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One minute review
Ninja offers some of the best Instant Pot alternatives on the market And while it didn't launch its first multicooker with air fry capabilities until 2018, Ninja has continued to innovate and now offers a new design that's more practical than ever.
The SmartLid Ninja Foodi Max 15 in 1 Multicooker is known as the Ninja Foodi 14 in 18 Quart. Smart XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid in USA. The UK and US versions differ slightly in terms of the features on offer, but for the most part they are the same.
One of the most notable new features is SmartLid which comes with a built-in thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature of meat and fish and adjust it to automatically produce results ranging from rare to well done.
The British model has 15 functions while the American model has 14 and both models offer the typical culinary options such as pressure cooking, slow cooking and steaming, as well as frying and air cooking. However, for the first time, there is also the option to combine steaming and browning for crispy foods that stay juicy on the inside.
With all these features, this new Ninja multicooker offers much more than the most premium model available in the Instant Pot. It's a high-performance multi-cooker that excelled in our tests. The large capacity makes it perfect for large homes, but anyone should be able to stir up a storm with this innovative device.
Price and availability of the multicooker SmartLid Ninja Foodi Max 15 in 1
- List price: €299.99 / €349.99.
The SmartLid Ninja Foodi Max 15-in-1 Multicooker which as we mentioned earlier is known as the Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. The Smart XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid in the US has a list price of €299.99 / €349.99. It is available on the Ninja Kitchen website in the US and UK.
It's the most expensive multicooker we've reviewed so far, but it's also the most advanced and innovative model, not just from Ninja but across the board. It should be noted that there are some smaller models in this range that are cheaper. Pressure Cooker Fryer with SmartLid in the US) which lacks some of the features of this model, but still has some and is cheaper.
- Automatic steam release
- Integrated temperature probe
- Dishwasher safe accessories
There's a lot to love about the SmartLid Ninja Foodi Max 15-in-1 Multicooker, but size and weight aren't one of them. It measures 36 x 35 x 36cm / 14.25 x 14.21 x 15.39 inches (hxwxd), although this chunky size can be somewhat forgiven due to the large cooking capacity. The 7.5-liter / 8-quart stockpot offers plenty of room for large recipes and batch cooking. At 11,7kg / 25,8lbs, you don't want to move it too often, so it's best to find a permanent counter space for it.
In addition to the main pot, it comes with a two-tier reversible cooking rack and crisper basket, all dishwasher safe. The pot is non-stick so it's easy to clean even if you don't have a dishwasher. A digital cooking probe is stored in a small compartment on the side, ready for use when needed. With the probe plugged into the lid, you can choose the beef, pork, lamb, fish or chicken preset, then choose from nine levels of doneness ranging from rare to well done, allowing the range to create the perfect results. for you. But if you prefer a more hands-on approach, there's a manual setting that lets you choose your target temperature.
It is very easy to use with three automatic settings to release steam when cooking under pressure. This makes the steam release process completely hands-free, which is a dream if you're nervous about this part of pressure cooking or just don't want to think about it.
The lid has a slider to switch between the pressure function, the combination of steam and hot air / cooking, as well as all other functions. It does not allow you to select a function until the cursor is in the correct position. This ensures that the lid is properly sealed for each cooking method.
UK model has 15 different cooking functions, which are: Pressure, Air Fry, Broil, Bake, Dehydrate, Bake, Brown/Sauté, Steam, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Steam Dishes, Steam Fry, Steam Roast, Steam and Steam the bread. as well as a keep warm function. The American model does not offer the functions of steaming, roasting or steaming bread, but it does offer a vacuum function.
Aside from the aforementioned probe presets, there are no other presets for different meals and foods, but it does come with a recipe book that includes many cooking charts for common foods, providing a very useful starting point.
- great fries
- Useful kitchen tables
- Easy pressure cooking
This multi-cooker is easy to use and we have found the cook times provided on the box to be helpful and accurate.
First, we steam the broccoli using the steam function and the reversible grill. We follow the instructions for the amount of water and steam it for eight minutes. The broccoli florets were big enough to fit on the grill, but the small veggies might fall off. It took seven minutes to heat up, so the total time was 15 minutes. The cooked broccoli had the perfect al dente texture. While cooking, there is fan noise and a large amount of steam is expelled through a vent in the back. Therefore, it is worth thinking about where you put it, because if it is under a shelf or closet, it may have condensation.
For pressure cooked brown basmati rice, we follow the weight and time detailed in the cooking chart. Cook time was seven minutes with a nine minute warm-up and then an automatic delayed pressure release that took 10 minutes. So the total cook time was 26 minutes, which is just a few minutes longer than is usually required on the stove. The finished rice was perfectly cooked and with the automatic pressure release it was very convenient and much more convenient than watching it boil in a pot.
We made a simmered beef chili that we cooked in the slow cooker for six hours on high power, using the sauté feature to brown the meat and veggies before simmering. The only frustrating part was that the pot is not completely flat, it is higher in the middle so the oil naturally falls off the edges of the pot when sautéing; otherwise it works fine. The beef chili thickened much more in this multicooker than when we did in others and the result was a tasty meal with soft meat and a thick, rich sauce. The final temperature was 89 C / 192 F
Again, we used the cooking chart recommendations when making thick fries with the air fry function. The fries cooked to perfection with chewy interiors and crispy exteriors in just 22 minutes at 200 ° F / 390 ° C. We cooked them in the fry basket and stirred twice for more even results.
To test the meat thermometer, we air-fried a sirloin steak. Once the thermometer is in place, simply select your preference, in this case moderately rare, and the Ninja will do the rest. Control the temperature in the center of the steak until it is cooked to perfection. Our medium rare steak cooked exactly as we expected. The fat on the side had been done well and had a deliciously crisp texture. If you're having a hard time cooking the perfect steak, you'll love this feature.
Before pressure cooking a Thai red curry, we brown the chicken thighs using the sauté feature on the highest of the five heat settings. There is no preheat time when cooking, although it takes a few minutes for it to start to sizzle. Once all the ingredients were in the pot, we put it to a high pressure cook for 20 minutes and selected the automatic quick pressure release.
The warm-up lasted 10 minutes and in the end the automatic decompression took four more minutes. So in just 34 minutes we had a delicious Thai curry with moist tender chicken that was falling off the bones. The pressure release registered 81dB on our sound level meter, which was the loudest of all the cooking modes we tested. This is similar to a truck driving down the highway at 40 mph, but since it's only for a short time it didn't really bother us.
Lastly, we tested one of the new innovative features of the Combination Steam, Steam and Air Fryer. Steam foods while browning them so they don't dry out. We put two chicken breasts with the skin on the reversible rack, we followed the cooking chart for the times and the amount of water in the pan and we turned it on for 20 minutes.
There was a six-and-a-half minute warm-up before starting the 20 minute countdown on the timer and, as with steaming, a lot of steam is pushed out the back during cooking. But we were impressed with the finished chicken. The skin was super crispy while the meat underneath remained succulent and very moist and well done. The metal part of the lid reached 55 C / 131 F during cooking, which was the highest temperature we measured outside of this multicooker in all tests. Most of the time, the exterior was comfortable to the touch no matter what cooking function we used.