What Is A Ninja Foodi And What Does It Do
If you aren’t sure exactly what a Ninja Foodi is or are unsure about all of its features, here is a brief description of what it does.
A Ninja Foodi with TenderCrisp technology is an electric kitchen appliance that functions as a multi-use cooker. Its two main features are pressure cooker and air fryer, but it also does so much more. Here are the features:
What Comes With The Ninja Foodi
Your Ninja Foodi will arrive in a large box which is fairly heavy, so be careful lifting it. There is a second box and inside that box is the actual Ninja Foodi. Everything is packaged very well for shipping.
Ninja Foodi Cookbook: There is a cookbook with over 45 recipes to get you started. Also included in the back are charts that give you guidelines for cooking with different settings and timing for various foods.
I have heard from numerous people that the recipes in the book tend to be salty, so use your judgement with the seasoning recommendations. * The recipes in this cookbook use Kosher salt and that is very different from table salt. You can use either Kosher or sea salt OR reduce the amounts considerably if you are using table salt.
I have only tried the Macaroni and Cheese recipe and I have to say it was horrible. I even cut way back on the salt and it still was inedible. If you make it, leave out the baking soda as I think that was the culprit. They added baking soda to preserve the texture of the noodles, but it really gave the whole dish a weird taste and a strange color.
From the feedback I get, the Whole Chicken recipe is very good and people rave about the Chicken Pot Pie.
If you have tried any of them, please leave us comment with your thoughts on the recipe in the comment section at the bottom of this post. That way everyone can share and learn from each other.
*N/A on the OL Models
Here is a video showing the differences between the OL601 and the OL701
Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper Online Course
Before you delve into this article, I wanted to let you know that I have put together a very extensive training on how to use and get the most out of your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper.
Although this article is extremely helpful and informative, there is nothing like hands on demonstrations and that is exactly what I do inside the course.
There are over 100 videos that go over everything from cleaning to cooking. I even walk you through how to create your own layered 360 meals. The online course has helped so many people and I know it can help you as well.
Here is the link for more information and pricing.
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About Our Reviews And Our Reviewer
We conduct our reviews in the home where they face the usual demands of daily life. Each appliance will be used for at least a fortnight, and we try to test every function and setting it has to offer. Where we are able to keep the appliance for longer, we update our reviews over time with any new features we have found, or issues that may arise. In this case the reviewer was allowed to keep the product.
Lindsey Davis who tested the Ninja Foodi Max 9-in-1, is Editor of Realhomes.com and Editor in Chief for Home Ecommerce, and spends her working day making sure people can find the right products for their home. At home, she loves to cook so is always keen to test out the latest kitchen gear. She has a small kitchen, so finding products that are big on impact but will save space in some way is key.
What Is The Ninja Foodi Max Best For
5 things I cook the most in my Ninja Foodi
1. Sourdough about once a week. It gives such an even bake.2. Casseroles sauté your onions, add the rest of the ingredients, then pressure cook to have a stew in no time.3. Chips/wedges for small portions I use the air crisp basket, but chunky chips cook really well in the main pot on the roast setting. .4. Pasta bakes I cook the pasta on the hob, but make my sauce on the sauté setting then add pasta and cheese for an easy meal.5. Freezer nibbles much quicker than cranking the oven for a few nuggets.
The bake function has impressed me the most and I will be investing in some of the loaf and cake tins to give a bit myself more versatility while baking. It was also a relief to be able to roast without putting the oven on in the height of summer. Yes, the Ninja Foodi Max does generate heat, but nothing compared to a standard oven, so it won’t turn your kitchen into a sauna.
The pressure cooker function can’t be faulted, even if I can’t see myself using it that often. I love how this and other functions like sauté give lots of scope for one pot meals. And as the pot is dishwasher friendly it is a real time saver in many ways.
Sourdough cooked in the Ninja Foodi Max Multi Cooker. It may not be the prettiest, but that is down to my lack of scoring skills. I now make one a week in my Ninja
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How Much Liquid Should I Use When Pressure Cooking
This is a wildly-debated topic and I am only sharing my opinion based on numerous trials and errors when cooking under pressure. The quick answer is, it depends. I know, that’s not what you want to hear.
Unfortunately, there is not an exact amount of liquid as long as your pot is able to come up to pressure. Certain types of liquids are not suitable for creating steam needed for pressure cooking and might cause a burn notice such as, milk, cream-based soups, and tomato sauce. You can use these liquids, but you will also need to add a thinner liquid so your pot will come up to pressure. It is the thin liquid that produces the steam required to cook under pressure.
When deciding on the amount of liquid, keep in mind what you want your end result to be. For example, when making white rice I always use a 1:1 ratio of liquid to rice, if that is the only thing in the pot. When I made this yummy Jambalya Soup, I used 64 ounces of liquid . I don’t want any extra liquid when making rice, but I want my soup to be soup.
Also keep in mind what liquid will be released or absorbed from the food you are cooking. For example, a beef chuck roast will produce quite a bit of liquid on it’s own during the pressure cooking process. So, for a flavorful gravy, I might only add 1-2 cups of liquid with the understanding that I will end up with around 3-4 cups. Could I add 3 or 4 cups to begin with? Sure, but I would end up with a diluted tasting liquid not suitable for gravy.
How We Tested Air Fryers
What is the first thing you think of when you consider air fryers? Chips, of course, so our homemade fries test was crucial.
The key to crisp fries was to peel and soak the potatoes in cold water for half an hour to remove starch, before drying thoroughly. We used Maris Piper potatoes for all.
We looked at the manuals for each model and followed their directions for cooking temperature, time and the quantity of oil needed. If the type of oil wasn’t specified them we used vegetable.
Anything from the size of the cut to the variety of potato can make a difference here, so its always good to gauge things halfway through the time. But for the purpose of the test, we shook ingredients only when prompted too and scored the appliance based on its performance.
We tested the air fryers using set criteria and scored each one on the following core areas out of five. The average of all determined the overall star rating they achieved:
Quality of foodTo ensure fairness, we initially cooked chips in every fryer we tested. We looked at how evenly they fried and whether they were brown and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Ease of useNo-one wants to resort to a YouTube video to work out how to use a new gadget. We looked for fryers with clear, simple instructions, so we could get them out of the box and cooking our dinner as quickly as possible. Fryers also scored highly if the icons or control buttons were easy to use and intuitive.
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How To Choose The Best Air Fryer
Air fryers differ in size and versatility so the choosing the best one for you will depend on a few key elements. For example, consider what you’ll most likely be cooking in it, how many you’re cooking for and how much space you have in the kitchen.
If it’s simply a healthier, more efficient method of cooking chips that you’re after, you can narrow your search down to one without bells and whistles and save some pennies on a machine that does the core function well.
Top tip: Watch out for those that will require you to part-boil the cut potatoes prior to crisping – air fryers worth having should be able to fully-cook chips on their own.
More sophisticated models will offer multiple functions like the ability to bake, roast, dehydrate, grill and reheat food.
The circulated hot air from inside these fryers gets released from fans often at the back of the air fryer, which means they can require a lot of room around them for safe use. Style and aesthetics on a countertop are also important.
Steam & Crisp Function
The steam & crisp function is only available on the OL series and its purpose is to cook your food in both a wet and then a dry environment. You had a minimal amount of liquid, usually ½-1 cup of water, in the bottom of the inner pot. Then you set your air crisp temperature and time based on the food you are cooking.
The Foodi will heat the water to produce steam which starts to cook your food with moist heat. All you will see on the control panel while this is going on is that the pot is preheating, that is the steaming time. You may also hear the water boiling and see some steam escaping from the lid.
The steam time seems to average about 10 minutes based on my testing and then the air crisp function kicks in and starts to dry out the cooking environment allowing the food to crisp. During this time, you may see quite a bit of steam escaping through the lid as it heats and dissipates.
There are vents in the lid that allow it to escape, so you don’t need to worry about having your valve to vent or seal, it won’t matter.
During the steam & crisp time, you can open the lid to check on your food, however you really don’t want to until at least 5 minutes into the air crisping time or you will let all the steam out and defeat the purpose.
This function works great for whole chickens and I’m sure a bunch of other things! I can’t wait to do some recipes using the function.
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Extra Functions That Are Available With The Ol Series Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper
OL601 8 quart Ninja Foodi has 3 extra functions steam & crips, steam & bake, and proof.
OL701 8 quart Ninja Foodi has 3 extra functions and 2 very cool features. The functions are steam & crisp, steam & bake, and proof.
The extra features are a smart probe thermometer that works with most of the functions, including pressure cooking. It also gives you the ability to program the type of pressure release you want. What this means is you don’t have to be near the Foodi when it’s done pressure cooking. Simply program in if you want an immediate release, a delayed release, or a full natural release.
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Should I Use The Basket Or Rack When Air Frying
A question I get a lot is when to use the basket verses the rack. I will go into much more depth on this in a future article, but I do want to touch on the subject real quick.
The basket that comes with the foodi is meant to be used with the air fryer, bake or steam function. Always use it with the diverter so that air can circulate under the basket and help cook and brown the bottom of the food.
I absolutely recommend using the basket for air frying over the rack, however the rack can be used if the food you want to air crisp won’t fit comfortably in the basket. For example, I recommend using the rack over the basket for whole chickens because it allows them to cook more evenly, especially when they are on the larger size.
Quick tip: If you have a food that you want to AC in the basket, but are worried it will stick. Cut a round shape of parchment the size of the basket and poke several holes in it to allow air flow. Then place the round in the bottom of the basket and place food on top. It makes clean up a breeze too.
Please note, your Ninja Foodi may have come with a crisping plate instead of a basket and although it does work, I much prefer the crisping basket. You can purchase them from Ninja Kitchen as an accessory.
What Are The Differences In The Models Of The Ninja Foodi
There are multiple sizes and models of NInja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper and new ones are being added all the time. It can get very confusing and while I will go over the basics in this article, if you are thinking about buying one please refer to this article which goes into detail the differences and is a great resource and buying guide!
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Is Air Frying Healthy
In comparison to deep-fat frying, air frying is a healthier alternative, since using convection cooking rather than oil means less fat in the finished food, which in turn means fewer calories. However, air frying does have some negatives, so it should be considered as part of a balanced diet. Read more about the health credentials of air fryers in our guide is air frying healthy?
What Do All These Abbreviations Mean When Cooking In The Ninja Foodi
Say what? At least that was my reaction when I first started pressure cooking. Turns out this new language is pretty easy to understand when you know what the abbreviations stand for. Here is a chart for you to refer to if needed.
Did I leave something out? Please let me know in the comments and I will be sure to add it.
A quick tip: If a recipe doesn’t specify HIGH or LOW pressure cooking, assume they are referring to High.
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