Are Costco Instant Pots Worth Buying – What is the Better Alternative?

Do you want an affordable Instant Pot with many functions and can cook food for your entire family? We have got you covered! After doing hours of research, we’ve found two family-sized Instant Pot Costco options and five options on Amazon. 

These Instant Pots work as regular cookers and allow you to bake, roast, air fry, dehydrate, and so on. Thanks to their versatility, you’ll be able to complete your kitchen task in minimum time, and the food will be delicious. 

To help you further, we’ll review the features of all these pots and share their pros and cons. This will assist you in making the right and best decision. Also, if you want to go with something other than Costco, we’ll share alternatives from Amazon. 

Let’s delve into the world of the best Instant Pots. 

Best Instant Pot At Costco 

At Costco, you can find only one of the best Instant Pots. You can pick any model that meets your requirements. 

Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer & Pressure Cooker (only available in 6-quart capacity)

The first pick of this is the Instant Pot’s pressure cooker with an air fryer. It’s a 6-quart pot with multiple cooking functions (around 11). The size is suitable for small kitchens or shelves. Let’s check the other features of the product. 

Quick features 

  • Perfect for a family. 
  • Good quality. 
  • Easy to use.

Perfect for a family 

The overall size of the Instant Pot is 13.58 x 13.58 x 12.99 inches, and the cooking capacity is 6 qt. It’s more than enough to feed up to 3 to 4 people, so it’s safe to say it’s a family pot. 

You can cook everything from rice to baking items, and the food will cook faster. The cooking functions are 11 air frying, pressure cooking; sous vide, steaming, slow cooking, roasting, baking, broiling, and keeping the food warm. 

Good quality 

Let’s discuss the quality; I’ve found it to be solid and of excellent build quality. It’s made of stainless steel, ensuring the pot will last longer. 

When you open the pot, you’ll see accessories that can be divided into two categories: Instant Pot items and air fryer items. For example, you will receive an air frying pot 7 inches wide in diameter along with a six-inches second-tier rack. 

It has a big 6-quartz stainless steel pot (tri-ply bottom) with a steam rack in the Instant Pot items. When you use the air frying mode, you have to use the air frying lid, and for regular cooking, switch the air frying lid with the standard Instant Pot lid. 

Easy to use

The Instant Pot is super easy to use. The control panel is on the front side of the pot with a digital display. You can control the temperature through the temp and time buttons on the display panel. 

Below the display are around 14 buttons, 11 of which are about cooking functions. The other three buttons are for the delay and turning on or off the machine. In addition, the cleaning is easy as the accessories are dishwasher safe. 

Why do I like it? 

  • Good quality. 
  • Perfect for a family. 
  • Easy to use. 
  • Cooks better and faster. 
  • Easy to clean. 

What are the cons? 

  • The 6-quart pot size is only suitable for some chicken. 

Best Instant Pots At Amazon (Alternatives to Costco)

Costco is a perfect marketplace for getting kitchen items at low-price, but there’s a disadvantage that many people need to learn.  

The entire Instant Pot Cooker range is available at anything other than Costco. You’ll only get 1 or 2 options for Instant Pots (another from Ninja Foodi) from Costco. So, you have to look further if you need an Instant Pot with different capacities or more control or functions as you get with Duo Plus, Ultra, or Pro series of Instant Pot.

In this case, you can check Amazon or this guide further if you want another model. We’ve listed the best options for Instant Pots available on Amazon below.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this section are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.

1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 (3, 6, and 8 Quart)

The first Instant Pot we’ve handpicked for the Amazon list is the 7-in-1 electric Instant Pot Duo, also available at Costco, as reviewed previously, but in only a 6-quart capacity.

Here on Amazon, you can get options like Duo V6 and Crisp, but it doesn’t have an air fry option. It’s an affordable cooker that suits everyone with a tight budget and a small family to feed. Let’s jump into its features. 

Quick features 

  • Stunning Design & Quality.
  • Easy to Use.
  • Excellent Cooking Performance.

Stunning Design & Quality

The design of this Instant Pot looks stunning because of the combination of stainless steel and black colors. The quality is excellent, and no significant difference can urge you to select one over another except one. 

The stainless steel pot is available in cooking capacities, e.g., 3, 6, and 8 quarts. It makes this ideal for anyone who lives alone or has a family (small or large).

It has accessories like a rice cup, a steamer rack, and spoons. The good thing is that it’s fingerprint resistant and all accessories are dishwasher safe. 

Easy to Use

The pot is easy to use like others. It has a beautiful big digital display on the front side. The display lets you set the temperature accurately according to your food requirements. 

And in case you want to avoid setting the temperature yourself, the pot has preset settings. 

Excellent Cooking Performance 

This Instant Pot has 7 cooking options: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, and food warmer. And the cooking performance of all functions, as far as we’ve researched, is quite impressive.

It cooks faster, and there’s no issue of temperature fluctuation. So you don’t need to worry that your food will overcook. 

Why do I like it?

  • Affordable.
  • Good quality.
  • Perfect for one or two people.
  • Excellent cooking performance.
  • Easy to use.
  • Dishwasher-safe accessories. 

What are the cons? 

  • The air fryer option needs to be included. 

2. Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1, Whisper Quiet (6-Quarts Pressure Cooker)

This model is from the same product line, Instant Pot Duo Plus, but with significant changes. These changes aren’t about the cooking capacity but are also related to the overall design. Please see the details below. 

Quick features 

  • Upgraded Lid Design.
  • Impressive Pot Quality.
  • Outstanding Cooking Performance.

Upgraded Lid Design 

The main difference in this Instant Pot quo 9-in-1 electric cooker is that the company has changed the lid’s design. If you look closely, they’ve installed the steam release button away from the vent. With just one push, the steam will release instantly. 

Most importantly, the lid is made of plastic, so your hand would be safe while cooking.

It also features “whisper-quiet” technology, in which there would be 50% less noise when the steam is released–highly suitable for apartment kitchens.

Impressive Pot Quality 

The quality of the instant is impressive. Additionally, the color of the exterior is different from other Instant Pot models; it’s gray and silver, but it looks good. 

The overall size is 14.4 x 13.9 x 13 inches, and the pot capacity is 6 quarts for cooking. With this, the accessories you’ll get are the stainless steel steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon, and rice measurement cup. 

All accessories, including the lid, pot, rack, and so on, are dishwasher safe, so cleaning them won’t be an issue. 

Outstanding Cooking Performance 

The cooking performance is outstanding; you can cook delicious food in minimum time. It has nine cooking options: pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer, and food warmer.

In addition to the options, the control panel has a digital display showing your food details. For example, you’ll see notifications when you have to preheat or open the lid. 

In addition to the control panel, I’ve noticed a minor difference. Instead of buttons, it comes with a knob. This knob gives you more control over the temperature and timing. 

Why do I like it?

  • Upgraded lid design. 
  • It’s hushed… no noise.
  • The quality is good. 
  • The 6-quart pot capacity is perfect for a big family. 
  • Easy to clean. 

What are the cons? 

  • Slightly expensive.
  • No air fry option. 
  • Requires an understanding of how to use it.

3. Instant Pot Pro Pressure Cooker 10-in-1 (6 Qt)

This Instant Pot Pro is the most advanced smart instant cooker (even available in the app control system). The 10-in-1 Instant Pot is available in varying capacities, e.g., 3, 6, 6.5, and 8 quartz.  So you’ll see a lot of or all similar features. The only significant difference is the size and the cooking capacity, which we’ll discuss below in detail. 

Quick features 

  • Excellent choice for any family. 
  • Incredible build quality
  • User-friendly design. 

Excellent choice for any family 

We suggest the Instant Pot duo 7-in-1 for a family because the cooking capacity is 3, 6, and 8 quarts. It means you can quickly cook food for small or large families.

Incredible build quality

The quality is reliable–not only the exterior but also the interior material, that’s stainless steel. All accessories, like the pot, steam rack, and so on, are dishwasher safe, saving a lot of time. 

It features a tri-ply bottom that ensures the cookware doesn’t burn but distributes heat evenly. And according to customers, it makes food faster than any other traditional cookware. 

In addition, there’s no complaint about the taste of the food. What else can I find at this affordable price?

User-friendly design 

Let’s go with its user-friendly design, which is the same from top to bottom, but there’s a minor difference

At Instant Pot Pro, it has a control panel with a digital display and multiple buttons along with dial control, yet on the Instant Pot Pro Plus, the control panel is a touch screen–a bit more aesthetic. When you turn the Instant Pot Pro off, it looks no different than a simple pot (all buttons are turned off, and you’re left with a sleek design).

Several other features are also helpful, like an up to 10-hour delay start and a “beep turn off” feature to allow you to cook peacefully. Similarly, a manual pressure release timer can save you time during busy days.

The Instant Pot Pro and Pro Plus are all about more control with extreme versatility in one pot.

Why do I like it?

  • Suitable for a four-person family. 
  • Excellent quality pot and accessories.
  • The temperature unit is convertible to Centigrade or Fahrenheit.
  • The design provides peace of mind.
  • Easy to clean.

What are the cons? 

  • Instant Pot Pro Plus has a touch screen and is pretty hard to use. 

4. Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 (6 and 8 quarts with the most precise control)

The last pick of this guide is the Instant Pot Ultra with 10-in-1 Functionality. This is again from the same company but with a slight difference. The control panel is different, and the cooking capacity is 6 quarts. 

Quick features 

  • 10-in-1 Functionality. 
  • Built Quality of Pot. 
  • Easy to Use & Clean.

10-in-1 Functionality

All the other instant pots above were multi-functional, like 7-in-1 or 9-in-1, but this one has 10 functions. These functions are pressure cooking, slow cooking, sous vide, sauté pan, sterilizer, yogurt maker, food warmer, cake baking, and steamer. 

Thanks to this versatility, you can cook about anything within the quantity of 6 quarts. From meat to cake, everything is just one touch away. 

Built Quality of Pot

The design of the Instant Pot is excellent. It’s in black and stainless steel colors like any other Instant Pot. 

The safety features are unique: a locking lid and an upgraded steam release system. There’s a small button that you can press, and the pot will release the air pressure instantly. 

Easy to Use & Clean

One of the main differences we’ve noticed is in the control panel. It has a knob in the center and a “start and cancel” button. 

The digital display is expensive compared to all other options and is backlit. So it will be easy for you to manage it even at night. 

Steam racks, pots, and spoons… all these accessories are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a snip. 

Why do I like it?

  • Easy to clean.
  • Simple control panel.
  • Durable Instant Pot. 
  • 10-in-1 functions. 

What are the cons? 

  • It’s a little costly. 
  • No air fry option. 

5. Instant Pot Pro Crisp 11-in-1 (8-Quarts)

It has some features and a cooking capacity that are better than others.

Quick features 

  • Large cooking pot.
  • 11-in-1 functions (Air fryer included).
  • Impressive design and quality. 

Large cooking pot

It’s a large Instant Pot which makes it perfect for a medium-big family or a person who loves to cook for friends. 

In addition, it has 11-in-1 functions: a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, sous vide, air fryer, roaster, mini oven, broiler, and dehydrator.

Since the air fryer option is included, you don’t have to get a separate one for your kitchen. 

Impressive design and quality

The Instant Pot is entirely black, and the lid has a small switch on top that you can engage, and the air pressure will release. The lid cover is made of plastic, so there’s no chance your hand might burn. 

Along with the instant, you’ll get these accessories: a non-stick air fryer basket, stainless steel steam rack, tray, pot, and heat-resistant protective pad. The cleaning will be easy because the items are non-stick coated and made of stainless steel. 

Cooking Performance 

The cooking performance is outstanding; it doesn’t take much time to preheat, and it cooks faster. It’s wide enough to cook about eight pounds of meat in the pot or roast an entire chicken. 

On top of everything, there’s no need to worry about the flavor of the food. About a dozen users said every dish came out perfect in terms of taste. 

The control panel is different; the digital display is extensive, while in others, it’s small. On the center of the control panel, it has a knob, and beside the display, you can see the cooking functions buttons. 

The most impressive thing about Instant Pot Ultra is its altitude adjustment feature–when living above sea level, it cooks for you with the required heat and pressure. 

What precision!

Why do I like it?

  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Most precise cooking through knob control and altitude adjustment features.
  • Impressive design and quality.
  • The air fryer option is included. 
  • Perfect for a big family. 

What are the cons? 

  • Expensive. 

Instant Pot 8qt Multi Cooker

This instant pot pressure cooker has similar features and functions as others, but there’s a big difference. It’s an 8qt multi-cooker, allowing you to cook for more people than the 6qt model. 

Quick features 

  • Big instant pot. 
  • Excellent quality. 
  • Simple to control. 

Big instant pot

It’s a big instant pot with a cooking capacity of 8qt, meaning you can cook food easily for about 5 to 6 people at a time. And since the pot is bigger, you can fit a small chicken in it and enjoy roast chicken for dinner. 

The main functions are 9 pressure cooking, sauté, soup, slow cooking, steaming, rice, air frying, roasting, baking, and broiling. However, if you see the control panel, you’ll notice one extra button: oatmeal. 

Excellent quality

In terms of quality, we find both instant pots are on the same level. It’s also made of stainless steel, not from the cheap non-stick coating that doesn’t last long. 

This one comes with several accessories like a tier rack and an air frying pot; both are 8 inches wide in diameter. You’ll also get a steam rack and a large stainless steel pot with a cooking capacity of 8 qt. 

One difference we’ve noticed in the quality is that if you check the lid, it’s better in terms of safety. The pressure release outlet in the 6qt model tends to become hot, which is dangerous. 

Fortunately, that’s not the case because you don’t have to touch the outlet. They’ve added a small button; just press it, and the instant pot will release the air pressure. 

Simple to control 

Like the other instant pot, it’s also simple to control; there’s no rocket science in using it. The digital display is big; it has buttons to control temp and time and select the cooking mode. 

In addition, it’s dishwasher safe. Therefore, after cooking, put all the accessories in the dishwasher, and the machine will do the rest of the cleaning.  

Why do we like it? 

  • Big-sized pot. 
  • 8 qt cooking capacity. 
  • Suitable for big families. 
  • Easy to use, control, and clean. 
  • Excellent quality. 

What are the cons? 

  • 9 cooking functions. 

FAQs

What does duo mean in Instant Pot? 

The “duo” function allows you to set the temperature as “high and low.” You can also slow cook your food in the pressure cooker, contrary to its intended use of fast cooking.

What is the difference between the Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Duo Plus?

Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Duo Plus are both multifunctional Instant Pots. The difference is their versatility. You can find a few more features in Duo Plus that are unavailable in Instant Pot Duo, such as egg, sous vide, cake,  and sterilization functions. Yet, both models are available in 3, 6, and 8-quart capacities.

Instant Pot Ultra vs. Pro, what’s the difference? 

You can differentiate between Instant Pot Ultra and Pro based on capacity and functions.

  • The Instant Pot Ultra is available in 3, 6, and 8-quart capacities, yet the Pro is only available in 6 and 8-quarts.
  • Both lines from Instant Pot have advanced features, like pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, sous vide, egg cooker, saute/searing, warmer, sterilizer, and yogurt maker. Yet, the Ultra version has one more feature, i.e., cake maker. If you have an oven, you don’t need to go for Instant Pot Ultra.
  • In the same way, for control, both models have a “smart control” system that automatically adjusts the temperature sensing of the cooking processor–tank to the integrated smart microprocessor. 

Yet, the difference is that the Instant Pot Ultra Version has 16 Smart Programs and the Ultra Smart Program, while the Pro model has 28 customizable Smart Programs, among which you can choose any 5 as your favorite.

Is an Instant Pot worth your money? 

Yes, an Instant Pot is worth your money. It allows us to cook several different types of dishes, like you can bake, air fry, roast, cook food like rice, and so on. Food cooks faster in an Instant Pot; the best part is that these pots don’t cost an arm and a leg. 

How Long Do Instant Pots Last? 

In general, the average lifespan of the Instant Pot is around 5-6 years. It can increase or decrease depending on the model and its built quality. 

Final Words

You have one affordable Instant Pot at Costco and alternative options on Amazon to select from. All are excellent in quality, and cooking, now you only have to think about which suits you better. 

If you have a small family of up to 3 people, the 6qt Instant Pots are the right choice. Otherwise, go for the 8-quart pots; they are the perfect instant cookers that suit all big families.

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Saba Akbar
Saba Akbar

Hello, I'm a culinary explorer and food writer with 25 years of home kitchen expertise. This blog is a treasure trove of my insights on global cuisine, cooking tips, and expert knowledge of kitchen tools.
Besides this, as a GERD survivor, I've transformed my passion for food into a quest for food's GERD-friendliness and healthiness. I believe what you eat shapes your internal environment—join me on this lifelong journey of taste and healthiness!

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