How Much (Money & Electricity) Does It Cost To Run An Instant Pot

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Do you own an Instant Pot? Do you enjoy using it whenever you cook? An Instant Pot is truly a great tool to have in your kitchen. In addition, you can even enjoy a tasty lunch in a couple of minutes if you use the “set it and forget” method.

You may go to work, socialize with friends, and exercise while your Instant Pot takes care of the cooking.

Ultimately, using an electronic kitchen appliance would consume electricity. Continue reading to figure out how much money and electricity it will cost you to run an Instant Pot.

What Is An Instant Pot

An instant pot is a kitchen appliance that combines the functionality of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker, and steamer into one highly versatile and efficient machine. 

This nifty culinary wonder became popular in 2010 when it was first introduced to the market and can be found in the homes of 53 million people. It receives high praise for its ability to cook food faster than your stove or oven, using significantly less energy (thanks to its inner pot and heating element), meaning you’re saving time and money on electricity bills.

It is also a preferable convenience for owners who are constantly on the go and have limited time for cooking but don’t want to empty their wallets on ordering out or snagging fast food. 

The multi-functionality of instant pots allows people to create several components of a filling and healthy dish all in one machine with very minimal effort. You merely toss all of the ingredients inside, choose the appropriate setting, and wait for your instant pot to complete your dish. 

Instant Pot’s Size & Electricity

Instant pots come in a wide variety of sizes, so regardless of your cooking abilities or any space limitations you might have, there is always instant pot for you. 

You’ll want to make sure you choose the right size for your instant pot to ensure it perfectly suits your lifestyle and cooking needs. If you opt for one that is too small, you’ll be cooking several batches before the family can sit down and eat. 

However, if you’re a single person that doesn’t enjoy a week’s worth of leftovers, you won’t want to overkill with a large instant pot. Not only is it likely to make more than you need, but it will require more energy, and ultimately, money to do so. 

To help, here are the most common instant pot sizes, their capacities, and what lifestyle they suit best. We’ll also detail how much power each requires, so you know what these gadgets might cost you after every meal and how best to supply their electrical needs. 

Instant Pot SizeInternal CapacityAverage food outputPowerSuitable Lifestyle/Kitchen
Mini3 quartsSix cups700 wattsThe optimal choice for single users or small families of 2Great for kitchens with minimal counter space or storageIdeal for quick and healthy dishes requiring rice & steamed veggies. Highly transportable for RV or boat trips
Standard6 quartsTwelve cups850-1000 wattsThe optimal choice for families of 3-6Allows more cooking versatility as there is additional space for extra side dishesGreat for hosting small gatherings or potlucks Requires more counter and storage space
Large8 quartsEighteen cups1200+ wattsIdeal for large families or parties of 6+ people.Great for meal prepping and creating dishes with plenty of leftovers all in one batchWill require a significant amount of counter and storage spaceTypically has the most setting for different food types

What Affects Instant Pot Power Usage

The wattage of your instant pot is important because it entails how much energy it will use while cooking. This will affect the cost of using this appliance and where you plug it in for power. 

Most instant pots are powered by a 120-volt outlet, which is standard in most homes. However, some are powered by a 240-volt outlet for larger, more powerful pots with numerous settings and faster cook times. 

The main factor that affects your instant pot’s wattage is its size. So, if you want something that requires minimal power, you’ll want to opt for a mini pot over a larger 8-quart instant pot. 

If you’re curious whether instant pot settings affect their wattage as well, the answer is yes.

Instant pots come with a wide range of settings, including:

  • Manual/Pressure cook
  • Sauté
  • Keep Warm/Cancel
  • Meat/Stew
  • Bean/Chili
  • Poultry
  • Rice
  • Multigrain
  • Soup/Broth
  • Steam
  • Porridge

While not all instant pots come with the same settings, particularly those in smaller sizes, each set still requires its own amount of power to perform properly.

For instance, if you want to cook a dish on the “sauté” setting for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, it will use a lot more power than if you cooked that same dish on the “keep warm” setting for the same amount of time. 

Your temperature setting is also going to affect how much power your instant pot uses. The higher you set the temperature, the harder your instant pot has to work to maintain it, and the more power it is going to use. 

These are all things you should consider, in addition to the instant pot’s size, if you are trying to be conscious of how much power you use when cooking with these devices. However, be conscious that the listed wattage number is what is really important here, and the settings and heat ultimately have a minimal effect on overall power usage.  

Energy Suppliers & The Difference In Price

Anything you plug into your home outlets operates at a cost, and that cost can vary significantly depending on the object in question and where you live. 

Microwaves, refrigerators, and coffee makers are some of the most common kitchen appliances that can cost anywhere from $.20-$.30 per hour. Therefore, if these are popular gadgets in your home that you use daily, you could be paying $30+ a year using each appliance. So, how do instant pots compare?

In terms of electricity, the standard-sized instant pot uses about 850-1000 watts, which is equivalent to .85-1 kilowatt (kW). Your kilowatts per hour (kWh) are simply the product of your kilowatts and how many hours you use your instant pot at a time.

So, if it takes you one hour to cook a chicken and rice dish for your family in a 1000-watt instant pot, then it uses 1 kWh. 

Your kWh is important because this is typically how electricity usage is priced for the average home, and this price can vary greatly depending on where you live. 

On average, a residential customer in the United States pays 13.31 cents per kWh, but there is a vast amount of variability between each individual state. For example, the average home in Louisiana reaps the benefits of the lowest electricity rates in the country by the state at 9.53 cents per kWh versus Hawaii with the highest at 32.76¢ / kWh. 

So, as you can see, your state of residency can have a significant effect on the price you pay to cook with your beloved instant pot, regardless of its size, settings, and heat. 

How Much Does It Cost To Run An Instant Pot

It can be hard to visualize just how much your instant pot is really costing you and what percentage of your electrical bill you can attribute to this appliance. 

While your instant pot isn’t going to cost you anywhere near as much as a standard oven, it can certainly add some dollar signs depending on the frequency and length of use. 

Here is a chart of the most common instant pot sizes, cook times, and costs, so you have a general idea of what your personal instant pot is costing you to run. We’ll use the national average kWh cost and most common instant pot sizes for this comparison. 

TimeWattkWhCost
15 minutes700.18$0.02
30 minutes700.35$0.05
45 minutes700.53$0.07
1 hour700.70$0.09
15 minutes1000.25$0.03
30 minutes1000.50$0.07
45 minutes1000.75$0.10
1 hour 10001.0$0.13
15 minutes1200.30$0.04
30 minutes1200.60$0.08
45 minutes1200.90$0.12
1 hour12001.2$0.16

For the most part, instant pots are relatively low-cost appliances, and they are certainly more cost-efficient than using an oven. These appliances are typically around 3000 watts and would cost about $0.39 kWh to use, which is more than double the amount for a large 1200-watt instant pot. 

Therefore, if you’re looking for something that will give you the same results and convenience as an oven at a fraction of the electrical cost, the instant pot is for you. 

Tips For Saving Money with An Instant Pot 

It never hurts to want to save a little extra money on your electrical bill, even if you are opting for the budget-friendly instant pot over microwave or an oven. 

These appliances are one of the most energy-efficient in any kitchen alongside the slow cooker. However, if you’re an avid instant pot user who wants to further reduce the overall cost of food and running this appliance daily, here are some suggestions.  

Stick to the “Keep Warm” Setting

As we’ve mentioned previously, instant pots can have anywhere from six to sixteen settings, and each requires its own amount of energy to perform. While these appliances are exceptional at making quality food using minimal power, settings like “pressure cook” and “sauté” are likely to rack up your instant pot bill faster. 

To avoid this, try to pre-heat your instant pot and stick to the “keep warm” setting as much as possible. This setting will still allow you to make a wide range of main course and side dishes using the least amount of energy. 

The “poultry” and “steam” settings are great alternatives if you find the “keep warm” setting really doesn’t give you the desired results. 

Keep Cook Times Short

It stands to reason that the longer your instant pot is plugged in and functioning, the more power it’s using. Therefore, a great way to minimize instant pot power costs is to keep your cook times as short as possible. 

There are a few ways you can make this process easy. One, you could partially cook components that typically take the longest in the instant pot. Potatoes are a great example. You could partially boil these starchy vegetables before placing them into the instant pot to finish. 

You could also get certain foods to cook faster by placing them on “high pressure” settings, which includes almost everything except the “rice,” “slow cook,” settings. You can also choose the “pressure cook” or “pressure level” setting that comes on some instant pots, allowing you to switch from a high to a low-pressure cook.

Increasing the temperature of your instant pot can certainly help shorten the overall cook time, but it isn’t the best plan of action if you’re trying to reduce power usage, as your instant pot will have to compensate and use more electricity to maintain high temperatures.

Best to stick around the 300–350-degree Fahrenheit levels. 

Store Your Instant Pot in Plain Sight

This tip is more for reducing overall food costs rather than how much power your instant pot uses. A significant number of people will throw in the towel and order out because they simply don’t have the energy to assemble a quality dinner for themselves. There’s no shame in this; we’ve all been there. 

However, this expensive forfeit becomes much more difficult when you store your instant pot somewhere visible at all times. 

It’s hard to drop the money on ordering food when you see your instant pot sitting on your counter plain as day and know that five minutes of effort from you can result in a fulfilling meal from your instant pot. Plus, this meal would come at a fraction of the cost of eating out and would take about the same amount of time as food delivery, if not less. 

Keeping your instant pot in the open effectively reduces the temptation to order food, which can help you save an impressive sum. 

Break Out the Instant Pot on Exceedingly Hot Days

By now, it’s a well-known fact that your instant pot is going to save you a significant amount of money in power usage when compared to other common cooking appliances, like ovens, microwaves, and stovetops. However, it can also save you money on your heating and cooling bills. 

Those of us who have spent a day indoors when the temperature outside is 90+ degrees Fahrenheit know that the absolute last thing you want to do is turn the oven on to cook. This is hands down the fastest way to turn your potentially comfortable air-conditioned home into an unbearable hot box.

This is where the instant pot saves the day. As opposed to ovens and slow cookers, instant pots are cleverly designed to be insulated, which allows them to cook hefty meals quickly without sacrificing taste. 

The insulation on instant pots means that they will keep all of that heat inside rather than emitting it into the air. Therefore, your air conditioning won’t be working twice as hard when the instant pot is on the way it would for an oven.

This can be an absolute game-changer for your AC bills come summertime. 

Most Popular Instant Pots

The instant pot is a revolutionary invention that became popular almost instantly following its release. This super convenient and inexpensive appliance even broke Amazon records when people started realizing its true potential and benefits. 

On Amazon’s yearly Prime Day sale in July 2016, the instant pot was one of the top-selling products, and it remained there for the following two years with 215,000 purchases of the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cookers in 2017. This record was destroyed in a mere 36 hours in 2018, with 300,000 products sold.

Clearly, the instant pot is a hot commodity, and it can do wonders for your culinary explorations, yearly budget, and daily cooking tasks. 

If you’re convinced an instant pot is for you, here are the most popular instant pots thousands of users have purchased from Amazon. 

Instant Pot Size AvailabilityCostProsCons
Instant Pot Duo3 quarts6 quarts8 quarts$89.00Comes in various sizes to suit all
Has 14 built-in programsLow and high-pressure cook capabilities One-year warranty
Lacks sterilization and egg cooker settings
Has a reputation for quality control issues
Instant Pot Duo Nova3 quarts6 quarts8 quarts10 quarts$99.95Offered in a rare 10-quart option
Has 13 built-in programs
Faster cook time than competitors
Equipped with over 10 safety features
One of the priciest options in larger sizes
Instant Pot Duo Crisp8 quarts$199.95Comes with a rare air frying setting
Has 11 built-in programs
Made with dishwasher safe and durable stainless steel
Almost twice the cost of most instant potsOnly available in one size
Air fryer results are arguably questionable 
Instant Pot Smart Wifi6 quarts$174.98Comes with a rare cake setting
Has 13 built-in programs
Compatible with Alexa and Wifi so you can control and alter the pot hands-free
Only available in one size
Pricy and requires Alexa electronics

Final Thoughts

Overall, instant pots are a fantastic kitchen appliance for those aiming to have quick and easy meals ready in under an hour at minimal electrical cost, ranging between $0.02-$0.16 kWH. Additionally, their sticker price is about the same as the average microwave, and yet, they can run using half the power and will create meals akin to those you would get straight out of an oven after hours of cooking. 

If you find yourself constantly in a cooking time crunch or rarely have the energy to make extravagant dinners, we highly recommend purchasing an instant pot for all your convenient, budget, and time-friendly cooking.