Is the 8-quart Instant Pot ever TOO BIG?
Such a great question!
Here's my answer, Don. 🙂
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The Question: Is The 8-Quart Instant Pot Ever Too Big?
Don S. asked:
Great info regarding Instant Pot. Thank you.
Was there ever a situation when you felt the 8qt Instant Pot was TOO large to produce the food quality you wanted, or it cooked inefficiently or improperly?
Example: when only making 4 quarts of yogurt, or when preparing a small quantity of food. Always nice to have the bigger capacity if needed (especially for canning), as long as it doesn't negatively affect in other ways.
Agree with you about the Duo being an all-around suitable model. Thank you.
Great YT Channel!
Don, such a great question! Thank you for asking it!
Is The 8-Quart Instant Pot Ever Too Big?
For awhile, I had a 6-quart Instant Pot along with our two 8-quart Instant Pots.
Then I gave the 6-quart to my daughter Haniya so she could have two Instant Pots in her house. (She previously had one 6-quart.)
Have I missed having the 6-quart Instant Pot since then? Not at all.
In fact, the only time I wanted it back was to record this episode of #AskWardee so I could show the two sizes side-by-side in an Instant Pot model comparison. 😉
The Specifics, Though?
You mentioned a specific example of doing a smaller quantity of yogurt, like 4 quarts. It is no trouble to do just a couple quarts of yogurt in a larger Instant Pot like the 8-quart DUO.
(By the way, for everyone else, the DUO is my favorite model and I shared why here.)
What about other foods?
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When you're sauteing or melting small quantities (like we do salves and such like this)…. it's no difference using the 8-quart Instant Pot. It works just as well.
The size is just fine, and I've never felt it cooked inefficiently or improperly, even with small amounts of food, whether that's rice, beans, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, or anything else.
The Bottom Line
As you know, when cooking under pressure, there is a minimum liquid requirement.
The Instant Pot DUO manual states: “Always add at least 18 fl oz / 500 mL of liquid for minimum liquid requirement.”
18 fluid ounces is about 2.25 cups.
So as long as you have that much liquid in there, you can safely pressure cook any amount of food, large or small.
If you're not pressure cooking, you don't have to follow the minimum liquid rule.
And please keep in mind that because of the extra space, it may take a little longer to pressurize. I have never found this extra time to be significant. And it's the case whether or not you have large or small quantities of food inside.
What About Canning?
Don, you said: “Always nice to have the bigger capacity if needed (especially for canning)” and I want to be sure to clarify that we do NOT recommend the Instant Pot be used for canning.
You see, we err on the side of caution when it comes to pressure canning.
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, there is no ‘electric' pressure cooker/canner that's safe for home canning.
Additionally, because the pressure cooker is regulated by a pressure sensor instead of a thermometer, the actual temperature may change based on the elevation of your location. Therefore it may not achieve a high enough temperature to can food safely.
With both of these things in mind, we cannot and do NOT recommend anyone use the Instant Pot for home pressure canning.
What Is The Instant Pot?
In case you don't know, the Instant Pot is an electric appliance that allows you to pressure cook, slow cook, saute, and much more! We love it!
More Instant Pot Info, Reviews, and Recipes…
Check out my previous #AskWardee: Which Instant Pot Should I Buy? Which Size And Model Is Best For My Family?
And if you haven't already, download our FREE recipe: Instant Pot Sourdough Cornbread. It's sooo yummy, healthy, and easy!
We also have extensive archives of Instant Pot recipes here!
Any Questions Or Comments?
If you have other questions or comments about your own experience with the 8-quart Instant Pot, be sure to leave them in the comments!
- 8-quart Instant Pot (or 6-quart is here)
- FREE Download: Instant Pot Sourdough Cornbread Recipe
- #AskWardee 048: Which Instant Pot Should I Buy? Which Size And Model Is Best For My Family?
- Divided steamer basket
- Stackable pans — Use code 10OFF4WARDEE to get 10% OFF from seller Me'n'Lily.
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Do you have an 8-quart Instant Pot? Do you ever feel it's too big?
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