I’ve been wanting to get an air fryer since the circuit breaker, and at almost every online sale (eg. Black Friday, 11.11, 12.12, etc), the popular models always sell out before I can even place them in the cart. And my friends who have air fryers have been saying, “go big or go home”; they tell me that the small capacity air fryers aren’t very useful, and for families with kids (like mine), I should get the largest size available. When the Ninja Foodi came along, I was equally excited and intimidated. It has the air fryer function that I want, plus a lot of extras that I’m not sure how to use.
Above: The Ninja Foodi Multi Cooker.
Firstly the machine is big; it’s not huuuge the way some reviewers describe it, but it does take up a substantial amount of countertop space. Also, it has two lids (one permanently attached to the cooker and one detachable lid), and the loose lid itself is bulky. There are tons of reviews online about the Foodi, with most of them disliking its black and grey design; but I think the design is fine.
Above: The control panel and timer.
The Foodi comes with an instruction manual and a recipe booklet — both of which were necessary and easy to follow. The control panel on the Foodi’s front is my favourite part of the machine; it’s so easy to choose the mode (eg. Air Crisp, Pressure Cook, etc.), and to change the temperature and timer with the arrow buttons.
Above: The removable pot and basket.
There’s a 6 litre pot and 3.7 litre basket where the food sits in. I don’t cook at all, so if this machine works for me, it’ll work for the rest of humanity.
Above: Air frying chicken nuggets.
For my first trick, I took Ninja’s instruction sheet suggestion, and threw some chicken nuggets straight from the freezer into the Cook & Crisp Basket. I set the timer for 12 minutes, pausing and turning them over mid-way for an even fry.
Above: My Air Crisp chicken nuggets.
The nuggets turned out as good as McDonald’s! They were actually hot, tender and juicy on the inside, and crispy on the outside. As an air fryer newbie, I’m already terribly impressed at the results of this cooker.
Above: The nuggets turned out beautifully.
After the success of the nuggets, I air fried Pom Poms (small round potato balls), sausages and bacon — all convenient to cook and turning out decent. I decided to take it up a notch and follow the recipe book and cook a whole chicken.
Above: One whole raw chicken!
Above: The raw chicken in the cook & crisp basket.
The chicken (I bought the large size, 1.2kg) fits nicely in the basket. Following the recipe, I added lemon juice, honey, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, and brushed oil on the top and sides of the bird.
Above: The chicken after pressure cooking for 22 minutes.
I twisted on the pressure cooker lid (it’s the loose lid that comes with the Foodi), turned the valve to “seal”, and cooked the chicken under the Pressure Cooker setting for 22 minutes.
Above: after Air Crisping the chicken for an additional 10 minutes.
Once done, the pressure cooker lid was removed, I lowered the Air Crisping lid, then switched the setting to Air Crisp and let it run for an additional 10 minutes. The result was a crispy skin that had a beautiful stretch.
Above: The final “Tendercrisp” chicken.
The chicken was absolutely delicious and I swear I’m not cooking chicken any other way but like this in the future. The kids loved it and kept asking for more crispy skin, while even the breast meat was tender enough for my parents to enjoy.
Above: A close-up of the chicken.
Above: The meat was tender and juicy, and full of flavour; while the skin was crispy and tasty from the lemon/honey seasoning.
VERDICT: I love my Ninja Foodi! It surprised me with just these few simple dishes, and I can’t wait to grill fish, bake a cake, slow cook beef stew and steam some char siew paus. I really like that I can throw in my food to cook and forget about it; I don’t have to worry about open fires, splashing oil and an oily kitchen, and when it’s done, it’ll just cool down and shut off. There’s also a “keep warm” function that’s obviously very useful.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one kitchen appliance that can fry, roast, grill, bake, steam, slow cook and pressure cook, I highly recommend investing in a Ninja Foodi Multi Cooker. It’s so good and convenient, I don’t think I’ll be using my oven or stove for a long, long time.
The Ninja Foodi Multi Cooker, $599, available from NINJAKITCHEN.SG.
From now until June 30, 2021, get the Ninja Foodi at the sale price of $399 with the discount code: “NYLONMAM”! Click here to buy.