Product Review: Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven

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I recently purchased the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven from Amazon and would like to share my experience with this product thus far. I paid for the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven out of pocket and this is not a sponsored post.

I will be comparing it to the other air fryer I own which is a Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL.

Why choose an air fryer over traditional deep frying?

In the past, I often fried food in a deep fryer because I loved the crunchy outside and fluffy inside that it gave my food. Unfortunately, deep frying is not the healthiest option. Then, I found out about air frying! Air fryers have quickly become a popular way to cook food without all of the fat and calories from traditional methods.

The cooking technology in an air fryer is great – you can get crispy results from both sides of your food! And you do all of this without adding up all of the calories, fat, and other things that are bad for you. I love that I can bake food in an air fryer oven as well without having to heat up my kitchen with the oven every time I want to make something.

Why the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven?

Aside from needing another air fryer to cook chicken wings in, I was immediately drawn to the option to cook a rotisserie chicken in an air fryer. We normally pick up rotisserie chickens for around $6 at Costco or Sam’s Club. The option of cooking my own with the flavor of my choosing sounded like a good idea.

After reading more about this product, the ability to put all three trays in the dishwasher was a plus, and the ability to remove the door for cleaning was the icing on the cake (you can hand wash the door, do not put it in the dishwasher). I rarely bring items into my kitchen that are not dishwasher safe.

I was also drawn to the oven-style feel and having two racks to cook on which means I can cut down the time spent cooking dinner. The option to proof items before baking and the rotisserie basket that rotates during the cooking process are two features my current air fryer does not have.

Here are all of the advertised features for the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven

  • 9-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Air fry, bake, broil, dehydrate, roast, proof, toast, reheat and rotisserie.
  • ONE-TOUCH SMART PROGRAMS: Customizable cooking programs for easy chicken wings, roasted veggies, cinnamon buns and more.
  • EVENCRISP TECHNOLOGY: Delivering all the crunch and tenderness of deep-frying with 95% less oil.
  • SEE YOUR FOOD COOK: The glass panel on the oven door takes out the guess work out of air frying and cooking.
  • VERSATILE COUNTERTOP AIR FRYER TOASTER OVEN: Cook perfect rotisserie oven meals or proof dough, bake and toast all in one place.
  • FAST PREHEATING: Little to no preheating time.
  • ADJUSTABLE TEMPERATURE: Easily select temperatures from 95 to 400° F.
  • PERFECT SIZE: Holds enough food for growing families, preparing side dishes and appetizers.
  • PROVEN SAFETY FEATURES: Built-in safety features including Overheat Protection and auto-off.
The first batch of bacon from the Instant air fryer oven.

I’ve cooked the following in the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven:

  • Bacon
  • Chicken Cordon Bleau (4 at a time)
  • French Fries using the trays
  • Chicken Wings
  • Panko Breaded Shrimp

Unboxing the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven

Make sure to check and remove all styrofoam and cardboard pieces both outside and inside of the oven before first use. The way this air fryer was packaged made it extremely easy to see what in all was included. The top piece of styrofoam has inserts where a majority of the accessories are. The rotisserie basket and trays are inside the air fryer and there is cardboard and tape to remove that hold them in place.

Included accessories:

  • Rotisserie spit and forks
  • Rotisserie fetch tool
  • Rotisserie basket
  • Drip pan
  • 2 cooking pans

What I Have Now: Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL

I own the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL and use it almost daily. This is a traditional round basket style air fryer that comes with a broiling rack and Ceramic-Coated Crisper Plate. We purchased this model after using the 4-quart version of the Ninja Air Fryer at my in-law’s house and seeing how well it reheated fried chicken making the fried chicken crispy again without drying out the meat.

We cook chicken wings most often in the air fryer. My Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL will cook about 9 drumettes or 12 flats at a time on the Ceramic-Coated Crisper Plate. I’ve not tried to layer wings using the broiling rack yet. Using the Air Fry function set to 390 degrees for about 22 minutes (this is for partially frozen chicken wings), I can cook batches of wings.

Pros:

  • Wings come out juicy and cooked through every time
  • Ceramic-Coated Crispter Plate is extremely easy to clean and is dishwasher safe
  • Shaking the basket half way through is easy using the large handle
  • The basket is deep ensuring nothing is going to spill out during the cooking process
  • The front of the air fryer surface stays relatively cool to the touch
  • Fairly quiet during operation

Cons:

  • Even with the increased size of the Max XL, it is still too small when cooking batches of food for a family of 4 (cooking a 10lb bag of Member’s Mark chicken wings from Sam’s Club for Comparison)
  • The round cooking basket has limitations when you have pre-frozen square shaped food to cook

I’ve also cooked the following in our Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL:

  • frozen chicken pot pies
  • frozen deep dish pizzas
  • french fries, all varieties (shoe string, waffle fries, steak cut, crinkle cut)
  • fried okra
  • brussel sprouts
  • baked potatoes
  • roasted vegetables
  • frozen onion rings
  • reheat food: pizza, fried chicken, shrimp
  • ‘baked’ boiled eggs

Initial Test Run

Both air fryers call out cleaning the accessories and doing an initial test run.

The Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven had a noticeable plastic smell during the heating process on the test run. The smell was quite strong and if I didn’t know better I would have thought plastic was melting. I had to vent the kitchen and the living room by opening the windows and screen door. I was also running my Shark air purifier to clean the air too. A lot of reviews mention this plastic smell hanging around after the first few uses. I did not have that problem and noticed no significant plastic smell nor did my food have any altered taste the first time I cooked food in the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven.

Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven user’s manual – test run instructions

The Ninja had a slight plastic smell on the first cycle but it dissipated quickly and I’ve not smelled it since. It was not nearly as strong as the smell that the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven emitted.

Counter Space

One point to take into consideration no matter which air fryer you purchase is the amount of available counter space you’ll need. I don’t just mean a place to put it on the counter. You have to have room on all four sides of the air fryer due to the amount of heat it emits during the cooking process. Both air fryers that I own recommend a certain amount of space between other appliances in the user’s manual for this reason.

While my Ninja is round in shape and takes up less counter space, the Instant air fryer oven is square and takes up significantly more space.

Something to note about the Instant air fryer, it vents from the back. I pull it forward before I start the pre-heat process because all surfaces of the Instant air fryer get hot to the touch. Don’t even attempt to maneuver it while cooking without wearing an oven mitt because it is hot. Another thing to note, the Instant air fryer oven has 4 rubber feet on the bottom and does not slide easily.

Back Vent – Instant Air Fryer Oven

The Ninja vents from the top so you’d want to make sure it is not directly beneath a cabinet when using it.

Design Matters

In order to understand my reasoning, I need to explain how I came to this conclusion. After cooking partially dethawed chicken wings in both my Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL and Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven, I can tell you with certainty that DESIGN MATTERS!

There are two slotted trays and a solid tray that fits at the bottom of the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven to catch grease or drippings from food during the cooking process. These trays come standard. I found the rectangular trays in the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven to be awkward to maneuver with a plate of half-cooked chicken wings when it came time to switch the trays around. The only plus to this process is that the air fryer beeps when it is time to switch the trays or move your food around. My Ninja does not beep at the halfway point.

The trays in the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven do not have a catch to prevent them from sliding completely out as oven racks do. If you are not careful, you will have a tray of food on the door or the floor fairly quickly. I found myself holding the door halfway open to stop the trays while attempting to flip food with a spatula. Or, I would have to pull a tray completely out to use tongs or a spatula to flip food which meant liquid or crumbs fell on the door. I wish the trays were designed to have a catch or a notch built similar to oven racks. The tray on the bottom was full of chicken juices during the halfway cooking point when I cooked wings. Removing this tray during the cooking process to dump the liquid without A: burning myself or B: spilling the liquid everywhere was almost impossible. There is room to lift it straight up but the lip on the flat tray is not large enough to get a good grip when wearing an oven mitt or using a doubled-up kitchen towel.

The basket on the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL is designed so that you can literally shake it mid-way through to move your food around. Plus, the basket style ensures no hot juice from what you are cooking splashes back on you.

Cleaning the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven

I scrubbed any burnt-on food on the trays and put them straight in the dishwasher. I used wet wipes to clean the inside of the air fryer. I found tilting the Instant air fryer oven back to wipe the top of the inside was easy BUT there are places I just could not wipe down which include above the burner at the top and along the sides where the rotisserie spits go. You can get it decently clean but I prefer squeaky clean.

A note about removing the door. To remove the door, hold it halfway open and lift it straight up. I was being too careful when in reality I just needed to lift up and the door came right off. I used a sponge to clean the door with dish soap, dried it with a kitchen towel, and put it right back on the way it came off. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Cleaning the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL in comparison is equally the same. The crisper tray and basket are advertised as dishwasher safe on the top rack only. Click here to see a Youtube video of the process. I have soaked the crisper plate with hot water in the basket-like in the linked video and that does help to get the gunk off after cooking sticky or greasy foods.

On both air fryers, it is nearly impossible to clean above the burner where the fan is. I find this to be a common complaint on all air fryer brands specifically mentioning the inability to clean above the burner. The day an air fryer comes out that has a removable burner like a stove, take my money because I will be sold on it.

Controls

The Instant air fryer oven has touch screen buttons with 14 buttons to use. The touch screen buttons on the Instant air fryer oven have not been as responsive as I thought they would be. I have to push the button a few times in order to get it to register, most of the time selecting the top right corner of the button. My hands tend to be cold to the touch often and there were a few times I could not get the button to respond no matter how hard or where I pressed it. I did notice after washing my hands in hot water and drying them and then touching the touch screen, it responded every time.

The Ninja has actual buttons that you can feel depressing when you push them. I’ve never had a response issue with the buttons on the Ninja no matter if I was pushing them with my bare hands or with an oven mitt on.

Audible Reminders

One thing the Instant air fryer oven does well is through audible beeps to remind me to do things. It beeps, and when I say that I mean it beeps a lot! There are reminder beeps when it is finished pre-heating, beeps when you need to either flip food or switch the trays, and beeps when the cooking cycle has finished. I like getting audible reminders during the cooking process.

The Ninja air fryer model I have does not have audible alerts during the cooking process so you’ll have to just remember to shake the basket or set some sort of digital reminder on your smartphone or virtual assistant.

Recap

While there are other foods I have yet to cook in the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven, I can make a solid case on why you may want to consider purchasing this air fryer oven or at least put in the top 3 list of air fryers to consider depending on certain needs.

I am willing to overlook the fact that I almost lost a tray of hot wings, chalking it up to my learning curve in figuring out how to best maneuver the trays during the cooking process. I was using thicker silicone oven mitts and perhaps will stick with a fabric oven mitt to grab the trays within future uses.

I highly recommend doing to manufacturer-recommended test run before cooking food in the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven. A test run will almost always have a ‘new parts’ smell.

If you are cooking for a larger crowd, the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven will get the job done. The larger cooking space, multi-use trays, and the unique standard accessories that come included like the rotisserie basket add value to your purchase. The audible alerts during the cooking process were a welcome bonus. It all comes down to how much counter space you have, what you want to cook, and how many people you are cooking for.

If you just want an air fryer that has multiple functions, does not take up much space, and is easy to use, I 100% recommend the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL.

I’d like to welcome your thoughts in the comments. Do you own the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven too? What are your experiences? Are you considering purchasing the Instant™ Vortex™ Pro 10-quart Air Fryer Oven? What can I recap on to help you make a better decision before you make your purchase?

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