Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 XL Air Fryer review: two baskets can make one meal

This Ninja Foodie air fryer has 6 pre-sets, two baskets, and a smart cook system. Is there anything it doesn't have? Our editor finds out.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 XL Air Fryer being tested in writer's home
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System is a fantastic air fryer for beginner air frying foodies. It was ready to use out of the box (minus the quick clean) with pre-sets that can get you cooking in no time. You can adjust the temperature and cooking duration, yet whilst you can do this, I found it slightly annoying to have to do this pretty much with everything that I wanted to cook. The pre-sets are either too hot or too long, which overcooked the food. There's also no 'keep warm' function, so be prepared to keep reheating the food unless you're ready to tuck in when you hear the familiar 'beep'.


  • +

    Easy to use

  • +

    Really easy to clean

  • +

    Decent capacity


  • -

    No keep warm function

  • -

    Pre-sets are hotter and longer than they need to be

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Air fryers have boomed in popularity over the past cover of years, and the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System DZ550 is no exception to it. I've seen the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer without the smart cook system comes and goes with stock and causes a hive of activity during some of the most epic sales events - including Black Friday.

I'm a particular fan of the dual-drawer air fryers since you can cook so much in them, either at the same time or at different intervals. When I saw that one of the best air fryers is now available with a smart cook system, I just had to try it.

It's known as the Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer with Smart Cook System AF451UK in the UK and, other than the name difference is a pre-set for Max Crisp instead of Air Broil. It holds exactly the same spec as the US equivalent.

Although it isn't the cheapest air fryer you can buy, I do feel that it is worth the dollars. Had I been a newbie to air frying food, I would particularly recommend it for its ease of use; the cooking programs are easy to navigate, and the two cooking baskets are handy for cooking family meals.

You will need to eat the food as soon as you hear the 'beep' though, because there's no keep warm function, and you may find that you have to frequently adapt the pre-sets to suit your cooking requirements.

Jennifer Oksien
Jennifer Oksien

Jennifer Oksien (Jen) is the editor of Top Ten Reviews. She has tested and reviewed countless air fryers over the years and has particularly enjoyed trying out new foods to cook (or not to cook) in an air fryer during the process. Jen tested the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System in her home kitchen to cook snacks and dinners for a couple of weeks. She had the air fryer on the countertop alongside a selection of other small appliances.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1: Key specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
No. of manual programmes2
No. of presets6
Cord length32in
Wattage1690 watts
Amperage15 amps
Dimensions12.8 x 13.9 x D17.1in (h x w x d)

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1: Price & availability

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System has a list price of $249.99. It's available to buy directly from Ninja or through select resellers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.

If you'd prefer not to have the smart cook system with a smaller cooking capacity, then you can save $70 by opting for the Ninja DZ090 Foodi 6 Quart 5-in-1 DualZone 2-Basket Air Fryer. In terms of the specs, it has five functions instead of six, but other than that, it's identical to the review unit we have here.

Score: 4/5

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1: Setup

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System arrived fully assembled in a cardboard delivery box. When I say ' fully assembled,' I mean that I didn't have to screw anything together other than to slot in the crisper plates and plug in the smart thermometer.

Before I first used it, I gave it a hand wash. The two 5-qt non-stick cooking baskets and crisper plates are dishwasher safe, but I prefer to wash these components in air fryers by hand to protect the non-stick coating.

When it was all assembled and washed, I took a step back to admire it. It doesn't take up too much space on the countertop, but that's so long as you don't also have a microwave, kettle, toaster, blender, coffee machine, and hob all on the same side of a compact kitchen. The air fryer can replace a microwave, providing that you don't regularly heat liquids, and it can toast bread, so that's two appliances that it could replace if you're tight on space.

You'll need to make sure that the air fryer has plenty of airflow around it and that you can safely open the drawers without disturbing the weight distribution on the countertop.

Wherever you place it in the kitchen, though, it'll look just as smart as it has the ability to perform.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 XL Air Fryer being tested in writer's home

Unboxing  (Image credit: Future)

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1: Design

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System isn't anything particularly special in design, apart from the smart cook system. 

This rather intriguing feature makes it possible to achieve the perfect doneness of various food types - from steak to vegetables - by simply clicking in the system to the side of the air fryer and inserting the probe. 

The two drawers are another feature that sits neatly into the main carcass of the air fryer, which can be opened/closed with a sturdy handle. The drawers feel solid, and there's no resistance when opening or closing them.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 XL Air Fryer being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Above the drawers is a digital display that displays six cooking functions. These are Air Fry, Air Broil, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate. For our UK readers, the Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer with Smart Cook System AF451UK has all these cooking functions apart from Air Broil, which has been replaced with Max Crisp.

Sized at 12.8 x 13.9 x 17.1 in (h x w x l) and weighing 19.8 lbs, it isn't much smaller than a microwave, but, in my opinion, it looks a lot more refined in comparison - less boxy with more curves.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 XL Air Fryer being tested in writer's home

side view of the smart Ninja Foodi air fryer (Image credit: Future)

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1: Performance

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System has six pre-sets to use, along with the flexibility to tweak the cooking time and temperatures. During the time I've had this air fryer on review, I used 4-out-of-6 pre-sets: air fry, roast, reheat, and dehydrate, plus the Probe function. The other pre-sets are Air Broil / Max Crisp and Bake.

The difference between all of these pre-sets is the cooking time and temperature, all of which can be tweaked up to a temperature of 464F/240C with a cooking time of up to 1 hour 30 minutes.

The food type I used with the 'air fry' pre-set was frozen fries. The time set was 20 minutes, set at 392F/200C. This felt like too long on a high heat to me, but I gave it a go nonetheless.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 XL Air Fryer being tested in writer's home

Over cooked fries in the Ninja Foodi air fryer using 'air fry' pre-set (Image credit: Future)

The result was that the frozen fries were brown and crunchy, airing on the side of burnt. I tried cooking the frozen fries again later on in the week for 15 minutes at 356F/180C, which yielded a much better cooking result.

Intrigued by the prospect of roasting a chicken, I decided to roast one. This is a food type that you often hear not to cook in an air fryer, but I don't see why not because, as I found, it is possible.

There's the option to cook with Probe or by selecting the Manual button.

You can opt to 'Sync' with Probe or 'Match' with Probe; Sync means that you can program each zone and pair the Probe to have them both finishing at the same time, whereas Match means that you set Zone 1 with Probe and use Match Cook to automatically match settings to Zone 2. I went for 'Match' since I was cooking the chicken outside of meal time for review purposes.

If using the Probe, you can select Small Preset or Large Preset, depending on the size of protein you are cooking (chicken is large). Then, use the arrows on the left of the display to select what the protein is (pork, chicken, beef, or pork) and the arrows on the right of the display to set the internal outcome.

I tried out the Probe, but the pre-set to 'Roast' only went up to 158F/70C, and the manual only went up to 185F/85C. This definitely isn't high enough to roast a chicken. I also found that when I selected this pre-set, it 'timed out' once it had reached temperature, so the chicken was still raw.

I got around this un-cooked chicken issue by consulting the quick start guide. It displays a comprehensive cooking chart that suggests cooking a whole chicken at 338F/170C for 50 mins. And this is what I did.

The results were good, albeit the meat was a little dry. The skin was also crispy, which is always a good sign, and all the juices ran clear, so it was definitely cooked through. I was just really disappointed with the probe, although it did recognize when it got up to temperature, but this wasn't the right temperature, and it wasn't for long enough.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 XL Air Fryer being tested in writer's home

Cooking a chicken in the Ninja Foodi air fryer (Image credit: Future)

The reheat pre-set was a little too high and went on for far too long, in my opinion. It was set to 338F/170C with a temperature of 15 minutes; I only needed 5 minutes to reheat a few slices of pizza, so I tweaked this.  However, the dehydrated pre-sets were pretty spot on for air-frying sliced vegetables. It lasted 6 minutes and was set to a temperature of 140F/60C.

To note, the time and temperature of the pre-sets were set at:

  • Max Crisp: 464F/240C for 10 minutes
  • Air Fry: 392F/200C for 20 minutes
  • Roast: 374F/190C for 15 minutes
  • Bake: 320F/160C for 15 minutes
  • Reheat: 338F/170C for 15 minutes
  • Dehydrate: 140F/60C for 6 minutes

As I did when setting up the Ninja Foodi air fryer for the first time, I washed the basket and crisper tray by hand to preserve the non-stick. These parts are dishwasher-safe, though.

During the review process, I measured the noise level of the air fryer. This was recorded at 63dB, which is the equivalent of a 'quiet street' according to the app I was using, and I didn't think that was too loud at all.

A couple of things to note...

There is no 'keep warm' function, so you'll want to be ready to tuck into the air fried food as soon as you hear the 'beep.' Whilst there is the 'reheat' pre-set, I found that this isn't as convenient as a dedicated keep warm function, especially since it'll need tweaking.

And the batter on fish fingers had a tendency to stick to the non-stick. I didn't experience this when cooking frozen fries, vegetables, or chicken.

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1: User reviews

Customers on Amazon have given positive reviews of the Ninja Air Fryer. One customer commends the air fryer for being fast, easy to use, and quiet. She also appreciates the two separate large drawers that allow cooking different meals simultaneously and the non-stick coating of the drawers that makes cleaning easier. However, she mentions that the crisping plates in the drawers were initially difficult to remove.

Another reviewer describes the Ninja Air Fryer as one of the best air fryers they have ever used, noting that it heats up quickly, and once you get used to the controls, it becomes easy to set up. D. Young finds the Ninja Air Fryer to be more accurate in temperature control and praises the meaningful cooking modes and the non-stick coating for easy cleanup.

A third reviewer finds the Ninja Air Fryer great with good capacity and easy to use and clean, and appreciates its quick cooking capabilities. Some minor criticisms include the containers' size and the crisping plates' initial tightness.

Should you buy the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1?

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Score card
PriceWhilst it is at the top end of the air fryer price rang, it is bang on the money for what you get★★★★★
DesignLooks great and is really easy to use, but the probe doesn't sit too comfortably out of the drawer★★★★½
PerformanceHelpful pre-sets yet they all need tweaking, and the smart cook system is only any good for cooking smaller food items★★★★½

Buy it if...

You have a hungry family

The dual drawers of this Ninja air fryer can cook up to X of food, which is plenty for a growing family.

You like to cook different food types at the same time

Again, another perk of the dual drawer is that you can cook different food types in each of the drawers at different temperatures for different durations.

You don't want anything too smart, but smart enough

This Ninja Foodi air fryer comes with a smart cook system meaning that the probe can be used to tell you when a food has reached a set temperature.

 Don’t buy it if…  

You don't have much countertop space 

It's a similar size to a microwave, so if you don't have the space for this one, consider a single-basket air fryer instead.

You rely on pre-sets for cooking perfection

I found that the pre-sets either burnt or undercooked food, so ended up tweaking the temperature and timing until I achieved perfectly cooked food.

How does the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 compare?

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System is in a league of its own with its probe and dual drawer, making it very difficult to compare, but the air fryer that could tempt you away from it is the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Air Fryer with 7qt MegaZone.

This is a new air fryer by the brand that can turn one basket into two with a basket divider. I, for one, haven't seen an air fryer that could do this previously, so it's a revolution among the air fryer hype. As with the Ninja air fryer on test, it also has six cooking functions.

There is also, of course, the Ninja DZ090 Foodi 6 Quart 5-in-1 DualZone 2-Basket Air Fryer, which has regularly sold out during big sales events and topped the lists of many air fryer buyers' guides. It doesn't come with a smart cooking system, and it has five functions instead of six, but other than that, it's identical to the review unit we have here.

If you don't need a dual-drawer air fryer or one with mega capacity, then the single-drawer air fryers would be more appealing. The toughest competition for NInja air fryers is Cosori. All Cosori basket air fryers have single drawers, yet they boast decent capacities, such as the Cosori Pro III, which has a 6.8-quart capacity. These undercut the twin-drawer Ninja air fryers by almost $100, making them a serious rival to the Ninja brand.

How I tested the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1

  • It was the only air fryer in my house
  • Used for two weeks to cook snack and dinners

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer with Smart Cook System was the only air fryer in my family home at the time of testing. This means that we used it a lot, especially at dinner time, as an alternative to using the range cooker.

I air-fried fries, roasted chicken, and dehydrated vegetables. I didn't get on with the pre-sets because they either burnt or undercooked the food. I, therefore, tweaked the pre-sets to a time and temperature that I was used to when reviewing air fryers. These times and temperatures are also noted in the included instruction manual.

See more about how we test.

Jennifer Oksien
TTR Editor

Jennifer Oksien, Editor of Top Ten Reviews, writes about home and kitchen products. Based in the UK, she enjoys renovating her home, trying out new appliances, and savoring a cup of tea. With a background in journalism and marketing, she balances work with gardening, baking, and streaming her favorite series.