I was all excited when I got my Instant Pot IP-Duo 8 quart pressure cooker. It pushed my IP-DUO 6 quart out of the location of honor, under my kitchen island, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. My IP-DUO 6 moved to the basement, on the shelf of backup pressure cookers. (Next to the Fagor Lux 8 quart, the Instant Pot Smart, the Kuhn-Rikon, and the Cuisinart.) I loved the extra space in the 8 quart; I didn’t mind that it barely fit under the kitchen island. That’s how things stayed for a few months. The IP-DUO 6 quart would come upstairs when I needed a second pressure cooker for a side dish, but otherwise was relegated to the minor leagues.
Then, one night, the kids did not clean out the 8 quart pot. (Darned kids!) It was crunch time, and I had to get dinner started right away. I don’t have a spare pot for the 8 quart yet – Instant Pot says they are coming, but keeps pushing off the date – so I went downstairs and grabbed the IP-DUO 6. When we were cleaning up the kitchen, out of habit, I put the 6 quart back under the island, and moved the 8 quart downstairs.
That was it. Without really paying attention, I switched back to my old standby, the 6 quart cooker. Turns out, for a family of five, I don’t really need the 8 quart size, except for special occasions. The 6 quart does fine, and slightly smaller size, and availability of spare pots and a lid, make it a more versatile cooker day to day. I still bring up the 8 quart when I need it – large batches of stock, or chili for a crowd – but the 6 quart is back as my regular cooker.
Now, I’m glad I have both – I love the day-to-day usability of the 6 quart, with the size of the 8 quart available if I happen to need it. And, it’s great to have a second cooker. If I want a main course and a side dish, both under pressure, I can pull out my backup. Now, the fact that I also have a third, fourth, and fifth pressure cooker available? I may have a problem. (And I’m thinking about the high-end Breville Fast-Slow Pro pressure cooker. I want to try the auto-pressure release, but I can’t get over the lack of a stainless steel pot. Ok, Ok. I admit it. I definitely have a problem.)
Why am I sharing this? Because, I have been asked in the comments a lot recently: 6 quart or 8 quart? If you can only have one, the 6 quart is more than enough to cook for my family of five. If you have bigger needs, the 8 quart is also an excellent cooker – and they’ve got to have spare pots eventually, right? – but I don’t think most people need the extra size. Stick with the 6 quart to start, and when you fall in love with pressure cookers and have to get a second one, go for the 8 quart for the extra space and versatility it adds.
In the end, there can be only one. (Or, in my case, five.)
What do you think?
What is your go-to pressure cooker? Talk about it in the comments section below.
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