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The Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill has gained popularity over the past couple of years. Given that it’s ultimate selling point is the multiple functionalities, I can see how.
Here’s a teaser:
It’s a smokeless indoor grill, so you won’t have to worry about your fire alarm going off. Other than grilling, you can also use it for roasting, baking, dehydrating, and most importantly, air frying.
Plus, it looks contemporary, so it will be an excellent addition to your kitchen arsenal.
Now, let’s find out if the Ninja Foodi Grill is worth all the hype.
- Looks modern
- Straightforward controls
- 5-in-1 appliance
- Programmable cooking functions
- Can reach up to 510ºF (265ºC)
- It can cook 4 steaks simultaneously
- Smokeless grill
- It comes with a recipe book
- Temperature control and indicator
- Programmable timer
- Non-stick ceramic coating
- The handles don’t get hot
- Dishwasher safe
- 1-year warranty
- In the midrange budget
- Takes a significant countertop space/storage
- The baking feature could be better
- No auto-warm function
- Grill marks are not the traditional stripes
How does the Ninja Foodi Grill perform?
For a smokeless indoor grill, the Ninja Foodi delivers a fantastic performance. It can mimic the taste of an outdoor grill minus the smokey flavor. Essentially, it can also produce a beautiful caramelization and a char-grilled result.
It only takes 8 minutes to preheat, and compared to an outdoor grill, it’s twice as fast. Also, it can fit 4 steaks at once with its 10 x 10 inches (20.54 x 20.54 cm) grill grate.
Now, contrary to the traditional grill, the heat comes from the hood’s heating element and not from the bottom. Combined with the cyclonic grilling technology, it uniformly distributes heat for even cooking.
Also, its ceramic coating is non-stick, so you don’t have to worry about your fish falling apart.
Here’s the best part:
As I have mentioned before, the Ninja Foodi AG301 is a smokeless grill—which happens to be its crucial feature. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it indoors.
Just note that it’s not zero smoke. Rather, it produces less smoke than most indoor grills and, of course, charcoal outdoor grills.
This is thanks to these features—temperature-controlled grill grate, splatter shield on the hood, and cool-air zone. By the way, if you use olive oil, it will smoke up more than other types of oil.
Pro tip: The grill guide that it comes with is not that reliable. So, it’s best to monitor your food from time to time.
The only downside for this section is the grill design. Mainly, your grilled food will have curved marks instead of the traditional stripes. Nonetheless, it’s only an aesthetic choice, so it won’t really affect the overall flavor.
What can you cook in the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill?
Here are some recipes you can make with the Ninja Grill.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Almost any type of grill recipe is doable with this appliance. Even better, you can cook frozen to charred even without having to thaw your food for hours.
Just note that it doesn’t work like a panini press. So, essentially, to get grill marks on both sides, you’d have to flip it—particularly for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Oh, and did I mention that you can make a pizza with the Ninja Indoor Grill? Yeah, I was also surprised! Also, my Salmon Asparagus could be a great recipe to try with this grill.
Here’s something better:
As the title suggests, it’s more than just grilling. You can also bake, dehydrate, roast, and, best of all, air fry. I’ll talk more about these in the extra features section.
For now, let’s talk about its usability.
Is it easy to use?
To begin with, the controls are pretty intuitive. It features a digital control panel, so it’s punctual with modern aesthetics.
The main grill controls are on the left-hand side with 4 heat modes. The low (400ºF) is great for bacon, sausages, and calzones. Then there’s the medium heat (450ºF) for frozen meats and marinated stuff. The high (500ºF) is excellent for steaks, chicken, and burgers. Lastly, there’s the max heat (510ºF) for fruits and veggies, seafood, and pizza.
Naturally, these temperatures differ with the program you’re using. You can also refer to the grilling cheat sheet that it comes with. But then again, it’s better to keep an eye on your food to prevent overcooking (or undercooking).
You can adjust the temperature and cooking times for all of these cooking modes accordingly. This is perfect for experimentation for new recipes or to achieve consistent results.
On a different note:
Placing the cooking pot, grill grate, and the crisper basket is straightforward too.
Simply align the bump on the main unit with the indent of the cooking pot. Then, based on the cooking pot’s indention, line up the grill grate or crisper basket. It should fit into place effortlessly.
Furthermore, the cooking pot doubles as the drip tray, which is pretty clever. Since the drippings won’t touch the heating element, there will be less smoke. By the way, if you’re going to cook a lot of food, make sure to wash/rinse the cooking pot in between 2 uses.
Speaking of cleaning, let’s talk about its maintenance.
Is the Ninja 5 in 1 easy to clean?
Compared to an outdoor grill, this Ninja Foodi is definitely easier to clean. However, compared to standard kitchen cleanup, it’s still a bit cumbersome.
Here’s the deal:
The removable parts are all dishwasher safe, yet I don’t suggest it. The reason being, the ceramic coating can get chipped pretty quickly—even if you don’t use the sanitize function.
With that said, you should also use plastic or silicone tongs when cooking with the Ninja Foodi Grill. Just like a non-stick pan, this is to prevent any scratches.
Anyway, here’s my tip for how to clean the ninja foodi grill:
Once you’re done cooking, pull the lid up and wait for it to cool down. When it’s warm enough to touch, that’s the time to clean.
First, remove the splatter shield, cooking pot, and crisp basket or grill grate. Then, rinse it with running water. With a soapy Scotch-Brite, scrub it with the soft spongy side.
For the splatter shield, you can use the opposite side of the Scotch-Brite; Or even better, use the brush that the Ninja Foodi Grill comes with.
If there’s any hard-to-remove food residue or grease, soak it in warm soapy water for a couple of hours or overnight. It’ll be easier to clean the day after, especially the splatter shield.
As for the main unit, you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth.
See the Ninja Grill in Action
Don’t take my word for it, watch this quick video from the brand.
The Ninja Foodi Grill is an excellent 5-in-1 kitchen appliance. It has a profound 1760-wattage rating, which can reach up to 510ºF (265ºC). Moreover, its preheat time is only 8 minutes compared to a charcoal grill’s 15-minute wait time. Apart from being an indoor grill, this Ninja Foodi is also a fantastic air fryer.
Does the Ninja Indoor Grill offer any extra features?
The other crucial features are baking, roasting, dehydrating, and, best of all, air frying. After all, it’s a 5-in-1 kitchen appliance.
I’ll be honest, the bake function is subpar at most. For starters, baking comes in many shapes and sizes. So, there’s only a limited baking recipe that can be done with this Ninja Foodi.
The roast cooking function is okay, but it’s easier to use the oven. Furthermore, most houses in North America include an oven range, so these two functions are almost superfluous.
Here’s the deal:
If you already have a food dehydrator, this won’t be an upgrade. It only has one layer, so you can only make few dried foods at a time. The quality, however, is excellent!
Here’s the good news:
The air crisp function is fantastic. That’s why it’s another name is the Ninja Foodi Grill and Air Fryer and sometimes Ninja Air Grill. Generally, you can make fried food with less oil—it’ll also be cheaper than deep frying.
Overall, given that it’s an amazing grill, air fryer, and a one-layered dehydrator, it’s ideal for minimalists or if you simply don’t have enough countertop space. Think about it, instead of having multiple appliances that take up a ton of space, you can get the 5-in-1 Ninja Foodi Grill instead.
The Ninja Foodi AG301 comes with a cooking pot that works as a drip tray too. It also includes a crisper basket for air frying and the grill grate for its primary purpose—grilling.
Some models may also include a roast rack and a baking pot.
Here’s the deal:
The smart version includes a thermometer which is incredibly beneficial for cooking. By having so, your Ninja Foodi will cook until the desired internal temperature of your meat is achieved. Then, it will turn off automatically to prevent it from overcooking.
So, if that’s what you want, check out the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill instead. Spoiler alert, it includes more valuable accessories.
*Product Images and Video Courtesy of Shark Ninja
|Model #||AG300, AG301, AG302|
|Rating||4.5 out of 5|
|Size/Cooking Capacity||10×10 inches grill grate, 4-qt crisper basket, a 6-qt cooking pot|
|Dimensions||12.05 x 16.88 x 10.59 inches (30.6 x 42.88 x 26.9 cm)|
|Cord Length||3 ft. (914 cm)|
Is the Ninja Foodi Grill Worth it?
With all things considered, the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill is undoubtedly worth the investment. This is especially true if you can’t use a charcoal grill outside or just want a simpler indoor alternative.
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