The Mini Duo and Mini Lux are two of the 3qt Instant Pot models available. Depending on where you’re planning to shop, or your budget, these two models may be at the top of your list.
The Instant Pot Mini is great for cooking for a person or two (like I do) and have limited counter space. You can also use it for making a side dish, or even while traveling (camping, RV’ing, in a hotel, etc).
After following the Instant Pot community for about a year I decided I was ready to buy my first electric pressure cooker, but I didn’t really know much about them. I knew I wanted the smaller model that was budget-friendly to start.
And at the time, I didn’t really know what was available. Here’s my side-by-side comparison of the Instant Pot Mini Duo and Lux models to help you in your research.
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.
Which appliances are combined in the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Lux
One of the benefits of the Instant Pot is that it combines multiple kitchen appliances into one, saving you money and storage space. With each 3 quart model, the combination varies a little.
Let’s take a quick look at the appliances that are combined into the Mini Duo vs Lux.
|Kitchen Appliance||Instant Pot Mini Duo||Instant Pot Mini Lux (v2)|
|Number of Combined Appliances||7||6|
Smart Programs for the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Lux
Ideally, you would use a smart program specifically designed for the dish you’re cooking to have the best results. With each model of Instant Pot Mini, not all smart programs are available compared to the larger models.
The directions for most recipes tell you how to cook the dish without a smart program. For example, it may say to cook on high pressure for a set time. The good news is you don’t have to worry too much about missing out.
The smart programs included in the Mini Lux vs Mini Duo are:
|Smart Program||Instant Pot Mini Duo||Instant Pot Mini Lux (v2)|
|Built-In Smart Programs||11||10|
Don’t worry about missing out on one of the smart pressure cooking programs. Usually, you can still cook the same thing using the Pressure Cook (or Manual) button. The Instant Pot manual or recipe that you’re following should tell you the pressure level and time needed, which is “High” most of the time.
The Mini Lux doesn’t have the yogurt program. If you’re seriously considering a Lux, there are recipes available using a cold start method you can still use with your Instant Pot.
And for the Mini Duo which does not have the Egg program, we generally use the Steam program for hard-boiled eggs.
Yogurt and hard-boiled eggs are things to make among the Instant Pot community.
A few more differences between the Instant Pot Mini Lux and Duo
And let’s take a look at a few more comparisons between these two Instant Pot 3 quart models.
|Spec||Instant Pot Mini Duo||Instant Pot Mini Lux (v2)|
|Pressure Cooking Time||Up to 4 hours||Up to 4 hours|
|Pressure Settings||High and Low||High|
|Heating Element Power||700W||700W|
|Lid Holder (in the handles)||Yes|
|Other features||Automatic keep warm up to 10 hours||Automatic keep warm up to 10 hours|
One key difference between the Instant Pot Mini Duo and Lux is the 3 quart Duo has two pressure cooking levels (high and low) compared to the Lux that only has one pressure setting (high). Most recipes use high pressure and I have yet to find one that uses low pressure so you generally will not have an issue.
The other cool feature with the Mini Duo is the lid rest. The slot in the handle allows you to set the lid on the Instant Pot. It may seem a little odd and do be careful to not knock the entire thing. If you’re short on counter space, the lid rest is really useful.
Honestly, I didn’t use the lid rest originally, but will from time to time while I’m waiting for the lid to cool.
The pricing of the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Lux
Pricing is difficult to predict for the two models because of sales, coupons, and discount stores. Generally, the base price of the Mini Duo will be higher than the Mini Lux because of the added features.
Keep your eyes open for deals so you can buy the model you ultimately prefer rather than being limited by your budget.
Wrapping up. Are you considering buying an Instant Pot Mini? Which one and what’s helping you decide?
Pressure cooking was a completely new cooking method for me when I bought my first Instant Pot, a Mini Duo. At the time it had the right features at the right price so I could start experimenting with electric pressure cooking.
What are you thinking about when deciding between the Instant Pot 3 quart models? What additional questions do you have?