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Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Dual Air Fryer (AF500UK) review: Could this replace your oven?

Our Rating :
£269.00 from
Price when reviewed : £270
inc VAT

With a huge 10.4l capacity, the Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer is an impressively flexible air fryer that’s ideal for big portions


  • Generous 10.4L capacity
  • Removable divider for single-zone cooking
  • Easy to use


  • Big price jump from previous models
  • Basket is too big for most dishwashers
  • Average dehydrating

Snap up a discounted Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer with this great deal

We loved the Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer’s fantastic capacity and versatility when we tested it, but weren’t as impressed with the price. Luckily, with Ninja’s latest deal on the air fryer you can have it for a fantastic £219. This means a solid £51 saving from the original price of £270. So, if you want to bag this bargain, head over to the Ninja website now.

Ninja Was £270 Now £219 View deal

The Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Dual Air Fryer is a capacious 10.4l dual air fryer. It comes with a large single basket paired with a removable divider, allowing you to quickly switch between single and dual-basket cooking. Like its predecessor, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone (7.5l), the FlexDrawer can air fry, roast, bake, dehydrate and more.

There’s not a great deal of difference between the two models’ functionality; they offer the same cooking functions and are similarly sized – though the FlexDrawer does offer more cooking space than both the Dual Zone and its larger sibling the Dual Zone MAX (9.5l).

What really sets it apart is its versatility. This is Ninja’s first model with a single, extra large cooking space – the “Megazone”. This offers more space than ever before without taking up tons of additional counter space and allows you to cook lamb legs, large chickens and more. Pair this with the Flex’s consistently good cooking and ease of use and you’ve got an excellent all-rounder, albeit one that’s on the pricey side.

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Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Dual Air Fryer (AF500UK) review: What do you get for the money?

At £270, this is one of the most expensive air fryers I’ve tested. Ninja’s appliances are known for their hefty price tags but equally great quality and the FlexDrawer is no exception. This is a solidly built air fryer with a beefy 10.4l capacity. In the box, you get two crisper plates and the removable drawer divider, both of which have a non-stick coating and are dishwasher-safe. There’s also a recipe inspiration booklet and easy-to-follow instruction guide included in the box with plenty of guidance on the best timings and temperatures for your favourite vegetables, carbs and proteins.

While very large at 49.6 x 31.6 x 32.7cm (WDH) and weighing a not insignificant 9.4kg, it’s thoughtfully designed and doesn’t take up more space than it needs to. The matte black finish and rounded edges across the majority of the fryer also help it avoid sticking out like a sore thumb on your worktop, especially if you have a dark countertop or cupboards. Unlike its slightly cheaper double basket sibling, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone 7.6l (£220), the FlexDrawer has one XL cooking drawer, which can be removed using the chunky handle at the front.

Features-wise, the FlexDrawer remains relatively unchanged. It has seven cooking functions: Max Crisp, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat and Dehydrate. The only new addition is the Prove setting, which allows you to prove dough at a low temperature. The interface is more similar in design to the MAX Dual Drawer model, which has a centre dial allowing you to switch between cooking modes. There are also separate buttons to switch between single and dual drawer use. When it comes to energy efficiency, the FlexDrawer isn’t too outrageous. Despite its size, I measured just 1.208kWh while running both sides of the air fryer empty at 200ºC for one hour.

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Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Dual Air Fryer (AF500UK) review: What’s good about it?

The FlexDrawer has a lot of selling points, one of which is its fantastic capacity. With the drawer divider removed, you get a huge 10.4l of space, large enough for a 3kg chicken, half leg of lamb or even smaller joints cooked alongside sides such as potatoes or vegetables. I also found it intuitive to use and would confidently say it’s a beginner-friendly model.

I’d go as far as to say that this could replace your oven in a lot of circumstances, particularly if there are just two of you at home. I’ve been without an oven for almost a year now, relying solely on air fryers and can safely say this has more than enough space for me and my partner.

I used the FlexDrawer in my day-to-day cooking, as well as putting it through its paces with specific tests to see how well it performed. In my measured tests, it offered consistently great results: 500g of raw potato, cut into medium-sized chips and coated with one tablespoon of oil cooked in just 25 minutes. I also repeated the test using cut potatoes that were parboiled, and then dried, for two to three minutes before air frying. While I preferred the texture of the latter slightly more, both required a similar amount of cooking time and the difference in flavour and texture wasn’t huge, which is beneficial if you prefer to cut down on time and chuck your potatoes straight into the air fryer. In both instances, I found they only needed flipping once for all-round crispy results.

I also cooked several whole chickens in the FlexDrawer on the air fryer setting, ranging from 1.8kg to 3kg in size. Again, I saw consistently great results in as little as 40 minutes at 180ºC or up to 55 minutes for a larger bird of 3kg. You can also use the roast setting for similar results, though I found the skin was more evenly crisp using the air fryer setting.

I also had some success using the FlexDrawer to make cupcakes using its Bake setting, which slows the fan down to a gentler speed, allowing you to get a more even cook throughout, without too much crisping on top. As air fryers tend to cook a little quicker than your standard oven regardless of whether you’re using the air fry or bake setting, I did have to make a few adjustments to figure out what times and temperatures worked best. However, by attempt three I was making oven-quality cakes without an oven.

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Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Dual Air Fryer (AF500UK) review: What could be better?

Despite its consistent cooking efforts, the FlexDrawer isn’t perfect. Like most of Ninja’s cooking appliances, the FlexDrawer comes with a dehydrate function, which allows you to create things such as fruit crisps and jerky. I’ve never had much luck with this setting on any air fryer I’ve tested and this was no different. Drying out fruit took longer than the stated time and often required me to leave the appliance on all day. Even then, the results weren’t as good as something I could buy in the shops.

I also found that the FlexDrawer divider isn’t foolproof when it comes to keeping the heat separated. In testing, the other side of the basket would still get warm even if I only set it to heat one side. This heat leakage isn’t enough that it would affect the result of any food on the other side, it’s more an energy efficiency concern as the air fryer might need to work harder to keep the “active side” at the correct temperature.

Another annoyance, albeit an unavoidable one, is the size of the FlexDrawer’s hefty cooking basket. Because it uses one mega trough instead of two singles, I found it almost impossible to fit comfortably in my standard-sized dishwasher. The basket is technically dishwasher-safe but you have to sacrifice over half the bottom drawer of your dishwasher just for this, which in my opinion isn’t a good use of space. Thankfully, it’s not too tedious to hand wash, just a bit bulky if your sink is on the smaller side.

Finally, I can’t talk about the cons of this air fryer without mentioning the price. Ninja products tend to sit at the higher end of the price scale due to their build quality and consistent results. However, there’s a price jump from the original Ninja Dual Zone and Dual Zone MAX, which cost £220 and £250 respectively, compared to the FlexDrawer’s £270 price tag. That’s a lot of money to hand over and the extra outlay stings a bit given that many of the settings and functionality of this fryer are so similar to its predecessors.

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Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Dual Air Fryer (AF500UK) review: Should you buy it?

The Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer is a great air fryer for households that want the option of single-basket cooking but would also like the extra space for hosting or family meals. Aside from a couple of gripes, there is nothing bad I can say about the performance or look of this air fryer and for anyone with £270 to spend on a premium product, I’d recommend it.

That being said, it is incredibly expensive and if capacity is your biggest need there are bigger and cheaper – albeit less sleek – options available, such as the oven-style Tower 10-in-1. Nothing beats the ease of use of the Ninja FlexDrawer, though, and it’s big and flexible enough that it really could replace your oven.

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