Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer
Inner pot has handles
Air fryer plus pressure cooker
Inner pot is stovetop- and oven-safe
Few app recipes using both cooking options
The Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer comes with a newly designed inner pot that is so genius, I have to wonder why it took so long for it to arrive. It could be a game changer.
Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer
We purchased the Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Pressure cookers and air fryers have become staple countertop appliances over the years for their ability to cook food fast. However, nothing cramps a kitchen's style more than cluttered counters. Fortunately, more and more two-in-one appliances have been showing up that combine a pressure cooker with an air fryer. Instant Pot, the company that made pressure cookers ubiquitous in kitchens, has released its Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer for those looking for both cooking options in the same machine.
I've seen plenty of pressure cookers pass through my kitchen, but I was still excited to try the Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer. I grabbed the usual pressure cooker and air fryer foods, readied my recipes, and cleared a swath on the counter for the pressure cooker and its two lids. After using it to cook meals, snacks, and desserts, I've got my verdict. Read on for my honest review.
Right out of the box, this Instant Pot looks more upscale than its peers, with an all-black exterior, but the buttons and display should look familiar to users of other models of Instant Pots.
Unlike some, this cooker lacks programs for things like chicken or yogurt. Instead, buttons on the left of the display are for cooking with the pressure cooking lid or no lid: sautéing, slow cooking, steaming, and sous vide. To the right of the display are controls that use the air fryer lid. They are Air Fry, Bake, Roast, Broil, and Dehydrate. Delay Start and Keep Warm are directly below the display, with a control knob below that, followed by buttons for Cancel and Start.
The part of this cooker I liked the most wasn’t a technical feature. Instead, it is the redesigned inner cooking pot. The first thing anyone would notice is that the pot has handles that are easy to grab and hold, and they stay relatively cool during cooking. While handles don’t seem like a big deal, they made it much easier to remove the cooking pot from the cooker, and it made it much easier to empty the pot.
Next, the inside bottom of the pot is flat, so cooking oils don’t immediately pool along the edges, which makes it easier to sauté foods.
While the result wasn’t as pretty as an oven-roasted chicken, the visible skin was crisp and brown, and the chicken was juicy throughout.
But that’s not the end of the upgrades. The cooking pot has a thick base, much like you’d find on cookware, and the pot is oven- and stovetop-safe. While I'm not likely to pull out the inner pot and use it on the stove on a regular basis, the Sauté function isn’t always as precise as I'd like. Being able to control the temperature on the stove before moving on to pressure cooking is a plus. The super-thick base should also help keep foods from burning since it will minimize hot spots.
Features: Pressure release toggle
The pressure cooker lid is similar to other Instant Pot lids, and it twists on and locks when the pot comes to pressure. But while it looks familiar, it has some new features. A toggle is used to choose Venting or Pressure, but with this model, there’s no need to actually select Pressure since the cooker automatically moves the toggle to Pressure when the lid is put in place.
This cooker is designed so it can be cooled more quickly than other models by using the quick-cool tray (sold separately). That tray needs to be filled with water, then frozen. The plastic cover on top of the lid is removed, the tray is placed on the metal, and the pressure cooker cools much more quickly while using a natural release.
Unlike some Instant Pot pressure cookers, this one doesn’t have programs for things like poultry or grains. But I'm fine with that. Chicken breasts don’t cook the same as thighs, and turkey isn’t the same as chicken, so I think it’s better to set times based on the exact food being cooked. On the other hand, the lack of programs means cooks will need to use trusted recipes or look up times and temperatures for every cook.
Accessories: Many parts; easy storage
This comes with quite a few accessories. Fortunately, most fit neatly inside the inner cooking pot, so they don’t take up extra storage space. The cooker includes a reversible rack that can be used to raise foods slightly above the bottom of the pot or reversed to hold food closer to the top. That rack can be used for either air frying or pressure cooking. When I cooked an acorn squash using both pressure and air frying, I let the squash sit low in the pot, but when I broiled pork ribs, I raised them high.
This also includes a nonstick air fryer basket with a base that lifts it off the bottom of the pot for better air circulation when frying, and a dehydrate/broil rack that fits in the basket for dual-level cooking or to raise foods closer to the top of the cooker. The manual has no information about using the air fry basket for pressure cooking, but I contacted the company online and was told it is safe for pressure cooking as well as frying. A trivet/base for the air fryer lid is the last of the accessories.
For storage, the air fryer basket, its base and rack, and the reversible rack fit inside the cooker. The power cord wraps around the bottom of the cooker, and a small tab holds the cord in place so it won’t dangle on the way to the pantry. The protective pad for the air fryer lid twists on so it stays in place, so the lid can be stored without worry about damaging it.
The cooking pot has a thick base, much like you’d find on cookware, and the pot is oven and stovetop safe.
Performance: As good as expected
I am familiar enough with Instant Pot pressure cookers to expect them to perform basic tasks well. Still, I pressure-cooked country pork ribs, steamed cauliflower, and sauteed potatoes, just to make sure this cooker was up to par.
When I made steel-cut oats using the pot-in-pot method, I appreciated the extra space the 8-quart pot gave me, since I could use a slightly larger container for my oats.
After basic pressure cooking was done, I started having more fun. I air-fried frozen eggrolls, estimating the temperature and cooking time based on package instructions—while wondering when I'll see air fry instructions on packages. The eggrolls emerged crisp and brown, with a hot interior. Frozen French fries were also successful.
I decided to try something a bit more complicated and put a whole chicken on the included rack and lowered it into the cooker. I added water and set it for pressure cooking. When the time was up, I brushed the top of the chicken with oil, attached the air fryer lid, and let it crisp the chicken’s skin. While the result wasn’t as pretty as an oven-roasted chicken, the visible skin was crisp and brown, and the chicken was juicy throughout.
Resources: Online community
One of the benefits of buying an Instant Pot instead of a different brand is the vibrant online community of cooking enthusiasts who share tips, tricks, and recipes online.
Unfortunately, basic pressure cookers outnumber pressure cooker and air fryer combos, so most of the recipes don’t take advantage of both features in one recipe. That lack is also reflected in the recipes in the Instant Pot app, where there are just a few recipes that both pressure cook and air fry. I expect more recipes to be created and posted in the future, but in the meantime, cooks may need to think about whether it makes sense to use the air fryer to finish cooking as I did with my squash, rather than transferring their food to a frying pan or the oven.
While appliance manuals aren’t usually compelling reading, I particularly liked the section subtitled “Behind the Magic Curtain,” which explains what’s happening inside the pressure cooker during every stage of cooking. While that won’t improve anyone’s cooking, it does help to explain how the pressure cooker works, perhaps easing some cooks’ fears of the unknown.
Cleaning: Mostly dishwasher-safe
The cooker itself and the air fryer lid are not dishwasher-safe, but the rest of the parts can be washed in the dishwasher, with some suggested for top-rack washing. The manual says that some parts might discolor from being washed in the dishwasher, but that won’t affect performance. Fortunately, most parts are easy to wash by hand.
Price: Relatively expensive
Considering there are Instant Pot models that regularly sell for under $100 and that often go on sale, this one is on the high end of the price range, retailing at around $230. However, it also includes air fryer functions, which make it even more useful while saving the counter space that a standalone air fryer would take. And while they don’t add anything to the actual cooking functions, I think the handles on the cooking pot are worth a few dollars more, or at least a very hearty pat on the back for the designers' thought of it.
Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer vs. Instant Pot Duo Nova
Instant Pot Duo Nova: Not everyone needs the newest model, and not everyone needs an air fryer. That’s where the Instant Pot Duo Nova comes in. Retailing around $120, the Duo Nova is a 7-in-1 pressure cooker that features the usual programs like pressure cook, saute, yogurt, etc., that Instant Pot is known for. It’s a great model for beginners, and it’s great as a second cooker in a busy house. The Pro Crisp is for a different audience. I love it and would recommend it to those who want the air frying option.
A fantastic combination of pressure cooking and air frying.
Instant Pot has so many different models, it’s hard to remember the differences, but the Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer stands out from the crowd thanks to its sleek black exterior, its handy vent/pressure toggle, and the innovative inner pot that adds to the versatility of this machine. Is it worth having? I say yes.
- Product Name Pro Crisp + Air Fryer
- Product Brand Instant Pot
- UPC 810028582187
- Price $230.00
- Weight 26.2 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 14.78 x 14.17 x 14.24 in.
- Material Stainless steel
- Warranty 1 year
- What’s Included A reversible rack, frying basket with broil/dehydrate tray, and a trivet/base for the air fryer lid