Find which electric pressure cooker is better: Instant Pot Duo or the New Instant Pot Duo Nova?
The Instant Pot Duo is considered a classic among all the Instant Pot products. On the other hand, the Instant Pot Duo Nova is the new kid on the block and comes with a few flashy features that make it more suitable for beginners (hence the name - Duo Nova).
So, which one is best for you? Should you stick with the overly tested and already proven Instant Pot (aka the DUO) or should you try your hands and the newest Instant Pot model (aka the Duo Nova)?
Well, that’s why we’re all here today - to see the final battle; the Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova comparison! As usual, we’ll check each pot separately, and then we’ll talk pros & cons, ending with my honest opinion on which one I think wins the game.
But before we start, I just want to make sure everyone knows I absolutely adore all Instant Pot models. They all have something that makes them incredibly useful in the kitchen, which is why I can’t choose just one best Instant Pot. However, I can select the best pressure cooker for a certain category of users, which is exactly what I’ll do for the Instant Pot Duo and Duo Nova.
Table of Contents
DUO vs Instant Pot DUO Nova Comparison Table
Instant Pot DUO Review
As you probably know by now, the Instant Pot Duo is the most popular Instant Pot model. It is a 7-in-1 pressure cooker (meaning it can replace seven kitchen appliances), which is lower than what an Instant Pot Duo Plus or a Duo Evo Plus can offer, but it is enough for a regular kitchen or a beginner.
Furthermore, the pot is available in three sizes (3, 6, and 8 quart size). This way, users can select the size that best suits their cooking habits (the 3 quart model is perfect for singles and couples, the 6 quart size pot is ideal for medium-sized families, and the 8 quart is for large families).
The Instant Pot Duo is extremely efficient as it speeds up your cooking by up to 70% (compared to stove-top cooking) and it offers a solid range of smart cooking programs - 13 one-touch smart programs. As such, the pot can be used to cook soups (or a soup broth), beef stew, bean chili, and more. In addition, it is equipped with several other cooking functions like slow cook, steam, yogurt making, rice making, pressure cook, and Keep Warm module.
Each function is easily accessible via the front panel, fitted with one-touch buttons that let users select the desired smart program and make adjustments for pressure (from low to medium and high pressure) and cooking time.
There is also a Manual module, but I only recommend it for more experienced users. In Manual mode, you get to select your own settings (like manual pressure setting), but if you don’t know how the pot works, there’s the risk of the food coming out over- or under-cooked.
In terms of accessories, the Instant Pot Duo comes with the standard inner pot and steam rack (in my opinion, they should add a measuring cup as well). Both accessories are dishwasher safe and don’t have any chemical coating.
- The Duo is available in three sizes
- User-friendly interface & easy to read display
- Access to countless recipes (developed by Instant Pot's online community)
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Safe to use (as long as you follow the instructions)
- Fast cooking without too much of a mess
- 13 smart programs that cover most regular meals
- Keep Warm module
- Can be paired with the Air Fryer lid
- It doesn’t have too many advanced cooking modules
- It can be a bit challenging for an absolute beginner
- The power cable could’ve been a bit longer
- The steam release valve needs to be activated manually
- No measuring cup
- 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer.
- QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING: 13 customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more.
- COOK FAST OR SLOW: Pressure cook delicious one-pot meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cook your favorite traditional recipes – just like grandma used to make.
- QUICK AND EASY CLEAN UP: Finger-print resistant, stainless-steel sides and dishwasher-safe lid, inner pot, and accessories.
- SAFETY FEATURES: Includes over 10 safety features, plus overheat protection and safe-locking lid
Instant Pot DUO Nova Review
Instant Pot Duo Nova is available in four sizes - one more than the Instant Pot Duo classic - (3, 6, and 8 quart, plus and addition one - the 10qt), The 10qt model is the largest Instant Pot model available and is big enough to feed a crowd or stock your fridge with ready-cooked meals for a while. So, when it comes to available sizes, the Duo vs Duo Nova comparison puts the latter in the first place.
Unlike the Instant Pot Duo Plus or the Duo Evo Plus, this pot only has seven functions that can replace other kitchen appliances (pressure cook, sauté pan, steamer, slow cook, rice maker, food warmer, and yogurt making). Still, it has 13 smart programs (the 3 quart only has 11 smart cooking programs).
Instant Pot Duo Nova is just as fast at cooking delicious meals like the classic Instant Pot Duo and can make almost any type of meal for a regular family. It also has the Keep Warm, pressure cook, and slow cook modules, saute, rice making, steaming, and yogurt maker features.
For instance, you can use the pressure cooking module in combination with the saute function to cook a delicious meat stew (like this delicious recipe with chicken and mushrooms. Of course, the pressure cooking function is also amazing for a soup broth (like this soup recipe) or a bean chili, but make sure to use a measuring cup when you first cook these recipes. And, when the food is done, you can use the Keep Warm module to keep it ready for eating until everyone is seated at the dinner table.
The novelty with the Duo Nova comes from the updated lid. Unlike the classic Duo, the Instant Pot Duo Nova is designed with a lid that automatically seals the release valve when closed. This way, you don’t have to wonder if the Duo Nova is building pressure or not. Also, there is a quick-release button that you can use to release steam faster, without getting your hands near the hot steam.
Lastly, in terms of accessories, the Instant Pot Duo Nova comes with the same stainless steel inner pot and trivet (both are dishwasher safe) that are somewhat standard with Instant Pots (no measuring cup though). In summary, in the Instant Pot Duo vs Instant Pot Duo Nova battle, you could say the latter is a bit more prepared for beginners. As a plus Duo Nova has bot the 3 quart and the 10 quart size - the latter is not similar to the Duo Classsic model (or any other instant pots for that matter).
- Duo Nova is available in four sizes (3 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart, and 10 quart size)
- Duo Instant Pot Smart lid, with an auto-sealing steam valve (just like the Instant Pot Duo Plus)
- Quick-release button for fast pressure release
- The Duo Nova control panel is clean and easy to understand
- 13 smart programs for all sorts of dishes
- Solid build & easy to read display
- Easy to clean elements and accessories
- Keep Warm module
- Works with the Air Fryer lid
- The outer rim is a bit difficult to clean (as is for most Instant Pots)
- The condensation collector cup pops a bit too easy
- No measuring cup in the box
- Best for beginners: An upgrade to the all-time bestseller Instant Pot Duo series, the Duo Nova combines 7 appliances in 1: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, food warmer, and yogurt maker. The 6Qt model is the most popular size, with a capacity to cook for up to 6 people – if you’re on the fence about which size is right for you, you can’t go wrong with the 6Qt
- Healthy & consistently delicious: Duo Nova is powered by a sophisticated micro-processor that monitors and adjusts pressure, temperature, time, and heat to cook food up to 70% faster than other methods and deliver consistent, delicious results every time. Automatic keep-warm for up to 10 hours
- Smart lid: The new easy seal lid gives you 1 less thing to worry about because it automatically seals your Instant Pot. Steam release is also a breeze with the fast, safe push of the quick release button. And it even comes with a bonus sealing ring
- Worry-free cooking: 10 plus safety features with UL certification let you “set it and forget it.” You’re free to do other things while the Duo Nova cooks your dinner safely and quickly, with minimal mess and easy clean up. The Duo Nova’s food-grade stainless steel 304 (18/8) cooking pot is dishwasher-safe and durable, with no chemical coating.
- Clear, simple controls: Elegant blue LCD intuitively indicates the cooking process of the multicooker. Convenient 1-touch control of 13 programs can be customized to remember the way you like to cook
Instant Pot Duo & Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Other Instant Pot Models
The list of Instant Pot pressure cookers is long and diverse, which is why the brand is so famous. However, this can also lead to confusion when you’re looking to choose an Instant Pot but don’t really know the exact features you’ll need.
So, besides running the Duo Classic vs Duo Nova comparison, I thought it would be best to talk about the other Instant Pot pressure cookers that are usually associated with the Duo and Duo Nova models.
Quick note: I already mentioned the Duo Plus and Duo Evo models in the reviews, so I won’t include them here. In addition, the Air Fryer lid is more of an accessory (usually combined with the Duo Crisp), so if you want to learn more about it, please check my Air Fryer Lid review and read a bit more about the Duo Crisp.
Instant Pot Ultra is one of the electric pressure cookers that comes to mind when you want a modern product with lots of smart programs (especially if you run an Ultra vs Duo Nova comparison). Its most popular design is the 6 quart Instant Pot, but it also comes in the 3 qt and 8 qt sizes, just like the Duo and Duo Nova or Instant Pot Lux. What makes the Instant Pot Ultra more noticeable is the large display and selection system (not as common on other Instant Pots). Furthermore, Ultra also has a cooking progress indicator, which may earn some admiration from beginners who can’t yet pressure cook or slow cook without worrying.
Now, if you want an even more modern pot with a cooking progress indicator, please have a look at the new Instant Pot Smart Wifi (only available in 6 qt size) or check my Ultra vs Smart Wifi detailed comparison (I'm sure you'll enjoy the smart programs these pots have to offer).
Lastly, another great product that’s worthy of your attention is the Instant Pot Max. This pot is great for pressure cooking and slow cooking, has a wide range of cooking programs, and it can support up to 15 psi of pressure (for safe home pressure canning). This pot would be great for a smooth and textured bean chili, but it’s amazing for lighter dishes as well.
Which Model Is Better for Me?
As promised, I will try and define a category of best users for each of these two Instant Pot models (Duo vs Duo Nova). In my opinion, they both do an amazing job, especially since there is no fancy interface to decipher.
Furthermore, the Instant Pot Duo community is quite large and very supportive, so it’s easy to find help when something doesn’t seem right (you can even use the Instant Pot app). And, when you’re ready to experiment, you’ll find lots of cool recipes (for both the pressure and the slow cooker) that you wouldn’t even dream about cooking in an Instant Pot Duo or Duo Nova!
Still, it’s important to mention that none of these two Instant Pot models have a sous vide function nor can they make air fries (usually an air fryer function). If sous vide is important for you, it’s best to choose an Instant Pot Duo Plus or an Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus. Also, if you are looking for a heavy-duty air fryer (for air fries and other healthy fried foods), it’s best to consider a stand-alone product or an Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer (which come with a bunch of extra smart programs besides air fries).
So, without further ado, here is my opinion on each:
Choose the DUO if...
- You want a tried and tested pressure cooker that’s admired by many satisfied customers
- You like a user-friendly interface that’s easy to understand
- You want the support of a powerful global community
- You are used to working with an electric multicooker
Choose the DUO Nova if...
- You are just starting your journey with a multicooker
- You don’t want an electric pressure cooker with a manual steam release valve
- You like the upgraded lid and find it extremely useful
- The new control panel seems easier to understand and use
If the Duo vs Duo Nova comparison revealed they are not the right fit, but you want the same features but with a slight advantage when it comes to the type of food you can prepare, I recommend the Instant Pot Duo Plus or the Instant Pot Ultra. These are amazing for anything, starting with a basic meat stew or soup broth and ending with fancy Citrus Pork Carnitas.
In conclusion, the Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova comparison features two Instant Pot with fairly similar features that can replace several kitchen appliances. You can use both Instant Pots to slow cook, cook rice, make yogurt, select between high and low pressure setting, pressure cook, or make a delicious slow cooking stew. And they are all available in different quart sizes (still, the 6 quart is the most popular in both cases)!
However, the Duo Nova has an upgraded lid and a better-looking control panel, which is why many beginners would rather choose it for their first pressure cooking experience. On the other hand, a seasoned cook may feel more at home with the classic Duo since it’s already been cleared by thousands of users from all over the world.