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Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus: Comparing what’s the same and different

Instant Pot® released the new Duo Nova series in August 2019. If you’re thinking of upgrading your current Instant Pot or buying a new one, here’s a quick comparison of the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus.

Instant Pots are electric pressure cookers designed to be dependable, safe, and convenient. The Duo Nova series was released in August 2019. Each Instant Pot model has a different combination of features that might change your decision on which to buy. Let’s take at the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Duo Nova side by side.

You can also compare the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Duo Nova separately.

Top of a 6 quart Duo Plus for comparing the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus

And one more note: this post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission if you buy through my link. You won’t pay any more if you use this link.

What is the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker?

If you’re new to electric pressure cookers and wondering what this is all about, let’s start with a quick introduction.

An Instant Pot is a multi-use smart electric pressure cooker designed to be safe, dependable, and convenient. Pressure-cooking helps you prepare your meals faster. And because you cook your meals faster, the electric pressure cooker is an energy-efficient kitchen appliance.

The Instant Pot is available in multiple models and sizes so you can choose the best that works for your needs. And they released two new models in 2019.

You may be trying to decide which is better for your needs between the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus. Or maybe how the new Duo Nova is different if you already own a Duo Plus.

The appliances combined in the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus

Instant Pot combines multiple kitchen appliances into one, saving you storage and counter space. And you’ll save money by only needing to buy one kitchen appliance to use for multiple cooking methods.

Let’s take a look at the appliances combined in the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Duo Nova:

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo PlusInstant Pot Duo Plus (6 Quart v2)
Number of Appliances Combined7910
Pressure CookerYesYesYes
Slow CookerYesYesYes
Rice CookerYesYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYesYes
Cake MakerYes*Yes
Egg MakerYesYes
Sous VideYes**

The Duo Plus combines a few additional appliances into one Instant Pot compared to the Duo Nova.

* The Cake Maker feature is not available in the 3 quart Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini. But don’t worry you can still make cakes in a Mini without the specific cake smart program.

** For the Duo Plus models, Sous Vide is currently an addition to the updated 6 quart model. You can find that one on the Instant Pot store. Looking at Amazon, it currently has the original 6 quart Duo Plus version.

6 Quart Duo Plus
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Smart Programs available in the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus

The Instant Pot smart programs help you cook at the press of a button. Smart programs were created through extensive testing to control pressure, heat intensity, duration, and temperature.

Each Instant Pot series has a different combination of smart programs. And one thing to note. Not all of the sizes within a model series will have all of the smart programs. Usually, the mini 3 quart models will have a few fewer programs than its larger 6- and 8-quart siblings.

If you’re looking for a specific smart program, double-check the model you’re buying before completing your purchase. Instant Pot has released new versions of models over time, which can include changing up the smart program combination.

Instant Pot is in the process of releasing a new Duo Plus model that changes up some of the smart programs from the original model. For the new version check out the Instant Pot store and then keep an eye on Amazon to see when it arrives there.

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo PlusInstant Pot Duo Plus (6 quart v2)
Number of Smart Programs131415
Pressure Cook YesYesYes
Slow CookYesYesYes
Sous VideYes*
Keep WarmYesYesYes

* These programs (Multigrain and Poultry) may not be available in the 3-quart versions of this Instant Pot.

** The Pasteurizing program is part of the Yogurt Smart Program. When you choose “More”, it will pasteurize milk. Be sure to check the temperature of the heated milk to ensure it reaches the proper temperature.

And certain programs have been updated in the V2 6 quart Duo Plus model, currently available on the Instant Pot store. Amazon has currently has the original model so double check the model information prior to buying.

Neither the Duo or Duo Nova has the Cake Setting or egg program in any size. Don’t worry as you can still make hard-boiled eggs using the steam setting and cakes in any of the models using the pressure cook setting and adjusting the time.

8 Quart Instant Pot Duo Nova
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Which sizes are the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Duo Nova available in?

Many Instant Pot models are available in the core three sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. With the release of the Duo Nova, there is now a 4th size available. This model is also available in 10 quarts!

Instant Pot
Duo Nova
Instant Pot
Duo Plus
Instant Pot
Duo Plus (6 quart v2)
3 QuartsYesYes
6 QuartsYesYesYes
8 QuartsYesYes
10 QuartsYes

10 Quart Instant Pot Duo Nova
10 quart

If you’re looking for a larger Instant Pot, check out the 10 quart Duo Nova.

What’s the difference between the Duo Plus vs Duo Nova compare? What’s changed with the Duo Nova model?

Looking at the Smart Programs in the Duo Nova vs Duo Plus side by side, there are some differences. And also to note the Duo Plus 6 quart has a newer version that updates the smart programs for the model series.

And as usual with the 3 quart models, they continue to have a few fewer smart programs compared to the larger models.

Both the new Instant Duo Nova and Duo Plus have a backlit display. The Duo Nova is the auto sealing lid as an added safety feature. You’ll also be able to find the auto sealing lid in the updated Duo Plus 6 quart (currently available directly from Instant Pot).

The auto sealing lid is one of my favorite features. No need to worry about the knob in the wrong position.

Compared to the Duo Plus, this model comes with two sealing rings, a steam rack, and a measuring cup.

When looking at the models side by side for price, keep an eye out for flash sales and other deals. You may be able to save money on your purchase, especially if you buy one of the original Duo Plus models while they last.

Smart programs and feature aside, the biggest (literally) difference between the two is the Duo Nova is the first Instant Pot model I’ve seen available at 10 quarts. If you need to cook larger meals, you may want to take a closer look at this model. The 10 quart is easy to miss because it’s currently limited separately from the other Duo Novas on Amazon.

Don’t forget the accessories! Regardless of which Instant Pot you buy, don’t forget the accessories. These Instant Pot Duo Nova accessories will also work for the Duo Plus.

What are your thoughts on the Instant Pot Duo Nova and Duo Plus?

Whenever you buy a new Instant Pot you need to decide which features and size make the most sense for your needs. If you already have a Duo Plus, there are a few interesting features in the Duo Nova that might make an upgrade attractive. I don’t know about you, but I am finding the need for more than one Instant Pot in my kitchen.

What about you? What are you looking for in an Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus? Are you trying to decide which one to buy?

Learn more about the Instant Pot Models compared to the Duo Nova

Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus: What's the difference? What's the same?


  1. on the Nova, when do you push the push the pressure knob on top down and when to turn the quick release button forward.?

    1. Hey Chuck –

      Check the instruction manual for that particular question. With an autoseal lid you’ll only need to push the button when the cooking cycle is done. What I usually do with my Ultra is to tap the release button to start a slower release to avoid the steam hitting the ceiling. Once I think the steam looks fairly clear, I pull the button down all the way. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi. Can I bake a chicken in the duo nova which doesn’t have. Cake/bake function?
    I would really like to get the 8 quart duo plus which has more functions than nova but I’d rather go for the auto sealing lid
    Any advise?

    1. Hi Shereen –

      When I cook chicken I usually use the pressure cook function. I’m not familiar with the bake function but if it’s really the cake function, that’s still a pressure cooking method and designed for desserts, not meats. I’m not sure what you’re thinking in terms of bake. Are you thinking bake more in terms of “oven-like results”?

      – Cara

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