When you’re looking for something like Instant Pot Vs Air Fryer, it means you’re probably looking for someone else to make this decision for you. However, this is not something I’m going to do as you’re the only one who can ultimately make the choice. I’m not going to tell you an instant pot is better, or you should buy an air fryer.
No, they’re both kitchen appliances that have been invented for a reason. Even though they do similar things, there are also other matters where they perform differently. So, let’s start with the basics. I’ll walk you through What is instant pot and What is air fryer first, and then we’ll get to the difference between an air fryer and instant pot.
However, you should bear in mind that the final buying decision is on your shoulders, because you should know better than anyone what’s best for you. I will guide you through the most important features. Ready? Let’s start!
Instant Pot vs Air Fryer – What Is Instant Pot?
Instant pot is a sublime machine some of you might have been obsessing over for some time now. This cooking gadget can easily do the work of a pressure cooker and slow-cooker. You can easily replace a rice cooker with it, and there’s no need to buy a separate yogurt maker. Understandably!
The truth is, yes, it’s got some precious tricks up its sleeve that makes it a serious contender in the air fryer vs instant pot battle. It is basically a multi-cooker that can replace a plethora of other kitchen appliances.
The Instant Pot is also the name of the brand (IP) and funny enough, they have also launched an air fryer not so long again. However, Instant Pot is their original product, and we’re going to focus on it. IP is not the only brand, you will also find similar pressure cookers and slow-cookers from others like Cuisinart, Gourmia, or Breville.
Instant Pot Main Features
Ok, let’s get down to business and discuss the Instant Pot main features.
- It can act as a slow-cooker for the dinner nights when you have to wait for everybody to get home, it basically adjusts to your time, which is sublime!
- It has self-regulating features for temperature and cooking pressure so it will never over-cook your food.
- Also it can cook fast if you need it to; you can get a massive chunk of meat ready in 40 minutes if you need to.
- It can cook on high-heat steam, so if you’re thinking about some nice broccoli to go with your steak, think again. It tends to overcook veggies, so make sure you use the Quick Release steam function when veggies are in the Pot.
- You can wirelessly control it. The Instant Pot Smart can connect to your phone via Bluetooth.
- It is pretty big, so if you have a small kitchen with a small kitchen counter, using it might be a bit of a struggle.
- Additionally, it can be used as a saute pan. You can stir fry foods with oil or you can sear meats in it
The Instant Pot is generally considered to be a game-changer in the kitchen. It has a lot of cooking options and offers a variation of possibilities. Although it might not be perfect for cooking veggies, and although it might not fit into small kitchens, it is an all-around nice cooking machine.
There are a lot of variations you can buy depending on your budget. All the basic models can function as a pressure cooker, saute pan, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and so on.
How Does an Instant Pot Work?
An instant pot produces steam using water. This steam builds up the pressure within the pot. The hot steam is then released into the food and thus it can cook it at high speed, while carefully preserving much of its nutrients and taste. Given the way it works, it offers a large array of controllable features to set the cooking process to your liking and customize your recipes.
Common Foods You Can Cook With Instant Pot
- Veggies (be careful not to overcook them)
Now think of all the varieties of meals you can create with these foods and you’ve got endless possibilities at your disposal.
Instant Pot and Air Fryer – What Is an Air Fryer?
From a first glance, it resembles an Instant Pot, right? They look quite the same but do they do the same things? Ok, first things first, you should know that the Air Fryer was first patented by Philips. It was quite a big deal back then, and it still is. That’s because it claims it can deep fry food using nothing but hot air and a tiny bit of oil. So, how does it do that?
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
You can say that the Air Fryer is a convection oven. If you look at the top, you will find a heating apparatus and a fan. These make sure that hot air is pushed through in the cooking compartment where you place the food.
The fast hot air makes the food crisp, simulating the original frying process. The food cooks fast and the insides won’t be dried out. All in all, it is a perfect appliance to help you cook delicious and crispy food without the classic, dirty frying pan.
Common Foods You Can Cook With an Air Fryer
Air Fryers are famous for their less-oil, fast-frying capabilities. However, if you’ve got a good cooking imagination, you can use them to cook a large variety of meals. This includes:
- French fries
- Egg rolls
- Fried fish
- Boiled eggs
- Baked potatoes
- Grilled vegetables
- Potato chips
- Fried chicken
- Cooked pumpkin seeds
What else do you think you could cook with an air fryer? Generally speaking, if you can cook it in an oven or frying pan, it should also work in an air fryer. With some cool cooking accessories, you can expand your air fryer cooking capabilities even further.
Buy a grill pan, and you’ve got some brilliantly-cooked vegetables, much like in an Instant Pot or with the saute method. Get a baking pan accessory and you can make cakes and casseroles. For those of you worrying you can only cook a little array of crisp foods, think again! An Air Fryer offers you limitless options.
Main Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Air Fryer
- Price: You won’t find a good proper air fryer for less than $100. On the other hand, depending on size and features, you can spend as much as $350 on one.
- Space: The same as with the Instant Pot. It is not a small appliance. Make sure you have enough counter and storage space to house one.
- Know-how: You don’t need to be a cooking expert. You plug it, place the food in the basket, set a time and temperature, and go watch Netflix! It will cook on its own.
- Unique texture: An air fryer is known for the taste and food texture it delivers. However, it might be an acquired taste. If you’re used to using the oven a lot, you might need a “readjustment period”
- Is it healthy?: First, it uses less oil, so that means healthier. So, yes, you can make healthier frozen french fries using just 4 grams of oil versus 17 in a deep-fryer.
So, Air Fryer or Instant Pot?
I hope that by now you have a clear idea about the main difference between these two cooking machines. To sum it up, an Instant Pot is a pressure cooker – it uses air pressure to make food, while an air fryer uses hot air to make crispy food with a tiny bit of oil. Both appliances are built to make your cooking easier and much healthier.
They speed up and simplify the cooking process. You can use them to make healthy meals, but can also use them to make junk food. While Instant Pot uses steam and helps preserve much of the food nutrients and taste inside, the air fryer adds a special crispy texture to foods.
I think this is the main difference between the two. Maybe the Instant Pot is more universal and versatile, but with a little bit of imagination and the right cooking accessories, the air fryer can be that too. To make this comparison clearer, let’s do a quick run through the main air fryer vs instant pot pros and cons.
- More versatile
- Convenient for big families
- Keeps your food warm after it’s done cooking
- It can cook frozen food without thawing
- A bit too large
- Cleaning it is difficult
- It involves some trial and error
- It can overcook vegetables if you don’t follow the cooking directions
- Simple to use
- Easy to clean
- Quick and energy efficient
- Makes cooking fried food a lot healthier
- It can dry food out
- Not good for cooking in large quantities
- Slightly less cooking options than the Instant Pot
Instant Pot vs Ninja Air Fryer
The Ninja Air Fryer is a cool air fryer that gives the Instant Pot a run for its money. It is a pressure cooker, an air fryer, and a dehydrator. You could say it is both an Instant Pot and Air Fryer in one. Or you could say it is an Instant Pot with an Air Fryer option. However, it is quite costly.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- 4 in 1 as far as cooking machines go
- It can do pretty much everything an Instant Pot does
- It features a digital screen that shows you intricate details about the pressure cooking process
- Very bulky
- Small cooking basket
- It is not ideal for big families
- There are no cooking presets
- If you use the air fryer, you then need to wash both the basket and the nonstick it stands on
Yes, so it’s a pretty decent and interesting cooking machine that needs a lot more looking into.
Also Read: What is Calamari – Cook This Delicious Food!
Conclusion on Instant Pot vs Air Fryer
As I was saying in the beginning, the final decision is yours to make known. I have presented the main features, quirks, pros, and cons of these wonderful cooking machines. I think they both deserve your attention and that it is not a matter of which one is better, but rather about which one fits your cooking style better. Instant Pot vs Air Fryer – not a battle, a choice!