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Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra Side-by Side (2022)

Trying to decide between an Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra? Regardless of if you’re thinking about buying your first Instant Pot 3 quart or considering a second one so you can cook multiple dishes at the same time, we can help you compare the two.

The Instant Pot Mini Duo and Ultra are two of three available Instant Pot 3 quart models. These may the first ones you’re thinking about and need to take a closer look at which one fits your needs, kitchen size, and budget. Let’s take a look at how the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra compare side-by-side.

Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra Side By Side

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.

Let me be honest with you. When I first thought about electric pressure cookers, and specifically the Instant Pot, I only knew a little bit about them. I watched the Facebook groups for about a year before I decided to buy one. At the time I knew I wanted a smaller one, and ideally budget-friendly. After I had the Mini Duo for a while, I considered buying a second one. I was thinking about a Mini Ultra, which I ultimately bought.

In general, an Instant Pot 3 Quart is great for cooking for one or two people, fit to small spaces, or can be used for traveling. I have limited counter space and kitchen storage so the 3-quart models fit my needs better.

And when I decided to buy another Instant Pot, I decided to go with another 3-quart so that I can reuse my current accessories, without having to buy two sets of sizes. Technically I could have used the 3-quart accessories in the larger Instant Pot, but then what would have been the purpose of having a larger pressure cooker.

Compare the appliances the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra combine

For the Instant Pot 3 Quart Ultra vs Duo, they have mostly the same programs.

 Instant Pot Mini DuoInstant Pot Mini Ultra
# of Combined Appliances79
Pressure CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
Rice/Porridge CookerYesYes
Sterilizer Yes
Egg Maker Yes
Yogurt MakerYesYes
 Prices and ReviewsPrices and Reviews

Smart Programs for the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra

 Instant Pot Mini DuoInstant Pot Mini Ultra
Smart Programs Built-In1114
Slow CookYesYes
Ultra Yes
Keep WarmYesYes
Pressure CookYesYes
Egg Maker Yes
 Prices and ReviewsPrices and Reviews

If you’re trying to decide which model to buy based on the smart programs, don’t worry about missing out on cooking dishes. Usually, you can still cook the same dish using the Pressure Cook (or Manual) button. The recipe will tell you the pressure level (usually high) and the time needed. While the smart programs control certain aspects of the cooking more precisely, you can achieve similar results manually.

Neither of these two models has the Cake or Multigrain smart programs. Those two programs are not generally available in the 3-quart models (to date), and if you really want that in your Instant Pot, consider the larger 6-quart or 8-quart models.

And a few additional Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra comparisons

 Instant Pot Mini DuoInstant Pot Mini Ultra
Pressure Cooking TimeUp to 4 hoursUp to 6 hours
Pressure SettingsHigh and LowHigh and Low
Heating Element Power700W700W
Other features3 Temperatures
Manual Keep Warm
Automatic keep warm up to 10 hours
3 Temperatures + Custom Option
Manual Keep Warm
Automatic keep warm up to 10 hours
 Prices and ReviewsPrices and Reviews

The Ultra uses a dial to choose the cooking settings while the Duo uses push buttons. One thing I really like about the Ultra is that the quick-release button is separate from the steam release itself. And the auto sealing feature is nice! The Duo has an auto-start once you select your program. On the Ultra you need to remember to press start.

Another nifty feature for both the 3 Quart Duo and 3 Quart Ultra is that side handles are also a lid rest. It may sound a little odd and of course, be careful to not knock the whole thing over, it’s a great feature when you have limited counter space. It’s also easier to put the lid into the handle slot when it’s hot than figure out how to set it down on the counter 🙂

Pricing of the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra

The prices of the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra will vary depending on coupons, and sales. You may even be lucky to find one at a local charity shop. Outside of sales and coupons, in general, you’ll pay about $40 more for the Mini Ultra versus Mini Duo for the additional features in the Ultra. Keep an eye out for deals. I was able to buy my Instant Pot 3 Quart Ultra for a few dollars cheaper thanks to the sale at one of the local kitchen stores (at the holidays of course.

So over to you. Thinking about the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra? Which one?

Personally, I like both of them and you can’t go wrong with either. Depending on your needs, such as a sterilizer, one Instant Pot may be better for you than the other. Best wishes to you in your cooking journey!

Comparing the Instant Pot Mini Duo vs Ultra Side By Side