I have owned 4 air fryers. Thanks to this one, I will never go back

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My search for the perfect air fryer is now over.

Screenshot by Dashia Starr / CNET

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Air fryers and I go back a long way. I love the idea of ​​a kitchen appliance that circulates the air to cook crispy food without all the oil – and in minutes. There is just one problem. While most of them work the same, every air fryer I have bought has managed to let me down – with the exception of one: the Ninja Foodi 8 Quart Four-in-One Dual Zone Air Fryer. And it’s worth every penny.

My fiance and I started with a $ 50 Dash Compact Air Fryer it was perfect for small spaces, but it didn’t hold up much when cooking enough food for leftovers. I then used a Bella air fryer, and it didn’t have the settings we needed for our cooking preferences. So, we then opted for a Chefman air fryer which is no longer available. Despite our proper cleaning, the grill plate clips came off and the finish began to peel off. We knew it was time for an upgrade that would last.

That’s when the Ninja Foodi 8 Quart Four-in-One Dual Zone Air Fryer appeared on my radar. I was a new mom with a full time job, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the Ninja Foodie has changed our lives. With time a bonus, but healthy food a necessity, it quickly turns out to be hot enough for our growing family.

Best of all, the Ninja Foodi isn’t just an air fryer – it’s also a food dehydrator, roaster, and the best way to reheat leftovers that stay crispy and not soggy (unlike microwaves). Here are the features that sold me, and while you’re here, those are some extras tips to keep in mind when using an air fryer. (PS Here is how find the best deals before Black Friday.)

Ninja Foodi dual zone air fryer review: 2 baskets are better than one

Again, this Ninja Foodi is more than just an air fryer. If you’re looking to dehydrate fruit for a good trail mix or reheat leftover fries, there are settings for that. You can also roast chicken without heating your house with the oven (perfect for summer days). And the temperature goes up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and you can set the timer for up to an hour at a time. Most air fryers only have timers of up to 25 minutes.

But here’s the problem: depending on what you’re cooking or heating, you may be able to do two of these things at once. This is because while most air fryers come with a single basket, Ninja’s dual air fryer has two. This means you can cook two foods with completely different settings. at a time. You can roast a chicken in one basket while frying potatoes in another. Being able to cook almost an entire dinner with one gadget is a game changer for my family.

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Remember the fried pasta crisps that looked like this summer? You can do them in the blink of an eye.

Allyza Umali / CNET

Smart Finish is the best way to finish food at the same time

I hate when my food finishes cooking at different times. Smart Finish is the solution to my problems. Let’s say chicken takes longer to cook in a basket than your vegetables. I just pressed Smart finishing so that the air fryer will finish cooking both baskets at the same time, regardless of time or temperature. When it’s done, I have hot dishes that I don’t have to reheat before putting them on the table. This is how it works:

  1. To start, press Smart finishing.
  2. hurry 1 and choose your culinary preference: Air fry, Roast, Warm up Where Dehydrate.
  3. Select the duration and temperature of the food in the first basket.
  4. hurry 2, then repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. hurry Start Pause.

Match Cook gives you more space

You’ve probably heard of the delicacies of deep fryer chicken wings. It’s the perfect wing, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The only problem is that the wings can take up a lot of space in your air fryer. The best solution I found was to use the Match Cook setting on my Ninja Foodie as a way to spread my food out in the baskets for even cooking without crowding. This is how it works.

  1. To start, press Cook match. The two numbers, 1 and 2 will light up.
  2. Choose your culinary preference, Air fry, Roast, Warm up Where Dehydrate.
  3. Select the time and temperature.
  4. hurry Start Pause.

If you’re still curious about what settings to use when cooking, Ninja includes two stickers on the air fryer to give you the recommended times and temperatures for poultry and vegetables when in use. Smart finishing and Cook match. Those air fryer recipes can help too.

You’ll want to keep space in mind

The only downside is that this Ninja Foodi 8 quart air fryer takes up more space than the other options, but still compact for its quarter size. It is approximately 13 inches wide. We also considered the 4-quart Ninja Air Fryer, which has the same settings but only has one basket. For us, the two-basket option won – and I’m glad it did.

It’s also easy to clean

After my Chefman air fryer started peeling, I decided to be extra careful when cleaning my Ninja baskets. So far I have had the air fryer for a year and it is easy to clean with soap and water. Even though the baskets are dishwasher safe, I used the hand wash method to preserve the finish. If the baskets are damaged, you can buy replacement plates on Amazon.

By far this Ninja Foodi is my favorite kitchen gadget, especially for a quick and easy way to eat healthy (it’s a crush on the best appliance in my house, alongside our cordless Dyson vacuum).

Finally, here is the difference between air frying versus baking your food and a air fryer that doubles as a microwave that I have my eye on.

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