🛍️ Product reviewed: Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer
⏰ Tested it for: Two months
⭐ Rating: 5/5
💸 Reasons to buy: It cooks food quickly, is energy efficient and incredibly easy to clean
✋ Reasons to avoid: Due to its dual drawer design (that can cook for up to eight people) it's quite large and you need a good amount of kitchen countertop space
💰 Best deal we've found: The cheapest we've found it is at Argos where it's currently £139, it's currently £149 at Currys and Very and has already sold out on Amazon and Ninja
Air fryers almost need no introduction, they have become a much talked about gadget since the cost of living crisis begun. In fact, air fryers are now used by four in 10 adults in the UK.
Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer£139£220Save £81
Ninja Air Fryer 3.8L£75£149Save £74
Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer AF500UK Air Fryer, 10.4L£219£269Save £50
Ninja Foodi Max 9.5L Dual Zone Air Fryer with Smart Cook£200£270Save £70
Tower T17021 Family Size Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation£36£69Save £33
Tefal Easy Fry Classic 2in1 Air Fryer and Grill 4.2L£49£99Save £50
In simple terms, an air fryer allows you to create tasty meals in the fraction of the time a traditional oven usually takes. This not only gives you back valuable time in your day, but also is more energy efficient to run.
However, with so many models now up to grabs, it can be tricky to know which one to purchase.
While the initial upfront cost isn't cheap, Ninja, who are the best-selling air fryer brand in the UK sell options between £100 and £270. In the long run, they can save you money on your overall energy consumption, with Ninja stating that you can save up to 75% on your energy bill with one of its dual-zone models.
On average, an air fryer costs around 17p a day to run, in comparison to electric cookers, which come in at around 87p a day (it's worth keeping in mind that prices will vary depending on your energy tariff).
Still deciding whether you should join the air fryer fan club? I have spent the last two months trying out the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer almost everyday to make breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My conclusion? I now totally understand the hype and it's a kitchen essential I wouldn't be without (I have no plans to use my oven anytime soon). Here's the lowdown on why I think it's worth the splurge.
💸 Reasons to buy
I'm not the biggest fan of cooking. The idea of slaving away for hours in the kitchen doesn't interest me much, I prefer to make meals that are all in the oven, or in one pan, and take maximum half an hour.
The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer has completely changed my outlook.
When it first arrived, it looked daunting, with numerous buttons and cooking settings to pick from - there's six functions in total; air fry, max crisp, dehydrate, roast, reheat and baker.
However, the accompanying quick start guide is extremely thorough, with easy to follow instructions and lists of how long different foods take to cook on various settings. It also comes with recipe guide (created by a chef) with tons of helpful meat, fish and veggie dishes to follow. And who doesn't love a bit of dinner inspiration?
On just the air fry setting alone you have endless meal options - a few of my favourite things to make have been:
Mango and chilli chicken with Mexican fried rice
Potato, pepper and bacon hash with fried egg
Bacon, egg and cheese bagels
Cod tacos with an avocado puree
Spicy chicken skewers
All these meals were hugely quicker to cook in the air fryer and with a lot less cleaning up at the end too (which is always a bonus).
For example, you can cook perfectly crisp bacon in just eight minutes. Chicken takes as little as 15 minutes, cod fillets even less at 10 minutes, and roasting potatoes just 15 minutes.
The sync and match settings are also incredibly useful.
Sync allows you to cook two different foods using different functions, temperatures and cook times, but regardless of the settings, both drawers will finish cooking at the same time.
Match on the other hand, cooks the same food in each zone on the exact same settings (which is ideal for batch cooking).
Cooking a whole meal, such as chicken and potatoes is so much simpler, as you're not constantly watching the clock or dealing with moving around scalding hot baking trays in the oven.
You can still take the drawers out midway through cooking to turn meat or toss veggies and the device automatically pauses cooking and restarts once you put the drawers back in.
Lastly, cleaning the air fryer was a breeze. Both drawers and the plates are dishwasher safe, however they can take up a lot of room inside the dishwasher, so I often hand wash them and find the non-stick design easy to scrub off grime and grease, even when left overnight.
✋ Reasons to avoid
The only gripe I have is the ginormous size of the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer. Given it has two drawers and a join capacity of 7.6L (which is able to feed up to eight people) that's not surprising.
However, for my small kitchen counter, it does take up a lot of space. You can buy smaller models for under £100, but they cook for only two to three people.
While initially I was annoyed at the amount of room it took up, I've now become so reliant on it for most of my meals that I'm happy to compromise on counter space, but it's something to keep in mind.