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Which size Instant Pot, is Instant Pot 8 Quart Too Big?

The Instant Pot is almost always an Amazon Prime Day special and I bought mine on a Prime day a few years ago.

With Prime Day 2021 approaching, I thought I would update this post about one of my favorite kitchen tools, the Instant Pot!

I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon a few years ago, and there is no looking back. At the time the only one that was not sold out as a Prime Day special was the 8 Quart Instant Pot.

I originally intended to get a 6 Quart Instant Pot, so this got me wondering if the Instant Pot 8 Quart too big?

The model I got is known as The Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sterilizer, and Warmer, 8 Quart, 16 One-Touch Programs.

Yes, after years of wondering if I should get an Instant Pot I did it!

The Instant Pot has had a cult following for years now. I knew I wanted one, but wondering if I really needed one held me back for awhile.

I hate adding something to my kitchen, and having appliances take up space and sit unused.

I use my slow cooker a lot though, and I figured anything I could make in the slow cooker I could also make in the Instant Pot, and I wouldn't even need a crockpot anymore if I bought the Instant pot.

8 quart instant pot

All about the Instant Pot 8 Quart from the manufacturer

  • For large families, 6+ people. Item dimensions is 14.88 x 13.90 x 10.39 in inches
  • Instant Pot Ultra electric pressure cooker is the next generation in kitchen Appliances. A central dial with a simple turn and press provides added precision in program selection and adjustment
  • New features: altitude adjustment, cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button. The Ultra button provides custom programming. The new features include sterilize, cake and egg programs
  • Replaces 10 common kitchen Appliances - pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, sauté/searing, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer
  • Developed with the latest 3rd generation technology with an embedded microprocessor. The microprocessor monitors the pressure and temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration. Power supply: 120V – 60Hz, Power Supply Cord length: 35 inches
  • UL certified with 11 safety features to provide peace of mind. New steam release reset button for safer handling. All components in contact with food are food grade 304 (18/8) stainless steel
Is the 8 Quart Instant Pot too Big?

The 6 Quart is the size I would have bought if I didn't know better, and if I had gotten it in time.

But it sold out quickly and then there was a new Prime Day deal on an 8 Quart Instant Pot.

I spent a lot of time vacillating if I wanted an 8 quart or if it was too big?

I seriously did not want another large appliance taking up space on my counter.

I ordered the 8 Quart so I could get the deal, but then I immediately started worrying about whether it would be too big and started researching.

Instant Pot 8 Quart vs 6 Quart and comparing the different Instant Pot sizes:

6 quart instant pot vs 8 quart

The 6 Quart and the 8 Quart are not too different. The 6 Quart says it's good for four to six people, and the 8 Quart is for six plus or if you like to have leftovers or meal prep.

Most people who already have an Instant Pot say they would prefer a bigger Instant Pot if they could get it.

I read many quotes of "you can always make less food but if your pot is too small you cannot make more".

Better to have the bigger pot and not need it, than to have the smaller pot and need to make more food.

This attitude kind of sold me on the larger size, and made me realize maybe I would not regret my purchase after all.

If you ever like to have leftovers or make freezer meals the bigger size makes more sense.

After reading these thoughts I was less concerned about my pot being too big and waited to get my 8 Quart Instant Pot.

Once I got it I decided it definitely is not too big for me.

I have a family of five and while my children do not always eat what I make, it is nice to be able to make a large quantity of food if needed.

One of my concerns was how much space the Instant Pot would take on the counter, but it turns out I store it when it's not in use, and then use it on my island so the steam is not hitting my cabinets.

This works out well and it's not much bigger than my old slow cooker.

At the time, the only deal on the Ultra Instant Pot was on the 8 Quart and I really love the Ultra model.

This is the nicest Instant Pot and the key feature I love is that it tells you how far along the cooking process is on the display.

It lets you know whether the pot is preheating, cooking, or done cooking and keeping warm.

From what I understand the other models do not tell you this.

is my instant pot 6 or 8 quart

Frequently asked questions about Instant Post sizes

Since I initially created this post to talk about whether the 8 Quart Instant Pot is too big, I have received a few other questions about it.

I am answering these below.

1. Can you cook small amounts in a large instant pot?

A concern I have seen raised, is if you can still cook small or even single portion servings in the 6 or 8 Quart Instant Pot.

The answer is yes, you can!

You must add a minimum amount of water to your pot depending on which size you have. As long as you have the correct minimum (this can be found in the product manual) then you cook any amount of food you prefer within the limits of the pot.

2. How can I tell if my Instant Pot is 6 or 8 Quart?

Some people purchase an Instant Pot or are gifted one and forget to check the box. Maybe you are not sure what size you even have.

The easiest way to tell is by looking at the physical size of the pot.

The 6 Quart Instant Pot is 14x12x13 inches according to the chart above. The 8 Quart Instant Pot is 15x14x15.

3. Do I need to adjust recipes for the 8 Quart Instant Pot?

Most recipes I have found online are written for the 6 Quart Instant Pot. I was really worried about adjusting this to my 8 Quart pot until I actually tried it.

I have found the one and only adjustment I have had to make to a recipe is making sure I have enough water in my Instant Pot when using it for pressure cooking.

The 8 Quart needs about 1 and a half cups of water in it, and I usually add more to be safe.

The water requirements can be found in the manual that comes with it.

Other than that I have not found a need to adjust recipes based on using an 8 Quart Instant Pot versus 6 Quart.

4. Does the 8 quart Instant Pot take longer to come to pressure than the 6 quart Instant Pot?

I personally have only used the 8 quart and have not tested this. But looking around the internet it seems most say the 8 quart can take slightly longer to come to pressure. 

In general it takes about 10 minutes for my Instant Pot to come to pressure so this is not a significant issue for me. Cooking times between all sizes of instant pots are the same no matter the size of the pot.

I have used many 6 quart recipes in my 8 quart instant pot and have never noticed a difference in the time it took to cook vs what is listed in the recipe.

5. Can I use my Instant Pot as an air fryer?

Instant Pot now sells a lid you can buy to make your Instant Pot an air fryer. This lid from Instant Pot only works on the 6 Quart!

instant pot air fryer lid

But I recently bought a Mealthy CrispLid to make my 8 Quart Instant Pot into an air fryer as well. There are a couple of third party ones that work with the 8 Quart.

Instant Pot air fryer lid third party

I will be reviewing this in a new post as soon as I try it out.

I love that a lid can be used with the Instant Pot though. Rather than having to buy another large kitchen appliance.

If you are interested in getting an Instant Pot that can work as an air fryer too then check out the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker 11 in 1, 8 Qt with Air Fryer, Roast, Bake, Dehydrate and more.

Instant Pot air fryer 8 quart


I hope this helps anyone who is trying to decide between the 6 Quart Instant Pot and the 8 Quart Instant Pot.

I think if I had ended up with the 6 Quart I would have been happy as well, but the 8 Quart is definitely not too big.

If you have the room and want to cook large quantities of food you cannot go wrong with the 8 Quart!

Please let me know if you have any questions about the Instant Pot, the models, or the size at all.

You can find the latest 8 Qt Instant Pot here with Prime shipping and free returns if it does turn out to be too big!

As Amazon Prime Day approaches check out more of my product reviews here!


Monday 13th of September 2021

Thank you! I understand that I need to have enough water if I use a 6 quart recipe in my 8 quart pot. My question is how do I adjust the rest of a 6 quart recipe to become a full 8 quart recipe? Does regular math work to convert the entire recipe or do you have to do it differently for pressurized cooking? (I know some ingredients react differently.). I have a wonderful 6 quart recipe book and just bought an 8 quart pot. I’d like to make 8 quart batches if there’s a way to effectively convert these recipes. Thanks for any tips!

Jennifer Brenan

Monday 13th of September 2021

Hi, so I will be honest, I wing it with recipes just like you said using regular math. This has seemed to work for me. You find the more you use the Instant Pot you figure out what works for you. I mainly write about tech and this is not a recipe site so there may be someone out there better qualified to write about increasing recipe size for the 8 quart. I have not had any issues doing it myself though!


Saturday 11th of September 2021

Do you double the 6 qt recipes for the 8qt and then you Adjust the water volume further, to make sure you meet the minimum volume requirement? I am leaning towards the 8qt because we always like leftovers, but nervous that since more recipes on web are for 6qt, i will end up being very restricted..:(

Thank you!

Jennifer Brenan

Monday 13th of September 2021

Hi, I just answered another question in the comments about increasing the recipe size. I tend to wing it and add a little more water and it has worked out fine for me. I don't think the 8 quart is quite big enough to double the 6 qt recipes but I tend to just add a little more food. When you buy the 8qt it comes with it's own recipe book which gives some additional tips. At least mine did when I got it. Good luck!

hive jumper

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Is there a site that lists only recipes in 8 quarts? Thanks.

Jennifer Brenan

Thursday 26th of August 2021

Hi, I am not aware of one. I did get a recipe book with the actual instant pot though.


Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

I've read when you have less volume of food and liquid in a larger pot, it will take a little longer to come up to pressure (since there is more air space volume to pressurize). Can you give your best guess approximately how much longer it takes to come up to pressure when your 8-quart pot has say only 2 quarts worth of food/liquid vs. 4-5 quarts of food? If it adds more than another 5 minutes of pressurization time, I might stick with the 6-quart size. thanks!

Jennifer Brenan

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021


So I actually did not know this or notice it. I think since I haven't noticed it, it must not be too much of a difference in time. I find most things take about the same time overall to come to pressure without it mattering how much is in it. Sorry I am not much more help! But now that you mention it I might test this out and update the post.

Sheiryl Mondoy

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

HELLP which type of instant pot is best recommended? Coz there are lots of models i dont know what to choose. Thanks for replying in advance.

Jennifer Brenan

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Hi, So I think most people love any of them but I have the ULTRA, I should have mentioned that in my post! I like the ULTRA because it shows a timer on it which shows preheating, cooking, and warming. I don't believe all of the models have that and I really like seeing it. Everything is on a digital display with the ULTRA too. I think a lot of it comes down to personal preferences though. I found this comparison chart on their website hope that helps!