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The Ninja Speedi's USP will make cooking at home healthier and easier - here's why it's a gamechanger

 Image of Ninja Speedi on countertop .
Image of Ninja Speedi on countertop .

The Ninja Speedi might be Ninja's best-named appliance yet, with the ability to whip up hearty meals for the family in just 15 minutes. This rapid cooker is pretty clever, going further than a standard multicooker (which is an appliance that can perform lots of functions such as air frying and slow cooking). Instead, it can do 100% more - performing any two cooking tasks at once.

Yep, while one part of this cooker air fries, the other part can slow cook, steam, or saute. It means that instead of having to wash up a separate pan for your salmon after cooking rice in your pick of the best multicooker, you can get it all done in one pot.

We tried the Ninja Speedi out at our test centre to see if those 15-minute meals were a reality (spoiler, they were) and to see how its other features fared.

Ninja Speedi 10-in-1 Rapid Cooker product specs

Ninja Speedi
Ninja Speedi
  • Material: Stainless steel, ceramic, plastic

  • Colour: Sea Salt Grey

  • Capacity: 9.5 litres

  • Modes: Speedi Meals, Steam Air Fry, Steam Bake, Steam, Grill, Air Fry, Bake/Roast, Dehydrate, Sear/Sauté and Slow Cook

  • Weight: 8.8kg

  • Power: 2470W

  • Size: 32.5 x 41.5 x 27 cm (h x w x d)

Unboxing and first impressions

First things first, the Ninja Speedi comes in a very colourful box, shouting about all of the various functions it can perform.

It's quite a large cooker, but the total capacity is only 5.7 litres, which I'd say is in the mid-range. That's because a lot is going on under the lid with this cooker in terms of tech,  so you can only really fill the pot element. 5.7 litres is still plenty enough space to feed four people a hearty meal, however, so if you're thinking about buying the Speedi for family cooking then don't be dissuaded.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

Inside the box, you'll find an extensive guide to how to use the meal-building function with the Speedi, including example recipes and settings for all sorts of food. There's also a very handy Ninja Speedi meal builder webpage, which is supremely useful to help you put together a tasty meal out of what you've got lurking in your fridge.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

To operate the Speedi, you need to plug it in and use both the Smart Switch at the top (this allows you to toggle between Air Fry/Hob and the Speedi Meals function) and the buttons on the front of the machine.

On the control panel, you can set the temperature, and time and dial through the ten different functions on offer. An LED screen then displays how far through the operation the cooker is, from preheating to completion.

Unlike other multi-cookers that we've tried, any steam auto-releases from the Speedi, so you don't need to worry about letting your pressure from a valve or anything similar.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

Inside the Speedi you'll find a large pot, which is removable, and underneath that, you'll find a heating element which enables you to use the bottom half as a hob if you wish.

On the top half of the pot itself, there are grooves that you can slot the included grill plate into by extending the legs on the side of the plate. This then serves as your air frying platform, suspended above whatever you're steaming or sautéing in the bottom. Once you've wrapped your head around how the various sections work, you'll be good to get started.

Cooking with the Ninja Speedi

Teriyaki salmon and rice 

This is the recipe that I've seen most on promotional images of the Speedi, so we tried it out for size at our test centre. After marinating the salmon in a teriyaki glaze we popped it on the air fryer plate and then added rice, frozen vegetables and hot stock to the pot.

We turned the switch on the top of the machine to 'Speedi Meals' and programmed it to cook for 10 minutes at the preset temperature. This was the first time we'd used the Speedi on the day,  so it moved into preset mode and stayed there for nine minutes while it warmed up. Bear this in mind if you only have 15 minutes to cook as you'll need to account for preheat time too!

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

After just ten minutes in cooking mode, the Ninja Speedi released a fair amount of steam and then beeped to let us know the meal was done. And underneath the lid, the four pieces of salmon were perfectly air-fried and the rice and veg were steamed to perfection.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

The hands-free cooking process was very impressive, but I was most taken back by just how quick the process was. I expected to have to add on five more minutes but there was absolutely no need.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

The only difficulty with the process was grappling with getting the hot air fryer tray out of position in order to get the rice below. Use oven gloves or tongs for that bit!

Cooking rice

One of the draws of the Ninja Speedi is that it can achieve the functionality of a handful of other appliances so that you can streamline the number of machines you need in your kitchen.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

If you're a keen chef, you might already have one of the best ricecookers, but you might be able to donate it elsewhere thanks to the Speedi, which can also steam rice. We tried it out using basmati, and set it off to cook for 15 minutes.

After the allotted time the rice was fluffed to perfection, with no effort needed from me.

Air frying chips

If you're thinking about buying the Ninja Speedi, you probably want to know how capably it can air fry, so you won't have to double up on another appliance.

To test it, we first opted for a portion of French fries, which we set to air fry for 13 minutes. This was likely a little too long given how powerfully the Speedi can air fry, and dried the fries out a little.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

We used the pot section to see how big of a portion we could air fry, and I think that four portions for a family would be perfectly comfortable in the Speedi.

Air frying bacon 

Another staple air fryer test is bacon, and once you've tried it in an air fryer you won't go back to using your grill any time soon. We popped four rashers on the top plate and set off the Speedi for five minutes.

Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility
Testing the Ninja Speedi at the Future test facility

The bacon was perfectly browned without curling at the end of the five minutes, and any excess grease had seeped through to the bottom of the pot.

On the whole, I was very impressed with the air frying performance from the Speedi, and the fact that it can air fry whilst also mastering some other function in the bottom of the pot is very clever indeed.

Cleaning

Everything (apart from the unit!) included with the Speedi is dishwasher safe, and you can even use the Steam setting on the cooker to steam-clean the inside of the unit itself, which we think is pretty clever.

If you're washing by hand the soapy water will do the job just fine, but just be wary of damaging the non-stick on the plate and pot with any scourers.

How does it compare to similar models?

The Ninja Speedi is in its own league when it comes to functionality thanks to the 2-in-1 design. In terms of air frying, however, it's not our favourite model ever for that job - the Ninja FlexDrawer air fryer is. It's got a huge capacity and the versatility to flip between acting as a single or double drawer depending on what you want to cook.

For healthy all-in-one meals, however, the Ninja Speedi wins out. And while the RRP may seem steep at £249.99, I've seen it on sale during Black Friday and other periods for far less. If you can get it in the £100-£200 range, then it's a total steal given the functionality.

If you can't stretch to £249.99, then the Tefal All-in-One Multicooker is our favourite option for around £100. It can't air fry, but it would be a good stand-in for hearty family meal-making.

Should you buy the Ninja Speedi?

This is the most functional appliance I've tried, beating even the most capable multi-cookers on the market. It can do it all, even including air frying, to a high standard in an unbelievably quick time.

The price tag may be offputting, but for your money, you'll get an appliance that's bound to make cooking in your home more efficient, and potentially even healthier if you use the steam function regularly.

Unfortunately, I have almost nothing nice to say about how the Speedi looks. Air fryers aren't exactly known for their stylish look, but even a plain black box is better than this. The colour and shape are especially offputting.

And sure, the functionality is worth it over the look of it, especially if you can stash it away when not in use in an appliance garage, but seeing as that's not an option in my flat it would be taking up precious worktop space while not looking too pretty. I'd love a redesign in the vein of other Ninja appliances, such as the Ninja AF100UK Air Fryer, which I feel strikes a good balance.  In terms of performance though, the Ninja Speedi is fairly faultless.