Instant Pot Showdown: Duo vs Duo Nova – Which Model Should You Buy?

The Instant Pot craze has taken kitchens by storm. These electric pressure cookers make whipping up meals fast and simple. With just one pot, you can pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, steam and more. 

Genius! But with various models available, should you splurge on the Duo Nova or go for the budget-friendly Duo? We have put both to the test extensively. Keep reading as we dig into the key differences between the Duo and Duo Nova so you can decide which Instant Pot will revolutionize your kitchen.

What are the benefits of using an Instant Pot?

First, let’s look at what makes the Instant Pot so brilliant. These modern pressure cookers take dishes that normally simmer for hours and cook them up to 70% faster. Brisket in an hour? Yes, please!

The pot builds up steam pressure to significantly boost temperatures. This lets you turn cheap cuts of meat into tender, juicy masterpieces. You can brown meat right in the pot, too; there is no need for extra pans. Just press a button and walk away. Unlike sluggish, slow cookers, the Instant Pot is a life changer.

What’s the difference between the Duo and Duo Nova? 

What's the difference between the Duo and Duo Nova

The Duo hit shelves first, winning fans with its versatility. It pressures, slows, steams, and sautés cook, makes yogurt, and more. 

The Duo Nova does all that, too, but adds some nifty upgrades. Let’s dig into the key differences.


  • Lid

The Duo Nova’s lid is brilliant – it automatically seals and releases pressure.

With the Duo, you have to turn knobs to do this manually.

The Nova’s lid means you don’t have to wait around for pressure to release. Just hit a button and walk away!

  • Display

Duo Nova’s display uses bright icons to clearly show what’s cooking and how much time is left.

The Duo has an old-fashioned screen with plain text.

The Nova’s display makes following recipes easier when you’re new to Instant Pot.

  • Smart programs

Want specific cooking programs? The Duo Nova has 13 options, while the Duo has 15. They overlap on the basics, like rice, meat/stew, and beans. 

The Duo adds in multigrain, cake, and egg programs. But the Nova’s dial and icons are easier to use than the Duo’s buttons for selecting programs.

  • Accessories

The Duo Nova comes with more accessories than the bare-bones Duo. You get an extra sealing ring and a silicone steam rack for stacking food. With the Duo, you need to buy extras separately.

  • Size

Both models come in 3-quart sizes up to 8 quarts, ideal for cooking for couples or families.

The Nova also offers a roomy 10-quart size – great for big batches and meal prepping.


  • Cooking time and quality

The Duo and Duo Nova are on par regarding cooking time and performance. Tender pulled pork in 45 minutes? Done. Perfectly steamed veggies or rice? No problem. Both deliver delicious results fast, which is what we love Instant Pots for.

Ease of Use

  • Setup

These appliances couldn’t be easier to use. Add ingredients, select a program, and let the pot work magic. The Nova’s dial and display may be more beginner-friendly. But the Duo has all the same basic functions if you read the manual.

  • Cleaning

Clean-up is fast with both models. Their stainless steel inner pots lift out and are dishwasher safe. The lids, bases, and exteriors need a quick wipe-down.


Safety comes first with any pressure cooker. Both Duo models have a variety of safety features, including:

– Over-pressure protection

– Burn prevention

– Automatic shutoff

– Lid Detection and Error Correction

The Nova’s quick steam release is safer than the Duo’s manual valve. But both meet rigorous safety standards.


Now let’s talk cost. The Instant Pot Duo is generally less expensive than the Instant Pot Duo Nova.

  • Retail Price Ranges

The Duo Nova retails for $199 for the 6-quart size and $179 for 3 quarts.

The Duo comes in cheaper at $89 to $129.

However, Instant Pot often has great deals, especially around the holidays. I’ve seen the 6-quart Duo for as low as $50! At those prices, the Duo is tough to pass up.


The Duo Nova has a 1-year limited warranty.

The Duo ups that to an impressive 2-year warranty.

But the Duo Nova’s user-friendly design may mean fewer issues with warranty anyway.

Also read: Instant Pot vs Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Which Is the Real Kitchen Hero?

Which Instant Pot is right for you?

For new cooks or tech-challenged folks, the Duo Nova is fantastic. The dial and display make meal prep stress-free. If you want ultimate accessories and size options, the Nova has appeal too.

Also, Nova is a good choice for beginners because of its automatic seal and steam release valve.

But for most home cooks, the Duo gives you all the core features at an unbeatable value. As long as you don’t mind reading an old-fashioned display and manual releases, you can save big with the Duo.

Also read:  Best Granite Stone Pan Review


What are the benefits of using an Instant Pot?

Instant Pots offer several benefits, including:
Instant Pots can cook food up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods.
Instant Pots are easy to use and require minimal babysitting.
Instant Pots can be used to cook various foods, including meats, vegetables, grains, and desserts.
Health benefits
Instant Pots can help you cook healthier meals by retaining more nutrients than traditional cooking methods.

What size Instant Pot should I get?

The 3-quart is good for 1-2 people, the 6-quart for 3-5 people, and the 8-quart for 5+ people. Go bigger if you meal prep. The Nova also has a 10-quart option.

 Can all Instant Pot models pressure cook?

Yes, pressure cooking is the main function across all models, including the Duo and Duo Nova.

Is the Instant Pot safe to use?

 Instant Pots have several safety mechanisms, like overpressure protection and auto-shutoff. As long as you follow the manual, they are very safe.

 What accessories do I need for my Instant Pot?

A glass lid for sautéing and steaming is handy. Extra silicone rings allow you to swap between savory and sweet dishes. An extra inner pot makes cleanup easier.

Can I cook frozen foods in an Instant Pot?

You can cook frozen meat, seafood, vegetables, etc., in your Instant Pot by adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

 How do I clean and care for my Instant Pot?

The inner pot and accessories are dishwasher-safe. Wipe down the housing and control panel. Replace the sealing ring every 6-12 months.

 Does Instant Pot require special recipes?

Most slow cooker or stovetop recipes can be adapted. Reduce liquid and cook time. There are also many recipes tailored for Instant Pots online.


Whichever model you pick, check out Instant Pot’s online community. Fellow users share many recipes, tips, and tricks to get the most out of these kitchen marvels. Start simple with dishes like eggs, beans, and roasts.

Use cooking liners for easy cleanup. In no time, you’ll be making restaurant-worthy meals on busy weeknights. That’s the beauty of the Instant Pot – it takes the hassle out of home cooking. I want one in every kitchen.

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Daniel Rogers

My name is Daniel Rogers, a 35-year-old enthusiast of the kitchen. From the moment that I entered the kitchen, I have been passionate about cooking and baking. This passion made me eager enough to know more about the kitchen tools that I use. The older I become, the more I become knowledgeable about kitchen tools. When and how to use a special tool in the kitchen becomes my hobby. I read a lot about many brands, tried some of them by myself, and gathered sufficient information about the others.