Is an instant pot worth it for one person?

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Is an instant pot worth it for one person? As someone who has had years of experience using an Instant Pot to cook for one person, I know all of the pros and cons of using an Instant Pot to cook for one. In this article, I go over all of the information you need to know in order to make an informed decision about whether an Instant Pot is worth it for one person.

Don’t have enough time to read the whole article? The main takeaway is that an Instant Pot is worth it for one person due to its versatility, compactness, and ease of cleaning! If you are buying an Instant Pot to cook for one person, we recommend getting the 6 Quart Instant Pot Duo. If you are the kind of person who loves to cook in bulk and have a freezer full of leftovers, the 8 Quart Instant Pot Duo would also be a great choice.

A zoomed in photo of an Instant Pot. There are fresh spices behind the Instant pot.

What functions does an Instant Pot have

There are a lot of pressure cookers out there, but the versatility of the Instant Pot and the wide variety of cooking methods it can perform is what really sets it apart from its competitors. Here are the most popular functions that an Instant Pot can perform. 

  • Slow cooking. Pop in a dish before you go to work and have a delicious home cooked meal waiting for you when you get home!
  • Pressure cooking. Get slow cooker quality food in only 1 – 2 hours rather than waiting 6, 8, or even 10 hours. 
  • Rice cooking. Have light, fluffy rice waiting for you on demand! You can use this setting to make other grains as well!
  • Yogurt making. Make your favorite yogurt flavors at home! Add some peaches, cherries, strawberries, or whatever flavors you prefer!
  • Broth Making. Save all your chicken and veggie scraps in the freezer then throw them in the Instant Pot to make some tasty homemade broth. 
  • Bean making. Cook dry beans from scratch in a matter of hours without having to remember to soak them the night before.
  • Sauté. Use the sauté function to brown your veggies before you add the rest of the ingredients for your meal for even more flavor (and no extra dishes)!

Benefits of using an Instant Pot for one person

Is an Instant Pot worth it for one person? Here are the main benefits of using an Instant Pot when cooking for one person. 

  • The types of meals that are made in an Instant Pot tend to freeze well. Cooking for one becomes a lot easier if you regularly make leftovers that you can freeze and save for later. Pressure cookers like the Instant Pot are great for people who regularly cook for one person because the type of meals that are made in pressure cookers tend to freeze well. This is because pressure cooked meals need to withstand long periods of heat so they are not the type of meals that tend to dissolve or disintegrate easily.
  • The Instant Pot saves you from using dishes. In my opinion, this is the number one reason that an Instant Pot is worth it when cooking for one person. The Instant Pot serves multiple functions so it can save you from dirtying multiple different dishes and appliances. This is super important if you do not have someone to share the load of cooking and cleaning with.
  • The Instant Pot Doesn’t heat up the house. Here is another benefit of using an Instant Pot that still applies if you are cooking for one person. Instant pots do not heat up your house like a traditional oven or stove would. They are perfect for people who live in warm climates or people who want to make home cooked meals in the summer. 
  • The Instant Pot saves storage and counter space. This is a benefit of the Instant Pot that tends to be even more applicable for people who are using the Instant Pot to cook for one person since they often have smaller living spaces. Since the Instant Pot can perform multiple different functions, so it saves you from having to own multiple different appliances that all take up room in your kitchen. Finding the room to store an Instant Pot is much easier than finding the room to store a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker. The Instant Pot is also narrower and more compact than many slow cookers. 

When is an instant pot not worth it for one person?

Are there cases where it is not worth it to buy an Instant Pot for one person? There is one main scenario where it might not be worth it to buy an Instant Pot for one person.

  • If you do not eat leftovers. Are you the kind of person who hates leftovers? Then the Instant Pot might not be worth it for you if you are only cooking for one person. Most Instant Pot models have large basins that are intended for cooking multiple meals at a time. That makes it hard to cook only one serving at a time. If you only want to make one or two servings, you could always check out the Instant Pot Duo Mini.

Recommended Instant Pot models

The Instant Pot comes in a few different sizes and varieties and it can be hard to determine which Instant Pot is right for you. In general, we recommend sticking with the Instant Pot Duo, which is the standard model. The minor bells and whistles on the more advanced models (such as the more advanced progress indicator) are not worth the higher price tag. Here are the Instant Pot sizes we recommend if you are cooking for one person. 

For the average person

The 6 quart Instant Pot Duo is the perfect Instant Pot for people who regularly cook for one. The 6 quart Instant Pot Duo can typically make around 4 servings of food at a time. 

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For the avid meal prepper

Are you someone who loves to have dozens of frozen meals packed in the freezer for later? Then it might be worth it to update to the 8 quart Instant Pot Duo. The 8 quart model can typically make around 6 servings of food at a time. 

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Rating the Instant Pot

Are you wondering how the Instant Pot holds up against similar pressure cookers and slow cookers. Here is how the Instant Pot ranks on several key dimensions that are important for people who are cooking for one. 

Versatility

5/5

The versatility of the Instant Pot goes above and beyond that of other slow cookers. Even the standard Instant Pot Duo serves 14 different functions, and there are models with even more functions than that! For that reason, we give the Instant Pot 5 out of 5 stars for versatility! It is perfect for people who cook in small spaces and need to save counter space!

Compactness

5/5

If you are cooking for one person in a small kitchen, it is important to choose appliances that are compact and will save you space in your kitchen. The makers of the Instant Pot have size down to a science! The Instant Pot is incredibly compact and no larger than it needs to be. For this reason, we give it 5 out of 5 stars for compactness and space savings. 

Ease of cleaning

4/5

The basin of the Instant Pot that holds the food is made of stainless steel so it is relatively easy to clean. That being said, food can get caked onto the bottom of the basin when you use the sauté function. For that reason, we would give the Instant Pot 4 out of 5 stars for ease of cleaning. 


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