Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket Air Fryer review

The Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket air fryer is an all-round superstar for family cooking, and batch prepping meals too

Image of Instant Dual Zone air fryer on the countertop of a kitchen on a countertop
(Image credit: Instant)
Ideal Home Verdict

The Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket has everything you need to make cooking at home better. That includes 7.6 litres of space, two drawers for cooking two foodstuffs, eight functions and a gorgeous interface. Another of my favourite features is the glass basket, which means there's no need to disrupt the cooking time if you want to check on your food. It's hard to find fault with this air fryer, which serves as a great alternative to the ever out-of-stock double drawer Ninja.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Spacious dual drawer system

  • +

    Programs to sync cooking of both

  • +

    ClearCook means you can check progress

  • +

    Super sleek design

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Max temperature is lower than Ninja Foodi

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket air fryer is the souped-up version of a classic appliance that we love at Ideal Home (the Instant 6-in-1 air fryer), and ticks all the boxes if you're looking for a standout family-sized appliance. It is without a doubt one of the best dual zone air fryers that money can buy, and it's my favourite air fryer that I use everyday - high praise from someone who tests kitchen appliances for a living. 

What makes this air fryer so great? Well it's everything that went towards us crowning the Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer our top-rated best air fryer and more, with heaps more space and the chance to use a different function in one basket compared to the other.

I've been using this air fryer at home for months now, and it has never once let me down. It's my staple for everyday cooking, batch cooking, baking, reheating and more. Keep reading to discover why this is an incredibly worthy alternative to the air fryer of the moment, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone. 

Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket product specs 

Image of Instant dual zone air fryer cutout image on white background

(Image credit: Instant)
  • Material: Plastic
  • Colour: Black
  • Capacity: 7.6 litres
  • Modes: Air fry, roast, bake, reheat, grill, dehydrate (able to use 2 different functions at once)
  • Weight: 8.05kg
  • Power: 1700W
  • Size: 38.4 x 31.7 x 40.3 cm (h x w x d)

Who tested this air fryer?

Molly Cleary
Molly Cleary

Molly is the Ecommerce Editor for Ideal Home and is always on the lookout for the next must-buy product for your home. Covering all things appliance related, with an emphasis on air fryers, she regularly heads to Future's Test Facility in Reading to thoroughly put products through their paces. 

She was kindly sent the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket at home to test out, and has been using it for several months.

Unboxing the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket and first impressions

Image of Instant Pot Dual Zone Vortex on countertop during testing at home

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Like all Instant products I've encountered the packaging for this air fryer was minimal, and the handle on top made it a lot easier to get it up the stairs from the front door. It's obviously quite a lot bigger than the Instant 6-in-1, which I used to have at home, but it's not an overbearing box, and it's not super heavy. 

The first impression out of the box with this air fryer is that it is unbelievably sleek, just like its predecessor. It has a touchscreen interface that slopes slightly and two sets of controls, one for each basket. The air fryer is only illuminated with those controls when turned on, so most of the time it'll just look sleek and inconspicuous on your countertop. The font used on the interface is lovely and the haptics are just delightful; you're bound to feel satisfied when you're setting it up. 

The touch screen is made up of the temperature and time at the top, with a progress bar underneath. Then you have the banner that shows instructions throughout the process 'Add Food', 'Shake Food', 'End', etc. To get to the function you want, you use the bar below, which has those six functions that we discussed earlier: Air Fry, Bake, Grill, Reheat, Roast and Dehydrate. 

To program each basket you press the number that corresponds to the basket underneath, and you can match up whatever is inside using the Sync buttons on either side. If you want to customise temperature or timings rather than using a preset, then that's totally possible with this model too. 

If you were to buy this air fryer I'd imagine that you'd be very impressed as it came out of the box - especially if you're hyper-aware of the kind of appliances you give space to in your kitchen.

Cooking chicken

One of my go-to meals with this air fryer is chicken and Mediterranean veg for dinner. It's one example where the dual basket system works so well, as you get so much more space for your money. 

It comes out perfect every time, and shaves at least 5 minutes off the time this would take in the oven, and achieves a wonderful crisp that I don't think you'd get otherwise.

The preheat function with this machine is also very handy in this case, and not something you get with every air fryer. Every time you program your air fryer to start, it'll take about two minutes to preheat, and then give you a beep to let you know it's time to put the food in. That means your air fryer will be perfectly hot and give you a few minutes to prep whatever you want to put inside. 

Image of Instant Vortex Dual air fyer

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Cooking tofu 

If you are looking for veggie alternatives or find cooking tofu a struggle, an air fryer is a genius purchase. The secret? Coat your tofu in cornflour and spices, spray with oil and then leave in the air fryer for 15 minutes to crisp up perfectly (and healthily!). 

The tofu pictured is an air fryer staple of mine in the Instant Vortex, and the crisp you get with this particular model is unbeatable. Again, the dual drawer system comes in so handy for air frying greens to go alongside the main protein. 

Image of tofu made in Instant air fryer

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Cooking frozen food

What would owning an air fryer be without beige food? Perhaps more nutritious, but a lot less helpful when it comes to quick filler meals. Such staples in my home include nuggets, goujons and of course, the humble chip. 

This is another time when the technology of the Sync and Match drawers comes into its own, as the packet timings of chips and nuggets can be different, and you want to just be able to throw things into the air fryer and get on with other stuff while they course. Thanks to the space with the huge capacity of this air fryer there's also plenty of space for greens to brighten up the beige too and make things a bit healthier. 

Image of Instant Vortex interface

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Cleaning 

The cleaning of this air fryer is simple. If you've used the single-basket version, then it's exactly the same, with just two baskets to clean instead of one. If you're completely new to it, then all you need to do is either hand wash the baskets, including the grill or pop them into the dishwasher. 

The only other job left to do? Give the exterior of the appliance a wipe to banish fingerprints, ideally with a microfibre cloth. Obviously this air fryer is quite big, so it's best to make sure that you don't have any overhanging cupboards above it as it works, to avoid condensation and all kinds of damp problems.

How does it compare to similar models?

Let's start with the big comparison: the original single drawer Instant  Vortex Plus 6-in-1 air fryer. The RRP of the single drawer model is £119.99 (it's £149.99 with the added odour filter) compared to a jump to £199.99 for the double drawer (again, it's more at £219.99 for the odour filter).

So that tots up at an extra £80 for the larger option at the very least. If you need to cook for a few people, and you want the added versatility, I think it's definitely worth the investment, as you get 1.9 litres of space for your money. If there's no need for you to have two drawers, stick with the single, there's no way it can do you wrong. 

The other big name that draws comparisons here? The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer, which has an RRP of £199.99 for the 7.6 litre version. This is the air fryer of the moment and is constantly selling out; treatment that it deserves due to just how good it is. But arguably, the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket is just as good in my opinion, and deserves to share some of the hype. Granted, it can't quite reach the temperatures the Ninja can, but it definitely wins in the style stakes, and you can find it in stock more easily. 

Should you buy the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket?

There's only one answer to this question: absolutely yes. I test air fryers for a living, and I've had a fair few in my home by this point, but this is the one that has stood the test of time. It's so easy to use, looks great and crisps up everything you put in like a dream.

It also has loads of other uses to make it worth your money. That includes the ability to reheat and to bake, as well as grill. The capacity works for me in a household with two other people, but it would suit bigger families too. For the same price as the Ninja, and being much easier to find, it's the air fryer I personally recommend to family and friends when they ask. 

About this review, and this reviewer 

I tested this air fryer at home for several weeks before writing this review, in accordance to Ideal Home's testing criteria. In order to come to a conclusion I cooked lunch and dinner with this air fryer most days. 

This air fryer was kindly sent to me by Instant Brands UK, who have allowed me to keep the product for long term testing so that this review can be updated in the future to see if it stands the test of time. 

Molly Cleary
Ecommerce Editor

After writing for all of Future's Homes titles, Molly is now an Ecommerce Editor at Ideal Home, working across a range of shopping content to find the best buys for your space. Previously, she was the Staff Writer at TopTenReviews, another Future site, where she covered home content, which to a US audience is anything from turkey fryers to ride-on lawn mowers. Now, she spends her time writing reviews of appliances she’s tested at home and at our testing facility (we're talking air fryers, vacuums, dehumidifiers and more!), as well as curating buying guides. She's a certified Consumer Expert for several product categories after passing a five-step program including hands-on experience, consumer interviews and extensive research into her specialist areas including kitchen appliances and vacuums.