Updated: Jan 7, 2022
I remember hearing all the hype about these air fryer things and thinking to myself "Yeah ok, the food can't really have fried flavor without being fried." But, of course, my curiosity grew and I would eventually end up caving into the marketing and the lure of a shiny new toy that promised all the flavor with fewer calories.
The ninja air fryer is incredibly easy to use right out of the box. There are 4 function buttons including air fry, roast, dehydrate, and reheat. You have the ability to use the preset function buttons or just adjust the temperature manually. There is also a sweet cheat sheet sticker included on the air fryer that tells you what setting/ temp may be best for the type of food being cooked. It's super simple, I honestly didn't even read the directions.
After cooking with the air fryer a couple of times I immediately knew it would be a game-changer for me. Super easy to use, fast, and the food tastes GREAT.
Love at first fry.
To be frank, I've used the shit out of this thing. Every day, 2-3 times a day. It's my go-to method to cook protein. After about a year of use, the fan randomly stopped working one day. I contacted Ninja customer support and they sent me a replacement, no issues! Ninja has fantastic customer service and the warranty on their products is pretty legit. I have one of their coffee makers and they even replaced that outside of the warranty AND sent me an upgraded device, no questions asked.
Both of the replacement machines are going strong to this date without any issues and look and function just as they did out of the box.
Pros and Cons
Price point. The 4-5qt models are only around $100. https://amzn.to/3qP7g4e
Fast cooking. Whole chicken breasts are done within 15-17 minutes. Cutting them up will reduce that time.
Set it and forget it. You don't have to monitor the cooking process which can improve your productivity elsewhere.
Flavor. Man, the flavor is always on point. Even with simple seasonings, the flavors seem to be amplified and there is a distinct texture produced from the cooking style.
No oil, fewer calories. Not having to use excess oil reduces calorie intake but you still get a nice crispy texture. The french fries that come out of this thing are for real legit.
Easy clean-up. Honestly, I only really clean my air frier every other day, at best. Clean-up is super easy though and the basket is dishwasher safe.
Limited capacity. I can fit about 3 large chicken breasts into the basket of the model I have, which is plenty, but it may not be appropriate for large-scale meal prep. You can definitely fit more if you stack them on top of each other but you'll lose some crispiness.
Inability to cook multiple foods. You totally can, there just isn't really a way to keep them separated (with the model I have) and you are again limited by the size of the basket.
Smokey. Some fattier foods like a chicken thigh with the skin on can get the house a little smokey. Not really a big deal but worth mentioning.
The Wrap Up
I really can't recommend the Ninja air fryer enough. I can honestly say that since buying it food prep has been easier and tastier. No more dry, bland, overcooked chicken breast. It gives you the ability to include tastes, textures, and foods you may have previously thought needed to be excluded from your diet like french fries.
I wish I could detail some comparisons but this is the only brand I've ever used. And as long as the customer service continues to treat me well it will continue to be the only brand that I use!
Overall, the Ninja air fryer is an incredibly versatile kitchen appliance that I highly recommend if you want to step your food game up.
You can find the model that I use by following the link below or by clicking on this page. Any purchases made directly through these links will help to support me and are greatly appreciated!