Pressure Cooker vs Air Fryer – What Do You Choose?

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  June 23, 2021

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Kitchen appliances are becoming more advanced. People are always looking for appliances that have a variety of functions. The same can be said for cookware. So, today we will break down the pressure cooker vs air fryer debate and study their versatility.

Pressure cookers have been in the market for a long time now. On the other hand, air fryers have recently created a lot of hype. Both are similar yet different ways of cooking. So you will have questions like – will an air fryer be healthier? Can it replace a pressure cooker?

If you have such questions, keep reading to see what it means to buy an air fryer or pressure cooker.


Pressure Cooker vs Air Fryer

We have created this guide to end the pressure cooker vs air fryer debate once and for all. Let’s take a look at how your cooking may or may not benefit from them.

Pros and Cons Of A Pressure Cooker



Pros and Cons Of An Air Fryer



The Key Differences Between A Pressure Cooker and An AirFryer

By now, you have a basic idea of how each can benefit you. To better understand the pressure cooker vs air fryer debate, we also need to distinguish the key differences.

Cooking Method

Both appliances cook your food at a high temperature. The way they reach this high temperature is what makes them different.

Only foods that have a foundation of liquid can be cooked in a pressure cooker. Other than oil, the liquid can be water or broth. Once the cooker is on the gas, the liquid starts boiling.

The steam from the boil stays sealed in this container to build up pressure. The pressure is released, and this high pressure is what cooks the food.

An air fryer comes with an internal fanning technology. The internal fan gives out rapid and dry air. When the food is exposed to the heat from this air, it starts cooking. You only require a tablespoon of oil to bring the flavor out.


There is a wide variety of sizes available for the pressure cooker and air fryer.

Favorite Asian Recipes x
Favorite Asian Recipes

Starting from 1 quart, pressure cookers can go as high as 35-40 quarts. That means a holding capacity of 22 liters.

An air fryer’s capacity can range anywhere from 1-16 quarts—the standard size measures at 3-5 quarts can hold 2-4 liters. Larger air fryers can big enough to fry an entire chicken. But it does not come close to the larger than life capacity of a pressure cooker.


The capacity and method explain a lot about the kind of food they cook.

Pressure cookers rely on steam. They require at least one or two cups of water to cook. So anything with water like rice, stews, and beans can be cooked in a pressure cooker.

As the name suggests, an air fryer is for cooking fried foods. It uses dry heat and oil to make the food crispier. This includes french fries, chicken nuggets, drumsticks, and so on.

Final Verdict

The final verdict of the pressure cooker vs air fryer debate is that neither can replace the other. Both come with their own sets of advantages. So choosing one will depend on what your needs are.

If you are looking for a healthier alternative for frying foods, an air fryer is a way to go. Whereas, if you want nutritional home-cooked meals, then a pressure cooker is the better option.

Both appliances provide effective ways of cooking your meals. You can combine both instead of choosing one. This way, your meals will taste all the more delicious.

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.