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Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Which multi-cooker is worth your money?

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Which multi-cooker is worth your money?
(Image credit: Ninja Foodi)

What are the differences between Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot? If you’re looking for a multi-cooker, that’s a question that comes up time and time again. That’s because these marvelous small kitchen appliances are among the top multi-cookers available on the market right now, because of their brilliant (and seemingly never-ending) cooking capabilities.

The best Instant Pots can speed up cooking times thanks to their wide-ranging and easy-to-use cooking functions. Many Instant Pots work by simply throwing all your ingredients into the appliance, pressing a button, and letting the handy kitchen appliance work its magic. Since they were first introduced in 2010, they’ve gained a loyal army of cooking fans – and it’s for good reason.

While the first Ninja Foodi multi-cookers burst onto the food scene eight years later, in 2018, offering steaming, sautéing, air frying cooking functions, and more. Yes, they might sound the same on paper, but they are actually more different than you might think.

To help you decide between the two different brands of multi-cookers, we’ve looked at the similarities and differences between Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot and weighed up the pros and cons. In the battle of Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot, which multi-cooker will come up trumps? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: An Instant Pot is used to cook roast chicken

(Image credit: Amazon)

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Prices and products

To put it simply, Instant Pots are standalone electric pressure cookers. But they do so much more than that. At the most basic end of the spectrum, Instant Pot multi-cookers act as a 6-in-1 pressure cooker. This means that all models in the Pot range can pressure cook, slow cooker, steam, sauté, cook rice and act as a food warmer. 

While some of the more premium models can also air fry, sous vide food, make yogurt and sterilize baby bottles. Most of the Instant Pot multi-cookers come in 3, 4, 8 and 10-quart options. 

  • Instant Pot Duo (MSRP $125)
  • Instant Pot Duo Nova (MSRP $137)
  • Instant Pot Smart WiFi (MSRP $177)
  • Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus (MSRP $180)
  • Instant Pot Duo Crisp (MSRP $250)
  • Instant Pot Ultra (MSRP $150)
  • Instant Pot Max (MSRP $119)
  • Instant Pot Duo Plus (MSRP $165)
  • Instant Pot Lux (MSRP $148)

There are three different Ninja Foodi multi-cookers available in its pressure cooker range.  Just like Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi's most basic model is classified as a six-in-one multi-cooker. This is because it can pressure cook, air fry, steam, bake slow cook, yogurt, and sear/sauté. 

What makes Ninja Foodi stand out from Instant Pot is the fact even its most basic model has air frying capabilities. Ninja Foodi's multi-cookers are available in 5,6.5 and 8-quart size. 

 

  • Ninja Foodi 5 qt. 7-in-1 Compact Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer (MSRP $169.99)
  • Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Max XL (MSRP $159.99)
  • Ninja Foodi 8-qt. 9-in-1 Deluxe XL Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer (MSRP $249.99)
  • Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 6.5-qt Pro Pressure Cooker + Air Fryer (MSRP $199.99)

Winner: For us, Instant Pot's range comes out on top when it comes to price and the sheer range of great products available. The brand has far more multi-cookers to choose from, each of which are kitted out with a whole host of different features. It also beats Ninja Foodi on price every time.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pots: Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker 6L OP300UK

(Image credit: Ninja Foodi)

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Design

One major thing to notice about Ninja Foodi’s design is how big its multi-cookers are. For example, the 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi is 17 inches wide, 14 inches deep and 13 inches long. Plus it weighs 25lbs. That's hefty. 

Instant Pots are more compact in their design. They're also available in smaller quart sizes compared to Ninja Foodi cookers. This means that even if you're a one-person household, you don't have to miss out on all the brilliant features these multi-cookers have to offer. 

Unlike Instant Pot's lid design, you can't fully take Ninja Foodi's Air Crisp lid off. This can prove tricky when it comes to cleaning Ninja Foodi's exterior. Both Instant Pot's and Ninja Foodi's multi-cookers come with a super simple digital display and a sleek and shiny exterior. 

Winner: Based on the overall design, we'd have to say Instant Pot's multi-cookers come out on top again. They have a much sleeker and more compact design which is important to think about, especially if you're limited on counter or storage space.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Features

Ninja Foodi has all the features you can think of and more. As we touched on briefly, Ninja has been praised for including all of the features Instant Pot’s multi-cookers come with, but what makes it different it is air frying functions in the form of TenderCrisp technology. 

This is Ninja Foodi's big innovative feature, combining pressure cooking and air frying to give you the best of both worlds. Because of this you can tuck into platefuls of food that are crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside. Our favorite combination.

Another feature of Ninja Foodi’s multi-cookers is the fact they come with two different lids. This means that it can quickly swap between sautéing or slow cooking food to air frying food, without having to buy a specific or separate air fryer device. Ninja Foodi’s multi-cookers also feature: 

  • Cook & Crisp basket
  • Digital controls
  • 11 different functions
  • Around 11-14 safety features
  • TenderCrisp technology
  • Precision Cook Control
  • Non-stick cooking pots
  • 'Chef-inspired' 45-recipe cookbook

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: pressure cooker in silver and black

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

One important feature of Instant Pot’s multi-cookers is the fact they can cook food up to 70% faster than more traditional methods of cooking. 

All multi-cookers also come with One-Touch cooking programs making it easier and quicker to cook food at the touch of a button. While all its multi-cookers come with advanced safety features. Instant Pot’s multi-cookers also feature:

  • Around 13 customizable programmes
  • Keep Warm function
  • Some have steam release feature
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Easy Seal Smart Lid 1000+ recipes thanks to its app
  • The ability to pressure cook, steam, slow cook, roast and warm

Winner: It's a close call, but Ninja Foodi takes the crown for this section. The fact its multi-cookers come with the air fryer function and separate lid means it's one less kitchen appliance you don't have to invest in, especially if you want to be able to air fry food as well as pressure cook, steam, bake, slow cook, and sear/sauté.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Benefits to you

Both Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi’s multi-cookers would appeal to both chefs who want to use the top-of-the-range cooking devices to try out new recipes and cooking techniques.

These multi-cookers would also appeal to those who like batch cooking or food lovers who want to experiment in the kitchen, because you get at least six different kitchen appliances in one machine.  

Both multi-cookers offer you the ability to mix up your cooking. You can air-fry one day, warm up food the next day and cook a big pot of rice the following. Plus, these handy kitchen gadgets can save you time. 

They can cut down on the amount of minutes (or hours) you spend cooking, as you just have to put all your ingredients in one pot and they can cut down on the amount of time spent washing up – as there’s just one dish to clean.

Winner: It's a tie! Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi offer umpteen benefits to people looking to simplify their cooking, or cut down on the amount of pots, pans and utensils they need to make a wide range of meals.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Two smiling women cook together using an Instant Pot

(Image credit: Amazon)

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Which multi-cooker should you buy?

The multi-cookers available from both Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi aren't that different. Both sets steam, cook rice, saute, slow cook and pressure cook food to perfection. Even the most basic models in each range offer you brilliant cooking functions in just one machine. 

However, we think Instant Pot wins overall. We say this because not only are they cheaper, they are more compact and therefore easier to store when not in use. These multi-cookers also come in a range of sizes, including 3, 4, 8 and 10-quart options, so there's an Instant Pot for every home.

However, if healthy frying is top of your cooking list, you may want to consider investing in a Ninja Foodi multi-cooker, as even its entry-level cooker has the ability to air fry food. For other top recommendations, read our guide to the best air fryers

Becks is a freelance lifestyle writer. She started her career in print journalism at a local newspaper and has since then worked across digital and social media for food titles and home interior magazines. When she’s not writing, she’s reading and when she’s not reading, she’s writing.