Considering buying a Ninja air fryer? With so many brands and models of air fryers on the market today, it can be an overwhelming space to navigate. This article is your go-to guide for Ninja Air Fryers, a leading brand in the industry.
Keep reading for an overview of air fryer pros and cons plus 10 facts you should consider before adding a Ninja brand air fryer to your home cooking arsenal. Don’t forget to follow these air fryer chefs and healthy air fryer recipes for inspiration!
Overview: Are air fryers worth buying?
If you are a home cook who reads recipe blogs, you have no doubt noted a rise in air fryer recipes. Air fryers are convenient, heat up and cook faster than conventional ovens, and are incredibly versatile. Air fryers can be used to bake, cook, roast, grill, and broil an endless list of proteins, vegetables, rice, desserts, and baked goods.
A big draw of air fryers is that they require less oil, so they splatter less and make a healthier meal. It’s worth noting that air fryers don’t actually fry food, which requires submerging food in hot oil. Air fryers use hot air circulation to mimic frying food.
There are some downsides to air fryers. They’re bulky, can be difficult to clean, and have limited cooking capacity. For food to crisp up in an air fryer, it has to be placed in a single layer with enough space for the air to circulate. This means you can’t actually fit that much food in the basket without it steaming. The inside components of most air fryers are coated in a non-stick coating, which is convenient but can be a health concern if Teflon and other forever chemicals are used.
Overall, if you’re a home cook interested in cooking healthier versions of fried favorites or who is in the market for a fast and convenient cooking tool, an air fryer might be just what you’re looking for.
10 Things to Know About Ninja Air Fryers
Ninja is a home appliance company with products ranging from countertop appliances and drink systems to kitchenware and outdoor grilling equipment. They are perhaps most well known for their diverse line of air fryers.
1. Ninja air fryer units sell at a low-to-middle price point.
The price of the Ninja air fryer varies by model depending on factors like size, cooking capacity, and advanced functions. In general, Ninja air fryers range from as low as $80 for a mini 2-quart model to around $250 for a 6-in-1, 10-quart model.
2. Size and capacity
Choosing the right size unit is one of the most important considerations. A good rule of thumb is you want about one quart for every person you’ll be cooking for. If you’re a single eater or a couple, a small 2-quart unit should suffice. For a family of four, you’ll need a 4-quart unit. For a larger family or the ability to cook more food at once, try the FlexBasket Air Fryer with 7-Quart Mega Zone or the Ninja air fryer Max XL unit with a 5.5-quart cooking capacity and MaxCrisp Technology reaching 450 degrees to cook foods up to 30% faster.
3. Ninja sells single, double, or flexible baskets for all your cooking needs.
A potential downside of an air fryer is that you can only cook what you can fit in the baste, generally without overcrowding (if you want the food to crisp up nicely). Ninja offers models with a single basket for cooking one food at a time, a double basket for cooking two foods, or a flexible basket that can be separated into two or combined for a larger basket space.
If your air fryer is going to be a main cooking device, you might consider the 2-basket or flexible model so you can be cooking multiple parts of your meals at once.
4. Choose a model that reaches high enough temperatures.
As a general rule, the higher the temperature, the crispier your food will get. Plus, you can use these models to grill, roast, and bake easily. Most Ninja air fryers can reach up to 450°F on the broil setting, which is high compared to many models that top off at 400°F. The Ninja air fryer Max XL unit has a unique MaxCrisp Technology allowing it to reach 450 degrees on a regular (not broil) setting, cooingk foods up to 30% faster than other models.
5. Ninja’s ceramic non-stick coating is a healthy alternative to Teflon.
Ninja air fryers have a ceramic non-stick designed to be a healthier alternative to the Teflon used in other models. Made from inorganic materials, this ceramic coating is durable, scratch-resistant, and safe for cooking. The basket and crisper plates are made of aluminum with a nonstick ceramic coating as well.
6. Special features make Ninja air fryers a fan favorite
All Ninja Air Fryer units offer four different cooking settings (air fry, roast, reheat, and dehydrate), making them very versatile. Some units, like the Ninja Speedi offer additional settings to allow for grilling, baking, slow cooking, steaming, sautéing, roasting, and more. The unit’s Smartswitch functionality allows you to easily switch between Rapid Cooker and Air Fry modes. The company claims you can “cook an entire meal all in one pot in as little as 15 minutes.”
The Megazone technology of the Ninja Foodi Flexbasket unit allows you to switch between two smaller, separate baskets for cooking multiple foods at once and one “mega” basket to cook larger quantities of a single food. Use the Smart Finish setting to cook 2 foods, 2 ways that finish cooking at the same time, or sync the settings across both zones with Match Cook.
7. Know your wattage capabilities before buying.
Like microwaves, air fryers require a significant amount of energy and thus do best having their own circuit. At the very least, you should not use your air fryer and microwave at the same time if they are sharing an outlet.
Rather than risk buying a machine you can’t use due to wattage issues, it’s good to have an idea of your circuit/outlet capabilities at home and select a model that will work within those parameters. The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer, for example, requires 1,690 watts to run, while the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL requires 1,750 watts.
8. Ninja air fryers are easy to clean.
A major selling point for Ninja air fryer units is that they are easy to clean. Ninja air fryer baskets and racks are dishwasher-safe. After each use, remove the air fryer basket, tray, and any other removable parts. Wash them with dish soap and warm water or rinse them well and pop them into the dishwasher.
9. Ninja offers a 1-year warranty and a money-back guarantee.
Ninja offers a standard one-year limited warranty on all of their air fryers. Normal wear and tear and any damage from misuse of the product is not covered by this warranty. Ninja also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on their air fryers for any reason for a full refund. This is a great peace of mind if you want to give their air fryers a try but aren’t sure they’ll work for you.
10. What are the cons of the Ninja air fryer?
Most of the downsides of Ninja air fryers can be said of any air fryer: They have a limited cooking capacity, you can burn food easily, and they are quite bulky, taking up a good amount of counter space. Air fryers can be expensive, although Ninja air fryers are on the more affordable side. They can also be quite noisy.
Summary: Are Ninja air fryers really worth it?
While air fryers have their limitations, Ninja units are consistently top-rated. They are more affordable than higher-end models but offer a wide range of settings and special features. Ninja air fryers reach up to 450°F, which means they cook food quickly and deliver the crisp texture you hope for in an air-fried food. Air frying is a convenient, hands-off, and fun method of cooking for families, couples, and individuals. If you are cooking large amounts of food or meals with more than two components, an air fryer may be too limited for you.