What Sizes of Instant Pot do I Need?

What Sizes of Instant Pot do I Need

Photo: Instant Pot

Instant pots are one of those things that every home needs to have. Besides cooking a wide variety of dishes much faster than traditional methods, these pots are also versatile as you can use them for various other things such as making yogurt. But, it is not always easy to choose the right one for your cooking with the different sizes out there.

However, if you plan to treat yourself with a new instant pot and can only get one size, you have to consider things like how many people you will be cooking for and what you want to cook. Here we highlight a few key points to keep in mind to ensure you pick the correct size.

What are All of the Sizes that Instant Pot Offers? 

Different brands make their instant pots in varying sizes as they try to cater to a wide variety of consumers. However, the most common sizes in the market are the 3, 6, 8, and 10-quart.

The 3-quart instant pot is the smallest size (under 12 inches wide), and it is often referred to as the mini model. This pot size is best for making side dishes or cooking for one or a couple of people at most.

6 and 8-quart models are the most popular size as they have enough capacity to cook for a typical family. The 6-quart pots are about 13 inches across, while the width for the 8-quart model is around 14 inches.

10-quart models are the widest at 17 inches, and their massive capacity makes them the ideal option when cooking for large groups or making food for gatherings like parties.

What Sizes of Instant Pot do I Need? 

Instant Pot

Photo: Shutterstock

Ultimately the instant pot size that works best for you depends on your specific needs. However, keeping in mind the following points as you shop ensures you make a more informed decision.

How Big is Your Family?

As you choose an instant pot, the first thing you need to consider is your family’s size or the actual number of people you intend to be cooking for regularly. The 6-quart models are the most popular sizes as they are large enough to cook for a typical family of 3 to 6 people.

For those that host parties a lot, or other social gatherings, the 8-quart or 10-quart sizes are the most ideal. Depending on the specific food type you are cooking, these larger pots can cook for 10 or even more people.

However, for smaller households with just one person or two where the instant pot only has to cook small batches of food occasionally, the smaller 3-quart models can still be enough.

Note: Even if you do not have a big family, the larger the instant pot, the better as chances are at some point you will have to cook more food than usual when you have guests. These large pots will also still work well when you want to cook for one or two people.

What do You Want to Cook?

The kinds of foods you want to cook also matter when deciding the ideal instant pit size for you. Smaller instant pot sizes such as the 3-quart are often limited when it comes to the kinds of food you can cook, as most are also often budget models with limited functionalities.

Also, there is just not enough space for cooking some food types with these small-size instant pots. For example, when you want to cook some ears of corn or bake whole potatoes, the small ones might not have adequate space to accommodate enough of them for your meal.

With the larger 6-quart to even 8-quart models, cooking large batches of food should not be a problem as the interior has more than enough space. With these larger models, there is often space for a steamer, making them the best choice for those that steam food a lot.


If you can afford it, having two or even more instant pot sizes is an excellent idea as they come in handy for different situations and kinds of cooking.

However, if you have to buy just one, the 3-quart instant pot will be ideal for those who cook for one or two people and make side dishes a lot. 6-quart models are perfect for standard family sizes of up to 6 people and large batches of food such as baking potatoes.

For those that host parties a lot or prefer to make massive food batches over the weekend to last them the entire week, the larger 8 and 10-quart instant pots are an ideal option.