When cooking with electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, size matters! The most popular Instant Pot sizes are the 6-quart and 8-quart.
If you're in the market for a new Instant Pot or deciding between these two sizes, you've come to the right place.
In this article, I'll break down the differences between a 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot and help you determine the best option to bring the cooking experience you will enjoy.
First, let's establish what the size actually means. The 6-quart and 8-quart refers to the total volume the stainless steel inner pot can hold.
This includes both liquid and solid ingredients. To give you a better idea, a standard slow cooker is typically around 6 quarts, while a large saucepan is around 4 quarts.
If you are here, you are either contemplating between different models or deciding if you need a larger instant pot instead of a rice cooker.
So, without further ado, let's dive into the comparison.
The most noticeable difference between a 6-quart model and an 8-qt Instant Pot is their cooking capacity.
As mentioned earlier, the 2-quarts may not seem like a significant difference, but it can make all the difference when cooking larger meals or meal-prepping for the week.
If you have a small family or cook in small amounts for 2-4 people, the 6-quart Instant Pot will likely be sufficient.
However, if you cook for a large family or a group quite often or enjoy meal prepping, the 8-quart is a great choice.
The size difference between the 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot is not just in their cooking capacity but also in their physical dimensions.
The 8-quart model is larger and taller than the 6-quart, occupying more storage space on your kitchen countertop.
If you have a small kitchen or limited counter space, the 6-quart may be a more practical choice.
However, if you have ample space and frequently cook larger batches of food, the 8-quart may be worth the extra space it takes up.
Another factor to consider when choosing between a 6-quart and an 8-quart Instant Pot pressure cooker is the price.
The 6-quart is generally 10-12% less expensive than the 8-quart.
This is also the model that has been tried and tested by many users. If you are on a budget or unsure if you'll use an Instant Pot frequently, the 6-quart may be a better option.
However, if you are a seasoned cook and know that you'll be using the Instant Pot often, investing in the larger 8-quart size may be worth it in the long run.
Both the 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot have the same number of cooking programs, safety features, settings, and accessories. This means they can cook various dishes, from soups and stews to desserts and yogurt.
The only difference in cooking versatility between the two sizes is their cooking capacity.
The 8-quart can fit more ingredients, making it easier to cook larger meals or multiple dishes at once.
However, with some creativity and planning, you can still achieve the same range of dishes with the 6-quart.
Popular Instant Pot Models
If you're still undecided between the 6-quart and 8-quart, you may want to consider which models are available in each size.
Some models, such as the Instant Pot Duo and Lux, come in both sizes.
However, other models like the Ultra and Max only come in an 8-quart size.
It's essential to know which features and functions are most important to you and which models offer them in your desired size.
It may also be worth considering if you plan on expanding your Instant Pot collection.
Which is better?
In my experience, I will say go for 6 quarts if you have a small family; the 8-quart is worth its price for large families and meal preppers.
However, the best size depends on your cooking needs, kitchen space, and budget.
Consider all these factors before making your decision. One last tip - no matter which size you choose, read the manual carefully and experiment with different recipes to get the most out of your Instant Pot.
Perhaps, you may love it so much that you'll upgrade to a bigger size!
Why Do I Love My 6 Quart Instant Pot?
The 6-quart size is perfect for my family of four, and I can still cook larger portions if needed. It fits nicely on my counter without taking up too much space, and the price was affordable yet worth every penny.
I love its wide range of cooking programs, from sautéing and pressure cooking to slow cooking. It has made meal prep and weeknight dinners much easier, healthier, and more delicious.
Then after four years, I bought another 6-quart Duo Plus. As a food blogger, it helps me test multiple recipes at once. I also love the convenience of having two Instant Pots in different sizes.
In my experience, the 6-quart is a versatile and practical size for most families. It's easy to use and clean, perfect for everyday cooking.
And I love to use all the cooking modes, from slow cooker to yogurt maker. I even use it to cook rice and make homemade broth and stock. It's genuinely a kitchen essential for me.
Instant Pot Recipes
Is There Any Difference In Cooking Time?
The cook time for the 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot is the same, as they have the same power and settings.
However, it's essential to note that cooking times can vary depending on the amount and type of food being cooked.
For example, thicker cuts of meat may require a longer cooking time. It's also worth mentioning that while the cooking time may be the same, it may take longer for an 8-quart Instant Pot to come to pressure due to its larger size.
However, this difference is typically minimal and should not significantly impact your overall cooking time.
Different Types Of Instant Pot Models
- Instant Pot Duo: This is the most popular and basic model, available in both 6-quart and 8-quart sizes. It has seven cooking functions and comes at an affordable price.
- Instant Pot Ultra: This high-end model only comes in an 8-quart size and has ten cooking functions, including a customizable temperature setting for precise cooking.
- Instant Pot Pro: Available in 6-quart and 8-quart sizes, this model has ten cooking functions and a larger LCD screen for easier monitoring.
- Instant Pot Max: The newest model of the Instant Pot family, this 8-quart-only model has thirteen cooking functions and includes a sous vide setting for precise temperature control.
- Instant Pot Duo Crisp: With the included removable air fryer lid, you can seamlessly transition from pressure cooking and slow cooking to air frying. You can prepare even more of your favorite dishes with the press of a button, thanks to the 15 built-in smart programs.
Just subscribe to my newsletter for more delicious vegan recipes such as this sent directly to your inbox.
In conclusion, choosing between a 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot depends on personal preference and cooking needs.
The 6-quart is a versatile and practical size for most families, while the 8-quart is better suited for larger families or those frequently cooking bigger batches of food.
Consider your kitchen space, budget, and desired features when deciding between the two sizes.
No matter which size you choose, with some experimentation and creativity, the Instant Pot can make cooking more convenient and enjoyable. Happy cooking!