Instant Pot vs Air Fryer: Your Comparison Guide

The latest generation of kitchen appliances is like a godsend for those who want to eat healthier and spend less time in the kitchen. They speed up the cooking process and make healthy eating easier than ever before.

Two of the most popular appliances in this category are the Instant Pot and the air fryer. At face value, they might seem like very similar appliances. However, there are some key differences that you should be aware of before making a purchase.

Here is a comparison guide of the Instant Pots vs air fryer, so you can decide which appliance is right for you and your kitchen.

What is an Instant Pot?

An instant pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. It’s a great option for those who want to save time in the kitchen by cooking multiple dishes at once. No thawing is required when using an instant pot, moreover, it also keeps your food warm after it’s done cooking.

This appliance is designed with safety in mind and has many features that make it easy to use. For example, the pressure cooker feature has an automatic pressure release valve that prevents the pot from exploding.

This multi-cooker can replace more than 7 appliances in your kitchen and is perfect for those who want to simplify their cooking routine. That probably explains why 21% of adult Americans own an instant pot.

Unlike air fryers, which are a general category of appliance, there is only one brand of instant pot. This might be a selling point for those who prefer to stick with one company for all their kitchen needs.

What Is an Air Fryer?

Let’s face it: deep fried food tastes immaculate. However, it’s not the healthiest option, as it’s usually cooked in unhealthy oils at high temperatures. So how do you get that same crispy taste without all the oil and guilt?

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With an air fryer, of course! Found in about 40% of American households, this nifty appliance is designed to cook food using little to no oil and at a lower temperature than deep frying. This makes the air fryer a healthier alternative to traditional frying.

The perfect appliance for air frying and fried foods!

Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, which cooks it evenly on all sides and gives it a crispy texture. This technique is known as “rapid air technology” and is used in many commercial kitchens.

Most air fryers have a basket or tray in which the food is placed. This basket is then inserted into the main body of the appliance, where the hot air is circulated.

There are many different brands and models of air fryers on the market, so there’s sure to be one that suits your needs. Some of the most popular air fryer brands include Philips, T-Fal, and Ninja.

Instant Pot vs Air Fryer: What’s the Difference?

As we mentioned earlier, these two appliances might seem very similar at face value. However, there are some key differences that you should be aware of before making a purchase.

Here is a comparison of the instant pot and air fryer, so you can decide which appliance is right for you and your kitchen.

Functionality

Instant pot is a versatile appliance designed to be an all-in-one solution for your kitchen. It can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. This makes it a great option for those who want to save time in the kitchen by cooking multiple dishes at once.

On the other hand, an air fryer is a single-function appliance designed solely for frying food. Like a mini convection oven, it circulates hot air around the food to cook it evenly on all sides and give it a crispy texture.

You can also roast and broil food in an air fryer, but it’s not designed for these functions like the Instant Pot is.

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In terms of smart features, both the instant pot and air fryer have a timer that can be set to turn the appliance off when the food is done cooking. However, only the instant pot has an automatic keep-warm feature. This means that it will automatically switch to a warm setting once the cooking cycle is complete, so your food doesn’t get cold.

Capacity

One of the most important considerations when choosing between an instant pot and an air fryer is capacity. After all, you want to make sure that the appliance you choose can accommodate the amount of food you typically cook.

The instant pot comes in various sizes, from 3 quarts to 8 quarts. The most popular size is 6 quarts, which is big enough to cook a meal for a family of four.

On the other hand, air fryers typically have a capacity of 2 quarts to 7 quarts. This means that they’re better suited for cooking smaller meals or snacks for one or two people.

Price

Arguably the first thing people look at when shopping for any appliance is the price. We mean, let’s be real here, nobody wants to spend more money than they have to, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

So, how do the instant pot and air fryer stack up?

Well, an instant pot is typically more expensive than an air fryer, with prices starting at $80 and going up to $200. However, it’s important to keep in mind that an instant pot is a multi-functional appliance, so you’re essentially getting the functionality of over 7 appliances in one.

Air fryers start at around $30 and go up to $300. The diversity in price can be attributed to the different brands, features, and capacities that are available.

Cooking Time

Although usually overlooked, the cooking time is another key difference between the instant pot and the air fryer. No one wants to wait around for hours for their food to be ready, so this is an important consideration.

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The instant pot is designed to cook food quickly and efficiently. For example, a 6-quart instant pot can cook a whole chicken in about 30 minutes. It can also cook a pot of rice in about 10 minutes and a pot of beans in about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, an air fryer takes a bit longer to cook food. For example, a 2-quart air fryer will take about 15 minutes to cook a pound of french fries. And a 4-quart air fryer will take about 30 minutes to cook a whole chicken.

There’s no clear winner when it comes to cooking time, as it really depends on what you’re making. However, if you’re looking to save time in the kitchen, the instant pot is the way to go.

Ease of Use

Both the instant pot and air fryer are fairly easy to use, but there are some key differences to keep in mind.

The former has a lot of features and functions, which can be overwhelming for some people. However, it does come with an instruction manual that walks you through each function step-by-step. Plus, there are tons of recipes and cookbooks available online and in stores that can help you learn how to use an instant pot.

The air fryer is a pretty straightforward appliance, so it’s fairly easy to use. However, keep in mind that there is a learning curve when it comes to cooking times and temperatures. But, once you get the hang of it, using an air fryer is a breeze.

Instant Pot vs Air Fryer: Who Wins?

So, who wins in the battle of instant pot vs air fryer? Well, that really depends on your needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for an appliance that can do it all, then instant pot is the way to go. However, if you’re just looking for something to make quick and easy meals, then an air fryer is the better choice.

No matter which appliance you choose, you’re sure to enjoy delicious and healthy meals that are cooked to perfection. So, go ahead and get cooking!