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Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot: Which multi cooker is best?

Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot: Which pressure cooker is best?
(Image credit: Future)

They look similar, they do a similar job, and they’re often available for a similar price, so you’d be forgiven for wondering what the difference is between the Ninja Foodi and the Instant Pot. We’re about to spell out some key differences with our Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot showdown, with a comparison of the classic Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp. You can also check out our Black Friday Ninja Foodi deals page if you're looking for a great deal. 

Investing in a pressure cooker is a smart idea. It not only offers pressure cooking, but it’s a stand-in for the best slow cookers, rice cookers, food steamers, and even sous vide machines, effectively giving you a range of kitchen appliances for the price of one – and freeing up valuable kitchen space in the process. 

You may know the Instant Pot as the original pressure cooker. While that’s not quite true, it certainly reinvented the game and brought the concept of multi-cookers into homes across America. In fact, some households even use the words “Instant Pot” and “pressure cooker” interchangeably. While the same can’t be said of the Ninja Foodi, it does bring an extra element that forced Instant Pot to up its game even further. Although it’s great for cooking rice, steaming vegetables, slow-cooking meat, and pressure cooking casseroles in a jiffy, the Instant Pot Duo was never a stand-in for the best air fryers until the Ninja Foodi came along. 

Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot: Which pressure cooker is best?

(Image credit: Ninja )

Following the launch of the Ninja Foodi, Instant Pot came out with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp. This multi-cooker includes an air frying lid as standard to compete with the Foodi, and the lid is also available to buy for those who want to add air frying capabilties to their existing Instant Pot. With this in mind, what is the difference between the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and the Ninja Foodi?

Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot: Price

With its in-built air frying capabilities, the Ninja Foodi will cost more up-front than the Instant Pot Duo. In fact, even if you were to buy the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, it still costs more as standard. That being said, with Black Friday Ninja Foodi deals around the corner, you could happen across a great saving on the Ninja Foodi. For example, the Foodi is now on sale at Walmart for only $139 - a saving of $90.  

Ninja Foodi Tendercrisp 8-in-1 pressure cooker: $229 now $139 at Walmart
This is a pressure cooker that also acts as a crisper, and right now it's $90-off at Walmart. There's a 6.5qt capacity, which is larger than most, and it has eight functions, including crisping, pressure cooking, slow cooking, and baking.View Deal

When weighing up your options, remember that to get an Instant Pot with the added bonus of air frying you’ll need to buy an additional air fryer lid. This additional accessory will typically cost you $79. You can find many Instant Pots for under $80 these days, which makes this add-on more expensive than the pot itself. Alternatively, you could invest in the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, which is designed to work as an air fryer without the need for an attachment. 

Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot: Functions

Instant pot vs ninja foodi

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

You can expect all multi-cookers to steam cook, pressure cook, slow cook, and bake, but there are a few extra features that companies such as Ninja and Instant Pot like to add to give it the edge.

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is an 11-in-1 multi-cooker. It: 

  • Pressure cooks 
  • Air fries 
  • Sautés 
  • Steams 
  • Slow cooks 
  • Cooks sous vide 
  • Warms 
  • Roasts 
  • Bakes 
  • Broils
  • Dehydrates

By contrast, the Ninja Foodi is a 9-in-1 multi-cooker. It can:

  • Pressure cook 
  • Air crisp
  • Sear/sauté
  • Bake
  • Broil 
  • Steam
  • Slow cook
  • Dehydrate
  • Make yogurt

So technically the Instant Pot Duo Crisp does more for the money, but is more always merrier when it comes to a multi-cooker, or is it better to stick to a handful of features, and do it well? For example, while both Ninja and Instant Pot offer yogurt making features, households will rarely use this as much as they use the pressure cooking function. 

In addition to the same features as the Foodi, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp also features a warming setting, but this hardly counts as a cooking mode and is more of a convenience feature. You could easily warm food on your cooktop or in your microwave, so this feature will barely tip the scales in the Instant Pot’s favor. The other standout feature is sous vide cooking, but unless you’ve got a vacuum food sealer to hand we wouldn’t expect this rather niche cooking technique to receive regular use.  

Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot: Size and dimensions

Ninja foodi

(Image credit: Ninja)

Sometimes the minor details can make all the difference when comparing multi-cookers. One example of this is capacity, so let’s take a look at this key difference between the Ninja Foodi and Instant Pot Duo Crisp.

If it’s a case of bigger is better, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp is a clear winner when it comes to size. The multi-cooker has a capacity of eight quarts compared to the 6.5 quarts of the Ninja Foodi.

However, users may find that the shape of the Ninja Foodi is better for cooking whole cuts of meat, whereas the tall and round shape of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp is more suitable for fries and other small items. 

Ninja Foodi vs. Instant Pot: Which is best?

So, which pressure cooker is best? We're afraid to say there's no clear answer here. Obviously, an Instant Pot Duo Crisp will typically cost you less, and technically offers more functions, but it really does depend what you want. 

With a smaller capacity, you may expect the Ninja Foodi to be less family-friendly than the Instant Pot, but realistically an eight quart capacity is a little excessive unless you're feeding your entire extended family or going to a potluck. In terms of dimensions, the Ninja Foodi is better for those who want to skip out on a turkey fryer and air fry or broil an entire cut of meat such as chicken or ribs because of its oval dimensions. 

Both machines offer digital displays and a stainless steel insert, but in terms of dimensions the Ninja Foodi will take up slightly less space in your kitchen. If space is a concern, this is possibly a better pick for you. 

You can also check out our KitchenAid vs Cuisinart showdown to find the best stand mixer for you. If KitchenAid comes out as your top pick, check out our best KitchenAid deals hub to find a great discount.