Air Fryer Vs Pressure Cooker: Which is Better?

The pressure cooker is a traditional cooking appliance that has been in use for a long time. On the other hand, an air fryer is a new-gen device with functions similar to an oven. However, the fact that around 25.6 million air Fryers were sold in 2020-21 in the USA alone shows how popular this appliance is.

Though pressure cooking and air frying have similarities like using high temperatures for cooking, choosing the wrong appliance for a particular dish can fully ruin its taste and texture. 

Continue with this article to learn everything about the differences and similarities of the air fryer vs pressure cooker.

Air Fryer vs Pressure Cooker: The Differences

Let’s have a look at some of the major differences between air Fryers and pressure cookers:

Air FryersPressure Cookers 
Air Fryers cook food by circulating hot air. Pressure cookers create very high pressures to cook food.
You need to add a very small amount of oil to the food to cook it in an air fryer.You only need to add water or related broth while cooking in a pressure cooker.
Air Fryers are best suited for cooking crispy and crunchy dishes such as french fries.Pressure cookers produce soft textured dishes like mashed potatoes.
You can open an air fryer while the food is being prepared.As it operates under high air pressure, you can’t open a pressure cooker while the cooking process continues.
It is smaller in size and can cater to the needs of only a small group of people.Pressure cookers are bigger than air fryers and can be used to cook for a large group of people.
Air fryers are powered by electricity.Traditionally, pressure cookers need a stove to function. However, electricity-powered models have been developed in recent times.

Air Fryers: A Brief Description

Air Fryer, a relatively new device, has become a common household staple in just blink of an eye. This appliance is equipped with a fan and a heating element, much like a convection oven. 

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The fan generates and circulates air while the heating element heats it up. Continuous exposure to hot air results in rapid and efficient cooking of food placed in the air fryer basket. The food cooked in the appliance has a crispy outer layer with some juiciness inside.

The food cooked in an air fryer has far lower fat content than its deep-fried counterparts. The reason behind this is the minimum use of oil for frying.

Pros Of An Air Fryer

Here are some of the advantages offered by an air fryer:

  • Air fryer can be cleaned way more easily than a deep fryer. As an air fryer involves minimal use of oil, it does not have any sticky oil patches which are difficult to clean. Using a soft brush with soap can do the work for you.
  • Air fryer is an easy-to-use appliance. You just need to set the mode and timer and your work is finished. You can use it to heat frozen snacks or leftovers from last night.
  • Air fryer is safe to use as it does not emit harmful radiation. It also guards you from heat and sputtering oil.
  • The food cooked in an air fryer is healthy and has low fat content as the usage of oil is very low. It is low in calories as well.
  • Air fryers are small and compact in size, which make them easy to store and highly portable.

Cons of An Air Fryer

Now let’s have a look at some of the disadvantages of air fryers:

  • A good quality air fryer costs a handsome amount of money. Therefore you should first assess if you really need it and then only decide if you want to buy it or not.
  • Smaller air fryers are unsuitable for cooking for a large family. Most models can serve the needs of a maximum of two people at a time. An oven might suit you more if you want to cook for a large group of people.
  • The air fryer comes with a short power cable. Hence, if the switchboard is a little far, it can be a big headache for you.
  • There are chances that your food might dry out in an air fryer as oil is present in only a minimal amount. You need to closely monitor it to have your food in the best condition.
  • Some vegetables are not cooked perfectly in an air fryer. For example, an air-fried broccoli might feel dry on the inside and a little overcooked on the outside.
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Pressure Cookers: A Brief Description 

Pressure cookers come with a container and a lid. The lid seals the container to help build high pressure. Water or broth works as the foundation for cooking with a pressure cooker. 

When the cooker is heated, the liquid transforms into steam. As the container is sealed with the lid, the steam gets trapped in the container. It increases the pressure inside the cooker, which in turn increases its temperature. 

This high temperature cooks the food inside the container. You need to release the pressure off before opening the lid; else the contents will vigorously sputter out. The water in the container reaches its boiling point quite rapidly as there is no ventilation. 

That’s why food cooks faster in a pressure cooker. It can also serve the function of an air fryer if accessories like Instant Pot and fryer lid are used.

Pros of A Pressure Cooker

Here are some of the benefits of using a pressure cooker:

  • A Pressure cooker cooks 30-70% faster than traditional ovens. Hence, it saves you a lot of time.
  • Pressure cookers can lock in most of the nutrients in a meal. Hence, anything cooked in a pressure cooker is more nutritious.
  • A Pressure cooker is an energy-efficient appliance that helps you save a good amount of money in the long run. This quality also makes a pressure cooker an environmentally friendly appliance.
  • Premium quality pressure cookers have great durability and can last for many years. The only thing you might need to replace is its rubber ring.
  • Pressure cooker saves you a lot of hard work and mess as one pot does all the cooking. You just need to clean the container and the lid after cooking. The lid ensures spillages don’t occur.

Cons of Pressure Cooker

Now let’s see some of the disadvantages of pressure  cookers:

  • You might need some time to learn how to use a pressure cooker. Different ingredients take different time to cook in a pressure cooker and it’s very easy to overcook a dish in the beginning.
  • As the appliance cooks at high pressure, it’s not possible to open the lid and check the food amid cooking as it will release the pressure.
  • Pressure cookers have their own limitations in terms of the range of dishes they can cook. There are many fishes such as steak which can’t be cooked in a pressure cooker.
  • Pressure cookers can be difficult to use if you have ingredients with different cooking times. In that case, you’ll need to cook them separately.
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From the article, it can be concluded that though there are certain similarities between pressure cookers and air fryers, both of them have different functions and their advantages and disadvantages. 

Before you get one, assess your needs properly and then decide what will suit your requirements the most. A decision taken in haste can significantly affect the quality of your dishes.

The next time you want to buy one, think of all the aspects and make the right decision to have a great cooking experience.

Happy cooking!