Tefal vs Instant Pot: How to choose the best kitchen cooker for your needs

It’s never been easier to cook quality meals quickly thanks to Tefal and Instant Pot, but which brand is best?

Tefal vs Instant Pot
(Image credit: Amazon)

Lots of people think the best air fryer is going to be the answer when it comes to improving meal making tasks. However, there are plenty of other options to consider if you need to make meals with the minimum of fuss and bother. I think Tefal and Instant Pot are two kitchen appliance brands that have got the formula just right, and both have come up with innovative ways to boost your productivity in the kitchen.

Tefal has products like the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 and the Tefal EasyFry Grill and Steam healthy fryer. Meanwhile, the options with the Instant Pot brand are similarly impressive, with the likes of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer, the Instant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Duo Plus. While Tefal is a brand that’s fairly common to the UK and Europe, it’s Instant Pot that has been a roaring success in the US.

So, which is the best appliance if you’re in the market for one of these machines, perhaps for the first time or maybe because of deciding to upgrade over an older or obsolete kitchen gadget?

Tefal vs Instant Pot: What are you cooking?

Buying any kind of kitchen appliance initially revolves around what you plan to cook using it. An air fryer can be a sound investment, especially if you like chips with everything, but some models can be limited in their additional features. That’s why something like the Tefal Actifry Genius or the Tefal EasyFry Grill and Steam machines are so good, because they can do more than just air fry. That means your mealtime options will be more varied. 

Equally though, one of the Instant Pot model range will allow you to cook numerous things and all within the space of one appliance. What’s great about the multi-cooker idea pioneered by the Instant Pot brand is that it allows you to pressure cook and steam food, which is a great way to tenderise meat and fish, while also proving perfect for getting the best from vegetables too. Some Instant Pot models let you do a little bit of everything, which does make this brand a strong contender.

Tefal ActiFry Genius+ air fryer on wooden kitchen top surrounded by food

(Image credit: Tefal)

Tefal vs Instant Pot: Air fryer or multi cooker?

Both Tefal and Instant Pot have models to suit all tastes and requirements, so the Tefal models mentioned above will make perfect choices if you’re looking for a compromise. Of course, if you only want to cook things like chips, spring rolls or chicken wings, as three random examples, then a generic air fryer model from either brand will fit the bill. However, if you want a more nuanced cooking experience, you’ll want to invest in something that can air fry and multi-cook. Instant Pot and its Duo Crisp + Air Fryer model has the upper hand here as this is perhaps the most versatile model from its range.

Tefal vs Instant Pot: Price & running costs

Whichever appliance you’re considering, it’s widely regarded that an air fryer or multi-cooker can help shave money off your energy costs. The great thing about Tefal or Instant Pot products, especially those that can do multiple cooking tasks, is that they help you use your oven a lot less. You get heat a lot quicker from something like an air fryer or multi-cooker and, due to the small space used to cook things, there’s generally much less energy going to waste. In that respect, both Tefal and Instant Pot come out neck and neck.

This is simply because appliances from either brand have modern design on their side, as opposed to ovens, which have remained relatively unchanged for years. That’s why either brand works as a great option for anyone living on their own, who only needs to prepare smaller portions at mealtimes. Conversely, buy yourself a sizeable air fryer or multi-cooker and you could be quid’s in when it comes to bulk cooking meals. An Instant Pot, for example, is brilliant for producing larger portions of slow-cook dishes such as casseroles and curries. Perfect for families with lots of mouths to feed and the capacity for freezing leftovers.

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer

(Image credit: Instant Brands)

Tefal vs Instant Pot: Features & functions

When it comes to features and functions, both Tefal and Instant Pot brands have everything you need to get the job done. It depends on the appliance you’re interested in and models at the lower end of the pricing spectrum will obviously have a leaner array of cooking options compared to premium models. However, look at either Tefal or Instant Pot machines with multi-function capabilities if you’re looking to do much more than just basic tasks. Models from both brands frequently come with easily adjusted manual controls, but the big bonus is these machines often have pre-set and programmable functions too.

For example, if you want to slow cook a meat joint, something from the Instant Pot range will allow you to set up the appliance and leave it to its own devices. When you return, your meat dish should be beautifully tenderised. On the other hand, if you’re after a quickfire meal, when time is short, then a Tefal air fryer can whip up some chips and fry, say, a fillet of salmon in mere minutes. It really all depends on what sort of timescale you’re thinking about and, in that respect, check your preferred model will meet your needs.

Want more options? Check out our comparison guide to Tower vs Ninja.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital, he has run the Innovation channel for a few years at Microsoft, as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of Stuff, TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working, he's usually out and about on one of the numerous e-bikes in his collection.