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Best 6 Quart Instant Pots (2022) Comparison, Reviews & Buying Guide

6 quart Instant Pot is the perfect size for most households. It can handle 3-8 servings of the main dish (depending on your recipe) or up to 20 servings of rice, which is pretty generous, in my opinion. 

Equipped with multiple cooking functions, Instant Pots can replace numerous kitchen equipment. That’s perhaps the reason why the brand has built a cult following with its line of multi-cookers.

On a different note, Instant Brands append the number 60 to their 6-quart pressure cookers. Instant Pot Duo 60, for example, is the 6-qt (5.7 L) model of their classic product.

One reason to get a 6-quart variant is the compatibility with the secondary Air Fryer lid. If you want to add an air frying capability to your pressure cooker, you can do it in the future with selected models. Or you can also pick a bundle that already comes with the air fryer attachment.

We’ll touch more about the air fryer accessory later in this buying guide. In the meantime, let me present the Best 6-Quart Instant Pot Pressure Cookers of 2022.

That’s the condensed version of this buying guide. You can click on any of the links above to read more about each pressure cooker. Or, we can continue discussing your options down below.

Top 6 Quart Instant Pots

6 Qt Instant Pot Pro Plus – Best Overall

Best 6 Quart Instant Pot, Pro Plus Pressure Cooker

The best 6 qt Instant Pot is definitely the Pro Plus. It’s the only smart pressure cooker from their product line that can be paired with an iPhone or Android device. You can literally release the pressure from your smartphone.

Here’s what the Instant Brands app looks like.

Instant Brands App Screenshot
Instant Brands App Screenshot

The app is loaded with over 1000 guided recipes. If you’re running out of dinner ideas, I’m pretty sure you’ll find inspiration from that list.

Now let’s take a look at its capabilities.

Apart from tenderizing your meat, the Instant Pot Pro Plus can also help you slow cook, sauté steam, replace your rice cooker, pressure can, sous vide, make yogurt, and keep your food warm. And yes, you can initiate all of those functions from within the Instant Brands app.

But that’s just a small portion of its amazing features. It also comes with an ergonomic pot design, delay cooking function, ability to sous vide and pressure can, and an ultra-modern touch screen interface.

Sadly, it’s not compatible with the secondary lid for air frying. If you want that feature, the next best 6-qt Instant Pot is something that you might want to consider.

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

6 Qt Instant Pot Duo Plus – Best Cheap

Instant Pot Duo Plus, Stainless Steel/Black

If you’re looking for something cheaper, or maybe you don’t want all those fancy features, the classic 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Plus might better suit your needs.

Though it’s not a smart pressure cooker, it’s equally capable as the Instant Pot Pro Plus.

It’s a multi-functional pressure cooker that also works as a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté/searing pan, sous vide, sterilizer, and food warmer.

You won’t find a pressure canning function with this model, but it’s a feature that I never really used. If you think you’ll be needing the canning function, that’s only possible with the Instant Pro Plus, and the Instant Max.

The beauty of the classic Instant Pot Duo is it’s compatible with the brand’s air fryer lid attachment, which also comes with its own set of cooking functions.

You can read the full review of the 9-in-1 Instant Pot Duo Plus here.

6 Qt Instant Pot Pro – Best Premium

Instant Pot Pro, Black

Though the Instant Pot Pro 60 is cheaper than the Instant Pot Pro Plus, it offers a few features that make it worthy of our premium pick.

If you’re looking for the most expensive one, that would be the 8-quart Pro Crisp Instant Pot. It’s the bigger sibling of the Instant Pot Pro, which already comes with an air fryer accessory.

Going back to the Instant Pot Pro, its ultimate selling points are the 28 automatic cooking presets and the five programmable buttons. All in all, you’ll have 33 walkaway cooking programs with this professional pressure cooker.

In addition, it shares two novel features with the Instant Pot Pro Plus. It also has a convenient handled pot and an option for a faster natural pressure release.

What I love about the handled pot design is its stovetop compatibility. You can do the sautéing on your convection cooktop, which is more comfortable, then you can continue tenderizing the meat with the multi-cooker base.

You can read the full review of the 10-in-1 Instant Pot Pro here.

6 Qt Instant Pot Max – Best Digital

Instant Pot Max, Silver

Before the Instant Pot Pro Plus, there’s the Instant Pot Max. It’s the best pressure there is, which we ended up buying.

However, after a few months, the Pro Plus was released. It was such a bummer that we didn’t get to buy the latest and greatest Instant Pot. Still, I can say that we’re pretty much satisfied with our purchase.

Here are the reasons why the Instant Pot Max is one of the best 6-qt pressure cookers.

For starters, it comes with an elegant touch interface and a turn dial for adjusting the temperature, pressure, and cooking time. Secondly, it comes with sous vide and pressure canning function.

Pressure canning requires a higher amount of pressure, 15 PSI to be exact. It’s only supported by the Instant Pot Max and the Instant Pot Pro Plus.

If that is something that you’ll be needing in the future, Instant Pot Max is one of your best options.

You can read the full review of Instant Pot Max here.

6 Qt Instant Pot Duo Crisp – Best Air Fryer

Instant Pot Duo Crisp, Stainless Steel

If you’re looking for a 6 quart Instant Pot with an included air fryer lid, your only option is the Duo Crisp 60. There’s the bigger 8-quart Instant Pot Pro Crisp, but the Duo Crisp is way cheaper.

Pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, sautéing, air frying, baking, roasting, broiling are among its cooking functions.

You won’t find the last four functions from the pressure cookers we have discussed so far. Those are the same extra features you’ll get when you purchase the Air Fryer Lid for Instant Pot.

If you opt for the air fryer accessory, later on, you’ll find those buttons on top of the lid. Whereas, with the Duo Crisp and Pro Crisp, those air frying buttons were integrated into the control panel.

A pressure cooker-air fryer combo will probably give you the best bang for your buck. It’s more expensive to get a pressure cooker and a stand-alone air fryer.

You can read the full review of the 11-in-1 Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer here.

6 Qt R2D2 Instant Pot Duo – Best Star Wars

R2D2 Instant Pot

For Star Wars fans who love to cook, a few 6-quart Instant Pots will give you the Jedi vibe. Of course, there’s the R2D2, and you could also go for a Darth Vader version, Storm Trooper, or Little Bounty.

Here’s a more in-depth review of the Star Wars Instant Pot Collection.

In the meantime, let me tell you that the entire Star Wars collection is based on the classic Instant Pot IP Duo, which means that it doesn’t come with the latest features.

It still has the traditional pressure release and manual sealing. However, it’s compatible with the air fryer lid accessory.

To recap, here are the capabilities of the original Instant Pot Duo—pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, steam, cook rice, make yogurt, and food warmer.

May the force be with you in your next cooking adventure!

You can read the full review of Star Wars Instant Pot here.

The Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid

One reason to get a 6 qt Instant Pot is the Air Fryer lid attachment.

When you purchase this optional attachment, you’ll unlock six more cooking functions—air fry, broil, bake, roast, dehydrate, and reheat.

If you already have an Instant Pot at home or contemplating buying one, getting this accessory is cheaper than purchasing a separate machine. Plus, it will save your countertop from being crowded with another kitchen appliance.

There are only a handful of 6 quart Instant Pots that is compatible with this accessory. Instant Duo Plus and the 6 qt Star Wars Instant Pot are among those that we have discussed.

For a complete list of 6-quart pressure cookers that are compatible with the air fryer lid, please refer to the comparison table below.

6 Quart Instant Pot Comparison Table

Here are all the 6-quart electric pressure cookers from the brand. Those with an asterisk (*) have already been discontinued but they may still be available as a preloved item from eBay or Amazon.

6 quart Instant Pot Pro Plus
Instant Pot Pro Plus
Smart multi-cooker (connects to your phone)
✔ Touch interface
✔ 10-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 16 smart programs
✔ Faster natural release with Quick Cool Tray
✔ Automatic sealing + safer pressure release
✔ With stovetop compatible handled inner pot
✔ Can sous vide
✔ Suitable for pressure canning
✘ Not compatible with air fryer lid accessory
6 qt Instant Pot Duo PlusInstant Pot Duo Plus
Best Value
✔ 9-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 15 smart programs
✔ Automatic sealing + safer pressure release
✔ Compatible with the air fryer accessory
✔ Can sous vide
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
6-quart 10-in-1 Instant Pot ProInstant Pot Pro
✔ 10-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 28 smart programs
✔ Programmable (5 extra favorite programs)
✔ Automatic sealing + safer pressure release
✔ Faster natural release with Quick Cool Tray
✔ With stovetop compatible handled inner pot
✔ Can sous vide
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Not compatible with air fryer lid accessory
6 qt Instant Pot MaxInstant Pot Max
✔ 9-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 9 smart programs
✔ Touch interface
✔ Automatic sealing + safer pressure release
✔ Can sous vide
✔ Suitable for pressure canning
✘ Not compatible with air fryer lid accessory
6-qt Instant Pot Duo CrispInstant Pot Crisp
✔ 9-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 13 smart programs
Air frying lid included
✔ Can sous vide
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Traditional pressure release
✘ Manual sealing
6 qt R2D2 Instant PotR2D2 Instant Pot
✔ 7-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 13 smart programs
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✘ Traditional pressure release
✘ Manual sealing
✘ No sous vide function
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
Instant Pot Duo 6-qtClassic Instant Pot Duo
✔ 7-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 13 smart programs
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✘ Traditional pressure release
✘ Manual sealing
✘ No sous vide function
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
Instant Pot Ultra 6 quart*Instant Pot Ultra
✔ 10-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 16 smart programs
✔ Automatic sealing + safer pressure release
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✘ No sous vide function
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Discontinued
6 quart Instant Pot Viva*Instant Pot Viva
✔ 10-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 15 smart programs
✔ Automatic sealing + safer pressure release
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✔ Can sous vide
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Discontinued
Instant Pot Nova 6-qt*Instant Pot Duo Nova
✔ 7-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 14 smart programs
✔ Automatic sealing vent + safer pressure release
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✘ No sous vide function
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Only available as a preloved item
✘ Discontinued
Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 6 quart*Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus
✔ 8-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 48 smart programs
✔ Faster natural release with Quick Cool Tray
✔ Automatic sealing + safer pressure release
✔ Can sous vide
✘ Not compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Discontinued
6-qt Instant Pot IP Lux *Instant Pot IP Lux
✔ 6-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 12 smart programs
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✔ Traditional pressure release
✘ Manual sealing
✘ No sous vide function
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Discontinued
6 qt Instant Pot Smart Wifi*Instant Pot Smart Wifi
✔ 8-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 14 smart programs
✘ Not compatible with air fryer module
✘ Traditional pressure release
✘ Manual sealing
✘ No sous vide function
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Discontinued
6 quart Instant Pot Duo Gourmet*Instant Pot Duo Gourmet
✔ 9-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 15 smart programs
✔ Automatic sealing vent + safer pressure release
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✔ Can sous vide
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Discontinued
6-quart Instant Pot Nova Plus*Instant Pot Nova Plus
✔ 9-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 15 smart programs
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✘ No sous vide function
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Traditional pressure release
✘ Manual sealing
✘ Discontinued
6 qt Instant Pot Duo SV *Instant Pot Duo SV
✔ 9-in-1 pressure cooker
✔ 14 smart programs
✔ Compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✔ Can sous vide
✘ Manual sealing
✘ Traditional pressure release
✘ Not suitable for pressure canning
✘ Not compatible with air fryer lid accessory
✘ Discontinued
This table compares all Instant Pot with 6-quart models by their number of functions, air fryer compatibility, and other smart features.

What to consider when buying an Instant Pot?

Budget

To be honest, multi-cookers aren’t that expensive. A decent one will cost you more or less $150.

kitchen budget

So far, the most expensive that I have reviewed is the Ninja Steam Fryer, which belongs to a different class of pressure cookers.

As far as 6 quart Instant Pots are concerned, the most expensive on this list is the Instant Pro Plus, while the IP Duo Plus is on the cheaper side of the spectrum.

Safety

To tell you the truth, I was quite skeptical about getting a pressure cooker at first. But I later discovered that it comes with tons of safety features.

instant pot pro lid with arrow
Pressure release switch located farther away from the vent

On average, an Instant Pot comes with ten safeguards—close lid detection, leak protection, anti-block vent, automatic temperature controls, high-temperature warning, pressure detection, automatic pressure control, excess pressure protection, extreme temperature and power protection, and pressure regulator.

Newer models are also equipped with overheat protection.

In my opinion, the safest Instant Pot is the Pro Plus. Its hands-free venting method put it on top of the safety pyramid.

Instant Pots are incredibly safe, but it doesn’t give you the pass to practice all the safety standards provided in the manual.

Capabilities

Not all Instant Pots are created equal. We already discussed the Air Fryer lid a while ago, and it’s one of the most critical aspects in deciding which multi-cooker to get.

Suppose you need an air fryer function with your Instant Pot. You can either get a 6-qt model compatible with it (and upgrade later on) or get the Instant Pot Duo Air Fryer.

The ability to sous vide and pressure can are also some of the functionalities you should look for when buying a 6-quart Instant Pot.

In terms of cooking capabilities, the winner in this category is the Instant Pot Pro. Its programmable buttons and the 28 smart programs make it a pressure cooker to be reckoned with.

instant pot capabilities

Inner Pot Design

A handled inner pot is more of a bonus feature. After using my Instant Pot Max for a couple of months, I find it awkward to mix my ingredients. Its tall profile and elevated base make it difficult to reach.

Instant Pot Inner Pot with Handle

Once I have the budget, I will sell my Instant Max and replace it with either the Instant Pot Pro Plus, Instant Pot Pro, or the Instant Pot Pro Crisp Air Fryer. These are the only models that come with the stovetop-compatible inner pot.

The measurement markings in this pot are more detailed, which is a big plus for those who cook rice often.

Smart Features

If you want something futuristic, perhaps something that you can control with your smartphone, the Pro Plus Instant Pot is the only genuine, smart kitchen appliance on the brand’s line of pressure cookers.

Instant Pot Max is the next best thing offering a sleek touch screen interface.

Maintenance

Cleaning up your pressure cooker is pretty straightforward. Except for the cooker base, the pot and the lid are dishwasher safe. I never really run any of it in my dishwasher as it’s super easy to wash by hand.

After each use, you need to wash the lid to prevent the pressure valve from getting clogged. Just make sure not to lose the small components.

Don’t believe me? Watch this quick video demonstration.

Over to You

6-qt Instant Pots are the standard pressure cooker size for most households. It can replace your good old rice cooker, and you might also skip buying an air fryer, depending on the model you’re planning to purchase.

If you have already made a choice, go ahead and pick that product. Otherwise, let me leave you with the best 6-quart Instant PotInstant Pot Pro Plus.

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