The best Instant Pot of 2020
Instant Pots might not be as trendy as they once were, but these multi-cookers are still solid kitchen appliances that can save you time and effort.
Whether you want to pressure cook, slow cook, steam, or saute, an Instant Pot has you covered. Some models can even make yogurt and bake cake.
You'll often find new and improved Instant Pot models on the market, along with trusted favorites, so we've done our research to bring you the best Instant Pots of 2020.
Best Instant Pots of 2020
This short list highlights our top three Instant Pots. Jump to the end of this article to find more information on each.
1. Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer Combo
Combining two kitchen appliances -- pressure cooker and air fryer -- puts this model in our top spot for the first time.
2. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
Despite its low price, this Instant Pot, which is a new entry to our list, does a lot, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, and sauteing.
On top of everything you'd expect from an Instant Pot, this model, which is a longtime favorite of ours, can sterilize jars, make cake, and cook eggs, and it has an advanced digital display with simple dial operation.
What you need to know before buying an Instant Pot
Before choosing an Instant Pot, you should familiarize yourself with the currently available models. These change over time, but the Instant Pot Duo is a long-standing favorite, covering all the basic features. You'll also find other variations on the Duo, such as the Duo Crisp, which has a built-in air fryer function.
Whichever model you ultimately choose should have all the functions you want from your Instant Pot. So, for instance, if you want to bake cakes in your Instant Pot, you should choose the Ultra over the Duo, since the latter can't make cakes.
Different models have different controls and display screens, so check what you'll be getting if this is important to you. Some models have basic displays, whereas others have large screens that display a wide range of cooking information.
You should also take into account the capacity of any Instant Pot you're considering. The internal capacity of the cooking pot can range from three to eight quarts. Some models let you choose between three-, six-, and eight-quart options, whereas others are only available in one size. A compact three-quart model is great for one- or two-person meals, but you'll need a larger six- or eight-quart model if cooking for the whole family.
Basic Instant Pot models with a relatively small capacity start at around $60, but high-end models with all the bells and whistles can cost over $200.
Q. Is an Instant Pot the same as a pressure cooker?
A. An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker, but it's also much more. The exact functions an Instant Pot performs depends on the model, but in addition to pressure cooking, these appliances can also slow cook, saute, steam, cook rice, and make yogurt. Some high-end models have other functions, such as air frying and baking cakes, which you may or may not find useful.
Q. Can I leave my Instant Pot unattended while it's cooking food?
A. Yes, the great thing about Instant Pots is that you can leave them unattended while your food cooks, so you can put your feet up and wait for dinner or get on with other activities. If you follow a reliable recipe, your food won't burn or become overcooked, but if anything does go awry, there are built-in safety features.
In-depth recommendations for best Instant Pots
Best of the best: Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer Combo
What we like: Not only does this model have a large eight-quart capacity, it can air fry, bake, and roast. It's easy to use and has an array of safety features to give you peace of mind.
What we dislike: Doesn't air fry quite as effectively as dedicated air fryers do.
Best bang for your buck: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
What we like: A popular, affordable model that's available in three-, six-, and eight-quart sizes. Cooks rice perfectly. Suitable for yogurt-making. Simple to use.
What we dislike: A handful of reports of defective models, though you will receive a refund or replacement if there's anything wrong.
Choice 3: Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1
What we like: You get extra functions with this model, plus a clear LCD screen that displays a range of handy data. Various accessories included, such as steam rack and serving spoon.
What we dislike: The instruction manual leaves something to be desired.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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