The Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. XL takes up a lot of counter space, but it's worth it for the range of smart cooking modes.
All functions can be done under one lid
The preheating time is quick
The recipe book caters for a wide range of dietary requirements
The ‘keep warm’ function makes it easy to eat when you are ready
Great for batch cooking and for families
The pot cannot be used on the stove top or in the oven
No in-built timer for multi-step recipes
Ninja is known for its variety of innovative small kitchen appliances, from blenders and multi-cookers to stovetop cookware. The Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. XL Pressure Cooker is an 8qt multi cooker with three functions: Pressure Cooking, Air Frying, and SteamCrisping, under one lid.
Although it takes up a considerable amount of countertop space, especially for kitchens in urban homes, its versatile functionality removes the need to own other specialized cooking appliances and the pot and accessories are dishwasher safe which makes for easy cleanup. As opposed to many of the best Instant Pots, the Ninja Foodi XL has just one lid that can pressure cook and also air fry.
During this review, we tried all three main cooking functions the product offers and used all of the included accessories to make shredded chicken, a complete salmon meal with quinoa and Brussels sprouts, a sweet cinnamon bun dessert, and potato wedges. The 2-Tier Reversible rack came in particularly handy for layering ingredients and making a complete meal, while my own 8-inch round baking tin was a convenient substitution to the Ninja Multi-Purpose Pan, which is not included.
Unlike a traditional oven, the Ninja Foodi doesn’t have a window to see how food is progressing but thanks to the digital screen which displays when the machine is pre-heating, the cooking temperature, and remaining cooking time, you are fully informed on when your food is ready. The buttons and knobs are intuitive which makes the machine easy to navigate and adjust depending on the settings required for each recipe.
Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. XL: specifications
- Capacity: 8 Quart
- Product dimensions (in.): 15.39" L X 14.21" W X 14.25" H
- Power: 1760 watts
- Cooking programs: 14
- Modes: Pressure cook, Steam & Crisp, Steam & Bake, Air Fry, Broil, Bake/Roast, Dehydrate, Sear/Sauté, Steam, Sous Vide, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Keep Warm and Proof
- What’s in the box: Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid, 8-qt.nonstick cooking pot, 5-qt. nonstick Cook & Crisp Basket, Deluxe Reversible Rack, Chef-created cookbook, Instruction booklet
- Cord length (in.): 36in
The UK model of this product, the Ninja Foodi MAX 14-in-1 SmartLid Multi-Cooker 7.5L OL650UK, was used for this review and therefore some of the display and cooking function names vary.
For example, the middle function on the US product is called SteamCrisp while on the UK product, the equivalent function name is Combi-Steam. The US product also displays temperature in Fahrenheit but the UK product displays temperature in Celsius. The product temperature can be adjusted in 5 degree increments and when testing the brand’s US recipe suggestions, the cooking temperature was converted to Celsius and rounded up.
The product comes in a large box which was fairly heavy, but I was pleased that once it is out of the box and its packaging, that it is sleeker than the box indicated. For such a large box, there was relatively minimal packaging.
Two large sturdy cardboard molds which fit the length and width of the box on the bottom and top kept the product nestled and secure for transit. There was a thin piece of cardboard wrapped around the tier racks to protect them from bending and one circular piece of cardboard inside the pot.
A sturdy plastic bag which required scissors to break through came over the whole machine to protect from scratches. There was an additional sticker over the pressure valve which was easy to remove. Written on the sticker was a helpful message explaining that valve is designed to be loose-fitting for proper operation. Without this, it would be easy to assume this piece was damaged or not properly secured.
There is only one knob, a sliding lever to adjust between the three cooking functions and a few buttons for start/stop, keep warm and increase-decrease arrows. Beyond this, all of the display is provided in the control panel screen which gives the product a modern and tech forward look.
Pressure cooking in the Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. XL
Making tender, easy to pull apart chicken was incredibly easy and the Foodi exceeded my expectations. The sauce ingredients and the chicken are all added to one pot and in under 40 minutes, it made perfectly cooked chicken for Asian style lettuce wraps.
The recipe would also be delicious in taco shells or tortilla wraps. Initially, ensuring that I had the pressure valve in the correct SEAL position was tricky. Although the packaging included the sticker with the message which assured me the looseness of the pressure lever is correct, it is so loose that the lever can be positioned well past the SEAL indicator.
The directions do not clearly indicate that the lever should be left between the plastic ridges on the product next to SEAL and VENT. Because of this, at first I placed the leaver past the SEAL position and received a NO PRESSURE message on the Control Panel. Unfortunately, the instruction booklet did not include a troubleshooting solution for this specific message, but with a simple Google search and a detailed look at the image of the pressure valve in the booklet, I was able to fix this issue quickly.
Reaching pressure only took about 11 minutes which was slightly shorter than the 14 minutes the recipe anticipated. I also really appreciated how the recipe had suggested cooking time for both frozen and fresh chicken breasts as I had fresh chicken available.
Using the Steam & Crisp mode
The ability to cook a complete meal of a protein and two sides in one pot is the Ninja Foodi’s superpowers. I tried salmon fillets with quinoa and Brussels sprouts.
To start, quinoa and water are simply added to the bottom of the pot. On top of the quinoa and water, the reversible rack is nested into the pot covered with tin foil and the Brussels sprouts. The salmon is placed directly on the top tier of the reversible rack and the lid is closed to cook everything together on the STEAM & CRIP setting.
The preheat only took 7 minutes which was a pleasant surprise to the 15 minutes the recipe approximated. The result was quinoa which was delightfully cooked. It was light and fluffy without being dry or sticking to the bottom of the pot which has a tendency to happen easily when cooking on a stovetop.
The recipe calls for frozen sprouts and unfortunately does not provide alternative instructions for fresh vegetables. Due to availability of ingredients and time constraints wanting to eat this meal, I used fresh Brussels sprouts. I generally enjoy Brussels sprouts but usually roast them as I prefer them with a crispy texture.
Even as someone who likes the taste of this vegetable, during the test they came out mushy and unappetizing. It is likely that this was due to the substitution made to the ingredient from frozen to fresh, but it was disappointing not to have nicely steamed fresh vegetables.
The salmon fillets, however, came out perfectly cooked. They had a beautiful, slightly crispy top without being dry throughout. Once the cooking time finished, I found the 2-Tiered Reversible rack to be awkward to remove with oven mitts and I believe the design would benefit from a handle. However, it is a really great way to separate the ingredients to make a time-efficient complete meal, and the racks were very easy to clean.
Overall, I preferred the way the Ninja Foodi cooked salmon over oven cooked and I would certainly use the Foodi to cook fish and quinoa in the future.
Making fresh cinnamon buns
Traditional Pillsbury crescent sheet dough is not available in the UK and for this recipe the ingredient was substituted for a comparable puff pastry sheet dough. The recipe was straight forward and conveniently recommended using my own round cake tin as an alternative to the accessory which is not included in the box.
The recipe is easy and only requires one function, STEAM and BAKE and my own 8-inch cake pan which easily nestled onto the reversible rack. The recipe’s recommended cooking temperate is 325F which was converted and rounded up to 165C as the Foodi only allows for temperature changes in increments of 5 degrees. At the end of the cooking time, the buns were perfectly flakey on top but unfortunately did not cook through.
This could have been due to the ingredient substitution. They required an additional 15 minutes of cook time to be cooked thoroughly. Although this recipe was not an initial success, the buns did turn out delicious and the easy baking function of the Foodi is a great feature that I will enjoy in the future as an alternative to turning on the oven.
Air frying in the Ninja Foodi 14-in-1
The recipe booklet includes instructions for loaded wedges with cheese, bacon and scallion toppings and required that the potatoes be checked on and mixed at several intervals through cooking. I was interested in having something a little more simple so I looked through the Air Fry chart in the booklet included in the box for cooking instructions for potato wedges. The best air fryers make excellent wedges, so I was curious to see how the Ninja Foodi would compare.
The Loaded Potato Wedge recipe suggests cooking the potatoes at 450F while the Air Fry chart suggests cooking the same type and amount of potatoes at 390F. Thrown off by this inconsistency, I was grateful Ninja has an extensive online recipe database in addition to the recipe booklet included with the product.
I tried this recipe and the result was delicious. Although this recipe didn’t require that the potatoes be tossed at varying intervals throughout the cooking process, it did call for two cooking modes to be used which didn’t make it quite the ‘set and forget’ experience I was hoping for.
That said, in just 21 minutes, the Ninja Foodi created perfectly crispy potatoes without being oily and absent of the guilt that comes with traditionally fried food.
The cooking pot, silicone sealing ring, reversible rack, Cook & Crisp basket and detachable diffuser can all be put in the dishwasher. I prefer hand washing non-stick cooking items to prolong their longevity and found that the Foodi’s pot was easy to clean with warm soapy water and did not require soaking.
Should you buy the Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. XL?
The Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 8-qt. XL is competitively priced against other multi-cooker options and it is the ideal product for anyone who wants one solution for cooking their favorite indulgent foods in a healthier way. It is also great for family-style and batch cooking to prepare meals in advance to store in the refrigerator for subsequent meals throughout the week.
The “keep warm” setting is also great for busy weekdays when varying schedules require meals to be ready at different times. The Ninja Foodi is also great for cooks needing a little more confidence in the kitchen who are interested in preparing a wider range of foods but haven’t yet mastered their sills in the kitchen monitoring many pots and pans on the stovetop.
About this review, and the reviewer
Alyssa LeAnne's motto is, "The fastest way to the heart is through the stomach" and she has fallen in love with cities and people after tasting their food.
After over seven years in lifestyle PR, she landed in her true passion for food and beverage as a Food & Drink Stylist where she makes food and drinks look gorgeous for the camera and informative to consumers.
She loves a restaurant tasting menu and is always up for creating one on her own by sharing bites with whoever she is dining out with. While at home, she is an avid dinner party host, experimental recipe developer and enjoys everything extra spicy!