Instant Brands made its name with the multitasking Instant Pot and has since steadily expanded its line of countertop appliances. Its latest is the Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven, $120, and it’s unlike anything. The Vortex Plus is not a toaster oven—there’s no toast setting—and it’s more than an air fryer, so it doesn’t belong in our air fryer ratings. It’s a 1,500-watt mini convection oven with a max oven temperature of 400° F that can air-fry, bake, roast, cook rotisserie style, broil, reheat, and dehydrate. As for size, it’s about 13 inches square. In the article, we writing an Instant Vortex Air Fryer review for your reference.
Instant Vortex Air Fryer review
The Instant Vortex Plus looks good. It has a compact design, a stainless-steel front and an easy-to-navigate touchscreen panel up top. The door feels wobbly, but that’s because it’s removable. Release a latch inside the frame, and you can remove the door for cleaning. That’s great for cleaning up crumbs.
Speaking of cleanup, all the attachments included (air fryer basket, trays, rotisserie spit parts) are dishwasher-safe. Points to Instant for making my after-dinner routine shorter in that regard.
My first gripe has to do with the digital display. Plug in the air fryer, and the display reads OFF. Set the mode and temperature, and the display reads ON while preheating the oven. I would much prefer to see PRE or a real-time count up to the requested temperature. This isn’t a dealbreaker, I just found the display a bit uninformative for a product that heats up to 400 degrees.
That leads me to my second complaint. That 400-degree temperature limit is a bit disappointing, given that more than a few frozen foods recommend heating your oven to 425. Several other countertop ovens, like the Panasonic FlashXpress, heat up to 500 degrees.
- Claimed to use up to 90% less oil than frying or roasting
- Super-fast for processed foods such as oven chips and potato waffles
- Makes leftovers crisp and succulent
We were keen to see if the Vortex Air Fryer really could cut down on the amount of oil we used for cooking, and it didn’t disappoint – certainly with potato wedges, for example. Whole baskets of food required only a tablespoon of oil for a wonderfully crispy texture. Helpfully, the cooking tray drains off any excess oil, so our food didn’t soak up any more oil once the cooking time was complete.
In a conventional oven, it’s difficult to monitor food once cooking is underway, especially at high temperatures; opening the oven to check on progress reduces the temperature inside, adding extra cooking time. The Vortex is a more compact appliance, thus there’s less space to heat, and as a result, keeping an eye on cooking time and temperature was easier, and we never needed to add on extra cooking time as a result of fluctuations in temperature.
If you’ve previously owned an inexpensive air fryer in the 3-quart range with a small round basket (raises hand), the air frying capacity of the Vortex Plus is enough to get excited about. The two nonstick roasting trays easily hold two pounds of fries or tater tots OR two baked potatoes, eight ounces of asparagus, and two steaks all at one time.
Because the Vortex‘s heating element and fan are at the top of the machine, you will want to use the air fryer mode’s “rotate” reminder to swap the top rack for the bottom (and even give the pans a 180 spin, too) when frying things like donuts or zucchini chips.
Cleanup and Final Thoughts
The air fryer and rotisserie capabilities really shine on the Vortex Plus, but it’s the cleanup that might make it the most appealing air fryer ever. All of the accessories — the racks, the rotisserie basket and fork — are dishwasher-safe. If you’ve ever struggled to hand-wash the basket of another air fryer, the easy grease removal on the Vortex might move you to tears. (In a good way!) The door can be removed for hand-washing, and the inside is easy to wipe clean between uses.
Featuring impeccable cooking performance, an easy to use interface, and a fry tray that is easy to clean, the Instant Vortex Plus offers a nearly impeccable air frying experience. It even features a larger than average 6-quart capacity, allowing you to prepare larger meals or bigger batches of sides.The only slight complaint we can levy against it is the price — it costs a bit more than the average air fryer. However, for those that are looking to approximate the taste of fried food while using a lot less oil, the Instant Vortex Plus delivers results and a user experience that are well worth the extra cost.