Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer review: small but mighty

A game changer for the space-conscious

Instant Vortex Slim
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart / 5.7-liter air fryer is geared towards smaller households or those looking for the performance level of Instant Pot’s larger, more premium models, but in a more compact unit. It’s exceptionally well-rounded for its price, and while I missed the ClearCook window and OdorErase feature, their omission was quickly forgotten about when I tucked into my perfectly crisp chicken drumsticks.


  • +

    Quietest air fryer from Instant Pot

  • +

    Compact yet powerful

  • +

    Dishwasher-safe components


  • -

    No ClearCook

  • -

    No OdorEase

  • -

    Slightly limited cooking settings

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Two-minute review

The Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart Air Fryer, also known as the Instant Vortex Slim 5.7L Air Fryer in the UK and Australia, is the latest addition to the brand’s lineup of mini convection cookers, packing quite the punch in terms of performance while saving you some counter space. 

Instant Pot is known for making some of the best air fryers, and the slim version of its Vortex product line completes the range. It offers a more compact option to the flagship Instant Vortex air fryer or the more enhanced Instant Vortex Plus air fryer by trimming back 20% of the bulk. 

There are a few things you lose by opting for this model, though. It doesn’t have a dehydrate setting, there’s no progress or text bar (instead, a small seven-segment screen displays the time, temperature, and cooking stage), and there’s no window nor a light. In terms of performance, it offers the same high-quality build and fantastic results – and I’ll happily take that in a smaller size over a progress bar. Also missing are a few of Instant Vortex’s more premium features, such as OdorErase and ClearCook; but for the Slim’s price and convenience, this isn’t the end of the world.

At just 12.7 x 12.1 x 15.3 inches / 30.1 x 25.9 x 45.2cm (h x w x d), the air fryer is refreshingly petite and weighs just 6.8kg, making it pretty easy to move around your kitchen if space is limited. It isn’t quite as compact as the Instant Pot Mini, but it feels like an evolution of this older product, especially given that the Slim offers a 6-quart / 5.7-liter capacity, versus the 2-quart/2-liter Mini model.

Instant Vortex Slim

(Image credit: Future)

It has only one tray, but there’s more than enough space for cooking two to three portions of chips (depending on how hungry you are!), a 1.3kg chicken for roasting, or a combination of elements going into your meal. 

The manufacturer claims that this Slim model is its quietest air fryer yet, with Quiet Mark certification, meaning that you'll barely hear the air fryer fan. We measured a noise level of just 50.4dB on test, which is pretty minimal. It’s worth noting that on test, the Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 measured 51.7dB. 

And less noise doesn’t come at the expense of high-quality results – the Instant Vortex Slim upkeeps its siblings’ fantastic legacy of perfectly air-fried meals. Its temperature settings range from 95ºF / 35ºC to 400ºF / 205ºC, and the timer can go up to 60 minutes.

Plus, when you’re done cooking your delicious meals, both the basket and tray are dishwasher safe, so cleanup takes minimal effort.

Having mostly tested larger air fryers, and as a single-person household, in particular, I was delighted to have the Instant Vortex Slim at my disposal. It doesn’t sit well to be heating up my entire fan oven for what is often just a few items, especially given the cost of energy, so having an appliance that suits my capacity needs so perfectly was a real boon.

Instant Vortex Slim

(Image credit: Future)

Instant Vortex Slim air fryer review: Price and availability

  • List price: $129.99 / £99.99 / AU$269

The Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart / 5.7-liter air fryer is available directly from the Instant Pot website, as well as from various other online retailers such as Amazon US and Amazon UK for $129.99 / £99.99. In Australia, the air fryer has an RRP of AU$269, but you can pick it from third-party retailers like Myer for less.

For its price and quality, it’s a pretty good value buy – especially for those who want a smaller air fryer without sacrificing performance. However, there are cheaper options available, and considering some of the premium features seen in other Instant Vortex products are missing here, it’s a little harder to justify the ever-so-slightly inflated price ticket.

  • Value: 4.5/5

Instant Vortex Slim air fryer review: Specs

  • Price: $129.99 / £99.99 / AU$269
  • Capacity: 6-quart / 5.7-liter
  • Power / wattage: 1700W
  • No. of baskets: 1
  • No. of programmes: 5
  • Cable length: 1-metre
  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 12.1 x 15.3 inches / 30.1 x 25.9 x 45.2cm
  • Weight: 6.8kg
  • Dishwasher friendly: Yes

Instant Vortex Slim

(Image credit: Future)

Instant Vortex Slim air fryer review: Design

  • Petite at 11.8 x 10.19 x 17.8 inches/ 30.1 x 25.9 x 45.2cm (h x w x d)
  • One basket with a lift-out tray
  • 6-quart / 5.7-liter capacity

Much like the rest of the Instant Vortex lineup, this slim model is stylish and available in all-black. 

Weighing just 6.8kg, the Instant Vortex Slim measures 11.8 x 10.19 x 17.8 inches / 30.1 x 25.9 x 45.2cm (h x w x d) and has a 6-quart / 5.7-liter capacity. It’s one of the most compact units we’ve seen, yet it’s super-impressive given the capacity and performance it delivers. 

Its touch controls are housed on the angular edge, where the top and front of the unit meet. Once turned on, you’ll also see buttons for its five settings; air fry, bake, grill, reheat, and roast, as well as buttons for the temperature and time. Once pressed, you can adjust the latter two buttons using a silver roller dial. Unlike Instant’s larger models, which come with a progress bar and slightly different display, the Vortex Slim opts for a seven-segment digital display, which displays the time, temperature, any cooking instructions (such as when it’s time to shake) and the cooking stage. 

Instant Vortex Slim

(Image credit: Future)

On the front of the air fryer is a handle that’s used to pull out the basket, which requires minimal fuss or force. Inside is a lift-out tray whose metal handle tucks in flush to the tray, meaning you don’t lose precious space in the center of the fryer as we’ve seen with some other models. The tray and basket are both dishwasher-friendly, too, making for fuss-free meals from start to finish.

There’s no reinvention of the wheel here and, personally, I don’t adore the shape and angle of the handle. In addition, this model suffers from a similar flaw to other Instant Vortex models, in that the touchscreen can quickly become grubby. As stylish as the display here feels, greasy, food-stained fingers on reflective surfaces are the downside.

  • Design: 4.5/5

Instant Vortex Slim

(Image credit: Future)

Instant vortex slim air fryer review: Performance

  • Maximum temperature 400ºF / 205ºC 
  • Timer will run for up to an hour
  • Reliable performer 

For performance, the Instant Vortex Slim delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from Instant Pot. Maximum cooking temperature is 400ºF / 205ºC and the timer will run for up to an hour.

The air fryer comes with a QR-scannable guide that includes cooking times for various foods. Generally speaking, and as is the case with all air fryers, these serve as a guideline as you grow accustomed to the device. As is the case with cooking in any oven, in reality cooking times may vary depending on the size, quantity, and even quality of the ingredients being used.

First, I put the Instant Vortex Slim to the test with a portion of steak fries and salmon. The recipe book suggested 390ºF / 200ºC for 15-20 minutes for the fries and  350ºF / 176ºC for 8-12 minutes for the salmon. Since I was cooking the fish from frozen, I popped it in the tray once there were 8 minutes left on the timer for the fries. 

Emitting a cheerful jingle, the air fryer indicated a few minutes before the end of the cooking cycle that it was time to give the basked a shake, which I dutifully obeyed. Once the time had elapsed, the air fryer automatically switched off – and I was greeted with perfectly crisp and fluffy fries cooked just to my liking, alongside a moist, flavorful fillet of salmon.

Instant Vortex Slim

I tend to give my steak fries a little longer in an air fryer to get them extra crisp (Image credit: Future)

Like other Instant Vortex models, you won’t require much oil when cooking in the Slim air fryer. A touch does help potato skins to crisp up better, however. Cooking chicken drumsticks in my favorite Levantine spice mix required only a slight drizzle of oil before cooking at 400ºF / 205ºC for 25 minutes per this Instant Pot recipe to achieve similar results to my salmon and chips meal; the chicken was delicious, perfectly cooked and crisp. 

Instant Vortex Slim

(Image credit: Future)

Lastly, I tried a slightly rogue test of frozen cinnamon rolls. I tried the bake setting at 320ºF / 160ºC for 15 minutes, resulting in fabulously flaky pastry with a moist middle. 

Note that the Instant Vortex Slim doesn’t come with OdorErase, but I didn’t notice any more cooking smells than I’d experience cooking in my conventional oven. In addition, I didn’t really miss the ClearCook window that features on the front of other models; the Instant Vortex Slim is so reliable with its cooking times, I wasn’t too worried about not spotting burning food. 

All in all, I have very few complaints about the performance of the Instant Vortex Slim. It’s quiet, averaging just 50dB on my decibel reader (which is comparable to a refrigerator hum, and far quieter than my particularly raucous extractor fan). Plus, it cooks food perfectly every time, offering the right balance of features to make your cooking experience as low-maintenance as possible.

  • Performance: 5/5

Should you buy the Instant Vortex Slim air fryer?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Instant Vortex Slim air fryer
PriceThe Instant Vortex Slim is fairly competitively priced, but you are paying extra for the name and reputation of Instant Pot. Still, it’s relatively affordable. 4.5/5
DesignThe Instant Vortex Slim is a little basic, and the touchscreen is irritatingly easy to smudge, meaning I had to clean it after most meals.4.5/5
PerformanceThis air fryer is one of the more reliable models I’ve tried, achieving stellar results with every meal. Its features are intuitive and guide the user through the process with ease.5/5

Buy it if...

You want a high-performance air fryer

Instant Pot is known for its high-tech, well-manufactured air fryers, and I certainly came away from my time with the Instant Vortex Slim confident in its abilities and longevity. 

You don’t have lots of spare counter space

It’s 20% smaller than some of Instant Pot’s other models, but doesn’t sacrifice capacity, offering 6 quarts / 5.7 liters. Given that many older air fryers of this size offer a reduced capacity of 2 quarts / 2 liters, this is a huge win for the Instant Vortex Slim.

You don’t want the frills

The rest of the Instant Vortex lineup is great, but you just might not care about fancy features such as OdorErase, ClearCook or the progress bar. There’s still more than enough in here to make the appliance feel high-tech and well considered.

Don't buy it if...

You want to see into your air fryer while cooking

Unlike its siblings, the Instant Vortex Slim doesn’t have a ClearCook window through which you can watch your food cook. If you frequently experiment, you might be more comfortable with a model that features one.

You don’t like cooking smells

While it isn’t flat-out stinky, the Instant Vortex Slim doesn't have OdorErase like its siblings, so you do get cooking smells akin to those from a convection oven – especially with meats such as chicken.

You’re looking for ultimate value for money

The Instant Vortex Slim still has a few bells and whistles that might not be necessary for all users – the touchscreen, customizable settings and dishwasher-safe components, for example. These all inflate the price, so you might be better off buying a more basic model.

Instant Vortex Slim air fryer review: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Instant Vortex SlimUltenic K10 air fryerInstant Vortex 6-in-One air fryer with ClearCook and OdorErase
Price$129.99 / £99.99 / AU$269$109 / £120£149.99 / $149.99
Capacity6-quart / 5.7-litre5.3-quart / 5-liter6-quart / 5.7-litre
Power / wattage1700W1500W1700W
No. of programmes5116
Timerup to 1 hourup to 1 hourup to 1 hour
Max. temperature400ºF / 205ºC400ºF / 205ºC400ºF / 205ºC
Dimensions12.7 x 12.1 x 15.3 inches / 30.1 x 25.9 x 45.2cm12.1 x 10.7 x 10.7 inches/ 30.6 x 27 x 27cm15.43 x 11.81 x 13 inches / 39.2 × 30 × 33cm

Not quite the right choice for you? Here are some great alternatives, but note that they're not available in all markets.


Instant Vortex 6-in-One air fryer with ClearCook and OdorErase

A step up from the Instant Vortex Slim, this air fryer comes packed out with all of the best features from Instant Pot's air fry engineers, including a ClearCook window and OdorErase.

Read our full Instant Vortex 6-in-One air fryer with ClearCook and OdorErase review


Ultenic K10 air fryer

The Ultenic K10 is a bit more of a statement piece aesthetically and rings in a similar size and capacity to the Instant Vortex Slim. It's a little pricier but comes with more presets, a companion app, and other smart features.

Read our full Ultenic K10 review

How I tested the Instant Vortex Slim air fryer

Instant Vortex Slim air fryer

(Image credit: Future)
  • I used it as my main air fryer for two weeks
  • I used the grill, bake and air fry functions 
  • I cooked chips, salmon, steak, chicken and veg

I’ve been testing air fryers regularly for a year, and have become very familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of various features, as well as what to look for in everyday use.

I used the Instant Vortex Slim for two weeks, cooking various meals from breakfast through to dinner, as well as a few tasty treats, to test its limits and performance. I used a decibel meter to measure its sound output. I tried official Instant Pot recipes and cooking timelines, but also experimented using my own instincts to see how adaptable the Instant Pot is in use. 

Read more about how we test.

[First reviewed April 2023]

Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.