Air Fryer or Instant Pot: Which kitchen appliance is best for you?

The holidays are coming up and it is a great time to look for deals on the latest kitchen appliances. If you are deciding between an Air Fryer or Instant Pot to add to your Christmas list, I am here to share the scoop on these two, very different kitchen appliances!

Instant Pot versus Air Fryer Comparison #proscons #mealplanning #holidaygift #blackfridayshopping

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Air Fryer Versus Instant Pot Review

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up soon and there is sure to be deals on Air Fryers and Instant Pots. Amazon Prime Day is October 13th and 14th, so be on the lookout for a deal or two on these kitchen appliances!

If you have been considering an Air Fryer or an Instant Pot, now is the time to take advantage of the holidays sales and get the appliance that makes the most sense for your family’s needs.

Now, the big question is should I get an Air Fryer or Instant Pot?

Today, I am going to share with you the pros and cons of Air Fryer versus Instant Pot and help you determine which of these might be best for your family!

What is the big difference between an Air Fryer and an Instant Pot?


First things first, we need to look at what each of these kitchen gadgets actually do.

What can you do with an Air Fryer?

What exactly is an air fryer? An Air fryer is counter top appliance most similar to an oven as it is able to cook and roast food. Air Fryers are a small convention oven that has a fan that circulates hot air at a high speed.

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These small appliances are able to cook food very quickly and evenly. The end result of air fried food is a cooked dish that is super crispy and is close to fried food quality without all of the  cooking oil! The air fryer can take basic vegetables up to a whole new level of crispy flavored goodness!

What can you cook in an air fryer?

You can make a lot of foods in the Air Fryer. Almost anything that you would normally cook in your oven can go in the air fryer. So things like, chicken tenders, bacon and sausage, vegetables and pizza!

Some of our the best Air Fryer recipes to get started with include:

Breaded Chicken Tenders

Crispy Bacon

French Toast Sticks

Homemade French Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Breaded Fish Fillets

Any of your favorite frozen foods are able to go in the Air Fryer. Nowadays, most frozen foods packages come with Air Fryer cooking instructions.

Air Fryer Pros and Cons

So, after just talking about all the great features of an air fryer, what are all of the pros and cons.

PROS:

  • Easy to use (Plug in and get started using your machine right away with minimal instruction)
  • Can use for simple recipes including favorite frozen foods
  • Quick Cooking Time (Most recipes are 4-20 minutes!)
  • Does not heat up the house (like an oven can do!)
  • Does not require a lot of cooking oil.
  • Healthier option to fried foods without compromising flavor.
  • Easy to clean if you use parchment paper inserts

CONS:

  • Can be noisy when in use.
  • Takes up counter top space
  • Good Air Fryers can be expensive
  • There are varying sizes of Air Fryers and the smaller options do not have capacity for a lot of food. Sometimes you need to cook your food in batches.
  • You need to keep your eye on the food as it can burn or dry out rather quickly.

If you are looking to purchase an Air Fryer, here is the exact Air Fryer I own. I selected this model because the size was biggest enough our family of five and it was well rated. 


What is an Instant Pot?

Now that you have learned about the Air Fryer, let’s talk about an Instant Pot! What exactly can you do with an Instant Pot?

Did you forget to thaw your chicken for dinner? Are you looking to make one pot meals? The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that can help you whip up meals in no time. Most Instant Pots come with a lot of extra functionality including a rice cooker, yogurt maker, simmer pot and more. So, when you get an Instant Pot, you get several appliances all in one!

Instant Pot versus Air Fryer Review #pros #cons #mealprep

The Instant Pot allows you to thaw chicken, then turn that chicken into soup when you add in the other ingredients. The best way to think of it is the opposite of a slow cooker. Instead of simmering your dinner all day, you are using the Instant Pot for a quick dinner solution

What do you make in an Instant Pot?

There are a ton of amazing Instant Pot recipes. You can create amazing soups, stews and one pot meals.

Some of the best Instant Pot recipes include:

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat

Steak Fajitas

Garlic Mashed Potatoes 

Spaghetti and Meatballs

These are just some of the recipes you can make with an Instant Pot. If your Instant Pot has additionally functionality, you might be able to make homemade yogurt, the most perfect boiled eggs and fluffy white rice!

Instant Pot Pros and Cons

The Instant Pot is a strong kitchen workhorse! So what are some of the pros and cons of the Instant Pot?

PROS:

  • Many features and functions of the Instant Pot.
  • Some Instant Pots work as a crock pot, so you might be able to get rid of duplicate appliances.
  • Can cook meat from frozen very quickly.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Does not require you to watch the food while it is cooking.

CONS:

      • There is a BIG learning curve to figure out how to use it.
      • Can not check on your food until the timer is done as the lid is sealed (potential to overcook).
      • The steam is very hot from the cooker. Not a kid friendly appliance. 
      • You might not need all of the other functions on the Instant Pot but you have to pay for these features.
      • Timing is difficult to plan for. While a recipe might say that it only takes 10 minutes to cook, there is also the time to get the pressure cooker warmed up and then the steam release which can take several minutes.


Air Fryer Versus the Instant Pot

As you can see, the Instant Pot and the Air Fryer are two very different kitchen appliances. But do you need both? The answer really depends on what kind of meal solution you are looking to improve! If you are looking to amp up your dinner menu with some new takes are you same favorite food, you might look to the Air Fryer. You can take your usual chicken dinner to a whole new level that will really wow your kids.

Think of being able to make your family’s favorite take out meals like chicken fingers and french fries but a whole lot healthier. The Air Fryer can make your usual vegetables so much tastier than steaming or roasting. It is fun to try your own classic dishes plus new recipes in the Air Fryer.

If you are looking to solve some meal prepping woes like saving time and effort on the dinner routine, than you might look to purchase an Instant Pot. You can go from frozen chicken breasts to fully cooked in 15-20 minutes. The Instant Pot is a lifesaver for those nights that you forget to plan for dinner.

Let’s talk a further look at the similarities and differences between the Air Fryer and Instant Pot:

Air Fryer and Instant Pot Comparison Chart

Comparison Air Fryer Instant Pot
Purpose Make your favorite fried/fast foods in a healthier way. Crispy and evenly cooked meats, veggies, snacks and desserts. Makes delicious one pot dishes. Cooks frozen meat to ready to serve in minutes.
Ease of Use Plug in and get started right away. Easy to use with minimal instructions. Big Learning curve to understand the cook times and pressure/steam process.
Cooking Times Cook foods in minutes Cooks food in minutes (slightly longer times than the Air Fryer depending on recipe)
Similar appliances Convection Oven, Fryer, Convection Toaster Pressure Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker (some models), Stove
Cost $79-$119 Most in $79-$119 range

How to Decide on the Right Kitchen Appliance

So do you need both an Air Fryer and Instant Pot? The answer really depends on your family and lifestyle!

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Anytime you add another kitchen appliance to the house, you really need to consider how often you will use it. Kitchen counter space is prime real estate and you do not want an appliance to collect dust! Perhaps start with the kitchen appliance that will most meet your needs and then decide if you really need the other one!

Do you have an Instant Pot or Air Fryer? Which of these kitchen gadgets appeals to you the most?

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4 Comments

  1. Andrea Nine
    October 12, 2020 / 7:34 am

    This is such a great and comprehensive post, especially for people looking to get one or the other or both! I only have an air fryer but I absolutely love it. I just don’t think I would use an instant pot.

  2. October 12, 2020 / 8:22 am

    Very interesting! I have an air fryer but not an instant pot! I feel like if I wanted an instant pot it would just be because everyone else has one.

  3. October 12, 2020 / 9:41 am

    I tried the Instapot- not in love with it. The air fryer is great and easy but I don’t use it often. Still addicted to our slow cooker here!

  4. October 12, 2020 / 8:29 pm

    Love how thorough you are in your explanation of both appliances. You seem super educated on both of them and I appreciate your honest opinions about them both. I actually already have the two but don’t find myself using either. You’ve actually inspired me to want to get mine out!!

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