Air fryer vs Instant Pot – Which One Will Suit Your Cooking Style Better

Air fryer vs Instant Pot

Air fryers and Instant Pots are two kitchen appliances that have recently gained popularity thanks to their innovative, space-saving designs and of course, the tasty meals you can cook in each one. Often called multifunctional cooking appliances, these nifty gadgets have been appearing on kitchen counters everywhere.

An air fryer and an Instant Pot might look like the same thing, but they function quite differently from each other. So, which one is better? Well, you can’t really compare them – each appliance has its own use cases and we recommend using them both depending on your needs. However, we’ll try to give you enough information about them to make an informed decision on whether an air fryer or an Instant Pot will suit your cooking style better.

With so many varieties on the market today, it can be difficult to choose which one best suits your lifestyle, especially when they both claim to do so much! Let’s take a look at the differences between these two kitchen tools and help you determine which one is best for you.

How Does an Air fryer works?

Air fryer with accessories
Air fryer with Accessories

Air fryers use rapid hot air circulation to cook food. It circulates air around your food, which slowly heats the edges of the food making it crispy and delicious. This method allows you to cook food with little to no oil and it will taste just like having fried food without the excess oil.

There are no preheating times or temperature controls to worry about; just select air fry mode and wait for things to heat up.

An air fryer’s main advantage over conventional ovens and other cooking methods like steaming or roasting lies in its ability to reduce fat intake during preparation.

Tip: Choose food that are cut into uniform shapes and sizes so that air fryer can cook evenly.

Check out our Article on Air fryer vs Toaster Oven

Advantages of Air Fryer:

Air fryers are easy to clean

Air fryers come with Presets

Healthy cooking

Little to no oil

Easier to clean

Nonstick basket

Easily portable

Less expensive as compared to instant pots

Requires little to no pre heating time

Best for cooking French Fries

Compact Design that looks good on kitchen counter.

Most air fryers come with a recipe book and manuals.

Limitations of Air fryer:

Some people have complained about burning plastic

Can set off fire alarm

Creates smoke

Cannot cook large amount of food at once

How Does an Instant Pot Work?

Instant Pot
Photo: Instant Pot

The instant pot uses pressure to speed up the cooking process by boiling water faster. The boiling water forms a seal around the food forcing it to cook faster.

If you’ve ever seen one of those extreme pressure cookers, like an autoclave or a sterilizer (for doctors), that’s basically what it looks like on the inside. But instead of using extremely high temperatures and harsh chemicals to get your dishes cooked quickly, an instant pot makes use of water and pressure to get them done faster—and keep them healthier in order to boot.

Instant pot comes with a 7 smart programs for cooking different types of food — meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, sauté́/searing, soup/broth, rice, multigrain, steam cooking. And the recipes are also simple to make, unlike other machines.

It makes cooking very easy. Plus, it does not take up much space which means you do not have to worry about storing it if you don’t use it often or live in a small place like me (College dorm).

Check out our Article on Air fryers vs Deep Fryers

Advantages of Instant Pot:

Instant Pot can cook large amount of food

Keeps food warm even after cooking

Stainless steel container

More durable than Air fryers

Perfect for Large families

Limitations of Instant Pot:

Instant Pot can be dangerous If not used carefully, they can explode.

Beginners will take some time to get used to it

Cleaning is hard

Takes a lot of space

Expensive than Air fryers

Comparison between Air fryer and Instant Pot:

Instant Pot Dishwasher Safe Lid and Stainless Steel Inner Pot
Instant Pot with Dishwasher Safe Lid and Stainless Steel Inner Pot

Air fryer and Instant Pot both have their benefits and drawbacks. So I’ll be comparing the two appliances on price, size, temperature control, durability and other factors.


Instant pot costs from $100 to $199, whereas the cheapest air fryer on amazon is less than $50. In terms of price, air fryer is more affordable.


The first question that comes to mind when we talk about air fryers and instant pots, is which one of them has a larger capacity. In size, Instant pot is bigger whereas air fryer is slightly smaller in size.

Temperature control:

If you’re after a little more temperature control, then air fryers can be a great choice for you. You can easily adjust temperature using buttons and knobs on your air fryer. If your food comes out too crispy or burnt, all you have to do is turn down your thermostat until it’s at your desired crispiness. With instant pots, it can be difficult to find that perfect temperature if they’re not already pre-programmed into them.


Although both air fryers and instant pots are durable, an instant pot might just be a little more durable than an air fryer. In general, these kitchen appliances tend to have a lot of parts that can come in contact with food or water while cooking. With that being said, it’s important for these parts to be strong enough to withstand multiple uses and cleanings.

The best way to ensure durability is to purchase an appliance from a reputable company.

Check out our article on How to fix an Air fryer that stopped working

Quick Cooking:

Instant Pot can cook a variety of items including soups, rice, meat and vegetables in just 30 minutes. It is an ideal choice for busy people and families.  Besides, it is much easier than using the stovetop or using the oven.

On the other hand, Air fryers cook twice as fast as Instant pot and with a mere 15 to 20 minutes pre-heat time, you’re ready to enjoy a meal without the smell of frying food.

Read: Can you open air fryer while it’s cooking?

Healthy Cooking:

All in all, choosing air fryer cooking is a better choice for your health and one that you will be thankful for when you see a slimmer you in a mirror!

Safety Concerns:

While both are considered safe, there are some small differences in terms of safety between an air fryer and an instant pot.

Some people have complained about their air fryers setting off fire alarms. Whereas instant pot does not have any such complaints.

Ease of use:

We all love set it and forget it when we’re in a rush, and if you want to make life easier, you can’t beat an air fryer. The whole idea of an air fryer is to give you everything you like about frying food—crispy edges and delicious crusts—with none of the downsides: no spattering oil, no messy cleanup.

While Instant pots are also easy to use but they are not as easy as air fryers.


Instant Pot and air fryer both come with a recipe book to help you cook delicious food.

1) For the Instant Pot, there are more than 300 recipes in its recipe booklet for your ease.

2) The air fryer provides close to 100 simple tips for air frying.


An air fryer is relatively easy to store and transport, making it a great choice for small kitchens and apartments. If you’re cramped for space in your kitchen, an air fryer may be a more convenient option than an electric pressure cooker, which takes up lots of counter space. However, if you need something that you can take on camping trips or picnics, an electric pressure cooker might work better.

Air Fryer vs Instant Pot What Should You Buy?

Air fryers and electric pressure cookers (or instant pots) are both good at what they do, but each one of them has its pros and cons. With an air fryer, you can make tasty fried food without all of that extra oil. The health benefits are clear.

On the other hand, the Instant Pot allows you to turn tough cuts of meat into fall-apart tenderness. You can also change how it cooks by manually adjusting the cooking time or pressure level. Settings include Slow Cook, Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean, Rice, Potato, Multigrain, and Steam.

A good friend of mine owns an Instant Pot, and she told me it’s helped her save so much time. She also said it’s made cooking so much easier for her.

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