Instant Pot DUO Mini Review
Compare to Similar Products
Instant Pot DUO Mini
$79.99 at Amazon
|$120 List||$130 List|
Check Price at Amazon
$92.52 at Amazon
$85.79 at Amazon
|Pros||Perfect size for meals for one, easy to clean, good pressure cooking performance, doesn't need much counter space||Versatile, intuitive, feature-rich, great value||Friendly control panel, versatile, lots of new updates, steam-release valve||Good overall cooking performance, easy to clean||Inexpensive, decent cooking performance|
|Cons||Too small for family meals, meat just shy of perfectly tender||Rice is a bit sticky, lid and stainless steel pot can be difficult to clean||Pot can be hard to clean, saute function can be finicky||No lid storage||Lacks a saute function, relatively difficult to clean|
|Bottom Line||A fantastic smaller appliance for singles or for couples that aren't fans of leftovers||An easy-to-use, versatile model that won't break the bank and offers plenty of useful features||Useful features, an intuitive control panel, and a friendly price make this model a standout option||An easy to clean, great performing product, especially for the price you pay||Not a bad choice for bargain seekers, but you can get a lot more convenience without spending too much more|
|Rating Categories||Instant Pot DUO Mini||Instant Pot Duo Plu...||Instant Pot Duo Plu...||Presto 02141||Tayama TMC-60XL|
|User Friendliness (35%)|
|Cooking Performance (30%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (25%)|
|Cooking Features (10%)|
|Specs||Instant Pot DUO Mini||Instant Pot Duo Plu...||Instant Pot Duo Plu...||Presto 02141||Tayama TMC-60XL|
|Pot Material||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Nonstick||Nonstick|
|Capacity||3 quart||6 quart||6 quart||6 quart||6 quart|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Instant Pot DUO Mini is one of the most user-friendly models among top-ranked pressure cookers. It offers pretty much everything you need without any unnecessary complications.
What really sets the Pot DUO Mini and other models from the brand apart is the control panel design. There are dedicated buttons for most cooking functions, making most meals only a couple of button presses away. This model removes the multigrain, sterilize, cake, and egg preset buttons on some of the larger models, but we rarely found ourselves using those buttons anyway. Despite the unit's small size, the LCD screen is still relatively large and easy to read, making it clear which setting you have selected.
Notably, either of the DUO Mini's handles can act as a lid holder, giving you a convenient place to rest the lid as you stir or serve, no matter if you're left or right-handed. The one thing we wish the DUO Mini had was a pressure release button that would allow you to release the pressure without getting anywhere near the steam valve. However, these buttons are still relatively rare, so it's not surprising that this mini model lacks one. While we still preferred such a button, we didn't find it difficult to do quick pressure releases by safely opening the valve with a wooden spoon.
We've found relatively little difference between pressure cookers regarding actual cooking performance, and the DUO Mini managed to pass all of our tests. It made ribs that fell off the bone, perfectly fluffy rice if slightly al dente, and its saute function made easy work of onions and peppers.
The one area where any model performed better than the DUO Mini in our cooking tests was preparing meat. We found a couple of models that could make steaks and chicken taste slightly more tender. However, the differences were minor, and we still thoroughly enjoyed all the meat we cooked in the DUO Mini.
Ease of Cleaning
All pressure cookers provide some cleaning challenges because of the inherent design of the lids, but beyond this, we found the DUO Mini quick and easy to clean.
Like every pressure cooker currently on the market, the DUO Mini has a chasm where the lid locks on that can gather gunk and is hard to clean. Otherwise, its design is easy to clean. The lid has a removable gasket, so you can easily make sure both it and the groove it sits in stay clean. The actual cooking pot is stainless steel. This design means you're more likely to get some food stuck on when using the saute function than you would with non-stick pots. However, unlike non-stick pots, you needn't have any qualms about putting it in the dishwasher.
Partially due to the relative lack of control panel space, the Mini has slightly fewer cooking functions than some larger models.
However, it still offers the most common cooking presets, such as pressure cook, rice, slow cook (like you'd find in our favorite slow cookers), saute, and others.
Should You Buy the DUO Mini?
If you're cooking for just yourself or you and your significant other, the Instant Pot DUO Mini offers all you need in a package that doesn't take up much space on your counter. The DUO Mini generally sells for slightly less than its full-sized siblings. However, the difference is minor, and with the larger models, you can get double the cooking capacity by spending only about 20% more. Therefore, you pay a slight premium for the DUO Mini's small stature, but that premium is well worth it if you don't have much counter space.
What Other Pressure Cooker Should You Consider?
If you have a little more counter space, the Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 is also an option you'll be happy with. All there offer similar cooking performance and ease of cleaning. They all also provide similar user-friendliness and cooking features. So depending on your budget and size needs, you might consider reading more about the other Instant Pots in this review.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More