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What is the difference between Instant Pot Vortex Plus and regular?

Instant Pots have become incredibly popular in recent years as an easy way to cook meals quickly and conveniently. The Instant Pot brand offers several different models, with the Vortex Plus being one of their newer air fryer oven options. But how exactly does the Vortex Plus compare to a regular Instant Pot multi-cooker? Here we’ll look at the key similarities and differences.

What is an Instant Pot?

Instant Pots are electric pressure cookers that can also function as slow cookers, rice cookers, steamers, sauté pans, yogurt makers, and more. The original Instant Pot is a multi-cooker with different preset buttons for pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, etc. It uses steam and pressure to cook food very quickly – often 2-6 times faster than regular cooking. Instant Pots lock in steam to build pressure, allowing food to cook at higher temperatures than normal. This makes tough cuts of meat and hard vegetables super tender and speeds up cooking times overall. The tightly sealed lid also traps moisture, resulting in very flavorful dishes. Beyond pressure cooking, Instant Pots can be used for all kinds of one-pot meals by switching between the different functions. Their versatility and convenience make them extremely popular kitchen appliances.

What is the Instant Pot Vortex Plus?

The Instant Pot Vortex Plus is Instant Pot’s air fryer oven model. It combines the convection heating and air frying capabilities of an air fryer with the rotisserie and dehydrator functions of an oven. The Vortex Plus has 7 built-in smart programs – air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, dehydrate, and rotisserie. It circulates super hot air around food to cook and crisp the exterior, while keeping the interior moist. This makes it possible to enjoy all of your favorite fried foods with little to no oil. Beyond air frying, the Vortex Plus can bake cakes, cookies, pizzas, and more. The rotisserie function allows you to perfectly cook whole chickens, ribs, roasts, and other proteins. You can also use the dehydrate mode to make fruit leathers, veggie chips, jerky, and more. The Vortex Plus provides a lot of versatility in one countertop appliance.

Main Differences

Here are the key differences between the Instant Pot Vortex Plus air fryer oven and standard Instant Pot multi-cookers:

Cooking Methods

– Instant Pot: Primarily uses pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, steaming.

– Vortex Plus: Air frying, baking, broiling, rotisserie, dehydrating.


– Instant Pot: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, etc. Preset buttons for each function.

– Vortex Plus: Air fryer, oven, rotisserie, dehydrator. Preset programs for air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, dehydrate, rotisserie.

Cooking Process

– Instant Pot: Uses steam and pressure to quickly cook food. Traps steam inside to build pressure and cook at higher temp than normal.

– Vortex Plus: Uses super hot air circulated at high speed to cook and crisp food. Air frying requires little to no oil.


– Instant Pot: Typically 3-8 quarts.

– Vortex Plus: 10 quarts.


– Instant Pot: Round or oval pressure cooker design with lid that seals. Some models have steamer baskets.

– Vortex Plus: More oven-like rectangle shape with door that opens downwards. Rotisserie spit and rotating basket included.

Best Uses

– Instant Pot: Excellent for stews, chilis, rice, oatmeal, beans, tough cuts of meat, more. Best for wet cooking methods.

– Vortex Plus: Great for crisping and air frying French fries, chicken wings, fish, veggies. Also bakes, broils, roasts, dehydrates very well. Best for dry cooking methods.

Shared Features

Despite their differences, the Vortex Plus and standard Instant Pot do share some similarities:

– Large cooking capacity

– Digital displays with cooking presets and programs

– Easy to use and cook with for beginners

– Dishwasher safe cooking pots/baskets

– Can sauté before pressure or air frying cooking

– Recipe books included with appliance

– Helpful for cooking large batches or meal prepping

– Saves cooking time compared to conventional ovens

– Includes delay start function to plan meals ahead

Cooking Capabilities

Here is a more in-depth look at what you can cook with each appliance:

Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is great for:

– Tough cuts of meat – becomes very tender
– Large batches of chili, soup, stew, etc.
– Rice, farro, quinoa, oats
– Beans and lentils from dry – no presoaking needed
– Cheesecake and pot-in-pot cooking like lasagna
– Steaming vegetables very quickly
– Yogurt making
– Hard boiled eggs
– Pulled pork, beef, chicken
– Braising roasts and tough vegetables
– Bone broth

Vortex Plus

The Vortex Plus excels at:

– Air fried foods – French fries, chicken wings, fish sticks, more
– Roasting chickens, pork loin, vegetables, more
– Baking cakes, cookies, breads, pizzas, muffins, etc.
– Broiling steaks, chops, seafood
– Dehydrating fruits, vegetables, meats into jerky
– Reheating leftovers evenly
– Cooking smaller, quicker batches vs large meals
– Rotisserie cooking whole chickens or roasts
– Toasting bread or nuts
– Crisping breaded foods like schnitzel or eggplant parm

Size and Appearance

Not only do these appliances function differently, they also look quite different from each other.

Instant Pot Size

– Typically round or oval shaped pressure cookers
– Range from 3 quarts to 8 quarts
– 10-13 inches tall x about 12 inches wide
– Weigh 10-15 pounds depending on model

Vortex Plus Size

– Rectangular oven-like shape with door that opens down
– 10 quart capacity
– 17.6 inches long x 16.4 inches wide x 14.5 inches tall
– Weighs 21.5 pounds

The Vortex Plus has a much larger footprint and takes up more counter space than a standard Instant Pot. It’s closer in size to a small countertop oven while Instant Pots have a compact pressure cooker design.

Control Panel and Settings

The user interface also looks quite different on these appliances:

Instant Pot Controls

– Simple digital control panel on front
– Preset buttons for cooking functions like Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Steam, Sauté
– Adjustable temperature and pressure settings
– Display shows cooking time countdown
– Fewer overall settings to choose from

Vortex Plus Controls

– More complex digital interface with dial and many buttons
– Preset cooking program buttons like Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Bake, Dehydrate
– Adjustable temperature and time settings
– LED display shows cooking function, time, and temperature
– Lots of versatility in programming

The Vortex Plus has a much more advanced interface with more fine tuning of air frying and oven settings possible. Instant Pots are very simple to operate in comparison.


The included accessories also set these two models apart:

Instant Pot Accessories

– Sealing ring for pressure cooking lid
– Steamer tray or trivet to elevate food off bottom
– Condensation collector
– Measuring cup and cooking spoons
– Rice paddle or spoon
– Recipe book

Vortex Plus Accessories

– Crisper basket for air frying
– Rotisserie spit and forks
– Drip/crumb tray
– Oven rack
– Recipe book

The Vortex Plus comes with less accessories overall but some very useful ones for air frying, rotisserie cooking, and catching drips when broiling or baking. The accessories reflect the very different cooking methods between these appliances.


You’ll need to use different types of recipes with an Instant Pot versus the Vortex Plus air fryer oven.

Instant Pot Recipes

– Heavy stews, chilis, soups
– Tough, fatty cuts of meat
– Large roasts
– Rice and grains
– Beans
– Steamed vegetables
– Cheesecake and custards
– Meals with a lot of liquid

Vortex Plus Recipes

– Air fried chicken, fries, fish sticks, more
– Baked cakes, cookies, breads
– Broiled steaks, seafood
– Roast chicken or pork
– Pizza
– Dehydrated fruit leathers and veggie chips
– Lighter meals requiring crisping/browning

The recipes you’ll find for these appliances cater to their unique cooking capabilities. Instant Pots excel at braises while the Vortex Plus is the better option for quick snacks requiring a crispy exterior.


There is a significant price difference between these models. Here’s an overview:

Instant Pot Prices

– $50 – $150 range depending on features and capacity
– Typically $80 – $120 for 6 quart models
– Often go on sale for $60 – $100

Vortex Plus Price

– Retails around $130 – $140
– More expensive than regular Instant Pots
– Sometimes on sale for $100 – $120

The Vortex Plus costs about $50 – $100 more than comparable Instant Pot models. However, it does combine an air fryer and oven into one appliance. For the extra cost, you get a lot more cooking functionality. But it depends if you need those extra features.

Maintenance and Cleaning

It’s important to keep both the Instant Pot and Vortex Plus well cleaned and maintained. Here are some key points:

Instant Pot Maintenance

– Inner pot, lid, and sealing ring should be washed after each use
– Check that pressure release valve is clear after each use
– Replace sealing ring every 6 months to 1 year
– Descaler can be used to remove mineral deposits if needed
– Inner pot, steaming rack, and lid are dishwasher safe

Vortex Plus Maintenance

– Air fryer basket, rotisserie spit, drip tray, crumb tray should be washed after each use
– Inner oven area should be wiped out frequently
– Clean door window with glass cleaner if needed
– Don’t submerge heating element in water
– Accessories are dishwasher safe

Proper cleaning is especially important for the Vortex Plus to prevent grease buildup and smelly oven interior from air frying. Both appliances have dishwasher safe parts for easy cleanup.

Safety Features

Both Instant Pot and the Vortex Plus have good safety mechanisms:

Instant Pot Safety Features Vortex Plus Safety Features
Overheat protection Overheat protection shutoff
Lid lock to prevent opening while pressurized Magnetic door locks
Pressure and steam release valves 2 interior oven lights
Ceramic non-stick cooking pot Cool touch exterior

The Vortex Plus may have slightly better safety due to the magnetic locking door and interior oven lights. But both appliances incorporate important measures to prevent accidents while cooking.

Ease of Use

In terms of user friendliness, most people find:

– **Instant Pot** – Very simple to operate. Preset buttons make it easy to start cooking quickly. Less customizable options compared to Vortex Plus. More beginner friendly.

– **Vortex Plus** – More programming options make it optimal for advanced cooks. The air fryer style interface has a learning curve for some. Best for those comfortable with modern kitchen gadgets.

First time pressure cooker users will appreciate the simplicity of Instant Pots. The Vortex Plus is not difficult to use but it does have more settings to learn.


Let’s look at some common questions about the Instant Pot Vortex Plus vs standard models:

Can the Vortex Plus replace an Instant Pot?

The Vortex Plus cannot pressure cook or work as a multi-cooker, so it can’t fully replace an Instant Pot. However, its air frying capabilities may make a standard Instant Pot less necessary for some users.

Is the Vortex Plus an air fryer or oven?

The Vortex Plus combines features of both an air fryer and a small oven. It air fries exceptionally well but also bakes, broils, and dehydrates.

What is the biggest Instant Pot? What is the biggest Vortex Plus?

The largest Instant Pot is 8 quarts while the Vortex Plus is only available in a 10 quart capacity.

Can you use Instant Pot recipes in the Vortex Plus?

No, Instant Pot pressure cooker recipes won’t work in the Vortex Plus and vice versa. You need recipes designed for the specific cooking functions of each appliance.

Do Instant Pots go on sale on Black Friday? Does the Vortex Plus?

Yes, Instant Pots often go on major sale for Black Friday. The Vortex Plus may also be discounted around the holidays as supplies last.


The Instant Pot Vortex Plus offers a lot more cooking functionality than standard Instant Pots. With its combination of air frying, baking, rotisserie, and dehydrating, it can replace several other appliances in your kitchen. However, the Vortex Plus cannot pressure cook, so traditional Instant Pots are still better for wet cooking methods like stews, rice, beans, etc.

The Vortex Plus is ideal for crisping up foods with little oil, roasting meats and veggies, and making snacks like fries, wings, and fish sticks. An Instant Pot is superior for large batches of hearty meals like chili, stew, and oatmeal. Serious home cooks may want both since they excel in very different areas.

Consider what features matter most – air frying, rotisserie, pressure cooking, slow cooking, etc. Look at recipe books and online guides for each appliance to get an idea of their best uses. And think about your available counter space, as the Vortex Plus has a much larger footprint. Determine what type of cooking you do most before deciding between the Instant Pot Vortex Plus vs a regular model. Both are great additions to your kitchen but designed for different purposes.