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What I Think of the Ninja Foodi

I’ve had the Ninja Foodi for a few months now.

It’s taken me quite a while to put this multicooker through it’s paces – it has so many functions! 

I already have 2 other products made by Ninja Kitchen – the Ninja Soup Maker and Blender and one of the early high speed blenders, the Nutri Ninja.

Based on these appliances, I was confident that the quality of this appliance would be high.

But I was wondering whether it would be worth the price tag. 

Read on and find out what it can and can’t do. If you have any questions about the Ninja Foodi please feel free to ask away in the comments.

Ninja Foodi Review

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What Is The Ninja Foodi?

It really is the kitchen appliance that has it all. If you like to cook using different methods, for example, slow cooking, pressure cooking, air frying – the Ninja Foodi might just be the all in one gadget that you are looking for.

Ninja Foodi Programs

  • Pressure cooking
  • Steam
  • Slow cooking 
  • Yoghurt
  • Sear/saute
  • Air crisp
  • Grill
  • Bake/Roast
  • Dehydrate (Max version only)

If you are interested in finding out more about each of these programs and what they can do, check out my tests for each of them further on.

What You Get With The Ninja Foodi

  • Pressure lid
  • Crisping lid
  • Cooking pot (7.5L for the Max model and 6L for the regular model)
  • Cook and crisp basket (4.7L for the Max model and 3.6L for the regular model)
  • Reversible rack 
  • 2 tier reversible rack (Max version only)
  • User guide
  • Recipes and cooking charts 

The Ninja Foodi Put To The Test

Pressure Cooker

I have used both the Instant Pot and the Pressure King Pro for lots of recipes in the past. The electric pressure cooker was the function I was most nervous about using. In fact, my Instant Pot stayed firmly in it’s box before I plucked up the courage to brave the hissing and noise of the pressure cooker.

If you have never used an electric pressure cooker before I recommend you do the water test before you do anything else. It will help you understand the process of pressure cooking, and that really, it isn’t as scary as you think!

Pressure Cooker Recipe Tests

tikka masala curry in Ninja Foodi

Ninja Foodi Curry

So far I have made 3 recipes using the pressure cooker function of the Ninja Foodi;

Chicken Casserole – I followed my slow cooker recipe for this chicken casserole, increasing the stock amount slightly to 400ml. I placed all the ingredients in the pressure cooker pot, added the lid, and put the valve into the ‘seal’ position. I set it off on high for 10 minutes and then left it for 10 minutes at the end of the cooking time before releasing the valve manually.

The result was as good as my slow cooker. This recipe has now become a regular in the Ninja Foodi. 

Chicken Tikka Masala – I had already made this recipe a number of times in the Instant Pot so I wasn’t surprised that the results were similar.  Another quick and easy way to make a tasty curry.

 

Beef Stew – again, I adapted a recipe I’ve already made in the past – slow cooker beef stew – adding in some passata too. The results were really good and I’ve made it a number of times. I cooked it on high pressure 35 minutes.

Pressure Cooker Verdict

I’ve not had a recipe fail in it so far – I have many more to test so I’ll keep you posted! The key is to remember to add enough liquid, and if you want to help it get to pressure quicker, use hot water. 

Steam 

Steaming vegetables is a really great way to cook them if you want to conserve as many of the nutrients as you can. Steaming them in the Ninja Foodi is as quick and easy as doing them over a pan of boiling water. 

Steaming Recipe Tests

Steamed Broccoli – it’s as easy as adding the water to the Ninja Foodi pot, laying the broccoli florets onto the reversible rack that came with the Foodi, putting the pressure cooker lid on.

steaming broccol in the Ninja Foodi

According to the recipe book that came with the Foodi, it should take between 5 and 9 minutes to steam them. I put them on for 5 minutes and they came out just how I like them, not too mushy but soft enough so that they’re not raw.

Slow Cooker

If you’ve been a long time reader of this site you will know that I love my slow cooker! I find it so handy for making sure there is a warm meal waiting for us on the days we’re out and about.

Slow Cooker Test

Coming soon! 

Sear/Saute

This is a really useful function for lightly browning ingredients before cooking them.

For example, I’ll often sauté onions and garlic, or, brown off some meat before setting off the slow cooker or pressure cooker. It’s also handy for simmering sauces, or thickening up recipes that might be a little thin still.

Air Fryer (Crisp)

Yes, the Ninja Foodi does indeed have an air frying function. This is great for 2 reasons;

  1. You can use it as an air fryer (air fryer chips anyone?!) 
  2. You can crisp foods up after cooking them in the pressure cooker/slow cooker

I have had 2 air fryers in the past, and whilst both have served their purpose they took up valuable countertop space. By incorporating the air fryer into a multicooker I can happily donate my past appliances to friends and family. 

Air Fryer Test

So far I’ve used the air fryer function on the Ninja Foodi for chips, crisping up a whole chicken after I cooked it in the pressure cooker, and when I tried the Buffalo Chicken Wings from the recipe in the book that came with it (see below, cooking from frozen).

The chips came out perfect, I even managed to cook enough in there to feed all 5 of us – not huge portions, more a side, and remember, I have the larger MAX version.

chips in the Ninja Foodi

Grill

I haven’t tested out this function yet, but according to the manual that came with the Ninja it’s suitable for all things you would typically grill, eg. salmon, melting cheese etc. Once I’ve tested out the grill I’ll come back and update.

Bake/Roast

This, as the name suggests is suitable for anything you would normally bake or roast in the oven. So, potatoes, bread, cakes. I’ve successfully made roast potatoes in an air fryer before, it’ll be interesting to compare the results for this recipe using the air fryer vs roast function on the Ninja. 

Baking Test

I couldn’t resist trying out a cake in the Ninja Foodi, I’ve made cakes in an air fryer before, and I’ve had good results, but I know some people have struggled to get the cake to cook all the way through. 

For this test I tried my apple cake, using the same baking tin, ingredients and method. 

apple cake mixture in Foodi

The results were great – it tasted exactly the same as when I made it in the oven. Happy days.

apple cake after being cooked in the Ninja Foodi

Dehydrate

The dehydrate function was one of the reasons I opted for the MAX version of the Ninja Foodi. I’ve been considering buying a dehydrator for a long time now, but I couldn’t justify the extra countertop or cupboard space I would need for it.

So far I’ve used the dehydrator function to make some dehydrated apple slices. I followed the Foodi recipe book guidance and sliced them up thin, removing the core. I cooked them at the recommended 60C for 7-8 hours. 

dehydrating apples in the Ninja Foodi

Other foods you can dehydrate – and the recipe book lists them all with temperatures and times – include bananas, herbs, mangoes, strawberries, tomatoes as well as meat, poultry and fish – beef jerky anyone?

I can see myself having some fun with the dehydrator but I will likely purchase the dehydrator insert trays so that I can dehydrate in larger quantities.

 

Cooking From Frozen In The Ninja Foodi

The ability to cook foods from frozen can be a life safer on those days when I don’t have anything else to cook. I tested out the Buffalo Chicken Wings recipe from the recipe booklet that came with the Foodi.

After pouring 250ml of water into the Ninja pot, the frozen chicken wings go in the cook and crisp basket. The actual pressure cooking time is only 5 minutes, but the pressure build time is more like 20 minutes. 

frozen chicken wings in Ninja

Once the pressure cooking part is finished, we switch over to the other lid (the air fryer/crisp lid) and air fry for 15 minutes at 200C. The results were very good.

chicken wings air fried in Ninja Foodi

If the wings/drumsticks are fresh you can skip the pressure cooking part and air fry them for 24-28 minutes.

Where To Buy The Ninja Foodi

As with any purchases take some time to shop around to see who is offering the best deals. I bought mine directly from Ninja Kitchen when it was on sale but you can also buy them from Amazon (Ninja Foodi Max or Ninja Foodi) and other online stores.

Final Thoughts On The Ninja Foodi

I’m really happy with the Ninja Foodi Max. The style of it looks really good in the kitchen, although it is on the larger side.

The Max size has been perfect for a family of 5 and I do keep it out on the counter – I’m not sure it would fit in a cupboard anyway! If there are fewer of you, and you’re not concerned about the dehydrator function the 6L Ninja Foodi will be better for you, at a cheaper price.

Storing the additional lid (the pressure cooker lid) is a little cumbersome, but it’s not a deal breaker – mine fits in a cupboard so is out of sight. 

The price feels expensive, and there’s only really one other multi cooker you can compare it to, like for like, and that’s the Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer. I’ve not yet tested that out so I couldn’t say whether one is better than the other.

All I know is that the Ninja Foodi has replaced a number of my kitchen appliances and I have zero regrets buying it. 

Do you have the Foodi? Or, perhaps you have a question about it? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

 

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Dave Hughes

Friday 8th of January 2021

Fantastic product, after sales lousy. Phone response terrible.

Jennifer Wilson

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

|How do you work out how long different foods need to be cooked in the pressure cooker? Haven`t used any pressure cooker before. Thanks Jennifer

Liana Green

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

Hi Jennifer - which pressure cooker do you have? Most should come with a guide with advice for different cooking times for different foods. If not, this is a useful guide https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/ - if you have any questions about a particular recipe let me know and I'll try my best to help!

Loraine Giles

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Is there a recipe for a bacon and mushroom suet roll and cooking instructions cannot find one, only one which takes hours, defeating the object really. Thank you Loraine

Jane Gallagher

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hi Liana - based on how impressed I am with the Ninja soup maker and that I use it every week, I bought the Foodi. However I am beginning to wonder if I have a duff pressure cooker lid. 3 times out of 3 I have had huge problems getting it up to pressure. Nearly threw a whole chicken away! I am used to non electric pressure cookers and careful about fitting seal. Each time it just steams for so long I have to stop and add more water. Usually after doing this and putting lid back on it gets up to pressure. Although have to jiggle the valve with a wooden skewer! What do you think?

Liana Green

Friday 11th of December 2020

Hi Jane,

That doesn't sound right to me - how much water did you put in with the whole chicken? I always put in a minimum of 250ml, and when possible I use hot water to help it come to pressure more quickly. I would recommend you contact Ninja Kitchen directly - they should be able to help. Let me know how you get on!

Sarah

Monday 16th of November 2020

Hi Liana, I have had my Ninja Foodi for a few weeks now and absolutely love it! But is it normal for the Foodi to release so much steam from the valve and have a loud hissing noise when cooking under pressure?! I am new to the world of pressure cooking and don’t know what is normal or not!

Liana Green

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

Hi Sarah - I don't think that should be happening - mine does occasionally release some steam from the valve, but only a little. It sounds like a silly question, but is the pressure valve turned all the way to 'seal'? As for the hissing, I would suggest double checking the silicone sealing ring on the lid to make sure it is in place correctly and not damaged - how many times have you used the pressure cooker (ie. has it always done this?)

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