People nowadays are looking for healthier cooking methods. Traditional frying is no longer recommended because it adds considerable calories and cholesterol to the food. Two popular alternatives now are pressure cooker and airfryer – both are said to be safe and healthy cooking methods. So, what are the differences between pressure cooker vs airfryer, and which one is better?
Continue reading below to understand better about:
– What are pressure cookers and airfryers,
– How pressure cookers and airfryers work,
– The advantages and disadvantages of pressure cooker vs airfryer,
– Which one is the best cooking method for you.
About Pressure Cooker
A pressure cooker usually comes as a wide pot. Wikipedia explains that a pressure cooker works by increasing the internal pressure of the pot in order to speed up the cooking process. This is performed by using some water or broth, which is put in the air-tight pot. During the cooking, the liquid also heats up, boils, and converts into steam. Since the steam has more volume than the original liquid but can’t escape, the pressure inside the pot increases.
The pressure which is trapped inside the pot is able to reduce the cooking time. As the pressure builds up, the heated steam is forced deeper into the food. As the effect, the food gets cooked faster.
After the cooking process is finished, you should release the pressure first before opening the pot. Usually, there is a special valve to open the output hole, through which will release the pressure and heated steam safely. Opening the pot right away without releasing the pressure is dangerous, as the huge pressure may blow up the lid.
Most pressure cookers are able to cook about three times faster than traditional/conventional cooking methods. This is definitely a big advantage, especially for a busy person. In addition, it is suitable for nearly all kinds of foods.
Pressure Cooker: Pros
The first obvious advantage of a pressure cooker is that it can maintain significantly more nutrients than conventional cooking methods. Since the food is cooked by pressure and heated steam, the nutrients do not get dissolved or carried away from the food. This is different from boiling or frying, in which the nutrients may get dissolved by the water or oil. In addition, a pressure cooker is generally much faster; it only requires one-third of normal cooking time.
Compared to boiling, a pressure cooker requires a much smaller amount of water. It can cook many different types of foods, and it can cook multiple foods simultaneously. Some pots come with containers that allow you to cook different foods at once. Hence, a pressure cooker can save you a lot of time and energy.
Pressure Cooker: Cons
However, pressure cookers also have some potential disadvantages. First of all, a pressure cooker is often more expensive than the average cookware. So, if you want to get a pressure cooker, you need to prepare a serious amount of budget.
Using a pressure cooker also requires you to be very careful. Using a damaged pressure cooker is extremely dangerous. The high pressure during the cooking process may cause the pot to blow up. It is important to check the parts such as the sealing gasket to avoid any malfunction. Nevertheless, as long as you are using the pressure cooker according to the directions, you don’t need to worry too much.
Finally, with a pressure cooker, it is all about the timing. You cannot inspect the food during the cooking process. If you open the pot before the cooking is finished, you’ll have to restart over. So, you need to have a good idea about how long to cook the food using a pressure cooker. Fortunately, there are many recipes that tell you precisely how long to cook the foods.
Pressure cooker vs airfryer may sound similar at first, but they aren’t. An airfryer works by circulating the hot air inside the container around the food at high speeds. However, it does not use pressure. It has an exhaust vent to release the air during the cooking process to avoid building too much pressure.
An airfryer usually features a basket or cooking chamber where you put the food. At the top of the basket, there is a heating element which functions to heat up the temperature levels inside the container. Directly above the heating element is a fan, which functions to create air circulation. The fan moves the hot air through the basket and food.
The hot air moves all around the food to mimic the process of deep frying. In deep frying, the food is surrounded by heat (hot oil) at all times. An airfryer simply replaces the oil with air. Most airfryers allow you to adjust the cooking time and temperature.
Well, airfryers still require some oil, but the amount is much smaller. In general, an airfryer uses 80% less oil than traditional frying. Some recipes may even use as little as one tablespoon oil. Airfryers also cook much faster than traditional frying.
The obvious advantage of an airfryer compared to traditional frying is that it is relatively healthier. It uses a much lower amount of oil. It is also more efficient in terms of energy consumption, as it cooks faster.
An airfryer may be an excellent choice if you want to enjoy fried foods without the excessive calories and cholesterol. It can mimic the texture and flavor of fried foods, although the flavor is not exactly identical.
An airfryer is relatively safer than a pressure cooker. This is because it does not use high pressure. Still, the exterior surfaces may become extremely hot, so avoid touching the device during the cooking process.
Most airfryers are small, so they are only suitable for cooking for a few people. You will need to cook multiple times if you want to cook for a large number of people. This is not practical.
In addition, airfryers are not suitable for some types of foods. In general, an airfryer acts as a healthier substitute of frying, so it is suitable only for foods that are normally fried.
Pressure Cooker vs Airfryer
|- Cooks using high pressure and some water or broth||- Cooks using hot circulating air and a small amount of oil|
|- Suitable for most kinds of foods||- Suitable for foods that are normally fried|
|- Generally larger, can cook more foods at once||- Generally smaller, can only cook for a few people at a time|
|- Should be used carefully as the high pressure may blow the pot||- The exterior surfaces may become extremely hot during the cooking process|
Now, you know the differences between pressure cooker vs airfryer. A pressure cooker cooks by using high pressure and heated steam. It is generally more recommended because it is suitable for most kinds of foods and able to cook multiple foods at once. On the other hand, an airfryer cooks by using hot air and a small amount of oil, and is suitable for frying foods in a healthy manner.