For starters, it’s really more of a countertop oven than an air fryer.

By Betty Gold
Updated: July 08, 2019
walmart.com

The Instant Pot is breathing new life into our ability to get a fuss-free dinner on the table in practically no time. We've ranted and raved about how much we love it for making set-it-and-forget-it style dishes like mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and chicken pho. Instant Pots make meal prep a breeze and even let you make from-scratch staples, like yogurt.

But plot twist, fellow Pot Heads: just when we thought we couldn’t love Instant Pot any more, the brand just released a multi-function countertop air fryer. This new product, the Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer ($119; walmart.com), is a large-capacity countertop oven that promises to have a heart-healthy dinner on the table for six-plus people in significantly less time than your full-size oven will take.

As with other air fryer models on the market, the Vortex cooks by circulating super hot air around fries, chicken wings, brussels sprouts, and more at a high speed, turning out crisp results with significantly less fat than what’s used when cooking with a deep fryer. Technically, air fryers are mini convection ovens, though they work in a fraction of the time it would take a conventional oven and without heating up the whole house (read: a serious summertime game changer).

RELATED: The Be-All, End-All Guide to Air Frying

What sets the Instant Pot air fryer apart from other models is, of course, the multi-functionality that the brand is already so well-known for. In addition to air frying, you can use the Vortex to roast, broil, bake, reheat, and dehydrate, plus it has an option to rotate for rotisserie-style cooking. After you crisp up all those sweet potato fries, you can bake an entire peach pie, make a batch of homemade fruit leather or beef jerky using the dehydrator, melt cheese on nachos under the broiler, or use the rotisserie spit to make tender rotisserie chicken that’ll put any store-bought version to shame.

Another exceptional feature of the Instant Vortex is its size. This air fryer boasts a 10-quart interior capacity, which is a big deal for larger families who can’t feed everyone from the small-sized fryer basket touted by most models. Which brings us to our next point: rather than having to deal with a crowded basket that makes stacking (ahem, steaming) foods unavailable, the Vortex touts two air fryer trays that allow you to lay your meat, veggies, and more down in a single layer. This means that heat gets distributed over your ingredients much more evenly, which results in a more uniformly crispy exterior texture.

The final standout quality of the Instant Vortex—in addition to its relatively low price-point—is its sleek digital display. For those who love fancy features, the LED-lit touchscreen controls give this model a major edge over the low-tech dials found on most other air fryer models. It also makes it a lot more attractive-looking, which is important if you plan to keep this appliance front and center on your kitchen countertop.

Seriously, if you choose to convert your full-size oven into a cabinet for your cookware (or shoe collection) after buying this, we really wouldn’t blame you.

RELATED: 7 Brilliant Ways to Use Your Air Fryer for Meal Prep

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