Instant Vortex Plus Clear Cook Review
Compare to Similar Products
Instant Vortex Plus Clear Cook
$129.95 at Amazon
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|Pros||Crispy tots, viewing window, intuitive controls, lots of cooking options, easy cleaning||Fantastic cooking performance, easy to clean, easy to use, great temperature accuracy, multiple cooking functions||Great cooking performance, user friendly, excellent temperature accuracy||Accurate temperature, great for potato products, easy to clean||Inexpensive, easy to clean, good cooking performance|
|Cons||Middling performance overall, dry chicken||Cost||Not the easiest to clean, cost||Leaves meat dry, difficult to open, buttons are not always responsive||Fry basket can stick, medicore temperature accuracy|
|Bottom Line||An air fryer with a viewing window that offers somewhat average cooking results, besides crispy tots||Exceptional frying performance and an easy to clean design makes this one of the best options on the market||This high performing, four quart model offers some of the most consistent quality||This accurate, budget friendly air fryer is the perfect option for casual side dishes like tater tots||An effective and inexpensive model that offers decent cooking performance and good temperature accuracy|
|Rating Categories||Instant Vortex Plus...||Instant Vortex Plus||Ninja Air Fryer||GoWISE USA Digital||Ultrean Air Fryer|
|Cooking Performance (35%)|
|User Friendliness (25%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (20%)|
|Temperature Accuracy (20%)|
|Specs||Instant Vortex Plus...||Instant Vortex Plus||Ninja Air Fryer||GoWISE USA Digital||Ultrean Air Fryer|
|Measured Dimensions (L x H x D)||11.3" x 13" x 14.3"||11.5" x 13.3" x 12.8"||13.6" x 11" x 13.3"||13.5" x 12.5" x 11.5"||13.2" x 11.3" x 12.4"|
|Capacity||6 qt||6 qt||4 qt||5.8 qt||4.2 qt|
|Accessories||None||None||Multi-layer rack for dehydrating||None||None|
|Power Consumption||1700 watt||1700 watt||1550 watt||1700 watt||1500 watt|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Instant Vortex Plus Clear Cook is 11.3 by 13 by 14.3 inches. It offers a six-quart basket, which is good for most meals, although it may be a little small for a big family or party setting. Unlike some of the other options in our test suites, it has a viewing window, which is great for checking in on its progress without having to open the door.
The Vortex Plus offers a middling performance across our cooking tests. Like many of the air fryers in our test suite, it fails to create crispy, fully-cooked sweet potato fries. Onion rings are cooked unevenly, leaving the batter closest to the onion a little soggy, while the outermost layer cooks too quickly.
Unlike sweet potato fries and onion rings, the Vortex Plus produces a fully cooked and crisp tater tot. With the exception of a few slightly overcooked tots, the batch is even.
The Vortex Plus does a great job of cooking donuts through to the center; however, the outside is left undesirably soft. Taste-wise, this is a nonissue, but the donuts had more of a doughy texture rather than cakey. The chicken is also not much to write home about. The Vortex Plus takes roughly 24 minutes to cook a chicken breast, and the result is quite dry.
The Clearcook rocks a digital interface with a dial for easy time and temperature adjustments. Although they occasionally require a second tap, the digital buttons are very responsive to a gentle touch. The display is nicely angled for ease of viewing, and the buttons and display are crisp and clear.
The preheat and shake notifications are clear, and the window allows you to keep an eye on your food without having to remove the basket. That said, the cooking is automatically paused when the basket is removed, and an alarm sounds if you forget to close it again, which is super helpful. All the controls are intuitive and clearly marked, almost eliminating the need to refer to the manual.
The 9.5 by 9 inch basket requires a solid tug to remove, so it is best to brace the Vortex Plus Clear Cook with both hands. Emptying the contents of the drawer is easy, although if you flip it more than 90 degrees to remove stickier food items, the basket falls out. The viewing window is a huge plus, as it allows you to make minor adjustments while not having to open the basket.
Ease of Cleaning
Wiping out the basket is pretty straightforward, which makes clearing the drawer of crumbs a breeze. The Clear Cook has a metallic band where other air fryers tend to accumulate fingerprints. This metal band is super easy to wipe down, keeping your appliance looking fresh; however, wiping the outside down with a sponge often leaves the interface and window looking streaky. The window can become pretty mucky if you don't clean it every time, which some of our testers find irritating, but the extra attention to cleaning detail is worth it for the visibility you get from the window.
The pattern on the tray requires you to wash out each section with the sponge methodically, while others need a quick swipe. The sides of the basket also seem to retain a little more oil than other options in our test suite.
Overall the Clear Cook offers accurate temperatures, but it is not without its faults. During our first round of testing, we had some difficulty getting it up to the higher temperatures. That said, during our second round, it did much better. At 300, 375, and 400 degrees, the Clear Cook remains within a few degrees of the set temperature; however, when we set it to 350, it hovered closer to 340 degrees.
Should You Buy the Instant Vortex Plus Clear Cook?
The Clear Cook is easy to clean, offers accurate temps, and the viewing window is a dream — when it's clean. Unfortunately, it falls a little short in the cooking performance department. Other than tater tots, most of the food items we tried cooking came out a little uneven or dry. While the Clear Cook scores highly overall, its lack of ability to properly cook various foods deters us from recommending that you purchase this air fryer.
What Other Air Fryers Should You Consider?
If you are looking for an air fryer that offers the perfect crunch that most people can only achieve through deep frying, the Instant Vortex Plus is the one for you. Not only does it perform well, but the low price is extremely hard to pass up. If you're looking for the least expensive air fryer to satisfy your occasional tater tot craving, take a look at the GoWISE USA Digital. The Instant Vortex Plus XL also offers two drawers for parties or big families, but the extra space will cost you.
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