Air fryers have become one of the most popular kitchen appliances in recent years. As a healthy alternative to deep frying, air fryers use rapid air circulation technology to cook food with little to no oil. This results in crispy, delicious “fried” foods that are lower in fat and calories.
With so many air fryer brands and models available, it can be tough to decide which one to choose. Ninja is one of the top makers of air fryers, known for their quality construction and large capacity models. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Ninja air fryers and see how they stack up against other top-rated options.
Ninja Air Fryer Overview
Ninja first entered the air fryer market in 2018 with the release of the Foodi, a multifunctional pressure cooker and air fryer. They have since expanded their air fryer line to include several sizes and configurations:
- Ninja Foodi Dual Heat Air Fry Oven – Large capacity oven-style unit with smart finish technology
- Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven – Similar to Dual Heat but without inner light or smart cook system
- Ninja Air Fryer Max XL – Extra-large basket capacity, up to 5.2 quarts
- Ninja Air Fryer – Standard 4 quart round basket capacity
Ninja air fryers are well-regarded for their ability to crispy foods with minimal oil. They utilize proprietary technology like Smart Finish to prevent overcooking. Many models feature multiple cooking modes beyond just air frying, making them true multi-cookers.
Now let’s take a closer look at the common features and capabilities of Ninja air fryers.
Features and Benefits
Most Ninja air fryer models have an above-average capacity, ranging from 4 quarts up to 5.2 quarts or more. The XL and oven-style units can comfortably cook meals for 4+ people.
Ninja air fryers come with preset cooking programs for common foods like fries, chicken wings, vegetables and more. This makes it easy to air fry with the touch of a button.
Time and Temperature Controls
Along with presets, you can manually set the time and temperature as desired up to 400°F. Options like Keep Warm help prevent overcooking.
Advanced Heating Elements
Ninja uses proprietary heating elements and fans to distribute heat evenly and rapidly for crispy air fried results. Some models also have a secondary broil element.
Many Ninja fryers offer functions beyond just air frying, including baking, roasting, broiling, dehydrating, and reheating.
Ninja utilizes nonstick, PTFE/PFOA-free air fryer baskets and crisper plates that are removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
The outside of Ninja air fryers remain cool while cooking, protecting against accidental burns.
Now let’s compare some of the most popular Ninja air fryer models currently available.
Ninja Foodi Dual Heat Air Fry Oven
The Ninja Foodi Dual Heat Air Fry Oven is one of the largest capacity air fryers available from any brand. It functions as both an air fryer and oven with advanced heating elements and smart cooking programs.
Capacity: 10 quarts
Functions: Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Bagel, Toast, Dehydrate, Reheat, Proof
Wattage: 1800 watts
Temperature Range: 105°F to 500°F
Smart Programs: 10, including Frozen Items, Fries/Tots, Chicken Wings, Steaks, Whole Chicken
This extra-large air fryer oven earns top marks for its versatility and cooking performance. The unique dual convection heating system combines a 500°F air fryer on top and 1800W oven on bottom to perfectly cook food using less energy.
Ten smart cook programs take the guesswork out of air frying. An interior light lets you monitor cooking progress. The expansive 10-quart interior provides enough room cook an entire roast chicken or large batch of fries/wings.
If you need a multipurpose cooker suitable for cooking full meals, the Ninja Foodi Dual Heat Air Fry Oven is one of the best options available. The only downside is the steep price, but it’s warranted for the size and capabilities.
Ninja Air Fryer Max XL
The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL earns its name with an extra-large 5.5 quart square basket design. It can hold up to 3 pounds of fries or wings for feeding big crowds.
Capacity: 5.5 quarts
Functions: Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate
Wattage: 1760 watts
Temperature Range: 105°F to 400°F
Smart Programs: 8
This XL model is a great choice for large families thanks to its spacious 5.5 quart basket. It can comfortably prepare four servings of chicken wings, fries or veggies in a single batch.
The Max XL has a simplified design with large manual dials rather than digital touchscreen. But you still get useful preset programs for frozen snacks, meats and more. It air fries as hot as 400°F for crispy results.
For those who plan on cooking frequently for 4+ people, the Max XL is an affordable option with minimal frills but excellent performance.
Ninja Air Fryer (4 Quart)
The standard Ninja Air Fryer features a compact 4 quart round basket suitable for 1-3 servings. It comes at an affordable price while providing core air frying functions.
Capacity: 4 quarts
Functions: Air Fry, Air Roast, Reheat, Dehydrate
Wattage: 1500 watts
Temperature Range: 105°F to 400°F
Smart Programs: 6
This 4 quart air fryer is ideal for smaller households of 1-2 people. While not as spacious as the XL or oven models, the 4 quart basket can still prepare up to 2 pounds of fries, nuggets or drumsticks.
It has basic manual dials along with 6 convenient preset smart programs. The temperature maxes out at 400°F for crisping. All parts are dishwasher safe for fast cleanup.
For shoppers who want a competitively priced Ninja air fryer with core features, the standard 4 quart model hits the sweet spot. Larger households may need to size up for more capacity.
Now that we’ve covered Ninja’s lineup, how do they compare against other major air fryer brands?
How Ninja Compares to Other Air Fryer Brands
Ninja air fryers stack up well against competitors like Cosori, Instant Pot, Philips, and Cuisinart. Here’s an overview of how Ninja fryers fare in key categories.
Most reviewers agree Ninja air fryers excel at making foods crispy and evenly cooked thanks to their optimized heating systems and smart programs. They are on par with Philips and outperform some cheaper brands.
Ninja offers advanced features like the Foodi’s dual heating system and smart cook programs not found on many competing models. Only high-end brands like Philips offer similar capabilities.
With sizes up to 10 quarts, Ninja has some of the largest air fryer capacities available. Many brands top out at 5-6 quarts.
Ninja air fryers feature sleek black exteriors with integrated digital controls. The interiors are well-designed with nonstick, dishwasher safe parts.
Ninja air fryers range from budget-friendly $80 models to high-end $200+ options with advanced features. This puts them on par with most competing brands.
Some Ninja models have been reported as slightly noisier than average while cooking. But this is typical for most air fryer brands.
Ninja provides a 1 year limited warranty on air fryers, which is standard for the category.
No brand is perfect, but Ninja fryers compete strongly on performance, features, capacity and design compared to alternatives. They are on the higher end for price, but you get advanced capabilities and extra interior space.
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Now let’s compare some of Ninja’s most popular models head-to-head.
Ninja Air Fryer Comparison Chart
| Model | Capacity | Functions | Wattage | Temp. Range | Smart Programs | Price |
| Foodi Dual Heat Oven | 10 quarts | Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Bake, Dehydrate | 1800W | 105°-500°F | 10 programs | $229.99 |
| Max XL | 5.5 quarts | Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Bake, Dehydrate | 1760W | 105°-400°F | 8 programs | $129.99 |
| Digital Air Fry Oven | 6.5 quarts | Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Bake, Dehydrate | 1760W | 105°-400°F | 7 programs | $159.99 |
| Standard Air Fryer | 4 quarts | Air Fry, Roast, Reheat, Dehydrate | 1500W | 105°-400°F | 6 programs | $89.99 |
As you can see, the larger Foodi Dual Heat oven offers the most cooking modes and highest capacity but comes at a steep price. The Max XL is great for big batches with its 5.5 quart design. For smaller households, the 4 quart model gets the job done for under $100.
So which Ninja air fryer is right for you? Here are our recommendations based on your needs and budget:
- For a do-it-all extra-large cooker, splurge on the Foodi Smart XL Oven.
- Families of 4+ should choose the Max XL for its big capacity.
- Smaller households of 1-3 will be happy with the standard 4 quart fryer.
- Digital Oven model offers enhanced programs and features for a bit more.
- If budget is a concern, the base 4 quart fryer delivers good value.
No matter which you choose, Ninja air fryers are known for turning out crispy, perfectly cooked meals. Just be sure to pick the right size and features to match your needs.
Now let’s answer some common questions about Ninja air fryers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best Ninja air fryer?
The Foodi Dual Heat Smart XL Air Fry Oven is arguably the best Ninja air fryer for most homes. With its extra-large 10 quart capacity, smart dual heating system, and versatility to bake and dehydrate, it’s a true multi-cooker suitable for full meals. The premium price reflects its advanced capabilities. For large families, the XL 5.5 quart model is a great choice on a budget.
How is Ninja air fryer different than others?
Ninja air fryers stand out for their extra-large capacities, versatile functions beyond just air frying, advanced heating systems for even crisping, and useful smart programs. Models like the Foodi Oven have unique features like a dual convection system not found on other brands.
Do Ninja air fryers cook well?
Yes, Ninja air fryers consistently receive high marks for their ability to cook foods crispy and evenly without the need for excess oil. Their proprietary heating elements and smart programs result in great air fried textures. They are comparable or better than leading brands like Philips.
What is the Ninja Foodi?
The Ninja Foodi line encompasses several products that combine pressure cooking or slow cooking with air frying. The original Foodi was a pressure cooker with a built-in air fryer lid. Newer models like the Foodi Dual Heat Oven take this concept even further for maximum versatility.
How big of a turkey can you cook in a Ninja Foodi?
The extra-large 10 quart Foodi Smart Oven can accommodate up to a 16 lb turkey or chicken. Smaller Ninja air fryers can handle poultry around 5 lbs. Always refer to the owner’s manual for size guidelines. spatchcocking or quartering makes it easier to cook larger birds.
Should I get the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot?
The Foodi offers more versatility with its integrated air frying. But an Instant Pot is superior for pure pressure cooking. If you want a single device that can pressure cook, air fry, roast, bake and more, the Foodi is the better pick. Get an Instant Pot for affordability and better pressure performance.
Is the Ninja Foodi oven worth it?
For most home cooks, yes. With its large capacity, cooking versatility, and useful preset programs, the Foodi Oven replaces several appliances. Its advanced heating system delivers great results across multiple cooking methods. Just be prepared for the steep $230+ price tag.
What is the biggest Ninja air fryer?
Currently, the largest Ninja air fryer is the Foodi Dual Heat Smart XL Air Fry Oven. With 10 quarts of interior cooking space, it can fit up to a 16 pound turkey or roast. The oven style design and dual heating system give it maximum versatility.
How long do Ninja air fryers last?
With proper care and maintenance, a Ninja air fryer should last roughly 3-5 years with moderate usage. The nonstick air fry basket may need replacing over time. Always hand wash removable parts and avoid metal utensils to extend the lifespan. Ninja offers a 1 year warranty.
In summary, Ninja makes high-performing air fryers that consistently earn positive reviews. Models like the Foodi Oven bring advanced capabilities through proprietary heating systems and cooking programs. When comparing Ninja vs other brands, they compete strongly on capacity, versatility and ease of use. Just pick the right size and features for your needs and budget.