You've probably heard of the Instant Pot by now. It's been a phenomenon in recent years, as it's one of the most well-known brands of multi-use pressure cookers out there. No, these aren't those scary old pressure cookers that your grandparents used way back in the day. Instant Pots are much safer, and they're synonymous with "pressure cooker" these days, just like Crock Pot is what people think of when it comes to slow cookers.

The gold standard

Instant Pot DUO 6-Quart

The most popular Instant Pot

Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart replaces seven kitchen appliances and can cook almost anything with high or low pressure. The 6-quart size will feed up to four comfortably.

The latest and greatest

Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart

More features than DUO

The Duo Nova is a slightly upgraded version of the Duo. It has the same features as the standard DUO, but it comes with the new EasySeal lid that automatically seals, a progress indicator, and a safer pressure release button.

Smart cooking

Instant Pot Smart WiFi 6-Quart

Cook from anywhere in the house

Instant Pot Smart WiFi connects to your wireless network so you can control it from your smartphone on the same network. You can also create custom cooking scripts to get the perfect meal, all with your phone.

There are many different models of Instant Pot out there (we have a guide to help you pick the right one out for you), but one thing is for certain: an Instant Pot will definitely make your life in the kitchen much easier.

No matter which Instant Pot you have (though we think the Duo Nova is best, and it's on sale!), you're getting one kitchen appliance that can replace several different tools in your kitchen, and you can cook almost anything with it. With an Instant Pot, you're getting the basics of a multi-cooker: pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker (except the LUX models, but there are workarounds), and warmer. Some models will have extra features, such as Sterilizer (Ultra), Pressure Canning (Max), Sous Vide (Duo SV or Max models), and Ultra mode (Ultra). But they will all do the same basic thing that you want an Instant Pot for: pressure cook.

Save big on these VPN services ahead of Black Friday

With pressure cooking, it's an improvement over other cooking methods, such as slow cooking, because you can get the same results in much less time. For example, a pot roast can take several hours in a slow cooker, but you can get a fall-apart tender roast in just an hour and a half with an Instant Pot. This also applies to other delicious foods, like chili, beans, homemade stocks, whole chicken, and more. You can even utilize Pot-in-Pot (PIP) cooking methods to create one-pot meals, or just dump in a few ingredients together (with thin liquid like water or broth) to get a tasty meal in minutes.

There are a ton of Instant Pot recipes out there (but remember, you always need at least one cup of thin liquid like water or broth for it to steam up and create pressure), and it's actually not too hard to convert traditional slow cooker recipes to work with pressure cooking.

I've been using Instant Pot for the past two years, and it's one of my go-to methods for cooking up a delicious dinner for my husband and myself. You can cook up pretty much anything, but remember to leave the steaks out of there unless you do the sous vide method.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.