Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart Air Fryer review: a wonder for cramped countertops

Excellent cooking in a smaller space

Instant Vortex Slim interface
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Instant Slim Air Fryer features a long slim drawer so that you can keep the capacity you need while making room for other appliances on your countertop or in your pantry. The power levels and resulting cooking performance are solidly good too.

Pros

  • +

    Space-saving design with longer drawer

  • +

    5.7L capacity

  • +

    Nicely quiet when operating

  • +

    5 functions for the price

Cons

  • -

    Pre-heat setting means there's some guesswork with timings

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews 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.

While there are a bunch of air fryers on the market to choose from, a few things are usually true of all of them, such as a black box look and a square basket design. Instant, one of the best air fryer brands out there, has ripped up the rulebook with the Instant Vortex Slim 6-Quart Air Fryer.

With dimensions like no other air fryer I've seen, the space-saving Instant Vortex Slim has a long chamber for cooking but a compact front, which makes it very countertop-friendly. If you've got a whole host of other appliances to make space for, but you still need a family-sized fryer, then the Slim has the design kudos you need. 

But how does it fare under testing conditions? I tried it out extensively with a range of different foods, from French fries to veggies, to see how it performed overall. With 1700 watts of power and a nice host of functions other than air fry, it was set up to be a pretty impressive buy. Here's what I thought by the end of the testing process.

image
Molly Cleary

Molly Cleary is a freelance reviewer and was previously the Staff Writer at Top Ten Reviews. She now works as an Ecommerce Editor at the home interest site Ideal Home, where she reviews air fryers, vacuums and a huge range of other appliances every day. 

Her writing has been featured in Live Science, My Imperfect Life, Livingetc and other titles. Molly tested this air fryer at Future's dedicated test facility alongside a host of other models. 

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer: Price & availability

The Instant Vortex Slim has a list price of $111.99, but you can often find it to be closer to $100, or even less, especially during sales periods. For an air fryer of this size and caliber, that's good value.

Score: 5/5

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer: Key specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ModelInstant Vortex Slim 6-quart Air Fryer
Capacity6qt
Power1700 watts
FunctionsAir fry, bake, broil, reheat, roast
Dimensions12.72 x 15.31 x 12.01in (h x w x d)

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer: First impressions

A wrapping of plastic encases the Instant Vortex Slim when you first take it out of its box — good for keeping your purchase safe, but less great environmentally. From the first look, this air fryer (like all Instant ones in my view) is quite nice to look at. It favors rounded edges instead of harsh lines and looks very minimalistic when turned off. 

The sloping front is accompanied by the one control knob on the front, which you use to browse through the various settings on offer. The dimensions of this air fryer mean it very much lives up to its slim name, and from the front, it looks like it'll have a small capacity. The real surprise is the long cavern in the back for cooking, which has a total 5.7-litre capacity. 

If you need a family-sized air fryer then, but can't afford to give up the space width-wise for a new appliance, then this slim model is a saving grace. 

After getting it out of the wrapping, you'll be instructed to set up the Instant Slim using a QR code using your mobile phone. Within those instructions, Instant recommend setting the air fryer off on a test-run cook. If you smell burning during this run then don't be too alarmed, as this is usual for the first time.

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer: Design

As well as being clean-looking, the interface of the Instant Slim is also very practical. Once you've picked the time, temperature and function you want, your cooking process will start accompanied by a progress bar. This is fantastic for seeing when the air fryer is ready to use after preheating, and the countdown clock for the final minute of cooking is also very useful. 

According to Instant, the 6-quart capacity should be able to cook up a 4 lb. chicken or a 2lb. bag of fries. You wouldn't be able to tell by looking at the front of this air fryer, but if you're looking for something truly compact (such as for a dorm room), this air fryer will be too big.

Score: 5/5

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer: Performance

The first test for the Instant Slim was with asparagus, as it's just as important for an air fryer to succeed with greens as it is with fried food. I set a bunch of asparagus to air fry with minimal oil, salt and pepper for five minutes. 

Seeing as this was the first test I performed, I had to wait for the air fryer to preheat. This takes mere minutes (less than it would take in a conventional oven), with a jingle emitted from the appliance to let you know when it's ready. I reviewed this air fryer alongside another Instant choice, the Instant Mini, which does not have a preheat setting. This meant that the timings comparably were a little off, as you have to factor in preheat times with the Slim, while you don't with the Mini. 

I think overall having a preheat setting means you have better cooking results, but it did mean the asparagus in the Slim took a little longer. Still, it emerged nicely and evenly cooked at the end of the allotted time.

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer testing

(Image credit: Future)

Then I moved on to test the theory from Instant that the EvenCrisp technology used in this machine means that you can have deep-fried results without the oil. Of course to test that I had to cook up some French fries. 

To test the theory that this air fryer is capable of cooking a large amount of fries, I really went to town, with enough portions for a family. As these are thin-cut fries, I set them off for ten minutes. 

At the halfway point, the Instant Vortex Slim gives you a 'Shake Reminder' in the form of a nice jingle. At this time it's best to take the basket out by the handle and give the contents a shake. Features like this (and preheat) go a long way in terms of cooking results, and are a reason why Instant are so reliable when it comes to quality.

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer

(Image credit: Future)

The fries weren't quite ready at the ten minute mark, so I popped them back in for two more minutes. Comparably, the Instant Mini I was testing simultaneously was ready with the fries a little faster, as it's more compact. If you need the capacity of the Instant Slim then, be prepared to wait a little longer for your fries.

Instant Vortex Slim being used to cook chicken nuggets

(Image credit: Future)

Chicken nuggets were next up on the menu. I air fried quite a few, but there was so much space left over in the air fryer drawer, meaning that I can believe that the capacity is family-sized. Now that the air fryer was warmed up, the nuggets crisped up nicely, taking as long as expected.

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer cooking bacon

(Image credit: Future)

Once you've used your air fryer to cook bacon you won't want to go back to your grill, which is why it was a great thing to test in the Instant Slim. 

The three rashers I cooked in this air fryer came out with maximum crispiness after just a couple of minutes, and during this test, I noticed just how quiet this air fryer is. Especially compared to models like the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer, this Instant model felt very quiet. 

There was a little bit of curling during the bacon test, but this can be remedied at home by flipping the contents more regularly, instead of just shaking. The bacon test is the greasiest, which is when it becomes clear that the rubber side-holds will be difficult to clean afterwards, as they soak up all of that excess oil very easily. Though you can pop the basket and the grill plate of the Instant Slim in the dishwasher, I would definitely pay special attention to those rubber parts with a hand wash, if you can.

Score: 4/5

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer: How Does it Compare?

The Instant Vortex Slim is a cleverly designed, well-performing air fryer. It has functionality packed in (the reheat setting is especially great for leftovers) and nice features, like the shake and preheat function. 

Though it's slim, it's not entirely compact however. If you do need an all-round small air fryer, you can find similarly nice features within the COSORI Lite. The only downside is that the COSORI Lite is similarly priced to the Instant Slim, and the latter has a far bigger capacity for the price you'll pay.

Of course, the slim design of this air fryer means you can save lots of countertop space, but if you really want to squeeze in more to your kitchen or pantry, then a combination model might suit you. The Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer Toaster Oven is a capable choice if that's what you're looking for. 

Should you buy the Instant Vortex Slim?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
COSORI Lite Air Fryer score card
AttributeNotesRating
PriceGood value given the capacity and quality5
DesignMinimalistic, clean, but no colour range4
PerformanceStrong, but can take a little longer than compact models4

Buy it if...

You want to keep hold of countertop space

This air fryer is like a TARDIS, with an internal capacity that's much bigger than it seems. Buy it if you want to keep a neat-looking counter and have the space length-ways.

You're looking for a family sized capacity

A whole bag of french fries is no issue for this air fryer, and the cooking results are sure to please the whole family.

You're looking for a value air fryer

Not only is the Instant Slim available for a good price, but it's from a brand you know you can trust. After all, they've been making the best Instant Pots for years now.

 Don’t Buy It if…  

You need a slim AND small air fryer

 It might be small width-wise, but this is a fairly large fryer in reality. It's too large for just one or two people.

You want an easy to clean grill plate

The grill plate in the air fryer drawer of the Instant Slim can be tricky to clean, so skip this one if you want a straightforward clean up process.

How we tested the Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer

The main testing criteria with this air fryer were how well it cooked a range of foods, its value for money, and its overall design. 

I did several rounds of testing using different foods. I recorded how long each food type took and took photographs to document how cooked everything was. 

Finally, I cleaned and stored the air fryer at our test facility to have a realistic depiction of day-to-day use.

Read more about how we test

Molly Cleary

Molly is the Staff Writer for the Home Section at Top Ten Reviews, joining the team after finishing college. When she's not writing she enjoys baking and embroidery, as well as getting stuck into a good book. She now enjoys writing about kitchen appliances, gardening tools, and will even dip her toe into writing about fridges and ovens.