Price: From $99.99
Capacity: 3 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart and 10 quart
Display: LED screen
Programs: Pressure Cook, Sauté, Slow Cook, Steam, Sous Vide, Warm, Roast, Bake, Broil, Dehydrate
Power: 700w (3 quarts), 850w (6 quarts), 1200 w (8 quarts), 1440w (10 quarts)
Smart features: None
The Instant Pot multi cooker has become a firm favorite in many households. And with its versatility, range of sizes and convenient, one-touch programs to cook just about anything, you can see why. If you’re a novice to the world of the best Instant Pots, or are looking to feed a crowd, the Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Cooker could be your best bet.
The Instant Pot Duo Nova main functions are pressure cook, steam, slow cook, saute and keep warm, rice cooker and yogurt maker, and also has 14 one touch preset programs.
While the Instant Pot Duo Nova comes in a range of sizes, it’s currently the only model with a large, 10 quart capacity option, which is ideal for big families or hosting parties. The only downside is that it’s quite heavy and bulky, and can take up a fair bit of countertop space. And, this model has fewer preset programs compared to the more advanced Instant Pot models, such as the lack of a Bake program.
So how does the Instant Pot Duo Nova compare to its more expensive counterparts? Read our Instant Pot Duo Nova review to find out more.
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker review: Price and availability
The Instant Pot Duo Nova is available in three sizes: the 3-quart model is $69, the 6-quart model costs $89, the 8-quart model is $99, and the 10-quart model costs $221. It’s widely available at online retailers and often on sale below the list price, though the 10-quart model is generally harder to find.
Overall, this model is considered the cheapest Instant Pot on the market for those on a budget or who simply need the basic requirements.
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker review: Design
Typically, pressure cookers are not known for their attractive design, but this Instant Pot Duo Nova looks pretty sleek in a stainless steel finish.
I reviewed the 10 quart size, measuring 16.8 x 15.3 x 16.3 inches, which was huge (and heavy at 25 lbs), taking up a fair bit of countertop space. But the Instant Pot Duo Nova does come in 3’’, 6’’and 8’’ quart sizes for smaller households.
Unlike other Instant Pots, it has a simple control panel, with the standard program buttons and a blue-lit, LED screen. Programs range from Slow Cook and Saute to Poultry and Pressure Cook. Handy functions, such as Pressure Level, Keep Warm, Delay Start, and Cancel are in the center.
It also has an updated steam release valve and a progress indicator to show when the Instant Pot is coming up to pressure, during cooking, and when it’s finished.
The Duo Nova comes with a stainless steel inner pot with sealing ring, steam rack and extra seal ring, which is handy as the silicone tends to pick up odors. The only downside is the inner pot doesn’t come with handles, like other Instant Pots, so you'll need to lift it out carefully. It also doesn’t come with a handy recipe book, however, you can download the app on your smartphone. However, for a basic model, the Instant Pot Duo Nova looks contemporary for any kitchen.
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker review: Cooking performance
During our tests, the Instant Pot Duo Nova performed well when pressure cooking meat dishes, stews and casseroles, but was a little disappointing when cooking rice and steaming vegetables.
The texture of stewed beef was succulent, tender, and more flavorsome and delicious than conventional cooking. Bear in mind, there is a fair bit of prep work to do before the cooking process begins. Select the Saute program to brown onions or meat before pressing Cancel to stop sauteing once you’re happy. I was impressed by the searing process, which didn’t take as long to brown as it would in a conventional frying pan. The Instant Pot reaches the ideal, high temperature to brown and crisp the meat before adding in the rest of your ingredients and stock to the pot. After closing the lid with a simple twist and lock, press the Pressure Cook button twice to set the temperature to either Low, Normal or High, which is set at 239°F to 245°F. The time also allows for preheat time which you can see on the handy progress bar on the display.
On the other hand, cooking basmati rice was average and not as impressive. The texture of the rice was soft but not as fluffy as a dedicated rice cooker would offer. In addition, some parts of the rice were not cooked consistently, so there would be rice stuck inside the inner pot - which could have been avoided if the pot had been non-stick. Despite the lack of ‘fluffiness’, the rice rated average for its aroma and taste.
Next, I tested the Steam function to steam some green beans; I noticed the majority of beans were overcooked, soggy and lacked the firm and crunchy texture of steamed vegetables.
Results seemed the same on a few tries, despite reducing the water content. In this case, you may need to manually adjust the cooking time to your preferred setting.
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker review: Ease of use and cleaning
If you’re a beginner to the world of Instant Pots, it’s worthwhile reading the manual first just to get you familiar with the settings. Program buttons are well-laid out and easy to use, while the Keep Warm function and quick release button are handy features. Once you press the program of your choice, just remember to adjust the pressure that you need before it automatically sets the cooking time. When cooking has finished, it automatically sets to Keep Warm until you’re ready to dish out your delicious meal, so you’ll never have to reheat anything.
Since this was the 10 quart capacity, the largest pot around, I found this quite heavy and cumbersome to lift. Another good thing about the Instant Pot Duo Nova is it doesn’t get too hot around the sides if you need to move it around.
Cleaning the Instant Pot Duo Nova can be a little tricky. Although the inner pot is dishwasher safe, it didn’t quite fit snugly in my dishwasher, so I had to handwash it in soapy water. However, it doesn’t take too long to wash the pot and sealing ring, while the pot exterior can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker review: Verdict
If you’re after a simple, no-fuss multicooker, the Instant Pot Duo Nova is a good option for beginners. If you have a large family, the 10-quart capacity is perfect for cooking up a storm, although you still have the smaller options to suit your needs.
While the Instant Pot Duo Nova has all the requirements/programs of a basic multi-cooker, one downside is the absence of a Bake program In addition, while it performed well for pressure cooking delicious meat dishes, results for cooking basmati rice, and steaming vegetables were not as consistent in quality and texture. Nevertheless, it still had a pleasant taste and aroma.
The Instant Pot Duo Nova may not have all the fancy bells and whistles of other models such as the Instant Pro Crisp and Air Fryer, but considering its affordable price, range of sizes and ease of use, the Instant Pot Duo Nova does a good job.