Instant Omni, Vortex Plus and Instant Omni

Instant Omni:Finding One,Choosing the Right Mode, and Getting Started

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As Julie Andrews sang to the Von Trapp children, “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” So where do we start? Well, you’ve got to find one, and hopefully by the time you are reading this, they are easier to find then they are at the time I am writing this.

Where Can You Find the Omni?

So before I start talking about how to find an Omni, I will preface it by saying that at the time I found one (September 13, 2019), it was quite the ordeal. At the time I am writing this, Instant Omni’s can only be found in specific Walmarts. Rumor is that in December, the Omni Plus will be available and possibly you can order them on Amazon. Until then, here are the things I learned on my hunt to find an Instant Omni 9 in 1 Toaster and Air Fryer.

1. Utilize the Walmart App

I live in NYC and Walmarts near me are few and far between. Not only that, but tolls, traffic, and time make it impossible to just drive around to different Walmarts searching shelves. The best way to narrow it down is to use the Walmart app.  Make sure “NextDAY Delivery” is not selected and then type in “Instant Omni” in the search bar.walmartapp

Click on “At Your Store” tab. If one does not show up, then click on the “Change” link to find other stores near you.

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A list of stores near you will come up and you can click on those one at a time until you find a store that says they have some in stock. If you can’t find one in a store near you, change the zip code location and try ones farther away.

2. Call the store.

Once you find one through the app, you are going to want to purchase it right away. DON’T. I tried 3 times to buy them through the app. I would purchase it and get an email about 24 hrs later that they were no longer in stock and my purchase was canceled. I am not sure if that happened because they were sold out before they pulled them off the shelf for me or if the website was wrong. Either way, it was very frustrating. So if you find a store that has one in stock, call the store and ask them to check.

3. Go to the Store and buy it in person.

Once you have confirmation they have them in your store, I highly recommend going there and buying it in person. However, if you do buy it online, know that if they run out before they put it aside, they will refund your money.

Now that you have one, you can watch my video on unboxing and how to get started or scroll down to learn about each of the modes.

WHAT MODE DO I USE?

The great thing about Instant products, is their ease of use and their pre-set modes which they call Smart Programs. However, it can be confusing as to what makes each mode different and which mode you should use to cook your own recipes. I found it helpful in converting and creating my own recipes for the Instant Omni and other products, if I know exactly what each mode does so I can compare and contrast and set it to the perfect mode, temperature, and time.

First, here are the pre-set times and temperatures that default when you press each mode for the first time or reset it. However, the Omni will default to the last time and temperature you used previously.

  • Air Fry:        400 degrees F / 18 mins
  • Toast:            Temp 2 / Level 3
  • Bake:             350 degrees F / 40 mins
  • Broil:             450 degrees F / 10 mins
  • Roast:            365 degrees F / 40 mins
  • Dehydrate:   135 degrees F / 8 hours

Here are the specifics of each mode:

Air Fry

Temperature Range : 180 – 450 degrees F

Time Range: 5 – 45 mins

Functions available: Rotate and Preheat

Functions unavailable: Bottom Heating Element and Fan Adjustment

Bake

Temperature Range : 180 – 450 degrees F

Time Range: 1 min – 4 hours

Functions available: Top and Bottom Heating Elements, Preheat, and Fan Adjustment      (Hi/Lo)

Functions unavailable: Rotate

Broil

Temperature Range : 350 – 450 degrees F

Time Range: 2 – 20 mins

Functions available: Fan Adjustment (Hi/Lo) and Rotate

Functions unavailable: Preheat and Bottom Heating Element

Roast

Temperature Range : 180 – 450 degrees F

Time Range: 20 mins – 4 hours

Functions available: Fan Adjustment (Hi/Lo), Rotate, and Preheat

Functions unavailable: Bottom Heating Element

Dehydrate

Temperature Range : 85 – 175 degrees F

Time Range: 30 mins – 72 hours

Functions available: Rotate and Fan Adjustment (Hi/Lo), Bottom Heating Element

Functions unavailable: Preheat

Toast

Temperature Range : 1 – 5 Level

Time Range: 1 (1:20 mins) – 6 (4:20 mins)

Functions available: Top and Bottom Heating Elements

Functions unavailable: Fan, Rotate, and Preheat

Reheat

Temperature Range : 120 – 360 degree F

Time Range: 5 – 60 mins

Functions available: Bottom Heating Element

Functions unavailable: Rotate and Fan Adjustment

*On the functions that do not use the Bottom Heating Element (Air Fry, Broil, and Roast) you can place the cooking tray on the very bottom level above the heating elements to help with drips.

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Only use the tray on the bottom position on modes that don’t use the bottom heating elements.

Inserting the Rotisserie Spit

Unlike the Vortex Plus, the Omni does not have a lever to engage the Rotisserie spit when inserting and removing it. To insert/remove the spit, you simply place the pointed end of the spit into the circular housing on the right side and then slide the square end onto the bracket on the left.

A Few More Tips

  • If you have a crazy dog like mine, that gets annoyed with beeping sounds, you can turn off all sounds by holding in the Temp and Time knobs for 3 seconds.
  • You can reset all the Smart Programs to their default Time and Temp, by pressing and holding your finger over the “CANCEL” button for 3 seconds.
  • Wipe down and spills or stains before starting the Omni oven again. I use a damp Norwex cloth which works great.
  • Use the wire rack in different positions and flip upside down to bake food.
  • When baking cakes or delicate desserts, press the “CONVECT” button and change the fan to “Lo”.
  • To preheat the oven faster, choose a mode that uses both top and bottom heating elements. Then once it preheats, hit cancel and then change to the desired mode.

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25 thoughts on “Instant Omni:Finding One,Choosing the Right Mode, and Getting Started”

  1. Hi Lana, Could you give me the internal dimensions and the dimensions of the accessories, please? I am trying to decide between this and the Cosori Toaster Oven! Thank you 🙂

    1. The internal dimensions as best as I can measure, is 14 1/2 wide, 14 deep, and 6 1/2 high. The tray is 14 3/4 long by 12 deep at the shortest point because it is curved. This is from end to end not the cooking area. The tray has a 1/2 lip all around. Hope this helps.

  2. I’m confused – on Toast you wrote that it’s functions available are top and bottom heating elements but under functions unavailable it says bottom heating element.

    So does the Omni toast both top and bottom at the same time?

  3. Do you think they will make extra wire racks and baskets available for the Omni Plus? I can only fit 8 wings on the basket, and had bought 32 to cook! My family doesn’t want me to cut off the little wing thing,.

    1. That’s a great question. I am measuring other baskets to find ones that fit. But until then you can always use the black baking sheet on the lowest level and the tray in the middle and cook two racks. Just make sure to use air fry mode so the bottom heating element doesn’t come on.

    2. We found a crisp frying basket/pan combo at walmart. It’s copper in color and was less than 10 bucks. It’s working great in our Omni.

  4. Hi Lana, thanks for posting all your videos and I really appreciate this Mode guide. The manuals for the Omni plus are pretty bad, both the one that comes with it and the pdf version have inconsistency and errors. For example, on page 25 under the recommended cooking times and placements, for fries they manual says the placement is the rotisserie basket. The toaster oven doesn’t have rotisserie basket! They must have just copied this from the Vortex plus manual and erroneously put it in this manual. I wish the Omni plus did have a rotisserie basket, maybe eventually they will or another company could make accessory for this model. I previously had the Instant Vortex Plus, and I liked the rotisserie basket, because it cooked everything evenly and you didn’t have to shake it or flip it. The downside, you really couldn’t taste it to check it on it, you just had to look at it to see if it was done. But my Vortex rotisserie died in less than three months. The plastic or rubber part melted or stripped and the basket stopped turning. Luckily this happened within the three months, so Walmart gave me a full refund. I also really hated the interface, there was a delay with entering the times in the display, it just seemed clunky and door look liked eventually it was going to melt too and be problem.

    I just used the Omni plus to roast some vegetable. When in the Roast function the Top and Bottom elements are both on, so you may want to correct that in the mode section for roasting.

    Before buying the Omni plus, I saw a video from a couple that did an Omni vs Vortex chicken wing air fry comparison. The guy said the Omni wings came out crispier because they cooked from both sides and you didn’t have flip. I was wondering how that was possible because they had the baking tray at bottom as a drip tray. Now know that it doesn’t work that way, because the air fry mode only uses the top function so you will still have to flipped. I actually find this a little harder to do in the Omni vs Vortex, because the trays don’t slight in or out as easily in the Omni. Do you know, what the silver hooks are use for? On the inside of the Omni, on the left hand side there are two silver triangles, and I don’t know what they are there for? But it does make it harder to get the baking tray in or out in that area. The racks themselves don’t slide out as easily as with the Vortex.
    On the Vortex, you would get a reminder to turn the food half way. With the Omni, its tells you to turn the food but much later 2/3 the time. Do you have any idea why this is? The only thing I can think of, is the Vortex told you when to put the food in, so it was already preheated and the Omni doesn’t tell you when to put the food in, its just beeps when the preheat is over and that’s when the timer actually starts so maybe that has something to do with it.
    Anyway, thanks for all that you do.
    David

    1. Hi David. Thank you so much for all the great information. I am sorry it took me so long to answer, for some reason your comment didn;t go into my regular inbox. First, it is very confusing, but the “basket” the Omni is referring to is the mesh open tray that comes with it. They consider that the “air fry basket”. It’s quit confusing because they call the round cage in the Vortex the same thing. I will say, I have found a cage style basket that fits the Omni and I will be posting about it soon. I am sorry your knob cracked. I have had mine since they came out and I have not had that happened. If you stayed under the 4 lb limit and it still cracked then it must have been a defective unit. As fort he heating element, my bottom elements never turn on during roast so I will have to contact Instant company and find out. It’s silly that they don’t explain that in their manual. Also, I have found that the fan is pretty good at circulating air around the food so even when you don’t flip, you can get good browning on both sides. I ahve the same question about those silver things on the side, lol. I ahve no idea what they are there for and after 4 months, I still cant figure it out. Lastly, I think the Omni tells you to flip at 2/3rd the time because the fan is so good at circulating the air it is actually cooking the bottom side of the food so it makes sense to flip only the last 1/3 of the time. Hope this helps and if I find out any other info I will definitely let you know. Happy cooking!

      1. Thanks Lana. That make sense about the circulation. I thought the black pan my prevent the circulation so I was flipping at the halfway mark, but I will try it the other way. Please keep me updated if you ever find out what the those silver things on the side are for. They do get in the way when trying to use the black pan in the roasting position. I also want to hear about what they tell about the roast function, on the omni plus the bottom is definitely on, I would imagine it would be the same on the omni. Thanks

  5. Hi Lana, thanks for posting all your videos and I really appreciate this Mode guide. The manuals for the Omni plus are pretty bad, both the one that comes with it and the pdf version have inconsistency and errors. For example, on page 25 under the recommended cooking times and placements, for fries they manual says the placement is the rotisserie basket. The toaster oven doesn’t have rotisserie basket! They must have just copied this from the Vortex plus manual and erroneously put it in this manual. I wish the Omni plus did have a rotisserie basket, maybe eventually they will or another company could make accessory for this model. I previously had the Instant Vortex Plus, and I liked the rotisserie basket, because it cooked everything evenly and you didn’t have to shake it or flip it. The downside, you really couldn’t taste it to check it on it, you just had to look at it to see if it was done. But my Vortex rotisserie died in less than three months. The plastic or rubber part melted or stripped and the basket stopped turning. Luckily this happened within the three months, so Walmart gave me a full refund. I also really hated the interface, there was a delay with entering the times in the display, it just seemed clunky and door look liked eventually it was going to melt too and be problem.
    I just used the Omni plus to roast some vegetable. When in the Roast function the Top and Bottom elements are both on, so you may want to correct that in the mode section for roasting.
    Before buying the Omni plus, I saw a video from a couple that did an Omni vs Vortex chicken wing air fry comparison. The guy said the Omni wings came out crispier because they cooked from both sides and you didn’t have flip. I was wondering how that was possible because they had the baking tray at bottom as a drip tray. Now know that it doesn’t work that way, because the air fry mode only uses the top function so you will still have to flipped. I actually find this a little harder to do in the Omni vs Vortex, because the trays don’t slight in or out as easily in the Omni. Do you know, what the silver hooks are use for? On the inside of the Omni, on the left hand side there are two silver triangles, and I don’t know what they are there for? But it does make it harder to get the baking tray in or out in that area. The racks themselves don’t slide out as easily as with the Vortex.
    On the Vortex, you would get a reminder to turn the food half way. With the Omni, its tells you to turn the food but much later 2/3 the time. Do you have any idea why this is? The only thing I can think of, is the Vortex told you when to put the food in, so it was already preheated and the Omni doesn’t tell you when to put the food in, its just beeps when the preheat is over and that’s when the timer actually starts so maybe that has something to do with it.
    Anyway, thanks for all that you do.
    David

  6. Question. The black pan that comes with the omni is too tight to get in and out easily and is scratching the inside of the omni. Do you have that problem and if so any solutions? Thank you.

      1. I had the same issue. I didn’t know the black pan was only to be used on the lowest level. I had a lot of difficulty getting it in or out when I was trying to use it in the roasting position. The silver hooks on the left side get in the way and scratch it. It does work better in the bottom position. But what is the solution for roasting, do you put the stainless steel rack in the roasting position and put a roasting pan on top of it? Do you what the largest size roasting or baking pan will fit on it? Thanks

      2. Yes, it’s still tight. It goes in but it takes some force to get it in and out. I can live with it but hubby is not happy. He started a ticket on it, we’ll see what Instant Pot says. Thanks for the heads up that it is for the lowest level.

  7. Hi Lana, I love your reviews and videos, so thanks for making them! I’m considering the Omni Plus, but I’m wondering how fast it cooks and crisps? Specifically, I’m wondering about hard cooking eggs in their shells, what temperature and time does the Omni take to hard cook 6 eggs? I currently have a Power Air Fryer Oven 360 and 6 eggs take 21 minutes at 300° Also, does it crisp wings well? Mine doesn’t, so that’s another thing I’m interested in. I’m afraid to get another oven type and it not be any better then what I have already. Thanks for any help you can be!

    1. HI. Thank you so much for your kind words. I have not done hard boiled eggs in either air fryer. I think the heated air method (oven, air fryer, etc.) takes longer in general. I eat hard boiled eggs a lot but I have found that steaming them seems to be the best way for me. I will try it int he air fryer though just to see what the times are and I will let you know. As for wings, they come out amazing. I make them all the time. I have a recipe on my blog for them from frozen but they come out even better when made from fresh.

      1. Thank you for taking time to reply, I appreciate you! I’ll be very interested in the eggs. Thanks again!

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