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Ninja Foodi Review

A good choice for those that also want the functionality of a pressure cooker in a single device
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Price:   $230 List | $200 at Amazon
Pros:  Good cooking performance, also a pressure cooker
Cons:  Large lid can be difficult to clean, hard to unload fry basket
Manufacturer:   Ninja
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Jul 16, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 9
  • Cooking Performance - 35% 7
  • User Friendliness - 25% 7
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 5
  • Temperature Accuracy - 20% 10

Our Verdict

The Ninja Foodi is a combination pressure cooker, dehydrator, and air fryer. In our experience, it air fries well enough that it is likely a viable option for those that want the abilities of both a pressure cooker and air fryer. However, while we hate to sacrifice more counter space and consume more material, it is worth noting that you can often buy both the Instant Pot DUO60, our favorite pressure cooker, and the Ninja 1550 Watt, our favorite air fryer, for less than what the Ninja Foodi itself costs. If you want to save that counter space, the Foodi doesn't force you to sacrifice too much performance in either pressure cooking or air frying in order to get both abilities in the same device, but you might have to spend a little more.


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Pros Good cooking performance, also a pressure cookerGreat cooking performance, user friendly, excellent temperature accuracyGreat cooking performance, relatively easy to clean, inexpensiveGood cooking performance, easy to cleanVery intuitive, relatively good cooking performance
Cons Large lid can be difficult to clean, hard to unload fry basketNot the easiest to cleanMediocre temperature accuracyNo digital readout, lower temperature setting somewhat inaccurateExpensive, can sometimes be difficult to clean
Bottom Line A good choice for those that also want the functionality of a pressure cooker in a single deviceOffers the most consistent quality of the bunchOffers good performance at a relatively low priceGood overall performance, but not the best in its price rangeGood performance and intuitive design, but costs more than other models that hit the same marks
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories Ninja Foodi Ninja 1550 Watt 3.7 Quart... BLACK+DECKER Purifry Philips HD9641/96...
Cooking Performance (35%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
User Friendliness (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
Ease Of Cleaning (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Temperature Accuracy (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
Specs Ninja Foodi Ninja 1550 Watt 3.7 Quart... BLACK+DECKER Purifry Philips HD9641/96...
Outside Dimensions 14.2" x 16.8"x 13.1" 13.6" x 11" x 13.3" 12" x 8" x 8" 11.1" x 9.8" x 11.5" 14.4" x 10.5" x 11.3"
Capacity 6.5 qt 4 qt 3.7 qt 2.1 qt 2.8 qt
Accessories reversible steam/broil rack multi-layer rack for dehydrating none basket divider none
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 2 Year Limited 1 Year Limited
Power Consumption 1400W 1550W 1400W 1200W 1425W

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ninja Foodi effectively combines the abilities of a pressure cooker and an air fryer into one device, though it isn't the best performer in either category.


Performance comparison


The Ninja Foodi excelled in all of our tests with the exception of ease of cleaning. It earned a high overall score, but those cleaning annoyances kept it away from the top of the leaderboard.

Cooking Performance


In our tests, the Foodi did a fantastic job cooking some foods, but had some struggles with others that kept it from earning a top score.


First the good: the Foodi made some of the best onion rings and doughnuts we tasted in our cooking tests. This is notable because these foods offer two very different challenges for air fryers. Onion rings ask for a thick crunchy crust (which the Foodi provided) with a cooked but moist interior (again, this device nailed it). Doughnuts on the other handle want a slightly flakey and crunchy layer on the outside (check) and a fluffy baked interior (double check).

The Ninja Foodi did surprisingly well in cooking sweet potato fries  but like air fryers  fell well short of a truly fantastic fry.
The Ninja Foodi did surprisingly well in cooking sweet potato fries, but like air fryers, fell well short of a truly fantastic fry.

The Foodi also performed surprisingly well in making sweet potato fries. While no air fryer was able to get a truly crisp fry, the Foodi got quite close, creating an even browning that almost implied the taste of a true french fry.

The Foodi's cooking struggles came in the form of chicken breast and tater tots. When making chicken breast it did achieve a nice crispy skin, but the interior tasted quite dry and overcooked. Tater tots also came out with a nice crisp, but difficulties in shaking the tots mid-cooking meant some were left somewhat under-cooked while others were a bit overcooked.

User Friendliness


The Foodi has a great interface and lots of cooking options, but the pressure cooker design necessitates a fry basket that is quite difficult to get to.


The Foodi's interface is digital and has a dedicated button for each one of its cooking functions, as well as dedicated arrow buttons for adjusting the temperature and time. A large digital display lets you know what exactly is selected, and how much time is left on the timer. It's one of the most user-friendly interfaces of all the air fryers we've tested.

The large display and dedicated buttons make it easy to navigate the Foodi's interface.
The large display and dedicated buttons make it easy to navigate the Foodi's interface.

The difficulties of the Foodi's user experience come from its fry basket. Because this device is also a pressure cooker, the fry basket must be lowered down into the cooking chamber. This isn't too big of a deal, but if your recipe requires a mid-cook shake (as many do) things can get a little dicey. In that case, you'd have to reach two pot-holdered hands down into the chamber to grab the two tiny metal handles on the fry basket, then either do an awkward twisting motion to get things shook up, or lift the basket out completely. Neither of these options are ideal. Also, the almost comically large air fryer lid makes the Foodi one of the largest models we tested, and the device with the lid open is almost definitely not going to fit under any kitchen cabinets.

Ease of Cleaning


The Foodi received a relatively low score in our ease of cleaning tests, simply because its dual-function design necessitates some extra parts that are hard to clean.


Essentially, if you're really careful when using the Foodi and don't' get any grease on the lid, it's really easy to clean. The fry basket itself wipes down easily and doesn't really have any areas where gunk could easily hide. However, we found that ideal situation to be very rare, as we usually got at least something on the very large air frying lid. The lid (oddly) cannot be removed from the cooker unless you use a screwdriver, so cleaning it feels a bit more difficult than it should be. We usually resorted to trying to wipe it down with a damp cloth with it still attached, which is far less than ideal.

The almost comically large frying lid is quite a pain to clean if you get it dirty  especially because it can't be removed from the cooker itself (unless you use a screwdriver).
The almost comically large frying lid is quite a pain to clean if you get it dirty, especially because it can't be removed from the cooker itself (unless you use a screwdriver).

Temperature Accuracy


This is one area where the Ninja air frying products seem to dominate. Our testing thermometers ended up settling into the exact temperature we set the Foodi to every single time.


Value


The Ninja Foodi's list price of $230 is quite steep when it comes to air fryers, but feels a bit more reasonable when you consider it is also a pressure cooker and dehydrator as well. However, you can often get an Instant Pot and the dedicated Ninja 1550 Watt air fryer (that also dehydrates) for less than $200, so the Foodi only really makes sense if you want all of its functions and want to save some counter or shelf space.

Conclusion


The Ninja Foodi operates well as a multi-faceted air fryer and pressure cooker, but you can actually get a top-shelf pressure cooker and a top-shelf air fryer for slightly less money overall.


Max Mutter and Michelle Powell