5 Best Ninja Air Fryers (2021) Comparison, Reviews & Buying Guide

The Best Ninja Foodi Air Fryers of 2021
The Best Ninja Foodi Air Fryers of 2021

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If you’re on the hunt for the best Ninja Air Fryer, you’re in the right place.

Here’s the deal:

Ninja sells different types of air fryers. They have a basket air fryer, oven air fryer, grill air fryer, and a pressure cooker that doubles as an air fryer. All in all, they have eleven products under this category. Not to mention that the brand has different model numbers for each product.

That’s a lot of options, to be honest.

The good thing, however, is we’ve already reviewed all their products. You don’t have to go through the grueling task of checking out all their air fryers.

So without further delay, let me give you the best Ninja Foodi Air Fryers of 2021.

That’s the short version of this buying guide. Feel free to read the full review of each Ninja Air Fryers by clicking the links above, otherwise let’s continue exploring all your choices.

If you look at the air fryer patent, the obvious genuine air fryers on the list above are basket air fryers. The grill air fryer and the pressure cooker model also work. However, the drawer type is on top of the game in terms of convenience. You can easily take the basket out to flip or shake your dish.

Top 5 Best Ninja Air Fryers

#1 Ninja Foodi DZ201 – Best Overall

The Best Ninja Air Fryer, Ninja Foodi DZ201

The Ninja DZ201 or the Ninja Foodi 2-Basket Air Fryer comes with features that you won’t find in other brands. Apart from its dual drawer design, it boasts a few intelligent capabilities—Smart Finish & Match Cook.

Let’s start off by highlighting its capacity. Each basket can handle 4 quarts of fries or any protein of your choice. Adding both zones, you’ll have a generous 8-qt cooking real estate. You can roast chicken breast on one side, and you can caramelize your side dish on the other.

And this is where it gets interesting.

If you’re making different recipes, you can set it to finish simultaneously by pressing the Smart Finish button. How cool is that? You can delight your guests or family members with a perfectly warm meal.

What if you’re cooking 4 pounds of fries?

That’s where the Match Cook will come in handy. Pressing the button will duplicate the mode, temperature, and cooking time over the second drawer. It’s like a copy-and-paste feature, which is pretty convenient.

The Ninja Double Air Fryer is really a well-thought product. That’s why it’s the best in the market. So, a big hats off for the Ninja Kitchen team!

You can read the full review of Ninja Foodi 2 Basket Air Fryer here.

#2 Ninja AF101 – Best Basket Air Fryer

Ninja AF101, black/gray

If you’re looking for a Ninja Air fryer that’s playing around a hundred bucks, then you might want to opt for a smaller capacity. Ninja AF101 is their cheapest and most compact product offering that is equally capable as the Dual Air Fryer Ninja.

You just have one zone to make fries with the Ninja AF101, but it can crisp it up the same way as its big sibling. IMHO, it’s good enough if you’re not planning to cook for a party and if you don’t have enough room for a large kitchen appliance.

In terms of cooking capacity, it can handle two pounds of fries or chicken wings. Additionally, it also offers three other functions. It can also roast, dehydrate and reheat your day-old pizza. Air fryers are way better than microwave ovens if you want to retain the moisture and crispiness of the dish.

You can read the full review of Ninja Air Fryer AF101 here.

#3 Ninja DT251 – Best Oven Air Fryer

Ninja Foodi DT251 Smart XL Pro Air Oven, stainless steel finish

As I told you a while ago, Ninja also sells convection ovens that double as an air fryer. If our best Ninja Foodi air fryer has six functions, the DT251 Smart XL Pro Air Oven has ten—air fry, whole roast, air roast, bake, dehydrate, pizza, broil, toast, bagel, reheat.

It’s not the cheapest in their line of air fryer ovens, but it definitely has the upper hand. It can roast a whole chicken or even a 12-lbs turkey. And if you love making prime rib, you’ll love its integrated thermometer.

That’s what makes it a smart oven. It will automatically stop and beep once the set temperature is reached. Now, you don’t have to worry about undercooking or overcooking your protein.

Another reason to get this product is the 90-second preheat. That’s pretty quick in comparison to traditional ovens, which take about 5-15 minutes.

You can read the full review of Ninja DT251 here.

#4 Ninja Foodi IG651 – Best Grill Air Fryer

Ninja IG651 Grill and Griddle

If you love barbecue, you’ll fall in love with Ninja Foodi Pro Grill Air Fryer or simply the Ninja IG651. There’s no need to wait for summer to enjoy a perfectly charred patty with your friends and loved ones.

Like the previous model, the Ninja IG651 has a built-in thermometer to help you achieve the perfect doneness of your protein. For accuracy, you need to insert the probe on the thickest part of the meat.

This grill variant has the fastest cook time among other air fryers on this list. Essentially, it combines direct heat and air fry, mimicking (or enhancing) an outdoor grill’s performance. Just so you know, it reaches a maximum temperature of 500°F.

In terms of capacity, it can also process a whole chicken, six steaks, and four quarts of fries.

And, just like all the Ninja Foodi, it’s a multifunctional kitchen appliance. It has seven cooking functions: Grill, BBQ Griddle, Air Fry, Dehydrate, Bake, Roast, and Broil. 

In a nutshell, it’s a capable indoor grill with a lot to offer.

You can read the full review of Ninja Foodi Pro Grill here.

#5 Ninja Foodi OL701 – Best Pressure Cooker Air Fryer

Ninja Foodi Steam Fryer

Last but certainly not least, we have the Ninja Foodi OL701 Steam Fryer. While this is the end of the list, the Ninja OL701 has something unique to offer—SteamCrisp Technology.

Essentially, this technology combines pressure cooking and air frying in one machine, resulting in a tender, juicy, yet crispy dish. Something that can’t be easily achieved by other air fryers.

But wait, here’s the best part:

Unlike previous ninja pressure cookers, the Ninja Steam Fryer only has one lid that allows you to air fry, steam, and pressure cook. You can say goodbye to switching lids between different recipes.

That’s a huge convenience upgrade, IMHO.

Better yet? It has a total of 14 cooking functions—pressure cook, slow cook, air fry, steam & crisp, steam & bake, steam, sous vide, yogurt, sear/sauté, bake/roast, broil, dehydrate, keep warm, and proof.

Moreover, if you’re wondering if it’s an excellent pressure cooker, well, yes, it is!

You can read the full review of Ninja Steam Fryer here.

There you have it, the best Ninja Foodi Air Fryers of 2021.

If you’re still undecided after reading all those info, maybe this comparison table can clear your doubts.

Ninja Air Fryer Foodi Comparison Table

You can also use this comparison table to find out the best pick for you. (If you’re using mobile, you can scroll horizontally for more data.)

Ninja DZ201

Get at Amazon →
Ninja DZ201 (full review)
The Best Overall Ninja Air Fryer of 2021
✔ 6-in-1 cooking functions
✔ Price: $$
✔ Basket drawer type (the easiest)
✔ Rectangular basket shape
✔ Capacity: 8 qt (4 lbs of fries)
Ninja AF101

Get at Amazon →
Ninja AF101 (full review)
The Best Budget Ninja Air Fryer of 2021
✔ 4-in-1 cooking functions
✔ Price: $
✔ Basket drawer type (the easiest)
✘ Round basket shape
✘ Capacity: 4 qt (2 lbs of fries)
Ninja DT251

Get at Amazon →
Ninja DT251 (full review)
✔ 10-in-1 cooking functions
✘ Price: $$$$
✔ Oven type
✔ Rectangular basket shape
✔ 14.4 x 11.25 inches basket pan (4 lbs of fries)
Ninja IG651

Get at Amazon →
Ninja IG651 (full review)
✔ 7-in-1 cooking functions
✘ Price: $$$$
✔ Grill type
✔ Rectangular basket shape
✘ Capacity: 4-qt basket (up to 2 lbs of fries)
Ninja OL701

Get at Amazon →
Ninja OL701 (full review)
✔ 14-in-1 cooking functions
✘ Price: $$$$
✔ Pressure cooker type
✘ Rounded basket shape
✔ Capacity: 5 qts (2.5 lbs of fries)

What to look for in a Ninja Air Fryer?

Air Fryer Type

There are generally four types of air fryer—basket/drawer, oven-air fryer, grill-air fryer, and pressure cooker that also doubles as an air fryer.

basket / drawer type air fryer

Basket or drawer type air fryers are genuine air fryers. The air fryer patent says it all.

In our opinion, the classic design beats any other type by a wide margin. As I’ve mentioned, the drawer type is more convenient and safer to use. You just need to take the drawer out, shake it off, or place it somewhere safe to flip the ingredients.

You won’t get that necessary feature with any other type of air fryer.

But there are still some scenarios where you might opt for an oven-air fryer, a grill-air fryer, or a pressure cooker-air fryer. That is, if you want to replace multiple kitchen equipment to save on counter space.

Maintenance

Here’s the thing:

Most of the air fryer accessories are nonstick and dishwasher safe. Whereas the rest of the unit only requires simple wiping. Thus, cleaning is not that big of a deal with any Ninja Air Fryers. 

Size

The size solely depends on the space you have available. If you get an air fryer that’s a bit heavy, it should stay on your countertop. Otherwise, it’ll be cumbersome to bring out over and over again.

Here’s the best part:

pressure cooker type air fryer

Even though some of these appliances need a significant footprint, they might end up freeing some kitchen space. For instance, with the Ninja OL701, you can replace your standalone steamer, slow cooker, etc. (if any). And of course, you get the air fryer in the same machine.

That being said, if you don’t have space, then the Ninja AF101 is going to be your best bet.

Container Shape & Capacity

For air frying, I highly recommend something that can take medium to large volume of food.

Here’s why:

fries

When frying, it’s usually in bulk, right? Therefore, with a significant capacity, you have the option to either cook in large or small batches. Sadly, with a small-sized air fryer, cooking in bulk means doing it several times.

On a different note:

The container shape plays a huge role when getting your air fryer. Briefly speaking, you should get a more rectangular shape since it can handle more servings.

Extra Cooking Functions

All of these are multi-cookers, even the standalone air fryers. So, suppose you’re looking for a multifunctional appliance. In that case, you can never go wrong with any of the Ninja Foodi Air Fryers.

Over To You

Deciding which Ninja Air Fryer to get all boils down to your specific needs. If you want a genuine air fryer, get the basket model like the Ninja DZ201. Should you need a large capacity toaster that can take whole proteins, then the Ninja DT251 is a much better choice.

If you’re looking for an indoor grill with an air frying function, then you might want to give Ninja Foodi IG651 a go. Lastly, if you’re in need of a pressure cooker, that’s what the Ninja Foodi OL701 can offer.

With that said, let me leave you with the best Ninja fryer—the Ninja Foodi Double Air Fryer.

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