Instant Pot Duo Vs. Duo Nova

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Around two years back, I got my first instant pot. I had been avoiding it for a while, I knew it was a good thing, and the craze around it was growing. So when we were figuring out what to get during the Black Friday sales, I earmarked the Instant Pot Duo for my kitchen.


As it turned out, many other people had the same idea – I later realized that the Duo became one of the top 20 best-selling items on Black Friday 2018[1].

Since then, the Duo has been adorning my kitchen countertop for two years, cooking many an excellent meal for us!

This year, after much dilly-dallying, I decided to upgrade with the Instant Pot Duo Nova.

But I won’t change that easily! I’m skeptical about bringing anything new into my kitchen, so I did my research beforehand. In this blog, I will share my experiences and (hopefully) answer some of your questions.

Side by Side Comparison: Instant Pot and Duo Nova

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (IP-DUO60), Stainless Steel/Black
Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart 7-in-1, One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté and more, with New Easy Seal Lid, Stainless Steel/Black
Sealing Method
Manual Seal
Auto Seal
Accessories
Sealing Ring, Measuring Cup, and Steam Rack
Extra Sealing Ring apart from other accessories
Display
Black Display
Bright Blue Display
Progress Indicator
No progress indicator
Progress Indicator on Display
Smart Programs
14 Smart Programs (Extra Pasteurize option)
13 Smart Programs
Sizes
3,6,8 quarts
10 quarts also available
Prime
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (IP-DUO60), Stainless Steel/Black
Product
Sealing Method
Manual Seal
Accessories
Sealing Ring, Measuring Cup, and Steam Rack
Display
Black Display
Progress Indicator
No progress indicator
Smart Programs
14 Smart Programs (Extra Pasteurize option)
Sizes
3,6,8 quarts
Prime
Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart 7-in-1, One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté and more, with New Easy Seal Lid, Stainless Steel/Black
Sealing Method
Auto Seal
Accessories
Extra Sealing Ring apart from other accessories
Display
Bright Blue Display
Progress Indicator
Progress Indicator on Display
Smart Programs
13 Smart Programs
Sizes
10 quarts also available
Prime

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What’s An Instant Pot?

“Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start.”
Do-Re-Mi, The Sound of Music

Let me take a leaf out of Maria’s notebook and start at the very beginning – what, after all, is an instant pot?

An electric pressure cooker and a multicooker that can do several things in one – that’s a single line definition. Apart from pressure cooking, you can do things like slow cook, saute, steam, make yogurt, and many other things.

Perhaps their best quality is the speed with which you can do things like thawing frozen chicken breasts in a matter of minutes or slow cook a 6-hour recipe in under 45 minutes flat.

You don’t need to guess about figuring out the right amount of heat for your food. Instant Pots are great for beginner recipes such as oatmeals, eggs, and rice. Once you get the hang of it, there’s practically nothing that you can’t cook in an instant pot.

Before going out to buy an instant pot, do check out these features:

Sizes

Instant pots are available in 3,6,8, and 10 quarts sizes. The 6 quart is perhaps the most popular one. Every recipe I find on the internet uses a 6-quart size.

If you love to entertain or cook for a large family (more than six people), then the eight and 10-quarts sizes can make sense for you. But if it’s just the two of you, then the 3-quarts option is acceptable.

Smart Programs

Smart programs preset the temperature and other settings for everyday recipes and cooking items, taking out the hassle of cooking.

The significant difference between instant pot models is usually in the number of smart programs. For example, the Instant Pot Lux series has 12 smart programs, the Duo has 14, Duo Plus has up to 15, and the Ultra series 16. Pressure cook, bake, steam, slow cook, keep warm roast, and air fry are the standard smart programs available in all series.

Accessories

Accessories can help to make a good thing better, and in the case of Instant Pots, there are accessories that you can purchase. For example, if you’re into hard-boiling eggs for your LO every day like me, you can get an egg trivet.

If you love making cheesecake, there are springform pans for instant pots. You can even do air frying with an instant pot (it’s the same concept, using steam for cooking the food. You need the right lid for air frying).

Instant Pot Duo vs. Duo Nova


Now, coming back to what you are all here to read. In my research, I found many sites that review the Duo and the Duo nova, but I didn’t see too many people who had compared the two cookers side by side, so that’s what got me writing this blog.

Without wasting any time, let me give you the differences straight up, and then we will discuss the specifics:

Manual vs. Auto Sealing

The Duo Nova uses an auto sealing lid, which is probably why Instant Pot brands it as the “best for beginners.” It is a great feature as far as safety is concerned.

Sale
Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart 7-in-1, One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté and more, with New Easy Seal Lid, Stainless Steel/Black
152,626 Reviews
Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart 7-in-1, One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté and more, with New Easy Seal Lid, Stainless Steel/Black
  • Best for beginners: An upgrade to the all-time bestseller Instant Pot Duo series, the Duo Nova combines 7 appliances in 1:...
  • Healthy & consistently delicious: Duo Nova is powered by a sophisticated micro-processor that monitors and adjusts pressure,...
  • Smart lid: The new easy seal lid gives you 1 less thing to worry about because it automatically seals your Instant Pot. Steam...

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I remember forgetting to close the sealing knob on my old Duo once and ended up with nothing but mulch after some time! Duh. Without the pressure, these pressure cookers aren’t worth much, you know!

But the truth is, I liked the manual sealing option on the Duo. Once you get used to it, it’s just easier to release the lid manually.
The button to release pressure on the Duo Nova doesn’t give me the confidence to have done it myself. I am never sure if the pressure is gone or not! Maybe, it will just take a bit of time to get used to it.

Display

This is a real step up in the Duo Nova. The bright blue display is undoubtedly more comfortable on my eyes, and the progress bar gives me a lot of confidence. You don’t have to keep wondering what’s going on inside your cooker!

The Duo was good, too, with the red on black display thing going on, but I prefer the Duo Nova in this regard.

Accessories

Both the Duo and Duo Nova came with their sealing ring, measuring cup, and steam rack. With the Duo Nova, the guys over at instant pot have thrown in an extra sealing ring.

Sale
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (IP-DUO60), Stainless Steel/Black
152,719 Reviews
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (IP-DUO60), Stainless Steel/Black
  • 7-IN-1 APPLIANCES: electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer
  • QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING with 13 Smart Touch customizable programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry,...
  • COOK FAST OR COOK SLOW with pressure cooking up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cooking for...

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I guess they would have got the feedback from many people like me – the sealing ring can be tough to find if you ever break it. It took me two whole weeks to finally locate a store nearby that was able to get the sealing ring replaced.

Smart Programs

In terms of smart programs, both the Duo and the Duo Nova are pretty much on par. Both instant pots offer the following smart programs:

Soup/Broth, Saute, Stew, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Poultry, Keep Warm, Bean/Chili, Rice.

I came to know after I purchased my Duo Nova that there was a pasteurize option available on the Duo (which I never even knew I had, I would have used it more often if I had known).

Sizes

The Duo is available in 3 quarts, 6 quarts, and 8 quarts sizes. The Duo Nova went one step ahead and introduced a 10 quarts option as well. It is perhaps the only Instant Pot right now that has the 10 quarts option.

I used a 6 quart for my family, so I can’t tell you much about the 10 quarts option. I do know a friend who loves to have weekend parties with all their friends. She recently bought a 10 quarts Duo Nova and loved the flexibility it gives her to cook for everyone in one go.

What’s Common In The Duo And Duo Nova


I have covered the significant differences above, but let’s spend a bit of time on the standard features between the two to get an overall perspective, especially if you are making a buying decision.

Sale
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (IP-DUO60), Stainless Steel/Black
152,719 Reviews
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (IP-DUO60), Stainless Steel/Black
  • 7-IN-1 APPLIANCES: electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer
  • QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING with 13 Smart Touch customizable programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry,...
  • COOK FAST OR COOK SLOW with pressure cooking up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cooking for...

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7 Appliances in One

Both devices serve the purpose of 7 devices in one – You can let go of your pressure cooker, steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute pan, yogurt maker, and warmer once you purchase either of them.

Easy Clean

This is what I loved most about Instant Pot, and they’ve been consistent across all their models: everything is super easy to clean! The stainless steel lid in both the Duo and the Duo Nova is fingerprint-resistant.

All parts, the pot, lid, and accessories are dishwasher safe, so it is pretty easy going all the way with both the cookers – whether you’re cooking or cleaning, everything is automatic.

Instant Pot App

Have you tried this app? I loved the stuff they have on there. There are hundreds of recipes for how to use your instant pot. I love making Indian and Thai food, and the recipes they had on there were terrific!

There’s a community of users that exists to help you out. You get a lot more than just the cooker. There’s advice, forums, and you know – just a bunch of people making cool stuff that you get to meet and talk.

Safety

The safety lid of the Duo Nova is a step up. But that doesn’t mean the Duo lacked in any way as far as safety is concerned.

Sale
Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart 7-in-1, One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté and more, with New Easy Seal Lid, Stainless Steel/Black
152,626 Reviews
Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart 7-in-1, One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté and more, with New Easy Seal Lid, Stainless Steel/Black
  • Best for beginners: An upgrade to the all-time bestseller Instant Pot Duo series, the Duo Nova combines 7 appliances in 1:...
  • Healthy & consistently delicious: Duo Nova is powered by a sophisticated micro-processor that monitors and adjusts pressure,...
  • Smart lid: The new easy seal lid gives you 1 less thing to worry about because it automatically seals your Instant Pot. Steam...

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I never buy anything that’s not safe (I have a hyperactive two-year-old at home, who can find ways to break things that even the best demolition experts won’t be able to).

When I first read about Duo, I saw that they got everything right, with overheat protection, safety lock, close lid detection, leaky lid protection, anti-blockage vent, and other temperature and pressure related warnings.

I remember joking to my husband that they were trying to build the Fort Knox of cookers! The Duo Nova has all of these features, as does every other device from Instant Pot.

Cooking Time

My old Duo saved my life so many times, ever since we had the baby. I would whip up some oatmeal in minutes, feed it to my LO, and be off to the office in an instant.

Dinner was a breeze too – whenever I was late from the office, I would just put the cooker on and whip up something super quick for my husband and me!

The Duo Nova has taken over that legacy and is performing just as well till now.

Healthy

This is coming in last, but to my mind, the steamed method that these Instant Pot cookers use for cooking gives me a healthier option than having to cook my food in oil. Before buying the Duo, I was considering purchasing an excellent air fryer. I am glad I went with instant pot instead.

Alternatives

While Instant Pot is the king of multicookers, there are other alternatives to Instant Pot that you can also consider:

1. Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker

Cuisinart is one of the top competitors of Instant Pot. This one has four programmable functions and is available in 4,6, and 7-quart sizes. You can roast at 250-450 degrees, Saute at 500 Degrees, and steam as well.

Sale
Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker, 7 quart
3,417 Reviews
Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker, 7 quart
  • 4 programmable functions: - Slow Cook on high, low, simmer or warm for up to 24 hours; Roast at from 250 -450 Degrees for up...
  • One touch lets you switch modes when recipe calls for combination cooking
  • Removable 7-quart nonstick cast aluminum cooking pot with teflon coating

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Crock-Pot 6-Quart 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker

Crock-pot is a well-renowned brand name. This product comes in a standard 6-quart size, and you can slow cook, sauté, roast, bake, and steam with it.

Sale
Crock-Pot 6-Quart 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker with Non-Stick Inner Pot, Stainless Steel
396 Reviews
Crock-Pot 6-Quart 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker with Non-Stick Inner Pot, Stainless Steel
  • 6-quart capacity serves 7+ people
  • Five touch settings to slow cook, sauté, roast, bake, and steam for a wide variety of cooking needs
  • Easy digital readout to view programming functions

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. COMFEE’ 5.2Qt All-in-1 Multi-Cooker

Another great product in the 5-6 quarts range. It has 17 preset programs and uses an intelligent cooking process that preserves the steam for fluffy rice.

Sale
COMFEE' 5.2Qt Asian Style Programmable All-in-1 Multi Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, Stewpot with 24 Hours Delay Timer and Auto Keep Warm Functions
2,746 Reviews
COMFEE' 5.2Qt Asian Style Programmable All-in-1 Multi Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, Stewpot with 24 Hours Delay Timer and Auto Keep Warm Functions
  • Perfect Rice Every Time - To achieve the ideal cooking performance, COMFEE' has developed the intelligent 6-step cooking...
  • Cooking Versatility - The 17 digital cooking programs Japanese style rice cooker could suit the eating habits like rice,...
  • High Safety - COMFEE' electric multi rice cooker operating under the normal pressure with power, it is considered a safe...

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

The Duo Nova has an automatic sealing lid, which makes cooking safer for you. This is great for beginners, but to my mind, the manual cooking method gives better control over the cooking.

The Duo Nova comes in a 10 quarts size, so if you are looking for that size, then the Nova is the only option in the Instant Pot family.

The Duo Nova scores highly as far as the display is concerned, with its blue backlit display and progress bar to track the meal’s status.

But the Duo has a pasteurize cooking program, which Nova does not, so that’s a factor to consider if you are into making yogurt for your family and kids.

All in all, both Duo and Duo Nova are great options for you. You can’t go wrong with either choice!

References:
[1] The top 20 Black Friday bestsellers among Business Insider readers last year | Business Insider India

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