Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven Review: Fresh again
“The Ninja Foodie Digital Air Fry Oven is a winner, offering great functionality at a reasonable price point.”
- Great value
- Multiple functions in addition to air frying
- Cooks very evenly
- Preheats almost instantly
- Stores away easily
- Can’t cook meals for a large family
- Tall items won't fit
Even though they can add unwanted inches to our waistlines, fried foods are so freakin’ tasty that they’re hard to resist. Fortunately, there’s a kitchen appliance that can help make fried foods at least a little bit healthier: Air fryers, which have exploded in popularity in the last few years.
Ninja recently came out with an air-frying device that also serves as a countertop convection oven, a toaster oven, and a dehydrator. It’s called the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven, and I tested out the appliance to see how well it performed (and to get my fix of junk food).
When I first opened the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven, I noticed it wasn’t overly large. It’s only about 20 inches by 15 inches by 7.5 inches, and fits nicely in a nook on my countertop. It comes with a nonstick sheet pan, as well as an air-frying tray. It also flips up on its back, so it can be stored inconspicuously.
The Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven has an air=frying function, but it also has air roast, air broil, bake, dehydrate, keep warm, toast (up to nine slices at a time), and bagel functions. You can control the time and temperature settings within these functions too. Plus, the oven is pretty much ready to use out of the box, so I got cooking right away (hello, french fries).
Fries, wings, and leftover pizza
The first thing I cooked in the Foodi oven was a batch of frozen French fries. I preheated the oven, and the appliance was ready to use before I could even finish placing the frozen fries on the tray. I coated the fries in a tiny bit of olive oil spray, and after about 20 minutes, I had crunchy French fries. They were better than baked french fries, but not quite as good as deep fried (like the ones you’d get at McDonalds). You can also try the same thing with homemade potato chips.
I took things a step further (hey, why not go all out and destroy my diet?), and I decided to add cheese and bacon to my crispy pile of French fries. I placed the cheese and bacon-covered fries back in the Foodi oven, pressed air roast, and after 3 minutes I had a delicious-looking plate of bacon and cheese fries.
A few days later, I had leftovers from the pizza and wings that I ordered the day before and decided to reheat my leftovers in the Foodi oven. Now, this was gluten-free pizza , which usually reheats terribly. If I place it in the microwave, I get a soggy triangular-shaped mess that barely resembles pizza.
However, when I reheated the pizza in the Foodi Oven using the toast function, it came out amazing. The cheese was gooey, and the crust was crispy. I reheated the wings using the air fry function, and they also came out surprisingly good. “It’s not delivery, it’s reheated in the Foodi,” I thought to myself.
Something a bit healthier?
Now, I wasn’t exactly pumped about cooking a healthy meal in the Digital Oven. But hey, what the heck? The Foodi includes a recipe guide and other instruction manuals. In the guide, it talks about making “sheet pan meals.” To make a sheet pan meal, you pick a protein, a veggie and/or starch, season, toss the ingredients around, and cook.
I tried creating a chicken and broccoli sheet pan meal. I cut chicken breast into cubes, placed frozen broccoli florets on the pan, seasoned with garlic and lemon, and cooked the creation at 400 degrees on air roast for 20 minutes. It came out tasty, but my only complaint is that the sheet pan only holds enough food for three people, or perhaps four people who eat very small meals. I have a family of four (and two of my family members are teenagers).
What’s for dessert?
You can make dessert foods like muffins, cookies, and even cakes in the Foodi oven. I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and the process was similar to when I make oven-baked cookies. However, they cooked slightly faster, even though I used a slightly lower temperature. I was also only able to make nine cookies in each batch, as the oven doesn’t hold a lot at one time.
Crumbs? No problem
The Foodi countertop air fryer and oven has a few really cool features. Aside from the fact that it flips up and out of the way when it’s not in use, it also has a handle on the side (instead of on top). This makes it easier to open and close.
Another well-designed feature is the crumb-release feature on the bottom portion of the oven, which flips down and allows you to easily clean the device.
The Ninja Foodie Digital Air Fry Oven comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The Ninja Foodie Digital Air Fry Oven is an absolute winner, offering tons of functionality at a reasonable price point. With a retail price of $230, it’s an ideal cooking solution for a dorm room, small apartment, or even as a secondary cooking device or toaster oven.
Is there a better alternative?
You can find other toaster ovens on the market, but the Foodi is unique because it stores easily, offers a digital display, and can be bought for a reasonable price. The , which sells for around $270, offers many of the same functions and also boasts 1800-watts of power. However, while the Cuisinart Oven is a solid device, it doesn’t store as easily as the Foodi.
Breville also makes countertop ovens. The Breville Convection and Air Fry Smart Oven is going to cost you about $400, and it offers a lot more interior cooking space. The Breville Oven outshines the Foodi Oven in some ways, but it’s expensive. The Foodi is a better alternative for those who don’t want to spend so much or yield more countertop space. You can find cheap air fry ovens for under $100, but you probably won’t get as many user-friendly features as you get with the Foodi oven, and cheaper ovens may not cook as evenly either.
If you’re having a hard time deciding between the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and the Ninja Foodi, you can read a comparison of the two.
As for Amazon’s 4-in-1 Alexa Smart Oven, well…let’s just say it has problems. It can technically do more than its competitors, since it’s a Microwave, oven, and air-fryer at the same time, but it does none of those tasks well.
How long will it last?
The Foodi Air Fry Oven has a stainless steel exterior, a removable crumb tray, and an easily accessible back panel. This makes the oven easier to clean and maintain over the long term. With proper care and maintenance, the oven should last for years to come.
Should you buy it?
Yes, the Foodi oven is a stellar appliance. If you’re an amateur cook, if you don’t have a lot of kitchen space, or even if you just want an air fryer or toaster oven that offers extra features, you’ll be more than happy with the Foodi Air Fry Oven.
- The best air fryers for 2020
- The best air fryer deals for December 2020: Instant Pot, Ninja, and Dash
- Save $150 on the Ninja Foodi Air Fryer for Cyber Monday
- Instant Pot Duo Crisp vs. Ninja Foodi
- What is an Instant Pot? Here’s everything you need to know