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

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Most people get 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pots, but sometimes you need something smaller. Maybe you have limited room or you’re just cooking for yourself and someone else. Today we’re comparing Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Mini to see which is best. Duo Nova comes in several sizes, but to make this fair we’ll only be comparing the 3 quart version in terms of appliances and features. So, which one is right for your kitchen? Read on and find out.

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Mini

Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Mini: Appliances

Instant Pots pack as many appliances as possible into their tiny units. While the 3 quart Instant Pots are certainly tiny, they have lots of appliances that you can make use of. From pressure cooking to slow cooking and more, let’s see which one has the most to offer you.

AppliancesInstant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Mini
Pressure CookerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Rice CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
WarmerYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYes
Saute/SearingYesYes
Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Mini Appliances

They’re not known as the Duo Nova 7-in-1 and Duo Mini 7-in-1 for nothing. Both of these pressure cookers have the exact same appliances. Truthfully, even getting a larger size Duo Nova would give you these same seven appliances.

This list is quite common to the Instant Pot family and you’ll find most of them with the other models. These appliances allow you to cook all the Instant Pot recipes you’ve been thinking off. From meat and veggies to cake and dessert, you can make just about anything.

Thus far both models are tied as they offer the exact same features in this area.

Instant Pot Duo Nova 3qt

Instant Pot Duo Mini vs Duo Nova: Smart Programs

Smart Programs are unique to Instant Pot. Each model has a computer that checks on your food and changes the time and temp to ensure it’s perfect every time. Plus, you don’t have to go through as many settings. Just push the program button and the pressure cooker gets to work.

Manual options are available if you don’t have an associated Smart Program, this addition is wonderful and makes your cooking so much easier. So, which model is best here? Let’s compare them.

Smart ProgramInstant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Mini
Soup/BrothYesYes
Bean/ChiliYesYes
Meat/StewYesYes
RiceYesYes
SauteYesYes
PoultryNoYes
YogurtYesYes
PorridgeYesYes
SteamYesYes
Pressure CookYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Slow CookYesYes
ManualYesYes

These two are nearly the same, but the Duo Mini pulls ahead by just a little bit. Both of these have all major Smart Programs for meat, rice, veggies, and nearly everything else, but Duo Mini has a poultry program while Duo Nova does not.

That being said, while Duo Mini is a little better here, it’s just one Smart Program and it’s hard to say it’s the ultimate winner. Both of these are able to cook all the recipes you can think of. You might have to use the manual controls with Duo Nova for poultry, but otherwise they are about the same.

Instant Pot Duo Mini 3qt

Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Mini: Sizes

Usually we put a lot of weight into this section because having more sizes gives you more flexibility. A small 3qt pressure cooker is fine for two or three people, but if you’re feeding a family or hosting parties, then you’ll need something substantially bigger.

However, Duo Mini only comes in one size and it seems unfair to judge this section too harshly. You can currently only get Duo Mini in the small 3 quart size.

Duo Nova comes in the most sizes of any Instant Pot. You can choose 3 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart, or the massive 10 quart. There’s no other Instant Pot that matches it in terms of flexibility.

You can feed about two or three people with the Duo Nova 3qt or Duo Mini 3qt. If that’s all you need to cook for, then this size should be fine. If you’re feeding a family, then you’ll probably want to pick a bigger size.

Since we’re only looking at the 3 quart size here they’re both tied, but if we’re considering sizes in general, then Duo Nova wipes the floor with the Duo Mini.

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

Here we’ll be comparing all the differences between these two models that we haven’t covered already. They’re both basically tied as they have the exact same appliances and the Duo Mini is only ahead with one Smart Program. What else do these two Instant Pots offer?

By the way, if you’re curious we’ve done a whole series on Duo Nova versus the other Instant Pots. Why don’t you check out one of our other articles in this series?

The Duo Nova has a bright blue LED display that is easier to read and work with. The Duo Mini’s display is fine and it’s very functional, but it pales in comparison to the Duo Nova.

Another huge difference is safety. Duo Nova is one of the newest Instant Pot models and thus has the newest safety features. You get the EasySeal lid and EasySteam Release. The lid will automatically seal, which ensures no escaping steam while pressure cooking. The EasySteam Release allows you to remove steam with the push of a button, so no more struggling to open the release and potentially burning your hands.

That’s not to say the Instant Pot Mini isn’t safe because it is. It’s just that Duo Nova is safer.

Duo Nova also has a cooking indicator that shows how far along cooking is. Mini Duo will show you how much longer is left, but it’s not as engaging as the cooking indicator.

This is where all the new tech really shines. While Mini Duo is perfectly fine, the Duo Nova is clearly superior when it comes to safety and overall presentation.

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Mini

Final Thoughts

Both of these are basic pressure cookers that are intended for one person or a couple. That being said, there are some areas where they are nearly identical and others where there’s a clear winner. They are the same when it comes to appliances and Duo Mini wins when it comes to Smart Programs, but Duo Nova has more sizes, better safety features, and a cooking indicator.