Air Frying is all the rage and Instant Pot has jumped into the air fryer market with new, well-designed Instant Vortex Air Fryers. Here’s what you need to know before buying.
Update: The new Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer with ClearCook was recently released. It has a ClearCook window and internal light so you can easily monitor the cooking progress without opening the basket! I love this new feature.
Instant Pot recently released two great new products the Instant Vortex 6 Quart Air Fryer and the Instant Pot Vortex 10 Qt Oven Air Fryer. The Instant Pot Company sent me the Instant Vortex 6 Quart Air Fryer to review. I purchased Instant Pot Plus Air Fryer Oven, so I could also include it in my review.
What Is an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are popular because you can make quick, easy meals using 95% less oil and fat than deep frying. They’re basically small convection ovens that use a fan to circulate heat and air so your food crisps and cooks quickly without a lot of added fat.
Instant Vortex and Instant Vortex Plus 6 Quart Air Fryer
The Instant Vortex and Instant Vortex Plus 6 Quart Air Fryers are easy to use and easy to clean. They come with a Getting Started Guide and a Safety, Maintenance instruction booklet. There’s a cooking tray that fits in the bottom of the air fryer basket.
The Vortex is lightweight and easy to move around. Instant Pot recommends you have at least 5″ of space around the appliance, so I move it to my bar to use it.
The Vortex has four Smart Programs with pre-set cooking times and temperatures. The Vortex Plus has 6 Smart Programs. The Smart Programs can be customized to your own settings.
• Air Fry for fries, cauliflower wings, chicken nuggets and more.
• Bake Light and fluffy cakes and pastries, scalloped potatoes and more.
• Roast for beef, lamb, pork, poultry, vegetable dishes and more.
• Reheat to prepare leftovers without overcooking or drying out.
• Broil (Vortex Plus 6 only) for direct top-down cooking, melting cheese
on French onion soup and nachos, and more.
• Dehydrate (Vortex Plus 6 only)
I liked that you can adjust the time or temperature while it’s air frying without stopping the cooking. You touch Time or Temp button, rotate the Dial to the desired cooking time or temperature and press the Dial until it clicks.
A recipe book is not included, but the Instant Pot website does have How-To Videos and as well as a good cooking time table and answers questions. There isn’t much information on using the dehydrate feature, nor many recipes yet on the Instant Pot app or website but I expect they’re working on getting more recipes.
I’ve had good luck using air fryer recipes from some of my favorite blogs. Right now my favorite thing to air fry is vegetables. You get the flavor of oven-roasted vegetables in a fraction of the time when you air fry them.
Some of my favorite air fryer vegetable recipes are Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Honey Sriracha, Garlic Parmesan Air Fryer Potato Wedges, and Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli. I love the tip in the broccoli recipe to add a little water under the tray so the broccoli doesn’t smoke as it’s air frying.
Instant Vortex 10 Quart Oven Air Fryer
The Instant Pot Vortex Pro 10 Qt Oven Air Fryer shares the Vortex name with the 6 quart Instant Vortex Air Fryer but it couldn’t be more different. It’s an oven style air fryer with lots of fun attachments.
Included with the air fryer oven is a drip tray, two cooking trays, rotisserie basket, rotisserie fork/spit, and a rotisserie lift.
The Vortex Oven has Smart Programs that are adjustable. The Manual has good instructions showing how to use the attachments. It’s important to read about the weight and size restrictions when using the rotisserie basket and spit.
One of the things I was most excited to try in the Vortex Air Fryer Oven was a rotisserie chicken. Most of the chickens at my grocery store were too big for the rotisserie spit (under 4 lbs.) The organic chickens at Costco were just barely small enough, so I bought a two-pack.
I put an herb butter underneath the skin, and the chicken turned out moist and delicious with a gorgeous crisp and golden skin. The flavor was better than the rotisserie chicken I buy at Costco, but clean up was time-consuming and it cost about twice as much as a ready to eat rotisserie Costco chicken.
I bought some frozen potato wedges to eat with our rotisserie chicken and use the rotisserie basket to cook them. The basket works great and it’s fun to watch the food cook through the glass door in the air fryer oven.
However, the basket is a little bit difficult to clean and you have to use the rotisserie lift to remove the basket from the oven. (My rotisserie lift is currently missing. I’m sure I put it somewhere it would be easy to grab lol.)
Of course, I had to try out the bake feature, so I lined a cooking tray with a non-stick grill mat cut to size and baked some Snickerdoodle cookies. They cooked much quicker in the Vortex Air Fryer Oven and had a delightful chewy texture.
It would be fun to keep some cookie dough in the freezer to quickly cook some cookies. You really needed to cook four cookies at a time to weigh down the corners of the mat that had a tendency to blow up.
There are a handful of Instant Vortex Air Fryer Oven recipes on the Instant Pot website.
Instant Vortex Air Fryer Buying Guide
The Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer with ClearCook, Instant Vortex 6 Quart Air Fryer, and the Instant Pot Vortex 10 Qt Oven Air Fryer are great products. It can be hard to decide which one is right for you.
I preferred the lightweight, easy cleanup, and simple design of the Instant Vortex 6 Quart Air Fryer. In fact, I liked it so much I bought a second one to keep in my RV.
The Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer with ClearCook is currently my favorite and has earned a place on my kitchen counter. The little window is so convenient to easily see if your food is cooked without opening the basket.
The Instant Vortex Air Fryer Oven has lots of great features. It’s nice to have the glass oven door so you can see the cooking progress. It is more versatile, but I found myself not using it much and put it in my pantry and don’t use it much.
Pressure Cooker Air Fryers: If you already have a pressure cooker but want to add an air fryer capabilities to it, there are now air fryer lids for your pressure cooker – Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid and Mealthy CrispLid.
Air fryer recipes you might like:
- Barbara Bakes Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Potato Chips, Tasty Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Bacon, TwoSleevers
- Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Skinnytaste
- Crispy Parmesan Buttermilk Chicken Tenders, Foodie Crush
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks, Show Me The Yummy
Disclosure: I was sent an Instant Pot Vortex 6 Quart Air Fryer to review, but all opinions expressed are always my own.