Kitchens are being more modern nowadays. Gone were the days when it is filled mostly with pots and pans. Today, you can find all sorts of appliances, especially those that can deliver multiple functions in one product.
Among others, two of the best kitchen appliances are air fryer and Instant Pot. They are must-haves for healthy and flavorful cooking, making your life in the kitchen easier.
Clueless about which one to buy? Read this quick comparison of air fryer vs Instant Pot and we’ll help you come up with the right decision.
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One is a Brand Name
The first thing that you should know is that one of them is a brand name while the other is a broad product category. When you say Instant Pot, it is a specific brand. It is popular not just for their multicookers. They can deliver multiple functions, such as air frying and pressure cooking.
On the other hand, an air fryer is a more general word. It is an umbrella term that refers to a kitchen appliance that use no or minimal oil, making it a healthier alternative to traditional frying. It is available in different brands, and Instant Pot is one of the most popular.
The Foods That You Can Cook
Another difference between the two is the foods that you can cook in each of them. If you are looking for versatility, we suggest going for Instant Pot. They have different models that can cook almost anything.
Some of the foods that you can cook in an Instant Pot include beef, chicken, pork, fish, rice, vegetables, beans, noodles, eggs, yogurt, and porridge. It also has different cooking methods, so you can experiment with more recipes.
Meanwhile, with air frying, you have a more limited option. As the name implies, it uses convection air to fry some food. You can cook nuggets, wings, fries, porkchops, potato chips, and eggs, among others.
Today, however, air fryers are being more multifunctional. They go beyond air frying, allowing you to replace multiple appliances at home. Some can also work as a pressure cooker, seamer, broiler, and oven, among other things.
Consider Size and Portability
If you are looking for something that is compact and portable, an air fryer is a great option. Especially if it is basket-style, it is lightweight and space-efficient, which also makes it easier to bring around. Nonetheless, take note that there are also large models available.
Meanwhile, an Instant Pot can be bulky and heavy. It is bigger than a traditional rice cooker. Nonetheless, there are small and basic models available, such as the one with a maximum capacity of three quarts.
Think about Ease of Use
Both are clear winners when it comes to ease of use. Most air fryers will have preset programs, which means that you can choose the specific cooking function and leave the appliance on its own. It has a set-and-forget functionality, which simplifies cooking.
The same case is true in the case of an Instant Pot. The control panel has one-touch buttons. This way, all it takes it a single push of a button and you can cook food perfectly. You don’t have to be second-guessing about the right settings, such as time and temperature.
Meanwhile, when it comes to ease of cleaning, an Instant Pot is generally easier to clean compared to an air fryer. The pot is even dishwasher-safe. With an air fryer, there can be more grease and food particles stuck, which can make cleaning a headache.
Finding One that Suits Your Budget
Like when buying any other kitchen appliance, the price is a crucial consideration. Look for one that is affordable without compromising quality. The specific price will differ depending on the brand and model that you choose.
As mentioned, Instant Pot is a brand. The price differs based on the model that you will choose. For instance, as of the time of writing this review, you can find a three-quart Instant Pot being sold at $59.99, which is affordable for most buyers.
For air fryers, you will have a wider price range. The brand, capacity, and performance are some of the factors that will determine the price of the product.
What is an Air Fryer?
On the other hand, an air fryer is a more general term. There are different brands of this kitchen appliance, which promise to be a healthier alternative to conventional frying. It uses no or minimal oil, making it good for your health. It is designed only for one thing – air frying. Although, there are many models nowadays that can also perform other functions, such as baking and roasting.
Air Fryer Pros and Cons
If you are thinking of getting an air fryer, you must be familiar with its benefits and drawbacks, including those that we’ll be talking about below.
- Enjoy a healthier way to cook food, eliminating the need for deep frying
- Uses convection heat for quick cooking
- Does not heat the kitchen much compared to an oven
- Some have dual baskets, allowing you to cook two foods at separate temperatures
- Advanced models have multiple cooking functions, such as bake, roast, broil, grill, and reheat
- Not good for cooking food with wet batter
- Does not cook full meals compared to Instant Pot
What is an Instant Pot?
Instant Pot is a popular brand kitchen appliance. It is best known as a multi-cooker and does exactly what in its name – to cook like an instant pot. This is a great investment because it replaces the functions of multiple kitchen appliances. Depending on the specific model that you will choose, it can make soups, stews, casseroles, slow-cooked meats, and eggs, among other things. From beef to bread to vegetables, there are many things that you can cook in an instant pot.
Instant Pot Pros and Cons
Meanwhile, if you are thinking of getting an Instant Pot, below are some of the advantages and disadvantages you must know.
- Delivers multiple cooking functions, including air fry, pressure cook, bake, sauté, and yogurt
- Cook food quicker compared to using a pressure cooker on a stove
- Has a delay start timer, which will let you cook food at a later time
- Functions are limited to one pot meals
- Some models cannot air fry food
Air Fryers and Instant Pot’s are they Worth it?
Top 6 Picks for the Best Air Fryer & Instant Pot Reviews for 2021
#1. Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer
- Brand: Ninja
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 14.92 x 12.36 x 12.83 inches
- Weight: 2.08 Pounds
- Capacity: 6 Quarts
While it is technically an air fryer, it delivers four functions in one product, so you can be confident that it provides the best value for the money. You can also use it for baking, roasting, and reheating. It should also be noted that this is from Instant Pot, similar to the three other products mentioned above. The main difference is that it is marketed primarily as an air fryer instead of a multicooker.
When used as an air fryer, the manufacturer promises that you will be using up to 95% less oil compared to deep frying. This is a great way to transition into a healthier lifestyle. It has vortex frying technology, which improves the circulation of heat to cut cooking time. Plus, it results in a gold crisp while still being juicy inside.
We also love how it comes with a user-friendly design to simplify its use. There is a large handle, making it easy to pull the container out of the unit. There is an intuitive touchscreen display that makes it a breeze to choose the desired cooking functions. There is also a simple knob that will let you manually set the time and temperature as desired.
#2. Instant Duo 7-in-1 Multicooker
- Brand: Instant Pot
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 13.38 x 12.2 x 12.48 inches
- Weight: 11.8 Pounds
- Capacity: 5.68 Liters
The versatility of this instant pot is one of its best assets. As a multicooker, it delivers multiple functions. You can also use it as a pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and sterilizer, among other things. This is a great choice to save space in the kitchen!
Aside from its multiple functions, we also love how it comes with 14 one-touch programs. You can choose a pre-set cooking function, which eliminates guesswork on your end. This means that you don’t have to be left guessing about the right time and temperature.
Like other models of Instant Pot, safety is a priority. There are more than ten safety mechanisms, which will provide you with peace of mind. From safety lock to overheat protection, you can be confident of its safety.
Ease of cleaning is one more thing that we love in this product. The stainless steel body is finished to resist fingerprints. It also has dishwasher-safe components, so clean-up is a breeze.
#3. Ninja Max XL Air Fryer
- Brand: Ninja
- Color: Gray
- Dimensions: 14 x 11 x 14.75 inches
- Weight: 11 Pounds
- Capacity: 5.5 Quarts
This is a bit larger than most air fryers, so you might think twice if you have limited space in the kitchen. Otherwise, this is an excellent option for a large family because of its 5.5-quart cooking capacity.
With Max Crisp technology, it will reduce the use of oil, resulting in up to 75% less fat in whatever you are cooking. This technology also makes sure that there is an exceptional crisp on the outside while staying juicy inside.
While it is technically an air fryer, there are other things that it can do. You can also use it for roasting, broiling, baking, reheating, and even dehydrating. This makes it function almost like a multicooker, allowing you to save space in the kitchen by eliminating other appliances.
#4. Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Multi-Cooker
- Brand: Instant Pot
- Color: Silver
- Dimensions: 11.5 x 10.2 x 11 inches
- Weight: 9 Pounds
- Capacity: 3 Quarts
As this is another product from Instant Pot, you can expect that it will deliver multiple functions. It has a capacity of three quarts, which makes it quite small. Despite being compact, it can do a lot. From being a pressure cooker to a steamer, it is a great addition to the kitchen.
It has a twist and click programming, which makes the operation straightforward. This is unlike other multicookers that can be intimidating to use, especially if you are a novice in the kitchen. There are also pre-programmed functions, and all that you need to do is press a single button to choose the desired cooking application.
More so, it comes with an innovative 3rd-generation microprocessor, which automates many of its functions. From the time to temperature, you don’t need to input manual settings.
#5. Chefman 6.3-quart Digital Air Fryer
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 11 x 10.5 x 14.75 inches
- Weight: 11.05 Pounds
- Capacity: 5.96 Liters
Gone were the days when an air fryer is exclusively designed for frying. This is a multicooker, making it a great competitor of the products from Instant Pot mentioned earlier. Aside from being an air fryer, it is equally impressive when you use it as a dehydrator, rotisserie, and convection oven.
It has tons of features that will make it notable. Among others, one thing that we love is the interior light, making it easy to monitor what is happening inside. Not to mention, there is also a clear viewing window, eliminating the need to open the door often. The adjustable airflow rack is also a plus, allowing you to customize interior space.
Lastly, we also love how there is an integrated filter, which effectively helps in odor management. this helps to keep your kitchen free of unwanted smell!
#6. Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker
- Brand: Instant Pot
- Color: Black/Stainless Steel
- Dimensions: 14.76 x 13.58 x 15.28 inches
- Weight: 22.18 Pounds
- Capacity: 8 Quarts
Two lids with infinite possibilities – that is what the manufacturer promises when you choose this Instant Pot. The main lid is for pressure cooking and you can replace it with an accessory lid, which is specially designed for air frying.
More so, there are eleven pre-set cooking functions. All that you need to do is touch a single button and the unit automatically works based on pre-determined settings.
Looking at its features, one of the most notable is EvenCrisp technology. This ensures a delicious crunch all the time while keeping the food juicy.
The stainless steel cooking pot that comes with the unit is also notable. It can hold 8 quarts, which is good enough for eight people. It is also food-grade and dishwasher-safe.
More so, we love this product because of its 1,500 watts heating element. This makes it powerful enough to cook quickly. Its cooking time is up to 70% quicker compared to what you can expect from most of its competitors.
So, Which One Should You Buy?
At the end of the day, the best choice varies from one person to another. If you often use a pressure cooker or love making one-pot meals, then Instant Pot for you. Meanwhile, if you like something that will make frying healthier, an air fryer is the best bet.