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Here’s the best air fryer to buy this weekend for Black Friday 2021


My search for the good air fryer has come to an finish.

Screenshot by Dashia Starr/CNET

This story is a part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our listing of concepts, by subject, by recipient and by worth, to show you how to uncover the good reward.

Black Friday offers are nonetheless occurring and Cyber Monday is coming, so nice gross sales on air fryers are simple to discover. But with so many choices, which one is the best for you? Given my lengthy and, at instances, bumpy historical past with them, I may also help you determine. I like the concept of a kitchen equipment that circulates sizzling air to prepare dinner meals good and crisp with out the oil wanted for deep frying — and in a matter of minutes. But I had one downside. While most of the countertop home equipment work the similar, each air fryer I purchased someway managed to let me down, besides for one: the Ninja Foodi 8-quart 4-in-1 Dual Zone Air Fryer. And it is value each penny.

Read extra: Best air fryer offers for Black Friday

My fiancé and I began out with a $50 Dash Compact Air Fryer that was good for small areas, however it did not maintain sufficient meals to have leftovers. I used a Bella air fryer subsequent, and it did not have the settings we would have liked for our cooking preferences. We later upgraded to a Chefman air fryer that is now not accessible. Despite cleansing it the proper approach, the grill plate clips got here off and the end began to peel. We knew it was time for an improve that might final. 

Black Friday replace (Nov. 21): While this story describes the creator’s expertise with the 8-quart 4-in-1 Ninja Foodi, we’re linking the newer 8-quart 6-in-1 mannequin. It’s the same however up to date mannequin that might be broadly discounted this vacation season. 

That’s when the Ninja Foodi 8-quart 4-in-1 Dual Zone Air Fryer popped onto my radar. I used to be a brand new mother with a full-time job, and it is no exaggeration to say the Ninja Foodie modified our lives. With time being a premium and wholesome meals a necessity, this turned out sufficient sizzling meals quick for our rising household. 

Best but, the Ninja Foodi is not simply an air fryer — it is also a meals dehydrator, a roaster and the best approach to reheat leftovers that keep crisp and never soggy (not like microwaves). Read on to discover out what options actually bought me. While you are right here, listed below are further ideas to take into accout when utilizing an air fryer. (P.S. Here’s how to discover the best offers earlier than Black Friday.) 

Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer upshot: 2 baskets are higher than one

Again, this Ninja Foodi is extra than simply an air fryer. If you are wanting to dehydrate fruits for a very good path combine or reheat leftover fries, there are settings simply for that. You may also roast hen with out heating up your own home with the oven (good for summer time days). And the temperature goes up to 400 levels Fahrenheit and you may set the timer for up to an hour at a time. Most air fryers solely have timers for up to 25 minutes. 

But here is the factor: Depending on what you are cooking or heating, you might give you the chance to do two of these items directly. That’s as a result of whereas most air fryers include one basket, Ninja’s twin air fryer has two. That means you possibly can prepare dinner two meals with fully completely different settings at the similar time. You can roast a hen in a single basket whereas air-frying potatoes in one other. Being ready to prepare dinner virtually a whole complete dinner with one gadget is a game-changer for my household.


Remember this summer time’s air-fried pasta chips? You could make them in a snap.

Allyza Umali/CNET

Smart Finish is the best approach for meals to end at the similar time

I hate it when my meals finishes cooking at completely different instances. Smart Finish is the answer to my issues. Let’s say the hen takes longer to prepare dinner in a single basket than your greens. I simply press Smart Finish for the air fryer to end cooking each baskets at the similar time — no matter the time or temperature. When it is carried out, I’ve sizzling meals I haven’t got to reheat earlier than getting it on the desk. Here’s the way it works: 

  1. To begin, press Smart Finish
  2. Press 1 and select your cooking desire: Air fry, Roast, Reheat or Dehydrate. 
  3. Select the time and temperature for the meals in the first basket.
  4. Press 2, then repeat steps 2 and three.
  5. Press Start/Pause.

Match Cook offers you extra space 

You’ve in all probability heard about the deliciousness of air fryer hen wings. They’re the good wing that is crispy on the outdoors and juicy on the inside. The solely downside is that wings can take up a very good quantity of area in your air fryer. The best answer I discovered was utilizing my Ninja Foodie’s Match Cook setting as a approach to unfold out my meals in the baskets for even cooking with out cramming. Here’s the way it works. 

  1. To begin, press Match Cook. Both numbers, 1 and 2 will gentle up. 
  2. Choose your cooking desire, Air fry, Roast, Reheat or Dehydrate. 
  3. Select the time and temperature.
  4. Press Start/Pause

If you are ever interested by what settings to use when cooking, Ninja contains two stickers on the air fryer to provide you with really helpful instances and temperatures for poultry and greens when utilizing Smart Finish and Match Cook. These air fryer recipes may also help, too. 

You’ll need to hold the area in thoughts 

The solely draw back is that this 8-quart Ninja Foodi air fryer takes up extra space than different choices, however it’s nonetheless compact for its quart dimension. It’s about 13 inches huge. We additionally thought of the 4-quart Ninja Air Fryer, which has the similar settings however solely has one basket. For us, the two-basket choice gained out — and I’m glad it did.

It’s simple to clear, too 

After my Chefman air fryer began peeling, I made a decision to be very cautious when cleansing my Ninja baskets. So far, I’ve had the air fryer for a yr and it has been simple to clear with cleaning soap and water. Even although the baskets are dishwasher-safe, I’ve been utilizing the hand-wash technique to protect the end. If harm to the baskets does happen, you possibly can buy substitute plates on Amazon.

Hands down, this Ninja Foodi is my favourite kitchen gadget, particularly for a quick, simple approach to eat healthily (it is a toss-up for the best equipment in my home, alongside our cordless Dyson vacuum). 

Finally, here is the distinction between air-frying versus oven-baking your meals and an air fryer that doubles as a microwave that I’ve my eye on.

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