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Are you looking to buy an instant pot or air fryer and can’t decide which to go with? Both are new to the market and bring different and easier methods for cooking a variety of meals. If you’ve only got the budget to by one, this guide comparing the Instant pot vs air fryer will help you decide which is best for you!
The instant pot has become so popular with several models that have the capability of the multicooker. The Air fryer also is able to prepare different types of meals but one at a time.
If you are planning to have one of them, it’s important to know the differences they have and the strengths they possess.
So, Instant Pot vs Air Fryer what’s the difference?
The difference between the instant pot and air fryer is the way they cook. The instant pot is a multi-cooker that utilizes the pressure cooker technology to cook food faster and efficiently. On the other hand, the air fryer cooks with hot air and uses minimal to none of the oil to cook producing a fried food texture. An air fryer is a healthier alternative for cooking and frying different meals in your kitchen.
These great appliances are not expensive considering the functions they have like the instant pot which can cook more than 7 functions.
In this article, we will highlight the important functions each the instant pot and air fryer have and know the difference. Also, the pros and cons of both the appliances to have a better view before choosing one.
Also Read: Best Air Fryer Under $100
What Is An Instant Pot?
An instant pot is an upgrade of the traditional pressure cooker with multiple cooking functions. It is an electric pressure cooker which utilizes the pressure cooker steam cooking and slow cooking and other technologies.
The instant pot has been advertised as the appliance that can do it all in the kitchen.
What can an instant pot cook?
Instant pots have the capability of preparing most of the foods we love. Some of these foods are;
- Rice (white or brown)
- Slow cook foods
These are just examples of the most common but its not limited to the foods it can prepare. There are hundreds of instant pot recipes all over to guide you on the foods you would like to prepare.
Different models have different functions to enable them to prepare the foods needed. Some models have 6 – in- 1, 7- in -1 and 10- in- 1 functions extending the versatility of the instant pot.
Just like other appliances, as the time goes the manufacturer continues to improve the models by introducing new ones to the market. The instant pot has the following models.
One great thing about instant pot is that the slow timer allows cooking food automatically by setting the time even if you are not around. Some models have recipes to simplify the process and eliminate guesswork when cooking. All you got to do is just click the button to cook the recipe.
Pros Of An Instant Pot
The ability to set food to cook even for 24 hours gives other cookware a great competition. It has pre-programmed settings to enable consistency in the meals cooked.
- Saves Time
Cooking times in an instant pot is very fast to save you time. Foods that take hours like dry beans can be cooked within 30 to 1 hour which is amazing. The instant pot is very useful for people who don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen and always busy to prepare meals in a short time.
- Energy Efficient
This appliance is said to be energy-saving because it doesn’t consume a lot of electricity to do what it does the best, cooking.
- Stainless steel interior
Its interior is made of stainless steel material which is a safe cooking material. There is no fear of nonstick coatings of Teflon which are considered toxic.
The cost of the instant pot is affordable considering the tasks it can offer. Most of the instant pots cost under $100 thus giving you a big advantage to get several appliances in one device.
The instant pot has small capacity pots to big capacity for everyone making it suitable for all types of needs. The 3-quart instant pot is great for single people or 1 to 2 people. For a large family, an instant pot from 8 quarts and above is good enough to prepare food.
The process of cleaning is very easy due to the stainless steel interior which can be cleaned without complicated processes.
- Plenty of Accessories
Instant pot accessories are readily available in the market to enhance the performance of the pot even better. See Accessories
Cons of an Instant pot
- The Learning period
It might take some time to master the cooking process and functions of the instant pot especially if you don’t have any experience in pressure cooking. There are manuals to guide you and also recipes for reference. As time goes by, you will eventually be better using the multicooker.
Best Instant Pots (Recommended)
|Instant Pot Duo 80I||8 Quart||7-in-1|
|Instant Pot Duo Mini||3 Quart|||7-in-1|
|Instant Pot Lux||6 Quart||6-in-1|
|Instant Pot Ultra||6 Quart||10-in-1|
|Instant Pot Duo Plus||8 Quart||9-in-1|
|Instant Pot Duo Nova||3 Quart||7-in-1|
What’s an Air Fryer?
Just like the name suggests, an air fryer is an appliance that uses hot air and minimal oil to cook food. It is advertised as a healthier alternative to preparing foods in the kitchen.
Air fryers were made to replace the deep fryer which you have to use too much cooking oil which is not healthy. With an air fryer, food is fried resulting in crispy texture because of minimum oil. Air fryers can be very affordable.
An air fryer has the ability to prepare a variety of foods like an instant pot and not limited to frying. You can fry, grill, bake, and roast in an air fryer.
It’s very easy to prepare a lot of meals you like in an air fryer. Some of the common foods an air fryer can cook are;
- French fries
- Potato Chips
- Roasted nuts
- chicken wings
- Fried chicken
- Fried fish
- pork chops
- Vegetables (cauliflower, mushrooms)
- Cakes (small cakes, quiche, cupcakes)
Advantages Of An Air fryer
- Portable and flexible
- Cooks with less oil
Disadvantages Of An Air fryer
- Electricity consumption
Air fryer consumes a lot of electricity which makes them to some people less energy saving. Most of the air fryers consume even more than conventional ovens.
- Longer cooking times
Cooking times in an air fryer takes a longer time than the traditional conventional ovens or fryer. The air fryer needs to be warmed up before using it.
Their capacity is mostly compact which require to chop the food first before frying in the basket.
- High risk of burnt food
The cooking method in an air fryer uses very hot air from 300-400F which needs attention for the food not to get burned. Eventually, this problem has been addressed by air fryers having timers for the food to prevent this problem.
Top Rated Air Fryers (Recommended)
|Philips TurboStar Airfryer||1.8-lbs||1425-Watt|
|Cuisinart AFR-25 Air Fryer One Size||3-lbs||1800-Watt|
|Ninja Air Fryer (AF101)||4-Quart||1550-Watt|
|Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer||10-Quart||1500-Watt|
|GoWISE USA GW22731||5.8-Quart||1700-Watt|
|Breville BOV900BSS||14 lb turkey||1800-Watt|
Instant Pot Vs Air Fryer: The Differences
After understanding some great features and capabilities of the Instant pot and Air fryers, its time to compare the differences. This will help you to make the right decision on which to buy between the two and decide which is the better long-term addition to your kitchen. We already know one difference in how the two work and process food, but now we look more different.
An air fryer is more portable than an Instant pot due to their sizes. It’s easy to carry an air fryer in your travel vacations. This doesn’t mean you can’t carry an instant pot in your travels but if you have a big instant pot, then it harder.
The Instant pot has more features and capabilities compared to the Air fryer. The types of food which can be prepared in an instant pot are extensive than the air fryer.
In terms of the cooking time taken by these two appliances, an air fryer takes 15 to 25 minutes to cook most of the foods. An instant pot is also faster because the foods are different. Instant cooks even tough ingredients like cereals in 25-30 minutes depending on the specific one. All in all, the air fryer seems to be faster because of the light meals it prepares.
The price of the appliances mostly falls under $100 which is affordable to many people. Considering some advantages the instant pot possesses, I would say that the instant pot is cheaper. Buying an instant pot with multiple functions and the capability to cook hundreds of recipes at under $90 is a wise action to take.
The air fryer on average is smaller in size compared to the instant pot. Different models have different sizes of instant pots and also the air fryers.
Difference In The Food To Cook
Foods that can be prepared in the two appliances are different since the instant pot is versatile in the meals cooked. Each has outstanding food that can be prepared without any struggle. Instant pot latest models can prepare yogurt and rice something an air fryer cant cook.
Safety is an important thing especially for appliances using hot pressure and air. There have been some complaints about air fryer smelling plastic, overheating and smoking. The instant pot has safety mechanisms in place to prevent accidents. It’s safer cooking with an instant pot because of their safety features.
Ease of Use
Using an air fryer is very easy, unlike Instant pot which you have to take some time to understand all the functions for cooking. Most of the air fryers have few buttons to set time and temperature and you are good to cook.
The instant pot is built with quality material and technology which makes them durable because they don’t break down easily. There are some known issues about air fryers like the tray breaking down makes them less long-lasting. As time goes, they will improve on the issues because they are newer on the market than the instant pots.
For the guidance of cooking recipes, the instant pot beats the air fryer down because of the thousands of recipes available for instant pot. Some instant pot model comes with a mobile app for recipes to get you started. There are so many groups and communities dedicated to instant pot like the instant pot community on Facebook. The recipes for air fryer are there but not in plenty like for instant pot.
Frequently Asked Questions (Instant Pot vs Air Fryer)
Does Instapot have an air fryer?
The brand Instant pot has crossed the pressure cooking to launch an Air fryer to compete with other brands making air fryer. Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer is one of the releases of instant pot in the air fryer market. You can do more than just air fry in the instant vortex revolutionizing the industry.
What size Air fryer do I need?
The size of an air fryer will depend on the number of people you are preparing food for. The sizes of air fryers range between 3 to above quarts but the popular is 5 quarts. For one person, a 3 quart-sized air fryer is ideal and for 3 to 5 people, 5.8-quart size is great.
Air fryer vs. Instant pot – Which is healthier?
The answer to this depends on what you’re cooking most often. If you’re regularly deep frying or frying foods on the stove, then going with an air fryer is the better choice than a deep fryer since it will significantly reduce your oil/fat intake, but give you the same sort of flavors and final product as deep frying. An Instapot can’t do that as well.
If you’re looking for a way to cook the same healthy foods you’re already eating but just faster (ie without the oven), then an instant pot is going to give you a better mimic than the air fryer, for the final product (taste, texture, etc).
In terms of overall versatility, you’re going to be able to cook a wider variety of foods in the Instant pot, but if you need that deep-fried flavor to get more veggies in, you still might consider the air fryer just to get you started.
As far as healthy foods go, you’ll be fine on oil content with either cooking appliance.
Can I use the Instant pot as an air fryer?
Actually, yes. There is an accessory lid that you can purchase that essentially turns your Instapot into an air fryer, which might solve this debate once and for all for many readers. You won’t be able to make rotisserie the same way, but that’s only one missing feature.
Can I use the Air fryer as an Instapot?
No. You can cook a variety of foods in many air fryers, especially those that more closely resemble toaster ovens in appearance. But overall you’re not going to be cooking soups and stews in your air fryer, and you won’t be able to cook simple white rice for your homemade Chinese dinner in 15 or so minutes like you can with an Instant pot.
Conclusion (Instant Pot Vs Air Fryer Which Is Better)
Finally, these are a great appliance to have in the kitchen but if you have to choose one, the instant pot is a smart choice. The instant is more versatile with many cooking functions to cover most of the common and loved foods.
Both instant pots and air fryers are important because they are different from each other and owning both can bring more joy in the kitchen. With their affordability, you can buy the air fryer for preparing crispy foods like chips and the instant pot for quality meals.
Air fryers are said to healthier but the instant pot also prepares healthy foods more than the air fryer. Most of the loss weight diet keto is based on instant pot and not air fryers.
If you don’t own an instant pot or air fryer its time to take action and buy one them, mostly instant pot. If you like fried food, the air fryer will be the best option to buy. Your needs are the important drive to choose between instant pot vs air fryer, either way, you get a great appliance.