A Ninja Innovation....a Ninjavation if you will. And fair warning - I''m a Ninja Fan(tm). I use their blender all the time. I use their Foodi air fryer/pressure cooker/serious convergence device all the time. Ninja has never been anything but reliable AND...
A Ninja Innovation....a Ninjavation if you will.
And fair warning - I''m a Ninja Fan(tm). I use their blender all the time. I use their Foodi air fryer/pressure cooker/serious convergence device all the time. Ninja has never been anything but reliable AND versatile, two things that I prize in my kitchen. BUT....
You knew there was a "but" coming.
My big issue with the air fryer was in doing up food (steaks, chicken thighs, etc) that would be better off grilled than air-fried. True, I *could* do it, and the results were acceptable, but I always thought there should be a better way. And here we are.
This Foodi does it. In spades. In a nutshell, it''s a very well designed and engineered indoor grill with the added benefits of the air frying that I love so much along with baking/roasting functions and dehydration. I''ll hit these in turn but BLUF: this thing is seriously awesome.
First let''s talk about the main event: indoor grilling. Ninja executes this exactly perfectly here. It''s not designed to provide square feet of grilling space, but for four hamburgers, two-three steaks (unless it''s my steak, in which case it barely fits one.....yeah, I like steak) or five-six thighs it''s right-sized. In terms of mechanics, it uses the convection system that''s similar to my other Foodi but it works like crazy with the grill application. The grill plate itself is rather heavy (cast iron, I''m thinking) which provides the conduction part of grilling and hence requires six-eight minutes of warm up time before you cook. The warm up gets the grill plate nice and hot, put the food in there, and bang you have grilled food without charcoal, propane, or even going outside. Jerk chicken in the winter is going to be fantastic!
One of the first things I made with this (photo attached) is grilled garlic zatar naan. That took about two minutes after warm up to finish up, and the result was fantastic. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and hard to keep away from other people in the house (I made it....it''s MINE! Make your own). But grilling meats, seafood, etc go just as smoothly. Moreover, while this differs with other indoor grills in that you grill with the lid down, opening up the Foodi to check on things doesn''t set you back very much in terms of heat recovery...it came back up to temp FAST and cooking time wasn''t delayed. Results for meat are fantastic, and yup if you oil the meat (use canola oil to minimize any potential smoke) you get grill marks.
This comes with an air-fry basket so while I''m letting my steak rest (you rest your steaks after grilling....right?) it''s trivial to do up a batch of fries right after. Air frying works the same as my other Foodi, with the same results....plenty of space for such things. Making buffalo wings is also a natural - it works. I don''t know what voodoo Ninja uses, but more importantly I DON''T CARE. I push a couple of buttons, it does it''s thing, and I eat well that night.
Baking and roasting also work very well. Main thing here is that I always roast meat using the air fry basket, since I want that air circulation all around the meat. If the dimensions are off, a small roasting rack will work in here too. One nit, hardly worth mentioning, is that I always sear a roast before putting it in an oven, and that step is still required with this device. On the plus side, my oven is old school that takes about three hours to heat up whereas the Foodi is ready in about five minutes. It is big enough to handle a medium sized roast so I''m happy.
Dehydrating is the (relatively) new feature in the Ninja stable, at least for me, and this works much better for smaller batches than my dedicated dehydrator. A little hacking (you can get small perforated metal trays and line them with plastic mesh from a craft store to stack your food) will increase the amount of food you can dehydrate here. One thing I do for my backpacking meals is cook pasta, dehydrate it, then put it in food saver bags with cheese powder and powdered milk. One cup of boiling water and I have Mac and Cheese in the backcountry.
Care is pretty much effortless....the interior pieces (splatter screen, grill plate, fryer basket, and cooking pot) are all dishwasher safe. There''s a grease collector on the back of the device that''s easy to clean as well.
This thing is...pretty much perfect. It does have a significant footprint BUT if it''s something that''s going to be used all the time, as I do, the physical size doesn''t really matter. If it''s a useful device (again, versatile and reliable) then counter space allocation is a given. In sum, this Foodi rocks the house. It''s an incredibly valuable addition to my kitchen and even only having it for a short time it''s already become a nearly-indispensable part of my kitchen equipment. It''s fantastic.