Launched in February 2019 the Ninja AF100UK is an air fryer built for your home. Cooking foods in the Ninja is quick and easy. You can get the same great taste as a deep-fat fryer, without the excessive amounts of oil.
The Ninja is a multi-purpose piece of kit, it is able to re-heat things like pizza or pie, and it can also function as a dehydrator. Perfect for making jerky strips or dehydrated fruits and vegetables- which are a great healthy snack, we told you this was better than frying!
Cooking in the Ninja is exceedingly quick. Take regular old frozen chips. In the oven, these rarely seem to take the 20-25 minutes described on the instructions. However, the Ninja Air Fryer can take 900g of frozen chips and turn them into fluffy clouds in a crispy coat in around 10 minutes.
For the carnivorous readers, air frying is similar to grilling in terms of the fat content of your food. Air fried versions have been shown to contain 85% less fat than deep-fried equivalents. The Ninja can handle all kinds of meats without the use of additional oils - although taste might require a spoonful, but no more than that. Cooking meat in the air fryer is not only easy but a far cleaner job than traditional methods.
The components of the Ninja involved in cooking are high-quality plastics and ceramics. The plastic basket is circular - which is easier to clean by hand than a square iteration due to the absence of corners. And the ceramic plate-cum-crisper found at the bottom is dishwasher safe. For those pushed for time or who eat-to-live will take great joy in the time-saving nature of an air-fryer.
Air fryers can be quite a novelty. The first air fryer was invented in 2005 and the household iterations followed shortly afterwards. So we're still in a nascent phase of their development. In examining the Ninja AF100 we did notice what some might call a 'new car smell', of course, the natural worries about consuming plastic and toxicity came rushing into my mind.
This smell disappeared after a few uses, just like the 'new car smell', in future testings I plan to do some dry (ha) runs on the air fryer in order to get things going, clear the metaphorical and literal pipes so to speak.
Other than this initial worry about a smell, what is strange about the Ninja? Well, where does it go? The glossy images make it seem like something you could run on your kitchen counter without a second thought. But realistically, outside of the catalogue dreamscape, you should run this fryer somewhere with good ventilation. I've taken to putting it on a chopping board and running it on my oven, underneath the extraction fan. A bonus for the Ninja is that it contains no hot oil, so it is easier to move these than even a mini-deep fat fryer.
The logic here is that this machine is essential a fan blowing on some meat (or vegetables). The fat gets into the air and is a bit gross to smell, let alone what continued use will do to the walls of the kitchen.
An exception to this seems to be the dehydration mode. Because you don't use any oil, and the temperature is running much lower than full-on cooking mode, the smell, or staining potential, isn't an issue. With one important caveat! That the Ninja AF100UK is cleaned regularly, i.e. after every use you mucky pup.
In short, yes it is. The astute amongst you might have noticed the wattage on an air fryer is pretty high. An average kettle has a power of around 1500W, with fryers often exceeding this greatly. However, this is a slightly false economy of comparison.
Air fryers usually run for around ten to fifteen minutes, to calculate the cost you multiply the wattage by the time taken (1550 x 0.25 = 387.5). Then multiply this number by the cost per kWh in your area. For me, this is, 387.5 x 0.12 = 46.5p, or £0.46. That's pretty cheap, compared to an electric oven which usually require around 2000-3000 watts to get up to a medium or high heat. Using the same details as the previous calculations, an electric oven would cost 72p, £0.72, to run for the same amount of time. An increase of 63% in cost.
If you're a single person looking for a quick and cost-effective way to make meals. The Ninja AF100UK is a good match. The size of the basket and the amount it can hold may fall short of feeding a full family.
Of course, sometimes the whole family isn't there, or you're just wanting a way to feed the family with a healthier meal. What makes the Ninja great is the dehydration feature, I think this combined with its pre-set functions make it a solid purchase, comparable to the genre-defining Phillips.