If you are looking for the perfect family-sized air fryer, then look no further than the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone. Equipped with two baskets, it is a versatile machine that gave us great cooking results time and time again.
- Large capacity (6l)
- Crispy delicious fries
- Cooks 2 things at once
- Easy to use
- Fast cooking
- Versatile: 2 baskets = 2 meals at once
- Big footprint
- Standard accessories do not fit
When it comes to cooking performance, we were impressed with both of our test Ninjas—they lived up to the hype. The Dual made gorgeous chicken wings with a dark crust that most other air fryers just couldn’t match. It also has 6 cooking settings (Max Crisp, Air Fry, Roast, Reheat, Dehydrate and Bake) which give you lots of options.
No air fryer in our test cooked perfectly evenly, but the Ninja Dual was better than most. We definitely saw the tops of food cooking faster than the bottom, so shaking and/or stirring foods is a must.
It has the most extensive temperature range, from 40-240°C, of any air fryer in our test, and in Bake and Dehydrate modes, the fan does not blow, so you have the option of using this as a more conventional oven and even as a dehydrator. We made amazing dehydrated banana chips and beef jerky in ours, and it was so easy! Our lamb-shaped sponge cakes also turned out beautifully!
The Ninja dual’s baskets are deep enough to hold a lot of food (up to 3.1l). In fact, the combined size of the two smaller baskets made this the air fryer with the largest overall cooking capacity. It has a total surface area of about 620 cm² which will fit about 18 chicken nuggets or 6 ears of corn. The bottom line is that you can easily cook for a family of 4 with this air fryer.
Small ceramic coated baskets and pans also means that it is easy to clean. While other air fryers had lots of parts or had baskets with sharp slats cut into them, the Ninja has removable plates that clean up super easily. The pans can be filled with water and soap to make cleaning simple, even for the toughest messes like baked-on cheese or bacon grease.
Ease of use
We loved how easy it was to use out of the box. Even with 2 baskets to control, the buttons are so intuitive that anyone can use it. You just click either the SYNC button which will make both sides end at the same time, or the MATCH button which makes both baskets cook in the same mode, for the same time at the same temperature. We cooked chicken nuggets in one basket while frying up some delicious vegetables in the other. You can make a whole meal with your main course in one basket and a side dish in the other.
The Dual allows you to set the time from 1 minute all the way up to 10 hours, which is a broader range than any other air fryer in our test. This is really nice when you want to run the dehydrator mode or slow cook something.
The dual baskets are light and easy to manoeuvre. They slide in and out with ease, unlike some other air fryers that got stuck or were big and clunky.
We loved how fast this thing cooked our food. It is quick like a microwave, but instead of just heating foods and making them warm and soggy, it makes them crisp and delicious. For almost every recipe, we ended up cooking for a shorter amount of time because the Dual is just that quick.
Ninja quality is also evident in the comprehensive instruction manual that includes recipes and cooking charts to help you get started.
It was also one of the quietest air fryers that we tested at 62 dB while operating both baskets. The buttons make a loud beep when you set it, but the air fryer itself is quiet.
Build quality and design
We were impressed with both of our Ninjas in terms of quality and design. While some other air fryers felt cheap and mass produced, it seems like Ninja really takes pride in the materials they use and in making sure that their designs are thought out and of exceptional quality. This air fryer is also very safe, with the front of the basket feeling just slightly warm while cooking.
We liked the quality of the locking mechanism. This doesn’t sound like much, but some other air fryers just have friction locks which made the baskets stick and sometimes required 2 hands to pull out. With the Ninja, there are spring-loaded mechanical locks which are much more smooth and quiet.
The baskets are equipped with ceramic coated plates that are quite durable. In our tests, we were able to chip the coating away with a knife, but it easily stood up to our steel wool and scrape tests without a problem. We think this coating will last for a long time.
This was also one of the best looking air fryers in the test. It has clean lines and looks very modern.
From an environmental standpoint we like the two basket concept. While other air fryers use full power all the time, with the Dual, you can decide if you want to just make something small for yourself in one basket, using about 1125 watts, or if you want to use both, using a combined total of about 2250 watts.
The Ninja Dual is pretty big and heavy, so it isn’t as easy to move as some of the smaller air fryers that we tested.
What we didn’t like
One little thing we didn’t like was that the shiny accents around the top and on the handles are plastic instead of real metal. The Ninja Grill used real stainless steel, but the Dual is all plastic.
We also had a problem with the pans leaking water when we left them to soak after an especially messy meal. We found that the screws inside of the pan were loose, and this allowed water to seep through. After tightening the screws, this seemed to solve the problem, but it is something to watch out for.
In our baking test, we found that none of our Amazon accessories would fit in the Ninja Dual’s smaller baskets. This means you won’t be able to cook frozen pizzas or use standard accessories in your Ninja. We worked around this by using smaller pans that we had lying around (hence the “lamb-shaped” sponge cakes).
Since this has two baskets, we tested the temperature of each and found that basket 2 was actually getting hotter than basket 1. In a side by side baking test, we set the air fryers to 200°C, and basket 1 was at about 180°, while basket 2 was just above 200°. This didn’t make a huge difference in our cooking tests, but it was noticeable.
For most uses and for most people, we think the Ninja Dual is a great air fryer that will give you wonderful results time and time again. It is big enough to feed a whole family, and easy enough for almost anyone to use.
|Air Fryer||OVERALL SCORE||Cooking performance (40%)||Basket size (20%)||Cleaning (20%)||Ease of use (10%)||Build quality and design (10%)|
|Ninja Foodi Dual Zone (AF300EU)||4.3||4.2||5.0||4.0||4.3||4.1|
|Philips XXL (HD9860/90)||4.2||4.7||4.0||3.0||4.7||4.3|
|Ninja Foodi MAX Grill (AG551EU)||4.0||4.8||4.0||3.0||3.6||3.7|
|Uten 5.5L (1700)||3.9||3.8||4.5||4.0||3.1||3.9|
|COSORI 5.5L Smart||3.8||3.4||4.5||4.0||3.9||4.2|
|Philips Essential (HD9252/90)||3.3||2.8||2.0||5.0||3.6||4.1|
|Severin Hot Air Fryer (FR 2430)||3.2||2.9||2.0||4.5||3.7||3.3|
|Sage Smart Oven Air Fryer (SOV860)||2.7||2.2||3.5||2.0||2.8||4.0|
|Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2-in-1 (YV970800)||2.5||2.5||3.0||1.5||2.7||3.3|
Ninja Dual Features & Specs
|Air Fryer Type||Dual basket|
|Capacity (to Max line)||3l x 2l = 6l (no max line)|
|Surface capacity||310 cm² x 2 (620cm²)|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||31.1 x 39 x 37 cm|
|Presets/Cooking Settings||6 settings|
|Dishwasher safe||Yes (Hand wash recommended)|
|Wattage||1125 x 2 (2250W)|
|Temperature Range||40 - 240°C|
|Timer||1 min - 10 hours|
|Loudness during operation (Max as tested)||62 dB|