If you're in the market for a new kitchen appliance to help making cooking easier, you're probably on the fence: Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot. Let me give you some pointers to help you decide which one will make the perfect addition to your kitchen.
Why You Should Trust My Advice On Air Fryers Vs. Instant Pots
- Air Fryer Cookbooks: I have two best-selling air fryer cookbooks, Every Day Easy Air Fryer and Air Fryer Revolution, so you can feel confident in knowing that I use air fryers and similar kitchen gadgets on a regular basis, I'm quite familiar with how they work and I know what makes a good air fryer.
- Instant Pot Cookbook Author: I've written 5 Instant Pot Cookbooks that have been authorized by Instant Pot.
- Experienced Reviewer: I've done various air fryer reviews in the past, so I have a wealth of knowledge about air fryers, roasters, and grills, and what makes one better than another.
- Gadget geek!: I'm a self-proclaimed food tech enthusiast and have been known to purchase (and review) just about any kitchen appliance I can get my hands on.
If you think you're alone not knowing which appliance you should choose and what functions they perform, think again. I get asked these questions ALL OF THE TIME. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that I will discuss to help you choose:
- What Does An Air Fryer Do?
- What Does An Instant Pot Do?
- Can An Instant Pot Be Used As An Air Fryer?
- Which Is Healthier? Instant Pot or Air Fryer?
- What Can You Cook In Them?
- Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot: Which Is Cheaper?
- Should I Get An Air Fryer Or An Instant Pot?
1. What Does An Air Fryer Do?
This all depends on the model of air fryer that you buy. There are air fryers that are super basic and have buttons to select time and temperature only.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are air fryers that offer a dozen preset cooking functions, along with the ability to adjust time and temperature.
Models With More Functions
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food and crisping the outside of your food by raising the internal temperature until it's fully cooked.
If this sounds like the right appliance for you, see read more on choosing the right air fryer for you.
2. What Does An Instant Pot Do?
As with air fryers, it depends on which model of Instant Pot you buy. There are as many types of Instant Pots and other name brands of pressure cookers as there are air fryers. You can get an Instant Pot for the beginner pressure cooker or you can get one that will do everything but the dishes for you.
Models With More Functions
How Does A Pressure Cooker Work?
Pressure Cookers work by cooking the food inside of the pot under high heat and pressure. If you're wondering the science behind how the food cooks, take a look at my post about the Maillard Reaction. It explains how and why this method of cooking works.
Think an Instant Pot is what your kitchen is missing? Check out how to choose the right Instant Pot to help you make a decision on which one to buy.
3. Can An Instant Pot Be Used As An Air Fryer?
This is a tricky question. An Instant Pot CAN be used as an air fryer, but not without an additional attachment, such as an air fryer lid or crisping lid. Here are some of my favorite options for air fryer attachments to use with your air fryer:
Would I Buy This?
Absolutely. If I already owned a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, I would pick up one of these air fryer lids. They have a very small footprint, are more affordable than buying a freestanding air fryer, and are so simple to use.
You also have the option of buying a 2 in 1 appliance that has different lids that perform different functions. My favorite is the Ninja Foodi. This is a large appliance, but it still takes up less space on your kitchen counter than two separate appliances.
Would I Buy This?
This can vary from person to person. If you have a small living space, already own an Instant Pot or Air Fryer, or are on a budget, you might want to pass on this. If you're in the market for both an air fryer and an Instant Pot with plenty of room to cook in your kitchen, this is a great solution for your pressure cooking and air frying needs.
4. Which Is Healthier: Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot?
Most of this decision depends on what kind of food you plan on cooking most in it. As with almost any cooking gadget or appliance, you can make healthy food and you can make unhealthy food.
If you plan on making mostly foods that you would normally deep fry, such as french fries, egg rolls, and pizza in your air fryer, I would say that the Instant Pot is the healthier choice.
If you plan on making meals that are full of processed ingredients, carbs, and unhealthy fats, the air fryer would be the healthier choice.
It's all in how the user cooks and the recipes they make.
What Can You Make In Them?
There are many recipes that you CAN cook in your Instant Pot and Air Fryer. However, there are some that are BETTER cooked in one rather than the other. Here are a few things that are best made in each small appliance:
- Pork Chops
Basically any smaller items that you want to turn out perfectly crispy on the outside.
- Tougher Cuts of Meat
Anything that generally requires a longer cook time will be better cooked in an Instant Pot.
6. Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot: Which Is Cheaper?
As far as price goes, you can get an opening price point air fryer and Instant Pot for about the same price. Higher-end air fryers or air fryer/oven combinations can be quite a bit more expensive than even the most expensive version of the Instant Pot
I like to think of this as the price of the investment. It doesn't matter how expensive or inexpensive your appliance is if you never use it. Don't decide to buy the cheaper appliance just to save a few dollars. Buy the one that you will use more and you will get more value for your investment.
7. Should I Get An Air Fryer Or An Instant Pot?
The right decision for one person may not be the right decision for another. It all comes down to what kind of food you want to cook. Here are some suggestions to help you make your decision:
Buy An Air Fryer If:
- You want to reduce the amount of deep-fried food you eat
- You want to reheat leftovers without using your microwave
- Hate waiting on your oven to preheat
- You like to try new recipes (think more than french fries and egg rolls)
Grab Some Great Air Fryer Recipes In My Air Fryer Cookbooks
Buy An Instant Pot If:
- You want food done quickly
- Hate doing dishes. No more using every pot and pan you own to make dinner
- You want to combine several kitchen gadgets in one (think pressure cooker, slow cooker, and air fryer with the addition of a crisping lid)
- Love to try new recipes
Grab Some Great Instant Pot Recipes In One Of My Instant Pot Cookbooks
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Tips For Deciding Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot
|Instant Pot||Air Fryer|
|Cooks Items Under Pressure||Cooks Items By Circulating Hot Air|
|Many Models and Brands to Choose From||Many Models and Brands To Choose From|
|Affordable Pricing||Affordable to High-End Pricing|
|Offers Programming Functions||Offers Programming Functions|
|Great For Soups and Stews||Great For Shrimp and Vegetables|
So, have you decided which one you're going to add to your kitchen gadget collection? If you found Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot comparison helpful, make sure you share it with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest so they can read it too.
Originally Published October 17, 2020