The Instant Pot Ultra mini is one of the most popular electric pressure cooker models from Instant Brands. With its compact 3 quart size, it is an ideal option for smaller households, dorm rooms, or anyone looking for a more portable multi-cooker. But exactly what are the dimensions and capacity of the Ultra mini? Let’s take a closer look at the size specs of this versatile kitchen appliance.
Ultra Mini Capacity
The main thing that distinguishes the Ultra mini from other Instant Pot models is its 3 quart inner pot. This stainless steel cooking chamber has a capacity of 2.6 quarts or 2.5 liters. That gives you enough room to cook 2-3 servings of most dishes.
A 3 quart capacity is great for singles, couples, and small families who don’t need to prepare large batches of food. It’s also ideal if you want a more compact Instant Pot that doesn’t take up as much counter space. However, keep in mind that the Ultra mini won’t be able to accommodate cooking for more than 3-4 people.
Typical Food Volumes
Here are some examples of typical volumes of food the 3 quart Ultra mini can hold:
- 1.5 pounds of uncooked rice resulting in 6 cooked cups
- 1 pound of dried beans resulting in 6 cups cooked beans
- 1 whole chicken or 2-3 chicken breasts
- 2 pounds of meat or poultry
- 1-2 pounds of vegetables
- 1 quart of soup or broth
- Meals for 1-3 people
As you can see, the 3 quart capacity is great for individual recipes and sides, but likely too small for preparing an entire meal for a family.
Size and Dimensions
In addition to a smaller inner pot, the overall size and dimensions of the Ultra mini are more compact compared to other Instant Pot models. Here are the exact exterior dimensions:
- Height: 9.25 inches
- Width: 10.25 inches
- Depth: 11.25 inches
With a footprint just over 10 inches wide, the Ultra mini has a nicely compact rectangular shape. It can fit easily on countertops and store away in cabinets without taking up too much precious kitchen space.
The petite size also makes the Ultra mini more portable and travel-friendly than many other electric pressure cookers. It’s easy to transport in an RV, bring to a potluck, or take to a vacation rental.
Despite its small footprint, the Ultra mini still has a sturdy build quality thanks to its stainless steel construction. It weighs approximately 8.8 pounds.
This puts it on the lighter side for electric pressure cookers. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to add the weight of food and liquids when cooking, which can up to double the total weight.
Interior Cooking Space
In addition to the 3 quart inner pot, it’s useful to understand the overall interior cooking space of the Instant Pot Ultra Mini. This gives you a sense of which shapes and sizes of food will fit best.
The removable stainless steel inner pot has the following interior dimensions:
- Diameter: 7 inches
- Height: 5.7 inches
With a 7 inch diameter base, the inner pot can fit a small whole chicken, rack of lamb chops, or a few chicken breasts. The nearly 6 inch height means you can cook round vegetables or stack ingredients.
It’s important to note that you’ll lose some interior capacity once you add the inner pot to the housing. The metal insert doesn’t fully reach the top of the cooker.
What Fits Inside?
To give you a better idea of which foods and ingredients work well, here are some examples of items that fit comfortably in the Ultra mini’s inner pot:
- 1-2 chicken breasts or thighs
- 1-2 salmon fillets
- 1 rack of lamb or pork chops
- 1 cornish hen or quail
- 1 cup dry beans or lentils
- 1 pound meatloaf mix
- 1-2 eggs in steamer basket
- 1 cup oatmeal or rice
- Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, potatoes cut into pieces
While you can cook small roasts, whole birds, or racks of ribs in the Ultra mini, you may need to trim or wrap them so they fit properly in the inner pot.
The Instant Pot Ultra mini comes with a few handy accessories to help you make the most of its compact capacity.
Included with the pressure cooker are:
- Stainless steel steam rack with handles – great for steaming veggies, seafood, eggs and more over water in the inner pot
- Rice paddle for stirring and scooping rice and grains
- Soup spoon for serving soups and stews
- Measuring cup for accurately adding water and liquid ingredients
- User manual and cooking time tables
These accessories are tailored to the smaller capacity, unlike the regular size Ultra which comes with an extra egg rack and larger utensils. All the included accessories can be used safely in the dishwasher.
Optional extras you may want include a glass lid for slow cooking or sautéing with an open lid. A mini trivet can help lift dishes like egg bites out of direct contact with water at the bottom of the inner pot.
Over time, some of the included accessories may need to be replaced. Instant Pot makes it easy to find replacement parts and accessories for the Ultra Mini.
On the Instant Brands website, you can find:
- 3 quart replacement inner pot – $29.95
- Tempered glass lid – $19.95
- Mini steam rack – $9.95
- Silicone egg bite mold – $12.95
- Silicone mini mitts – $11.95
The great thing about Instant Pot is that their accessories are interchangeable across most models. So you can use regular or mini replacement parts in your Ultra mini as needed.
Now that we’ve looked at the overall size and interior dimensions of the Instant Pot Ultra Mini, how much can you actually cook in this compact 3 quart model?
Here is a look at approximate cooking capacities for some common Instant Pot recipes:
|Dry beans||1 cup dry beans|
|Rice||1-1.5 cups uncooked rice|
|Soup||1 quart liquid|
|Meat (chops, chicken, etc)||1-2 pounds|
|Hard boiled eggs||2-6 eggs|
As you can see, the Ultra mini works beautifully for individual recipes and smaller batch cooking. It can make 1-3 servings of soups, grains, beans, meats, eggs and more.
But you’ll be limited on larger recipes and dishes. For example, while the Ultra mini can cook rice or oatmeal for 1-2 people, you can’t make a big pot of rice for a dinner party.
To adapt regular recipes to the smaller Ultra mini capacity, try these tips:
- Cut recipe ingredient amounts in half or thirds
- Limit liquids to 1 cup minimum, 3 cups maximum
- Adjust cook times down for smaller quantities
- Allow extra space for foaming and bubbling during pressure cooking
- Choose individual ingredients like chicken breasts vs a whole bird
- Cook veggies in batches for sautéing
With a bit of tweaking, you can easily mini-size many favorite Instant Pot recipes to work beautifully in the Ultra Mini 3 quart model.
Is a 3 Quart Instant Pot Worth It?
The Ultra mini offers undeniable benefits for singles, couples, dorm rooms and anyone short on kitchen space. It can whip up quick, healthy meals with minimal effort.
However, the 3 quart capacity does come with some limitations. You won’t be able to cook large batches or meals for bigger groups. And certain ingredients simply won’t fit well in the petite inner pot.
Here are a few pros and cons to help decide if the Ultra mini is right for your needs:
- Compact, space-saving design
- Lighter and easier to move around
- Great for 1-2 person cooking
- Less leftovers to store
- Lower price point than larger models
- Same great features as 6 & 8 quart Instant Pots
- Small capacity limits batch cooking
- Not ideal for larger households
- Restricted to smaller ingredient sizes
- Can only make 1-3 servings per cook cycle
- Fewer included accessories than bigger models
For many home chefs, the convenience and simplicity of the Instant Pot outweighs the smaller capacity limitations. But if you regularly cook for 4+ people or make large meal preps, a larger 5-8 quart model may suit your needs better.
The Instant Pot Ultra Mini is one of the smallest electric pressure cookers from Instant Brands. With a petite 3 quart capacity, compact 10 x 11 inch footprint, and lightweight 8 pound body, it’s tailored specifically for smaller households, countertops and cooking needs.
While you can only make 1-3 servings per cook cycle, the Ultra Mini lets you whip up quick, healthy meals with the signature Instant Pot features people know and love. From its versatile pressure and slow cook settings to useful accessories like the steamer rack, this little cooker packs a surprising punch.
If you’re cooking for 1-2 people and want a more portable Instant Pot, the Ultra Mini is certainly worth considering. Just keep its smaller capacity in mind and adapt recipes as needed. This lightweight powerhouse lets you enjoy the convenience of a multi-cooker even in the tiniest kitchens!