Instant Brands Vortex Plus 6-in-1 air fryer review 2022
A sleek, slim air fryer that’ll fit into any kitchen, the Instant Vortex Plus offers impressive functions for its price range and will take a whole chicken. But many customers have complained about a lingering plastic smell.
- £120 at Argos
What can you cook in an Instant Brands Vortex Plus 6?
This air fryer packs a lot of capacity into a moderately sized machine. The 5.7 litre square basket can easily take 4 salmon fillets or 2 large pork chops without any stacking. It’ll also take a 20cm round cake tin.
You can spread out chips, wings and other air fryer staples in the Vortex’s compartment so they’ll be crisp when done.
Instant says this air fryer can air fry, roast and bake; the times and temperatures for these functions are the same, however (82-205°C). Dehydrating is a useful function for drying veg, fruit and meat, but in this, as in all air fryers, it takes several hours.
With this fryer, wet dishes are a no-go as all the sauce will seep into the tray below. If you want to make curries or stews, a Ninja Multi Cooker or Instant Pot are better options.
How big is the Instant Brands Vortex Plus 6?
The height and width of this fryer are among the smallest we’ve seen, although the depth of 37.9cm is slightly above ideal (35cm). Despite its unimposing stature, the Instant Vortex doesn’t compromise on capacity. If you have a tiny kitchen there are smaller options like the Ninja AF100UK or the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91.
It’s light-weight too at 5.65kg – less than many of the others we reviewed. On the whole you should be able to store this easily or house it permanently on the counter.
Is the Instant Brands Vortex Plus 6 convenient to use?
Yes, but it could be better. The functions are easy to use, as is setting the time and temperature, which you can adjust mid-cook without stopping the process, by rotating the dial. This is good if you have a hunch the food inside needs more or less time, but a transparent window would have made judging this a lot easier.
The functions of bake and roast are available within the same range of 82–205°C. Reheat has a temperature range of 49–183°C. Some presets for chicken, fish or fries would have been useful too, which Breville and Philips models have.
There’s no way to flip food without removing the basket and shaking it or using tongs. But given its rapid convection and food distributed more evenly in the basket, sometimes there’s no need to. The “turn food function” reminder is convenient if you’re busy doing something else.
The non-stick basket is quick to wash by hand and the tray can slot in the dishwasher. There’s nothing else to clean up.
Instant Brands Vortex Plus 6 customer reviews
This Vortex generally shines on Amazon and Argos with positive reviews. Its capacity, ease of use, rapid cook time and reheat functions all earn praise. However, there’s a common complaint about a hot plastic smell. The owner’s manual also refers to it: “The first few times you use your air fryer, you may notice a strong plastic smell. This is normal, non-toxic, and goes away quickly.”
Some users seem to hate the smell, while others have experienced no issues at all. The warranty lasts a year so if you do experience problems with yours, you can always go back to the manufacturer.
Pros and cons
- Large basket despite small footprint
- Simple controls
- Can take an entire chicken
- Easy to clean
- Sleek stainless steel finish
- Lightweight machine
- Some functions are essentially the same
- No presets
- No viewing window
- Some users experience a plastic smell
Our verdict: Is Instant Brands Vortex Plus 6 any good?
The generally positive reviews, useful features and good design of this fryer make it one to consider if you’re a small or big family or live on your own.
The basket capacity stands out and so does its ease of cleaning. While there are some gripes with the plastic smell, we think it’s a contender among all the fryers we’ve reviewed.
Frequently asked questions
Reemul is a writer at Finder, specialising in product reviews and news. He's a qualified journalist having worked at local papers in the UK covering breaking news, food and restaurant reviews. He has an MA in Film from UCL and a BA in History and French from Durham University.
After an initial 25-minute set-up, you’ll be ready to use your Instant Vortex air fryer. It’ll rapidly fry up frozen foods like fish fingers or take a 1.8kg chicken with some potatoes on the side – making it a decent choice for a family. The square basket lets you spread out your food more evenly than you can with round versions of the same size, so you won’t be playing Tetris with chicken wings.
It has air fry, grill and bake functions, but the difference in cooking between these may seem minimal. A lack of a tailored recipe book or cooking charts in the box leaves you initially stranded, so you’ll have to test out some foods for yourself.