Getting Started With The Ninja Foodi. Lets get started together with the Ninja Foodi and learn how to use the Ninja Foodi, what is a Ninja Foodi and how it will change the way you cook with kitchen gadgets.
My First Ninja Foodi
In the summer of 2020 we bought our very first Ninja Foodi. We have already owned the Instant Pot Duo since 2016 and the Philips Air Fryer XL since 2011 and wanted to see how the Ninja Foodi will compared.
We loved the idea that one pot did the air frying and did the pressure cooking and that you could easily go from one to another.
But life got in the way and we were so busy it took us about 2-3 months to get our Ninja Foodi out of the box.
Part of that was because I was concerned that the air fryer part of the Ninja Foodi might be like the Mealthy Crisplid which never really was as magical as I thought it would be.
I just planned to make one batch of Ninja Foodi hard boiled eggs as see how it went and maybe do another recipe the day after.
But instead I stayed in the kitchen the whole day cooking recipe after recipe in my new favourite kitchen gadget.
Our Philips Air Fryer XXL was kicked out of the kitchen to make room for the Ninja Foodi and it feels amazing to be sharing with you today our Ninja Foodi experience.
Through our Ninja Foodi recipes we are looking forward to giving you the chance to watch over our shoulder as we get obsessed with the Ninja Foodi and its capabilities.
What Is A Ninja Foodi?
For those of you that have not heard about the Ninja Foodi yet then let me explain to you first what a ninja foodi is.
A Ninja Foodi is an all in one cooking system. Unlike the Philips Air Fryer that just air fry’s or the instant pot which just pressure cooks, or the Crockpot which just slow cooks, the Ninja Foodi is all three in one unit.
- You have one basket for air frying with and an air fryer lid.
- You have a trivet for when you pressure cook and a pressure cooker lid
- You also have a slow cooker button for when you want to slow cook dinner
Ideal if you can’t decide between buying an instant pot or an air fryer. Or if you are limited on kitchen space.
What Does The Ninja Foodi Do?
Think of anything that you cook in the air fryer, the instant pot, the slow cooker, in a pan on the stove, in a microwave, in a soup maker or in a rice cooker.
If you think that we are pressure cooker and air fryer addicts and only use our oven once a year for a roast turkey, then I am sure you get the idea.
I thought it would be fun for our first week of using the Ninja Foodi to write down everything we have used the Ninja for to give you some ideas.
- Day 1 – After performing the famous water test, we did hard boiled eggs as our first Ninja Foodi recipe. We were amazed by how much quicker they were to go to pressure compared to the instant pot. Next was some steamed carrots for a quick bit of meal prep. The carrots were starting to go soft because its so hot here in Portugal. A quick peel, slice and steam and they were ready for meals. Next was making Ninja Foodi sweet potato fries, then we did more meal prep for some baby potatoes and kale chips.
- Day 2 – For day 2 I made the hubby and the kids meatballs and sweet potato fries for dinner. The meatballs sat on the fries and gave a lovely flavour to the fries. It also amazed me how much food I can load into the air fryer basket at once.
- Day 3 – I made a delicious sweet potato curry for the five of us. Loaded with sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, red lentils, and coconut milk. So yummy and totally filled us up. In the evening Dominic compared how the instant pot caramel compared in the Ninja Foodi. We found it only needed slightly more water in the Ninja and apart from that it was the same.
- Day 4 – I cooked chicken burgers with sweet potato fries for Dominic and I for lunch. The Ninja has a big size air fryer basket and you can easily do a loaded meal like this. Then in the evening for dinner we tested our new Ninja Foodi Mac & Cheese recipe. Nothing that will cheer the kids up more after school, than having macaroni cheese waiting for them!
- Day 5 – For day 5 in my favourite new kitchen gadget, we started with shrimp and peppers for lunch. I love to cook them together with cajun seasoning and a tiny bit of olive oil for a quick light lunch. I also then collected a poorly Jorge from preschool and made him a batch of cajun shrimp. Its his favourite food and what he wanted in between snotty nose blows and smoothies. I also meal prepped a whole pumpkin, steamed some parsnip, and did a big batch of fall vegetables. Now it just feels normal to use the Ninja Foodi and I feel like its going to be in our kitchen forever.
- Day 6 – Another round of cajun shrimp goes into the Ninja Foodi. I buy the frozen bags of peeled and cooked shrimp and its excellent for cooking from frozen in the air fryer (and now the Ninja). I also made a Thai sweet potato curry for lunch, then the leftovers in the evening became shrimp and chickpea Thai curry. Its my first one pot dinner using the pressure cooker option and I must say it went very well.
- Day 7 – It’s a Saturday lunch time and I have five mouths to feed and lots to do. I load into the Ninja Foodi sliced turkey sausages, zucchini and sweet potatoes. They are tossed in extra virgin olive oil and oregano. A quick air fry in the Ninja air crisp and they are done.
What Do You Get With Your Ninja Foodi?
Ninja Foodi joins the many tight kitchen gadget brands, that don’t include the accessories that you need and then ask you to buy them separately.
Though with Ninja they cheekily ask you to buy them by mentioning what you need on the side of the box.
But you do get enough with your Ninja Foodi to start cooking, you will just need to consider accessories later. For example, we haven’t ordered our Ninja Foodi accessories yet but will be doing so soon.
What you do get with the Ninja Foodi:
- Ninja Foodi Reversable Rack – This is fantastic and something I wish you got with the instant pot. It’s a trivet but you can have it with the trivet high or the trivet low. Ideal if you want to roast a chicken and need the trivet lower, or higher to crisp up vegetables.
- Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Lid – The lid for the air fryer is attached and you can have it up when the pressure cooker is on, or down when you are air frying. When you pressure cook you have an alternative lid that is similar to the instant pot lid.
- Ninja Foodi Cook & Crisp Basket – You use this for when you are air frying. It is similar to the basket used when you would deep fry food in a pan on the stove and it will hold quite a lot of food.
- Ninja Foodi Cooking Chart – I received a one page print out in both English and in German. I did take the cook times with a pinch of salt though because some of them were way out.
- Ninja Foodi Recipe Booklet – Interesting booklet of recipes to try in the Ninja Foodi in both German and in English. Not the recipes I would expect though as would have thought there would have been worldwide recipes such as pot roast, roast potatoes etc.
- Ninja Foodi User Guide – An in depth instruction manual comes with your Ninja Foodi too. Ideal for referencing later and reading when you first get your Ninja.
- Ninja Cooking Pot – Just like you have what they call the inner pot for the instant pot, you have the cooking pot for the Ninja. Its where all food is cooked in and you can take it out to store food in the fridge
Ninja Foodi First Impressions
My first impression of the Ninja Foodi was the box as I was unpacking it. Clear instructions of how to do the water test and information of everything that is included.
My second impression was the stickers attached to the Ninja Foodi. Telling you what is sealing and what is venting and explaining the key features of the Ninja. Ideal for someone that is a beginner to the world of pressure cooking.
I did think that the Ninja Foodi was very heavy and that was because you are taking the weight for the air fryer as well as the pressure cooker.
The Ninja Foodi cooking pot is wide rather than tall. In instant pot recipes it will call for a cup of water to cover a section of the pot. But with the Ninja Foodi you will need more to cover a certain radius.
My favourite feature is that it counts down in seconds and makes it easier to remember how long is left and when your food is going to be cooked.
So far, I have found that most recipes are the same cook times as they are for the air fryer or the instant pot. But this of course is a work in progress, and I am sure some will come up that are different as I try and test.
How To Use The Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker?
When you use the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker its similar to using the instant pot. Place the lid on your Ninja Foodi, set the valve to sealing and choose your cook time.
I have found that when you use the Ninja Foodi that you press the pressure cook button twice and then it will tell you that its set to high pressure. Then move the time setting up and down until you have the correct cook time.
Then hit the start/stop button and it will start building up pressure.
After it is done, you press the start/stop button and it will say off.
How To Use The Ninja Foodi Air Fryer?
The Ninja Foodi air fryer is very similar. Instead of the instant pot lid you use the air fryer lid.
You then use the air fryer basket inside the cooking pot to cook your food.
You then press air fryer twice and set the temperature first and then the cook time.
Start/stop to get it going and then start/stop at the end to finish.
You’re probably wondering what the catch is but using the Ninja Foodi is this simple. You just need to decide what recipes you are going to make with your Ninja Foodi.
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