Instant Pot now makes a ton of different electric pressure cookers, but we still believe that the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart—one of the earliest models—is the best choice for the price. It’s super simple to use and performs all the core functions, like pressure-cook, sauté, and steam, as well as or better than models from other brands. While you miss out on some of Instant Pot’s newer, more advanced features, such as a big LCD screen or a lid that seals automatically, the Duo is typically the most affordable model that has all the settings we think most home cooks will need. We also know that the Duo is a reliable, straightforward machine that will crank out meals for many years. Like all Instant Pot models, it comes with a stainless steel pot, which is more durable than the nonstick inserts offered by most other brands.
This Instant Pot model cooks the same as our top pick but has upgraded features like a huge LCD, a redesigned inner cooking pot with stay-cool handles, and an automatically sealing lid.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $120.
The Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus, one of Instant Pot’s newest models, comes with a number of small but impressive upgrades that make it more enjoyable to use, a few of which are exclusive to this model. It’s the only model with handles on the inner pot, a convenience that not only allows you to lift the pot out easily but also keeps the pot from whirling around inside the cooker as you sauté and stir. It also has a bright LCD screen—the biggest of any Instant Pot we’ve seen—that’s intuitive to use; and it includes a sous vide function, which the Duo lacks. In addition to sealing automatically when you close it, the lid has a redesigned vent/seal switch that eliminates any uncertainty as to whether the pot is sealed or not (which can be an issue with our top pick, where you have to twist the valve itself to vent or seal the machine). Another perk of the Duo Evo Plus is an extra sealing ring for the lid. And the QuickCool tray, which can be purchased separately and works exclusively with the Duo Evo Plus, cuts down the cooling—and therefore depressurization—time.
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