a smaller family. Minimum Liquid Amount: 2 1/2 cups Deciding whether to buy a 3-quart or 6-quart pressure cooker can be difficult, especially if you have a small family or cook yourself.
A few years ago, I originally purchased the 6-quart Instant Pot DUO60 to supplement my regular stovetop pressure cooker.
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The Instant Pot was very impressive in everything it could do – if you’re not familiar, you can read my Instant Pot review here.
I loved it so much that I actually bought another 6-quart Instant Pot (which my son now uses) and when the 3-quart Instant Pot came out I bought that too.
As an owner of both sizes, I can give some food for thought (yes, bad pun 😉 ).
Before you buy an Instant Pot, there are a few things you need to think about when it comes to size.
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There are many things to consider, from how much space you have in your kitchen to how many people you need to feed.
Most people would tell you that the first factor to consider is whether a 3-quart Instant Pot is large enough for your needs.
While you definitely want to cook for the whole family, I think the first thing you should consider is storage space in or around the kitchen.
If your Instant Pot is constantly getting in your way, or if you always have to move it around, you may be frustrated.
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If your kitchen is tight on space, I would measure where you plan to store your Instant Pot and compare it to the dimensions of the Instant Pot itself.
The last thing you want to do is store it in the basement or somewhere far from where you cook because you don’t want to use it less.
Some people just keep their instant bank on the counter. But if your desk space is also limited, it might not make sense for you.
According to the Instant Pot website, the 6-quart Instant Pot Duo measures 13.4″L x 12.2″W x 12.5″H and makes up to 6 servings (although I think the serving size depends on the recipes you make).
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On the same Instant Pot website, the 3-quart Instant Pot measures 11.4″ L x 10″ W x 11.2″ H and says you can cook up to 3 people (again, I think this number varies).
If you have four or more people in your family, I’d say the six-quart Instant Pot is a safer bet because you want to cook enough food for the whole family.
I have 6 people in my family and I got my 6 liter pressure cooker when they were all living at home. I found it to be very suitable for our needs. There is a larger 8-quart Instant Pot, but I’ve never felt the need to get one that big.
So you might think that if you had a smaller family, say 1-3 people, a 3-quart Instant Pot would be the right size for you.
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But it’s NOT necessary – even if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, you might want to consider using a 6-quart pressure cooker.
While the 3-liter pressure cooker is the perfect size for cooking for one person or a small group, it limits the flexibility needed to prepare larger or more complex recipes.
It can also be more difficult to find Instant Pot accessories that fit the smaller 3-quart model.
You can always cook less food in a 6 liter pressure cooker, but you cannot cook more food in a 3 liter pressure cooker.
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For example, let’s say you wanted to make a big batch of soup so you could eat it right away, drink the leftovers tomorrow, and freeze the rest.
Or let’s say you want to cook several dishes at once in the Instant Pot using a method called the pot-in-pot method.
If I could choose between a 3-quart or a 6-quart Instant Pot, I would personally go for the 6-quart Instant Pot, assuming I have enough kitchen space to store it.
The flexibility of making larger quantities and the availability of a wide variety of accessories are very important to me.
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I have both sizes and use them in tandem all the time. For example, we like to serve this quick lentil soup recipe with white rice.
So, I cook soup in a 6qt pressure cooker and rice in a 3qt pressure cooker at the same time.
When choosing which size to buy, remember that this is a very personal decision and
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