BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Kitchen

Air fryer vs. Instant Pot

Which air fryers or Instant Pots are best?

If you want to cook food quickly, you might be looking for a cooking device, like an air fryer or an Instant Pot, to speed up the cooking process. It’s important to understand the benefits and disadvantages of these cooking tools as well as the best models of each device.

Air fryers

Air fryers use superheated air to allow food to cook evenly and thoroughly. It’s important to find easy-to-clean air fryers that are big enough to suit your particular situation and needs, include intuitive controls and provide the option of cooking several different foods simultaneously. Air fryers can serve multiple purposes, including baking brownies and cupcakes, steaming vegetables and creating a less oily version of your favorite fried foods. 

Air fryers usually range in price from about $100-$250. However, high-end air fryers make up for their price with easy cleanup and more efficient frying. 

Air fryer pros

Cooking with an air fryer has a few benefits. For example, air fryers are usually clean and easier to maintain than traditional deep fryers since the air fryer’s cooking basket can easily be washed in a dishwasher or by hand between each use. Also, air fryers are able to give you moist and crisp food without the huge amounts of oil that traditional deep fryers require, so the food you get from cooking with an air fryer is usually healthier.

Air fryer cons

Conversely, there are a couple of drawbacks to cooking with an air fryer. First, the cooking times in an air fryer can be much longer than the time it takes to cook with a traditional deep fryer. Furthermore, the flow of superheated and dry air around the food in the air fryer can strip the food of moisture, making the food taste dry and flavorless in some cases.

The best air fryers

Philips Premium Digital Air Fryer with Fat Removal Technology  

This Philips air fryer is top of the line with a user-friendly design, fast performance and state-of-the-art technology. The air fryer’s fat removal technology extracts and collects extra fat for healthier food.

Sold by Amazon

Dash Tasti Crisp Electric Air Fryer

This affordable 2.6-quart Dash air fryer gives you the best bang for your buck and is an excellent option for small households, couples and singles. The air fryer also features a vivid temperature indicator, fast-heating hot air technology and simple dial control.

Sold by Amazon

Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer

This four-quart air fryer accommodates up to three pounds of food, delivers 1,550 watts of power, and heats up and cooks food quickly. The spacious air fryer also features a ceramic-coated crisper plate to give your food more of a crunch.

Sold by Amazon

Cosori CP158-AF Max XL Air Fryer

This award-winning air fryer features a 5.8-quart design that complements many kitchens, easy presets and a removable nonstick basket that is safe for dishwashers and free of PFOA and BPA.

Sold by Amazon

De’Longhi Livenza Air Fry Digital Convection Oven 

Considered one of the most user-friendly air fryers on the market, this De’Longhi model provides nine presets for precision cooking, a unique heat lock system, an LCD screen with digital controls, an internal light and a glass door for improved visibility.

Sold by Amazon

Instant Pots

The Instant Pot performs a wide range of cooking tasks, including slow cooking a roast, sauteing vegetables, cooking rice and making yogurt. Therefore, it’s crucial to select the right size Instant Pot for your household situation and needs. You also need to figure out how much programming control you desire and how many functions you want your Instant Pot to perform. Instant Pots range in price from $50-$200, depending on the size and model. 

Instant Pot pros

Many people select the Instant Pot over other multi-cooker options since the cooking pot is 100 percent stainless steel. Stainless steel is considered durable and long-lasting, and there are no potential health dangers. Instant Pots are also easy to use and offer excellent results.

Instant Pot cons

That being said, there are a couple of drawbacks to using an Instant Pot. For example, the Instant Pot is not truly instant. It does take time to build the pressure and properly cook your food. Instant Pots can also take up some of your kitchen real estate since they are large and bulky. They can also be difficult to clean.

The best Instant Pots

Instant Pot Duo Crisp and Air Fryer 

Considered the best of the best, this large Instant Pot has all of the features of the base models but with an air fryer function for more convenience and versatility. This 8-quart Instant Pot is perfect for families.

Sold by Amazon

Instant Pot Duo

This popular Instant Pot model is an excellent option for mid-sized households and provides plenty of bang for your buck. The Instant Pot comes with a one-year warranty, multiple preset temperatures, 14 smart programs and a 6- or 8-quart capacity.

Sold by Amazon

Instant Pot Duo Nova 

The Instant Pot Duo Nova is the perfect model for beginners with the ability to cook food quickly, the functionality of several different appliances and 14 food presets. The Instant Pot also comes with a safety lock and nine other built-in safety features.

Sold by Amazon

Instant Pot Aura Pro

Being a great choice for large households, this Instant Pot model doesn’t work as a pressure cooker, but it is perfect for low temperature and slow cooking. The slow cooker comes with keep-warm, multigrain, rice, yogurt, roast, sous vide, stew, steam, sear and saute, slow cook and bake functions.

Sold by Amazon

Instant Pot Pro

The Instant Pot Pro can perform a number of different functions, including making yogurt and sauteing. Moreover, the multi-purpose pressure cooker comes with multiple safety features, including overheat protection and a safe locking lid.

Sold by Amazon

Should you get an air fryer or an Instant Pot?

Overall, the Instant Pot cooks your food fairly quickly and offers a wide range of different functions and features. On the other hand, air fryers provide fewer functions than Instant Pots and can often strip your food of moisture. 

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: