We Tried the Gadget That Turns Your Instant Pot into an Air Fryer — Here’s What We Thought

updated Aug 24, 2020
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Credit: Meghan Splawn

Instant Pot-lovers, rejoice! The Mealthy CrispLid is going to completely change your pressure cooking for the better. What’s the Mealthy CrispLid? It’s billed as a multi-cooker (read: Instant Pot) accessory that turns your gadget into an air fryer, blasting dry heat around food to cook it faster and make it crisp. (Because, for as many things as the Instant Pot can do, if you want to air fry, you have to buy a different machine.)

Although it’s marketed as a type of air fryer — ideal for those who are curious but don’t have the space for an extra appliance — the CrispLid isn’t quite as powerful for, say, air frying a whole chicken, but it does surprisingly well at making pressure-cooked foods even better. Here’s how the Mealthy CrispLid is about to change your Instant Pot Cooking for the better.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

What Is a Mealthy CrispLid?

If this is as new to you as it was to me, Mealthy is a cookware brand that specializes in technology-enhanced products like multi-cookers and nonstick pans (which come with access to their Mealthy App and a 15-year warranty). They also make a handful of multi-cooker accessories that work on both their own multi-cooker and Instant Pot’s multi-cooker. The CrispLid is Mealthy’s version of an air fryer — and it just uses a multi-cooker as base. This saves space for anyone who already has an Instant Pot and is curious about air frying but doesn’t want another small appliance in their kitchen. Just put the CrispLid on your Instant Pot and you can air fry everything from pork chops to potatoes. It comes with a rack and basket that sit down inside the multi-cooker, the CrispLid itself, tongs, and a silicone mat for setting the hot lid on when it’s time to eat.

Buy: Mealthy CrispLid, $105

Credit: Meghan Splawn

How Does the CrispLid Compare to an Air Fryer?

I’ve tested a handful of air fryers in the last two years, and the CrispLid doesn’t perform quite as well as a small, mid-priced air fryer. I say this because it has a hard time blowing air around the food the same way most air fryers do. For example, fries cooked with the CrispLid on my Instant Pot took about twice as long as they do in a three-quart air fryer. They were still crispy and delicious — I just had to wait longer.

That said, I still really loved this gadget. If you think of the the CrispLid as more of a broiler accessory for your multi-cooker, it can really change your pressure cooker meals for the better. My family is obsessed with baked potatoes steamed in the pressure cooker and then split and crisped with the CrispLid. A whole chicken from the Instant Pot can now be browned after cooking without wrestling it out of the pot and into an oven. I haven’t tried our Instant Pot Crème Brûlée with burnishing from the CrispLid yet, but it’s next on my list.

My Final Thoughts on the CrispLid

If you are a feeding a crowd and need to crisp up two pounds of fries at a time, I say pass. (As I said, it takes longer to cook in the CrispLid and, for ultimate crispiness, you really do need to cook food in single-layer batches, so it can’t make too much at once.) But if you are making fries/wings/etc. for one or two people and don’t have lots of space to store a bunch of toaster oven-sized appliances, then definitely try this. Also try this if you are looking for more fun things to do with your Instant Pot — I’ve found that using it as a broiler is a really nice function that enhances a dish or subtracts an otherwise annoying extra step.

Have you tried the Mealthy CrispLid yet? What’d you think?