Instant Pot devices have garnered a cult following over the years, and it’s easy to see why. These smart multipurpose kitchen gadgets are designed to do the work of several other appliances including slow cookers, rice cookers and pressure cookers. And while some Instant Pot models can be large, bulky, and difficult to store or handle, the 3L Miniature Instant Pots are a great size for portability and storage in small spaces.
If you’re looking for a single device to tweak your favorite recipes at home, a compact mini instant pot is a great option. Here’s what you need to know about the best mini instant pots out there.
— Overall best: Instant Pot Duo Mini
— Best Reward: Instant Pot Duo Mini Plus
— Best for children: Instant Pot “Star Wars” Duo Mini
— Best Budget: Instant Pot Lux
How we picked the best mini instant pots
To select the best mini instant pots for every budget, skill level, and household, we delved into the tiny differences between models. We’ve used our experience as a trained chef and product reviews, considering everything from maintenance to versatility and price to find the best small pressure cookers for every type of cook. Our criteria included:
Size: To qualify as a mini instant pot, every unit on this list has a 3 liter capacity.
Functionality: We looked at the number of functions each appliance can perform in addition to pressure cooking. These include slow cooking, steaming, sanitizing and yoghurt making.
User friendliness: To make this list, Instant Pots had to be easy to use and accessible to cooks of all levels, including first-time pressure cooker users.
Security: We looked at the built-in safety features to ensure the devices on this list protect users from accidents and spills.
Maintenance: We chose the appliances that are the easiest to keep clean, thanks to dishwasher safe parts and stainless steel construction.
The Best Mini Instant Pots: Reviews and Recommendations
Overall best: Instant Pot Duo Mini
Why it made the cut: This is the Instant Pot brand’s finest miniature model. It’s compact but offers all the features you’d expect from an Instant Pot, including frying, braising and rice making.
— Capacity: 3 liters
— Dimensions: 11.81 x 10.51 x 10.98 inches
— Weight: 8.65 pounds
— User-friendly digital touch controls
— 13 preset cooking functions
— Dishwasher safe pot
— Not compatible with Instant Pot air fryer lid
Instant Pot is known for making very durable and versatile multipurpose devices and this miniature 3 liter model does not disappoint. The compact pressure cooker requires minimal storage space but offers seven different cooking techniques, all available at the touch of a button on the easy-to-access digital control panel.
This is also one of the safest Instant Pots, with smart safety features like overheat protection, a lockable lid, and loud alarms if anything goes wrong. You can confidently start a recipe and walk away knowing this device will get the job done safely and effectively every time.
Another great thing about this Instant Pot model is that it comes with a wealth of informational resources. You can access the large community of dedicated Instant Pot fans online to discover new recipes and culinary tricks to try in your new appliance. Also, there is always someone who can answer your question. Even if you’re brand new to pressure cooking, you’ll quickly master the art with this miniature instant pot.
Best Reward: Instant Pot Duo Mini Plus
Why it made the cut: This advanced model is packed with helpful safety features that make it one of the easiest pressure cookers to use.
— Capacity: 3 liters
— Dimensions: 11.5×10.2×11 inches
— Weight: 8.8 pounds
— 15 pre-programmed cooking settings
— Dishwasher-safe cooking pot made of stainless steel
— Cooking progress bar
— Multi-button displays can feel overwhelming
The Instant Pot Duo Plus is the next level of duo. This second-generation model has enhanced features, including two more pre-programmed cooking settings: sous-vide and sterilize. The sous vide function comes in handy if you are interested in the technique (cooking food in a temperature-controlled water bath) but do not want to buy an additional device.
The sterilization program is ideal for anyone who prepares baby food or preserved foods such as jams, pickles and sauces. Instead of constantly monitoring the temperature of hot water baths, you can count on your Instant Pot to make sure everything reaches the right temperature for food safety and sterilization.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus is also the better device if you want to “bake” in your stovetop. It features a cake-baking program that creates perfectly set cheesecakes and bouncy bundt cakes. The mini is the perfect size to make a dessert for two.
For ease of use, this model features an improved venting feature that makes it easier to depressurize your pot. The valve automatically switches to “lock” when the lid is locked in place, so you’ll never forget to lock the lid before you walk away. For dessert, check out our review of the Breville Smart Ice Cream Makers.
Best for children: Instant Pot “Star Wars” Duo Mini
Why it made the cut: It’s hard not to smile when you see this cute but highly functional device. It combines the fun of sci-fi with the practicality of an excellent kitchen gadget.
— Capacity: 3 liters
— Dimensions: 12.01 x 12.01 x 12.13 inches
— Weight: 8.65 pounds
— Comes with a condensation water collector
— 7 cooking functions
— 14 built-in presets
— Slightly larger than other mini instant pots
Enjoy dinner from a galaxy far, far away with this adorable Star Wars Edition Instant Pot Duo Mini. It shares the same features as the duo with a fun pattern mimicking the BB-8 robot. Star Wars fans will love the whimsical looks of this unit, and home cooks will appreciate the functionality and versatility.
This Instant Pot has 14 preset cooking programs including steaming, rice cooking, slow cooking and poultry cooking. It also has the reliable Quick Cook and Manual modes, giving chefs the flexibility to follow recipes or create their own.
If you have young aspiring chefs at home, they will love the opportunity to cook with a device from outer space, so this is a great way to create more excitement in the kitchen. Kids can search the Instant Pot smartphone app to find a recipe that inspires them. And with all the safety features and built-in cooking presets, all you have to do is sit back and relax while the kids make dinner.
Best Budget: Instant Pot Lux
Why it made the cut: This is the best mini instant pot for beginners to the pressure cooker. It might not have all the features of newer models, but it has the same reliability and durability that Instant Pot promises at a great price.
— Capacity: 3 liters
— Dimensions: 11.5 x 10.51 x 10.5 inches
— Weight: 8.5 pounds
— Comes with a steam rack and a rice paddle
— Reduced touchscreen control panel
— Start time delay up to 24 hours
—No cooking progress bar
—No simple vapor delivery function
First-time and budget-conscious Instant Pot owners will appreciate the no-fuss nature and ease of use of the Instant Pot Lux. This small yet highly functional gadget does everything you’d expect from an Instant Pot, including cooking perfectly fluffy rice and grains, making creamy stews, and delicious one-pot meals. It also works as a slow cooker and warmer, and the 24-hour start delay feature means you can cook a full meal the night before and come home after work with a warm and ready meal.
This model has high and low pressure settings so you can cook long and slow, or speed up the cooking process when you’re in a hurry. It fits seamlessly into your lifestyle and offers enough space inside to feed up to three people. And for beginners, Instant Pot also has a handy compatible smartphone app that guides you through basic and more advanced recipes so you can explore all the features of your new device.
Things to consider before buying a mini instant pot
Used: Consider the top reasons you might want to buy a pressure cooker. Is it for making crumbled, tender braised short ribs? Disinfect baby bottles? You may want to replace your old slow cooker. If you plan to use a particular culinary function most often, make sure the model you choose offers that function.
Location: It is also important to consider where you will be using the new device. If you’re buying a dorm, RV, or office space, make sure you have the right outlet. Most Instant Pots have a three-prong power cord that plugs into a 110-volt outlet. Most models come with a 4-foot power cord, although you can find 6-foot cords if you need extra slack.
frequently asked Questions
Q: Is the 3 QT Instant Pot too small?
The instant pots with a capacity of 3 liters are ideal for feeding three people or less. If you have a small household this is the perfect size. The compact size is also easier to store and much more portable than bulkier 6 and 8 quart models.
Q: What is the Instant Pot Mini good for?
The Instant Pot Mini is the perfect size for making dinner for one to three people. At the touch of a button you can prepare perfectly tender grains, flavorful homemade yoghurt, small cakes and hearty soups and stews.
Q: Does the Instant Pot Mini air fry?
No, Instant Pot does not currently offer an air fryer lid for its 3 liter models. However, there are 6 and 8 liter units with compatible Airfryer lids.
Final thoughts on the best mini instant pots
Regardless of your skill level as a home cook, an Instant Pot is a fantastic gadget to add to your toolkit. It makes complicated meals like meaty stews, stews, and soups simple and straightforward. And with a compact 3 liter instant pot like the Duo, you can replace multiple kitchen appliances with one compact unit that’s easy to store and even transport.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, owner of Futurism. Futurism may receive a portion of sales from products linked in this post.