Ninja Air Fryer AF101 Review: 4-in-1 4-Quart Basket Air Fryer

Ninja Air Fryer AF101, black/gray
Ninja Air Fryer AF101, black/gray

The 4-Quart Ninja Air Fryer AF101 is one of the cheapest air fryers that’s big in features. With over 25,000 glowing reviews (at the time I’m writing this), that’s definitely a vote of confidence for this product.

By the way, the Ninja AF101 is the most compact among Ninja’s line of air fryers. If you want a bigger capacity, you can try out the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL or the Ninja Foodi 2-Basket Model for even more cooking real estate.

The Ninja 4-qt air fryer is more than just a frying tool. It can also bake, broil, dehydrate and reheat leftovers. I must say that it’s more of a multi-cooker than a standalone air fryer.

Suppose you’re looking for an alternative to deep-frying, or say your microwave oven. In that case, this kitchen appliance is an excellent option as it uses 70% less oil and produces a crispier result. And it also uses less electricity than full-sized convection ovens.

Those are the main reasons to get your very own air fryer.

Now, let’s find out if Ninja Air Fryer AF101 is really worth the hype!

PROS

  • Modern design
  • 3-minute preheat, quicker than traditional ovens
  • 4 quarts capacity, fits 2 lbs of french fries
  • Basket air fryer design is easier to use than a pressure cooker air fryer
  • Wide temperature range
  • 4-in-1: Air fry, roast, dehydrate, reheat
  • It includes multi-layer rack
  • Programmable cooking functions
  • Dishwasher safe parts
  • BPA-free
  • 1-year warranty

CONS

  • No auto-pause when removing the basket
  • Square basket design would have been better
  • Non-stick are usually not long lasting

What can you cook with the Ninja Air Fryer AF101?

Apart from the obvious, the Ninja Air Fryer AF101 can do so much more. With a four-quart capacity, you can feed the whole family with a bountiful meal.

Here’s what it’s capable of:

fries
Air Fry
roasted chicken
Roast
reheated chicken
Reheat
dehydrated fruits
Dehydrate

Before you can do any of those functions, you need to preheat the Ninja 4-qt air fryer for three minutes, except for the dehydrate mode.

Air Fry

Using less oil is the main advantage of air frying. It’s a guilt-free alternative to deep frying. While you won’t achieve the same level of crispiness, you’re limiting your exposure to free radicals from repeatedly heated cooking oil. In a sense, air frying is healthier than deep fryers.

Pro Tip: 

To cook your food evenly, make sure it’s leveled correctly (no food on top of each other). It also requires constant turning or shaking, depending on your recipe.

Roast

The roast mode of the Ninja Air Fryer AF101 also doubles as the bake function. You can roast small portions of protein in it, like chicken wings, breast or thighs, pork chops, or sirloin steak.

Dehydrate

Dehydrating is the only function that doesn’t require preheating. Though it’s useful, you can only process a few items with this 4-qt air fryer. If you want to dehydrate more produce, you might want to check these Ninja Foodi Toaster Ovens.

Reheat

Apart from air frying, the most practical use of the Ninja AF101 is probably reheating leftovers. A day-old fried chicken, chicken nuggets, or perhaps fries will retain its crispiness by air frying it. Fried food becomes soggy with microwave ovens. In comparison to full-sized convection ovens, air fryers consume a lot less electricity.

See the Ninja AF101 in Action

Here’s how the Ninja AF101 4-qt air fryer works. By the way Ninja AF100 is the same as the Ninja AF101.

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The Ninja Air Fryer AF101 is the original Air Fryer of Ninja Kitchen with a 1550 wattage rating. It features a 4-quart capacity which can fit up to 2 lbs of fries. More importantly, besides air frying, it also offers four other cooking functions—baking, roast, dehydrating, and reheating.

Is the Ninja 4-qt Air Fryer easy to use?

ninja af101 control panel
Ninja AF101 User Interface

Air fryers have a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s still straightforward to use, IMHO. Though Ninja AF101 has different buttons for air frying, roasting, dehydrating, and reheating good, you still have to manually set the time and temperature.

At first, it doesn’t make sense at all. Why would you put the buttons in there if you still have to adjust the time and temperature?

Well, I guess it works like a standard convection oven. The time and temperature will depend on the quantity of food and the recipe you’re making.

To make things a little easier, Ninja provided a cheat sheet for all possible recipes you could make with the Ninja Foodi AF101. At least, you don’t have to guess the ideal setting each time you’re crisping something up.

Pro Tip: When turning ingredients, you’ll have to pause the timer. Otherwise, you won’t achieve the desired doneness of your recipe. If you want a crispier result, you just need to add more time.

How to clean the AF101 Ninja Air Fryer?

Well, the good news is you won’t have any issues cleaning this fantastic kitchen appliance. The air fryer basket, crisper plate, multi-layer rack are dishwasher safe. However, you need to be careful as those parts will be burning hot after each use.

You can either run the air fryer basket along with other accessories under tap water or let it cool down for a few minutes before cleaning.

The air fryer basket and crisper plate are ceramic coated. It will prevent the food from sticking and makes it easier to wash.

Perhaps watching this video, will give you a clearer picture of how easy it is to clean.

*Product Images and Videos Courtesy of Shark Ninja

Technical Specifications

TypeAir Fryer
Brand/SeriesNinja Air FryerThe Ninja Foodi Collection
Model #AF101, AF100, AF101C, AF101CCO
Price$$
Rating4 out of 5
Wattage1550 Watts
Functions4-in-1: Air Fry, Roast, Reheat, Dehydrate
Air Fryer TypeBasket Drawer
Basket ShapeRounded
Basket MaterialCeramic non-stick coating
Capacity4 quarts, fit 2 lbs of fries
Dishwasher safeYes (Wire Rack + Air Fry Basket only)
BPA FreeYes
ColorsBlack/Gray
Dimensions 13.6 x 11 x 13.3 inches (34.5 x 27.9 x 33.8 cm)
Cord Length2.6 ft. (79.2 cm)
ApplicationPersonal Use
Warranty1 Year
Related ProductsNinja AF161 Air Fryer Max XL, Ninja DZ201 2 Basket Air Fryer

Is the Ninja Air Fryer AF101 worth it?

If you don’t have that much kitchen space, the 4 Quart Ninja Air Fryer AF101 is perfect for you. It’s one of the cheapest out there if you’re looking for something that would give you the best bang for your buck.

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