Best 3-Quart Instant Pots (2021) Top Rated Small Instapots

The Best 3 Quart Instant Pot of 2021
The Best 3 Quart Instant Pot of 2021

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Are you looking for the best 3-quart Instant Pot for your studio apartment or perhaps your dorm?

For the average household, 6-quart Instapots are just the perfect size. It can make 5-6 servings in one go. But, if you’re a student, living independently, starting to build a family, or simply if you don’t have that much space, a compact Instapot would be good enough.

By the way, the brand also refers to their 3-qt electric pressure cooker line as Instant Pot Minis, or they’ll simply append 30 at the end of the product name. So, when you see an Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini or an Instant Pot Duo Plus 30, you’re looking at a 3-quart (2.84 L) multi-cooker.

With that said, here are the best small Instant Pots of 2021.

That’s the condensed version of this buying guide. You can click on any of the links above to read the full review of each small Instant Pot. Or, you can carry on and read the brief review of each mini pressure cooker.

Top 3-Quart Instant Pots

#1 Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini – Best Overall

Best Small Instant Pot, IP Duo Plus

The Instant Pot Duo Plus line is the upgraded version of the classic Duo Series, with a safer pressure release, more cooking functions, and a more refined look.

Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini or Duo Plus 30, is the 3-qt version of the best-selling (Duo Plus) pressure cooker.

Why is it the Best Small Instant Pot?

Compared to other compact pressure cookers from the kitchen appliance manufacturer, the Duo Plus 30 is as capable as its 6 or 8-qt sibling. No feature was spared in this compact configuration. Whatever the size you’re getting, you’ll have access to 15 smart programs.

You won’t have that advantage with the Duo Mini nor the Ultra Mini. The brand stripped down two automatic programs from these smaller variants.

The Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini has nine core cooking functions—pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté/searing pan, sous vide, sterilizer, and food warmer. Hence, it’s also called the 9-in-1 Instant Pot.

You can read the full review of Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini here.

#2 Instant Pot Duo Mini – Best Cheap

Instant Pot Duo Mini, Stainless Steel/Black

The 3-quart Instant Pot Duo Mini or the IP Duo 30 is the cheapest among the three compact pressure cookers. I have to note that this model is a classic, but it’s been retrofitted with the newest features since it was released almost a decade ago.

Well, except for the upgraded vent release and sous-vide function.

Despite not having those features, Instapot Duo Mini is still a skillful multicooker. You can still take advantage of its seven main cooking functions—pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, steam, cook rice, yogurt, and food warmer.

IMHO, those functions are pretty adequate if you’re just starting out. Having sous-vide program is nice, but it’s not as necessary as pressure and slow cooking.

Here’s a demo video of the IP Duo Mini.

You can read the full review of Instant Pot Duo Mini here.

#3 Instant Pot Ultra Mini – Best Premium

Instant Pot Ultra Mini, Silver

Instant Pot Ultra Mini or simply the IP Ultra 30 could have been on top of this best small Instapot roundup if it’s still in stock. The last time I checked, it’s no longer available at Amazon or even the Instant Brands shop.

Hopefully, the company will restock it or release a newer version of this portable digital pressure cooker.

The IP Ultra collection is the predecessor of the Instant Pot Max, which comes with a touch screen interface and a convenient turn dial. It’s a more elegant and user-friendly solution than the traditional buttons.

One fantastic feature it has is the Ultra Mode. That’s where you can access its sous vide feature by dialing in the proper settings. Technically, you can program as many cooking presets as you want with this compact pressure cooker.

But the sad thing is, IP Ultra Mini is no longer available.

You can read the full review of Instant Pot Ultra Mini here.

Compare Small Instant Pots


If you’re still having second thoughts on the Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini, perhaps this comparison table might help you decide. We made it as clear and concise as possible and easier to read on mobile devices.

IP Duo Plus Mini

Get at Amazon →
Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini (full review)
Upgraded model with more cooking functions
Can reach higher pressure
Automatic sealing vent + safer pressure release
9-in-1 pressure cooker
15 smart programs
Sous vide program
IP Duo Mini

Get at Amazon →
Instant Pot Duo Mini (full review)
✔ Most affordable option
✔ Classic model
✔ 7-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 11 smart programs
✘ Traditional pressure release
✘ Manual sealing
✘ No sous vide
IP Ultra Mini

Get at Amazon →
Instant Pot Ultra Mini (full review)
Programmable + digital interface
Can reach higher pressure
Automatic sealing vent + safer pressure release
10-in-1 pressure cooker
14 smart programs
Sous vide program

Cons of Getting a Mini Instant Pot

Despite all those positive things, you need to know the disadvantage of having a small Instant Pot. Apart from not having most of the automatic cooking programs, 3-quart Instant Pots are not compatible with the brand’s air fryer accessory.

Thankfully, that’s the only drawback that I can think of.

Despite its size, indeed, 3-quart Instapots are jack of all trades.

Over To You?

In our opinion, every household should own a multicooker. The pressure cooking function alone will pay for itself in no time. Instead of waiting for hours, your can tenderize your meat in 10 to 20 minutes.

Now, if your kitchen doesn’t have much space for a massive kitchen appliance, a 3-quart Instant Pot would be your best option.

With that said, I’m leaving you with our best small Instant PotIP Duo Plus Mini.

FAQs

What is the smallest Instant Pot?

Dimension-wise, the smallest Instant Pot is the IP Duo Mini, followed by Instapot Ultra Mini, and lastly Instapot Duo Plus Mini. The size differences are subtle, so mainly, they all have a minor footprint than other pressure cookers.

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