If you’re in the market for a multi-cooker and you have a large family, you’ll want to look into the larger Instant Pot 8 quart product range.
Why you might want a large Instant Pot 8 Quart
My family has 6 people – me, my wife, and 4 kids aged 3 to 10. When we make a large batch of soup filled right up to the line, the Instant Pot struggles to get it all boiling.
Sure, it bubbles and simmers some, but it needs to be a roiling boil – it needs to generate the steam needed to seal the lid and pressure cook.
We learned that the hard way a few times – we would fill up our Instant Pot, set off to the park with the kids, and come back to ready-to-eat soup. Except we didn’t know it wasn’t ready until we are all seated and eating.
The carrots were hard and the potato chunks mealy. That’s when we realized it hadn’t actually pressure cooked, it had merely simmered for the 15 minutes we let the Pot do it’s thing.
If you look at the specifications for the Instant Pot, the 6 qt version typically has a few hundred watt lower power rating – meaning less energy can be put into heating up the food.
If you plan on making large batches of food at pressure, right up to the max line, I recommend going with an Instant Pot 8 quart with the higher power rating.
Or, you could opt for the higher powered Duo Evo Plus or Duo Crisp. We compare all the different models in our article called Instant Pot Canada.
Is there a disadvantage to the Instant Pot 8 quart size?
If you are following a recipe book, it helps to know what size of Instant Pot the recipes are made with.
The 8-quart tends to over-cook things
Meghan, author of Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Recipes
Megan’s recipes are based on the 6 quart Instant Pot. Under cooking is likely to happen in the smaller 3 qt because it comes to pressure faster.
If cooking a stew, for example, in a 6 qt it might get 10 minutes of ‘warm up’ cooking and then 15 minutes of pressure. When using the 3 qt, it might only get 4 or 5 minutes of ‘warm up’ cooking.
On the other hand, the Instant Pot 8 quart tends to overcook things. Since it takes longer to build pressure, that same recipe might have 15 or more minutes of ‘warm up’ cooking before getting to pressure, and then 15 minutes of pressure cooking will cause the food to be mush – even though that’s what the recipe called for.
Getting a large capacity 8 quart will require you to adjust cooking times from 6 qt recipes.
What’s the largest size of Instant Pot?
Instant Pot makes everything in the 6 quart size. Some of them come with a smaller 3 quart size which would be great for a couple or a more portable version to take in your RV.
Over half of the models currently available offer an Instant Pot 8 quart size – there is even one, the Duo Nova, that comes in a 10 quart size. That would be great for making large batches with leftovers for freezing to use a different day.