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

Instant Pot® has created multiple versions of its Electric Pressure Cooker. Each version has a different mix of features. Wondering what makes the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo different? Check out this comparison to help you choose.

Instant Pot designs its electric pressure cookers to be dependable, safe, and convenient. To help you find the right one for your needs, Instant Pots come in different sizes and have different combinations of features. Let’s get started looking at the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo, two models created by Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Comparison

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?

Instant Pot® is a multi-use smart electric pressure cooker designed to be safe, convenient, and dependable. They brought the electric pressure cooker to regular home chefs. Maybe your grandparents had a pressure cooker they used on their stove, and we all probably have stories about pressure cooker accidents. With the Instant Pot, they built-in multiple safety features!

In addition to the built-in safety features, the electric pressure cooker results in energy-efficient healthy cooking by speeding up cooking by 2-6, maintaining the nutrients, and resulting in tasty food.

Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo are built with many of the same features, but there are differences between them. To help you choose which one is right for you, let’s look at both Instant Pots side-by-side.

Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo side-by-side view of combined appliances

The various Instant Pot models can be used to replace multiple appliances in your kitchen. For those of us with smaller counters or limited storage space, this is a great benefit, along with saving money of course from not needing to buy other appliances. The appliances combined in the Instant Pot vary by model.

And also to note, Instant Pot may release a new version of a model, so the features included in a past version of an Instant Pot may change years down the road. Always make sure you double-check the actual Instant Pot you’re buying to make sure it has what you think it does!

Here’s a quick view of the combined appliances for the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo.

Instant Pot UltraInstant Pot Duo
Number of Appliances Combined107
Pressure CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
Rice/Porridge CookerYesYes
Cake MakerYes*
Yogurt MakerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Sauté/SearingYesYes
SterilizerYes
WarmerYesYes
UltraYes
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* Note the Cake feature is not available in the Instant Pot Ultra 3 Quart

Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo have different smart programs included

Instant Pot designed smart programs to help the chef at home cook dishes a the push of a button (or spin of the dial). They created the smart programs from extensive testing to control duration, pressure, temperature, and heat intensity.

For each Instant Pot model and series, the included smart programs will vary. There are a few core programs you’ll see in all modes with additional smart program combinations that change from model to model. And one additional thing to note, within a series, the smaller 3 quart models usually don’t have all the programs available in the 6- and 8-quart versions.

Instant Pot UltraInstant Pot Duo
Number of Smart Programs1614
Soup/BrothYesYes
Meat/StewYesYes
Bean/ChiliYesYes
Poultry
Yes*
CakeYes*
EggYes 
SautéYesYes
RiceYesYes
MultigrainYes*Yes*
PorridgeYesYes
YogurtYesYes
Pressure Cook YesYes
SteamYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
SterlizeYes*
Pasteurize**YesYes
Slow CookYesYes
UltraYes
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* These programs 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 Instant Pot Ultra has the Cake Setting along with a special Ultra Setting. The Ultra setting allows for complete custom programming for both pressure and non-pressure cooking.

So what are the other differences between the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo?

Beyond the smart programs that we reviewed above, there are a few more differences between the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo. These include the top handle, electric cord, pressure levels, and keep warm times.

Instant Pot UltraInstant Pot Duo
Detachable Electric CordYes for the 3 and 6 Quart models.
The 8 quart is attached.
Yes for the 3 and 6 Quart models.
The 8 quart is attached.
Slow Cooker (0.5-20 hours at 3 temperatures)Yes
(custom temperature option)
Yes
Sauté (Up to 30 minutes at 3 temperatures)Yes
(custom temperature option)
Yes
Keep Warm LengthAutomatic Keep Warm:
up to 24 hours.
Manual Keep Warm
up to 99 hours and 50 minutes + Warm (Preheat) 3 Temperatures
Automatic Keep Warm:
up to 10 hours.
Manual Keep Warm
up to 99 hours and
50 minutes
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And because of the additional features, there will be a difference in prices between the Ultra and Duo models. Double check on Amazon, but usually the pricing of the Instant Pot Ultra will run about $50 more than the Duo.

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

Fortunately, you’ll have your choice of sizes when it comes to the Instant Pot Duo vs Ultra. Each one is available in the 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart sizes. Those are the core sizes that Instant Pot currently manufactures. The Instant Pot Duo was previously available in a 5 quart size.

Instant Pot UltraInstant Pot Duo
3 quartYesYes
6 quartYesYes
8 quartYesYes

Based on all that, what are the features that you prefer in the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo?

When you consider buying an Instant Pot, you’ll need to think about the features that fit your needs along with the price that works for your budget. And don’t worry, most of us have more than 1 Instant Pot so you can’t go wrong with your purchase. Look at it as a learning experience and you’ll probably purchase another one in the future!

So based on that, which features are helping you decide which Instant Pot to buy?

Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Comparison. What's the same? What's different?

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