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For cooking in our everyday life, we need various kinds of cooking appliances. Instant pot and air fryer are two necessary versatile cooking appliances. They have different working mechanisms. An air fryer circulates hot air around the food and thus the food is cooked.
On the other hand, an instant pot is a multipurpose cooking appliance that can work as a pressure cooker, slow-cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker, etc. by using pressure as well as steam to cook food. Though both are useful, it is good to know the comparison of instant pot vs air fryer because not both of them can cook all sorts of foods equally well.
For example, an instant pot is perfect for cooking rice, meat, soup, stews, hard-boiled eggs etc whereas air fryers can cook fried foods like french-fries, fried chicken, potato chips, etc. In this article, I will try to highlight the differences between these two cooking appliances and thus you can decide which one would be ideal for yourself to buy, air fryer or instant pot.
Instant Pot vs Air Fryer
Let’s take a look at and compare some of the unique features of the instant pot and air fryer. After reading them, you will have sufficient knowledge to make up your mind to choose which one is perfect for you.
To differentiate between air fryer vs instant pot, the first thing that comes to readers’ minds is how they work and how their formations are. An instant pot is quite similar to a pressure cooker. You can prepare moist succulent dishes like soup, stew, rice, vegetables with an instant pot.
This gadget uses water to produce steam for creating pressure within the cooking pot. You can set the pressure depending on what food you are cooking as there is a pressure valve included. With the combination of heat and pressure, an instant pot can cook delicious and nutritious foods very quickly.
On the other hand, the working principle of an air fryer is similar to convection ovens. Instead of water (like instant pots), an air fryer uses a small amount of oil and therefore superheats the air. You can do several things using an air fryer which includes frying, grilling, roasting, and baking.
However, it can cook fried foods most perfectly. For putting the food, there is a wire basket inside the fryer and the heating component is on the top. As soon as you turn it on, the hot air starts blowing from the fan and circulates all around the food until the food is cooked.
You can cook foods at an optimal temperature as this machine includes an adjustable temperature gauge which allows you to do so.
Types of Foods
It is next to impossible to perfectly fry in an instant pot because it makes use of moist heat whereas an air fryer utilizes dry heat to make fried foods. Using hot air for heating, air fryers take a minimal amount of oil for cooking but still serve you well-fried healthy foods.
Since you don’t need much oil to make fried foods, you can cook them in a much healthier manner compared to typical fryers or pans. A number of crispy, crunchy and delicious recipes can be prepared by using an air fryer including burgers, steak, fried chicken, fried chips, sandwiches, pizzas etc.
So if you love such types of fried and crunchy foods and at the same time if you want to use less oil and fat too, an air fryer would be the most ideal option for you.
However, you cannot make yogurt, eggs or rice using an air fryer. Furthermore, except for some certain vegetables which you can normally grill like corn on the cob or asparagus, you cannot cook other vegetables with an air fryer.
For that, you would definitely need an instant pot. When you decide to buy a kitchen appliance for cooking a variety of recipes except for the fried ones, you should obviously go for instant pot. You can cook steamed, boiled foods like stew, soup, rice etc with an instant pot.
Speed and Time
By using an air fryer, you can cook 20 times faster than typical ovens or fryers. An instant pot reduces cooking time as much as 75% compared to traditional pressure cookers. However, both appliances lessen time as well as energy costs.
Foods that require enough frying can be prepared by an air fryer although you can also use normal pans and fryers for this purpose. However, by quickening heat transfer, it can roast, grill, fry or bake foods faster. At the same time, air fryer also makes crispy foods healthier using less oil.
On the other hand, you would need a pressure cooker generally to cook foods that require pressure cooking. The Instant pot is nothing but a modern version of the electronic pressure cooker. It comes with more amazing features compared to old-style pressure cookers.
Ease of Use
In most air fryers, there is an option to set the time and temperature. That is why you can operate an air fryer very easily and effortlessly.
For operating a pressure cooker, you have to go through a process of learning. You may not find it easy in the first few days. When you are used to it, operating this machine becomes very easy for you.
However, old-fashioned pressure cookers were more difficult and tedious to operate and maintain. But modern instant pots are relatively easier because they have got an option for the digital timer, pressure, and temperature settings.
Air fryers come with removable parts that can be easily cleaned by the dishwasher. On the contrary, for cleaning an instant pot, you have to keep several things in mind. You can unplug the appliance and clean it with a damp cloth.
Special care should be taken to clean the lid or gasket. Lids of some particular models are suggested not to be submerged in water. So, they can just be washed by hand. Apart from this, some instant pot manufacturers suggest changing the gasket once in every year.
The instant pot releases steam which may be harmful to your skin. However, air fryer also has some issues like overheating, melting, smoking, etc. Both appliances should be used with enough safety and care otherwise accident can happen anytime.
In terms of durability, instant pots are ahead of air fryers. Because of being the hi-tech version of conventional pressure cookers, instant pots are more durable.
However, various manufacturers produce their products to last for longer. So, you have the option to find any item that is enough durable. You will need to be more careful and your selection should be done after in-depth research.
The sizes of both the appliances vary from model to model. But a typical air fryer is supposed to be smaller than an instant pot. Both come in a compact design and can be kept in a small space in your dream kitchen. Their sizes are perfect to ensure ease of use.
Concerning the price, instant pot and air fryer are not similar. But they are available in a wide range of price tags.
If you spend some time, you can find your desired appliance at a cheap rate that can be perfect to serve you the best as well. Also, if you are not serious enough to do some research, you may spend a lot but the product may not be perfect.
Instant pot vs air fryer differences are very fundamental as they are different kitchen appliances. However, before going on to buy any of these, you must consider what type of foods you are actually going to cook. Without proper planning and consideration, your purchase may not be fruitful.