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InstaPot - size? - DebraOak - 08-01-2019

Hello! In exactly twelve months from today, I will be on the road. Countdown preparation is real now and the first thing I need to learn to do is to cook differently. I want to get into the habit now. While I will have propane or butane tanks outside of my van to use intermittently alongside the grill, my main form of cooking inside heat will be an insta pot. I've heard glorious things about it - including its low wattage use - and am ready to buy. Which size do I buy???

I am single, traveling alone, but love to make soaps and other dishes ahead too.

Anyone using the insta pot regularly have suggestions as to the size I should get?

RE: InstaPot - size? - WanderingRose - 08-01-2019

I bought a 5 qt first, then the 3 qt when it came out, and the latter is best for one person and for traveling, in my experience.

Nice to have the big one, if you want to cook a quantity of something for a crowd or the freezer, but the smaller one is more practical.

Opt in for the glass lid accessory, too, for when you are simmering something or using it as a crock pot.

RE: InstaPot - size? - B and C - 08-01-2019

What are you considering as low wattage?

I had to go look (again). I have a regular pressure cooker that I can use as a big saucepan if needed. Great for chili or a roast. Not sure what size it is but works well on my propane cooktop. From what I was seeing for wattage (1000 watts), it would kill my 350 Ah battery bank. I also carry a small roadpro crock pot that works off 12V but have only used it while driving.

RE: InstaPot - size? - XERTYX - 08-01-2019

Look into the hotlogic mini. Havent used one but they claim to use 45watts. They're a slow cooker for sure. You wont have a meal ready in 10 mins.

I'm planning on testing a new in box 350 watt rice cooker with steamer basket option I bought for $6. Many people use rice cookers for a variety of things not only rice.


The 3qt instapots are 700 watts. That's as much as a small microwave oven.

Instant Pot LUX Mini 3 Qt 6-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer

RE: InstaPot - size? - jimindenver - 08-01-2019

It seems near every person that I design for wants to use a insta pot and they do too. I think the wattage range has been 700-100 watts for the insta pot. My designs tend to run 800 watts of panel and 450 Ah of 6 volt AGM or 300 Ah of Lithium batteries. They have no issues running the insta pot during the day.

Doesn't a insta pot use a lot of power in the beginning and then drop off?

RE: InstaPot - size? - XERTYX - 08-01-2019

I believe the do Jim. But I dont have any data on startup vs running wattage. The OP has a Rav 4 so unless that's the tow vehicle I'm worried they wouldnt have near the wattage to use this as their main source of cooking.

Also my biggest concern was puekert effect if they're using lead acid. That's a huge draw on 1 or 2 batteries in a rav4.

RE: InstaPot - size? - maki2 - 08-01-2019

They are perfect for people who are afraid of cooking with a gas flame and people who don't want to stand over the stove and keep an eye on what they are cooking.

It should be sized in relationship to your eating habits and the size of your fridge. Small fridge then you need to cook in small quantities. If you don't like to eat the same leftovers for a lot of days in a row then you should also get the small unit.

RE: InstaPot - size? - Spaceman Spiff - 08-01-2019

(08-01-2019, 09:39 AM)jimindenver Wrote:  . . .¬†Doesn't a insta pot use a lot of power in the beginning and then drop off?

Same as any thermostatically controlled heater: max power until set temperature reached and then cycles on and off to maintain.

RE: InstaPot - size? - jimindenver - 08-01-2019

just like my cook top. The small burner is 470 watts until it reaches temp and then cycles. Long term cooking doesn't take as much power as you think. The big burner take 1070 but even then it's only going to use so much power before it starts cycling unless you leave it on high for boiling water. I generally stick to the smaller burner and practice the opposite of inductive cooking. I let the pan heat as I prepare the food.

RE: InstaPot - size? - MrNoodly - 08-02-2019

I know nothing about hot pot cooking. So why that versus other forms of cooking?