REVIEW – It might seem like pressure cookers are the latest cooking gadget fad, but pressure cookers have been around for decades – just not with fancy displays and features like the ones we’re seeing today. The traditional pressure cookers just had an analog gauge on top to show the pressure level and I thought they were scary as heck with their sputtering and spinning valves. Today’s pressure cookers have come a long way and they rank as my number one favorite kitchen gadget. Today I want to tell you about the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker which raises the bar when it comes to this category of cookers. Let’s take a look!
This post was created in partnership with Ninja and I received a complimentary product but all opinions within are my own.
What is it?
The Ninja Foodi is a modern pressure cooker with a set of feature that includes a digital display, multi-pressure levels, timer, and a keep warm feature. But the feature that really sets this pressure cooker apart from other brands is that it doubles as an air fryer that not only pressure cooks your food super fast, it can make it crispy too.
What’s in the box?
- Ninja Foodi pressure cooker
- Crisping lid
- Pressure lid
- 6.5 qt. Removable cooking pot
- 4 qt. Cook & Crisp basket
- Reversible rack
- Detachable diffuser
- Silicone ring
- Anti-clog cap
- Condensation collector
- Recipe book with 45 recipes
- User manual
Design and features
The Ninja Foodi is larger than other popular pressure cookers on the market, but that’s because it can do a lot more than those cookers.
The front of the Foodi has easy to understand display and touch panel that will let you set the timed cooking sessions and adjust the pressure setting from LO to HI. You can also choose which style of cooking to use: pressure, steam, slow cook, sear/saute, air crisp, bake, broil, and dehydrate.
The back of the Foodi has several vents and a drip cup.
The plastic drip cup pulls out for easy cleanup.
Where the Ninja Foodi differs from other pressure cookers is the 2-lid system. The lid attached to the cooker is actually the air crisper / air fryer lid.
The lid has a built-in fan that circulates air around the cooking food to crisp skin and outer food surfaces without needing to use a deep fryer.
Included with the Foodi is a metal air crisper basket that is perfect for using the Foodie to make french fries and other foods. The slots on the bottom of the basic allow the air to circulate and any oils to drip into the main 6.5qt. cook pot below it.
When you want to use the pressure cooker feature, you use the pressure lid with the air crisp lid in the open position.
If you’re already familiar with using a pressure cooker, the Ninja Foodi pressure lid has a seal/vent valve on top and a large handle that makes it easy to secure and remove the lid.
I’m hungry, let’s cook like a Ninja!
The first food that I cooked in the Ninja Foodi was a 6 lb. chicken which went from raw to perfectly cooked in about 30 minutes vs. the usual 20 minutes per pound formula that I use when I cook a chicken in the oven. Talk about saving time.
It was so easy to cook the chicken. I just added a cup of water to the pot, put the chicken in the pot, added some salt, pepper, paprika, and tyme. Then the pressure lid went on top, the valve was set to seal, I pressed the power button, pressed the pressure cook button, set the time to 30 minutes, and pressed start. The display showed an animated cursor rotating around the display until the pressure in the pot reached the right level. Then the timer counted down until it finished with a tone.
I let the pressure release naturally for a few minutes and then rotated the valve to the vent position until the pressure pin dropped which meant that it was then safe to remove the lid. Look at that bird! It was perfectly cooked and tasted amazing.
In the bottom of the pot was several cups of golden chicken broth that I used later to make chicken and noodles with the leftover chicken – in the Ninja Foodi! The noodles only took about 20 minutes and YUM!
What about the air crisp lid? I used it to revive some leftover fish and fries from a trip to Cheesecake Factory. I like to eat out but almost never eat my entire meal. Trying to heat up leftover fried foods usually results in a soggy rubbery mess but the air crisp lid perked up the food to taste almost as good as it did in the restaurant. All I did was arrange it in the air crisp out which was then placed inside the main 6.5qt cooking pot.
Then I set the air crisp to 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
With the air crisper lid, you can lift it anytime you like without having to wait for the cooker’s pressure to bleed off because the pressure isn’t used in this cooking mode. It worked great.
Clean up is fast too!
One of my favorite things about using the Foodi other than eating the delicious food that I cook with it, is that clean up is as fast as cooking with it. The inner cooking pot can go in the dishwasher. The pressure lid has to be hand washed but it really doesn’t get that dirty because the pressure keeps food from splattering on it.
What I like
- Versatile: pressure cooker, air fryer, and more
- Easy to use
- FAST cooking made simple
What needs to be improved
- Need a way to store the air pressure lid when not being used
I’ve been a huge fan of modern pressure cookers after trying my first one a year or so ago. Since then I use it to cook foods that would normally take an hour or more in a fraction of the time. You might think that cooking faster could mean that the foods wouldn’t taste as good but it’s the opposite with the Ninja Foodi. Pressure cooking makes the flavors better because they are infused into the foods.
One year later and I still use the Foodi pressure cooking on a regular basis. Other than the fact that it has the air fryer lid which can’t be removed (and I almost never use), I still love having a pressure cooker like this one. I recently decided for the first time to try cooking a pot roast from a completely frozen roast. It worked fantastically well so now I don’t worry about having to thaw meat before I want to cook it. I’m even using the Ninja Foodi tonight to cook up (quickly) some pork chops!