You can also steam, bake, roast and grill, without drying out the food. And we do love a gadget which can do it all.
But is it all talk and no action? Read our review to find out how it fares when put to the test.
Disclosure: The good folks at Ninja sent us a Foodi for the purposes of this independent and completely unbiased review.
The list of things you can do with the Foodi really is staggering. In terms of appliances it’s the ultimate one-pot cooker – the kitchen equivalent of a swiss army knife. The multitude of functions and temperature settings let you use it as a:
- Slow Cooker
- Pressure Cooker
- Air Fryer
- And also for roasting, baking, grilling, searing, steaming and just about every other type of cooking
- Model: OP300UK
- Capacity: 6L (3.6L with cook & crisp basket)
- Available Colours: Black
- Weight (total): 11.8kg
- Dimensions: 43cm x 36cm x 32cm
- Dishwasher Safe: Yes
- Power / Wattage: 1460W
- Warranty: 1 year
The box alone pretty much sells the Ninja Foodi to us. Packed with statistics, statements and pictures of the food you can prepare, it certainly builds the excitement.
The idea of a pressure cooker could be intimidating for anyone who hasn’t used one, especially as the Foodi is multi-use, but there is plenty of information on what to do if this is your first time using an appliance like this. A handy water test is on both the box and the enclosed guide, so you can practice with pressure before risking your mealtime going disastrously.
In this guide is also information on why there are two lids (to allow pressure cooking and crisping in the same pot, FYI), a function explanation, and a cooking cheat sheet. It is worth mentioning that the instruction booklet is also pretty top-notch, with all parts explained, steps written out in detail and handy little visuals. It is definitely one of the clearest and most concise instruction books we have seen – and we are picky when it comes to this factor.
You also get a recipe book packed with 15+ creative ideas. If you usually make the same thing over and over again or play it safe, then this will get your creativity flowing and turn you into a real Ninja foodie (excuse the pun). Each recipe is rated by how easy it is in case you want something simple or a challenge, and there are timing breakdowns for things such as veg and whole chickens too.
Bringing the Foodi out of the box for the first time confirms what we expected – it is a large, heavy appliance. But you have to bear in mind it does a lot, so a bit of extra bulk is easily forgiven. On the plus side, it definitely feels strong and sturdy, so we have no doubt it would last for years if properly cared for.
As it does so much, we’d say it would be a lot better than having several separate appliances. This is particularly relevant if your kitchen is on the smaller side; while it will likely have to sit on your worktop as it’s a bit too large to constantly lift in and out of your cupboards, you’ll probably be able to get rid of those other gadgets which are cluttering up space.
Cooking with the Foodi
It is all well and good reviewing its looks but the real proof of the pudding with any kitchen appliance comes when using it.
We dived right in after doing the water test, and tried out a few of the recipes in the booklet. The first one we tried was the beginner-rated potato wedges. Everything was bang-on, from the timing to the instructions, and they were delicious.
This gave us the confidence to try out a full meal the following day, and we picked the penne and sausage ragu main. Again, we followed the instructions to a tee and the results were impressive. Especially when compared to how much effort either it is to make by the more traditional means (think several pans/constant monitoring), the Ninja Foodi is ridiculously easy to use, and there were no hiccups whatsoever.
All settings were easy to select and the machine did what we asked of it, with no delays in response. Touch-sensitive controls can be unpredictable, but every time we used the Foodi, it played ball.
The screen is nice and clear to see as well, and it displays the times and temperatures to take the guesswork out of it all. The timer and temperature pause and restart where you left off when you open/close the lid to check on the food, so it is pretty foolproof all in all.
You have to wash it after every use, but the ceramic-coated, non-stick dishwasher-safe parts made this nice and easy. A few of the other slow cooker/pressure cooker appliances we have reviewed are a breeze to use then an absolute pain to wash up, so this was a huge plus point.
For everything that the Ninja Foodi does, we think the price is well justified. Think of how many separate appliances you’d usually need to carry all of that out – the cost of all of those would soon add up, not to mention the space they’d take up.
It gives you quicker and healthier meals, and we can confirm that the food tasted no different despite being much easier to make and using almost no oil if air fried.
Loads of other users have said they’ve actually not used their oven since buying their Foodi, which we can completely understand after reviewing. It does everything an oven can do and more, with much less effort.
Our only niggles are that the power lead is a little on the short side at around 80cm, which could make it a bit restrictive depending on the layout of your kitchen, and the extra pressure lid is a bit cumbersome to store. The crisping lid can’t be removed so has to remain hinged, which takes up space. The first point is definitely being picky, and the second and third are understandable due to the nature of the product.
Verdict: Should you buy one?
Our honest opinion: Yes, definitely – if you have the workbench space to keep it, and you want something which can make mealtimes easier. It saves time, effort and will also expand your recipe options, whether you’re a seasoned cook or need a new appliance to help you out a bit (or a lot).
If you’ve had your eye on another model of pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot or Sage Fast Slow Pro, or an air fryer like the Philips Viva or Tefal ActiFry, then hold your horses – the Ninja Foodi does both and so much more, and is well worth the extra consideration and possibly the extra few pounds.