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

Instant Pot® added the Duo Nova series to its lineup in August 2019. If you’re researching your first Instant Pot purchase or considering upgrading your current one, here’s a quick comparison of the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Ultra.

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

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

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’ve seen all the rumblings on Facebook and social media about electric pressure cookers and are not sure 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 convenient, safe, and dependable. You prepare your meals faster when pressure-cooking. And because it’s faster, electric pressure cookers are an energy-efficient kitchen appliance that doesn’t heat up your kitchen in the summer.

Multiple models and sizes of Instant Pots are available so you can choose the best version for your needs. The company releases new models from time to time including a few new models in 2019.

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

The appliances combined in the Duo Nova and Ultra

One benefit of the Instant Pot is it combines multiple kitchen appliances into one, saving you storage and counter space. And by needing to buy fewer kitchen gadgets, you’ll also save money.

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

Also check out the newer model, the Instant Pot Pro, available with a limited time discount.

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Ultra
Number of Appliances Combined710
Pressure CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
Rice CookerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Sauté/SearingYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYes
WarmerYesYes
Cake MakerYes*
Egg MakerYes
SterlizerYes

The Ultra 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 Ultra Mini. But don’t worry you can still make cakes in a Mini without the specific cake smart program.

6 Quart Instant Pot Duo Nova
6 quart

Smart Programs included in each model

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 sometimes within different sizes, not all of the smart programs are included. 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 Duo NovaInstant Pot Ultra
Number of Smart Programs1316
Pressure Cook YesYes
Soup/BrothYesYes
Meat/StewYesYes
Bean/ChiliYesYes
SautéYesYes
RiceYesYes
MultigrainYes*Yes*
PoultryYes*
PorridgeYesYes
YogurtYesYes
CakeYes*
EggYes
SteamYesYes
Slow CookYesYes
UltraYes
SterilizeYes
Pasteurize**YesYes
Keep WarmYesYes

* These programs (Multigrain, Poultry, and Cake) are not currently 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.

While the Duo Nova doesn’t have 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
Check Price

Which sizes are the Instant Pot Ultra 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 addition of the Duo Nova series, Instant Pot now has a 4th size available. This model is available in 10 quarts!

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Ultra
3 QuartsYesYes
6 QuartsYesYes
8 QuartsYesYes
10 QuartsYes

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

What’s the difference between the Ultra vs Duo Nova compare? What’s new with Duo Nova model?

Looking at the Smart Programs in the Duo Nova vs Ultra side by side, there are some differences. The Ultra has a few additional programs compared to the Duo Nova.

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

Both the new Instant Duo Nova and Ultra have backlit displays with Ultra using a spin dial rather than buttons to make selections. Both models have the auto sealing lid as an added safety feature.

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

Compared to the Ultra, 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.

Smart programs and feature aside, the largest (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 Ultra.

What are your thoughts on the New Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Ultra?

Whenever you buy a new Instant Pot you need to decide which features and size best fit your cooking plans. If you already have an Ultra, there are a few interesting features in the new model that might make an upgrade attractive, especially if you want the largest Instant Pot available. 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 Ultra? 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 Ultra: What's the difference? What's the same?

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