Instant (aka Instant Pot) just recently came out with their Vortex and Vortex Plus air fryers (read my Instant Vortex Plus Review). Now they have released a larger toaster oven version, the Instant Omni 9 in 1 (also known as Instant Pot Omni) and, coming soon, the Instant Omni Plus. The ovens have the following functions: Air Fry, Toast, Bake, Broil, Roast, Slow Cook (a Plus only feature), Reheat, Proof (for raising dough, a Plus only feature), and Dehydrate. I finally got my hands on an Omni, so here is my Instant Pot Omni review all updated based on my model.
For a Comparison chart of all of the Instant air fryer and toaster oven models See my Instant Vortex v. Instant Omni Comparison Chart.
Overview of the Instant Omni and Omni Plus
The Instant Omni is larger and sturdier than the Vortex. However, while it has a rotisserie, it lacks the rotating rotisserie basket of the Vortex. See our full Instant Pot Vortex review for more on the Vortex versus the Omni.
There are now reports that Instant customer service has verified that there will be both an Instant Omni and Instant Omni Plus. The plus will reportedly have the same dimensions but will add the proof and slow cook features. An Amazon listing of an “Omni Plus” with a listed availability in several months was up for awhile and then removed. Customer service did tell a person that the Plus would be sold on Amazon. A reader sent me screen shots that she took of listings for the Plus before it was removed and it does indeed appear to have the same dimensions, this is assuming that customer reports of the Omni dimensions are correct.
You can see Instant Pot’s sneak peek announcement about the Omni here.
Instant Pot Omni Review
The Omni is slowly rolling out to Walmart and I suspect it will be widespread around the country shortly. Just in time for holiday and Christmas shopping. I found mine by searching stores for the SKU number and placing pickup orders, Several were cancelled because they had already sold out, but then I finally got one!
The Instant Omni is larger than the Vortex and can fit a 12 inch pizza. Of course this also means that it will take more counter space. But for larger families, the larger size is good news as the Vortex does not fit enough food to feed a larger family. The oven is 1800 watts and bakes up to 450 degrees. It gets hot to the touch on the outside just as any toaster oven does, and in fact I found that it got quite hot, but it also does not heat up the whole kitchen, so it doesn’t radiate too much heat.
I found that it took longer than expected for the Omni to preheat to 400 degrees. In fact, when I made a ham and cheese sandwich later for lunch, I put it in while it was preheating and the sandwich was almost done by the time the oven reached full temperature.
I later timed the preheat. It took between five and six minutes to get to 400. Another minor complaint is that, unlike the Vortex Plus, which beeps a lot and tells you to “add food” when the unit is at full temperature, the Instant Omni, just gives one fairly quiet beep.
The quick start manual says to keep 5 inches of space on all sizes of it. That in turn also requires quite a large counter area, and it makes me a bit nervous keeping it under my cabinets.
The rotisserie is all metal,which is an improvement over the Vortex, which has a plastic part that has at times melted (reports are that newer versions have replaced this with a metal part, but I have not been able to verify this). The spit also inserts much more easily than the Vortex and will likely hold a larger chicken (still to be verified). Like the Vortex, it comes with a removal tool for when it is hot.
The hooks for the spit are pretty much the same as the Vortex, but Instant did improve the screws a bit my giving them a larger head. That makes them a bit easier to use.
While having the rotisserie is a great feature, the lack of a rotisserie basket is disappointing. Personally, the rotating basket is the biggest draw of the Vortex in my opinion, and a rotating basket on the Omni would have been fabulous. With that said, flipping food is not that big of a deal, especially in an oven style air fryer such as the Instant Pot Omni.
The Omni does also have a basket tray, which is useful for holding things like french fries. It is not particularity deep and it does not hang. It must be set on the bottom or on a rack. An initial user review on Facebook reported that the basket tray did indeed make great fries and it worked fine for me for onion rings.
The Omni also comes with a solid baking tray and a regular rack. I found the racks tended to stick a bit when putting them into the unit. They did not slide in smoothly. Not a huge complaint, but I noticed it enough be be a bit annoyed by it. I also found that care is needed removing the racks to not accidentally touch the sides of the oven, which could cause a burn. My Vortex trays slide out much easier.
There is no Teflon. The racks and basket are stainless metal and the baking tray is metal with a black color that is not Teflon. Perhaps an enamel?
I had seen reports that the top features a grid that is useful for placing hot pans on. But in reality, it is just a solid metal top and the quick start guide says not to place anything on top of it.
Aside from the larger size, on big bonus over the Vortex is the addition of toast feature is also nice. The Omni has top and bottom heating elements so you can toast without flipping. The presets (aka “smart programs” affect the initial starting temperature, which ranges from 85-450 degrees (the unit can also be set to display Celsius) and whether convection is used. Convection can be set to both high and low, which is a great feature.
The toast settings allow you to set the desired level. You can make up to 6 pieces of toast at a time
Cleaning is not as easy as the Vortex. The Instant Omni has a removable crumb tray, which is very easy to clean when all you have to deal with are crumbs. But once you have cooking grease, it makes for a much messier clean up. I ended up essentially using the baking tray as a drip pan. But I worry that will effect the overall convection.
On air fry only the top heating elements are used but some settings use both top and bottom elements. Plus I don’t really want grease on those bottom heat elements even when it using them. The door is also not removable for cleaning like the Vortex.
The crumb tray does come all the way out.
The exterior dimensions were given by an initial purchaser as 17.68 x 16.34 x 14.39 inches, but my own measurements are roughly 17 x 14.5 x 13 for the exterior, and the interior is 14.5 x 12.5 x roughly 10. That is rather large for sitting on a counter. But good news for those who want a larger air fryer. The baking rack is 14 1/2 x 12. It holds 13 x 12 inch pans. I have seen reports of it being 23 Qt, 26 L and 27 L capacity. So there is some uncertainty there.
The back has a stopper so that it won’t accidentally touch the wall.
Overall, the stainless steel appearance is nice. There were initial reports that the Omni is not as loud as the Vortex. I Initially disagreed and found it equally loud, or perhaps even slightly louder when on high convection. But after running them side by side, I decided that the Vortex Plus is slightly louder, but not by much. Either way, the sound does not bother me though.
Instant Pot Omni Manual
Just as they did with the Vortex, the Omni ships without a full manual. As of this writing the online manual is not yet available. It seems like Instant Pot likes to rush things like this at times.
Among common early questions that could be addressed by a manual is the weight that the rotisserie can hold. According to a Facebook moderator in the Instant Pot air fryer group, the rotisserie can handle at least 4 pound chicken. This is the same as the Vortex. A consumer who spoke with customer support has said that she was told that it can handle up to 6 pounds. Hopefully a manual will clarify this.
I would also like to know the official protocol for cooking greasy items. I don’t like the idea of grease dripping down onto the lower heating element. But if I use the baking tray as a drip tray then it also blocks to lower heating element.
Instant Omni or Instant Vortex?
I prefer the Vortex because it is more compact, easier to clean, heats faster, and takes up less counter space. It also is cheaper. But I am a family of two and do not need something the size of the Omni. I also do like having both now though since I can now cook multiple things at once. But if I had to choose only one, my personal choice would be the Vortex.
Instant Omni Plus
The Instant Omni Plus has a bit different appearance. While it will add a couple of features, so far that seems to be just the additional presets and heat settings. You could still proof bread dough for example, without a preset for that. Simply put it in on the lowest heat setting. But when the Plus comes out and I learn more, I will update.
Instant Pot Omni Recipes
You can essentially make any air fryer recipe in the Omni, plus can use it bake, dehydrate etc. For air fryer recipes that work well with oven style fryers, see our list of Instant Pot Vortex Recipes. You may need to adjust cooking times slightly because of the larger oven size.
Where to Buy the Instant Omni and Omni Plus
Right now the Omni is only sold at Walmart. However, I suspect it will eventually roll out to other stores.
Update: My local Walmart was able to look up the Omni in their internal system and tell me that they are getting a couple in October and that another local store has some on order. To have your local store look for you tell them the SKU and UPC codes:
Omni SKU # 575848559 and Omni UPC # 085756100862
At some point you might also be able to use BrickSeek to find it using the SKU or UPC code, but Walmart needs to get it put in the system for that to work.
As I get more information on the Instant Pot Omni Plus, I will update this post.