Air fryers have been having a moment, and today, there’s no shortage of machines to choose from. Earlier this year, we set out to find the best air fryers available now, and we came across a handful of models that impressed us. Our top pick of the bunch, the Instant Vortex Plus, is one of the best for most people — and now you can pick it up at its lowest price yet. Amazon has the six-quart Instant Vortex Plus for only $100, which is 41 percent off its regular rate.
This air fryer comes from the makers of the Instant Pot, so you can safely assume this machine doesn’t stop at air frying alone. It has six cooking modes — air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat and dehydrate — and it has a temperature range of 95 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That should let you cook all kinds of foods in it, and with the six-quart machine, you’ll have enough room to cook quite a bit of food at once. In our testing, we found that the Vortex Plus took little to no time to preheat, and we liked its intuitive controls and easy-to-clean basket.
The Vortex Plus has two additional features that help it stand out from other air fryers in this price range. It has a “ClearCook” window on the front of its basket, which essentially just lets you see inside the machine while it’s cooking. Most other pod-shaped air fryers don’t have this, and it could come in handy if you like to make sure your food is cooked precisely a certain way. There’s also the brand’s “odor ease” technology that uses built-in replaceable air filters to remove smells during cooking. We found that it didn’t completely eliminate smells, but compared to other, bigger machines, the Vortex Plus’ output seemed less smokey overall.
The discounted Vortex Plus joins a number of other Instant Pot gadgets on sale for Black Friday. There’s the previous-generation of that air fryer on sale for $80, which may be a better deal for you if you can forgo the ClearCook window and the smell-eliminating feature. There’s also the Instant Vortex Plus XL that’s 28 percent off and down to $130. It’s an eight-quart machine with two cooking drawers, allowing you to prepare two different foods at the same time — and both drawers have their own ClearCook windows. If you like the idea of a dual-zone machine and our pick of the Ninja Foodi XL is a bit too expensive for you, Instant Pot’s version could be a good alternative.