One of the questions I see regularly in my Meal Planning group an on this blog is, “what size Instant Pot should I buy?” And I totally get it because I asked the same question not too long ago! There are so many Instant Pot size choices – it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
Here for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales?? This Instant Pot with Air Fryer option is deeply discounted today – this is probably the one I would get if I was shopping for an Instant Pot today. You can’t go wrong with an Instant Pot AND Air Fryer in one.
The Instant Pot comes in four different sizes – 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. Not all sizes are available for all models. The biggest debate I see is between the 6 and 8 quarts. so I’m going to focus on those…but I have a notes on the 3 quart option, too!
Based on our FB group and the main Instant Pot FB group (with over a million members!), I feel pretty confident that the most popular Instant Pot is the 6 qt Duo Plus (this is what I have!). Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of each size…hopefully, this will help you decide what size Instant Pot you should buy.
What Size Instant Pot Should I Buy?
Let’s talk about Instant Pot sizes!
Instant Pot 3 qt – If you’re cooking meals for one or maybe two, the 3 qt might be all that you need. With most of the features of the larger versions, this option has a smaller footprint and is perfect for small spaces, an RV, or travel.
This is also a handy second pot if you want a smaller one for cooking rice or soups or eggs while your larger pot is in use (or when you just need a smaller pot!).
If you are single or cooking for two but do a lot of meal prep or batch cooking, you’ll probably want to size up to to the 6qt. You can make bigger batches of food in the 6 quart, and if you have the space for the larger pot, I feel like you can’t go wrong with the 6 quart.
If you like cooking larger food items, like a full butternut squash or a chicken, opt for the larger pot.
Instant Pot 6 qt – This is what I have. I have a family of four, and it’s plenty big enough for my pretty basic cooking needs. I use it to meal prep (we makes lots of soups, hard-boiled eggs, and steel cut oats in this pot!). It’s also been great for dinners (this shredded chicken is an example of a full dinner that we made in the Instant Pot).
You can easily fit a whole chicken inside the 6 qt.
This would be my recommendation if you’re cooking for 3-4 people or doing meal prep. If you’re doing a lot of meal prep, check out the 8 qt.
Instant Pot 8 qt – This slightly bigger pot is perfect if you have a large family or do a lot of cooking. If you’re the person who spends Sunday making giant batches of food for the week, this might be your pot!
If you are cooking for more than four people, this is probably a safe bet.
The 8 qt has a larger footprint and will require more space. And do to it’s size, it will take longer to come to pressure than the 6 qt. The trade off, of course, is that you can cook more food inside it.
You can find accessories for both sizes, like this stackable egg steamer rack, for both sizes.
A lot of the decision is going to boil down to your most basic needs and personal preference, but I think we’re all just afraid to make the wrong choice! I wondered if I should go with the bigger option, but ultimately chose the 6 qt due to size and how I thought I’d use it. It’s been perfect for us.
Now that you’re up to speed on the sizes…it’s time to choose a model! Read about which model is best for you here.
Do you have an Instant Pot? Which size did you get, and what were the deciding factors?