Mealthy CrispLid

Rootitoot Reviews the Mealthy CrispLid

 

So.... short answer: Yes. I vote yes for the Mealthy CrispLid. This little appliance is a winner. It turns almost any 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) into an air fryer/mini broiler. No more transferring foods like whole chicken or lasagna to the oven to brown and crisp. There are pros and cons but for me, the pros far outweigh the cons.

What it is.

It's basically just a lid with an element and a fan, the two components of an air fryer. It is also partially see-through which is great to keep an eye on food as it browns. (I really love the see-through part.)

What it Does

It can be used as an air fryer to completely cook and crisp food or as a broiler to finish food prepared in a pressure cooker by browning and crisping it right in the stainless steel liner.

What it Includes 

In addition to the CrispLid itself, the box contains a silicone mat to protect your counter from the hot lid after use, a tall trivet, a basket, a set of silicone tipped tongs, a User Guide and a recipe book.

How it Works  

The element heats up quickly to a maximum of 500 degrees, hotter than most air fryers, and the fan blows the superheated air down and around the food. 

As a finisher for pressure cooked foods, simply remove the pressure cooker lid from any 6- or 8-quart pressure cooker with a stainless steel liner after the natural release is complete. Then, replace it with the nifty CrispLid. Set the time and temperature and let the hot air brown and crisp the food for great flavour and an attractive presentation. 

As an air fryer, place the raw food or food you want to reheat in the basket provided. Set the CrispLid for the recommended time and temperature and away it goes. You may have to turn the food to brown it on both sides. 

This has great potential for hundreds of items: whole chicken, chicken pot pie, lasagna, shepherd's pie, wings, chicken strips, tater tots, mac and cheese, meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, apple crisp, cobblers, creme brulee and on and on. 

My Results 

I tried several things in it and had good results with all of them. I used it as both a broiler to finish some pressure cooked items and as an air fryer to cook and crisp food start to finish. It came through in both cases.  

As a broiler:

First, I used my Whole Chicken recipe (page 116 in The Rootitoot Cookbook) in my 6-quart Instant Pot. When it was done, I unplugged the IP and removed the lid. I took the chicken out and strained the broth into a saucepan to make gravy as Mealthy recommends. Then I returned the chicken to the pot on the low trivet. I set the CrispLid on the stainless steel liner and set the time for 5 minutes at 500 degrees. It browned and crisped the skin very nicely. So... success #1.

*NOTE*
I have tried it a different way since that first test by leaving the cooking liquid in the pot while browning with the CrispLid. When the cooking and releasing cycle was finished, I replaced the pressure cooker lid with the CrispLid and browned it with the broth still in the pot. It worked just fine. Mealthy recommends removing the broth because an air fryer works on the principle of dry heat. But for browning and finishing something like this, it worked fine with the liquid still in the pot. 

You could turn the chicken to brown both sides if desired. 

With the leftover chicken, I made Chicken Pot Pie (page 128). After making the stew part, I put it in a pan, covered it with my pastry and put it on the regular Instant Pot trivet, not the tall trivet. The CrispLid baked and browned the pastry perfectly. Success #2.

Then I made my Taco Pie (Page 100). When it was finished cooking, I topped it with cheese and used the CrispLid (450 degrees for 8 minutes) to brown the cheese and crisp the top of the tortillas. (This is exactly how I will finish lasagna with it, too.) Success #3.


As an air fryer:

I made some Cheesy Potato Bites. I just winged it and mixed some leftover mashed potatoes, an egg yolk, grated cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, salt and pepper. I formed them into patties and coated them with bread crumbs. I put them in the Mealthy basket on the high trivet and sprayed them with a little Pam. 

They browned beautifully on one side after 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Then I flipped them over and browned the other side for 8 minutes. They were crisp and very tasty. (My granddarlings, Wyatt and Ellie loved them.) Success #4.

I cooked chicken wings with the spice rub from page 134. (20 minutes at 350). I had to turn them over to brown the other side for another 5 minutes at 500 degrees, though. They were good, but it took longer than I expected. I would probably pressure cook them next time and just finish them with the CrispLid. So… 1/2 success. The only 1/2 success. All others were full successes. 


Pros

  • It fits any 6 or 8-quart pressure cooker that has a stainless steel liner.
  • It's simple to use. It just perches on top, no turning or locking into place.
  • It's small (about 10" across and 5.5" high) and lightweight. Less than half the size of an air fryer.
  • YOU CAN SEE INSIDE. It has a glass lid so you can monitor the browning.
  • It's reasonably priced. Cheaper than any stand-alone air fryer
  • Heats up to 500 degrees, hotter than any air fryer.
  • It's convenient. No transferring stuff to the oven to brown.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Simple to use – only a few buttons: temp and time, up and down, on and off.

Cons

  • Slightly smaller area than some air fryers, but not much. 
  • Not recommended for use by children, unlike an air fryer. The underside of the lid gets very hot.
  • Only for use with stainless steel liners. Not non-stick or ceramic liners.
  • Only works with 6 and 8-quart pressure cookers. Sorry, Mini owners.

Important Notes:

  • Unplug Instant Pot when you plug in the CrispLid.
  • Snap the handle down or it won't start.
  • ALWAYS use the silicone mat provided so you don't burn your counter. It's really hot on the bottom after use.

My Conclusion

The CrispLid surpassed my expectations. It is smaller, lighter and more powerful than I thought it would be. I wasn’t expecting it to go up to 500 degrees. Its simplicity is a joy. It just perches on the pressure cooker - no fiddly latches or locks. Operation is very easy - a short and gentle learning curve because there are no complicated programs, just choose the time and temperature and press start. 

If Mealthy hadn't sent me one to try, I would probably purchase one as soon as they were available in Canada, which will be late August, by the way. Patience, my fellow Canadians. It’s coming.

In a nutshell? I love it.