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

Instant Pot® has a wide range of electric pressure cookers available for you to choose from. If you’re thinking about buying your first Instant Pot or adding another one to your kitchen, here’s a quick comparison of the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Ultra.

Instant Pots are electric pressure cookers designed to be dependable, safe, and convenient. 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 Ultra vs Duo Plus side by side.

Top of a 6 quart Ultra for comparing the Instant Pot Duo Plus 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’re researching electric pressure cookers for the first time, here’s a quick introduction to get you started.

An Instant Pot is a multi-use smart electric pressure cooker designed to be safe, dependable, and convenient. This method of cooking helps you prepare meals faster, making it an energy-efficient kitchen appliance. And you also don’t heat up your kitchen in the summer.

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

The appliances combined in the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Ultra

Instant Pot combines multiple kitchen appliances into one, saving you counter and storage space. You’ll also save money because you can buy fewer kitchen appliances.

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

Instant Pot Duo PlusInstant Pot Duo Plus (6 Quart v2)Instant Pot Ultra
Number of Appliances Combined91110
Pressure CookerYesYesYes
Slow CookerYesYesYes
Rice CookerYesYesYes
SteamYesYesYes
Sauté/SearingYesYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYesYes
WarmerYesYesYes
Cake MakerYes*Yes*Yes*
Egg MakerYesYesYes
SterlizerYesYes
Sous VideYes**

* 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 may be able to find one of the previous versions on Amazon.

3 Quart Ultra
3 quart Ultra

Smart Programs available in the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Ultra

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 PlusInstant Pot Duo Plus (6 quart v2)Instant Pot Ultra
Number of Smart Programs141516
Pressure Cook YesYesYes
Soup/BrothYesYesYes
Meat/StewYesYesYes
Bean/ChiliYesYes
Bean/GrainYes* ***
SautéYesYesYes
RiceYesYesYes
MultigrainYes*Yes*
PorridgeYesYesYes
YogurtYesYesYes
CakeYes*Yes*Yes*
EggYesYesYes
SteamYesYesYes
Slow CookYesYesYes
Sous VideYes*
SterilizeYesYesYes
UltraYes
Pasteurize**YesYesYes
SautéYesYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes

* These programs (Multigrain and Cake) 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.

*** The Bean/Grain smart program is a replacement for the Bean/Chili and Multigrain buttons on the newer Duo Plus model. And this smart program is not available on the 3 quart model.

And certain programs have been updated in the V2 6 quart Duo Plus model, currently available on the Instant Pot store. Double-check which version you’re buying on Amazon as the inventory cycles its way through availability.

6 Quart Duo Plus
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Which sizes are the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Plus available in?

Many Instant Pot models are available in the core three sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. If you’re looking for something larger, check out the Duo Nova as that model is also available in 10 quarts.

Instant Pot Duo PlusInstant Pot Duo Plus (v2)Instant Pot Ultra
3 QuartsYesYesYes
6 QuartsYesYesYes
8 QuartsYesYesYes

What’s the difference between the Duo Plus vs Ultra?

Looking at the Smart Programs in the Duo Plus vs Ultra 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 less smart programs compared to the larger models.

Both the Instant Duo Plus and Ultra have a backlit display. The newer model Duo Plus and Ultra both have the auto sealing lid as a safety feature.

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

Both of these models come with one sealing ring and a steam rack. The Ultra model includes a few additional tools including a measuring cup. The rice paddle and soup spoon are not included in the latest Duo Plus version.

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 features aside, the noticeable difference between the Duo Plus and Ultra is the Duo Plus uses buttons to select the cooking functions and the Ultra has a turn dial.

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

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 one of these two models, buying the other adds a few interesting features that might make an upgrade attractive. I don’t know about you, but I can always find a need for another Instant Pot in my kitchen.

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

Learn more about the Instant Pot Models compared

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

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