I have loved and been faithful to my Philips Viva Digital Airfryer with Rapid Air Technology since 2014. But after having spent the past several months trying the Instant Pot Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer, I’ve found that I don’t just like this one — I love, love, love it. Why? Let me recount the ways.
I first learned about this appliance at a Zoom cooking class taught by JL Fields, local vegan cookbook author. She was using not one, but three air fryers, including the Vortex. Air fryers boast the health benefit of using almost no oil to get great tasting food with a crunchy texture.
But from there, the Vortex goes into its own stratosphere.
For one thing, the basket is roomier. The Philips, like most air fryers, has room for two chicken breasts — about half a pound — or a couple of servings of fries. The Vortex’s 6-quart capacity has room for twice that. I’m able to air-fry a 2-pound bag of fries or four chicken breasts. No more batch cooking, which means food is on the table faster.
It cooks hotter.
The Vortex’s temperature tops out at 400 degrees, which is 10 degrees hotter than the Philips. Hotter cooking means faster chow.
Though the Vortex cooks more food than other brands, it actually takes up less counter space. And it’s dandy looking — dare I say, handsome? Aesthetics are important, and this guy has a sleek, shiny-black, modern look that I do not mind seeing on my counter top every day.
Looks aside, it’s got power going for it. The Vortex made food crispier than I was able to achieve with the Philips. Batches of store-bought and homemade fries cooked evenly and quickly and got super crunchy without much hassle.
With this power does come some noise. The air fryer makes a noticeable whirring sound when turned on, but it’s not louder than a microwave.
It’s easy to use.
You can almost get by without reading the operating manual. The Vortex has eight buttons in all. Four are pre-programmed settings: Air Fry, Bake, Roast and Reheat. The other four are Start, Cancel, Time and Temp. The dial in the center of the screen easily allows you to adjust the temperature in five- degree intervals, and the text is large and easy to read.
It’s a cheap date.
Back in the day, I paid $299 for the digital Philips air fryer; a manual model was available for $199. You can find the Vortex for $99.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.
contact the writer: 636-0271.