Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker review: A truly multi-talented multi cooker

Danielle Amato
16 Jun 2022
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
230
inc VAT

The Foodi 11-in-1 is a hugely versatile appliance that makes cooking meats, vegetables and grains easier than ever

Pros 
Lots of useful features
Easy to use
Stylish
Cons 
Expensive
Doesn’t excel in every area
Advertisement

Combining a variety of appliances in one stylish package, the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker is a truly multipurpose kitchen item. With three different modes and 11 different cooking functions including slow cooking, air frying and steaming, there’s not much this tabletop cooker can’t do. In fact, it even introduces two brand new “combi steam” functions, which combine gentle steaming with regular baking and air frying to produce fluffier cakes and juicier meats.

It’s also one of three new Ninja multi cooker models to receive a stylish design makeover, making it both easier to store and more worthy of a permanent spot on your countertop. It might be a little on the pricey side, but there’s a lot to love here.

Buy now from Argos


Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker review: What do you get for the money?

If style is important to you, this has it by the bucketload. Featuring a crisp, digital display with sleek, inset buttons and a discreet control dial, it’s a thoroughly modern multi cooker. Above the digital display, a large slider switches between pressure cooking, steaming and air frying modes with ease, and the elegant new design means that you no longer need to swap lids when using the pressure functions.

As the name might suggest, this model has 11 different cooking functions, allowing you to cook a variety of dishes. These include: pressure cooking, steaming, air frying, grilling, baking, sauteing, dehydrating, slow cooking and yoghurt making. There are also two ”combi steam” modes – steam air frying and steam baking – which are designed to help retain moisture without sacrificing crispiness. Finally, there’s a keep warm setting to ensure food stays hot after the fact.

Included in the box you’ll find the multi cooker, as well as a separate air fryer basket and a steam rack. There’s also a very handy recipe booklet to guide you through the various modes and functions and help you achieve the best results if you’re new to using this style of multi cooker.

This isn’t Ninja’s most expensive multi cooker – that title goes to the 15-in-1 – but £230 is still a lot to spend on one appliance. You can spend a lot less on a multi cooker and still enjoy many of the functions of the Ninja Foodi. For instance, the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus (~£130) lacks the air frying and combination steam functions of the 11-in-1 but has plenty of settings for rice, vegetables and meat. Moreover, this Ninja Foodi is easier to use for beginners and has a wide range of customisability with timings and temperatures.

Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Mulit Cooker review: What’s good about it?

While the 11-in-1 takes up a large amount of worktop area, its versatility makes it ideal for kitchens lacking in storage space. If you simply haven’t got room for a separate air fryer, slow cooker, pressure cooker and steamer in your kitchen, and can’t bear the faff of packing appliances away after each use, the Ninja earns its place on the worktop.

In our tests, it offered excellent results pretty much across the board. Pressure cooking was highly impressive, producing wonderfully tender meats, pulses and rice, and particularly so when Ninja’s own timing guide was followed. The dedicated steam setting produced perfectly tender veggies with no sogginess in sight, and the combination steam air fry function cooked a 1kg chicken in around 45 minutes. Whether or not this was substantially juicier than air frying alone was hard to tell, but the results were good regardless.

READ NEXT: The best slow cookers you can buy

Aside from its cooking functions, the most notable improvement with the Foodi 11-in-1 – and indeed all of the Ninja’s new MultiLid models – is the single lid. Previous versions required you to use a separate lid for cooking, so this is a welcome change that makes it easier to switch between modes and also saves on space. Cleaning is hassle-free, too, thanks to the non-stick coating on the air fryer basket and main bowl.

Buy now from Argos


Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker review: What could be better?

Like many multipurpose appliances, the 11-in-1 doesn’t excel in every area. While the air fryer is pretty good and certainly better than any cheap air fryer you can buy, the results weren’t any better than when using our oven – it’s a far cry from Ninja’s own dedicated dual basket air fryer. Similarly, the baking and roasting functions are adequate but wouldn’t replace my oven when it comes to performance.

Another small gripe I have is with the reversible grill rack. Due to the slightly awkward design, it’s hard to make the most of the space in the pot when using it. You can cook multi-tier meals with veggies underneath and protein on top, but I wasn’t able to comfortably fit more than two large pieces of salmon on the rack. If you’re looking to cook pieces of meat, poultry or fish for a family, your oven still might be the best option.

My final quibble is that the main pot’s lack of handles makes it tricky to remove while hot. The rim of the bowl is quite small, meaning you need to be fairly dexterous and get a strong grip on a small area, which isn’t ideal if you’re using oven gloves or have limited mobility.

READ NEXT: Our selection of the best pressure cookers

Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker review: Should you buy it?

While the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 isn’t great at everything, it’s good at a lot of things. If you’re looking for a way to quickly air fry or roast a whole chicken without dirtying your oven, want to make super speedy curries using the pressure cooker, slow-cook a chilli, or enjoy healthy, steamed proteins and vegetables, this is an excellent appliance for all those things and a few more besides.

You can spend less on a multi cooker, but you will be sacrificing a few functions that make the Ninja unique. Moreover, it’s delightfully simple to use, making it ideal for beginners. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current multi cooker or just want to dive straight in with an appliance that does (almost) everything, the 11-in-1 is worth paying a premium for.

Buy now from Argos


Read more

Reviews