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Air Fryer vs Instant Pot – Which One Is Right For You?

A must-have kitchen tool is almost like having a miracle sent to you. They reduce the amount of time, effort, and stress that go into preparing your favorite foods, and they also improve the nutritional value of the meals.

You should know that Air fryers and Instant Pots are two types of kitchen appliances that can transform your meal and thus meal prep with the simple press of a button.

However, do you require both? We will answer all of your air fryer vs Instant Pot questions below!

Air fryer vs instant pot which is better

When it comes to small kitchen appliances, air fryers and Instant Pots are the most popular. Nonetheless, before you invest your hard-earned money in one of these services, let’s first discuss the differences to help you maximize your returns.

Because the cooking systems of both air fryers and Instant Pots are different, the menus that each appliance is capable of producing are distinct too. So, we’ll focus on which device cooks what, how quickly they can cook, how they cook, portability, cleaning ease, and price.

As a result of the information in this article, you will understand how these machines work and which one (or perhaps both?) is best suited to your needs.

What is the difference between Air Fryer and Instant Pot?

Despite their general size and shape similarities, air fryers and Instant Pot pressure cookers are fundamentally dissimilar. Their cooking methods and the foods they specialize in are (for the most part) diametrically opposed.

Before we discuss what they cook, let’s look at the physical components of air fryers and Instant Pot pressure cookers to familiarize ourselves with their construction.

Size and Shape

The most frequently encountered feature of these machines is their size and shape. While different models have varying footprints, most air fryers and Instant Pots share a similar cylindrical shape and have comparable dimensions.

Their control panels are located on the front face of the device, though the internal capacity of a pressure cooker is accessed through the top, whereas the air fryer drawer is removed by sliding it out from the bottom.

If you keep your air fryer under a cupboard, this makes it more accessible without requiring you to move the entire appliance. When using an Instant Pot, you’ll need an open area in your kitchen, as the lids are frequently attached to the device, effectively doubling the machine’s height when open.

You’ll find that similar in capacity and weight between air fryers and Instant Pot.

Heating and Cooking

As the name “air fryer” suggests, this appliance cooks food using super-heated air. Though, it doesn’t actually fry anything.

A powerful fan circulates hot air around the air fryer’s interior, quickly heating the ingredients from all sides simultaneously to ensure they are evenly cooked. It is possible to achieve a crispy golden finish on your food while using only a tiny amount of oil when using this preparation method.

An air fryer is a countertop convection oven with an air fryer, roasting, baking, and broiling function.

Instant Pot employs an entirely different technique to produce equally delectable but significantly different results. An Instant Pot machine’s primary pressure cooker function utilizes a small amount of water and a tightly sealed capacity to generate internal pressure and force steam into your food for rapid and efficient cooking. Additionally, this method prevents your food from drying out.

With a pressure cooker, it’s challenging to overcook food because the steam keeps the food tender and juicy.

Numerous Instant Pot models also include a slow-cooker function that gently heats food (such as casseroles and stews) over an extended period, resulting in tender results. Rice cookers, steamers, and yogurt-making parts are also standard on Instant Pots.

Portability & Storage:

Because these devices are not overly heavy, they can easily be moved from the worktop to the cupboard and back. While the larger models can be a little bulky, they are significantly smaller than toaster ovens and microwaves, which typically require a permanent home in your kitchen.

Air Fryer vs Instant Pot – What Can You Cook?

Their cooking methods distinguish the Instant Pot and air fryer. The Instant Pot uses pressure cooking to make food more quickly and easily, whereas the air fryer uses hot air to create oil-free, healthier food. You can use the Instant Pot to make healthy, oil-free recipes, but you can also use it to make cakes and junk food.

While both the air fryer and the Instant Pot can be used to prepare some of the same foods, air fryers are generally preferred for foods that require crisping or drying, such as healthier versions of French fries, fried chicken, or apple crisps.

Additionally, an Instant Pot is best suited for liquid-based dishes such as soups and stews, chili, grains, casseroles, and one-pot meals.

Here are some foods that work best in each:


Air Fryer

Instant Pot

Poultry & Meat
An air fryer’s hot air combined with a small number of oil results in a golden brown and crispy exterior on meat joints and roast chickenWith Instant Pot, you can cook moist, tender meat such as pulled pork, beef, or chicken


Whole chicken

A whole chicken will take approximately an hour to prepare.A whole chicken can be cooked in an Instant Pot in about 30 minutes. It will taste delectable but will appear pasty and unappealing

An air fryer is ideal for roasting vegetables to accompany a roast dinner.Using a pressure cooker results in deliciously steamed vegetables

Fries are a staple of the air fryer, and this machine can produce a batch in about ten minutesFries cannot be cooked in a pressure cooker

In an air fryer, roast potatoes are fantastic.In ten minutes, a pressure cooker produces excellent boiled potatoes.

Rices cannot be cooked in an air fryerInstant Pots can be used as rice cookers, producing fluffy, tender rice in ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the quantity

Cakes & Donuts
An air fryer’s ‘bake’ function is ideal for those with a sweet tooth. Cakes, muffins, and donut muffins are all relatively simple to make.In an Instant Pot, you’re not baking a cake; you’re steaming it. Moisture will be retained in the cake

Dehydrating Food

Numerous air fryers include a dehydrating function for reducing the moisture content of foods with unique flavorsAs steam is the primary cooking method in Instant Pots, this cooking style is not possible with this device

Stew, Soups & Chili
Air fryers are incapable of preparing this type of foodThe Instant Pot excels at preparing wet foods. The appliance is ideal for slow-cooking stews and soups, allowing the flavors of the ingredients to blend.

Frozen Foods
The intense heat generated by an air fryer is ideal for roasting. You can cook frozen foods in an air fryer, including french fries, chicken fingers, and fish sticks. It will increase their crispiness without resorting to deep frying.Due to the cold food, the Instant Pot will take longer to reach the required temperature.

What Kind of Features Should You Anticipate?

The versatility of air fryers and pressure cookers with various settings takes the guesswork out of cooking.

While an air fryer is best for golden brown and crispy foods, an Instant Pot excels at juicy and wet foods such as stew, chili, and soup.The features listed below are the most frequently found on air fryers and Instant Pot appliances.

Air Fryer

Instant Pot

Air fryer vs instant pot – Which one is healthier?

It is all based on the type of cuisine you’re preparing, and the amount of oil you use will determine the outcome. Both gadgets are designed to prepare meals quicker, which is both beneficial and hassle in the kitchen.

However, if forced to choose, we’d give the edge to Instant Pot cookers because they cook food with steam and retain the nutrients. Air fryers produce crispy textures through heat and a dab of oil, but they do so at the expense of some nutrients.

Air fryer vs instant pot – Which one is less expensive?

The acquisition cost is relatively consistent, but it varies according to the accessories and features included. However, there are distinctions between these appliances in terms of power consumption and frequency of use.

You can make an informed decision about budget and functionality requirements based on the intended use. Multi-cooker Instant Pots are significantly more expensive than air fryers. An example of this is the Instant Pot Ultra, which is typically priced around $150 but can substitute ten different appliances.

Based on our understanding of user behavior, we believe that people will use the Instant Pot more frequently than the air fryer, resulting in more energy use. No matter which you use, both will help you save time in the kitchen, which is a great way to be more productive over the long term.

Some of the best air fryers, such as the Ninja Max XL and the Cosori Air Fryer Max XL, are typically priced at around $120. You can purchase a budget air fryer for as little as $60, while a premium air fryer will cost you at least $100.

Air fryer vs instant pot – Which one is faster?

This is determined by the type of food you wish to prepare. However, because an air fryer only has one cycle, it cooks faster than an Instant Pot, which must first build pressure before cooking can begin.

Air fryer vs instant pot – Which is more adaptable?

Additionally, while an Instant Pot can be used as an air fryer, an air fryer cannot be used as an Instant Pot.

Because the Instant Pot is a multicooker, it is significantly more versatile. It features a variety of cooking options, including a slow cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker. On the other hand, an air fryer is limited to frying food.

Again, it is entirely dependent on the intended use and personal budget.

Are they easy to clean?

Since the components that come into contact with food are all removable and dishwasher safe, air fryers and Instant Pot appliances are pretty easy to clean.

However, compared to Instant Pot, air fryers are far easier to clean because there are fewer parts. Additionally, Instant Pot pressure cookers have a seal (to maintain internal steam pressure) that must be removed, cleaned, and replaced before the subsequent use.

While you may use an Instant Pot to clean itself, you cannot submerge it in water. Pressure cleaning and the use of a bit of water and baking soda make it easier to remove baked-on food. It is time-consuming but not difficult.

Air Fryer Vs. Instant Pot – Pros and Cons

Advantages of air fryer and instant pot

Air Fryer

Instant Pot

Disadvantages of air fryer and instant pot

Air Fryer

Instant Pot

As you can see, the use of a pressure cooker or an air fryer offers apparent advantages. Every appliance has advantages and disadvantages, so it depends on what you prefer to prepare and eat most of the time. Choosing which side should take place in the air fryer vs. Instant Pot debate shouldn’t be too difficult. What’s clear is that there are apparent differences between their functions and the foods they can prepare.

Should I Buy Air Fryer or Instant Pot?

If you read our review carefully, you’ll notice we made a difference between the two products. As such, we’ll highlight the characteristics of each in the section below, so you can determine (in a few words) which one is the best fit for your particular needs.

Select an air fryer if…

Select an Instant Pot if…

In general, if you want easy access to the widest variety of cooking methods, an Instant Pot is the way to go. While you won’t get the deep-fried foods you crave, the combination of foods you can prepare is far greater than with an air fryer. Additionally, you can always purchase an additional lid to add this functionality to the pot.

However, if you consume many fried foods and are looking for a healthier alternative, an Air Fryer is worth considering.


A product called CrispLid may be the solution for you.

In 2010, Amazon began selling the first Instant Pot. It is now 2019, and the Instant Pot brand is thriving. Will the Instant Pot craze pass us by? Or is the Instant Pot destined to be a cult favorite?

If you own an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot), you’ll occasionally come across recipes that specify 0 minutes on high or low pressure. This means that you use the – button to set the pressure cooking timer to 0 minutes. Because the pot takes time to come to pressure, the food will continue to cook. Here is additional information and reasons why you would use zero minutes.


Both air fryers and Instant Pot multi-cookers are distinctly different appliances, each with its niche in the market and its place in the kitchen. Neither is superior to the other; therefore, there is no reason to prefer an air fryer over an Instant Pot or vice versa.

Indeed, if you have sufficient kitchen space and budgets, air fryers and pressure cookers can work in tandem to create inventive meals with various flavors and textures, juicy meats, and crispy fries and vegetables.

If you’re looking for a single appliance, your options are relatively straightforward: air fryers for dry, roasted, and baked meals and snacks, or Instant Pot multi-cookers for large batches of wet foods, stews, or pressure cooked meats.

We hope that this buying guide has been of assistance to you in your search.

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