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Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review

This is the speediest air fryer out there

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Instant)

Our Verdict

The Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven is the fastest air fryer we tested.

For

  • Gives crispy but tender results
  • Excellent at roasting a chicken
  • Short cooking times
  • Exterior stays cool to the touch

Against

  • Baskets are not dishwasher safe
  • Noisy
Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven: Specs

Size: 11.5 x 13 x 12.8 inches
Capacity: 6 quarts 2 pounds fries, 4 pound chicken
Controls: Digital
Modes: Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat
Smart features: None

Not only is the Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven one of the best at delivering the crunch you love about fried foods — but it consistently delivers great results in the shortest cooking times. This means you can get dinner on the table fast. The display is large and easy to read and the digital controls are intuitive to use.

Its design could be more convenient in terms of cleaning though, and it’s not the quietest of air fryers. Read on for the full Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review. 

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review: Price and availability

The Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven is available at Best Buy for $99.99 and at Walmart for $99. It is available in black.

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review: Design

The Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven is a big black box, measuring 11.5 x 13 x 12.8 inches, that will require quite a bit of countertop space. However it is not terribly heavy at 12.1 pounds, so it’s easy to move to a cabinet or closet if you don’t plan to keep it on display. It has a handle that protrudes for removing a single cooking basket. The control panel features large buttons that are clearly marked and a dial for controlling the setting, temperature and time. When you’re not using it, the control pad blacks out so it doesn’t appear obtrusive. 

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review: Cooking performance

On our tests, we found that the Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven performed best on brussels sprouts and frozen French fries. In fact, it was the only air fryer to score full marks for frozen French fries, needing just 15 minutes to cook. It also scored highly for breaded chicken as well, needing just 13 minutes to cook this after preheating. However, it somewhat struggled for air frying chicken wings. 

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There are no preset cooking programs on this air fryer; instead you need to set the temperature and time manually as well as the overall setting, such as air fry, roast or reheat. This can be daunting if you’re new to air frying. There’s also little guidance in terms of cooking charts supplied — you will need to go online to find these.  

After you set your desired cooking temperature and time, it automatically goes into a preheat mode. There is no option to deactivate the preheat. This actually comes in use, because if your food isn’t ready once time is up and you want to air fry it for a few more minutes, it will automatically revert to preheating again. 

Although the basket has a 6-quart capacity, you can’t cook that quantity of food at once. For reasonable cooking times and best results, you’ll only want to cook about 1 pound of food at a time or as much as can fit on the 10-inch square bottom in a single layer. During cooking you get a prompt on the screen to turn the food, which is helpful as it’s always a good idea to rearrange food during air frying to get an even result.  

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Brussels sprouts, frozen French fries and breaded chicken cutlets came out just about perfect; all were browned, crisped, moist and tender. Homemade French fries came out reasonably browned and crispy without becoming dry or cardboard-like in just 18 minutes. This air fryer didn’t perform quite so well on chicken wings though, as these were cooked to doneness, but could have been better browned and crisped. As the manufacturer claims you can cook 2 pounds of French fries, we cooked a whole bag at once. Yes, the basket could hold that much and cook them quickly, but they came out uneven with some overly crisped and others still soft and pale, so we wouldn’t recommend it for this.  

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The roast setting worked beautifully, turning out a whole roast chicken with a well-browned skin and juicy meat in just 50 minutes. As in other air fryers, the bottom wasn’t crisped, but this is to be expected unless the chicken is rotated. 

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We cooked four 4-ounce hamburgers in the Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven. After a 5-minute preheat, they cooked in 10 minutes. Browning was better on the second side and was similar to the coloring you get from broiling, rather than the deep brown crusty exterior you get from grilling or even pan frying. But once again, there was no smoke and no greasy splatters on the cooktop or pan to clean up. 

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review: Ease of use and cleaning

Of all the air fryers we tested, this is one of the most intuitive air fryers to program. The buttons are nicely sized, clearly marked, and quick to respond. To program the temperature and time, you turn and press a dial. The basket has a rack on which the food rests and is easy to pull out and reposition in the air fryer.

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review

(Image credit: Instant)

During cooking, no spot on the exterior of this air fryer gets hot enough to cause a burn. The highest temperature that we recorded was 126.6°F on the lower-front side of the machine. Both the handle and the controls don’t get much warmer than room temperature. We measured a noise level of 66.5dB during heating, which is the loudest of the air fryers we had on test. It’s worth mentioning that this is not so noisy that you won’t be able to have a conversation over the top of it while it’s running. 

Both the basket and the rack are nonstick and have relatively few crevices, making each easy to wash by hand. This is a good thing as they are not dishwasher safe. 

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review

(Image credit: Instant)

With this air fryer you get a very limited guide which does explain how to operate the oven but for more details, cooking charts, and recipes you have to visit the company website. 

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven review: Verdict

The Instant Vortex 6-quart Air Fryer impressed us with its great air frying results on brussel sprouts and, in particular, frozen French fries. We also loved that it could deliver these results speedily. While it doesn’t have preset programs for air frying, it is exceptionally easy to use as the buttons are clear and the display isn’t cluttered with icons. 

However, if you’re new to air frying and need the suggested settings and convenience that presets provide, you may be disappointed; plus, there’s no cooking guidelines in the manual so you have to visit Instant Brand’s website for that information. 

This appliance nearly took the top spot in our air fryers test, but the Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer 5.8qt performed slightly better in terms of chicken wings and breaded chicken. 

Sharon Franke

Sharon Franke is a journalist who specializes in testing and writing about kitchen equipment. A thirty-year veteran of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Sharon also worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. In her free time, she is an avid home cook who is in the process of mastering the art of baking sour dough bread.