Transform Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer With This Space-Saving Lid We Tried and Loved
For those who want to try air frying their favorite foods but have run out of room to store yet another kitchen appliance, Instant Pot's Air Fryer Lid is the perfect solution.
I’ve been wanting an air fryer for a few years. What held me back was a serious lack of storage in my kitchen. Between the food processer, stand mixer, dehydrator, bread machine, crockpot, Instant Pot and toaster oven, my countertops and pantry are far too overcrowded. So, when I discovered that I can convert my Instant Pot into an air fryer with just a new lid attachment, I thought that’s absolutely brilliant. I got a whole new way of cooking without taking up a lot of pantry space.
What's Included + How It Works
The Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid comes with a stainless-steel basket that fits inside the Instant Pot’s inner pot, a base for the basket, a tray that fits inside of the basket that is used for broiling and dehydrating, and a protective pad/storage cover. The lid fits most six-quart Instant Pot models. The first thing I noticed when I took the Air Fryer Lid out of the box was the power cord. It has a shield around it that prevents you from plugging in the Air Fryer Lid and Instant Pot at the same time; you don’t use both power cords at once. So, when you’re using the Air Fryer Lid, the Instant Pot base is just a vessel and not an appliance; the lid does all the work.
Why It's Worth the Money: Veggie Fries
The Air Fryer Lid saves so much time compared to cooking in the oven. I use it a lot for roasting vegetables like broccoli, green beans and Brussels sprouts. I prefer them crispy and crunchy. In the oven, that can take close to an hour. In the air fryer, it takes less than 15 minutes. If you have trouble getting your kids to eat veggies, try cooking them in the air fryer. The vegetable’s crispiness is more like a French fry, so they may find the crunch more appealing. To prep, toss the veggies (I used fresh, but frozen works, too) with EVOO, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder and cook for 12 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Unlike the standard lid on the Instant Pot, the Air Fryer Lid is not a super tight seal. The first time I used it I expected a perfectly tight seal that is necessary with regular Instant Pot pressure cooking, but not so with the air fryer. It's just a light click to get it in place, and when you do, it plays a little jingle and the controls light up. The controls on the Air Fryer Lid are super simple to use, so if you’ve got teens and tweens using this to heat up tater tots or other snacks, they should have no problem operating it. However, because the Air Fryer basket and the underside of the lid do become very hot, I’d keep the Air Fryer Lid out of reach from younger kids. The protective pad that comes with the unit should be placed nearby when using the air fryer, so when you lift off the lid, you’ll be prepared to set it down.
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In a Nutshell: The Pros
Easy to use. It's super simple to operate, and the interface is straightforward.
It saves space. If you’re like me and have several small appliances but not a huge kitchen, the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid makes sense. My Instant Pot sits on my countertop, so I leave the Air Fryer Lid on it and keep the Instant Pot’s standard lid in my pantry where it hardly takes up any space. The air fryer’s basket and tray fit inside the Instant Pot and the protective pad fits underneath it, so no extra storage space is needed for those pieces.
It’s easy to clean. In my experience, food didn't stick to the basket, so it's easy to wash. Crumbs will often fall down into the inner pot, but that’s also easy to empty and wash out.
It doesn’t fry a lot at once. It’s not a huge surface area if you’re frying something that can’t be layered. I've tried handmaking breaded items like fried pickles and Buffalo cauliflower, and those had to be done in small batches. There's an insert tray that's used for dehydrating and broiling, but I wish it were a second layer for air frying.
It gets hot. The outside of the Instant Pot does not get hot, but the inside of the unit does, so you'll want to keep out of reach of children. But if you're used to cooking with the Instant Pot, you're familiar with how to deal with the hot steam, and, like with any other cooking gadgets, will want to practice safety precautions.
I wish more appliances could morph into other appliances and expand their capabilities; my kitchen needs more transformers.
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