Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer review: for perfect homemade fries

The Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer is a top option for making homemade fries, and its generous capacity is perfect for family-sized meals

Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer
(Image credit: Instant Pot)
Real Homes Verdict

Our small appliances editor put the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer to the test for a few weeks to see how it performed. It's a top option for making homemade fries, and the wide range of cooking modes makes it incredibly versatile.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Reasonably priced

  • +

    Generous capacity

  • +

    Multiple cooking modes

  • +

    Air fry insert

  • +

    Makes amazing fries

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The controls are a little noisy

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

With a 6-quart capacity and 6 cooking modes to choose from, the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer is a good option for most homes. It's surprisingly reasonably priced given its tactile controls and stainless steel exterior.

I've reviewed many of the best air fryers on the market, but few offer the value-for-money and versatility of the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer. Not to mention, it made some of the best homemade fries I've ever eaten. In a nutshell, I think it's a great choice for the majority of buyers. It is a little large for some homes though, and the basket cannot be placed in the dishwasher. 

In this Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer I put it to the test, making fried chicken, fries, and even reheating leftovers and roasting vegetables to review its full range of functions. 

Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer : what’s in the box?

Instant Vortex Plus

(Image credit: Instant Brands)
  • Weight: 10.68 pounds
  • Power: 1700w
  • Dimensions: 13.03 x 10.2 x 11.02 inches
  • Cooking functions: air fry, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate, broil/grill (depending on region)
  • Additional functions: Add food alert, turn food alert
  • Capacity: 5.7 litres/6 quarts
  • RRP: £119.99, $99.99
  • Colour: Silver
  • Cleaning: Dishwasher-safe insert, handwash basket

Instant Vortex Plus air fryer: first impressions

The box

(Image credit: Future)

The stainless steel exterior of the Instant Vortex Plus air fryer adds an instant quality feel. When plugged in, the control panel shows six cooking modes, as well as time and temperature adjustments (which can be made using the dial) and a start and stop button. When you turn the dial the air fryer makes a continuous beeping noise, which can be a little annoying.

Many air fryers, such as the Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer and the Cosori XXL have baskets attached to the handle of the air fryer, which can lift out to tip fries and chicken wings onto your plate more easily. While this is a perk, I do prefer the tray insert that's included with the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer and the Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer. This insert has a handle that simply allows you to pull it out, and it means that you can use the tray without the slatted base, for reheating and baking things with sauce.

The Instant Vortex Plus on the counter

(Image credit: Future)

Pulling out the drawer takes a bit of muscle, and pushing it in isn't easy to do one-handed. When you pull out the drawer the cooking mode automatically stops, and one of the features I enjoy with this air fryer is that it reminds you to shake your food halfway through cooking, and will alert you when it's fully pre-heated so you can add your food without waiting around. 

Using the Instant Vortex Plus

Instant Vortex Plus chicken

Frozen breaded chicken before cooking in the Instant Vortex Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The generous internal capacity of the Instant Vortex Plus means you can cook large portions without any cramming. It is also quick to preheat and, like most air fryers, it will cook your food faster than most regular ovens. It cooked my frozen breaded chicken fillets in just 12 minutes, when the packaging advised cooking them for 20 minutes from frozen.

When it's running, the Instant Vortex Plus is not loud whatsoever. It makes a low humming noise, but it does alert you halfway through cooking that you need to turn your food. This will result in an evenly crisp meal, but I found that even when I didn't turn halfway, the air fryer still gave me very consistent results. 

Chicken in the Instant Vortex Plus

The breaded chicken after just 12 minutes

(Image credit: Future)

You can adjust the temperature and time easily, and even when it's mid-way through cooking, but the air fry mode automatically started at 370°F (190°C) for 20 minutes.

 When you use the air fryer repeatedly, it will start each mode with the same settings you left it at, so when I've gone to make chicken for lunch after making fries for dinner the night before, I've had to adjust the timings each time. This can be handy though if you expect to use your air fryer for the same sort of meals, such as frozen fries or breakfast bacon. 

Making fries in the Instant Vortex Plus

Sweet potato fries

(Image credit: Future)

After a year of trying out various air fryers, it's safe to say that my homemade fries recipe is well-honed. I made both sweet potato fries and regular fries in the Instant Vortex Plus, and had a lot of success with both.

The sweet potato fries were done in just 25 minutes, when in some air fryers they've taken as long as 40 minutes to cook. However, I did find that they were a little inconsistent, with some looking a tad scorched and others having less of a crispy skin. This may be because I filled the tray pretty much entirely, which could have limited the flow of air. 

Sweet potato fries

(Image credit: Future)

With potato fries though, I was able to make some of the best air-fried fries I've ever cooked. My partner noticed it too, and he even asked me if I had done anything differently to our regular recipe (I had not). 

The exterior was very crisp, and the middle was very fluffy. Considering that fries are the true measure of the quality of an air fryer, it was hard to fault the Instant Vortex Plus's performance. 

Fries in the Instant Vortex Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Cleaning the Instant Vortex Plus

Unfortunately, you can't place the drawer for the Instant Vortex Plus in the dishwasher. It is quite large though, so it wouldn't have fitted into my dishwasher anyway. I did enjoy placing the air fryer insert in with my dirty dishes though, and cleaning the drawer was just a case of washing it out with some dish soap and a sponge. Because it has a non-stick coating, it was simple enough to clean it out in just a minute or so. 

Should you buy the Instant Vortex Plus? 

Not only is the Instant Vortex Plus a very capable air fryer, but it also reheats and bakes with ease. I was able to reheat leftovers for lunch, air fry everything from bacon to broccoli bites, and bake a crispy-topped pasta bake using this air fryer, so it's a real multi-tasker that's not far from replacing even the best microwaves

It's a shame that the drawer cannot go in the dishwasher, and the large capacity may be a struggle for some kitchens. As an alternative for small households, I would recommend the Instant Vortex Mini air fryer just as highly. I also gave it five stars in testing, and it comes in a lovely range of colors.

For most people though, I struggle to think of a more suitable air fryer for any kitchen than the Instant Vortex Plus. It's a mid-price option with an above-average capacity and quality design, making it a true five-star fryer. 

Want something smaller and cheaper? We also rate the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer.

About this review, and the reviewer

Millie Fender is an ecommerce editor at Real Homes, specializing in small appliances and all things cooking. She loves putting new products to the test, whether they're air fryers, blenders, or even pizza ovens, and her family and friends love eating the results. 

Millie has a constant stream of new products waiting to be reviewed in her kitchen. It's a little snug, so if she thinks anything deserves to stay there, you know it's something special. 

The Instant Vortex Plus was sent to Millie by Instant Brands, and she tested it for two weeks before writing this review. Millie uses her air fryer at least twice a day, so it was very thoroughly put through its paces ahead of this review. Because Instant Brands kindly allowed her to keep it, she will keep this review updated as she continues to use it in her kitchen (that is, when she's not testing other air fryers!)

Millie Fender
Head of Reviews

Millie joined the Real Homes team in 2021 after working at TopTenReviews as a Staff Writer. Formerly our Small Appliance Editor, she is now Head of Reviews and is constantly making sure that we are reviewing the latest and greatest products for our readers. 

Millie passed our five-step certification process to become a verified customer advisor on coffee machines. As a baking enthusiast, Millie’s job at Real Homes is the perfect excuse to cook up an endless supply of snacks. When she’s not in the kitchen though, she loves knitting and exploring London's top food markets.