Over the years, kitchen appliances have evolved, offering better alternatives than the traditional options. One that has been received with much hype is an air fryer, especially for those who are looking for an alternative to frying.
Pressure cookers have also been more popular recently. It promises to cut down cooking times by up to 80%, depending on the model that you will choose.
If you can only choose one kitchen appliance between the two, which should you pick? If you cannot decide, read this article about air fryer vs pressure cooker and we’ll help you make the right choice.
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Table of Contents
What is an Air Fryer?
As you decide what to pick between the two, it is important that you know how they work and what they can do.
An air fryer comes with a fan and a heating element, which will work through a convention mechanism. The two components work together to generate and circulate heated air. In turn, the food is cooked as it is exposed to hot air.
Through rapid air, the food in an air fryer becomes juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It has a texture similar to deep frying, but the biggest advantage is that you can reduce the fat by as must as 80%. This is because there is minimal or no oil used when frying.
You are probably wondering how the food gets a brown and crisp exterior when there is no oil involved in frying. This is because of the chemical reaction between carbohydrates and amino acids.
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Pros of an Air Fryer
If you are looking for compelling reasons to buy an air fryer, below are some of the benefits that you need to know:
- Cook delicious and healthy fried dishes
- Small size makes it portable and space-efficient
- Easy to use even for beginners
- No fumes from burning food
- Many models are versatile enough to deliver other functions
Cons of an Air Fryer
Despite the good things, an air fryer also has several drawbacks, including the following:
- Requires electricity to function
- Prone to getting hot
- Can have negative impact of taste compared to regular frying
What is a Pressure Cooker?
In the past, a pressure cooker used to be a simple appliance that you will have to use in a stove. It is a pot with a special lid. Recently, however, they became more innovative. Today, it is a standalone cooking equipment.
In understanding how a pressure cooker works, it is crucial to understand that water is important. The water boils to create steam inside a sealed container. In turn, it builds the pressure up, which is what cooks the food.
With a pressure cooker, you cannot open the container unless you are done cooking. If you do so, you will be releasing the pressure, which makes everything you earlier did useless. It has an output hole, which releases the pressure that accumulates inside the container.
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Pros of a Pressure Cooker
Not convinced that you should invest in a pressure cooker? Below are some of the benefits that might make you change your mind:
- Allows you to retain nutrients from food
- Can cook large quantities at once
- Does not need constant supervision
- Will not burn your food
- Reduces odor in the kitchen
Cons of a Pressure Cooker
While a pressure cooker is generally a good product, it also has some drawbacks, including the following:
- Difficult to monitor food in the pot
- Can be dangerous when it malfunctions
The Differences Between Air Fryer vs Pressure Cooker
To make it easier for you to decide which one is the better option, below is a comparison of the two excellent kitchen appliances.
As we have noted above, the biggest difference between the two is their cooking method. An air fryer uses convection method to radiate and circulate hot air. In turn, it will fry the food without or with minimal oil. It makes food crispy but juicy.
On the other hand, a pressure cooker relies on high pressure and steam. It is a sealed container that creates a highly-pressurized environment.
This will depend on one model to another. Nonetheless, in most cases, an air fryer can cook faster. It will take roughly 20 minutes to cook fries and nuggets, among other things. This is because of the use of extremely hot circulated air.
In comparison, a pressure cooker might take quite a longer time. This is because it first needs to reach a high pressure and steam and it slowly cooks the food.
The overall capacity will depend on the specific brand and model of the product that you are using. An air fryer will usually have a capacity of two pounds, but it can be greater when you are using family-sized units.
A pressure cooker will often have a higher capacity. Many models are large enough to accommodate up to 15 quarts. Nonetheless, smaller models are also available.
Many of the air fryers have exceptional built-in safety features. One of the most common issues is that the exterior can get extremely hot. The high temperature can be a danger when you accidentally touch the surface.
Meanwhile, a pressure cooker is more dangerous. When it is damaged, the sealed gasket and pressure valve can be dangerous. Pay attention to proper care and maintenance to avoid such issues.
Which Should You Choose?
At the end of the day, there is no one best way to answer his question. It depends on your needs and preferences.
If you like fried food, such as chicken nuggets, wings, and fries, then you should go for an air fryer. On the other hand, if you often cook using steam and high pressure, then a pressure cooker is the right option.
Luckily, these days, you do not have to choose. You will find multifunctional kitchen appliances that can act both as an air fryer and pressure cooker.
Top 6 Best Air Fryer & Pressure Cooker Reviews on Amazon for 2023
Ninja Max XL Air Fryer
- Brand: Ninja
- Color: Gray
- Dimensions: 14 x 11 x 14.75 inches
- Weight: 11 Pounds
- Capacity: 5.5 Quarts
Ninja Max XL Air Fryer has a 5.5-quart capacity that accommodates up to 3lbs of chicken wings or fries. The air fryer basket is coated with a non-stick ceramic coating for free food release and easy cleanup. It comes with a removable broil rack that helps to double the cooking capacity.
With its seven built-in smart programs and simple touch screen, this model is easy to control without guessing. Also, the temperature ranges from 150 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The heating elements and rapid fan speed spread air quickly around the food.
This model’s smart programs include bake, broil, air roast, dehydrate, reheat, air fry, and max crisp. This model is an ideal option for people who want to enjoy healthier deep-fried food with less grease. The max crisp function uses 450 degrees Fahrenheit to cook meals faster with less mess and hassle.
Instant Vortex Air Fryer 4 in 1
- Brand: Instant Pot
- Color: Black
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Dimensions: 14.92 x 12.36 x 12.83 inches
- Weight: 12.08 Pounds
- Capacity: 6 Quarts
The first model on the list is one of the best air fryers from instant pot, a renowned brand. Even without preheating the cooking chamber, your food gets to cook in half the time required for conventional cooking and uses less to no oil to provide you with crispy meals.
This instant vortex air fryer comes with an interior pot of 6-quart that can hold up to 2lbs of fried potatoes or a full chicken that weighs 4lbs. It is suitable to serve four to five persons. With its four smart programs, you can bake, roast, reheat, and air fry your meals.
Unlike other models, this air fryer’s timer is set to count in hours and minutes instead of minutes and seconds. The exterior doesn’t get too hot to touch. One major downside of this air fryer is that it doesn’t come with a recipe book.
Chefman 6.3 Quart Digital Air Fryer
- Brand: Chefman
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 11 x 10.5 x 14.75 inches
- Weight: 11.05 Pounds
- Capacity: 5.96 Liters
Are you looking for a compact kitchen gadget with multiple functions to save counter space? This air fryer from Chefman serves as a replacement for several of your kitchen appliances. It functions as a dehydrator, a convection oven, and an air fryer. This model operates quietly and stays cool to touch even on high heat.
Cleaning up this air fryer is a snap with its removable parts and non-stick basket. It includes extra attachments such as a rotisserie fork, a rotisserie spit, two airflow racks, a removable crumb tray, and a rotating basket. This model utilizes 1700-watts and is certified by ETL.
Chefman 6.3-Quart Digital Air Fryer has a small footprint that takes little counter space to store. Plus, it features a year warranty against defects. The removable parts are BPA free and dishwasher safe for convenience. It also comes with an LCD screen with backlit and preset functions that include an auto shut off setting for maximum safety.
Fissler Vitaquick 4.8 Quart Stainless Steel Stove Top Steam Pressure Cooker
- Brand: Fissler
- Color: Silver
- Material: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 29.6 x 19.6 x 40.2 inches
- Weight: 8.4 Pounds
- Capacity: 4.5 Liters
Fissler Vitaquick 4.8-quart Pressure Cooker is constructed with food-grade stainless steel material for safe cooking and a longer life span. The thermic base ensures even circulation and consistent retention of heat within the cooking chamber. This made in Germany pressure cooker comes with two convenient indicators for either speed or gentle cooking.
The interior of the cooking pot is labeled with different measurements that show the maximum and minimum capacity. This option is suitable with induction hobs, electric stoves, glass cooktops, and gas stoves. You save yourself up to 50% energy and 70% cook time when you use this pressure cooker.
This 4.8-quart pressure cooker doubles as a canner. Plus, it comes with an extra helper handle that is heat resistant. The longer handle comes with a colored display that changes from red to green. It is also detachable for easy cleaning.
#5. Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
- Brand: Instant Pot
- Color: Stainless Steel/Black
- Material: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 14.8 x 13.5 x 14.2 inches
- Weight: 15.7 Pounds
- Capacity: 8 Quarts
This multi-cooker replaces more than five gadgets in your kitchen. This pressure cooker functions as a yogurt maker, a saucepot, a steamer, a slow cooker, a sterilizer, a rice cooker, a warmer, and an egg cooker. The extra-large LCD screen features a blue backlight, which makes it easy to read. It also shows the current cooking progress.
Instant Pot Ultra has an 8-quart capacity that can cater to more than six people. This option is ideal for large homes and party-sized cooking. It is equipped with a microprocessor that regulates the temperature and pressure within the pot to suit the food being cooked.
This model meets up with UL’s standard requirements and has up to ten built-in protection features for maximum safety. The Keep Warm setting ensures your food remains at a serving temperature and the delay timer allows you to set the cooking cycle to start at a later time.
Power Pressure Cooker XL XL 10-Quart Electric Pressure
- Brand: Power Pressure Cooker XL
- Color: Silver
- Material: Aluminum, Stainless steel, Plastic
- Dimensions: 38 x 37 x 38 inches
- Weight: 8.7 Pounds
- Capacity: 10 Quarts
Our top pick is Power Pressure Cooker that also doubles as a steamer. This is one of the best pressure cookers as displayed on Tv during infomercials. It is equipped with a 3-tier pressure cooker rack, an inner cooking pot, and a steamer basket. The airtight lid is well secured and locks in all the nutrients.
This 1700-watt pressure cooker prepares meals ten times faster and saves you a lot of energy. Although the removable parts are dishwasher safe, hand washing is highly recommended for durability. The extra-large cooking capacity is perfect for preparing meals to serve a whole family at once.
This model comes with built-in safety features such as a steam release and integrated lock lid. The digital control panel is easy to operate, and the LCD screen is easy to read. After the cooking cycle is completed, the pressure cooker automatically switches to a Keep Warm mode.
Although you can use both kitchen appliances to cook the same kind of food, such as fish and vegetables, you won’t get the same results. An air fryer will deliver dry out foods, and pressure cookers will provide you with moist foods.
However, when comparing an air fryer vs. a pressure cooker, you should consider the cooking method employed, your kitchen needs, and your budget.