What is the Difference Between an Air Fryer and a Pressure Cooker?

The first time I saw an air fryer, I assumed it was a new model of the pressure cooker. Later on, I visited a friend and saw the two appliances in her kitchen. That is when I realized that these cooking gadgets are different. You cannot substitute one for the other. This air fryer vs pressure cooker review will elaborate more on the similarities and differences of these contemporary cooking pots.

How to Use an Air Fryer

An air fryer is the latest food cooking technology that works by spinning food at a high speed in hot air. The food basket is exposed to heat all around so that the food is evenly cooked.

The air fryer immerses food in hot air without oil or water. You can also set the temperature and cooking time on the device, as it is an automatic cooking pot. The result is crispy and well-cooked food.

You can also use an air fryer to prepare fried recipes. However, this technology can cook food with little oil or no oil.


Features of an Air fryer

According to Amazon Nuwave, Store, an air fryer can cook several types of foods. The high-end models in the market feature different automated cooking programs for various recipes. Some of the air fryer’s unique characteristics include:

  • An oven with an air fryer rotisserie for roasting
  • A dehydrator feature for preparing vegetables
  • Rapid air technology that cooks food in hot air
  • Multi-cooking programs for various recipes
  • Little or zero-oil cooking through air frying
  • Digital pre-set buttons for varying temperature

Air Fryer Potato

Advantages of an Air fryer

Cooks Fast

Deep-frying takes long since oil has to heat first. In contrast, the air fryer generates instant heat for cooking your food. Hot air is more effective than oil heating since it saturates the food with heat from all angles.

Energy Efficient

An air fryer will reduce your power bill drastically. Food takes a shorter time to cook. If you like cooking many types of foods, then this device will save you time and consume less energy.

Healthy Meals

Some cooking pots use small amounts of oil, but the air fryer requires a drop or none at all. It depends on what you are cooking. However, this pot is suitable for deep frying recipes with very little oil. This means that you will consume fewer fats and makes food more palatable.

Air fryer Downsides


The air fryer requires technical knowledge. You have to learn how to adjust the temperature for various foods. Many cooks burn food before they determine a suitable duration for particular recipes.

Different taste

An air fryer’s food does not taste the same as deep fried foods because you add little or no oil. New users might find the food unpalatable.


Air fryers cook little food at a time, making unsuitable for large families. These cooking pots are useful if you live alone. However, you can use the appliance to prepare side dishes for big families.

How a Pressure Cooker Works

A pressure cooker compresses hot air in a pot to accelerate the rate of cooking by up to 80%. You put food ingredients and enough water in the pot before putting it on fire. The airtight lid ensures that no air gets in or out of the pot. The trapped steam turns in to very hot gas that saturates the food and cooks it faster than conventional pans.

Pressure cookers have a handle on the lid that you hold when loosening the pot to allow steam to escape before you can open the pot.

Features of a Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker shortens meals preparation duration for foods that requires hours when prepared using traditional pots. Here are some outstanding characteristics of the appliance:

  • Made of stainless steel that is a good conductor of heat
  • Have an automatic locking handle that enhances safety in the kitchen.
  • Comes with an intuitive pressure control knob
  • Has a manual for more than 50 recipes
Instant Pot on Amazon

Advantages of a Pressure Cooker

Cooks Fast

A pressure cooker reduces preparation time for meals by over 50%. The tight-fitting lid ensures that the hot steam cooks food faster than the normal boiling method.

Retains Nutrients

Nutritionists recommend this cooking pot for food that requires tender cooking for proper digestion and nutrients preservation.

Saves Energy

The pressure cooker cooks faster, which means that you can reserve your cooking gas or electrical energy while allowing you to serve nutritious meals from your kitchen.

Disadvantages of a Pressure Cooker

Observing Food

The need to retain high pressure in the pot does not allow you to check the food progress. You are not supposed to stir the dish, open the lid, add ingredients, and water once you start cooking.

Hot steam

You have to be vigilant as the hot steam that cooks the foodstuff can be dangerous when mishandled. You need to release the pressure through a special valve located at the top of the pot before you remove the lid.

No mixing foods

You cannot prepare different types of dishes simultaneously as the cooker requires varying durations for distinct meals. For instance, you cannot prepare beans and meat in one sitting.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Air Fryer vs Pressure Cooker Main Differences

Pressure cookers and air fryers have distinguished differences that make the units useful in the kitchen in unique ways.

Cooking mechanism

  • Air fryers use hot air while pressure cookers utilize compressed air to heat meals
  • Air fryers can cook without water and oil; Pressure cookers need water to generate pressurized heat
  • The air fryers are suitable for deep frying recipes while pressure cookers are appropriate for food that requires boiling.


Air fryers make crispy dry foods with little oil. Pressure cookers produce soft foods since the hot steam makes food tender. Many foods prepared with air fryers cannot be prepared with pressure cookers.

Cooking Process

A pressure cooker does not allow you to stir or observe the cooking progress. Secondly, the pot has to be closed throughout the cooking process. It is unsafe to stir the food or open the lid without letting the steam out.

You can stop air fryers to check if the food is ready. Besides, air fryers allow you to keep up with the cooking progress since you can stop and restart the heating process without slowing down the cooking progress.


You have to be extremely careful when using a pressure cooker; the lid has to be well-fastened so that the hot steam remains in the pot. When the food starts cooking, you should not open the lid. You have to allow the pot to cool down and open the pressure valve to release steam first.

The outer cover of air fryers become hot and can cause burns. You must handle these cooking pots with extra care to avoid accidents.


The air fryer is relatively smaller and not ideal for making large portions of food. You can only cook food rations of about four people.

You can find large pressure cookers; hence, the appliances are popular in kitchens that serve large families.


Air fryers are:

  • User-friendly
  • Durable
  • Rarely malfunctions
  • Easy to clean
  • Does not discolour due to heated oil or burned food

On the hand, the pressure cookers:

  • Have to be handled with care
  • Cannot be used further when they malfunction
  • Boiling foods at high temperatures creates extra work in the form of scrubbing because the fire or food burns might discolor the cooker


Air fryer meals are healthy as they have little or no oil. Secondly, the unit does not overcook food. Thirdly, the pot enhances the taste.

On the other hand, pressure cookers make nutritious food by shortening the cooking time. The meals are also tender and more palatable.

Air Fryer vs Pressure Cooker Frequently Asked Questions

Can a pressure cooker substitute an air fryer?

The cooking pots use different cooking mechanisms; hence, they cannot substitute each other

Are air fryers and pressure cookers energy –efficient?

While the devices use the same voltage consumption as other kitchen appliances, they are more energy efficient because they require less cooking time.

Will frozen food cook in air fryers and pressure cookers?

Yes, it will. You can put frozen food in the cookers without waiting for them to thaw.

What size of air fryers and pressure suits your family?

Pick a size that can prepare an adequate amount of a specific meal for your entire family at once.



At the end of the day, both the pressure cooker and air fryer are essential cooking pots in every kitchen. Once you understand how each of them operates, you can use them appropriately for good results. The food will be tastier and more palatable.

If you wish to know which one suits you better, then you should evaluate your needs to see which closely matches your kitchen wants. An air fryer makes deep frying foods more nutritious and the pressure cooker is ideal for foods that should be tender.

You cannot replace one for the other. Each has a role to play in your kitchen. These modern cooking pots will change the way you cook and allow you to explore new recipes. The market has various brands and models available. You can start exploring to pick the best cooking pot for you