Instant Pot vs Ninja Foodi

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Instant Pot vs Ninja Foodi - Ninja Foodi Review - which is better Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi

If you have been following our Kids Steals & Deals blog or are a member of our Facebook Deals Group, you know that my love for my Instant Pot runs deep. As a busy mom, it is the #1 time-saving kitchen appliance in our kitchen. The fact that I could go from not knowing what to make to a meal on the table in less than 45 minutes (sometimes even from frozen) was a total game changer. Then one fall day, my world was turned upside down. I saw a television ad for the Ninja Foodi. My husband said “Don’t you dare…” – but you know I did… Here are my thoughts on the Instant Pot vs Ninja Foodi!

What is a Pressure Cooker?

First, let’s get some basics out of the way. A pressure cooker uses high temperatures within a fully sealed cooking pot to cook food MUCH faster than traditional cooking methods. Even better, the closed, sealed system keeps flavor and moisture inside the pot. Even if you are a huge Crock Pot fan, there’s room for a pressure cooker in your life. I’ve actually easily modified all of my favorite slow cooker recipes to use pressure and got rid of my slow cooker entirely! Technically, both the Foodi and Instant Pot do function as slow cookers, but I’ve not heard of great results. I don’t think the deeper stainless cooking pots of the pressure cookers are quite as effective as a wider, shallower stoneware pot for longer duration cooking.

Are Pressure Cookers Safe?

When you hear the word pressure cooker, people often think of the stovetop pressure cookers of the 60’s – you know, the ones that randomly exploded from time to time. This impression often scares people off. Today’s pressure cookers are very different! They are electric and made with several additional safety measures… It won’t let you open the pot until pressure has been fully released. The biggest risk of injury is probably from forgetting to steer clear of the top of the valve when you do a quick release of pressure. You can prevent that from happening with a simple diverter like the one here.

What is the difference between an Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi?

An Instant Pot is primarily a pressure cooker. While they do have a variety of cooking settings, most use them to cook food fast. The Ninja Foodi is and pressure cooker with a BUILT IN AIR FRYER. I’m not gonna lie, it’s genius!!! Over the past 3 years I have made countless meals in our Instant Pot. While the meals are super fast to make and tasty, in many cases I found myself finishing a dish in the oven to crisp up chicken skin or wings, finish wings or simply melt cheese onto the top of a casserole. It was always a bit of an annoyance and it just added time… waiting for the broiler to heat up and the occasional burn I received transferring from the Instant Pot to the oven. With the Ninja Foodi, when it’s time to crisp, you just drop the air fryer lid and crisp to taste. Easy peasy!

Instant Pot Pros & Cons

Don’t get me wrong, whichever appliance you choose, you will be happy… but here is the nitty gritty on each one.

  • Pro: Instant Pots are easy to use and come with a variety of pre-sets to make cooking with them nearly foolproof. There are a range of options from 6 functions up to 10 functions, each with additional cooking programs. For more info about your choices in Instant Pot cookers, check out our Instant Pot Buying guide here.
  • Pro: The Instant Pot is the most widely purchased pressure cooker. This means that there are TONS of Facebook Groups, cookbooks and blogs with plenty of great meal ideas.
  • Con: My Instant Pot wasn’t perfect – whether user error or slight mechanical fault, I sometimes struggled to get it to pressure and to seal. I’ve not had this issue with the Foodi.
  • Con: While many Instant Pot recipes are simple, you will find that quite a few involve browning or finishing the dish in the oven, which can be an annoyance.

Ninja Foodi Pros & Cons

  • Pro: The Built In Air Fryer really makes the Ninja Foodi the winner for me. Now finishing dishes is as simple as dropping the Air Fryer lid and pressing a couple buttons. You can easily check on the meal simply by lifting the lid and you’re not drying out your meal in the oven.
  • Pro: From a functionality perspective, the Foodi has been smoother. It seems to come to pressure faster (I believe because, while bigger, the pan design is shallower, so more surface area. I’m actually surprised half the time when it dings because it’s gone so fast.
  • Con: The biggest drawback of the Foodi is it’s size and the fact that it has two lids, the attached Air Fryer lid and the lid used for pressure cooking. It does not fit in any of our cabinets, so it has become a countertop accessory (not a huge deal because I use it a couple times a week).
  • Con: Recipe selection is a bit sparse. It’s a new appliance (but a very popular one). I think this will be a temporary issues. Most dishes can be easily made following Insta Pot instructions, so definitely not a deal breaker, but I also feel like I’m missing some delicious opportunities.

Where to buy a Ninja Foodi

The Ninja Foodi blew up over the holidays! It is important to note that there are currently 3 versions of the Ninja Foodi.

  • Ninja Foodi OP300/301 – This is the basic Foodi. It has a 6.5 QT cooking pot and a 4 QT Cook & Crisp basket. It comes pre-programmed with functions to Pressure Cook, Steam, Slow Cook, Sear/Sauté, Air Crisp, Bake/ Roast, and Broil. The retail price is $229.99. It is sold at Amazon and Walmart.
  • Ninja Foodi OP302 – the only difference between the base model and the 302 is that this model includes an additional function to Dehydrate food. The dehydrating model retails for $249.99. It is sold at Amazon and Kohl’s. For Kohl’s Cardholders, you can’t beat the price when there is a 30% off Cardholder code available. At the moment, you can pick up a Foodi from Kohl’s here for $167.99 + you will also get $30 back in Kohl’s Cash for a future purchase! AMAZING!
  • Ninja Foodi XL – the Ninja Foodi XL is FINALLY available again – it had been sold out for months! The XL model has an 8 QT cooking pot, 5 QT Cook & Crisp basket and all of the pre-programmed functions, including the dehydrator. The retail price on the XL is $279.99. Amazon currently has it available for $269.99 here!

Ninja Foodi Recipes

As I mentioned, the collection of Ninja Foodi Recipes is just starting to grow. In our Instant Pot + Ninja Foodi Facebook Group for Moms, we have been playing around with different recipes. The Ninja site does have a nice collection of recipes to get you started here. Their Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons is an ABSOLUTE favorite here!

Instant Pot Ninja Foodi Recipe Group for Mom - Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot - which is better Foodi or Instant Pot

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