Which Stranded Island Kitchen Appliance?

BlakKat

Cathlete
If you were stranded on an Island (that had electric of course), which one would you pick? I went a little crazy during the Black Friday sales & couldn't make up my mind. I will be returning 1 because I really don't like my counter top cluttered & have small cabinets. I needed a new blender & got tired of constantly replacing my NutriBullet so I splurged on a Vitamix (not the super crazy expensive one but a little crazy one), an Instant Pot Duo Nova & am considering an Air Fryer. I am definitely keeping the blender but not sure how much use I will get out of the Instant Pot or the Air Fryer. If anyone loves these, please tell all...how often you use it, ease, any good recipes?
 
Yes, definitely keep that Vitamix. Never have I ever regretted buying mine. It's an investment that delivers.

Soon to be mom of 4 kids here, and I do have both an Instant Pot and an Air Fryer.

As between the Instant Pot and Air Fryer, I'd say it depends on what you eat, how many people you feed, etc. Do you cook larger (1lb plus) pieces of meat or poultry often? Do you find yourself with dinner being an hour away and "oh dang I forgot to put the pot roast in the oven?" Or do you want to cook dried beans quickly? Then you want an IP. If you hate making rice on the stove or boiling eggs on the stove, then you want an IP. (Some say that IP boiled eggs are easier to peel than traditional stovetop boiled eggs but I'm not sure I agree.) If you want to slow cook but don't want to buy a Crock Pot or don't want to use a Dutch Oven, then you want an IP. You can also steam in an IP.

So yes, the IP does a TON and some people find it convenient. However, I actually would get an Air Fryer if I had to choose between an IP and Air Fryer. Why? Because, with the exception of fast pressure cooking, I already have the pots/pans/Crock Pot that can perform the additional functions of an IP beyond pressure cooking. For me, it's been a redundant appliance. Plus I'm a meal planner so I never end up in a "oh dang, I forgot to start the roast" and need the pressure cooker situation.

The Air Fryer prepares food in a way that I've not been able to replicate with any other appliance. The oven, even a convection oven, has yet to give me the same results. Like Trader Joe's frozen cauliflower gnocchi, amazing in the Air Fryer! Basically all vegetables are roasted ("fried") to perfection in the Air Fryer. Hamburgers, salmon, chicken nuggets or pizza (mom of young kids, here!). Amazing in the Air Fryer. The list goes on, but again for me it comes down to not being able to achieve that taste or texture with any other kitchen instrument.

But regardless you're in a win-win situation here, so enjoy whatever you decide!
 

BlakKat

Cathlete
Thank you @lisa_la_machina! That is very helpful & kind of what I was thinking. I don't cook every night & when I do it's usually only for 2 or 3 of us, so not very big amounts of food. My daughter does not like the texture of soft meat (pulled, shredded, braised, etc.) & I'm fine w/boiling my eggs on stove top. Husband & I eat healthy but daughter is extremely picky. I also try to plan ahead so don't have the need to rush something. I know there are die-hard instant pot lovers out there that use it for everything but I don't see myself using it often enough to warrant a space on my limited counter space. Plus I wasn't aware that even though it cooks food quicker, it's not "instant" because it takes 20 minutes for the pressure to build first & then the release of steam afterwards added on to the cooking time. I have 2 crockpots & use them maybe twice a year.

My husband wants an air fryer & it sounds like that would be more useful to us since we all like things crispier rather than soft (veggies, sweet potato fries & TJ's gnocchi!). I am very happy I got the Vitamix; I make smoothies every day so I'm looking forward to not chewing any bits that my baby blender doesn't get.
 
@BlakKat, definitely sounds like the Air Fryer will be great for your family! Also, l gagged at "chewing bits" in your smoothies, lol. Who wants that, ugh! Hooray for the Vitamix! Happy holidays
 

Hazlady

Cathlete
Definitely the Ninja Foodi. It is quite expensive, especially here in New Zealand as we are a small market and they are only being stocked by a few retailers, but it is the best kitchen appliance I have bought in a long time. I think it's $150 USD on Amazon for the 6.5qt version, there is also an 8qt version. I use it for nearly all my evening meals now. It is a multi-cooker (pressure cooker, slow cooker, steam, saute) and air fryer in one. There is also another version, the Air Grill, which is an indoor grill and air fryer in one. There are numerous youtube videos reviewing the Ninja Foodi.
 

Debinmi

Cathlete
I'd have a hard time deciding ... we have all three. The IP isn't stored in the kitchen but rather in the storage room in the basement ... we use it for yogurt (1-2x/month), bone broth, soups, stews, pulled chicken or pork, cheesecakes, eggs, etc - but it's not a daily use appliance -maybe 3-4x/month. The Vitamix & air fryer stay on the counter as they're smaller, but we don't use either on a daily basis, but appreciate them for what they do- they are both used a few times a week..
 

rcsaros

Cathlete
so glad to hear I am not the only on that isn't a fan of the IP. Hubby bought one on advise from a friend who loves it and cooks with it 3-4 times a week. I am a planner for food so like Lisa above, I don't have last minute meat to cook or anything and from what I made in it, I can bake in oven faster (30 minutes) where as with the IP it cooks in 30 minutes but then you have to wait til natural release instead of fast release because it will make some meats dry out. So that is an additional 10-20 minutes. Sorry don't have time for all that. I always feel like I am the only person that isn't fond of the IP. It was a waste of money for us.

I have seen the Ninja Foodi 5in1 grill/air fryer that I would like. We love to grill and will year round but some days it is just way too cold outside to do so and air fryer sounds like something we would use a lot of since we like roasted veggies.
 

Abveyera

Cathlete
Welp, you asked for an opinion, not agreement — LOL! — so I’m weighing in with Instant Pot. Simply because it does so many things really well. I have four kids and a carnivore husband. Food needs to be fast.
I can brown meat in it, make rice, make yogurt, do a corned beef in an hour, slow cook, bake, braise, steam and keep everything warm for hours without worry. Truly a desert island appliance. I use the heck out of my Instant Pot.
 

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