While there are more than a few dual-compartment air fryers out there, the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer is the only one in that oven-style format. Having the two compartments is more than a gimmick with this model. It’s a welcome approach to being able to cook multiple things at once to get dinner ready for more than a couple people, especially since the basket-style models are not quite set up for doing some of the same cooking functions that this model from Ninja is able to do.
So, whether you want to cook a pizza, crisp up some fries, toast some bread, or bake a casserole, the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer is more than capable. Plus, its Smart Finish technology will make sure that whatever two foods you’re preparing will finish cooking at the same exact time. That way, food from one compartment isn’t getting cold while you wait for food in the other to finish.
And, while its unusual format results in a somewhat high price tag and cleaning is a bit of a pain – an unfortunate reality for most oven-style appliances - the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer does what the best air fryers do, which is to produce even and consistent results no matter the function.
To truly understand the quality as well as challenges of this air fryer, it saw a lot of action from cooking basic air fryer staples like nuggets and fries to the kinds of foods that only this style of air fryer can do like toast and pizza. On top of that, I tested the other functions, especially its convection bake functionality with a casserole dish and roasted peaches with a crumble topping. And, to really make sure it was up to the task, I even had a little dinner party centered around this air fryer to see if it could keep up with cooking multiple items, not only at once but for an extended period of time.
James Holland has spent the last three years testing, reviewing, and writing about all sorts of tech, whether it be computers and related peripherals to smart home devices, robot vacuums, and kitchen appliances.
His work has been published in Top Ten Reviews, TechRadar, T3.com, and Android Police. When he’s not working, he’s playing music or at least pretending to. He also likes to eat questionable fusion-type foods.
James tested the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer over the course of a month, using it for snacks as well as full-on meals. He also tested the various functions as well as looking into the best way to maintain it.
Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer: First impressions
The Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer basically emerges from the box fully formed. There’s little in the way of assembly here. The biggest part of the process outside of pulling it out of the box as it is pretty big is making sure to remove all the packaging from the included accessories.
Since Ninja packed the air fryer to take up as little space as possible, the two wire racks, two sheet pans, air fryer basket, and crumb tray are all inside the air fryer’s oven compartments. So, I just needed to pop open the front door, pull out each accessory, and remove it from its plastic covering.
Once out of the box, setting up the air fryer essentially means plugging it in. Though looking in the manual explains certain functions such as how to use the Smart Finish function, getting the Ninja Double Oven Air Fryer up and running is essentially a plug-and-play operation. Plus, when it’s all set up and organised, it looks pretty good like an oversized but well-thought out toaster oven. Its stainless metal with black accent look should fit into just about any kitchen decor.
Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer: Product specifications
|Capacity (quart)||11.6 (top oven), 16.5 (bottom oven)|
Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer : price and availability
At $349.99, the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer is not cheap, especially as you can get some models, albeit typically the basket-style ones for under $100. However, its dual compartments make its price worth it, though if you don’t care about toasting and cooking pizza, Ninja’s Air Foodi 4-in-1 dual basket air fryer comes in at a much cheaper $169.
That said, I think this Ninja air fryer is worth the cost. And, though it’s only available in the US, it’s at just about any stateside big box retailer you shop at including Amazon, Best Buy, or direct from Ninja. There’s not much difference in availability or price across the retailers, but they all have their own sales so keep an eye for when one of them drops the price.
Just be aware that there are technically two models. The DCT451, reviewed here, and the DCT401, which retails for $329.99. The only difference is that the DCT451 comes with a smart thermometer.
Score: 3.5 / 5
Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer : Design
While the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer is as striking as an oven-style air fryer can be with its silver with black colorway matching the stainless steel look of most elegant kitchen appliances, it takes up quite a bit of space. You need enough counter space to fit its 18.6 x 16.39 x 13.26-inch dimensions if you want to be able to use it. And, considering that it weighs 31 lbs, it’s not particularly portable so wherever you put is probably where it’s going to stay. In short, if you have a cramped kitchen, this might not be the air fryer for you.
That said, if you have the room, it’s worth consideration. To start, its two oven compartments, each with its own set of six functions, is cooking productivity personified in air fryer form. The top, having a smaller capacity, is geared towards heating up thinner foods with toast, bagel, and broil being among its functions, bake, reheat and keep warm being the other three. Meanwhile, the larger bottom oven is meant for larger foods as evidenced by its set of functions: whole roast, air roast, air fry, convection bake, pizza and dehydrate.
Along with the various functions is the ability to have both compartments finish their cooking duties at the same time courtesy of the Smart Finish function, which has its own button. There’s even a smart thermometer with its own set of buttons to make sure your food is done.
One of the interesting design choices to accommodate the two compartments is the way the door is built. Though there’s just one door, it has a button on the handle that, when pressed, will only open the top compartment so that you can check on its contents without releasing heat from the lower compartment.
It also comes with a good amount of accessories. Along with the smart thermometer (included in model DCT451, but not
DCT401), there’s also
two wire racks, two sheet pans, an air fryer basket, and a crumb tray. The only possible complaint is that I wish there were a second crumb tray to make clean up easier for both oven compartments.
Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer : Performance
Using the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer is easy, straightforward, and, simply, a pleasure. The top oven compartment does a great job with smaller or thinner types of food. For instance, toasting multiple pieces of bread resulted in consistent looking toast regardless of where it was on the tray. The reheat function did a good job with reheating food as well. However, it was its bake function that truly impressed since this is a fairly narrow compartment. It did an excellent job in this function bringing a cheesy potatoes au gratin from raw to fully cooked.
The bottom compartment, which saw its share of frozen pizzas cooked on the pizza setting and fries crisped up perfectly in air fry mode, also impressed with its convection bake. A (vegan) chicken green bean casserole baked perfectly with the results coming out even and piping hot.
Also, when cooking the casserole, the potatoes au gratin were in at the same time providing the perfect opportunity to test the Smart Finish feature. After adjusting function, time, and temperature for each oven, I just pressed the Smart Finish button before pressing start to activate it. Once I press start, the compartment with the shorter cooking time would say “Hold” and do just that while the other lower compartment started cooking. Since the potatoes needed a little over an hour to bake while the casserole needed just 30 minutes, the bottom compartment waited 30 minutes before starting its function so that both cooking times would end at the same time.
Oh, and that air fry mode of the bottom compartment is very good at cooking peaches with a crumble topping.
Where the Ninja Double Oven Air Fryer slightly falls short is when it comes to cleaning it. This is the one area where basket-style air fryers have the advantage as you can remove the whole basket and wash it. While all the accessories are easily removable and have made it successfully through a cycle in the dishwasher, there’s only one crumb tray meant for the top compartment so anything that drops in the lower compartment requires removing all trays and getting in there to clean. My day-to-day work around was to just have folded-up aluminum foil situated on the bottom. Also, any grease or food that gets stuck to the walls requires extra elbow grease to remove.
Should I buy the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer?
|Price||While the price is not unreasonable, it is high. And, it’s only available in the US.||3.5 / 5|
|Design||The dual-compartments and the way to access and use them is very smartly designed.||5 / 5|
|Performance||While cleaning can be a chore here, this air fryer does a fantastic job cooking in its various functions.||4.5 / 5|
Buy it if...
You want to cook a whole bunch of food at once
This is the main reason to get this air fryer. You’re able to cook two different foods at once, with the ability to have them finish at the same time.
You need multiple different cooking functions
You can do much more than air fry with this Ninja’s twelve different cooking functions. Even just the toast function means you can keep one less appliance in the kitchen.
You want to future proof
While most bachelors (and bachelorettes) can get away with a small air fryer, if you’re looking to expand your cooking or the ability to eventually feed more people, then this air fryer should be on your radar.
Don't buy it if...
You have limited funds
The Ninja Double Oven Air Fryer is expensive. If you don’t have the funds for it, there are other good options. You’ll just have to skip the dual-compartment design.
You have limited space
For those of us with cramped kitchens, this air fryer is just too big. It’s going to take up a lot of space. Many basket-style models take up much less counter space and so are more ideal for those situations.
How does the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer compare?
Dual-compartment oven-style air fryers aren’t necessarily for everyone. If you’re looking for a basket-style air-fryer, the NuWave Brio 37001 6-Quart Air Fryer is a great option. It has plenty of capacity to cook large portions of food at once. And, while you don’t have all the advantages of an oven-style model (no toasting), it has six different functions so there’s plenty of versatility on hand. On top of that, it’s very reasonably priced, making it an excellent value proposition.
If you want something smaller but still with the ability to toast or heat up pizza, then the Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer Toaster Oven might be your go-to. It has five cooking functions to choose from and is pretty reasonably priced, going for about $130. Of course, there’s no LED display and it is harder to clean, but it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking to air try and replace your toaster oven at the same time.
Or, consider the Power Air Fryer PAFO-B. While this air fryer doesn’t have multiple compartments, it has a lot of space (six quarts specifically) and included racks to cook multiple items at a time. Additionally, it has eight functions accessible through its one-touch control panel and a viewing window so you can keep an eye on the food as it’s cooking. And, while it is bulky, it’s not nearly as pricey as the Ninja air fryer reviewed here.
How I tested the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer
To test the Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer, I had to put the functions I thought would be most used through their paces. Some of those, such as the toast and air fry function I used naturally on a day-to-day basis. But, I also made a point of having specific foods prepared using specific functions, such as the aforementioned casserole and the convection bake setting, to see what the results were there. I also tested other features like the Smart Finish to see how they worked.
Additionally, I had this air fryer on my counter for a month before writing anything about it so that I had a clear picture of what it was capable of. That also included maintenance including trying to keep it clean.
Read more about how we test.
First reviewed July 2023