Home » Instant Pot Comparison » Instant Pot Pro vs Duo: 10 differences compared side by side

Instant Pot Pro vs Duo: 10 differences compared side by side

Are you shopping for your first or extra electric pressure cooker? In 2021 Instant Pot® released several new models. Here’s a comparison of the differences between the Instant Pot Pro vs Duo side-by-side.

Instant Pot designs each of its electric pressure cookers to be dependable, convenient, and safe. In 2021 the company released two models including the Pro. Each Instant Pot model has some variations that might make you prefer one version over another. And between these two models and the occasional promotions, it may be difficult to choose which one to buy. Let’s take a look at the Instant Pot Duo vs Pro side by side.

The 10 differences between the Instant Pot Pro vs Duo include:

  • Different inner liners that are not interchangeable
  • The Duo has more smart programs but the Pro has 28 presets
  • The front control panels are different between the two models
  • The Pro has a defused steam release feature and quick cool lid
  • The Pro has 5 custom favorite programs
  • Pro has Sous Vide capabilities
  • The Duo is also available as a 3 quart mini
  • The accessories in the box are different different
  • More style and theme options with the Duo
  • The classic model will typically cost less

Dig deeper into the comparison between the two models to look at the appliances combined, smart programs included, and other relevant stats.

Close up of a 6 Quart Duo to compare the differences between the Instant Pot Pro vs Duo

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?

An Instant Pot® is a smart multi-use Electric Pressure Cooker designed to be convenient, dependable, and safe. Safety is of course one of the most important things when it comes to pressure cooking.

This energy-efficient kitchen appliance helps you to prepare your meals faster using less energy. Using less energy allows you to cook hot meals in the summer without heating up your kitchen.

The Duo and Pro are just two of the many models the company sells. The Duo is their classic version and the Pro is their most innovative version introduced in 2021.

Specifically, you may be considering the Instant Pot Pro vs Duo and trying to figure out which one is better. Or maybe how they’re different if you already own another Instant Pot.

What is the difference between the Instant Pot Duo and Pro?

The Instant Pot Pro, new in 2021, builds on the innovations added to their recent electric pressure cookers. The company calls the Instant Pot Duo their classic model. Here’s a quick summary of the differences between the innovative Instant Pot model and their classic model.

Different inner liners that are not interchangeable

The Pro has the updated inner liner, introduced with the Duo Evo Plus. This inner pot has a flat bottom so that it’s stove-top friendly. It also easy grab handles.

One of the common complaints or questions is if the liner can be used on the stove. The original liners can’t and risk warping when used on direct stove-top heat.

The other great feature for the new inner liner is heat-resistant handles making it easier to lift from the base. Picking up a hot inner liner from the rim can be difficult at times, so the added handles are a great feature.

But this new liner cannot be used with all models, including the Duo. If you already have other liners that are the same size and you decide to buy a Pro, you’ll need to buy additional model-specific inner pots to have extras.

Extra liners, in addition to extra sealing rings, are nice to have so you can quickly cook different dishes without having to stop to wash a pot.

The other thing to note about the newer liner is it is only available in stainless steel. The original style liner is also available in a non-stick version.

The Duo has more smart programs but the Pro has 28 customizable programs

When you’re comparing Instant Pots, you may want to look at the smart programs side by side. So while the Pro has fewer cooking buttons, it has more cooking features in the form of customizable programs.

The presets and customization options in the Pro remove the guesswork out of cooking at a whole new level. The design of the Pro allows for more cooking options to be available from the control panel instead of being limited to a few buttons.

The front control panels are different between the two models

The Duo has a traditional LCD control panel with push buttons to choose your cooking settings. You’ll see a similar control panel in the Lux, their basic model along with the Viva.

The Pro has a control panel similar to the Duo Evo Plus and Ultra. It is a backlit display with buttons and a turn dial. You push a button to select a smart program, and turn the dial to choose presets and make adjustments. And then you’ll use the buttons to stop and start the process. You’ll also be able to track the cooking process closer on the Pro.

And as with the Duo Evo Plus and Ultra, don’t forget to press the start button to actually begin the cooking process. The Duo automatically starts cooking after a few seconds of pushing the program buttons.

The Pro has a defused steam release feature and quick-cool lid

In addition to the handled cooking liner, the Pro has a few of the newer lid features. The defused steam release feature, introduced with the Duo Evo Plus, allows you to quickly release the pressure after cooking without worrying about spraying your ceiling.

With the original Duo, you can do a controlled steam release when it’s done cooking by tapping the manual release knob. You also need to remember to flip the steam release knob to the sealing position before you start pressing the control buttons.

Newer versions of the Duo, from September 2021 forward, should have an updated lid with the auto-seal feature. If you decide to buy a Duo, double-check with the version you’re buying.

A nice addition in the Pro along with a few other models is an auto-sealing lid.

If you like the auto-sealing feature but aren’t sure about the advanced technology of the Pro, check out the Duo Plus as an alternative.

The Pro has 5 custom favorite programs

With the Pro, you can set up to 5 favorite custom programs for one-touch access to your preferred settings. If there are dishes you may frequently this is a great added feature.

While the Instant Pot can typically remember your last used setting for a specific smart program, if you make multiple versions of one meat, for example, the favorites on the Pro will help you keep those to one-touch.

Pro has Sous Vide capabilities

Each Instant Pot model has a different combination of features and smart programs. The Sous Vide cooking program is one smart program included with the Pro and not the Duo.

Sous Vide is a long-and-slow cooking method where your food is enclosed in a water-tight food-safe bag. Circulated water heats the bag which the food cooks in its own juices.

You’ll need a few extra accessories to cook using sous vide, including the right bags.

The Duo is also available as a 3 quart mini

The Duo is available in three sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. The Pro comes in two options: 6 quart and 8 quart.

Choose the size that fits your cooking needs. For example, a 3 quart mini is great for cooking for one person or small side sides. It’s also useful for smaller kitchens with limited storage space.

3 Quart Duo
3 quart Duo

Most recipes are written for the 6 quart size unless otherwise noted. It is the most popular size and large enough to cook dishes to feed a family of 4 people.

If you like to cook larger meals, need the extra flexibility, or do a lot of meal prep cooking, the 8 quart model might fit your needs better. For example, the larger model gives you extra room to cook a bulk package of chicken breasts together. Both the Duo and Pro are available at the larger size.

The accessories in the box are different different

The Duo comes with a 1 sealing ring and a steam rack/trivet along with a user manual. Older versions of the Duo also included a rice paddle, soup spoon, and measuring cup.

In the Pro box, you’ll receive two sealing rings, a trivet, and a user manual. The extra sealing ring is a great addition.

If this is your first time using an Instant Pot, keep in mind that the silicone rings usually pick up the smells of what you cook, especially garlic and onion. Silicone also picks up the smell of chicken.

Regardless of the Instant Pot you buy, consider adding an extra sealing ring or two to your purchase. It’s worth it. Otherwise, imagine accidentally making a garlic-flavored cheesecake.

More style and theme options with the Duo

As the Duo is a very popular model, it’s also sold in a few different themes. Previously it was available in different colors. You may still be able to find some of them online.

And it was also released in a Star Wars-themed series originally available only at Williams-Sonoma and has since been made available on Amazon.

The Pro is made in a new black stainless steel style with black plastic accents.

The classic model will typically cost less

Depending on your budget, the Duo will typically cost less than the Pro for the same quart size as the new model has additional features.

Always keep an eye out for a flash deal or deal when you’re thinking about buying an Instant Pot. You never know when you’ll be able to save money on your purchase, even with the newer models.

The Instant Pot Pro and Duo compared side-by-side

To take a closer look at each model, here are the appliances combined included smart programs, and available sizes compared side-by-side. In addition to reading a summary of the differences, checking out each aspect in detail can be helpful to your decision-making process.

The appliances combined in each model

Each Instant Pot combines multiple kitchen appliances into one, saving space on your counters and in your cabinets. And of course, you save money by having one appliance to cover multiple cooking methods.

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

Kitchen ApplianceProDuo
Number of Appliances Combined10-in-17-in-1
Pressure CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
Rice CookerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Sauté/SearingYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYes
SterilizerYes
Sous VideYes
WarmerYesYes
Cake MakerYes

The new Pro combines a few more appliances into one Instant Pot compared to the Duo. The newer model also includes Sous Vide, cake making, and sterilizer capabilities.

That’s not to say you can’t make cakes in the Duo. Check the recipe for instructions to use the regular pressure cooking smart program. You don’t have to worry about missing out on the famous Instant Pot cheesecake if you decide to buy a Duo.

Smart Programs included in the Duo and Pro

Instant Pot created smart programs to help the home chef be able to cook with the press of a button. The smart programs were created based on extensive testing to control heat intensity, temperature, pressure level, and cooking duration.

Each Instant Pot series will have a different combination of smart programs, but you should also note that the smaller models won’t have all the series programs. Because the 3 quart mini has a smaller front control panel to fit buttons, it will typically have 2 fewer programs than its 6- and 8-quart siblings.

One other thing to note about the Pro is it has fewer smart programs but that can be a bit misleading. In addition to the smart programs, the Pro has a large number of presets to further control time and temperature.

Smart ProgramProDuo
Number of Smart Programs1014
Soup/BrothYes
Meat/StewYes
Bean/ChiliYes
SautéYesYes
RiceYesYes
MultigrainYes*
PoultryYes*
PorridgeYes
YogurtYesYes
Pressure Cook YesYes
SteamYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Slow CookYesYes
Pasteurize**YesYes
BakeYes
Sous VideYes

* These programs (Poultry and Multigrain) may not be available in the 3-quart versions of the Duo because of the smaller front panel

** Pasteurize is a program included in the Yogurt Smart Program

Looking at the model sizes side-by-side, the models larger than the 3 quart have two additional smart programs: poultry and multigrain. While the Mini Duo does not have these settings, check the recipe you’re using for instructions to use the pressure cook setting and adjust the time.

Preset cooking options on the Instant Pot Pro

After choosing a Smart Program, you can choose from the preset cooking options, which are customizable. They include:

  • Pressure Cook: Custom, Chicken, Sterilize, Pasta, Beef, Soup, Egg, and Beans.
  • Rice/Grain: Custom, White Rice, and Brown Rice
  • Steam: Custom
  • Saute: Custom
  • Slow Cook: Custom, Chicken, Beef, Beans, and Soup
  • Sous Vide: Custom, Chicken, Beef, and Egg
  • Yogurt: Custom
  • Bake: Custom, Cheesecake, and Bread
  • Keep Warm: Custom, Low, and High

Which sizes the Pro and Duo available in?

The Pro is available in 2 sizes: 6 quarts and 8 Quart. The Duo is available in the three core Instant Pot sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart.

The core Instant Pot models are generally available in the three main sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. Previously there was a 10 quart model as part of the now-discontinued Duo Nova series.

3 Quart Duo
3 quart Duo

SizeProDuo
3 QuartsYes
6 QuartsYesYes
8 QuartsYesYes

If you’re looking for a larger electric pressure cooker, you may be able to find a Duo Nova 10 quart online or you’ll need to consider a different brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a few more questions? Check out these frequently asked questions about the Duo and Duo Nova.

What comes with the Instant Pot Pro?

The Instant Pot Pro comes with 2 sealing rings, a trivet, and a user manual to help you get started with your new electric pressure cooker.

What does duo mean in Instant Pot?

Duo means the Instant Pot has two pressure cooking levels: low and high. Most Instant Pot models, with the exception of the Lux, have both high and low-pressure cooking options.

What are your thoughts on the Instant Pot Pro vs Duo?

When buying an Instant Pot you need to think about the features and size that best fits your cooking needs and budget. Keep an eye out for promotions and deals as that may. help you buy a more advanced model. Finding a deal can help you upgrade or add more cooking capacity to your kitchen.

The Duo is the company’s classic model which includes many core pressure cooking features. The Pro is the company’s next generation of its innovative model. The defused pressure release on the Pro along with the upgraded inner liner are great features to have.

If you already own an Instant Pot, you may be able to find just enough storage space for another. Buying a smaller model can help you make smaller side dishes while cooking a larger meal. Larger Instant Pots are great for batch cooking as part of meal prep.

When buying a second (or third) Instant Pot, consider switching models or sizes so you have more cooking flexibility.

What are you looking for in an Instant Pot Duo vs Pro? What are you considering as part of your research?

Instant Pot Pro vs Duo: 10 differences compared