A pressure cooker is an old piece of equipment. It has been part of every household kitchen for ages. Like every other machine, it has also changed in design and technology. But the makers don’t ruin the aim of its usage. Instead, every change improves its functions and end results.
Air fryers were launched in the market in 2010. In a very short span, they received an overwhelming response from the consumer industry. Because they offer tasty but oil-free snacks. Fat-free snacks are the school of interest for every human being. So, such a response is not beyond hopes.
Both categories become your perfect crime partner in the kitchen. They are equally useful in their own way. But there’s a debate in the air about which is more preferable. Before we state the conclusion, let’s ponder over all the aspects in detail.
Air fryer vs. Pressure Cooker -Brief Dicssusion
Using an air fryer leads to a healthier lifestyle. They let you enjoy your favorite snacks without using gallons of oil. The term ‘healthy food’ is itself mouth-watering. And when you get the chance to eat healthy fries, chicken wings, cheese balls, etc., it becomes cherry on top. That’s why the air fryer acts as a magnet.
How an air fryer performs:
The mechanism of an air fryer doesn’t differ a lot from that of a convection oven. It includes a fan along with a heating element. Once you plug in the device, it produces hot air. The hot air surrounds the food thoroughly and cooks it. This ends with a product that is crispier outside and a juicier inner with all the scrumptious flavors.
It is because of this cooking mechanism that the device no longer needs a lot of oil. Just a tablespoon of healthier oil is enough to cook flavorful food. Make sure that you set the timer and temperatures precisely.
The components of an air fryer include a perforated basket. The design of the basket ensures maximum contact of food with hot air. Besides, an exhaust fan is also there. It starts venting hot air constantly once the temperature reaches the set limit. As a result, the food remains safe from overcooking and burning.
An air fryer is not a bulky device. Its small size lets it reach the set temperature quickly. This efficient heating also ends in faster cooking. However, the dimensions of the models also vary from each other. Some air fryers are suitable for small families. At the same time, others can serve huge families in a single shift. So, you need to choose the size at your convenience.
Benefits of an air fryer:
Nowadays, air fryers have become irresistible due to the following reasons:
The mechanism of an air fryer comes into action in no time upon plugin. It surpasses the boundaries of excellence due to quick cooking and reheating.
An air fryer means to save time in cooking different kinds of food. Meanwhile, it is very resourceful in cutting down your electricity bills also. Because the time spent on cooking is directly proportional consumption of electricity. Hence less time means minimum usage of electricity. It ultimately leads to a reasonable amount of dollars in bills.
Air fryers require 80% less oil for cooking your favorite kebabs, nuggets, patties, etc., in comparison to conventional frying. Either you use 1 tbsp of any healthier oil, or spray some amount of it on food, all is enough. Even if you add no oil too, it doesn’t make a huge difference. Because producing crispier yield is the specialty of air fryers.
Drawbacks of an air fryer:
Although the pros of an air fryer are enough to hypnotize a buyer, don’t forget to consider the device’s cons.
1-Food may burn:
You will get used to the usage of this gadget after several experiences. As it cooks food at high temperatures, so overcooking or burning is expected at the start. But once you keep on using it frequently, you become a pro at handling it. So, confusion at the beginning is widespread.
The food cooked in the air fryer lacks a bit of flavor in comparison to deep-fried food. Obviously, it will happen because oil makes a lot more difference. However, your taste buds will soon get used to the change and love every bit of it.
You also need to monitor the cooking cycle carefully. Because prolong cooking may dry your food and spoils the juicy interior. So, be very vigilant.
Typically, air fryers are smaller in size, unlike pressure cookers. The majority of the models are compatible with small families. So, if you belong to a huge family, you may not be able to enjoy its benefits.
No kitchen is complete without this useful cookware. Traditional models of pressure cookers are compatible with stovetops. However, electric pressure cookers have also been introduced, and they are readily available in the market. They are very easy to use with the help of a digital display. The feasibility of operating temperature and timer controls is a nice plus. So, you see pressure cookers also serve with good possibilities.
How a pressure cooker works:
It works according to the mechanism of trapped steam in a sealed pot. The steam gathers in the pot and increases its pressure. This increase in pressure decreases the boiling point and ends inefficient cooking. The pressure cooker doesn’t allow you to open its lid in between the cooking cycle. This is also the reason behind the increased pressure within the pot. As there is no venting, so, the device lets the food retain all the flavor and moisture like a pro.
This pressure within the container can be as dangerous as it is useful if you mishandle it. If you wrestle with the pressure cooker while the steam is packed inside, you can end up in a huge disaster. So, if you are in a hurry and want to open the lid soon, let the steam come out from the nozzle.
Benefits of a pressure cooker:
It is an old device but it’s constantly useful to date. Let’s look at its pros:
A pressure cooker saves an ample amount of cooking time. Its sealing traps the steam inside, increasing temperature. So, the device helps you in cooking at a faster rate. In comparison with a simple pot, a pressure cooker only require 1/3 time for cooking.
As the pressure cooker traps the steam inside. So, the food cooks in the steam, and all the nutrients and flavors remain intact. Thus, a pressure cooker produces more nutrient-rich food than other cooking modes like boiling and frying.
As it cooks faster so, it also cuts down your bill. It doesn’t make any difference if your pressure cooker requires gas or electric source. In both cases, it saves a good amount of energy.
Drawbacks of a pressure cooker:
The pros of a pressure cooker rock the stage. But don’t forget to consider the cons also:
Checking the state of your food in between the cooking cycle is not that easy. For this, you need to let the steam out from the nozzle firstly. Once the pin sets down, you can open the lid. This interrupts the cooking cycle. The same is the criteria if you miss out on adding an ingredient.
2-Let the steam release:
Once you turn off the burner or an electric source, you cannot instantly open the pressure cooker’s lid. You need to wait for some minutes so that the steam vents out completely. Therefore, enjoying your favorite food without waiting is not possible with a pressure cooker.
3-Not compatible with all kinds of food:
A pressure cooker is only suitable for foods that require a lot of time for cooking, e.g., meat. Suppose you are cooking food that doesn’t need to prolong cook time. Then the pressure cooker acts as ordinary cookware. This aspect leads to a decline in its effectiveness.
Difference between an air fryer and a pressure cooker:
Now, you are no more ignorant about the importance of these two appliances. They complete every household kitchen at their own pace. You cannot negate the positive influence of both devices. Here we are going to differentiate the positive vibes that both the groups emit to their users.
I. Cooking mechanism:
Although cooking at high temperatures is the specialty of the pressure cooker and air fryer. But still, the contrast lies in the cooking method. An air fryer cooks food with the help of circulating hot air. Whereas, pressure cooker depends upon steam pressure for cooking.
Besides, monitoring food in an air fryer is very handy. You can open the basket anytime in between the cooking cycle. The good part is that the cooking cycle resumes once you close the basket. However, the pressure cooker behaves opposite in the same scenario. The steam pressure doesn’t allow you to open the lid in between the cooking cycle. So, checking food or adding any ingredient is impossible unless you turn off the power supply and wait for a few minutes.
II. Food type:
The food compatibility of both units is entirely different. An air fryer is an ideal device to cook fat-free fries, wings, nuggets, etc. On the other hand, a pressure cooker can spoil such foods because it’s a pro at handling ingredients that need water for cooking. Hence an air fryer and pressure cooker is an expert in preparing crispier and juicier foods, respectively. Let’s have a quick look at the food types suitable to each appliance:
- Fried chicken
- Egg rolls
- Baked potatoes
- Potato chips
- Fried fish
- Potato chips
III. Safer choice:
Improper handling of pressure cookers may end in a horrible disaster. If you close the lid carelessly and don’t seal it properly, the steam pressure may blow it away.
An air fryer doesn’t cause such consequences if mishandled. However, there are some models whose housing gets hot while being in operation. So, handle them cautiously.
Hence, both kinds portray different safety risks.
Normally, air fryers available in the market offer 3-5 qt space. This capacity is good to serve a family of 3-5 members. Some bigger models are also there. But 3-5 qt is the most common possibility.
The most common size of pressure cookers available in the market is 6-8 qt. This capacity can perfectly serve huge families in a single go.
V. Cleaning requirement:
An air fryer wins the heart of the consumer industry in this aspect. The reason behind this is the compactness of the device. A gentle wipe of a damp cloth is enough at the end of the day. On the contrary, a pressure cooker requires thorough washing.
VI. Healthier option:
Both the devices are healthier to use in their own way. An air fryer requires not more than a tablespoon of oil to fry different foods. The results don’t disappoint you also. Because the yield features a crispier exterior and tender interior, so, it resourcefully minimizes your calorie intake and offers perfect flavor.
A pressure cooker doesn’t let the nutrients evaporate. Rather, all the nutrients remain intact. Even cooking in a pressure cooker preserves heat-sensitive nutrients also. And the credit goes to the short cooking span.
So, you see both options lead you to a healthier eating lifestyle but in different ways.
Which is the best option to go for Air Fryer or Pressure Cooker?
An air fryer doesn’t compensate for the need for a pressure cooker and vice versa. They differ from each other in design, mechanism, goal and the list goes on. Both devices also fail to beat each other in terms of functionality. So, the debate about air fryer vs. pressure cooker is just useless. It just depends upon your lifestyle, which product suits you best.
If you want to minimize your calorie intake without compromising your appetite, an air fryer is the best option. Whereas, love to eat nutrient-rich food inclines you towards a pressure cooker. Besides, grasping the concept of all the above contexts will lead you to the right decision. You may end up buying both the devices if you are obsessed with fried foods, but your husband is not. So, again it’s all up to your preferences.