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Instant Vortex Plus Review

Exceptional frying performance and an easy to clean design make this one of the best options on the market
Instant Vortex Plus
Credit: Instant Appliances
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $120 List | $119.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Fantastic cooking performance, easy to clean, easy to use, great temperature accuracy, multiple cooking functions
Cons:  On the expensive side
Manufacturer:   Instant Appliances
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Jun 26, 2020
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92
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Cooking Performance - 35% 9
  • User Friendliness - 25% 9
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 9
  • Temperature Accuracy - 20% 10

Our Verdict

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 six-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 Vortex Plus delivers results and a user experience that are well worth the extra cost.

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Price $120 List
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Pros Fantastic cooking performance, easy to clean, easy to use, great temperature accuracy, multiple cooking functionsGreat cooking performance, user friendly, excellent temperature accuracyGood air frying performance, quite user friendlyInexpensive, easy to clean, good cooking performanceGood cooking performance, inexpensive
Cons On the expensive sideNot the easiest to cleanRelatively poor temperature accuracy, additional cooking functions somewhat lacklusterFry basket can stick, medicore temperature accuracyVery small capacity
Bottom Line Exceptional frying performance and an easy to clean design make this one of the best options on the marketThis high performing, four quart model offers the most consistent quality of the bunchGood for air frying, but its extra cooking functions don't quite live up to expectationsAn effective and inexpensive model that offers decent cooking performance and good temperature accuracyA fairly good appliance that is held back by a relatively small capacity
Rating Categories Instant Vortex Plus Ninja 1550 Watt Instant Vortex Plus... Ultrean 4.2qt Dash Compact
Cooking Performance (35%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
User Friendliness (25%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Cleaning (20%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Temperature Accuracy (20%)
10.0
10.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Instant Vortex Plus Ninja 1550 Watt Instant Vortex Plus... Ultrean 4.2qt Dash Compact
Outside Dimensions 11.5" x 13.25" x 12.75" 13.6" x 11" x 13.3" 13.2" x 13.2" x 14.4" 13.2" x 11.3" x 12.4" 10.2" x 8.1" x 11.4"
Capacity 6 qt 4 qt 6 qt 4.2 qt 2 qt
Accessories None Multi-layer rack for dehydrating Two cooking trays, rotisseries basket, spit, and fork, drip pan None None
Power Consumption 1700W 1550W 1500W 1500W 1000W

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Credit: Laura Casner

Cooking Performance


The Vortex Plus left itself very little room for improvement in our cooking tests, prepping everything to near perfection.


Our kitchen experts and panel of taste testers struggled to find anything to complain about with the Vortex Plus' onion rings, doughnuts, and tater tots. The onion rings came out evenly cooked, with a solid and satisfying crisp. The doughnuts were delectable and fluffy on the inside, while taking on a crispy and flaky consistency on the outside. The tater tots displayed such a combination of crunch and fluffiness that we're pretty sure someone might classify them as deep-fried in a double-blind study — a compliment we would give to very few of the foods we've prepared in air fryers.

When cooking chicken, the Vortex Plus produced cuts so tender and moist they could be cut with a fork. However, the outsides only had a slight crisp to them — some models were able to make chicken taste just a bit crispier.

The Vortex Plus served up some of the most delectable treats in our...
The Vortex Plus served up some of the most delectable treats in our testing.
Credit: Laura Casner

We've been using sweet potato fries as a bit of a torture test for our air fryers because we've yet to find a model that can get sweet potato fries truly crispy. The Vortex Plus didn't fully scale this mountain, but it made the fries crispier than any other model we've tested. Crispy enough, in fact, that we'd call them a reasonable replacement for deep-fried sweet potato fries.

User Friendliness


The Vortex Plus provided us with one of the most pleasant air frying experiences we've encountered.


The control panel couldn't be simpler. There are dedicated buttons for selecting each one of its six cooking functions, and a knob for quickly scrolling through cooking temperatures and times. The basket can easily be slid in and out using just one hand. This makes removing the basket mid-cooking to shake the contents (a requirement for many recipes) quick and simple. The tray can fall out when you're dumping its contents onto a plate, but this problem is easily remedied with a spatula or potholder.

The fry basket is very easy to remove with one hand.
The fry basket is very easy to remove with one hand.
Credit: Laura Casner

Extra Cooking Features


On top of air frying, this device is capable of roasting, broiling, baking, reheating, and dehydrating.

Ease of Cleaning


Thanks to a unique fry basket design, the Vortex Plus is easier to clean than most air fryers on the market.


Most air fryers utilize fry baskets with small holes to maximize airflow. These small holes tend to get gunked up with grease and present a cleaning challenge. The Vortex Plus uses a removable tray that allows air to circulate under the food. We found this tray much easier to clean than the more common fry baskets.

The basket of the Vortex Plus is one of the easiest to clean.
The basket of the Vortex Plus is one of the easiest to clean.
Credit: Laura Casner

Temperature Accuracy


The Vortex Plus displayed near-perfect temperature accuracy in our testing, reliably hitting the set temperature every single cook cycle.


Value


The Vortex Plus is a bit more expensive than the average air fryer, but not to a ridiculous degree. Seeing as it provides exceptional performance, this slight bump in price is well worth it, making it a great overall value.

Credit: Laura Casner

Conclusion


The Instant Vortex Plus is one of the best air fryers currently on the market. Its exceptional performance and larger six-quart capacity make it the perfect choice for any air frying application.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell