My seek for the right air fryer has come to an finish.

Screenshot by Dashia Starr/CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Cyber Monday has arrived with some nice offers on air fryers. However how are you going to determine which equipment is greatest to purchase when so many are on sale? Don’t fret, I may help you determine because of my lengthy and, at instances, bumpy historical past with them. I like the concept of a kitchen equipment that circulates scorching air to prepare dinner meals good and crisp in a matter of minutes with out the oil wanted for deep frying. However I had one downside. Whereas many of the countertop home equipment work the identical, each air fryer I purchased in some way managed to let me down, apart from one: the Ninja Foodi 8-quart, 4-in-1 Dual Zone Air Fryer. And it is price each penny.

Learn extra: Best air fryer deals for Cyber Monday

My fiancé and I began out with a $50 Dash Compact Air Fryer that was excellent for small areas, however it did not maintain sufficient meals to have leftovers. I used a Bella air fryer subsequent, and it did not have the settings we would have liked for our cooking preferences. We later upgraded to a Chefman air fryer that is now not out there. Regardless of cleansing it the best manner, the grill plate clips got here off and the end began to peel. We knew it was time for an improve that will final. 

Cyber Monday replace: Whereas this story describes the writer’s expertise with the $139 8-quart, 4-in-1 Ninja Foodi, we’re linking the newer, $130 8-quart, 6-in-1 model. It is a related however up to date mannequin that’s broadly discounted this vacation season. 

When the Ninja Foodi 8-quart, 4-in-1 Twin Zone Air Fryer popped onto my radar, I used to be a brand new mother with a full-time job, and it is no exaggeration to say the Ninja Foodie modified our lives. With time being a premium and wholesome meals a necessity, this turned out sufficient scorching meals quick for our rising household. 

Finest but, the Ninja Foodi is not simply an air fryer — it is also a meals dehydrator, a roaster and one of the best ways to reheat leftovers that keep crisp and never soggy (in contrast to microwaves). Learn on to search out out what options actually offered me. When you’re right here, listed below are additional tips to keep in mind when using an air fryer.

Ninja Foodi Twin Zone Air Fryer upshot: 2 baskets are higher than one

Once more, this Ninja Foodi is extra than simply an air fryer. Should you’re trying to dehydrate fruits for path combine or reheat leftover fries, there are settings only for that. It’s also possible to roast hen with out heating up your private home with the oven (excellent for summer season days). And the temperature goes as much as 400 levels Fahrenheit and you’ll set the timer for as much as an hour at a time. Most air fryers solely have timers for as much as 25 minutes. 

However this is the factor: Relying on what you are cooking or heating, you could possibly do two of this stuff directly. That is as a result of whereas most air fryers include one basket, Ninja’s twin air fryer has two. Which means you may prepare dinner two meals with utterly completely different settings on the identical time. You possibly can roast a hen in a single basket whereas air-frying potatoes in one other. Having the ability to prepare dinner virtually a whole entire dinner with one gadget is a game-changer for my household.


Keep in mind this summer season’s air-fried pasta chips? You can also make them in a snap.

Allyza Umali/CNET

Sensible End is one of the best ways for meals to complete on the identical time

I hate it when my meals finishes cooking at completely different instances. Sensible End is the answer to my issues. As an example the hen takes longer to prepare dinner in a single basket than your greens. I simply press Sensible End for the air fryer to complete cooking each baskets on the identical time — whatever the time or temperature. When it is executed, I’ve scorching meals I haven’t got to reheat earlier than getting it on the desk. This is the way it works: 

1. To start out, press Sensible End

2. Press 1 and select your cooking choice: Air fry, Roast, Reheat or Dehydrate. 

3. Choose the time and temperature for the meals within the first basket.

4. Press 2, then repeat steps 2 and three.

5. Press Begin/Pause.

Match Prepare dinner offers you extra space 

You have most likely heard in regards to the deliciousness of air fryer chicken wings. They’re the right wing that is crispy on the surface and juicy on the within. The one downside is that wings can take up quantity of house in your air fryer. The very best answer I discovered was utilizing my Ninja Foodie’s Match Prepare dinner setting as a option to unfold out my meals within the baskets for even cooking with out cramming. This is the way it works:

1. To start out, press Match Prepare dinner. Each numbers 1 and 2 will gentle up. 

2. Select your cooking choice, Air fry, Roast, Reheat or Dehydrate. 

3. Choose the time and temperature.

4. Press Begin/Pause

Should you’re ever interested in what settings to make use of when cooking, Ninja contains two stickers on the air fryer to offer you really useful instances and temperatures for poultry and greens when utilizing Sensible End and Match Prepare dinner. These air fryer recipes may help, too. 

You will need to hold the house in thoughts 

The one draw back is that this 8-quart Ninja Foodi air fryer takes up extra space than different choices, however it’s nonetheless compact for its quart dimension. It is about 13 inches large. We additionally thought of the 4-quart Ninja Air Fryer, which has the identical settings however solely has one basket. For us, the two-basket possibility received out — and I am glad it did.

It is easy to wash, too 

After my Chefman air fryer began peeling, I made a decision to be very cautious when cleansing my Ninja baskets. To this point, I’ve had the air fryer for a 12 months and it has been simple to wash with cleaning soap and water. Although the hampers are dishwasher-safe, I have been utilizing the hand-wash technique to protect the end. If harm to the hampers does happen, you should purchase replacement plates on Amazon.

Arms down, this Ninja Foodi is my favourite kitchen gadget, particularly for a quick, simple option to eat healthily (it is a toss-up for the most effective equipment in my home, alongside our cordless Dyson vacuum). 

Lastly, this is the distinction between air-frying versus oven-baking your meals and an air fryer that doubles as a microwave that I’ve my eye on.

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