I didn't use my cooker or hob for two weeks when I was testing the Ninja Combi Multicooker – this is why I love it

And it was two blissful weeks

Ninja Combi Multicooker on the countertop with food in front of it
(Image credit: Ninja)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The Ninja Combi does an excellent job of all its functions. If you need a small, speedy oven for air frying, baking, roasting, and more, this is perfect. The only downside is that it has a large footprint.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Incredibly versatile

  • +

    Super speedy to warm up and cook

  • +

    Excellent value

  • +

    Easy to use

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Large footprint

  • -

    Gets hot underneath

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In my time as one of H&G's experts, I've seen it all. I've tested the steamers, slow cookers, air fryers, toaster ovens, and countertop ovens. The Ninja Combi Multicooker claims to condense all these functions (and more) into one, simple appliance. It makes big promises, but does it deliver on them?

I put the Ninja Combi oven on my countertop to run it through a series of tests across the range of functions on offer. The test was only supposed to last for a day, but I kept it there and I kept it there and I kept it there until two weeks had passed. I was incredibly reluctant to move it, because this quickly became my sous chef. Or, I should say, I became its sous chef.

The Ninja Combi is easily one of the best toaster ovens I've ever tested. It can cook chips like the best air fryers, roast a whole chicken, steam vegetables, and proof bread. It does everything and it does it well.


Ninja Combi Multicooker on a white background

(Image credit: Ninja)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dimensions14.9 x 15.4 x 13.1 inches
Weight20.2 lbs
Capacity5 lb roast
FunctionsCombi meals, Combi Crisp, Combi Bake, Steam, Proof, Rice/Pasta, Air Fry, Bake, Broil, Pizza, Toast, Sear/Sauté, Slow Cook, Sous Vide
ControlsDigital pre-sets and manual adjustments


The Ninja Combi Multicooker unboxed on the floor

(Image credit: Future)

Before we get into the unboxing process for the Combi, let me set some expectations. Countertop ovens are never small and the Combi isn't either. It's relatively compact in the context of countertop ovens, but it dwarfed my, somewhat chunky espresso machine when I lifted it onto the countertop. It's worth every inch of space, but that's one of the most striking things about unboxing the Combi: its size.

Thankfully, the Combi is easy to shift around and, in true Ninja style, the design is sleek and attractive. Getting everything set up was easy. The packaging was all recyclable (big tick), there wasn't any unnecessary cardboard (another big tick), and all I had to do was plug it in to set the Combi running.

Who would it suit?

Ninja Combi Multicooker on countertop

(Image credit: Future)

Given that the Combi is as versatile and capable as it is, it covers a range of needs. I managed to cook a whole roast dinner for five people in it, so smaller families could definitely make the most of the oven, although it will be a bit of a squeeze on the countertop.

The range of functions is perfect for people who are contemplating investing some of the more popular kitchen appliances (air fryers, steamers, proofers). If you're always busy in the kitchen, working on a range of different cooking methods, you'll be able to get good use out of the Combi.

The only people who will need to pause for thought are those who are short on space. The Combi is pretty demanding, so you'll need to clear some room on the countertop if you want to actually use this.

What is it like to use?

Ninja Combi Multicooker fish sticks and fries

(Image credit: Future)

The beauty of the Combi is in its simplicity. You plug it in and there's a switch at the top. One will offer you a menu of Combi cooker functions (combi meals, combi crisp, combi bake, steam, proof, and rice/pasta)The other air fry/stovetop selection will give you the ability to air fry, bake, broil, toast, sear, slow cook, sous vide, and make pizza. It sounds like a lot (it is), but it means that the Combi can cover a range of needs.

There are also manual settings, where you can set different timers, temperatures, and more. Being able to toggle between the combi cooker and air fryer menu means that you can let your oven do the hard work, or you can choose to tinker with the settings for yourself.

Test 1: steaming

Stewed apple in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

Even though I'm not someone who steams fruit and vegetables regularly, I used the Combi a lot. In fact, I found myself steaming more than I normally would. It won't sound like the Combi is much different from placing a steamer on top of a pan on the stove, but it is. The timer and settings mean that you can set the Combi running and it will steam until the pre-set timer is finished. There's no risk of oversteaming or your pan boiling over because the Combi controls it all.

The first thing I steamed was an apple. I filled the Combi's tray with some water and then sat the air fryer basket on top of the water. I scattered the apple pieces across the basket and switched the mode to steam. The Combi auto-sets a timer for ten minutes, but I moved mine down to five minutes.

I needed my apple to be on the far side of steamed because it was going to become a puree in one of the doughs that I was making for the proofing test. As you can see in the picture, this was a great success. In under five minutes, my apple was steamed enough that I could pureed it with a spoon. 

Test 2: prooving

Fruit buns rising in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

If you're a keen baker, you'll know what a Godsend a speedy place to prove your bread can be. I made an enriched fruit dough, which, without a proover takes two hours to double in size. Mine needed only half an hour before the buns had nicely puffed up and doubled in size.

Here's where the Combi's convenience came into play. I used the baking setting to bake my fruit buns, which took only eighteen minutes at 390 degrees. That's speedy. minutes. They were nicely browned on top and light and fluffy inside, perfectly prooved and baked.

Test 3: air frying

Fries in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

Air fryers have been the talk of the appliance community for the last couple of years. More recently, I've seen them integrated into other kitchen appliances, including pressure cookers and countertop ovens, so I wasn't surprised that the Combi has an air fryer function.

The Combi has a useful air fryer basket, which I tested on fries and fish sticks. These are both cooked from frozen, so they're a great test for the heating power of the air fryer. 

After fourteen minutes on the pre-set, my fries were nicely crisped up. They all looked evenly golden, with a good crunch on the outside and a fluffy texture on the inside. I was surprised that the Combi had achieved these results in just fifteen minutes (including pre-heating) because that's quicker than some of the best air fryers on the market.

The fish sticks were the same story: the breaded crumb exterior was nicely crisp and the insides were steaming and warm. As far as air fryers go, this is seriously impressive.

Test 4: roasting

Roast chicken in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

I wanted to test the capacity of the Combi and a great way to do that is with a roast chicken. I happened to be having a roast dinner on the day that I tested the Combi, so I bought a chicken big enough for my family of five.

The chicken fitted easily onto the Combi tray. I basted it in a mix of herbs and olive oil and sat it on the tray with some vegetables around and underneath it. After just 45 minutes, the chicken was done and ready to eat. The skin was nice and crispy on the outside, but still succulent and tender inside. Hungry households will know that a roast chicken in just 45 minutes is incredible. 

Test 5: grilling

Cauliflower cheese in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

I wanted to see how many of my oven's functions this could replace, so I used the Combi for two grill tests: cauliflower cheese and grilled vegetables.

You can see how my cauliflower cheese ended up in the image above. It was nicely crispy in parts, with lovely brown speckles across the cheese. I got to use the steamer to steam my cauliflower before I added the cheese sauce over the top to grill the dish. It didn't need any more than for minutes to get the brown spots, but I peered through the viewing window and added another two to the timer, because I wanted some really crispy peaks. When the cauliflower cheese was out of the Combi and onto my plate, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

To test grilled vegetables, I chopped up peppers, carrots, and onion, put them on the air fryer basket, and set the Combi to grill. It was hot and ready to go almost instantly, so I put the vegetables in. Six minutes later, I came back to the Combi to find my peppers with lovely brown spots on them and my onions nicely crisped. The vegetables were tender inside with some wonderful texture on the outside. To say it was a success is an understatement.

Test 6: baking

Banana cake made in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

I've already mentioned that my fruit buns were a baking success, but I wanted to test a whole cake. I'm a keen baker, so I was eager to see whether cooking in a smaller oven would work with a range of different treats.

First, I made a banana cake in a classic sandwich tin. I could have fitted two tins in, one on top of the other, but that would have required me to put one under the tray and I knew they wouldn't bake evenly. 

My single banana cake was baked and ready to eat in just fifteen minutes. I was really impressed with the speed of the Combi and even more grateful for the timer. I put the cake tin in, set the time and temperature, and left the oven to its own devices. I could do work around the house without needing to worry about checking up on the oven, turning it off, and opening the door. The oven did all that for me.

Since those tests, I have made a lemon loaf cake, which took only 20 minutes at 320 degrees. I've also baked chocolate cookies, which took only eight minutes, and loaves of bread, which followed a similar story.

On top of the useful timer and pre-sets, this takes less than a minute to get to the temperature. I think this is why I kept returning to the Combi, opting to use it instead of my main oven because it was quicker to get ready, speedy when cooking, and then easy to clean. I'm sure it worked wonders for my utilities too, since I was only heating one small space.

Test 7: toasting

Half a bagel toasted in the Ninja Combi

(Image credit: Future)

If the Combi can toast a bagel, it covers the functions of almost all my countertop appliances (save for the coffee maker). I did a simple test, turning the Combi on to the toast setting and put my bagel underneath. 

It did an impressive job. The top of my bagel was perfectly browned in just over two minutes, whilst the steamed side had stayed soft, but warm. Cutting into the bagel, I could see that it was still nice and doughy. Bagels can be tricky to get to the perfect texture but the Combi has it perfectly.

Cleaning, storage, and maintenance

The air fryer basket and tray in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

Another reason I was reaching for the Combi so frequently was because it's just so easy to clean. All of the trays and air frying baskets are dishwasher safe, so I stacked them in my dishwasher drawer and set it running. Most of the mess that I made was contained within these, but the inside of the Combi was easy to reach into and wipe down when I wanted to do a deeper clean.

As I've mentioned, storage and size is probably the biggest factor that you'll need to consider before diving into a purchase. The Combi is big on the countertop, which is fine if you use it as often as your normal oven, but if you won't use it much, it might be a little tricky to store. You'll need big cupboards with high shelves to pack this away.

How does it rate online?

Grilled vegetables Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

The Combi is a relatively new release from Ninja, so reviews are all fresh. People praise it for its versatile functions, close to silent fans, and impressive taste and texture results. It's really as good as a larger oven, just shrunk down.

Most people had the same experiences as me: a quick heat-up, precision temperature control, and excellent results. I was surprised that people didn't mention the size, since I thought this would be a common criticism, but people seem to make it work on their countertops.

It's difficult to find reasonable criticisms of the Ninja. Most three-star reviews on Amazon and Walmart are to do with third-party shipping rather than anything to do with the Combi. The only other complaint that I could see was cleaning. Whilst I found it easy to clean, lots of people didn't like having to wait to clean theirs. The hotplate stays warm for a while, so you need to wait for it to cool. It came up in multiple reviews, so it's obviously a concern, but you also can't clean a normal oven when it's hot, so this possibly shouldn't be made into a criticism of the Combi.

The only other word of warning that came from the reviews was that the Combi can get hot, especially on your countertop. If yours isn't a heatproof material, it's worth investing in some sort of trivets or plate that can lift your Combi off direct heat, because it could damage the surface if you use it consistently at high temperatures.

How does it compare?

Fruit buns made in the Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

I've tested my fair share of the best toaster ovens and countertop ovens on the market and the Combi is definitely one of the best.

A classic multicooker brand is Instant. They make some great multicookers, namely the DuoCrisp. This sits at the top of our best Instant Pot buying guide, because it's incredibly versatile. The Instant has some extra functions, such as pressure cooking and yogurt making, when compared to the Combi, but the two overlap for most of them. The Instant's greatest success is the size. The Instant is much more subtle, it's smaller and also easier to pack away and clean up.

Whilst that might be the solution to your issues with the Combi, it's worth noting that the interior dimensions of the Instant Pot are a little less generous. Whilst I was happy to roast vegetables and a chicken in the Combi, the process wouldn't be as perfect in the Instant Pot. Plus, I find the shape slightly more awkward for bakes. Don't get me wrong, both are brilliant, but I think the Combi has the edge for me.

Should you buy it?

Ninja Combi Multicooker

(Image credit: Future)

If you need an appliance to help you make speedy meals, quick snacks, and help you with all your baking extras, you're in good hands with the Combi. I'm always baking and cooking in the kitchen, so this very quickly slotted in as my sidekick. I don't quite know what I would do without it now.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.