Which Is Better: Air Fryer Or Instant Pot
It all depends on your preferences and the foods you want to cook in the future. Lets say that you want to prepare a cheesy bacon casserole, chickpeas, or chicken.
The air fryer is the perfect choice for these challenges. However, if you want to make a veggie soup, you will need an instant pot since the air fryer isnt capable of cooking soups.
The final choice also depends on your budget. Theyre both cheap. Still, the price depends on the type of features and accessories. Theres also a difference in power consumption.
How often do you plan on utilizing each of these tools? I believe that most people will utilize the instant pot more often than they will utilize the air fryer which can lead to more power being consumed by this tool. Either way, both help you decrease the cooking time.
What Can The Air Fryer Do
An Air Fryer is similar to a convection oven but in a smaller form. It has a heating element that cooks food but also has a fan that circulates air all around the food, giving it a crisp outer texture.
The Air Fryer is versatile and you can make so many types of foods that you might not originally consider, like cakes, steaks, chicken, etc. in this one device.
You will find many different varieties of Air Fryers on the market with a number of features on each. Before you purchase, be sure to check out our complete guide to choosing the right Air Fryer model for you.
The air fryer has a dial or buttons depending on the model where you select. Typically these are for time and temperature. Hot air will escape through the top or back of your Air Fryer.
Whereas an Instant Pot has a number of buttons based on the type of food being prepared, the Air Fryer is more basic to use, simply adjusting for time and temperature.
Foods you can Cook in the Air Fryer:
I own this Black & Decker Air Fryer, and while we love how crispy it makes French Fries and other foods, such as these Air Fryer Fried Pickles and Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, mine is not an especially large basket and I find I have to cook foods in batches.
Other important point to note about the air fryer is that you cannot crowd food due to the need for air to circulate around foods.
Where Ninja Foodi Loses
There are far fewer ways to “customize” your cooker needs here, both function-wise and size-wise. Despite what seems like 20 different Foodi models, only a few of them are actually pressure cookers. There’s less clear scaling up in terms of what each model can do, and cookers that are dedicated toaster ovens or air fryers are still just called the Foodi just with “XL” or “Deluxe” tacked onto the end. The Foodi doesn’t come in a mini 3-quart size at all, and each model only comes in one size.
While you can buy an Instant Pot for $50-ish if you only want six appliance functions, buying a Foodi locks you into spending at least $199. And it’s a bummer that the Foodi costs so much and doesn’t even have a stainless steel insert. The nonstick coating isn’t as fragile as Teflon, but there are reports of chipping from the metal rack being pulled in and out. Some people also aren’t comfortable with their food chilling in a plastic-y ceramic coating for hours.
Ninja also has yet to equip its cookers with digital presets like the Instant Pot’s settings for recipes . Sure, following the time and temperature settings that the recipe calls for is what people are used to doing anyway but being able to press a single button and have things measured for you is pretty handy.
The fact that the Instant Pot just looks nicer sitting on the counter probably won’t be most peoples’ deciding factor, but it will matter to people who adhere to a strict kitchen aesthetic.
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What Foods Can You Make With An Air Fryer
Power Air Fryer XL
Air fryers are marketed as a healthier alternative to deep fryers. Theyre healthier because you are baking your food instead of frying it in a trough of oil. Most people dont notice a difference in texture because of the crispiness produced by the Maillard reactions browning.
Therefore, the foods most often celebrated for being good and healthy in the air fryer are items like French fries, chicken wings, fried chicken, fried fish, and just about any of the frozen foods at your local grocer that you might make in a deep fryer.
But, other common dishes people make in an air fryer include
- Meat from raw, including burgers, steak, pork chops, and more
- Vegetables, such a cauliflower, mushrooms, and anything else you might roast
- Baked goods, like small cakes, quiche, cupcakes, etc.
- Roasted nuts
And, you might have fun experimenting with other meals as well. Just be sure you read your air fryers user manual first.
Pressure Cooker Air Fryer Combo Hybrid: Ninja Foodi 9
The Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Cooker & Air Fryer is Ninja Foodis entry into the multi-cooker/air fryer hybrid market space. It is a direct competitor with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, among others.
- Most parts must be cleaned manually
For the price, the Ninja Foodi OP301 gives you a 6.5-quart,9-in-1 cooker. Thanks to a special air frying lid, you will also be able to air fry with this model. Despite being a little bit more affordable than the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, the Ninja Foodi OP301 looks and feels just as premium and durable.
This model is going to be a good choice if you need something smaller and more affordable than the Instant Pot Duo Crisp.
How Does It Perform?
The Ninja Foodi OP301s heating element has a lower wattage rating than the Instant Pot Duo Crisp at 1,400 watts. This is adequate for the cookers medium-size 6.5-quart cooking chamber.
Similar to the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, the Ninja Foodi OP301 can be converted into an air fryer by using a special air frying lid. The lid has its own heating element facing downward as well as a fan to help circulate the hot air that it produces.
The heating element found in the lid is identical to the one in the pot with a wattage rating of 1,400 watts.
The Ninja Foodi OP301s pressure controller is able to produce either a low or high pressure environment when you pressure cook. In this respect, the pressure controller of this hybrid is the same as the previously-introduced Instant Pots.
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Which Is Better: The Ninja Foodi Or The Instant Pot Duo Crisp
Most people will prefer the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer over the Foodi Deluxe due to the formers lower price point, more cooking functions, and a removable lid. Still, the Foodi is still a stellar appliance, so dont rule it out until you look for a good deal on a Ninja Foodi. Both machines have many useful cooking options, and either is worth the investment.
Healthy Eating Winner: Instant Pots
Just about every air fryer manufacturer compares the foods they produce to those created by a deep fryer. However, the air fryer encourages eating unhealthy foods, such as over-processed frozen crap, fries, breaded meats, etc. When comparing the recipes for instant pots and air fryers, instant pots have healthier options.
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What Can The Instant Pot Do
The Instant Pot is considered a multi-cooker, although the primary function;is as a pressure cooker.
A primary benefit of the Instant Pot is pressure cooking but it can be used a variety of ways. Use your Instant Pot as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker saute and brown, and as a warmer. Pretty impressive. With the investment in one device, you get a multitude of benefits.
When cooking with an Instant Pot, the truth is there is a learning curve. and
Getting started with the Instant Pot can be a little bit tedious, but once you master it you can begin cooking.
With the pressure cooker element, because it is electric, the Instant Pot has built-in safety features so it isnt as dangerous as the old school stove style pressure cookers. It locks down tight and builds up the pressure to give you that rich and flavorful dish that locks in moisture. This safety is one of the most significant focal points that surrounds the Instant Pot.
Soups are delicious when cooked in the Instant Pot, like this Butternut squash soup.
Foods you can cook in the Instant Pot:
Now lets talk about what an air fryer is and what it can do for you.
Instant Pot Duo Nova: The Beginners Choice
If you are not ready to spend a few extra bucks, this one could be for you. The basic features are just perfect for camping or cooking while traveling. However, the duo series’s upgraded features make it more desirable, especially to the new cooks.
It has 7 pre-programmed features ready to get rid of 7 appliances from your kitchen. Perfect for 3 people on the move.
What I Like
- Compact and easy to carry
- LED display for convenience
What I Didnt Like
- May be too small to prepare some items
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Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 8
The Instant Pot® that air fries!
The Instant Pot® Duo Crisp + Air Fryer is fast, versatile, and convenient, with 2 innovative, removable lids to help you to cook and crisp your favorite meals all in one pot. All it takes is cook, switch, crisp!
- 11-in-1 pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, sous vide, air fryer, roaster, mini oven, broiler, and dehydrator
- 2 convenient, removable lids to transform your Instant Pot into an air fryer
- 11 customizable programs for quick one-touch meals
- Innovative auto-sealing pressure cooking lid with a button for easy, stress-free venting
- Stainless-steel inner pot with tri-ply bottom for perfect sautéing
- EvenCrisp air flow gives you the crunch and tenderness of deep-frying with 95% less oil
- Customizable temperature range of 105°F to 400°F for Air Frying Lid
- Cook up to 8 portions, perfect for families, meal prep, and big batch cooking
- Bring it to potlucks, parties, events and more
- Up to 70% faster and more energy efficient than other cooking methods
- Dishwasher-safe pressure cooking lid and inner pot for quick and easy clean-up
- 10+ proven safety features, including Overheat Protection and safe locking lid
- Accessories include a multi-functional stainless-steel rack, multi-level air fryer basket with base and broil/dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover
- BPA/PFOA/PTFE-free cooking
- 1500 watts, 120 V~ 60 Hz, UL & ULC Listed
Air Fryer Is A Little Cheaper
Price is something we all need to consider and this is one of the main reasons why many people choose the Air Fryer. It is a little cheaper when compared to the Instant Pot and while it does not have all the intricate features, you will be able to do most of the same things.
If the price does trouble you, you should consider the Instant Pot.
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Should I Buy Air Fryer Or Instant Pot
If you read my review carefully, then you probably noticed I mentioned four different products. As such, Ill highlight the qualities of each, in the section below, where you can learn which ones the best fit for your needs.
Choose Instant Pot if;
- You cook for the entire family and want a pot with plenty of space
- You like trying new dishes and need a versatile device that supports several types of cooking
- The idea of working with a pot that can replace several appliances in the kitchen sounds good
- You need a pot that can do the cooking on its own, without any supervision
Choose Air Fryer if
- You like fried foods but you want a healthier version
- You dont cook for a large family
- You have the countertop space for a new appliance
Choose Instant Pot Duo Crisp if
- You want a pressure cooker with the possibility to air fry
- You like how the instant crisp technology works
- You need a pressure cooker that can also broil, bake, and dehydrate foods
Choose Instant Pot with CrispLid if
- You want to add the air frying feature to your pressure cooker
- Theres no room in your kitchen for an extra appliance
- You dont want to give up on your Instant Pot
- You dont fry or bake foods in large quantities
However, if you eat a lot of fried foods and are looking for a healthy alternative, you should consider an Air Fryer.
Ninja Foodi Vs Instant Pot: Price
Since Ninja and Instant Pot make so many different appliances, well compare the Instant Pot Duo Crisp which has 11 functions in one, and the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 Pro Pressure Cooker. The Ninja is more expensive at nearly $200/ £143/ AU$257 while the Instant Pot is just under $180 / £129/ AU$231.
In fact, Ninja Foodi machines are often more expensive than most Instant Pot cookers – and youll likely find Instant Pots on sale. You can pick up an Instant Pot – the Instant Pot Duo for around $89 / £64 / AU$114 as this model has been around for a while now.;
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So Instant Pot Vs Air Fryer: Whats The Difference
The difference between the instant pot and air fryer, when considering the standalone appliances, is in the way they cook. The Instant Pot is a multi-function pressure cooker that utilizes pressure cooking technology to cook food faster and more efficiently. On the other hand, the air fryer cooks with hot air and uses minimal to none of the oil typically used to cook fried style foods, producing a deep-fried food but without the deep-fried calories . An air fryer is definitely a healthier alternative for cooking and frying different meals in your kitchen.
These great appliances are not expensive considering the functions they have like the instant pot which can cook more than 7 functions.
Below, we will look more closely at the important functions of both the Instant Pot and air fryers and also the differences.
- Slow cooked foods
These are just examples of the most common but its not limited to the foods it can prepare and types of cooking it is capable of. There are hundreds of Instant Pot recipes all over to guide you on the foods you would like to prepare.
Different models have different functions to enable them to prepare the foods needed. Some models have 6-in-1, 7-in-1 and 10-in-1 functions extending the versatility of the Instant Pot.
Just like other appliances, as the time goes the manufacturer continues to improve the models by introducing new ones to the market. The instant pot has the following models.
Nuwave Brio Air Fryer Oven + Grill
- Features: Integrated temperature probe, removable front door and presets
- Additional Functions: Air fry, roast, bake, grill, rotisserie and dehydrate
While store bought rotisserie chicken is delicious, why not make it at home with your air fryer? The Brio from NuWave comes with a rotisserie function which allows for up to a seven pound chicken to get crispy on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside. Worried about overcooking? Set the temperature probe and let it do all of the monitoring for you.
And with over 100 presets to choose from, its just as easy to cook any type of meal. The air fryer can be set to temperatures ranging from 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for baking, grilling and roasting. When mealtimes over, place the rotisserie kit, basket, mesh rack, mesh tray and drip tray and grill in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
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Would I Buy This
Absolutely. If I already owned a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, I would pick up one of these air fryer lids. They have a very small footprint, are more affordable than buying a freestanding air fryer, and are so simple to use.
You also have the option of buying a 2 in 1 appliance that has different lids that perform different functions. My favorite is the Ninja Foodi. This is a large appliance, but it still takes up less space on your kitchen counter than two separate appliances.
Air Fryer Sweet Potatoe Fries
This was the food item that I really want to perfect. I air-fried at 400 F for 15 min. I would suggest experimenting with this temperature and time. I found mine to be dry, not crisp.
I used fresh raw sweet potatoes and first coated them with corn starch, then put coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and cayenne to the mixture. Next time I would try olive oil instead of coconut oil or maybe use frozen packaged fries instead of raw.
The rotisserie basket was a definite selling point for this air fryer compared to any other on the market. Its important to read the manual to see that there is a red button on the side that lets you install the basket inside. It also releases the basket, but dont worry after the cooking cycle, the red button is warm but not hot to touch.
When you use the basket, you have to select Rotate on the touch screen to start the rotation. I notice it holds a lot but if you fill it too much it wont be able to complete a rotation because of the weight. Also, theres a rotisserie fetch tool that makes it easy to handle the basket, but still wear a glove on opposite hand when you try to place and open the basket on a heat resistant surface. Again, I used a baking tray.
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