Instant Pot 3 Quart Vs. 6 Quart: Which Size Is Better?

Instant pots have become one of the most popular kitchen appliances over the years because they make cooking faster and easier. You can cook a wide range of delicious dishes with them quickly and efficiently.

They’re available in different sizes, so choosing one might be a bit tricky. If you’re on the fence about which size to get, our comprehensive Instant pot 3 quart vs. 6 quart article will help you out. Let’s jump right into it!

Differences Between Instant Pot 3 Quart And 6 Quart

Instant pot 3 quart vs. 6 quart

When it comes to choosing an instant pot, size isn’t the only thing that matters! (no pun intended) The difference can stem from the design, available features, and overall performance.

So, we’re going to discuss them to facilitate your decision-making process.

  • Difference in Design

While appearance isn’t something that affects functionality, it’s still quite important. Instant pot, in all its glory, is a kitchen appliance. It’s going to sit inside your kitchen so you want something that looks appealing and matches the décor.

As instant pots come with varied designs, you’d want to pick one that looks the best to you.

Aside from the difference in appearance, the 3-quart version is a mini product. It’s small enough to fit any place perfectly as it doesn’t occupy much space.

You will find it easy to store inside your kitchen cabinet or leave it safely on a table. However, it offers limited functionality due to the compact design.

Since the 6 quart instant pot is a larger appliance, it’s going to take up a lot of your kitchen space. It’s comparatively harder to store for obvious reasons.

However, it’s something you will have to sacrifice if you want to prepare a large volume of food.

  • Difference in Capacity

As we’ve mentioned before, the 3 quart instant pot isn’t good enough for large families. The limited space makes it suitable for holding a small amount of food. It can’t cook meals for more than 2/3 people.

The 6 quart model is more popular due to the advantage of capacity that it offers over the 3 quart model. It’s quite large so you can rely on it for cooking enough food to feed your entire family.

There is an even larger model which is the 8 quart instant pot. If you’re absorbed in an instant pot 8 quarts vs. 6-quart dilemma, we’d say that the 8 quart is suitable for a large number of people, gatherings, parties, etc.

  • Difference in Performance

The small size of the 3-quart model allows it to provide better performance. It’s faster as it’s capable of generating more concentrated steam.

Besides, it’s more efficient in building up the pressure. As a result, you will be able to cook things quickly.

As for the 6-quart model, its larger size makes it a tad bit slower than the smaller model. That’s because it cannot generate steam or buildup pressure as quickly.

Then again, this is something you’d have to be okay with if you want to cook more things.

  • Difference in Safety

In general, both sizes are pretty safe to operate. Even so, you’d have to be careful when you cook with them if you don’t want to hurt yourself.

Both of the models produce a lot of hot steam so if you open the seal abruptly; you’ll be exposed to it right away. The steam can be hot enough to burn your skin so it wouldn’t hurt to be extra careful.

  • Difference In Interface

Instant pots are designed to be super-easy to use. The ease of use largely depends on how user-friendly the interface is. By interface, we mean the touchscreens, dials, buttons, etc. that allow you to control the device. Most of the time, they’re incredibly intuitive.

However, the slightest differences in the interface can make a product more appealing to you. So, you should test it out before jumping on a decision.

  • Difference in Price

The 3 quart instant pots are comparatively cheaper than the 6 quarts’ ones. That’s because they come with limited space and functionality.

They also offer limited settings. However, there is no point in investing in a larger model if you won’t be needing the extra facilities.

However, if you have the budget and don’t mind a larger appliance, we suggest you go for the 6-quart instant pot for peace of mind.

  • Instant Pot 6-in-1 Vs. 7-in-1

Another essential thing to consider when choosing an instant pot is whether to get a 6 in 1 or a 7 in 1 model. What makes them different is the number of available programmed functions.

The 6 in 1 version offers 10 programmed functions while the 7 in 1 offers 14. Both of the versions are available in three different sizes, 3 qt., 6 qt., and 8 qt.

  • How Many People Will You Be Serving?

instant pot 6 in 1 vs 7 in 1

Buying an instant pot for the first time can be confusing naturally because you don’t know much about them.

However, considering a couple of things will make it easier for you to make the decision. You definitely want an instant pot that will be able to cook enough food for all your family members.

So, the first thing you’d want to consider is how many family members you’ve got. It’s crucial for the pot to be large enough for suiting the needs of your entire family.

At the same time, you don’t want to invest money in buying a pot that’s larger than you need because the extra space will be wasted.

There are three common instant pot sizes. If you’ve got a small family consisting of 1 or 2 people, the 3-quart instant pot will be good enough.

The 6 quart one will be more suitable for families with 3 to 6 people. If you’ve got an even larger family, then you’d best opt for the 8-quart model.

The 3 quart is the smallest instant pot that’s mostly about 11-inches tall and comes with 7-inches of diameter. On the other hand, the 6 quart one comes with a moderate size, which is 12 ¾-inches in height and 8 ½-inches in diameter.

As for the largest one in the bunch, the 8-quart model boasts 14 ½-inches of height and 9 ¼-inches of diameter.

  • How Many Servings are 6 Quarts?

It’s kind of tough to say how many servings you are likely to get from a 6 quarts’ instant pot. As we’ve mentioned before, it should be able to cook enough food for 3 to 6 people. If we measure in American cups, it offers about 24 cups of servings.

  • How Many Servings are 3 Quarts?

The smaller 3 quarts will provide roughly about 12 American cups of servings. That’s more than enough for 1-2 people. However, the number of servings may vary depending on the dishes.

Consider the Dishes You’ll Be Cooking

instant pot sizes

Although instant pots are great for pressure cooking, their functions aren’t limited to that. There are so many things that you can do with the right instant pot.

You will be able to do a lot of different cooking with it, effectively replacing many of your kitchen alliances.

In addition to allowing you to cook rice, many models even allow you to make yogurt. They come with the ability to pasteurize and ferment milk without any trouble. You can make the perfect yogurt with them.

Fortunately for you, the high-quality ones are fitted with plenty of presets for allowing you to take on various types of cooking like steaming, sauteing, slow cooking, and more. You can even rely on them for warming your food as well!

For streamlining your cooking experience, some of the models boast a “set and forget” feature. With instant pots, you will get to cook oatmeal, meat, beans, grains, soups, chilis, eggs, cakes, and countless other recipes. Cooking won’t feel like a chore anymore!

The Smart Sterilize Program found in many top-grade instant pots will keep the utensils and bottles germ-free for your babies.

As you can see, instant pots offer a lot of versatility. You won’t have to limit yourself to a specific type of cooking. Now, certain recipes require larger pots while others can be prepared in a smaller pot.

So, you must think about what you’ll be cooking with your instant pot. If you want the advantage of being able to cook all sorts of things in large volumes, the 6-quart instant pot will be perfect for you. It will allow you to cook for everyone in your family.

However, for less intensive cooking meant for a smaller number of people, the 3-quart one will suffice. It can’t cook as much stuff as a 6-quart version, but the space-saving and budget-friendly design can be beneficial for many people.

If you are asking “how to tell what size instant pot I have?”, it’s isn’t all that difficult to find out. All you have to do is look at the manufacturer’s packaging or ask the salesmen.

So, think about the recipes you’ll be cooking with your pot before buying.

What is the Best Instant Pot: Recommendations

Well, by now, you should already know enough to make your decision. Don’t worry if you’re still confused because we’re going to give our recommendations.

As we’ve stated several times, the 3-quart instant pot will be perfect for you if you want to cook food for 1 to 2 people.

It’s a mini kitchen appliance that doesn’t take up much space. You will find it slightly faster than the larger versions.

It’s more than well-equipped to allow you to cook many kinds of foods, side dishes or keeping your food warm. Go for it if your needs are limited. If you’ve got a tight budget, the 3-quart one will be perfect for you.

The 6-quart instant pot, in our opinion, is the best option if your family has 3-6 members.

Sure, it’s comparatively more expensive but the advantages are pretty appealing, to say the least. It can hold more food and offer more versatility as it will allow you to cook a wide array of recipes.


It all comes down to your needs and preferences. We understand how difficult it can be to reach a conclusion in an Instant pot 3 quart vs. 6 quart debate. Our in-depth article should help you to find a suitable kitchen appliance.

Choosing the right size is vital if you want to enjoy the advantages of instant pots to the fullest! It will make your life easier by allowing you to cook your favorite foods quickly without tainting the taste.

So, go ahead and pick one right away to start cooking a wide range of recipes easily!

About Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top