Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot: Which is Better?

The air fryer and instant pot are multicookers. They are both smart, make cooking simple and quick.

Did you know that 1 in 3 adults own both appliances with a majority preferring an air fryer to an instant pot?

However, not everyone can have both. If you’re looking to choose one of them, read on.

Although the two make work easier, there are stark differences which might make it hard to choose which one to buy.

In this article, we’ll discuss the air fryer and instant pot in detail. We’ll also mention the major differences between the air fryer vs instant pot.

We hope that this will make it easier to choose one depending on your needs.

instant pot
Instant Pot
Philips air fryer
Air Fryer

Air Fryer Vs Instant Pot: What are the Differences?

The most important features when comparing an instant pot and air fryer include:

1. Mode of Cooking

Air fryers function by circulating hot air within the appliance. They feature a fan that blows heat over the food.

It prepares food without the need to add oil. They bake and roast food to create sumptuous meals. Food from air fryers is considered healthier than deep-fried food.

Instant pots are electric pressure cookers. They work by heating the liquid in the instant pot, heating it internally raising the temperature and pressure.

Once the instant pot comes to pressure, it starts cooking until the set time lapses.

An air fryer is best to prepare foods that require frying such as chicken, sausages, and fries. The instant pot thrives when cooking roasts, soups, and stews.

What Can You Cook?

Here’s a table showing foods you can prepare with these appliances.

FoodAir FryerInstant Pot
Whole chicken
Fried chicken 
Cereals (beans, peas) 

2. Speed of Cooking

An air fryer is faster when cooking. It requires one cycle to cook food. Using the appliance is straightforward.

Prepare your ingredients, switch on the air fryer, open the basket, add the food, set the time, and start cooking.

When it comes to the instant pot, a longer period is needed. Aside from the cooking time, consider the time it takes for it to come to pressure.

You also need to add the time it takes to release after cooking. The instant pot cooks food in minutes but requires much more time overall.

3. Versatility

Versatility is the ability to use an appliance to carry out different functions. When it comes to an air fryer versus an instant pot, the instant pot takes the crown.

An instant pot allows you to create a variety of snacks and meals. By virtue of the many functionalities, you can create soups, yogurt, meat, and different types of rice and meat dishes. 

Although the air fryer can be used for both raw and ready dishes, it doesn’t compare to the instant pot.

In addition, some instant pot models have a provision to air fry. They come with an instant pot lid to air fry. Conversely, an air fryer can’t be used as an instant pot.

4. The Taste of Food

Generally, air fryers produce crunchy, crispy, and tasty end products. These come out delicious and ready to eat.

An instant pot on the other hand tends to end with moist-like foods except for sauteing that browns. You might need to further cook to obtain a delicious crispy feel.

However, that does not mean that all dishes require crunchiness. It all depends on what you’re cooking.

You can add a variety of spices to elevate the taste of food in an instant pot. That being said, the air fryer tops when it comes to the taste of most foods.

Read: How Much Does An Air Fryer Cost?

5. Cost

The price point for both appliances is similar. You can find an air fryer or instant pot costing between $60 and $200.

Appliances with more advanced features can go up to $300. When looking at the options, narrow down on the size and specific features that suit your needs.

6. Ease of Use & Convenience

When you first buy a kitchen appliance, the next hurdle is to identify how to properly use it.

An air fryer is simple to know and use. This is because it has fewer buttons and the cooking procedure is generally the same.

However, an instant pot needs a lot more work to get used to. Some users have reported it takes months to start effectively using the instant pot.

It’s recommended to carefully read through the product manual. Overlooking the instructions leads to the damage of the instant pot parts, especially the sealing ring.

7. Safety

An instant pot has at least 10 safety features that strive to minimize the occurrence of an incident. These safety features are inbuilt, by the manufacturer.

Some of the safety features include overheat protection, automatic pressure control, anti-block, and automatic pressure control.

With proper use of the appliance, you’re less likely to have any life-threatening experiences.

An air fryer doesn’t have built-in safety features. You’ll need to use your best judgment to avoid accidents.

8. Power Consumption

Instant pot electric pressure cookers draw between 700 and 1200 watts. The wattage varies with the size of the appliance.

Air fryers on the other hand use between 1000 and 1700 watts. Air fryers seem to consume more power.

However, you’ll get the most accurate comparison when considering cooking time. How many times would you use the air fryer or instant pot?

With this information, you can calculate the cost per hour of use. The cost of electricity varies from one region to another.

Read: Philips Air Fryer Reviews- Are they Worth It?

9. Cleaning

Both kitchen appliances are relatively easy to clean. The amount of effort will depend on what you’ve been preparing.

Also, some models of these appliances feature dishwasher-safe parts. This simplifies the cleaning process further.

10. Capacity

The capacity of air fryers ranges from 3.7 to 5.8 quarts. This is relatively small and can limit users with large families.

Air fryers are largely recommended for preparing smaller meals that take a short time to cook.

Instant pots come in 3-, 6- and 8-quart sizes. They provide more room to prepare meals in large quantities. The 6-quarts instant pot is the most popular size.


It is difficult to choose between an air fryer and an instant pot. The ultimate choice comes down to what you frequently prepare.

If you’re preparing meals for a large family, and love roasts, soups, and stews, opt for an instant pot.

However, if you have a smaller family, love frying foods and the taste of food is more important, choose an air fryer.

Ultimately, strive to have both appliances in your kitchen. This will give you room to play around with different recipes.


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