What Size is Best? 6-Quart vs. 8-Quart Instant Pot

Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Anne-Marie

Buying an Instant Pot? There are two popular sizes to consider: the 6-quart vs. 8-quart Instant Pot.

In this article, we'll explore the differences so you can decide which one is best for you.

Open Instant Pot with pieces of cooked pulled pork.

Benefits of the 6-quart Instant Pot

The 6-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 is a common size choice for those who are new to using an Instant Pot.

It's the perfect size for couples' or family-size cooking. Plus, it can easily handle a majority of recipes that call for up to six servings.

This model is a versatile size that can be used for various food preparation tasks such as making yogurt.

You can also use it for cooking delicious chicken recipes (like Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs with Honey Garlic Sauce), one-pot meals, soups, stews (like Easy Instant Pot Potato Soup), and even desserts.

The 6-quart model also takes up less counter space than its larger counterpart, making it ideal for small kitchens.

In our experience, bringing a 6-quart electric pressure cooker to full internal pressure during the cooking process takes less time than with a larger model. Pressure release time is also shorter.

A wooden spoon with two meatballs in tomato sauce over an open Instant Pot of meatballs in sauce.

Benefits of the 8-quart Instant Pot

The 8-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 is ideal for cooking for larger families and people who like to cook larger quantities of food to make leftovers. It can easily handle most recipes that call for up to eight servings.

One of the key benefits of the 8-quart model is that it allows you to cook larger portions of food. This is especially useful for people who like to meal prep, make freezer meals, or cook in bulk.

With an 8-quart Instant Pot, you can quickly cook enough food to feed a large family or to have leftovers for the week. This can save time and effort in the kitchen, as you can cook all your batches of food for the week in one go.

Another benefit of the 8-quart Instant Pot is that it allows you to cook larger cuts of meat. Pressure cookers are terrific at cooking tough cuts of meat, such as beef chuck or pork shoulder. Plus, the 8-quart size gives you plenty of room to cook larger food items.

This can save time and effort, as the pressure cooking function of the Instant Pot cooks meat much faster than traditional cooking methods.

If you frequently host parties, the 8-quart Instant Pot allows you to cook large amounts of food to feed a big group easily. This can be especially useful for dishes with a big liquid requirement, such as soups and stews. The 8-quart Instant Pot is also a good choice for people who like to cook for a crowd.

Despite its benefits, the larger size Instant Pot takes up more kitchen cabinet space than its smaller counterpart, making it better for someone with extra space in the kitchen or pantry. It also takes more time to bring to internal pressure than the 6-quart pot. Pressure release time is also longer.

A 6-quart Instant Pot Pressure Coooker on a light blue dish towel.

Price comparison

Regarding price, the 6-quart size and 8-quart Instant Pots are both relatively affordable, with the 6-quart model typically costing around $130 and the larger size usually running for about $140.

Features comparison

The 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pots offer various features that make them great options for those looking to cook delicious meals quickly and easily.

The 8-quart Instant Pot offers the same features as the 6-quart size model. The only difference is capacity and that you can cook for up to 8 people instead of 6.

  • Quick one-touch cooking: 15 customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking your favorite recipes.
  • 9-in-1 model functionality: pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer, and food warmer.
  • Stress-free venting: the improved quick-release pressure valve makes releasing steam easier than ever and automatically resets when the lid is closed.
  • Realtime feedback: the easy-to-read display screens include a full cooking progress bar that lets you know what stage of the cooking program you've reached.
  • Versatile inner cooking pot: food-grade stainless-steel cooking pot with a tri-ply bottom offers more even cooking. The non-stick pot makes for easy cleanup.
  • Cook fast or slow: pressure cooks delicious one-pot meals up to 70% more quickly than traditional cooking methods or slow cook your favorite recipes.
  • Easy cleanup: finger-print resistant, stainless-steel sides, dishwasher-safe lid, inner pot, and easy-to-replace and clean accessories.
  • Safety features: over 10 safety features, including overheat protection and a safe-locking cover.

Making Instant Pot hard boiled eggs with brown eggs using a pressure cooker egg rack.


Looking for some cool kitchen gear for your new pressure cooker?

Glass lids - Many like buying a $14 glass lid for serving, slow cooking, and sautéing.

Steamer basket - We like this Instant Pot Official Silicone Steamer Basket compatible with 6-Quart and 8-Quart Cookers. Super easy to clean and doesn't rust.

Hard-boiled eggs rack - Make hard-boiled eggs with this nifty stackable egg steamer rack.

Using your Instant Pot as a cake maker? Then get an official Instant Pot Official Round Cake Pan (8-inch cake pan).

You can buy an air fryer basket replacement model if you need a new one.

Sealing rings - It's easy to replace the Instant Pot sealing rings if they get torn.

Which size is right for you?

When choosing the ideal size Instant Pot for your needs, you must consider how many people you'll be cooking for and your kitchen space.

Suppose you're cooking for four people or fewer. In that case, the 6-quart Instant Pot is an excellent choice for someone with limited kitchen space. It offers all of the features necessary for basic cooking.

On the other hand, if you're cooking for four people or more, the 8-quart Instant Pot is an excellent choice as it offers more features and a larger capacity. Additionally, the 8-quart model takes up more counter space, making it ideal for people with more kitchen counter space.

Ultimately, both models are relatively affordable and offer a variety of features that make them great options for those looking to cook delicious meals quickly and easily.

Other pressure cooker models

This article looked at the two basic models. Still, there are so many other Instant Pots out there with fabulous features and additional functionality such as:

Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker Combo - Looking for an air fryer? We can't wait to try our Easy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges Recipe in this one! These fancier models feature those twisty air-fryer lids!

This is among the strong candidates for extra versatility since it roasts, bakes, dehydrates, pressure cooks, slow cooks, and steams. It also acts as a rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer, and food warmer.

You only pay a little more for a few very cool additional functions. Comes in both 6-quart and 8-quart sizes.

Go smaller with the mini 3-quart size! If you're looking for something smaller, the 3-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 sells for around $100. These usable size 3-quart Instant Pots are perfect for smaller apartments, couples, and making breakfast oatmeal, rice, and desserts.

Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 - this Instant Pot offers 10-in-1 functionality, including sous vide and cake baker. It's the only multi-cooker with an inner pot with silicone handles that you can take from your Insta Pot to your stovetop. The 6-quart is similarly priced to the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. If you're looking for different color options, this one is matte black.

Star Wars Fans can choose from these models:

All are in the $80-$100 range. Lots of color choices and styles here!

More Instant Pot tips

Instant Pot Not Heating or Working? - This guide will help you figure out why your pressure cooker isn't heating.

When Is It Safe to Open My Instant Pot? - Tips on how to safely do a quick pressure release, natural pressure release, and water test.

What is Natural Release vs. Quick Release on an Instant Pot? - Learn how to do a natural pressure release vs. a quick pressure release.

What size and model Instant Pot are you going to buy?

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