Ramblings, Things I love
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Longer Term Testing Notes: Instant Pot Duo60 vs Duo80

Longer Term Testing Notes: Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart vs 8 Quart | DadCooksDinner.com

Instant Pot Duo60 vs Duo80 – who wins?

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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Filed under: Ramblings, Things I love


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Lisa Cee says

    At least 2x/month, I wished I had an 8 quart model but have not yet sprung for it. I did check out Fagor’s 8 quart model & Amazon does have a regular insert (not nonstick). But I really like how my 6 quart has performed over & over so I think I’ll stick with IP when/if I stop being cheap!

    • Lisa, one thing about the Fagor Lux – the insert it comes with is nonstick. (It’s a good nonstick – blue ceramic – but still a nonstick.) Fagor does have a stainless insert, but it’s an accessory that you have to buy separately.

  2. Tamara Doerschuk says

    I feel the same as Lisa about needing a bigger pot several times a month. Because it wouldn’t be used as often as the Duo 6 Qt, I’m considering getting the GoWise 8 qt. It seems to get good reviews and is less than 100$. It comes with a stainless steel pot and the front panel gives a pressure reading while cooking. I love my IP and would like to stay with the brand, but it might not be practical unless there is some deep price cut on Black Friday. I’ll hold out until then and see what Amazon does.

  3. makettle says

    I’m trying to convince my sister to get a Instant Pot 6 quart. She has a very tall 15 year old and a 12 year old who both eat a lot. She’s still hemming and hawing about getting a pressure cooker. I can’t seem to convince her that it’ll be the best thing she’s ever done. How much do your kids eat? I only cook for my husband and I, so I can’t help with 4-5 mouths and the 6 quart.

    • It depends on the meal for my kids – when they love it, we clean out the pot; when they don’t, we have leftovers. In general, I think the 6 quart would be enough for her. If she’s really worried about it, though, the 8 quart is also a very good cooker – just not the one I reach for first.

  4. makettle says

    Thanks for the quick response. I’m doing everything I can to convince her that the electric pressure cooker makes dinner waaaaay easier.

  5. MFoster says

    You initial review sold me on the 8qt based on frozen chicken carcasses. I also do a lot of lamb shanks and I wonder if the bone would be too long. Do you still break out the big IP for stock, or have you found the 6qt does just as well?

  6. Eric Finkel says

    I’m ready to get an IP using Amazon gift cards I received, so essentially free. Trying to figure out whether to get 8qt for the times I wish I had it, or get the 6qt and enjoy the extra $50 for something else on Amazon with my “free” money. If you could tell someone which one to give you as a gift, 8qt, or 6qt?


    • If I didn’t have a pressure cooker at all, I’d say the 6 qt – it covers 95% of my needs. I only pull the 8 quart out on rare occasions – I love having it as a backup, but I wouldn’t spend the extra $$$ unless I knew I needed it.

      • Eric Finkel says

        Even if it’s a gift…good to know. Thank you. I had some friends say to get the bigger one for the times I wished I had more room. -E

  7. I found this blog today while agonizing over whether to get the Black Friday deal on the 6 qt IP or hold out for the 8 qt. Think I’m going to get the 6 qt. I love it that you knew the word pygostyle (avian anatomist here). Thanks for the help!

  8. Hi there! I found your site a while back when researching. It helped. Anyway, I put in purchase for the Pot via Amazon yesterday… (I definitely recommend waiting for Black Friday or the like!) I also ordered the glass lid. I still find myself debating the lid and still have time to change order. So my question: Do you have / use the glass lid at all? Or wish you had?

  9. Hi again Mike, did you get your hands on the Breville one yet? I have also been interested in that one. I went with Instant Pot but Breville Fast/Slow was next on my list. And btw, did you ever use a Redmond Multicooker? (You know, incase I need a second… ha ha)

    • No, never got the Breville – I’m weakening, but really, I should have enough pressure cookers to last me for a while. The Redmond looks too small (5 quart) for my uses.

  10. Great information! Have you seen HipPressure Cooking’s recipe for Hasselback Pork Roast? I’ve tried to make it before and have trouble fitting it in my 6qt. Also whole chicken seems like would benefit from the larger 8 at?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • Yes, if what you’re cooking is too large fit in the 6 quart, the 8 quart is a good answer. That rarely happens to me, though. (I haven’t tried HipPC’s hassle back pork recipe, and I fit 4 pound chickens in my 6 quart – my most common size.)

  11. Crystal says

    I have a large family…8 of us, and I like to cook enough for leftovers. I’m considering the 8 qt or 2 6qt. Thoughts? Would filling 2 pots be cumbersome?
    After so many recommendations I am taking a leap of faith with the instant pot. I found your blog researching pressure cookers. I appreciate all the information here.
    Thanks for responding

    • I don’t think the 8qt is big enough for 8 people if you want leftovers – I’d go with 2 6qt. Using 2 pots is like using 2 pots on the stove; I do it all the time when I’m pressure cooking, say, the main course and a side dish.

  12. Hi, I’m thinking of asking for an Instant Pot for Christmas, and am trying to decide between the 6 and 8-qt pots. I have a family of four. The kids are a older teen and a young adult. Will a turkey carcass fit in the 6-qt model? You mentioned using frozen chicken carcasses for your 8-qt. How many chicken carcasses will the 6-qt hold?

    Also, what are advantages of the glass lid?

    Thank you!

    • A turkey carcass just fits in the 6 quart if you break it up enough. I can fit 2 chicken carcasses in the 6 quart. The glass lid is useful when you are not pressure cooking – if you want to use the pot as a regular pot, or a slow cooker.

  13. Hi Mike, I am new to your site, and I can’t wait to make many of the recipes. Would I be safe by increasing any of the recipes, meant for the 6 qt. Instant Pot, by 1/3 to use in the 8 qt model? Thank you.

  14. Carolyn says

    In the endless debate over 6- vs. 8-quart . . . I have Presto PC’s (stainless) in both sizes, & the IP specs show that IP’s inner pot, though nominally 6- or 8-quart, is actually a little smaller than my Prestos. I’m leaning toward the 8-quart IP but my husband thinks it’s massive; however, when I’ve made small-batch chicken stock, I’ve maxed out my 6-quart slow cooker (big-batch stock from Thanksgiving turkey simmers all day in my 15-quart stockpot, so that’s not a concern). Would love to ditch the old-tech 6-quart slow cooker for the 8-quart IP; any further thoughts on storage ability (esp. w/ lid off, which would help), weight, height during use, or other size/weight concerns? Thanks (plus thanks for all your detail on these pots)! (Oh–we cook for 3 most of the time, but entertain a lot, enjoy leftovers, & have all the family here for holidays/vacations.)

    • 8 quart is bigger than the 6 quart in every direction – taller, wider, deeper. Not a lot, but a couple of inches in each direction – it’s enough to be noticeable. Weight isn’t that different between the two, though – neither the 6 nor the 8 weigh all that much.

  15. Janice Rounsaville says

    I have the 6 Qt but the 8 Qt is coming tomorrow. I will only keep one. If I keep the 8, I’ll give the 6 to my daughter-in-law. The reason I ordered the 8 even though there are just two of us is that I frequently fill a six or 7 Qt crock pot with large batches of chili, stew, black-eyed peas, goulash etc. my purpose is to have enough for two meals one week and freeze the remainder in individual meal containers. I don’t want to cut my recipes down but am afraid that there simply isn’t enough room in the 6. Please advise. Also, can you use the same recipes in the 8 Qt that you would use in the ) Qt without increasing the ingredients by 1/3? Many recipes I don’t want to freeze.

    • For 8 quart vs 6 quart – sounds like you want the 8 quart for the extra space. (If you’re filling a 7 quart crock pot, you’ll need the space the 8 has.)

      For the recipe size- you do not need to scale up recipes for the 8 quart; it works just fine with smaller batches.

  16. Gail Steinke says

    Hi – my name is Gail and I had purchased and used a power pressure cooker XL 10 quart thinking it could be used for canning. I’ve read some articles to challenge that and recommend that I do not because it does not adequately do some things necessary to ensure safety and removal of any botulism or any other bacteria’s as a result of not getting hot enough for long enough. I don’t know if you know anything about this or not. I’m strongly feeling like I need to return this power pressure cooker XL and get an instant pot. I am a one person household so I guess that the 6 quart will suffice?

  17. Patricia Sadler says

    I own the DUO-60 I.P., an 8qt+ stovetop All-Clad p.c.and a couple of older stovetop p.c.’s one stainless and one nonstick, 8 & 6 qts respectively.

    Until a few days ago, I also owned the Breville Fast-Slow Pro. I absolutely loved everything about it-until it died on me during the 8th month of ownership. Additionally, even though it has what they refer to as a dishwasher-safe cooking vessel, there is a coating on the exterior that came off little-by-little during the 8-month period. If it were possible to post photos here, I’d show the difference between the dishwasher-worn old pot, and a new one that I bought as a replacement or secondary unit, but never used. The only problem with the interior was that it was impossible to remove odors, no matter what I used. The ceramic pot never did bubble, chip, or peel, unlike every multicooker appliance I’ve tried.

    Breville customer service has been wonderful-to a point. They emailed a return label for the defective unit and with them being so nearby, they received it the next morning. On Monday, I’ll call them to request a replacement unit (they gave me the option of a replacement or a Breville.com store credit to use toward something else that equaled the full purchase price of the F-S Pro, including tax.)

    I will go ahead and accept the replacement unit, but if it’s brand new in the box (as opposed to a refurbished model), I’ll simply put it up for sale.

    The current line of I.P. DUO’s have additional features lacking in older models. The I.P. website has a section where the I.P. Lux and DUO models’ features are compared, and the specifications differ from the older models.

    I am in my mid-60’s and my first electric pressure cooker was made of aluminum with nonstick coating and had a plug-in thermostat. It lasted for decades and was still working great when I sold it. Sometimes I wish I’d kept it if for no other reason than these modern electronic models seem to be unreliable. I read a lot of reviews about display failures and failure to operate after only a short period of time!

    Dad, your website is very nice, but the one thing that seems to be missing are dates, so I have no idea when your articles were written or when your readers responded. I hope that is something that can be corrected.

  18. Jean says

    Hi I have a family of 6 – 2 adult and 4 small children, would I need the 6 or 8 quart? and I understand that you can only fill it up to a certain point? Does you still get 6 or 8Q by filling to this point or would that only be if the pot was full? Thanks

    • You probably want the 8 quart. You can only fill a pressure cooker 2/3rds full – it needs headspace in the pot to build up pressure – so the listed sizes are 1/3 larger than what you can actually use.

  19. Erik says

    Mike, I agree with you. To my surprise, my Duo60 definitely greats more work than my Duo80.
    Perhaps it’s because I’ve not taken the time to get use done to how they cook differently. The Duo80 has a higher pressure rating, 70 vs. 80kPa. Maybe that has something to with it.

  20. David Goshorn says

    I’ve never visited your page before, but now, thanks to your Highlander reference, I am a fan!
    I came here wondering if I should get the 6 or 8.
    So far, I haven’t seen any disadvantages about the 8. So, why not just go for the 8 if you have the extra $30 and the room to store it? Is it slower? Are there items that can’t be cooked in it that can be cooked in the 6? If there are no disadvantages than why not just get the 8 and have a pot that can cook from the smallest to the largest amount?
    Thank you!

  21. Koa Wu says

    Which size, 6Q or 8Q, works better to cook 1-week food (2 meals a day) for one person? Also is it practical to use IP for reheating food instead of using microwave oven? I am considering ditching my old MO and getting a new IP to replace it. Currently I use MO to heat food in about 4 min every time. How do I use IP to do the job in a comparable time (e.g., 5 min)? Or completely out of luck? Thanks for your advice and help.

    • 1 week of food: I don’t know – I don’t have a feel for how much food that is.

      Reheating: it will not reheat food anywhere near as fast as a microwave. More like 15 to 20 minutes, with a fair amount of stirring.

  22. Janelle says

    Hi Mike. Thanks for all this info! It has helped me make my choice. I love your videos.

  23. Lee Davis says

    In my slow cooker when cooking beans like navy or great northern I usually cook the whole poound of dry beans with some other stuff added like 1 lb sausage, 1 whole onion, 8 or so carrots, a few greens, etc. If I buy an IP will all that stuff fit in a 6 qt or will I need an 8 qt?

  24. Bonnie McIntyre says

    Did you find it takes longer to start the pressure cooking phase in the 8qt than the 6qt? I am totally new to these and went right for the 8qt because I have a big family and want it for making stock and thinking of turkey carcasses. Some of the recipes I have tried take longer than posted and so wondering if that is why…bigger pot, more space to fill with steam, etc.

  25. Is the only difference between the duo60 and duo80 size/capacity? Do they both have identical fetures?

      • Debora Cadene says

        Hi Mike…so glad I found this page. I too, am in the midst of the 6 duo vs 8 duo. Is the ONLY difference the size? Can the 6 do exactly the same things as the 8? Can you make yogurt? In the picture above, the 8 looks like a monster next to the 6. There are only 2 of us at this time, and I don’t generally do alot of cook ahead meals. What is benefit of the 8 over the 6? thanks for all your help.

        debora cadene

        • In my experience, the only real difference is the size. It has a Yogurt button, just like the 6-quart model, so it can make yogurt. (At least, I assume so – I’ve never tried.) If there are only two of you, I’d get the 6-quart. It’s big enough for my family of five almost all the time; I only need the 8-quart for jumbo ingredients, like a turkey carcass.

  26. Hi Mike,

    Just got the IP duo80 for $73 during Black Friday at Amazon, I find it to be humungous. I’m not sure if I will ever need this much space. For the same amount of food, do you notice more water coming out of the steam outlet more in the duo60 since it is smaller?

  27. Interesting web site i just came across. We picked up two instant pots on Black Friday. 6 quart and 8 quart. Just done some googling but can’t figure out, which one of the two we should keep. Hubby wants the bigger one. I think the smaller one will do just fine. We have picky eaters. What would your recommendation for a family of 4 with almost 2 teenagers in the house? Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated. With thanks

    • That’s a tough choice. You’re right on the line. The “2 almost teenagers” makes me lean towards the bigger one for you.

  28. I am looking to buy my first IP. We are a family of 4 but I entertain quite a bit. I read your whole article and all of the comments and I am still unsure what size IP I should get. I only plan on buying one (i know that is what they all say). I make chicken soup in my slow cooker (that I just got rid of) and plan to start using the IP for that as well as stews, ribs, etc…. How much stock does the 6 qt. IP yield when you have veggies and chicken taking up some of the room while cooking? Also, I have read that most IP recipes are geared towards the 6 qt and that the 8 qt requires more liquid which could change recipes. Have you found that to be a problem when using the 8 qt?

    • 6 quart yields about 2 quarts of broth; 8 quart yields about 3, once you strain the solids out. 6 quart recipes work the same in the 8 quart – I don’t agree that they need more liquid. (Unless you change the recipe and scale it up to use the larger size of the 8 quart. Then it needs more liquid.)

  29. Amanda Cropsey says

    Hi! So I received the 8 qt. pressure cooker as seen on tv from my kids for Christmas. My Mom helped them with the purchase and told me that she originally bought the 6 qt. instapot but then saw the 8 qt. off brand on sale and decided I may need it for a family of five so is letting me choose which one to keep. So should I go with the instapot brand and get the 6 qt. or do you know anything about the as seen on tv pressure cooker in 8 qt size?

    Thank you! Also, do you have recipes for newbies?

    • It depends on the off brand. I have good experiences with Instant Pot and Fagor Lux pressure cookers, and have heard good things about the Breville pressure cookers as well. If it’s the Power Pressure Cooker XL, I’ve had complaints about the lack of a saute mode, no “pressure cook or Manual pressure cook” mode, and no true high pressure setting. That one I’d return for an Instant Pot. Other than that? I can’t say.

  30. Hi. New to the IP world and purchased the IP DuoPlus60. Then I started thinking that maybe I should have the IPDuoMini 3 Qt. I am newly widowed and thought maybe the 3 qt would be better for everyday for me and then the 6 qt for cooking for myself, son and daughter-in-law or even bigger groups. But then, I saw something that said the 3 qt mini has less power. Do you know if the 3 qt mini would be good for everyday cooking for one or is it a compromise on power and options. I haven’t opened the box yet and can return if it’s not a good option. I also thought it would be good for making side dishes – potatoes, rice or boiled eggs. Your advice is appreciated. Kathy

    • I have not tried the Mini, so this is just my opinion based on the size, but:

      Return it and get the 6 quart. 3 quarts is too small for a pressure cooker to be useful.

      The 6 will do everything the 3 does, and you will have extra space if you need it.

  31. I think I will like the 8 quart for making my double batches of soup. My question is how SMALL of a batch can you do in an 8 quart? For example could you put in 1 cup of rice to cook in the 8 quart, or is that too small for it to handle well?

  32. Cyndi says

    I am also trying to decide between the 6 & 8. Based on the name of nine in one on the 6Q it seems as though there might be three functions not available on the 8Q? I have a family of 4 but I like to plan for leftovers and vacuum seal to freezer so leaning towards the 8Q. Thoughts? Thank you!

    • Get the 8 quart, and don’t worry about functions. I only use the “Pressure Cook/Manual”, Saute, and Keep Warm functions.

  33. Bryant says

    Hello! Since most Instant Pot recipes on the web seem to be written for the 6qt, do you need to adjust the cook times if making the same recipe in the 8qt? Thanks!

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