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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 Prime Day a few years ago.

At the time, the only one 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 The Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sterilizer, 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 needed one held me back.

I hate adding something to my kitchen and having appliances occupy 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 need a crockpot anymore if I bought the Instant Pot.

8 quart instant pot

Once I got it, I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon, and there is no looking back. 

All about the Instant Pot 8 Quart from the manufacturer

  • For large families, 6+ people. Item dimensions are 14.88 x 13.90 x 10.39 in inches
  •  Instant Pot Ultra electric pressure cooker is the next generation of 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 Instant Pot 8 Quart.

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

I wanted to avoid another large appliance taking up space on my counter.

I ordered the 8 Quart to get the deal, but I immediately researched whether it would be too big.

Understanding Instant Pot Sizes

Instant Pots come in various sizes, ranging from 3 quarts to 8 quarts. If you need help determining which size is best for your needs, it can be helpful to understand the sizes and what each one offers.

Generally speaking, larger Instant Pot models are better suited for larger families or those who like to cook big batches of food. A 6-quart pot is popular as it has enough room to make several meals simultaneously while still being easy to store and manage.

For smaller households or those who want something more compact, the 3-quart model might be a better fit. It's perfect for making single servings and quick meals that don't require many ingredients. Plus, it takes up less counter space than the larger models.

Whichever size you decide on, make sure it fits your lifestyle and cooking needs so you can get the most out of your Instant Pot!

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 similar. 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 more oversized Instant Pot if they could get it.

I read many quotes like, "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 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, it was manageable for me.

I have a family of five, and while my children do not always eat what I make, it is nice 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 I store it when it's not in use and then use it on my island so the steam is not hitting my cabinets.

It works out well and is not much bigger than my slow cooker.

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

The Ultra model is one of the nicest Instant Pots, 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 cooking and keeping warm.

From what I understand, the other models need to tell you this.

Benefits Of Owning An Instant Pot

Using an Instant Pot can make cooking more accessible and more efficient. From sautéing to steaming, you can cook various dishes with minimal effort and time. But before investing in one consider the best size for your needs.

Whether you opt for a larger or smaller version, an Instant Pot is an invaluable tool in the kitchen. It simplifies meal prep and makes it easier to create delicious dishes with minimal effort. 

This multifunctional device takes the pressure off busy schedules and eliminates tedious tasks like stirring and watching over ingredients on the stovetop.

is my instant pot 6 or 8 quart

Frequently asked questions about the Instant Pot - FAQ

Since I initially created this post to discuss 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 raised is whether 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 (found in the product manual), 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 receive it as a gift and need to remember to check the box. You may not know 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 the 8 Quart Instant Pot recipes?

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

The only adjustment I have had to make to a recipe is ensuring 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 are in the manual that comes with it.

Other than that, I have yet to find a need to adjust recipes 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 have only used the 8 quarts and have yet to test this. But looking around the internet, most say the 8 quarts can take slightly longer to come to pressure. 

Generally, my Instant Pot takes about 10 minutes to come under pressure, so this is not a significant issue. Cooking times between all sizes of instant pots are the same, no matter the size.

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.

8 quart instant pot

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!

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

instant pot air fryer lid
Instant Pot air fryer lid third party
Instant Pot air fryer 8 quart

I will review this in a new post as soon as I try it.

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

6. Can I Cook Different Types Of Food In An Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook different types of food in an Instant Pot. From slow-cooked stews and soups to steamed vegetables and rice, it's a versatile cooking tool that can handle almost any meal.

You can also make desserts, yogurt, and even homemade broth.

With the various settings on the Instant Pot, you can customize your cooking times and temperatures for whatever food you're preparing.

7. Do I Need To Buy Additional Accessories For My Instant Pot?

No, you don't need additional accessories for your Instant Pot.

It has a few basic items suitable for most cooking needs, such as a steamer basket, rice paddle, soup spoon, and measuring cup.

If you want to make more complex dishes or specialize in specific cuisines, invest in some extra accessories available for your Instant Pot.

Accessories like yogurt makers, egg racks, and cake pans can give you more versatility when cooking with your Instant Pot.

8. How Easy Is It To Clean An Instant Pot?

Cleaning an Instant Pot is surprisingly easy.

The inner pot and the lid are dishwasher safe so you can pop them in.

Quickly hand wash them with warm water and a mild detergent if they're not too dirty.

All the other parts, like the sealing ring, steam rack, and condensation collector, are removable and easy to clean.

9. Is An Instant Pot Safe To Use?

Yes, an Instant Pot is safe to use. It has multiple safety features, such as a pressure regulator, lid lock, and anti-block shield.

The inner pot is food-grade 304 stainless steel, and all components that come in contact with food are BPA-free.

Each model also includes detailed safety precautions and instructions, so read them before using your Instant Pot.

Instant pot ultra 8 quart


I hope this helps you choose between the 6 Quart Instant Pot and the 8 Quart Instant Pot.

I would have been happy if I had ended up with the 6 Quart, but the 8 Quart is a great size.

If you have the room and want to cook large quantities of food, the 8 Quart is an excellent choice.

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

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

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!