If you've ever so much as mentioned pressure cooking, then chances are that you've been dragged into the timeless Instant Pot vs. Ninja Foodi debate. These two multicookers are some of the most popular out there, and both have one key mission: to make life in the kitchen easier by consolidating multiple devices.
What's so unique about the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer and the Ninja Foodi Pro Pressure Cooker + Air Fryer is that they're also air fryers. These 11-in-1 kitchen gadgets are excellent at what they do (steam, fry, slow cook, solve all cooking woes). Each cooker comes with two separate lids, runs on the heavier side, and costs more than $100, but there's much more to them than that.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp vs. Ninja Foodi: What's the difference?
On paper, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer and the Ninja Foodi Pro Pressure Cooker + Air Fryer are strikingly similar. They have almost identical cooking functions, and both have the bonus of an air fryer. One cooker uses EvenCrisp technology (Instant Pot), the other uses TenderCrisp technology (Ninja Foodi). Each comes with two accessories: an air fryer basket and broiling tray with the Instant Pot, a Cook & Crisp plate, and a broil rack with the Ninja. Let's break them down.
|Category||Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer||Ninja Foodi Pro Pressure Cooker + Air Fryer|
|Inner Pot Dishwasher Safe||Yes||Yes|
|Size||6-quart, 8 quart||6.5-quart|
|Dimensions (inches)||With air fryer lid: 13.58 L × 13.58 W × 13.97 H
With pressure cooker lid: 13.58 × 13.58 × 12.99
|13.35 x 13.19 x 13.15|
Both the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and the Ninja Foodi Pro are bulkier and heavier than other pressure cookers, which could quickly become a hassle if you have limited space in the kitchen. They also come with two lids. Although the Instant Pot is slightly lighter than the Ninja Foodi, the Foodi makes up for this by offering 0.5 more quarts in size. I personally store my multicooker on a high shelf in my kitchen, and I would have a tough time grabbing a 20-pound device every evening, let alone finding space for two lids.
What does make a difference between these two cookers isn't the 0.5 difference in quart size, but the price. The Instant Pot retails for $130, while the Ninja Foodi comes out to be $200. What does the Ninja Foodi offer that the Instant Pot can't? Well, if we're honest, both multicookers do a lot of the same thing.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp vs. Ninja Foodi: The Instant Pot Duo Crisp
Source: Instant Pot
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer offers almost everything a classic Instant Pot does but with a cherry on top — the air fryer. It came out in late 2019, and unlike previous models, it comes with two lids: one for pressure cooking and one for air frying. Together, these two lids offer 11-in-1 functions. The pressure cooker lid can pressure cook, sauté, steam, slow cook, sous vide, and warm. The air fryer lid can air fry, roast, bake, broil and dehydrate.
Fortunately, the Duo Crisp comes in a convenient 6-quart size, making it suitable for feeding three to six people. The 6-quart Instant Pot is perfect for most families and works well with a lot of Instant Pot's recipes. Though the air fryer basket is naturally smaller than the 6-quart capacity, cooking can be done in batches.
It's also practically a community, with 1,000+ official recipes on Instant Pot's website alone, but that's not even the best part about it. Instant Pots are notorious for being easy-to-use, which explains how the brand has amassed such a following of fans.
When put up against the Ninja Foodi, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer comes at a more affordable price and appears slightly less colossal. Though it's 0.5-quarts smaller, it makes up for it by being minimally lighter and taking up less space. However, one notable disadvantage of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp over its Instant Pot brothers and sisters is that it lacks certain presets, including rice, yogurt, and stew. Instead, this Instant Pot model has buttons for air fry, broil, roast, and dehydrate.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp vs. Ninja Foodi: The Ninja Foodi Pro
The 11-in-1 Ninja Foodi Pro Pressure Cooker + Air Fryer can pressure cook, steam, slow cook, make yogurt, sous vide, air fry crisp, bake/roast, sear/sauté, broil, dehydrate, and keep foods warm. What's exciting about the Ninja Foodi is that it was one of the first multicookers to develop an air fryer function, combining pressure cookers and air fryers into one hybrid model. This distinguished the brand from Instant Pot, which historically has an extensive line of pressure cookers.
Ninja Foodi has really mastered the hybrid pressure cooker and air fryer model. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it air fries better. I would purchase the Ninja Foodi over the Instant Pot if my primary purpose was to use those air fryer settings.
Moreover, the Ninja Foodi comes in a popular 6.5-quart size, making it ideal for most families of three to six people. However, the "cook and crisp" basket only has a 4.6-quart capacity. This means that if you want to use both the pressure cooker and air fryer, you can't make anything larger than a 5-pound chicken or 3 pounds of fries. If you think you'll need more room for something bigger, this size might be limiting.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp vs. Ninja Foodi: Which should you buy?
Source: Instant Pot
When it ultimately comes down to which one you should buy, first identify the size that's best suited for your kitchen and your cooking needs, how much you want to spend, and how often you think you'll use the air fryer.
If the choice were mine, I would get an Instant Pot. Something is reassuring about the fact that it's been around for a while, and most people swear by its magic. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer is a good pick for someone who wants to take advantage of both pressure cooking and air frying. It'll be useful if you want to, say, pressure cook a duck along with some fries and then crisp everything. If this doesn't sound like something you'll want to use your Instant Pot for, I would recommend getting a cheaper, simpler Instant Pot model.
Moreover, one of the Ninja Foodi's biggest disadvantages is that it looks and feels hefty and doesn't have a detachable air fryer lid. It requires slightly more counter space than the Instant Pot, and we all know how precious counter space is. Plus, the Ninja Foodi is more expensive and a bit more confusing. If you're new to multicookers, it would be wiser to invest in something that's guaranteed to be foolproof and affordable.
The kitchen staple
An affordable, trustworthy favorite
If you love easy-to-use Instant Pots and want one with an air fryer, this is your only choice. But don't worry, it's a good one. The slightly heavy Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 6-quart comes with two detachable lids and two accessories. Though it lacks some classic presets, it makes up for that with the air fryer's ones.
The shiny newcomer
A modern cooker with a higher price tag
Though the Ninja Foodi hasn't been in the pressure cooking game for as long as Instant Pot, it has the same 11-in-1 cooking functions and a powerful air fryer. It's a bit bulky and has a frustrating lid that won't detach, but if you want to give a newcomer a shot, then the Ninja Foodi is a must.
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