Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid: Our Comprehensive Review
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker is perfect for preparing large quantities and simple meals. It has the same functions as comparable multicookers, but is much easier to clean and store.
Airfryers are the appliance of the moment , thanks to the fact that they can be more energy efficient than conventional ovens - a much needed feature given the huge cost of electricity these days. But what if there was a device that can fry with air, but also pressure cook, slow cook, bake, grill and more?
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker, the latest generation of multicookers from Instant Brands. The device has 12 different cooking functions and offers the option to delay cooking (so you can come home to a hot meal) and keep your food warm. For fans of similar devices, there is an important improvement: the Ultimate lid.
Currently, multicookers like this come with two separate lids that you have to swap depending on whether you're cooking "wet" (pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, etc.) or "dry" cooking (air frying, grilling, baking, etc.). While it doesn't take much time to change the lids, it does take up storage space - and they are big, heavy lids.
However, the Ultimate lid is just one lid that is permanently attached to the body of the device. It has the heating element and fan for air frying on the top, with a removable panel that locks you in place if you want to pressure cook. The result? A slimmer design that saves cupboard space and is much easier to clean.
So, how easy is it to use and how does it compare to other multicookers? We put the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker through its paces.
How we tested
Having tested an Instant Pot multicooker in the past, we had quite a repertoire of recipes to use with this new model, ranging from sweet potato fries to casseroles and rice. For us, besides trying out the different functions, the main thing is to see if the new Duo Crisp with Ultimate lid is an improvement on the previous design. That means whether it's easier to use, saves space, and whether it's worth switching over.
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker is very similar in design and function to previous models in the Duo Crisp range. The base is squat and raised from the counter with soft, rubber feet. Handles on either side make it easy to carry the unit - although at just over 10kg it's probably not something you'd want to do often. The lid is attached to the base via a hinge, and there is a discreet tank at the back to collect condensation.
The front control panel has all the "wet" cooking functions in a column on one side and the "dry" cooking functions on the other. A dial in the middle is used to adjust the temperature and cooking time. Just above, an LED display shows the cooking time, temperature, progress (preheat, cook or keep warm) and any cooking instructions such as "close the lid" or "turn the food".
In the base there is a heating element that is used during the "wet" cooking functions. A removable 6.2 liter stainless steel cooking pot is contained within and is used for all types of cooking. It's not the biggest in terms of capacity, but it's enough to cook six servings of food, which should be enough for most families. You also have a vented, non-stick air fryer basket that doubles as a steamer basket and is placed in the cooking pot when needed.
The main design variation is the lid. The compact heating element and fan are located here and are used for all "droge" cooking functions. A removable pressure cooker panel snaps into place just in front of the heating element, protecting it during "wet" cooking. There is a ring on the front of this panel for easy removal, and you have to press a red button to release it so you can't accidentally knock it off.
There is also a handle on the lid itself to lock the lid during pressure cooking or to keep it in place during general use.
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker has 12 main functions: pressure cooking, sautéing, steaming, slow cooking, sous-vide, yogurt, air frying, roasting, grilling, baking, dehydrating and rising. All of these functions can be selected at the touch of a button on the control panel. In addition, with some functions you can select the delayed start and use the keep warm function if you are not ready to eat yet.
When you first select a function, the default cooking time and temperatures are displayed. You can adjust these before or during cooking. On subsequent use, the device automatically shows the last used settings, so if you often cook the same things, you don't have to set the time and temperature every time. During cooking, the device will beep to let you know when it's time to turn your food.
Another useful feature is that instead of manually opening the steam valve after pressure cooking, you have the option to choose "natural", "pulse" or "rapid release" using the control panel. This means that once you set up the program, you literally don't have to do anything about it until you're ready to eat.
Usage After testing other multicookers, including a model from Instant Brands, we were very impressed with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker. It's simple and easy to use and there's an app with lots of recipes to try.
Compared to other models we've tried, the cooking chamber is wider and shallower, meaning more surface area to cook on. This was especially useful for the air fryer function, which we found to be much more efficient than other models we tested. Our standard recipe - sweet potato fries - were ready in 15 minutes instead of the usual 20, and they cooked evenly. It also came in handy when sautéing, as it gave more room to spread the ingredients.
There was also better temperature control. While other models allow you to adjust temperatures, the range for certain functions was quite narrow - for sautéing, for example, you might only have low, medium, or high. However, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker offers six different temperature levels, so you can adjust it accordingly. The temperature adjusts quickly, so there's less chance of burning your food.
We also loved the lid design. We found the pressure cooker panel easy to install and remove. And because it's much smaller than a very quick-boil lid, it's much easier to hand wash in the sink. The air fryer lid is hinged, so we didn't have to worry about putting it somewhere while turning the food over during cooking. And of course, the whole design saves a lot of space, because you don't need storage space for two separate lids.
Our verdict on the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker
We're fans of multicookers in general because they're so versatile. Granted, most people won't be using all of the features - we mainly use sautéing, pressure cooking, air frying and grilling - but the choice is there if you need it. We find it especially useful for batch cooking, but also for busy households who might want to take advantage of features like delayed cook time.
We like that the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer& multicooker is a major improvement over existing designs. While it has all the same features as comparable multicookers, the single lid design means it saves a lot of space and is much easier to clean. Because the lid is hinged, you don't have to worry about placing it somewhere heat-resistant during use.
That said, if you already own a multicooker, we wouldn't throw it away just yet - this machine probably won't give you many more features than you already have. But if you want to replace your current machine or buy your first multicooker, we can highly recommend it.
Are you convinced after reading this review? Then you can order the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate arifryer & multicooker via this link.
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