Both the Instant Pot Duo and Duo Nova have been around for many years. They are similar in a lot of ways but there are a few differences. Find out everything you need to compare the Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova so you can decide which one is right for you.
Table of Contents
The Instant Pot Duo is the most popular model and was also one of the first models of Instant Pot to be introduced. The Duo Nova model was introduced a few years later.
These two models are quite similar to each other, with just a few differences.
Maybe you’ve finally decided to buy an Instant Pot or you just want to get a second one but are having trouble deciding between the Instant Pot Duo v Duo Nova. Which model should you buy? Let’s compare the two.
The Instant Pot Duo is a multi-cooker that’s capable of cooking a wide variety of foods, including meat, rice, and beans. Refer to my comprehensive Duo user guide for details. Here are some highlights of this model:
- The Duo display panel has a black and silver color scheme while the Duo Nova has a blue display. I find the display easier to read on the Duo Nova.
- Both models have very similar functionality. However, the Duo has a few additional smart programs, such as Poultry and Multigrain.
Pressure Cooker Lid
- The pressure cooker lid on the Duo has undergone a design change.
- In older models, you have to move the steam release handle on the lid to the Sealing position in order to pressure cook (see the left image above). It’s easy to forget to do this, which results in the Instant Pot not sealing. You release steam by manually turning the steam release handle from Sealing to Venting position.
- In the latest model, the lid auto-seals and you release steam by moving a slider switch from Seal to Vent position, which is so much easier (see the right image above).
The Instant Pot Duo Nova is very similar to the Duo. Refer to my comprehensive Duo Nova user guide for details. Here are some highlights of this model:
- The Duo Nova display is very similar to the Duo, but it lacks a couple of smart programs such as Poultry and Multigrain.
- The display panel has icons that give information about the stage of cooking i.e. Preheating, Cooking or Keep Warm mode.
Pressure Cooker Lid
- The steam release mechanism of the Duo Nova lid is a button that you push to go from Seal to Vent.
- The lid auto-seals i.e. you don’t need to turn the handle to the Sealing position as with some older models of Duo Nova and Duo. This is a really useful feature because it’s very easy to forget to turn the steam release handle to the Sealing position.
Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova Comparison
The following table compares all the important features and smart programs of the Duo and Duo Nova. Every Instant Pot has smart programs (presets) that allow you to perform a cooking function with just the press of a button.
The Duo and the Duo Nova have most programs in common but the Duo has a couple more programs than the Duo Nova. Please note that the 3 quart may be missing some smart programs.
|– Auto seal *||✔||✔|
|– Release pressure with switch *||✔|
|– Release pressure with button||✔|
|– Status icons in the display panel||✔|
|– Extra sealing ring||✔|
|– Sizes||3, 6, 8 quart||3, 6, 8, 10 quart|
|– Pressure Cook||✔||✔|
|– Slow Cook||✔||✔|
** Autostart: program the Instant Pot and wait a few seconds for it to start automatically
Pros of Each Model
Duo Nova Pros
- Cooking status icons in the display panel
- Extra sealing ring
- Auto seal and quick release with button
- 10 quart size
- Additional smart programs
- Easy availability
Cooking Status Icons
There are icons at the top of the Duo Nova display panel that show what stage of the cooking process it is (Preheating, Cooking, Keep Warm). It’s nice to know what the cooking progress is and I feel this is a worthwhile feature to take into account in your decision-making. However, I don’t feel this is an essential feature.
Extra Sealing Ring
I do like having an extra sealing ring to use when I’m cooking desserts. However, extra sealing rings are available for purchase for less than ten dollars. So I don’t think this accessory should be a factor in your decision-making.
The Duo has undergone a design change where the new lid auto-seals and has a slider switch that allows you to release pressure.
However, the older Duo model is still widely sold and the new version may not be available at many retailers. If you’re comparing the older Duo vs Duo Nova, it might be worthwhile buying the Duo Nova because of the auto-seal feature.
10 Quart Size
The Duo Nova is the only model that comes in the 10 quart size. If you’re looking for a large Instant Pot, the Duo Nova model is your best bet. Find out more about the Instant Pot sizes.
Additional Smart Programs
Smart programs are presets that are programmed for the pressure level and cooking time for certain foods, just like the presets on a microwave. Most presets can be duplicated with the Pressure Cook button.
For example, the Poultry program is a preset that pressure cooks at high pressure for 15 minutes. To duplicate the Poultry program, you can use the Pressure Cook program at High pressure for 15 minutes. So the absence of a smart program isn’t a deal-breaker.
The Instant Pot Duo is the most popular model and is widely available. The Instant Pot Duo Nova is not as easily available. If you have a hard time finding the Nova, go with the Duo.
Bottom Line: Which Model is Better?
Get the Duo If…
- It’s cheaper than the Duo Nova AND it has the auto-seal feature (i.e. it’s the redesigned version)
Get the Duo Nova If…
- You’d like to know the stage of cooking
- You’re comparing the Duo Nova with an older model Duo (without the auto-seal lid)
- You want a 10 quart