Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer review in a sentence: One of the most compact air fryer models out there with just enough capacity to suit one or two people.
Everyone wants an air fryer these days, which is not surprising given that they can be more efficient than firing up the oven. Take a look at the best air fryer models though and one thing that’s noticeable is the average size of these machines.
Many air fryers are quite big, which if you have limited space in the kitchen can make them seem less appealing. Sure, you can pack it away when the thing has cooled down, but you’ll also need space to do that too, which not all of us have, right?
So, I was therefore very keen to try this, the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer, which is a much more compact option if you’re counter space and cupboard storage poor.
The Instant brand is, of course, best known for its Instant Pot range, which has built up a great reputation in the US and the positive vibes have gone on to spread to the UK and other markets too. Instant has a keen eye on spotting what people want, which in my case is an air fryer that’s a little less bulky than many others on the market right now.
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Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer: price and availability
The Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer is out and available to buy right now and you get the benefit of being able to choose it in one of four different colours. So, alongside the clean lines of a white or black one you could alternatively plump for Red or Aqua.
Considering its specification and despite the reasonably limited capacity, the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer is priced competitively, with deals on it to be found at Amazon and other online outlets. However, if you think you’re going to need more capacity, there are plenty of larger models, with the Instant Vortx Plus Air Fryer being an option if you like what you see from the Instant brand.
Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer: what is it?
The main appeal of the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer is its compact size, with dimensions of 28.6 x 22.91 x 29.79 cm, or 11.26'' length x 9.02'' wide x 11.73'' height. It’s reasonably lightweight too at 3.3kg out of the box. While the appliance packs in all the usual air fryer features, the main benefit is its smallish size, which means it is ideally suited to anyone with a compact kitchen, or who needs an air fryer that can be easily stored once it has cooled down after use.
This machine is fully programmable with options to air fry, bake, roast and reheat and features 1300 Watts of power. Although it’s compact, the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer offers up a capacity of 2 litres, or two quarts for US readers. The appliance arrives ready to go with an easy to clean air fry grill insert for the bottom of the cooking pan, a mains power cable and instruction booklet.
Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer: is it any good?
In terms of overall appeal, I’m super pleased with the profile of the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer. Its smaller size means there’s less of a footprint on your countertop and it can also be stored away much more easily than some comparable air fryers.
The colour options are cool too, with the white edition making a nice contrast to the many black air fryers that are on the market. If you’ve got more flamboyant tastes the red or Aqua models might be worth investigating.
The appliance arrives in a standard fare cardboard box with not too much packaging to get through, so it can be set up and ready to go in minutes. There aren’t too many features and functions to get to grips with either and the manual quickly tells you all you need to know about operating it.
There’s a control panel on the unit, which illuminates once you power up. In terms of settings then this is also part of the simplistic appeal of the Instant Vortex Mini, with fry, roast, bake and reheat giving you all of the core requirements for mealtimes.
There also seems to be more than enough power, especially considering the svelte lines of the machine. It can be cranked up to 400°F or 205°C at full whack, although this is not as hot as some other machines out there. You can increase heat settings in 5 degree increments as needed, using the dial on the top of the unit.
Considering this is an air fryer that is likely to be used for cooking smaller amounts of food, the temperature settings seem ideally suited to the task in hand. Cooking fries, I find, which is the best way to test an air fryer, works particularly well, just as long as you don’t overfill it.
Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer: performance
As long as you remember having a compact air fryer means smaller portions the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 is perfect for my needs. I love its simplicity too. The basket, which slides out at the front and has a grill insert to keep your food off the bottom and thereby improve air circulation, is ideal for a portion or two of chips.
I’ve tried doing frozen and hand-cut chips and both have been a success in around 20 minutes on a high-ish heat setting. Ditto for other air fryer faves like spring rolls and wings. The non-stick innards are proving great when it comes to cleaning, with very little to actually wash up, while the unit itself can be wiped over with a wet cloth.
The main thing I’ve found while using this compact air fryer is you have to be conservative with those portions though. If you put too much into the basket the cooking is less consistent, for obvious reasons while shaking something like a portion of fries midway through a session is also tricky.
Keep the portions small though and this is a great appliance. It actually helps you eat a little bit less if you’re watching those calories. You can pre-heat the unit too, which to my mind always helps with the crisping factor, especially on the all-important fries front.
Perhaps the other area of most success with this model is its capacity for roasting. While you can’t exactly fit a whole bird inside, the basket it does prove dependable for smaller cuts of meat, like a chicken thigh for example. I’ve also had some good success with salmon fillets, although you’ll need to keep an eye on progress to ensure there’s no scorching on the outside.
That’s about normal for any air fryer though. There’s no window mind, so you do need to slip the basket in and out frequently when food is getting to its ‘just right’ stage for a quick visual update.
Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer: verdict
The Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 is a very decent little all-rounder, with enough basic features and functions to keep most small kitchens ticking over. The real benefit though, is its small size, which makes it perfect for anyone who is struggling for countertop space. The compact nature of the appliance does make it less appealing to anyone with more mouths to feed, but if you’re eating solo or as a couple it’ll do just fine.
Air frying and roasting are its two core skills and, interestingly, the settings stay the same each time you use it, which is great if you make chips on auto pilot. It’s also nice to have the bake feature, which has seen a little action making bread rolls for me and that reheat option is useful for warming up dinner leftovers for lunch. All in all, the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 is a cracking little thing, which is good value too.