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Best Instant Pot multi-cookers for effortless family meals

Instant Pots are perfect for quick, easy cooking and are ideal for busy families. Here's our pick of the best ones to buy in 2023.

By Madeline Littlejohns | Last updated Feb 9, 2023

The best Instant Pots

Instant Pots make an excellent addition to a busy family’s kitchen, saving a fair bit of time and effort when it comes to getting dinner on the table. The best Instant Pots are so much more than just pressure cookers and can work as slow cookers and even air fryers as well. They can sauté and steam your food and you can even make yoghurt and desserts in them, making them truly multi-purpose.

If you find your kitchen cupboards getting crowded with every gadget under the sun – whether it be the best food processor or a lockdown-bought bread maker – Instant Pots can help save you space in the kitchen too, combining up to 11 cooking modes in one device. Picking the best Instant Pot for you and your family can be tricky though as they all have something slightly different to offer. To help you choose the right one we’ve searched through honest recommendations from real parents in our Mumsnet community to find the ones they’ve tried and tested and would happily buy again in the future.

Their trusted views and feedback, along with expert opinions and authentic customer reviews, have helped us build this list of the best Instant Pots in the UK that you can buy right now. So you can pick the right one to take some of the stress out of feeding your family. We’d also recommend investing in one of the best cookbooks specifically for Instant Pots to get you started if you’re a total beginner to make things even easier – Amazon and Waterstones both have a good selection.

Here are the top six Instant Pots to buy in 2023. 

1. Best overall Instant Pot: Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Electric Multi Functional Cooker

Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1

Price on writing: £150 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Pressure levels: Low and high | No. of pre-programmed settings: 28 | Cooking modes: Rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, yoghurt maker, sauté, sous vide, bake, steam, warm, and sterilise | Dimensions: ‎32.2 x 31.1 x 32.5 cm | Capacity: 5.7 litres (7.6 litre option also available)

What we love

  • 10 useful functions in one appliance
  • Fast pre-heating and cooking times
  • Great built-in safety features
  • Hob-friendly inner pot with silicone handles

What to know

  • No air fryer capabilities

Our verdict

The ultimate in all-in-one cooking gadget for the home chef, the Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 lets you cook so many different things quickly and easily. The 10 different cooking modes you get with the Pro model are rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, yoghurt maker, sauté, sous vide, bake, steam, warm, and sterilise. So you can do everything in it from baking cakes and making yoghurt to slow cooking curries and sous vide cooking steak. The only thing that’s missing from the Pro is the option to air fry, but the 10 different functions you do get for the price is incredible in our opinion, and you can also invest in the best air fryer separately if that’s something you’re keen to add to your kitchen.

The Instant Pot Pro comes with 28 one-touch programs already loaded for super simple cooking, but you can also program your own presets when you find other recipes you love to cook with it. There are 11 built-in safety features that take all the worry out of using a pressure cooker, including a steam diffuser for quieter steam release. And the inner pot comes with easy-grab silicone handles that are perfect for taking the pot straight to the dinner table to serve. With so many settings and functions it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you’ve spent some time with it you’ll love all the different things you can make with this one, worktop-friendly appliance.

2. Best budget Instant Pot: Instant Pot Duo 60 7-in-1 Smart Cooker

Instant Pot Duo

Price on writing: £81 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Pressure levels: Low and high | No. of pre-programmed settings: 13 | Cooking modes: Rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, yoghurt maker, sauté, steam, and warm | Dimensions: ‎34 x 31 x 32 cm | Capacity: 5.7 litres (3 and 7.6 litre options also available)

What we love

  • Great value
  • Good built-in safety features
  • Dishwasher-safe inner pot and lid

What to know

  • No air fryer capabilities 

What Mumsnet users say

“I have a Duo. I regularly use it for yoghurt. On special occasions I make clotted cream. The rest of the buttons I ignore and just use the manual pressure button. It looks more complicated than it is. If you get one join the FB group for tips and recipes. You just have to follow the rules, especially when making tomato-based recipes.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user ThousandsAreSailing)

“Instant Pot Duo, absolutely love it. Haven't had it for long but I have used the sauté, slow cook and pressure cook settings. Much prefer it to my old slow cooker that it replaced. Makes casseroles/stews/soup beautifully, easy to clean, doesn't steam the kitchen to fog and cooked the Christmas puddings to perfection in 1/4 of the time.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user McQuilliam)

Our verdict

If you know you don’t need all 10 functions of the Instant Pot Pro, then the Duo makes a great budget alternative. It still has seven different cooking modes including rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, and yoghurt maker, which is more than enough to keep most family cooks happy. And with 10 built-in safety features like overheat protection and a safe locking lid, it offers quick, worry-free, 'set it and forget it' cooking.

We love the fact that the inner cooking pot and the pressure cooker lid are dishwasher safe for easy clean up, although the inner pot doesn’t have the silicone handles like the Pro model does so you need to take a bit more care when you remove it. With 13 one-touch cooking programs to choose from, you can have dinner on the go in minutes and the Duo also lets you program in your own settings for your favourite meals. Mumsnet users who have this model love all the different functions it offers and how well it cooks their food with minimal mess and fuss. 

Read next: Batch cooking in your Instant Pot? Our guides to the best Tupperware and best lunch box have plenty of Mumsnetter-approved storage options.

3. Best Instant Pot with an air fryer: Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 11-in-1 Electric Multi-Cooker

Instant Pot Duo Crisp

Price on writing: £175 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Pressure levels: Low and high | No. of pre-programmed settings: 11 | Cooking modes: Slow cooker, pressure cooker, sauté pan, steam, sous vide, food warmer, air fryer, roast, bake, grill, and dehydrate | Dimensions: ‎‎34.5 x 34.5 x 35.5 cm | Capacity: 5.7 litres (8 litre option also available)

What we love

  • Versatile air fryer function with EvenCrisp technology
  • Saves time and energy
  • Great safety functions

What to know

  • Instruction manual not that clear

What Mumsnet users say

“I have the Duo Crisp - the air fryer is really good on that but it does take a bit of getting used to.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Ozanj)

Our verdict

You can really step up your game when it comes to home cooking with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp. Use it as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, air fryer, and food warmer, as well as for steaming, sautéing, roasting, baking, grilling, dehydrating, and for sous vide cooking. The air fryer function works with EvenCrisp technology to cook food with the perfect crunch using up to 95% less oil than normal frying and the multi-level air fryer basket comes with dehydrating and grilling trays for the best possible results when using those cooking methods. 

We love how the Duo Crisp can do so many different jobs in one so you can declutter other appliances from the kitchen and just keep this out on your countertop. It’s also really energy efficient and gets dinner on the table faster than if you use the oven. It does take a bit of time to learn how to use all the functions and the instruction manual that comes with it isn’t all that great, but there are loads of online resources and recipes to get you on your way without too much stress.

4. Most easy-to-use Instant Pot: Instant Pot Duo 3 Mini Multi Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Duo 3 Mini 3l

Price on writing: £80 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Pressure levels:  Low and high | No. of pre-programmed settings: 11 | Cooking modes: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, yoghurt maker, steamer and food warmer | Dimensions: ‎29 x 25.5 x 28.5 cm | Capacity: 3 litres

What we love

  • Compact size
  • Perfect for sides or small families
  • Seven useful functions

What to know

  • Less functions that other models

What Mumsnet users say

“We have a mini (3 litre) Instant Pot. It does four adults for beans, peas, monk's vegetables and dahl, plus you can fry onions in it.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user PestorPeston)

Our verdict

If you’re short on space and don’t need to cook big batches of food at once then the Duo 3 Mini is a great Instant Pot option. It’s perfect for making meals for one or two people and great for side dishes like beans and dahl. There aren’t as many functions as some of the other models but it can work as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, yoghurt maker, steamer, and food warmer, so for anyone who doesn’t need the fancy options like sous vide it’s perfect.

It has 11 one-touch programs and clear, simple controls to make cooking a breeze. And with a dishwasher-friendly inner pot and lid, clean up is super easy too. 

Read next: Upgrade your work from home lunches with the best sandwich toaster, as recommended by Mumsnet users.

5. Most customisable Instant Pot: Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 10-in-1 Multi Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus

Price on writing: £107 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Pressure levels: Low and high | No. of pre-programmed settings: 48 customisable settings | Cooking modes: Slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steam, sous vide, food warmer, cake maker, yoghurt maker, and stock pot | Dimensions: 33.1 x 32.2 x 32.5cm | Capacity: 5.7 litres 

What we love

  • Great range of functions
  • Loads of preset options
  • Inner pot can be used on the hob

What to know

  • No air fryer function

What Mumsnet users say

“I recently got an Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus. It's brilliant and I can't believe I haven't had one before now! It has eight functions. Now considering an air fryer too.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user lochmaree)

Our verdict

Take full control in the kitchen with the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus and make cooking everything from starters to puddings quick and easy. Instant Pot have done everything in their power to take as much effort out of cooking dinner as possible with all the little details in this model. There are 48 customisable presets that take the guesswork out of cooking and give you consistent results every single time whether you’re cooking rice or ribs. And the safety features like the easy-seal lid and improved steam diffuser for easy pressure release mean you can pop your ingredients in and relax knowing the cooking is being taken care of.

We really love the progress indicator on the digital screen which lets you know how far along in the cooking process you are, from preheating to keeping warm. The Duo Plus also has the benefit of an inner cooking pot that has safe, easy-grip handles that make it simple to move it from the appliance to the hob if a recipe you’re following requires a bit of hob cooking.

6. Best Instant Pot for beginners: Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Smart Cooker

Instant Pot Duo Nova

Price on writing: £95 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Pressure levels: Low and high | No. of pre-programmed settings: 13 | Cooking modes: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, yoghurt maker, steamer, food warmer | Dimensions: 34 x 31 x 31.7 cm | Capacity: 5.7 litres (8 and 9.5 litre options available too)

Our verdict

If you’ve never used an Instant Pot pressure cooker before then the Duo Nova is a great model to get started with. It has seven different cooking modes including pressure cooker and slow cooker which are the ones most people seem to use most often. It also lets you sauté and steam and, if you’re feeling more adventurous, make your own yoghurt.

What makes the Duo Nova so good for the beginners is the fact that it’s loaded with safety features to take all the worry away from pressure cooking, like the easy-seal lid which automatically seals your Instant Pot for pressure cooking and releases steam with an easy, safe push of the quick release button. This model also has clear, simple controls so you’ll quickly get the hang of cooking with it, and the LCD display shows you the cooking progress so you always know how far along in the cooking process you are.

Read next: On a quest to make mealtimes easier? We’ve thoroughly researched the best recipe boxes to make feeding your family so much more convenient.

Is an Instant Pot really worth it?

No-one wants to splash out on another kitchen gadget just for it to sit unused, taking up space on the counter or languishing in a cupboard. So before you invest in one you need to know if an Instant Pot is really worth buying.

If you want to be able to use one appliance for a whole range of things from slow cooking and steaming to baking and yoghurt making, and love the idea of being able to add your ingredients, choose your settings, and then walk away while the food is cooked for you, then an Instant Pot is well worth the investment.

And while they might not be able to actually cook food instantly, they do cut down cooking times on most things so they’re great for busy families who need dinner in a hurry.

What to consider when shopping for an Instant Pot 

If you’re trying to decide which model of Instant Pot to go for, here are some things to think about:

  • Functions: Think about what you’ll actually use your Instant Pot for and what functions you need it to have. Some of the earlier models cover the more standard functions like pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, and sautéing, while other models have extra functions like sous vide and air frying cooking options.
  • Size: The standard size for an Instant Pot is 5.7 litres which is perfect for most families’ needs. But if you have more space on your worktop and want to be able to cook up bigger batches of food then a 7.5 litre model might be a better option for you. If you are using your Instant Pot to meal prep in this way, a bento box is a good way to store leftovers for lunch.
  • Controls: All the Instant Pot models you can buy at the moment have good-sized, easy to use control panels but some of the newer options have extra features like cooking progress indicators and simple dials for selecting from a host of pre-set cooking programs.

What can I cook in an Instant Pot?

Instant Pots are so much more than pressure cookers. You can also use them to sauté and steam and they also act as slow cookers, rice cookers, yoghurt makers, and, depending on the model, air fryers.

All of which means you can cook a huge range of things in them. You can cook up rice dishes including risottos, all sorts of different meat dishes including whole chickens, stews and casseroles, and bean-based dishes. 

On top of all that you can also use an Instant Pot to make tasty fresh yoghurt as well as cakes and desserts like cheesecake.

Instant Pot vs Ninja Foodi: what’s the difference?

Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi are the most popular electric pressure cookers out there and there are lots of discussions online about which is the best with people often showing a lot of loyalty to their brand of choice.

Instant Pot came on the market first with their electric pressure cooker and then the Ninja Foodi came along in 2018 and took things to the next level and started the ongoing competition.

The main difference between the two is that the Ninja Foodi is a combination pressure cooker and air fryer, while not all of the Instant Pot models have air fryer capabilities. The other difference between the two is price, with the Ninja Foodi often being more expensive than rival Instant Pot options.

Which Instant Pot is the best?

All the Instant Pots are amazing quality and offer quick, easy cooking for busy families. Our pick for the best of the bunch though is the Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1. It’s great value and offers a brilliant range of functions that will keep all home cooks happy. It’s also got a lot of great safety features for stress-free cooking and 28 handy one-touch programs to make getting dinner on the table almost effortless.

What's the best size Instant Pot?

For most families the 5.7 litre models are the most practical option when it comes to Instant Pots. This size will be big enough to make dinner for the whole family but not so big that it completely takes over the kitchen worktops.

If you have a bigger than average family though, or love to batch cook to fill up your freezer, then you might be better off opting for an Instant Pot with a 7.5 litre capacity.

How we chose the best Instant Pot

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

Mumsnetters spend a lot of time and effort in the kitchen cooking meals for themselves and their families, and they also know a thing or two about finding the most efficient ways to do these things, so they were a great place to start when getting recommendations for the best Instant Pots for getting dinner on the table. We scoured the forums to find out which they tried, trusted and recommended as the best Instant Pots.

We also considered any negative reviews, where Mumsnetters highlighted products that they felt were difficult to use or just didn’t meet their needs.

Expert opinions

Then we took our list and compared it against the opinion of experts, consumer champions and product review sites, plus other news media. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning, well-regarded products in the marketplace.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the top Instant Pots on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon and John Lewis to get broader consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist. 

The result? A comprehensive, balanced and honest guide to the best Instant Pots to buy in the UK in 2023.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.