Is it worth the price tag?

By Annie Campbell
April 17, 2020
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The brains behind the beloved Instant Pot have developed a new function for the trusted weeknight dinner master, and it might shake up the appliance game. The Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid promises to crisp food with the press of a button, essentially eliminating the need for a separate Air Fryer appliance. If it performs as well as it claims to, your dinner can cook, tenderize, and reach a lovely shade of golden brown, all without leaving the pot. We had to see how this thing worked for ourselves, so we tasked our all-star mom, Nicole McLaughlin, with testing it out.

All in all, Nicole had a rave review of the product. She believes it really does satisfy the needs of an Air Fryer without having to buy another space-wasting appliance. It doesn’t cook large batches of food which could be a red flag for those feeding large families, but for those with smaller families, this product might be a good fit.

While the lid can serve several functions (broiling, roasting, baking, reheating, and dehydrating), Nicole thinks its greatest purpose is definitely providing the ability to air fry food without needing to purchase an Air Fryer. Thus, the air-frying function is ideal for recipes that call for browning after the food is pressure cooked. We’re looking at you, Instant Pot Pasta dishes

The lid also comes with a protective cover that Nicole was impressed to find doubles as a trivet for setting the lid on during cooking. Another perk: The timer on the lid doesn’t begin counting down until the air fryer preheats to the desired temperature. 

The air fry basket is pretty small, so plan to cook food in batches if you’re making a large portion. For larger amounts of food that need to be flipped and cooked, a stainless tray is included to insert into the fry basket, allowing for two-tiered cooking. This gives you the benefit of cooking twice the amount of food, although it does take “quite a bit of finesse” to remove, Nicole notes. The tray allows for a steady circulation of hot air, and is also used for the dehydrating function. On the plus side, both the basket and the racks are dishwasher-safe, making clean up a breeze. 

It’s important to note that the lid is only available for the 6-quart Instant Pot. If you have an 8-quart appliance, you’re out of luck for the time being. Additionally, the lid and the base cannot be plugged in at the same time. 

Pleasantly surprised, Nicole found the lid to be quite powerful. She was also happy to find how quickly the pot can reach high temperatures. The food she cooked using the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid achieved perfect crispiness and even some browning. It’s greatest benefit, however, also happens to be it’s least desirable feature: the size. While it replaces the need for a second large appliance, this attachment will take up a pretty big chunk of your kitchen storage real estate. Plus, it’s not exactly cheap. The suggested retail price of $140 is comparable to some of the better air fryers on the market, but luckily, Williams Sonoma has it on sale right now for $79.95.

Williams Sonoma

Buy It: Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid, 6-Qt., williams-sonoma.com, $79.95

If you’re interested in trying the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid out for yourself, be sure to make our favorite air-fried appetizers and desserts with your new gadget.