Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer review: incredible value for small homes

The Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer is one of the smallest air fryers I’ve tested, but it has a lot of power and sleek controls that make it a great choice for any kitchen.
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  • The Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer seriously wowed me in testing. It comes in four striking colours, with a high-quality digital design. The Vortex Mini has four cooking modes, and while it’s great at air frying, it can also roast, bake, and reheat. 

    See: the best air fryer that we’ve reviewed 

    With a capacity of 2 litres, this is about as small as any air fryer on the market. It takes up very little counter space, which for someone who has a small kitchen is a real blessing, but I was surprised at how much food I was able to cook in it. 

    Another thing I enjoyed when testing this air fryer was the value-for-money. My favourite air fryer costs over £170, and at just £60, the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer is a real bargain considering the quality of the design. Keep reading for my full Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer review. 

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Reasons to buy: 

    • Great colour selection
    • Four cooking modes
    • Removable tray insert adds versatility
    • Touch display 
    • Compact design

    Reasons to avoid: 

    • The display won’t turn off 
    • Preheat can be annoying 
    • For some people, a larger air fryer will come in handy

    Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer

    While the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer is not suitable for families, this small air fryer was perfect for my two-person home. It’s powerful and has a good selection of cooking modes. 

    Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer specs: 

    • Material: Plastic
    • Colour: Black, Red, White, Blue
    • Capacity: 2 litres
    • Modes: Air fry, reheat, bake, roast
    • Weight: ‎4.36kg
    • Power: 1300 watts
    • Size: ‎35.2 x 35.1 x 30.1 cm

    Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer: first impressions

    The Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer in the box

    Instant sent me their Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer in a bright red shade. I was instantly impressed by the quality of the finish. Lifting it out of the box was easy enough because it’s a very lightweight machine, and its small footprint slotted neatly onto my crowded kitchen counters.

    The controls on this machine sit right at the top, slanting towards you. There’s a dial to adjust temperature and time, and touch controls for the various modes, as well as to start and stop the machine.

    The Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer once taken out of the box

    The controls on this air fryer feel very high quality. Touch controls need to be responsive to be worth the visual appeal, and these definitely deliver. The panel feels spacious and attractive, and when it’s running you’ll know because it will tell you it’s ‘On’.

    When it’s not running though, you’ll have to unplug it to get rid of the ‘Off’ display. The air fryer also alerts you to add in food when it’s completed pre-heating (which only takes a minute or so due to the compact size of the drawer) and will tell you when the drawer is not fully inserted.

    Cooking modes

    You can air fry, bake, reheat, and roast in the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer. Because you can remove the tray insert from the drawer it’s possible to add saucy foods into the air fryer. I’ve reheated cauliflower cheese and given a crispy top to a pasta bake in the drawer. I really enjoy air fryers with a removable inner tray. Many only work when the air frying basket is inserted, but both the Instant Pot and the Ninja Foodi air fryers offer baking and roasting thanks to the lining system.

    What is the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer like to use?

    So, so easy. The drawer pulls out with low effort, but clicks into place firmly. It’s a case of pressing your desired cooking mode and choosing your cooking time and temperature, before pressing ‘Start’. Note that the timer won’t start counting down until your food is added, after the preheat is complete. The air fryer will tell you when to add your food with a loud beep, and once you’ve opened and closed the door it will start the timer countdown.

    Cooking bacon in the Instant Vortex Mini Air Frye

    Like many air fryers, the Instant Vortex Mini cooks faster than most ovens. I put in some slices of streaky bacon and after 8 minutes, they were perfectly crispy. I love cooking bacon in an air fryer. All the fat drips away into the base of the tray, leaving crispy rendered fat and evenly cooked bacon slices.

    If you plan on cooking fatty things like bacon, I recommend draining out the fat while it’s still warm. It sets quite fast and because this air fryer is so small, it made cleaning it a bit tricky.

    Cooking chips in the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer

    The ultimate test of an air fryer is its ability to make chips. I made sweet potato fries and frozen oven chips in this air fryer, and both times I was very impressed.

    For a start, my main reservation with a 2-litre air fryer was the capacity. My partner and I have not cooked in an air fryer this small before, and we were worried that it wouldn’t fit meals for two. While the tray filled up fast, it was perfectly capable of catering to both of us.

    Most impressive was how evenly these chips cooked, because they were quite packed in and had little room for air circulation. After a couple of shakes mid-cycle, the fries were very well cooked and crispy on the outside.

    Sweet potato fries in the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer

    Can the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer cook for two? Absolutely. It’s definitely small, but because of its high-power design it’s able to cook large portions evenly, even in its small basket.

    These sweet potato chips only took 25 minutes, which sped along meal times significantly.

    What about frozen chips?

    Frozen chips came out beautifully in the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer. They claimed to cook in 17 minutes, but I was happy with how they looked after just 12.

    Again, this meal for two cooked very well in the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer. It crisped up the chips far better than an oven would, and the fries at the top of the basket came out just as crisp as the ones at the bottom of the tray.

    The air fryer isn’t the quietest model I’ve tested, but it gives off a low whirring noise that’s barely audible from the next room. The beeping can be a little annoying (I confess, I sometimes add my food straight away instead of waiting for the fryer to heat up) but it’s nothing that would put me off buying the air fryer.

    Cleaning the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer

    Because its drawer is so small, this is a very easy air fryer to clean. The exterior and top wipe clean, and the basket and drawer insert can be placed in the dishwasher. Cleaning by hand is speedy though, so if you want to use it multiple times in a day, it won’t take long to clean up before its next use.

    Should you buy the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer?

    There are so many reasons to buy the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer. For a start, it’s very compact, which means it’s ideal for small kitchens. It’s also very affordable, retailing at just £59.99. Compared to other high-quality air fryers I’ve tested, that’s a great price.

    The colour range is lovely, and makes another compelling case for those who want their kitchen to look a specific way. The controls are sleek and uncluttered, which makes it a great option for beginner air fryers.

    The obvious downside is the capacity, so if you want to cook for more than people, I would suggest trying out the COSORI Air Fryer XXL or the Ninja AF300UK Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer.

    About this review, and our reviewer

    Millie Fender heads up all things small appliances at Ideal Home. There’s nothing she loves more than testing out the latest and greatest cooking gadgets, for indoor and outdoor use, from toasters to air fryers. She reviewed the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer from her own kitchen, testing it rigorously for a month before writing this review.

    Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen. If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time, you know an appliance is worth the hype.

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