Multi-cookers like the Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi can turn your kitchen into a healthy “fast-food” powerhouse. What can they cook?… More like what CAN’T they cook. With either of these devices, you’ll be able to enjoy all of these cooking methods from one device:
- Rice Cooker
- Slow Cooker
- Dessert Maker (Baking, Yogurt, and more)
- Pressure Cooker
- Air Fryer
- and more
DISCLAIMER: (Air Fryer feature) As tempting as it may be to air fry the hell out of anything and everything, it’s still not the healthiest way to cook. Don’t get me wrong, the air fryer functions in both of these multi-cookers are lightyears better than throwing your wings, fries, and other foods directly into scolding oil, but numerous studies find that air fried food still may be carcinogenic.
How Are They Different From Stovetop Cooking?
The biggest benefits of cooking with a multi-cooker are their speed and control. Whether you want to cook a whole 5 lb. chicken in 30 minutes or you want to slow cook chili while you’re gone at work, both of these multi-cookers have your back. Decked out with loads of safety and cooking features, even beginners can execute advanced recipes.
What Makes These Multi-Cookers Special?
Unlike traditional multi-cookers and front-loading air fryers, you get both of those popular styles in one device. Yet, if you only need one or the other, these two are still among the best choices to fit your needs. On top of that, they both can hold up to 8 quarts, so larger families can still enjoy their many benefits.
- 11-In-1 single-touch programing
- Cook meat and vegetables from frozen
- 1,500W heating element cooks up to 70% faster than traditional methods
- Simplified button setup; extremely user-friendly
- Special dual-use cover/stand for air frying lid
- Huge 8 qt. capacity; fits a whole 7 lb chicken
- Automatic seal and vent ports
- Air fry and pressure cooking lids are easily swapped
- BPA/PFOA/PTFE-free accessories
- 10+ built-in safety features
- Dishwasher safe stainless-steel inner pot and accessories
- Smaller display than some previous models
- Air fryer lid is pretty heavy
- Air fryer lid can burn your countertop if you forget to use the cover/stand
- Some users miss the specific food presets like the “yogurt” and “rice” buttons. (However, they include a handy quick-chart with the cooking times of most of these popular foods.)
Instant Pot’s #1 selling multi-cooker series just got more versatile and easier to use. You get a simpler and more intuitive control panel to cook all of your favorite dishes quickly and easily. Instant Pot is by far the most recognizable name in the multi-cooker realm, and the addition of the Duo Crisp + Air Fryer to their family shows exactly why.
This compact design makes this the perfect choice for smaller kitchens and storage. It fits under most kitchen cabinets no matter which cooking mode your using. On top of that, the handy cover/stand for the air fryer lid protects it from being damaged when you’re not using it.
If you’re a beginner when it comes to multi-cookers or just cooking in general, there’s no better device to help you learn AND grow with your skills. The only people I don’t recommend this to are those who already have an earlier model of the Instant Pot. Save your money and pick up the Duo 6 qt Air Fryer Lid or Mealthy CrispLid separately and you won’t miss out on anything.
Popular Accessories For Instant Pots
Best Luxury Features
- Auto Keep-Warm mode when done pressure cooking (up to 12 hours)
- Ceramic-coated non-stick inner pot
- 1,760W heating element cooks up to 70% faster than traditional methods
- Simple and intuitive control panel
- Beautiful cookbook with 50 delicious recipes
- Patented TenderCrisp™ cooking technology
- Huge 8 qt. capacity; fit a whole 7-lb chicken
- 14 built-in safety features
- Dishwasher safe inner pot and accessories
- Air fryer lid doesn’t detach and sticks up awkwardly when using the pressure cooking lid.
- Larger and heavier than Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer
- Non-stick inner pot can get scratched when using metal utensils
When it comes to multi-cookers, the Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL is the Cadillac of the industry. Packed with automated cooking and safety features, you can literally “set it and forget it.” (Until its time to eat, of course.)
The automatic keep-warm mode is one of my favorite luxury features. After it’s done with the regular cooking cycle, the Ninja Foodie will keep your creation warm for up to 12-hours, so it’s ready to serve whenever you’re ready to eat.
The ceramic-coated non-stick inner pot makes it a breeze to clean up, especially after air frying. Just be careful not to use metal utensils when cooking. Also, be cautious when inserting the metal Cook & Crisp™ Basket and deluxe reversible rack to avoid scratching.
The only real drawback of the Ninja Foodi Deluxe is the lid design. It’s also the biggest difference between this and the Instant Pot. The Ninja’s pressure cooker lid is completely removable, but the air fryer lid is always attached on a hinge. While it’s a minor detail to some people, it can be a make or break feature if you don’t have enough counter space with at least around 2 feet of overhead clearance.
Popular Accessories For Ninja Foodi
The Bottom Line
To put it simply, I like the Instant Pot slightly more because it fits better in my kitchen. When it comes to cooking quality, there’s very little difference. They both produce high-quality, healthy meals in a fraction of the time that it takes with traditional cookware. They’re both constructed of premium materials and are backed by excellent warranties and customer service teams.
There are smaller options available from both companies, but it’s no that much of a price difference. If you plan on doing a lot of air frying, it’s nice to have the extra space of the 8 qt. versions, so you get a nice crispy exterior around all of the wings, legs, and other pieces of meat.