I have to be honest with you guys – my family loves fries! The kids love them, the wife loves them (although she tries to stay as far away from them as possible), and I would be lying if I didn’t say I love them as well.
But we all know how fast-food fries are not the ideal treat, especially for young kids. Not to mention that, whenever I make fries the old-fashion way or order them when we eat out, my wife gives me “the look” (you married guys know what I’m talking about).
So, being the inventive and resourceful guy that I am, I did a bit of research on how to have both the deliciousness and crispiness of the fries and keep them healthy. And I was lucky enough to find a fantastic solution right in the Instant Pot family!
The Instant Pot Air Fryer lid is a great product for fans of the brand and today I’m going to tell you all about it, so make sure to keep reading.
What is an Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid?
As the name says, this is a lid, produced by Instant Pot, that turns any compatible 6 quart pressure cooker into an air fryer. And, it’s important to highlight the word compatible here, because not all 6 quart Instant Pot pressure cookers are a good fit. The lid only works with multicookers that come with a stainless steel inner pot, so the ones that have a ceramic inner pot (such as Smart WiFi 60, Duo Evo Plus 60, Duo Evo Plus 60, Duo SV 60 or Max 60) are not a good match.
The stainless steel inner pot is the only one that can withstand the high temperatures generated by the heating element of the lid.
Now, if you’ve already read my Mealthy CrispLid review, you may think the Air Fryer lid is quite similar in features. And you wouldn’t be wrong – it is, after all, a product that works as a lid with a built-in heating element. But there are some differences as well, especially when it comes to the functionalities of the Air Fryer lid.
First, the Instant Pot product is designed with EvenCrisp technology that guarantees perfect results every single time. Also, the lid has a series of pre-set functions such as Air Fry, Broil, Bake, Roast, Reheat and Dehydrate (not available on the Mealthy product).
How To Use It?
First, it’s important to know that the lid turns your pressure cooker into an air fryer with additional functionalities. So, to use it, all you have to do is place it over a 6 quart Instant Pot cooker, with a stainless steel inner pot and set it for what you want it to do.
Making Fries with the Air Fryer Lid
For instance, to make fries, I start by putting the frying basket (which is smaller than the inner pot and has some tiny legs) in the pressure cooker. Next, I like to preheat the pot and the basket (before tossing the fries in), so I place the lid over the pot. When it makes a small ding sound, you know it’s locked in place.
Now, it’s time to get to set stuff up. Press the Air Fry button on the lid and adjust the time (for the whole frying cycle) and temperature. You’ll notice the temperature and time are already pre-set, but you can change the values by pressing the plus and minus buttons for Temp and Time.
For me, it takes about 13 to 15 minutes at 360F to make a batch of golden, crispy fries that melt in your mouth. When you’re happy with the settings, press the Start button. You’ll notice the display only says On – this is the preheating section of the cycle and when it’s done, it will display the temperature and make a noise.
Once the preheating is over, I use the handle on the lid to pick it up and place it (carefully) on the provided heat-resistant pan. Next, I add the fries inside the basket (you can add spices here and maybe a drop of oil) and place the lid back on – the air frying process will resume.
One of the reasons I love this lid so much is that it notifies me when I should turn the fries (or whatever you are cooking). It does this by pausing the air frying process and displaying a “turn food” message (with the familiar beeping). So, to do this, I will take the lid off and arm myself with a pair of heat-resistant mittens to pull out the frying basket and shake the fries. This lets the air move better through the food and ensures the fries will be golden on both sides.
Finally, to complete the process, I place the lid back on and resume the frying until the cycle is finished. The lid will display the message “cool”, which means I have to wait for it to cool down a bit, and when it’s done it will say “Off”. Now, I can take the lid off, and (still using mittens) get the basket out and put the fries on a plate. Next, it’s time to enjoy some crispy goodness without feeling guilty!
Why Do We Need It?
I mostly use it to fry things. Besides fries, I also like to cook chicken (to give it that golden brown color and crispy skin), vegetables, and even baked potatoes.
Basically, you can use the functions of the pressure cooker to bring a chicken or vegetables to tender goodness and finish everything off with a bit of air frying. And you can do everything in one pot, only by switching lids!
So, if you like convenient appliances and enjoy the idea of a ready-to-use air fryer that can be easily stashed away, you need it.
Of course, there is also the alternative of the Instant Pot DUO Crisp, but if you already own a 6 quart Instant Pot, the Air Fryer lid makes a lot more sense.
IP Air Fryer Lid Pros & Cons
- You can use it on several 6 quart Instant Pot
- It has 6 different pre-set programs
- It is easy to use and clean
- You can store it away when not in use
- It’s perfect for a wide array of recipes
- It is a bit on the heavy side
- That beeping sound (when the lid is off) can be annoying
- You must handle it with extra care because of the extreme heat
- Does not fit 8-quart pressure cookers (or bigger)
- Does not fit 4-quart or pressure cookers (or smaller)
Should I Buy the IP Air Fryer Lid?
In my opinion, the Air Fryer lid is perfect for people who already own a 6 quart Instant Pot with a stainless steel inner pot. Furthermore, you can use it for other stuff such as broiling or dehydrating (among others), which is a very nice addition to any kitchen. Also, when you do fry stuff, you still eat healthier than if you would go to a restaurant or a fast-food chain.
If you want to learn more about the other options I mentioned in this article, check out my comparison between the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and the Mealthy CrispLid.