We all (with small exceptions) love fried foods - there’s no doubting that. We know it’s not exactly healthy, but the taste is so divine and crunchy that it’s difficult to stay away for long. Luckily, technology intervened and now we have air frying - a healthier and better way to enjoy fried foods.
In my opinion, air fryers and electric multicookers are the best things that could happen to modern cooking. You use one device to cook a wide array of foods for your family and the other to add a bit of crispiness and taste in your diet.
But what happens when you don’t have room for both in your kitchen? Or maybe you’re not comfortable having two devices that consume energy add to your current bill. Well, in this case, you have two options: the Instant Pot DUO Crisp or the Mealthy CrispLid.
As such, in today’s article, I’ll discuss both options with pros & cons, and draw the conclusion on who should get which device. So make sure to keep reading.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp Review
The DUO Crisp is Instant Pot’s way of making everybody happy. At the base, this is an Instant Pot (as we all know and love them), with an additional lid that can be used for air frying.
It's Instant Pot's answer to the Ninja Foodi.
So, it looks like an Instant Pot, it has the same basic features and safety mechanisms as an Instant Pot, but it’s also an air fryer. Combined, the two cooking elements feature 11 preset cooking programs such as pressure cooking, sauté, steam, slow cooking, sous vide, warming, air frying, roasting, baking, broiling and dehydrating.
However, you should keep in mind that this is an 8-quart IP DUO, which can be an inconvenience if you’re not cooking in large quantities. Also, the air frying lid is quite heavy and requires some upper body strength.
Of course, just like a regular Instant Pot, there are 10 safety mechanisms to keep watch while cooking. Even more, when the cooking is done, the pot switches automatically to the Keep Warm function, which is a very nice feature.
Lastly, since this is going to be both a multicooker and an air fryer, it comes with a few other accessories besides the stainless steel inner pot. As such, you also receive an air fryer basket, a rack, and a dehydrating and broiling tray.
- It is a multicooker and an air fryer
- It helps you save space on the countertop
- There are the standard 10 safety mechanisms
- Easy to clean and maintain
- You can cook an entire meal in the same pot
- It replaces several appliances in the kitchen
- It’s ideal for cooking large meals (it can accommodate a whole chicken)
- It is rather large (it’s an 8-quart pot)
- The air fryer lid is heavy
- The rack is a bit flimsy
- It is not cheap
Instant Pot w/ Mealthy CrispLid Review
The second option is represented by the Mealthy CrispLid device, which is an air fryer lid you can use with any of the Instant Pot products. So, if you already own an Instant Pot and you’re not too happy about getting a DUO Crisp, this is the ideal option.
Unlike the DUO Crisp, the Mealthy product doesn’t have preset smart programs. However, it allows users to set the time and temperature (as high as 500ºF), which gives you full control over the cooking process.
In addition, the heating element is fitted with a glass lid that gets placed over the rim of the pot and then locked in place. As a result, you get to see what’s happening inside the pot while the food is cooking, which is a rather unique feature. Also, it’s easier to lift the lid during cooking, give the food a stir and place the lid back on.
Also, it’s important to know that it will work on 8-quart and 6-quart Instant Pots (nothing smaller). Furthermore, you can use it on other multicookers, but only if they have a stainless steel inner pot.
Overall, the Mealthy CrispLid can be a great replacement for an air fryer, as long as you don’t fry in large quantities. With the added accessories for frying (the basket and trays), there is not much room left in the pot. That’s why larger portions need to be cooked in batches.
- It works with any 6-quart Instant Pot or bigger
- It lets you see the food while it’s being fried
- High-temperature settings (higher than with some fryers)
- The lid is lighter and easier to handle than with the DUO Crisp
- Temperature and time settings
- Extra built-in safety elements for safety while frying
- There are no preset programs
- The cord is a bit short
- It doesn’t leave much room in the pot
- It takes a bit longer to cook food than a dedicated fryer would
Which One Should I Buy?
Now that you’ve read the reviews and you know the strengths and weaknesses of each product, it’s time to decide on which is best. Of course, it all boils down to your preferences, budget, and current situations.
In my opinion, here’s who should buy what:
Choose the DUO Crisp If…
- You cook in large quantities at once or you cook for a large family
- The Instant Pot brand is one of your favorites
- You’re also interested in getting a pressure cooker and a slow cooker
- You don’t want an Instant Pot with fancier features
Choose the Mealthy CrispLid If…
- You already own a 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot
- You want to be able to see what happens in the pot while the lid is on
- The fact that there are no preset dishes is appealing to you
- You don’t fry large quantities of food at once
Overall, both options let you enjoy fried foods that are healthier and possibly crispier than what you get from the fast-food industry. Also, both allow frying foods without the mess of a large sizzling oil bath that’s unpredictable and tough to control.
So, depending on your needs (current and future), you can trust that either option will serve you well.
Let me know your thoughts in comments :]