Instant Pots are the ultimate kitchen appliance, with the capability of cooking a variety of ingredients 14 different ways!
However, you may follow a recipe and find that your Instant Pot doesn’t have the right capacity. I have out found first hand that it’s important to know what size Instant Pot you have prior to making a meal.
The good news is, finding out this information isn’t difficult.
You can tell what size Instant Pot you have based on the information on the box, the measurements labeled on your inner bowl, or the measurements (width and height) of your Instant Pot overall.
In this article, I’ll explain the three methods I use to determine the size and capacity of people’s Instant Pots so they know what recipes are suitable and which need to be scaled down to fit.
How To Tell What Size Instant Pot You Have
The first place to check the size of your Instant Pot is on the box itself.
In the bottom right corner of the box, it should state the size of your Instant Pot. For example, as you can see below, on the box for the Instant Pot Duo60 V3 it says 6-Quart.
However, unless your Instant Pot is brand new, you’ve probably thrown that box away already.
Not to worry, as there are two other fail-safe methods you can use to determine the size of your Instant Pot. The first is to check the inner bowl.
The inner bowl is the metal container in which you put the food when cooking in the Instant Pot. The majority of these bowls have markings on them for reference when adding ingredients for cooking.
These measurements are in liter/cups. However, this measurement converts to quarts a 1:1 ratio. For example, an 8-quart Instant Pot would have 8 liters of capability.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a feature of all Instant Pot models. If your Instant Pot doesn’t have these markings I recommend measuring it instead.
This method works no matter what as each Instant Pot size has its own unique dimensions.
Therefore, if you measure the dimensions of your own Instant Pot, you should be able to compare it to the list below and figure out which one you have. Here are the measurements for the five different quart sizes offered:
- 3 Quart Instant Pot: 11.4L x 10W x 11.2H (inches)
- 5 Quart Instant Pot: 13.00L x 11.80W x 12.20H (inches)
- 6 Quart Instant Pot: 13.4L x 12.2W x 12.5H (inches)
- 8 Quart Instant Pot: 14.8L x 13.2W x 14H (inches)
- 10 Quart Instant Pot: 16.8L x 15.3W x 16.3H (inches)
If you have an Instant Pot and found yourself in the situation where you didn’t know the size of it, we hope one of these three solutions helped you figure it out.
If not, let us know in the comments some details and we’ll do our best to help you further.
What Size Instant Pot Is Best
With such variety, it can be hard to decide which Instant Pot size is right for you. However, I’ve owned both a six and an eight quart and my friends and family have all owned either a three (six, eight) or ten quart Instant Pot.
From this, we determined that it’s always best to buy one size bigger than you think you might need unless you struggle for storage space in your kitchen.
Both my Instant Pots have lasted more than four years, and in that time our family dynamic has changed a lot. Where a five or six-quart model was once suitable it’s now a snug fit.
Instead, our family is better suited to an eight-quart model which gives us the flexibility to cook using the Instant Pot when friends and family come over as well as cooking larger portions for leftovers.
3 Quart Instant Pot – Suitable for singles and couples
5 Quart Instant Pot – Suitable for singles, couples and those with a small weening baby
6 Quart Instant Pot – Suitable for couples wanting to batch cook and small families (less than 5). Instant Pots 6 Quart and above are able to cook the average-sized full chicken and around 4 to 5 plates of pasta.
8 Quart Instant Pot – Suitable for families (less than 5) who may want to batch cook / have enough for leftovers.
10 Quart Instant Pot – Suitable for large families (families of 5+). I’ve found that the 10 quart Instant Pots can cook seven plates of pasta.
The good news is the time each Instant Pot takes to reach full pressure is the same regardless of the size. This is because Instant Pot has matched the size with the machine inside to ensure there’s always enough power.