Choosing the best air fryers
Air fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance, promising healthier and more convenient cooking options for home cooks.
With the rise in popularity, numerous brands and models have emerged, making it difficult for consumers to choose the best air fryer for their needs.
This guide will focus on the Ninja air fryer range, providing detailed reviews and comparisons to help you make an informed decision.
We'll cover everything from the basics of air frying to the unique features of each Ninja air fryer model, as well as insights on how to make the most out of your air fryer.
What is Air Frying?
Air frying is a cooking technique that uses hot air to cook food, giving it a crispy texture similar to deep frying but without excessive oil.
Most air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food using a fan, resulting in evenly cooked and delicious meals.
Air frying has become popular due to its ability to cook food with less oil, making it a healthier alternative to deep-fat frying.
Benefits of Air Frying
There are several benefits to using an air fryer for your cooking needs, including.
Healthier Cooking: Air frying uses significantly less oil compared to traditional deep frying, making your meals healthier without compromising on taste and texture.
Efficiency: Air fryers heat up quickly and cook food faster than conventional ovens, saving you time and energy.
Versatility: Air fryers can cook a wide variety of foods, including frozen foods, meats, vegetables, and baked goods, making them a versatile addition to any kitchen.
Easy Clean-up: Many air fryer components, such as the basket and drip tray, are dishwasher safe, making clean up quick and easy.
Safety: Air fryers eliminate the need for hot oil, reducing the risk of burns and kitchen accidents associated with deep frying.
Ninja Air Fryers Overview
Ninja, a well-known brand in the kitchen appliance industry, offers a range of air fryers that cater to various cooking needs and budgets.
Some popular Ninja air fryer models include the Ninja air fryer max, Ninja Foodi Max, and the Foodi dual-zone air fryer.
Each model has its unique features and benefits, which we will explore in detail in the following sections.
Ninja Air Fryer Max
The Ninja air fryer max is a versatile appliance that can air fry, air roast, air broil, and dehydrate foods. With its generous capacity and max crisp technology, this model is perfect for families or those who love to entertain.
The air fryer basket is dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean up after use.
Max Crisp Technology: The Ninja air fryer Max uses Max crisp technology to deliver perfectly cooked and crispy food every time, thanks to its powerful fan and rapid air circulation.
Large Capacity: The air fryer max has a 5.5-quart capacity, allowing you to cook large portions of food or multiple dishes simultaneously.
Multiple Cooking Functions: The Ninja air fryer max offers four cooking functions - air fry, air roast, air broil, and dehydrate - providing versatility and convenience in the kitchen.
Digital Control Panel: The easy-to-use digital control panel allows you to set the temperature and cooking time for each function, ensuring precise cooking results.
Dishwasher-Safe Components: The air fryer basket and other removable parts are dishwasher-safe, making clean up a breeze.
Ninja Foodi Max The Ninja Foodi Max is a multifunctional appliance that combines air frying with pressure cooking, slow cooking, and steaming.
Its unique dual-zone cooking feature allows you to cook two different foods simultaneously, using separate temperature settings and cooking times. This model is ideal for those who want to save countertop space without compromising functionality.
Dual-Zone Cooking: The Ninja Foodi Max features two independent cooking zones, allowing you to cook different dishes simultaneously with separate temperature settings and cooking times.
Tender Crisp Technology: This innovative technology allows you to pressure cook food to lock in juices and finish with a crispy exterior using the air frying function.
Multiple Cooking Functions: In addition to air frying, the Ninja Foodi Max also offers pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, and more, making it a versatile kitchen appliance.
Sync Function: The sync feature ensures that both dishes finish cooking at the same time, even if they require different cooking times and temperatures.
XL Cooking Capacity: The Ninja Foodi Max has a generous cooking capacity, allowing you to cook large portions or multiple dishes at once.
Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer
The Foodi dual-zone air fryer is another popular Ninja air fryer model, offering two independent cooking zones for simultaneous cooking. Its innovative sync feature ensures that both dishes finish cooking at the same time, making meal preparation a breeze.
The air fryer also includes multiple cooking modes, such as air fry, air roast, air broil, and bake, providing versatility in the kitchen.
Dual Cooking Zones: The Foodi dual-zone air fryer has two separate cooking zones, allowing you to cook different dishes simultaneously.
Smart Finish: This feature ensures that both dishes finish cooking at the same time, even if they require different cooking times and temperatures.
Multiple Cooking Modes: The Foodi dual-zone air fryer offers various cooking modes, including air fry, air roast, air broil, bake, and more, giving you the flexibility to cook a wide range of dishes.
Easy-to-Use Control Panel: The user-friendly control panel allows you to set the cooking time, temperature, and mode for each cooking zone.
Dishwasher Safe Components:
The air fryer baskets and other removable parts are dishwasher safe, making cleanup quick and easy.
Comparing Ninja Air Fryers to Other Brands
When reviewing air fryers, it's essential to consider the competition. Other popular air fryer brands include Instant Vortex and Cosori air fryer. In general, Ninja air fryers tend to have more cooking functions and innovative features compared to other air fryers in the market. However, the best air fryer for you will depend on your specific needs and budget.
Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer
The Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer features double drawer non-stick cooking, a Sync & Match cook function, and two XL fry trays for independent cooking. With an 8.2 L capacity and a sensor touch display with 12 pre-sets, this air fryer operates at 2200W-2600W. The Salter EK4548 is available in black/silver and has a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating, priced at £149.99
Tefal EasyFry 3-in-1 XXL Digital Air Fryer
The Tefal EasyFry 3-in-1 XXL Digital Air Fryer functions as a fryer, grill, and steamer, offering versatility in your cooking options. It has a 6.2 L capacity, 7 pre-set programs, including a dehydrator function, and operates at 1700W. With a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating and currently, at a 27% discount, this air fryer is available for £139.00.
Instant Vortex, by the makers of the Instant Pot, is a popular air fryer brand that offers a range of models with varying capacities and functions. Some key differences between Ninja and Instant Vortex air fryers include:
Cooking functions: While both brands offer multiple cooking functions, Ninja air fryers tend to have more versatile cooking options, such as pressure cooking and slow cooking, available in some models.
Ease of use: Ninja air fryers often have more user-friendly control panels and interfaces, making them easier to operate for beginners.
Cosori is another popular air fryer brand known for its stylish design and advanced features. Some key differences between Ninja and Cosori air fryers include:
Design: Cosori air fryers often have a sleek, modern design, whereas Ninja air fryers have a more functional and utilitarian appearance.
Smart features: Some Cosori air fryer models offer Wi-Fi connectivity and smart app integration, allowing you to control your air fryer from your smartphone.
Philips is a well-known electronics brand that also offers a range of air fryers. Some key differences between Ninja and Philips air fryers include:
Price: Philips air fryers tend to be more expensive than Ninja air fryers, making Ninja a more budget-friendly option.
Cooking functions: While Philips air fryers focus primarily on air frying, Ninja air fryers offer a wider range of cooking functions, making them more versatile and suitable for a variety of cooking tasks.
When comparing Ninja air fryers to other brands, it's essential to consider factors such as price, cooking functions, design, and ease of use. While each brand has its strengths, Ninja air fryers offer a versatile and budget-friendly option for home cooks looking to explore the world of air frying.
In addition to the Ninja air fryers, there are several other high-quality air fryers available in the market, each with its unique features and capabilities. Here, we will discuss some of the popular models and their key features to help you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect air fryer for your needs.
Philips Air fryer XXL Premium (HD9762/90)
The Philips Airfryer XXL Premium is known for its large 7.3 L capacity and Rapid Air and Fat Removal Technology, providing healthier, oil-free fried food. It comes with a container separator and NutriU App, which offers numerous recipes. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, this air fryer is available for £340.49.
Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Digital Air Fryer (5.7 L)
This versatile air fryer provides 4 cooking functions - air frying, baking, roasting, and reheating. With 1700W of power and a 5.7 L capacity, it has received a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating. The Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Digital Air Fryer is priced at £99.99.
Uten 5.5L Air Fryer Oven
Uten's 5.5L Air Fryer Oven uses Rapid Air Technology for healthy, oil-free, and low-fat cooking, baking, and grilling. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, this air fryer oven is available for £59.99.
Ultenic K20 Dual Air Fryer (7.6 L)
The Ultenic K20 Dual Air Fryer is a 6-in-1 health air fryer with 2 independent frying baskets and SYNC cooking. It has a large 7.6 L family-sized capacity and comes with an app containing 100+ recipes. This dishwasher-safe air fryer is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars and can be purchased for £159.99.
Gourmia Digital 6 Qt/5.7L Digital Air Fryer (9254, Black)
The Gourmia Digital Air Fryer offers a 6 Qt/5.7 L capacity and is available in black. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, this air fryer can be purchased for £124.99.
Instant Vortex Plus VersaZone (8.5 L XL/Dual Air Fryer)
This dual air fryer comes with 8-in-1 smart programs for frying, baking, roasting, grilling, dehydrating, and reheating, potentially saving 80% on energy bills. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, the Instant Vortex Plus VersaZone is available for £159.99.
Instant Vortex 6 Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer (5.7 L)
This 6-in-1 air fryer offers a 5.7 L capacity and functions for air frying, baking, roasting, grilling, dehydrating, and reheating. With a 1700W stainless steel construction, it has a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating and can be purchased for £119.99.
Dreo Air Fryer (3.8 L)
The Dreo Air Fryer features a temperature range of 40℃ to 200℃, a 50-recipes cookbook, and a 3.8 L hot oven cooker. It has 9 pre-sets on its LED one-touch screen, a preheat function, a shake reminder, a timer, and temperature control. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, this air fryer is available for £67.99.
Climatik XXL 8.0 Litre Air Fryer Oven
The Climatik XXL Air Fryer Oven has a generous 8.0 L capacity, rapid air circulation, and 8 cooking pre-sets for healthy oil-free, low-fat cooking. It features a digital display for time and temperature control. With a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating, this air fryer oven is available for £99.99.
Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer (2 L)
Ideal for small kitchens or limited counter space, the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer has a 2 L capacity and functions for air frying, baking, roasting, and reheating. With 1300W of power and a white finish, it has a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating. For £119.99
Electrolux E6AF1-4ST Explore 6 Air Fryer
The Electrolux E6AF1-4ST Explore 6 Air Fryer has 8 pre-set programs for a healthy kitchen experience. With a 1500W power output and a stainless steel design, it has a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating.
COSORI Small Air Fryer Oven (2 L)
The COSORI Small Air Fryer Oven is a 4-in-1 mini air fryer that is energy-saving, space-saving, and low-noise. It has a non-stick and dishwasher-safe basket, uses 97% less oil, and comes with a sticker containing 6 reference guides. This air fryer has a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating and is available for £69.99.
YENSONG Family Air Fryer (5.5 L)
The YENSONG Family Air Fryer has a 5.5 L capacity and features a digital one-touch screen with 8 pre-sets, timer and temperature control, and an oil-free air frying experience. It comes with a non-stick basket and a free cookbook. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, this air fryer is available for £108.00.
Princess Double Basket Air Fryer (2 x 4 L)
This double-basket air fryer from Princess offers 2 x 4 L capacity baskets, 2 x 1600 W power, separate temperature control and timers, and 8 pre-set programs. With a black finish and a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating, this air fryer is priced at £149.99.
When choosing an air fryer, consider factors such as capacity, power, features, and price to determine which model best suits your needs. With the wide variety of air fryers available, you can find the perfect one to help you enjoy healthier, oil-free fried foods in the comfort of your own home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about Ninja air fryers and air frying in general:
Q: Can I use aluminium foil or parchment paper in my Ninja air fryer?
A: Yes, you can use aluminium foil or parchment paper in your Ninja air fryer to make clean up easier and prevent food from sticking. However, ensure that the foil or paper does not block the air vents or restrict airflow, as this can affect cooking performance.
Q: Is it necessary to preheat my Ninja air fryer?
A: While it's not always necessary to preheat your air fryer, doing so can help achieve more consistent results and a crispier texture. Preheat your Ninja air fryer for a few minutes before adding food for the best results.
Q: How do I prevent food from sticking to my air fryer basket?
A: To prevent food from sticking to your air fryer basket, follow these tips:
Lightly coat the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of oil before adding food.
Make sure the food itself is coated with a small amount of oil or cooking spray, which will help create a barrier between the food and the basket.
Avoid overcrowding the basket, as this can cause food to stick together and to the basket. Cook in smaller batches if necessary to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.
Clean your air fryer basket regularly to remove any built-up residue that can cause food to stick.
Q: Can I cook battered foods in my Ninja air fryer?
A: While traditional wet batters may not be suitable for air frying, you can still achieve a crispy, battered texture using a dry coating, such as breadcrumbs or panko. Coat your food in flour, dip it in beaten egg, and then coat it with breadcrumbs or panko before air frying for a crispy, battered result.
Q: How do I convert oven recipes for my Ninja air fryer?
A: When converting oven recipes for your air fryer, you'll generally need to reduce the cooking temperature by about 25°F and the cooking time by approximately 20%. This is because air fryers cook food more quickly and efficiently than traditional ovens. Keep an eye on your food during the cooking process, and use a kitchen thermometer to ensure it reaches the correct internal temperature.
Cooking with Ninja Air Fryers
Ninja air fryers can cook a wide variety of foods, from crispy chicken wings and roast potatoes to frozen foods and baked goods. Using the air frying function, you can achieve the same delicious taste and texture as deep frying without the need for excessive oil. The air fryer basket ensures even cooking, and the manual air fryer settings allow you to customize cooking times and temperatures.
Popular Air Fryer Recipes Ninja air fryers are versatile kitchen appliances that can handle a variety of cooking tasks. Before diving into specific recipes, it's essential to understand the different cooking functions and features that set Ninja air fryers apart from other brands.
Ninja air fryers offer multiple cooking functions that cater to various cooking styles and preferences. Some of the most common cooking functions in Ninja air fryers include:
Air Fry: This function is the primary feature of air fryers, allowing you to cook food with little to no oil while achieving a crispy exterior.
Air Roast: This function is perfect for cooking meats, poultry, and vegetables, providing even cooking and a delicious, roasted flavour.
Air Broil: This function uses high heat and rapid air circulation to create a crispy, browned exterior on your food, similar to broiling in a traditional oven.
Bake: Some Ninja air fryers also offer a baking function, which is perfect for making cakes, muffins, and other baked goods.
Dehydrate: This function is available in some Ninja air fryer models, allowing you to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and meats for healthy, homemade snacks.
Pressure Cook: Available in multifunctional Ninja air fryers like the Foodi Max, this function enables you to cook food quickly under pressure, resulting in tender and juicy dishes.
Slow Cook: This function, available in some Ninja air fryer models, cooks food at a low temperature over an extended period, resulting in tender and flavorful dishes.
Cooking Tips and Techniques
To get the best results from your Ninja air fryer, keep the following tips and techniques in mind:
Preheat: Preheating your air fryer for a few minutes before cooking can help achieve even cooking and a crispier texture.
Don't Overcrowd: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket, as this can result in uneven cooking. If necessary, cook in batches to ensure proper air circulation.
Shake or Toss: For best results, shake or toss the food halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking.
Use Oil Sparingly: While air fryers require significantly less oil than deep frying, using a small amount of oil can help achieve a crispier texture. Lightly coat the food with oil or use an oil spray for even coverage.
Adjust Cooking Times and Temperatures: Cooking times and temperatures may vary depending on the specific air fryer model and the food being cooked. Be prepared to adjust cooking times and temperatures as needed, and always consult the user manual for recommended settings.
Use Accessories: Many Ninja air fryers come with additional accessories like racks, skewers, or baking pans, which can help expand your cooking options and achieve better results.
Now that you have a better understanding of Ninja air fryers' functions and features, let's explore some popular air fryer recipes that you can try at home.
Popular Air Fryer Recipes
Crispy Chicken Wings: Coat chicken wings with a small amount of oil and your favourite seasoning, then air fry at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce.
Roasted Vegetables: Toss your favourite vegetables in a small amount of oil and season with salt and pepper. Air roast at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking, until vegetables are tender and golden brown.
Air Fried French Fries: Cut russet potatoes into thin strips and soak them in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry, then toss with a small amount of oil and your preferred seasoning. Air fry at 380°F for 20-25 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking, until the fries are golden and crispy.
Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks: Coat mozzarella sticks in flour, then dip in beaten egg and finally coat with breadcrumbs. Place the coated mozzarella sticks in the air fryer basket, and air fry at 360°F for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Serve with a marinara sauce for dipping.
Air Fried Donuts: Prepare a simple doughnut dough and cut it into desired shapes. Lightly coat the doughnuts with oil and air fry at 350°F for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until golden brown. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar or a glaze of your choice.
Air Fried Salmon: Season salmon fillets with salt, pepper, and your favourite herbs. Place the fillets skin-side down in the air fryer basket, and air fry at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Air Fried Shrimp: Toss peeled and deveined shrimp in a small amount of oil and your choice of seasoning. Place the shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket and air fry at 400°F for 6-8 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
Air Fried Meatballs: Combine ground meat, breadcrumbs, egg, and your favourite seasonings in a bowl. Shape them into meatballs and place them in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching. Air fry at 400°F for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through and browned on the outside.
Air Fried Brussels Sprouts: Cut Brussels sprouts in half and tosses them with a small amount of oil, salt, and pepper. Air fry at 400°F for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking, until tender and caramelized.
Air Fried Apple Chips: Thinly slice apples and coat them with a small amount of oil and cinnamon. Arrange the apple slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket and air fry at 300°F for 15-20 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial for ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your Ninja air fryer. Many components, such as the air fryer basket, cooking racks, and drip tray, are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy and convenient.
To clean your Ninja air fryer
Unplug the air fryer and let it cool completely before cleaning.
Remove the air fryer basket, cooking racks, and drip tray, and wash them with warm, soapy water or place them in the dishwasher.
Wipe the inside and outside of the air fryer with a damp cloth to remove any food residue or grease. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, which can damage the air fryer's surface.
Ensure all components are completely dry before reassembling and storing the air fryer.
By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can keep your Ninja air fryer in excellent condition and enjoy delicious, perfectly cooked meals for years to come.
Advanced Cooking Techniques with Ninja Air Fryers
Ninja air fryers not only provide basic cooking functions but also allow you to experiment with advanced cooking techniques to elevate your culinary skills. Some of these techniques include:
With the help of additional accessories like racks or skewers, you can utilize the full capacity of your Ninja air fryer to cook multiple layers of food simultaneously. This technique allows you to cook different food items with varying cooking times and temperatures, making it perfect for preparing complete meals or cooking for a crowd.
Marinating and Infusing Flavours
Ninja air fryers can also be used to marinate and infuse flavours into your food. By using the pressure cooking or slow cooking functions available in some models, you can create tender, flavourful dishes that absorb the flavours of the marinade or sauce.
Some Ninja air fryer models come with a rotisserie function or can be accessorized with a rotisserie kit. Rotisserie cooking is an excellent way to cook meats like whole chickens, as it ensures even cooking and browning, while the constant rotation allows the meat to self-baste, resulting in juicy, tender meat.
Reheating and Reviving Leftovers
Ninja air fryers can be used to reheat and revive leftovers without making them soggy or dry. The air fry or air roast functions can help you bring life back to leftover foods like pizza, fried chicken, or baked goods, maintaining their original texture and flavour.
Cooking with Different Types of Food
Ninja air fryers can accommodate a wide variety of food types, from fresh and frozen ingredients to packaged foods and homemade dishes. Here are some tips for cooking different types of food in your Ninja air fryer:
Vegetables: Cut vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking, and toss with a small amount of oil and seasoning before air frying or roasting.
Fruits: Slice fruits into thin pieces and air fry at a lower temperature to create crispy fruit chips or warm fruit compotes.
Meats and Poultry: Pat meat dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, and season with your preferred spices or marinades before cooking.
No need to thaw: Most frozen foods can be cooked directly in the air fryer without thawing, making it a convenient and time-saving option.
Adjust cooking times: Cooking times may need to be increased when cooking frozen foods. Be prepared to adjust cooking times as needed and always check for doneness.
Shake the basket: For frozen foods like fries or nuggets, shake the basket halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking and browning.
Follow package instructions: Most packaged foods will have specific cooking instructions for air fryers. Follow these guidelines for the best results.
Keep an eye on cooking times: Cooking times may vary depending on your specific air fryer model, so monitor the cooking process and adjust times as needed.
Adjust recipes: When adapting traditional oven recipes for the air fryer, you may need to adjust cooking times and temperatures. In general, reduce the cooking temperature by 25°F and the cooking time by about 20%.
Use accessories: Utilize the accessories provided with your Ninja air fryers, such as racks, skewers, or baking pans, to achieve the best results with your homemade dishes.
Tips for Successful Air Frying
To make the most of your Ninja air fryer, follow these helpful tips for successful air frying:
Invest in a kitchen thermometer: A digital kitchen thermometer can help you ensure that your food is cooked to the correct internal temperature, preventing undercooked or overcooked meals. This is especially important when cooking meats and poultry.
Use a kitchen scale: Accurate measurements are essential for consistent results, especially when following recipes. A kitchen scale can help you measure ingredients precisely and ensure even cooking.
Experiment with different cooking modes: Ninja air fryers offer various cooking modes and functions that can be combined for unique results. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new cooking techniques to discover your favourite dishes and textures.
Create a cooking log: Keep a log of the recipes you've tried, including any adjustments made to cooking times and temperatures. This will help you refine your cooking skills and achieve consistent results with your Ninja air fryer.
The ultimate guide to Ninja air fryers provides you with comprehensive information on the various models, features, cooking techniques, recipes, and comparisons to other air fryer brands. By understanding the unique capabilities of each model and following the cooking tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can make the most of your Ninja air fryer and enjoy delicious, perfectly cooked meals with ease.
Whether you're new to the world of air frying or an experienced home cook, Ninja air fryers offer a versatile and convenient cooking solution that can help you create healthier, delicious dishes in a fraction of the time and with less oil than traditional cooking methods. Explore the exciting world of air frying with a Ninja air fryer and enjoy the countless culinary possibilities at your fingertips.