The quick answer of course is, whichever Instant Pot you buy, both options are top of the range electric pressure cookers and would be worthy of a place in any kitchen.
Instant Pot Model Comparison
What do the Instant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Lux V3 have in common:
Well both of these pressure cookers are 6L, they both weigh the same, 14.57 lbs, both are 1000W and both have the full 10 safety mechanisms. So in terms of the cooking volume, power and built in safety features, there is no difference.
Both pressure cookers have the pressure valve on the top, which you turn to allow pressure to build up and to release pressure.
One of the biggest selling points of the Instant Pot is the stainless steel inner pot and accessories, and thankfully both models have these.
If there are no real differences in the body of theInstant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Lux then let’s look at what there is different.
What’s different then:
We could have labelled this article ‘Instant Pot 6 in 1 vs 7 in 1’ because that is an advertised difference, but let’s go through all the features and see what this actually means in functionality.
In terms of the Smart Built-in Programs, the Duo has 14 and the Lux has 10. That is the one touch buttons on the front panel. Some of these programs are the same, the 24hr delay timer for example, but in some there are subtle differences. Whether these differences are important to you, the buyer, is for you to decide.
The first difference we want to address is the pressure cooking and the level of pressure when cooking. On the Instant Pot Duo there are 2 levels of pressure cooking, a high level of 10.2-11.6 psi or a low level of 5.8 – 7.2 psi, hence the Duo in the name. The Lux only has the high level of pressure cooking.
Is this a selling point? We can’t imagine wanting to cook something at a lower psi, for me the speed of cooking is the important factor. Apparently it is used to avoid overcooking tender food materials such as vegetables, although we’re not sure we would ever use it.
The slow cooker option and the saute option are the same on both, but the warming function is slightly different. On the Instant Pot Lux V3 the automatic keep warm function works for up to 10 hours, and the manual keep warm is the same time, on the Instant Pot Duo the automatic function is 10 hours but the manual function is up to 99 hours and 50 minutes.
Again is this a selling point? We can’t imagine wanting to keep something warm for 99 hours, it isn’t a buying point for us.
Are these a deal breaker? The yoghurt function is good, we’ve made yoghurt in a yoghurt maker, but we might be tempted to try making it in the pressure cooker, it also has the option to boil the milk to pasteurise it, before the yoghurt making process. The bean/chilli and the poultry buttons are good for a one touch button, but you can use the manual button, or adjust the meat button settings down. These 3 options are good, if you’ll use them then you might feel they are a deal breaker for you.
There are 2 options on the Lux V3 that are not on the Duo, it now has a cake and an egg function. We’ve personally never tried doing either of these things in a pressure cooker, but have read some great reviews about doing eggs in the pressure cooker, apparently they are much easier to peel after cooking in the pressure cooker, you can hard boil and soft boil. Neat! Again, nice to have functions but if you’re not likely to use them, not a selling point.
The only physical changes between the two are, on the Instant Pot Duo you have a handle that runs across the whole lid, rather than just a solid, smaller handle on the Lux, there is also 2 wing handles on the Duo lid which match the body, these are not on the Lux. Finally the steam rack in the Duo has handles for ease of lifting out of the pot and the steam rack in the Lux doesn’t have any handles.
Who should go for the Instant Pot Duo:
Anyone who likes all the options, regardless if they need them or not, just in case. If you like the idea of a steam rack with handles and if you think the lid will be easier to put on and take off with a bigger handle. This might be especially useful if you have problems with your grip.
Who should go for the Instant Pot Lux:
Well if you aren’t too fussed over all the button options, if you aren’t that bothered about the steam rack handles and if you don’t think that the lid handle is going to cause you any issues. If money is an issue and you can’t justify the extra cost of the Duo.
These are the only 2 options of the Instant Pot Pressure Cookers in the UK at this moment, although you can get the Instant Pot Duo 8L version. If you are looking for the Instant Pot with Bluetooth in the UK, it’s not yet available.
Both of these Instant Pot options are great pressure cookers, the differences aren’t many and the only thing that we would pay extra for on theInstant Pot Duo is the easier handle on the lid and the steam rack with handles. We think the handle on the lid makes it easier to lock into place and to take off, and we feel that it’s better for taking a hot lid from a steamy pot, a little bit safer in our opinion. For this same reason we prefer the steam rack with handles, if you have tried taking one these things out of a hot pan, you’ll know handles are great.
The button options on both of these pots are less important to us as you have a manual function on both so you can do everything in both pots, it just means you have to find the timings for what you want to do and set it manually.
So our choice is the Instant Pot Duo, just for the safer handles on the lid and the rack and we think that is worth the extra money in the long run.
You might also be interested in our Instant Pot vs Pressure King Pro article here.