Here’s my Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid review. I have heard the buzz about air fryers for a long time. People tout their amazingness and how they use it more than the Instant Pot. I didn’t think this was possible since I use my Instant Pot almost on a daily basis. I wanted to make more comfort food during this pandemic and try out new recipes.
However, I had a lot of worries before getting an air fryer. I didn’t want another big appliance. Where would I put it, our little appliance storage cupboard is already full with a waffle maker, a toaster, another instant pot (yes, we have two). I also worried about whether we would be eating more fried foods if we were to get an Air Fryer. Is using an air fryer even healthy?
I was thinking about getting the Mealthy CrispLid (it’s works with the Instant Pot too, but it has a clear top so you can see inside and it is half the price) but didn’t like the idea of another product mixing with the Instant Pot. What if it explodes? Or invalidates the Instant Pot warranty? Anyway, as I continued to ruminate for months…
Barry Choi got an Instant Pot air fryer lid and shared some pictures on Twitter, so I thought I would take the plunge too.
Instant pot air fryer lid attachment pic.twitter.com/r4qWvYBVZa
— Barry Choi (@barrychoi) April 19, 2020
But I still did some research to see if the basket would be big enough for our family of four. I wasn’t able to find much about the Instant Pot Air Fryer lid (it is relatively new, it came out late 2019) so I thought I would write my own review to share my thoughts.
Table of Contents
What Actually Is an Air Fryer?
Contrary to popular belief, an Air Fryer is not like a deep fryer. It’s actually like a mini-convection oven that can sit on your countertop. There’s a fan that whirls around the heated air and it circulates around your food, and it makes your food crisp and brown without using as much oil as the conventional frying method.
Because it’s such a small surface area to be heated up, it is efficient at cooking your foods and reduces your cooking time.
A friend of mine was gushing about her counter top convection oven a few years ago and I didn’t understand why she was so excited about it even though she had a gourmet high end oven in the kitchen. Now I know why, haha.
How Does the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid Work?
The Instant Pot Air Fryer lid doesn’t work with all Instant Pots, so double check that it will work with yours. Mine is just the run of the mill 6 quart Instant Pot so it works fine with it.
The Air Fryer Lid just sits on top of your 6 quart instant pot. It doesn’t even ‘lock’ in like the regular instant pot lid. It just sits there and you know if it’s on properly when you hear the familiar Instant Pot chime.
You’re not supposed to plug in the Instant Pot AT ALL (otherwise, it will probably really explode, haha jk). The Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid even has a special electric plug that discourages anything else being plugged into the same electrical outlet.
You put the little non-stick basket in your regular Instant Pot inner pot, and then you put the lid on. After you put the lid on, you click the function, and then put in the degrees you want and the number of minutes you want, you just press on and then it starts.
Some of the functions on the Instant Pot Air Fryer lid are:
- Air Fryer
It heats up by itself (and seems to heat up really fast, you don’t need to pre-heat the Instant Pot air fryer). Halfway when you’re cooking, it beeps at you to tell you to turn the food (you don’t have to, it’s just a reminder) and then you put the lid back on.
When you take the lid off, you have to rest it on the resting pad (otherwise it will probably ruin your counter top and also ruin your Instant Pot air fryer lid). When you take the lid off, it turns off by itself. Then you put it back on and it turns back on to finish cooking.
It turns off by itself when the preset timer function is done and cools down.
What to Make with the Air Fryer
There are so many things that you can make with the Air Fryer. I’ve just looked for Air Fryer recipes and so far, even though ‘all air fryers are different’ the recipes have worked well.
- Air fryer bacon (unfortunately the bacon doesn’t come out straight, but it is perfectly crispy)
- Air fryer pita chips (no burning! Perfect pita chips)
- Air fryer asparagus (this is by far the best asparagus I have ever made- it was perfect)
- Air fryer roasted nugget potatoes (came out perfect)
- Air fryer garlic shrimp
- Air fryer BBQ pork (Made this but I personally think it tastes better roasted in the oven for an hour)
- Reheated pizza (this was perfect, better than fresh)
- Air fryer apple chips (this didn’t turn out that good- they were soggy, I need to try the dehydrate function instead)
- Air fryer fish and chips (this tasted good but it sort of disintegrated and didn’t look very pretty)
- Air fryer tater tots (perfectly crispy and ready in 15 minutes)
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How Much is the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid?
On Amazon.ca it is over one hundred dollars with taxes with free shipping. You can also buy it at London Drugs (online) but it’s not available yet but it is $20 cheaper. I also saw it at Crate and Barrel for $20 cheaper than Amazon with approximately $19.95 shipping and handling.
So it works out to be roughly the same.
So it’s certainly not cheaper than the Instant Pot, but it’s comparable to the other Air Fryers available out there.
It comes with a 1 year warranty, but you have to register online with the serial number on your lid.
Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid Pros
The basket is actually not THAT small. I thought it would be really small and I would be needing to make multiple batches of everything that I cook. It’s actually not that small and I could fit two pitas full of pita chips in there and cooking still came out even. I reheated two slices of pizza too and it reheated perfectly- like it tasted similar to pulling pizza right out of the box (maybe even a bit better, haha).
The set it and forget it charm. It’s so great to just put the food in the basket and press the buttons, and then have it turn itself off when it’s done cooking. It does ‘beep’ and remind you to turn and rotate the food in the middle of cooking, but you could ignore it if you wanted to. It’s so freeing to not have to worry about burning your food since you don’t have to use an oven. I burn my food often using an oven because I get interrupted easily with two kids under three.
Cook time is almost halved. You don’t have to wait for the oven to preheat (which can take a while), and cook time is halved. For example, roasted nugget potatoes. That would normally take 1 hour of bake time in addition to waiting for the oven to preheat (so let’s say 1 hour and 15 minutes). With the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid, it took 20 minutes….and came out perfect! It certainly makes for more spontaneous cooking and efficient cooking.
It’s great for certain recipes. I will never make asparagus any other way- it’s always going to be Air Fryer Asparagus from now on. I might just do bacon in the air fryer too, because it’s less messy than in the oven and it comes out perfect crispy.
Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid Cons
There is no Instant Pot Air Fryer recipe book or detailed instructions in the box. It directs you to go on the Instant Pot app, and I downloaded it but couldn’t find any Instant Pot Air Fryer recipes. I guess I had higher expectations because there is a huge recipe book that comes with the Instant Pot. I thought the large tray that it came with was supposed to go UNDER the actual instant pot (it is actually a resting pad for the Air Fryer lid and also acts as the Air Fryer Lid storage).
The non-stick coating basket seems delicate. I haven’t scratched it yet thankfully, but it seems a little delicate.
The basket is kind of small. It’s not that bad but I don’t think I can fit a whole chicken in there unless I cut it up. I couldn’t be bothered trying to make a rotisserie style chicken anyway since you can buy it easily enough at Costco.
The cord is short. The cord is a bit short (but it’s nice and flexible/ malleable) so I moved my Instant Pot from its usual comfy space over a bit in order to reach the electrical outlet.
It’s a bit loud. I don’t know if it sounds as loud as other air fryers (because I’ve never heard or seen other air fryers) but the whirring of the fan is pretty loud. Initially I was worried the Instant Pot lid would explode when I first turned it on, but you get used to the sound after. It’s like a whirring fan sound.
The food gets stuck. The bacon got a little stuck to the nonstick basket, and the shrimp seemed to be harder to peel than if I were to use the pan to cook the shrimp.
Is the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid Worth It?
Yes, the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid is worth it. It’s worth the price and it’s worth the little bit of extra storage room it asks for in your kitchen. I really like that it is not another HUGE appliance and is an ‘add-on’ to the 6 quart Instant Pot that we have. I feel a bit more minimalist this way.
I also like how I can just ‘dump food in and go’ and not have to worry about spilling food in the oven or dealing with cleaning the oven more often than I need to.
In one day I used it multiple times a day. It seriously sparked some major joy during this joyless pandemic that we are living in right now.
I say if you’re going to be cooking three meals a day seven days of the week (or close to it), might as well up your game with some great kitchen equipment.
Do you have an air fryer?
What is your favourite thing to make with an air fryer?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.