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Instant Pot's Vortex air fryer offers five functions alongside air frying, but is it worth the money? Read our review to find our verdict.
Instant's 6-in-1 is a great-looking air fryer, square and upright in design with matte-finish sides and brushed-steel frontage. Cleaning this can be a faff simply because it shows fingerprints easily. But, all things considered, Instant Pot's 6-in-1 air fryer is a winner if you have a small or crowded kitchen countertop, as it requires only 13cm space around it during use.
There's a product overview of its parts on the inside of the box, which helps you picture the model. The box is actually more informative cooking-wise than the instruction manual itself, so it's worth taking a picture of the sides if you're planning to get rid of the box.
The instructions offer one page on cooking, which shows you the preset duration and temperature. So, it's not prescriptive, but allows room for experimentation.
Thankfully, the model is very intuitive to set up, because it only has three parts: the cooker, air fryer basket and pull-out tray. The only assembly you need to do is to slot the cooking tray into the basket, which is helped by a carry loop and silicone corners that protect them from scratches.
Two indents beneath its outer casing make moving it around the counter easy to do. Its non-slip feet are also incredibly effective.
You're directed to the Instant Pot website for recipes, which is frustrating as sometimes you just want to crack into a new gadget – particularly when it requires such little set-up. The control panel is digital and a single dial makes this feel easy to use.
Every function heats before starting, and the machine beeps when it's up to temperature. Time remaining and cooking temperature are displayed onscreen. Reminders and error messages are also displayed, for example, when chips need shaking. At this point, the machine auto-pauses when you remove the drawer, but auto-starts when it's replaced.
After 15 minutes at 196C, pre-soaked and cut potatoes tossed in 1 tbsp oil are cooked through but not fully or evenly browned. After 25 minutes in total, all are cooked and some are evenly crisp. They also have great flavour.
Our lemon and orange cake is nicely risen but quite thin, like a traybake, simply due to the shape of the non-stick cooking tray. A great feature is that hot air gets released from both the top and rear and you only need 13cm around it. For crowded kitchens, this is a good one to consider.
After use, the hardest thing to clean is the little loop on the cooking tray, which is made of steel but not non-stick.
Also boasting 5.7-litre capacity that's large enough to roast a 1.8kg chicken, this is a practical air fryer for families and can be left out on the countertop.
Food capacity: 5.7-litre capacity
Dimensions: 31.4W x 32.6H x 37.9D
Pre-sets: air fry, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate and grill
This review was last updated in April 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.