The best Instant Pot for a family of two

Some Instant Pots have an automatic Altitude Adjustment feature, so you don't have to manually adjust it at a higher altitude when using the pressure cooker function.
Some Instant Pots have an automatic Altitude Adjustment feature, so you don't have to manually adjust it at a higher altitude when using the pressure cooker function. (BestReviews)

In recent years, the Instant Pot has become a trendy appliance. This single pot can perform a host of cooking functions, including slow cooking, pressure cooking, yogurt making and rice cooking. It’s handy for busy families, no matter their size. While a family of two may not need a model with the same capacity as a large household, you can still benefit from the super-fast cooking times and user-friendly operation of an Instant Pot.

Our buying guide is jam-packed with tips to help you choose the best Instant Pot for a family of two. We've also included several product recommendations, such as our top pick, Ultra Mini 10-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, which features simple twist-and-click programming and an automatic altitude adjustment.


What to know before you buy an Instant Pot for a family of two


Instant Pots are available in four sizes: 3, 6, 8, and 10 quarts. While the 6-quart Instant Pot is usually the most versatile option, it can prepare recipes that feed three to six people, which may be too much food if you’re only cooking for two people. Opt for a 3-quart Instant Pot instead, which is ideal for preparing meals for up to three people.

If you like to prepare large recipes to batch cook meals for your family of two or sometimes have friends over for dinner, you may prefer a 6-quart Instant Pot. However, spending more for an 8- or 10-quart model usually isn’t necessary.



While all Instant Pots can function as a pressure cooker and slow cooker, other functions vary from model to model. Models are labeled as 6-in-1 to 11-in-1, which lets you know how many functions they can perform. Choose an Instant Pot that can handle all the cooking tasks you want to use it for.

Keep in mind that 3-quart pots aren’t available in all models, so all cooking functions may not be available.

The most common cooking functions in Instant Pots include:

  • Pressure cooking
  • Slow cooking
  • Sautéing
  • Steaming
  • Rice cooking
  • Yogurt making
  • Egg cooking
  • Warming
  • Sterilizing
  • Dehydrating
  • Baking
  • Air frying

Instant Pot for a family of two features

Smart programs/presets

One of the best things about Instant Pots is that they offer Smart Programs, which are pre-programmed cooking instructions that determine the proper heat intensity, temperature, pressure and duration. They take all the guesswork out of the process and allow you to start cooking with the press of a single button.


Some Instant Pots only offer 10 or 11 Smart Programs, while others have up to 16. Standard Smart Programs include:

  • Pressure cook
  • Slow cook
  • Soup/Broth
  • Meat/Stew
  • Bean/Chili
  • Sauté/Steaming
  • Rice
  • Porridge
  • Cake
  • Egg
  • Yogurt
  • Warm
  • Sterilize


All Instant Pots have a display that offers information like whether the appliance is turned on, heating up, cooking or using a Smart Program, as well as how much time is left until your recipe is finished. Pots can have different types of displays, depending on the model.

Some Instant Pots have an LED display, while others have an LCD display. An LED display is usually found on higher-end models and provides a clearer, sharper display. An LCD display is still easy to read, so it’s really a matter of personal preference.


The control interface can vary between models. Some pots have buttons, while others have dials. Other high-end Instant Pots may even have touchscreen controls. All of these interfaces are user-friendly, but you may prefer one type over another.


Instant Pot offers a model equipped with WiFi connectivity, allowing you to control your Instant Pot via your mobile device and monitor the food you’re cooking. You can even find recipe ideas and shopping lists through the app. Be aware that this model isn’t available in all sizes, so you may need to size up from a small model.

Instant Pot for a family of two prices

You can expect to spend $60-$150 for an Instant Pot for a family of two. A 3-quart model that offers six functions costs $60-$99, while 3-quart models that provide up to 10 functions cost $99-$150.

Instant Pot for a family of two FAQ

Can I really speed up my cooking time with an Instant Pot?

A. It depends on what function you use with your Instant Pot. With the pressure-cooking function, you can cook your favorite recipes two to ten times faster.

How difficult is it to clean an Instant Pot?

A. Cleaning an Instant Pot is very easy because the interior pot component is removable and dishwasher-safe.

Which Instant Pot for a family of two should I get?

Best of the best Instant Pot for a family of two

Our take: The perfect size for a small family, this Instant Pot can replace 10 kitchen appliances and makes operation a breeze.

What we like: Provides pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, yogurt making, steaming, sauteing functions and more. Easy-to-use central dial control and easy-to-read LED display. Allows for custom programming for your favorite recipes.

What we dislike: Sauté feature doesn't always get hot enough for effective searing.

Best bang for your buck Instant Pot for a family of two

Our take: A compact Instant Pot that can fit in most kitchens while still providing many of the same functions as larger units.

What we like: Can perform seven functions, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, sauteing and more. Offers 14 Smart Programs for user-friendly operation. Features a 24-hour delay for busy families.

What we dislike: Some users find the power cord is too short.

Honorable mention Instant Pot for a family of two

Our take: A model for small families and couples that utilizes newer technology for excellent performance.

What we like: Works extremely well for cooking rice. Includes accessories, such as a soup spoon and rice paddle. Smaller footprint makes it excellent for apartments and small homes.

What we dislike: A few reports of inconsistent cooking and unresponsive controls.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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