Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Crisp (Which is Best?)

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It’s time to compare two of the best pressure cookers: Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Crisp. The Duo Nova is called the best pressure cooker for beginners, but the Duo Crisp includes an air fryer along with numerous features and attachments. Which one deserves a spot in your kitchen? Read on as we compare Instant Pot Duo Crisp vs Duo Nova.

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Crisp

Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Crisp: Appliances

While we call Instant Pots “pressure cookers,” that’s not entirely accurate. They are all multiple appliances thrown into one powerful multicooker. Every model has features like pressure cooker, slow cooker, food warmer, and so on. However, which is the best model for you between these two? Let’s compare them:

ApplianceInstant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Crisp
Pressure CookerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Rice CookerYesNo
Slow CookerYesYes
WarmerYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesNo
Saute/SearingYesYes
Sous VideNoYes
Air FryNoYes
BroilerNoYes
DehydratorNoYes

We are including the Duo Crisp functions that are only available with the air fryer lid (such as air frying, dehydrating, and broiling), so be aware that these options are only available with that lid attached. The other options are available with the pressure cooker lid attached.

Overall, the Duo Crisp is the better of the two, especially if you want crispier food. However, the Duo Nova covers all the basics and, aside from not having an air fryer, it’s able to cook all sorts of recipes and does a better job with rice and yogurt.

While Duo Nova is a strong pressure cooker, the Duo Crisp is better in this category.

Instant Pot Duo Nova

Instant Pot Duo Crisp vs Duo Nova: Smart Programs

Instant Pot has a function called Smart Programs. This is a microprocessor in the pressure cooker, but you can think of this as a tiny chef working wonders over your food. It changes the time and temp whenever needed so that your food comes out perfect.

While there are manual controls if you need them, Smart Programs are easier and more convenient. So, which pressure cookers comes out on top here? Let’s compare Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Crisp and see who wins this category.

Smart ProgramInstant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Crisp
Soup/BrothYesNo
Bean/ChiliYesNo
Meat/StewYesNo
RiceYesNo
MultigrainYesNo
SauteYesYes
PoultryYesNo
YogurtYesNo
PorridgeYesNo
SteamYesYes
Pressure CookYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Slow CookYesYes
Sous VideNoYes
Air FryNoYes
RoastNoYes
BakeNoYes
BroilNoYes
DehydrateNoYes

Usually it’s easy to judge which one is the winner, but this is a very mixed bag. The truth is that these two models only share a few Smart Programs. There’s more different than alike here, which is unusual with Instant Pot models.

That being said, this becomes a battle between specific vs broad recipes. The Duo Crisp is very focused. Most of its features center around fast, crispy food. On the other hand, the Duo Nova is broader and allows you to make just about anything with its Smart Programs.

So, do you want a limited but specialized pool of recipes to use this one, or would you prefer making this your primary cooking appliance for most recipes? If the former, then Duo Crisp is better. Otherwise, the Duo Nova is more versatile, but you are missing out on some crispiness. You could also consider the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid. We just did a whole review of it.

Please be aware that these Smart Programs are from the Duo Nova 6qt, Duo Nova 8qt, and Duo Nova 10qt. There’s also a smaller size, but that lacks some of the features. This isn’t exclusive to the Nova. Most Instant Pot 3qt pressure cookers lack a few features.

Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Crisp: Sizes

There is another massive difference here. You want a pressure cooker that’s big enough for your needs, but not so large that you only use a small portion of the full capacity. Striking the perfect balance lets you save money while making enough food for yourself and your family.

Having more sizes is better because you can choose the perfect one for you. The Duo Nova is currently the overall winner with all Instant Pot models as it has the most sizes, but it’s an even bigger winner here.

You can get the Duo Nova in 3 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart, and 10 quart sizes. Whether you’re just feeding yourself, a small family, large family, or hosting parties, you can find the right size for your needs.

The Duo Crisp 8 quart model is the only size available. There’s nothing larger or smaller at the moment. This is ideal for larger families.

This might be an issue if you needed something smaller and you’ll have to decide if this is a good size, but it’s good if you want to cook large batches or have many people to cook for.

Not sure what pressure cooker size you need? Here’s a brief rundown of the common sizes:

  • 3 Quart: good for individuals and couples
  • 6 Quart: good for small families and meal prepping for the week
  • 8 Quart: good for medium to large families, hosting parties
  • 10 Quart: best for large families, parties, events, and making lots of food

Duo Nova is the undisputed winner here. If you wanted a smaller or larger pressure cooker, then that’s the model for you. However, if 8 quart is a good size for you, then Duo Crisp is still in the running.

What’s the Difference Between Duo Nova and Duo Crisp?

We’ve covered many aspects so far like appliances, size, and Smart Programs. Here we talk about any other differences that might help sway your buying decision. Before going further, you should know what we’re doing a whole series on Instant Pot Duo Nova compared to other pressure cookers. Here’s the full list thus far:

These two models are very different, but there are a few similarities. They both have the EasySeal lid and EasySteam Release, both of which are fantastic safety features.

Duo Nova comes with an extra sealing ring, has a more intuitive control panel, is more versatile when it comes to anything outside air frying, and has a stainless steel cooking pot with a steaming rack.

Duo Crisp comes with two lids: pressure cooking lid and air frying lid. Some features are only available with the air fryer lid, like air frying, baking, and dehydrating. It can also sous vide, which only a few Instant Pots can do. You get a special air frying basket along with a steaming rack.

While they are both quite different, they both deliver fantastic food with lovely flavors. It’s really a matter of which features appeal to you the most.

Final Thoughts

Both the Duo Nova and Duo Crisp are efficient pressure cookers. Which is best? We think it comes down to whether you want to cook general or specific recipes. If you specifically want air frying and crispy food, then the Duo Crisp is right for you.

However, if you were looking to make rice, yogurt, porridge, all sorts of meats and veggies, then Duo Nova might be the better unit. It’s somewhat more versatile, at a better price point, and has plenty of features to love.