Air Fryer vs An Instant Pot: How To Tell The Difference?




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Innovative kitchen equipment such as the air fryer and multi-cooker has had a long-term influence on the industry. These tiny appliances have quickly gained popularity since they are inexpensive, simple to operate, and handier than anything before.

But, if you have to choose between the two, which is the best option for your kitchen? Would an instant pot suit you better or an air fryer? Read on and get to know the essential differences between the two and decide which new equipment you need for your kitchen.

What Is An Instant Pot?

The instant pot is a new and beneficial invention to hit the utensil market. They are created by Instant Brands, which also features a variety of multi-purpose equipment. They all have characteristics to satisfy various requirements. 

In general, an instant pot is a multi-cooker with different cooking choices that one may use to replace up to seven pieces of kitchen equipment.

Some of the conventional versions may be used as saute pans, pressure and rice cookers, slow pots, yoghurt machines, and other appliances.

Instant pots use water or broth to create steam and develop pressure inside the cooking pot.

The heated steam is then blasted into the meals, allowing them to cook at fast rates while retaining all of their nutrients.

Beginners usually start with basic meals like rice, eggs, bacon, and veggies. However, the quick pot is capable of much more.

Additional abilities like sous vide, boiled potatoes, and more are available depending on the kind of instant pot you possess. Instant pots’ saute mode may let you stir fry dishes with minimal oil.

What Is An Air Fryer?

The construction of a Philips air fryer differs from that of a typical deep fryer.

It’s a more streamlined and healthier alternative. It can “cook” your meals with very little or no oil.

That may seem somewhat bizarre, but it’s accurate.

Anyone can prepare french fries and fried chicken in this appliance and get the same crispy texture as deep-fried dishes.

The difference is that when they’re air-fried, they won’t come out of the fryer slick or glistening with additional oil.

Consequently, an air fryer is an excellent purchase if you want to eat a balanced diet with less fat.

It is possible because the air fryer also serves as a convection oven. A cooking element generates heat. Fans move the warm air throughout the cooking chamber.

Hot air fries the food placed in a perforated basket in the centre of the frying chamber throughout the process. The heated air warms the dish from the outside, similar to an oven or a deep fryer.

The Key Factors That Differentiate An Air Fryer From An Instant Pot:

Cooking Methods:

The initial thought that should come to mind before finalising is understanding how the two appliances function and their construction. The instant pot and air fryer are designed to make cooking easier. Let’s look at each person’s working technique and see who is on top.

The instant pot is comparable to a pressure cooker in specific ways. It generates steam from water or broth, which increases vapour for cooking meals. The cookware has numerous pressure settings, allowing it to quickly prepare tasty and healthful meals.

A convection oven’s functioning technique is identical to an air fryer. It cooks the meal using a small quantity of frying oil and high-temperature air.

The hot air blows through the fan and circulates over the food until it is fried to perfection. The device contains a thermal management feature that allows the user to prepare food at the ideal temperature.

The overall operation of the two is vastly different. The instant pot’s control parameters are pretty easy to use, unlike an air fryer. Many people want an appliance that is straightforward to use, so unlike the air fryer, the instant pot is relatively popular in this category.

Types Of Food Prepared:

Several culinary dishes call for various cooking techniques. As a result, it’s essential to choose a cooking gadget appropriate for each dish. The instant pot and the air fryer have a good reputation for preparing certain foods.

The instant pot cooks various dishes using moist heat, except for those that need frying. This is the ideal device if you want to heat and boil things like stew, broth, etc. Rice, beef stew, cereal, soups, and fowl are just a few of the everyday items made with the equipment.

To fry meals, an air fryer employs dry, hot air. It has a reputation for producing healthy meals since it cooks with very little oil. Consider using an air fryer instead of traditional fryers or pans to produce crunchy, crispy, and tasty dishes.

Burgers, steaks, fried chips, pies, sliders, and fried fish are just a few popular items prepared using the gadget.

Both kitchen gadgets produce nutritious meals, but the main difference is in the final texture of the food. Food cooked in an instant pot is moist and luscious, whereas food cooked in an air fryer is crispy, crunchy, and delectable.

Many individuals seek methods to live a healthier lifestyle. An air fryer cuts down on the amount of fat in their diet. As a result, many people prefer an air fryer to an instant pot.

Cooking Time And Speed:

Cooking gadgets that cook quicker are essential in the modern world.

This has resulted in technological advancements that have led to the creation of quick pots and air fryers.

Manufacturers created both kitchen equipment intending to satisfy the needs of a large number of people.

The typical slow cooker takes a long time when it comes to cooking.

This led to the creation of the instant pot due to a desire to save time. Cooking time reduces by 75% using this gadget.


The simplicity of usage is another crucial factor to consider when purchasing any of the two machines. However, although both gadgets are straightforward to use, there are a few differences in how they operate.

An instant pot functions similarly to a pressure cooker, although it usually comes with instructions for use. The beginning phases of using the appliance might be challenging, but with practice, it gets simpler.

Controlling knobs on the fryer allows you to adjust the time and warmth. These controls are easy to use and have a limited number of options. There’s no need to consult the handbook since all buttons are clearly labelled.

People want something straightforward to use and understand. Owing to this, many individuals choose to use an air fryer over an instant pot because it is easier to use.

Cleaning Effort:

Cleanliness is second only to divinity, and it is the path to a healthy existence. To avoid eating infected food, keep your cooking equipment clean. Because they are created using distinct processes, one may clean instant pots and air fryers, but only under specified conditions.

The device works on electricity. Therefore it’s essential to keep a few things in mind while cleaning it. The first step is to unplug the item and clean it with a moist towel. Cleaning the gasket, on the other hand, requires extra caution.

The air fryer includes detachable pieces that make cleaning it with dishwater a breeze. For this reason, unlike other cookware, the equipment produces healthier cuisine.

Cleanliness is the foundation of healthy eating, so choose kitchen equipment that is basic and easy to clean. Due to its simplicity of cleaning, an air fryer is a winner in this area.

Safety Barriers:

You will place these appliances in the kitchen. Thus, it’s crucial to double-check their safety before buying. Both gadgets are essential in cooking, which necessitates the usage of electricity, which might be hazardous.

When steam brims out from the pot, it might be dangerous if it comes into touch with the skin. To avoid a mishap like the instant pot fire, it’s critical to take preventative measures.

Overheating, melting, leaking plastic stench, and smoke can come out of an air fryer. When people neglect these issues, it leads to accidents.

There is no clear victor in safety since both the instant pot and the air fryer demand a high level of caution and care to avoid mishaps. Overall, both machines are suitable to use in the long term if the manufacturer’s instructions are clear.


The price of the appliance is vital while evaluating it, but you should never use it to assess its performance. For this reason, the price comes last in the comparison list.

The cost of an instant pot varies depending on the brand. Specific models are pricey, while others are fairly reasonable. It all depends on the pot brand you choose.


Among the culinary equipment, the air fryer is usually the least expensive. They do, however, come in a variety of brands, which means that their pricing will vary.

The instant pot and the air fryer prices are almost the same. However, when opposed to the air fryer, the instant pot is somewhat more affordable. As a result, many consumers choose to acquire an appliance that performs better regardless of price. It is for this reason that the category has no winner.

Quick Comparison Guide:

AspectInstant PotAir Fryer
MethodUses steam to cook foodUses hot air and little oil to cook food
FoodRice, beef stew, cereal, soups, and fowl are just a few of the everyday items made with the equipmentBurgers, steaks, fried chips, pies, sliders, and fried fish are just a few popular items prepared using the gadget
Time and speedSlowerFaster
ConvenienceA tiny bit complexEasier to use
Cleaning effortTakes more time to cleanEasier to clean
Safety barrierCan cause electric hazardsLess chance of mishap
PriceMore affordableLess affordable


Which Is The Faster Between An Air Fryer And Instant Pot?

It varies on what you want to prepare, but the air fryer is quicker than the instant pot since it only has one process.

Is Instant Pot Good For A Family Of 4?

Yes, an instant pot serves 3-4 people in one sitting. If you have more people in your home, consider buying a bigger variant of an instant pot.

Which Device Is Best For Preparing Soup?

An instant pot is the best for stews and soups.

The Final Verdict:

You may select your preferences now that you have a thorough understanding of both appliances. Use an instant pot for soups, gravies, rice, and soft bits of meat with sauces. Choose an Airfryer for fast meals of oil-free beef, vegetables, desserts, and frozen items.

An air fryer is your top pick if you like to travel and need something portable. Consider an instant pot for prolonged cooking, slow baking, and other types of cuisine if you work extended hours and need hot meals at odd hours.

Depending on the type, an air fryer is a useful device for a fast lunch for two or three people. Choose an instant pot for large households or bulk cooking.

Both are excellent kitchen equipment that provides several benefits. In the end, it all will come down to your preferences and requirements. Best wishes and happy cooking!

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