Review: My First Time With the Ninja Foodi Grill

Recently, I’ve been struggling with the amount of time I spend in my kitchen and realize that I may need a new solution.

My evenings would often be busy, and cooking for an average of 2 hours (cooking and cleaning included) was something I began to dread. 

As a working mom who spends more than 8 hours a day outside of home, my evenings are shortened and the demand for multi-functional tools seemed to be the perfect solution I needed.

It was shortly after, that I learned of this new appliance from Ninja, one of the house-care brands from the company SharkNinja Operating LLC. This new appliance was the Ninja Foodi Grill. 

The Ninja Foodi Grill is a 5-in-1 indoor grill that can air-fry (or air crisp), dehydrate, bake, roast, and grill. 

It has the ability to grill meat straight from the freezer and have it cooked within 30 mins or less!

You can also air-fry foods without having to use oil, giving it the same crispy flavor as it would, if you did fry it in oil. Sounds like a healthier option to me!

Since the holidays were approaching, I knew there was no better time to buy this for a cheaper price than during Black Friday.

Fortunately, Sam’s Club was doing a one-day sale (prior to Black Friday) and I snagged mine for $149.99 (original is $199.75). 

This review will cover my first experience with the grill function and the air crisp function.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated nor was I sponsored to post a review of this product. All opinions in this review are those of mine only and does not represent any other affiliated organizations. This review was created to share my personal experience with the Ninja Foodi Grill and its functions only. Hope you enjoy!

What model did you purchase?

I purchased the model, IG301A, from Sam’s Club but the same grill may be available at other retail stores or you may purchase one directly from Ninja’s website

What comes in the box?

When the box was first delivered to my house, I couldn’t wait to try it. Everything spelled EXCITING! 

The moment I opened the box, I immediately felt like I turned into my toddler who just got a new toy. Even my husband laughed at my excitement.

I unwrapped every piece and placed it all on my table for display.

See the image chart below.

Here’s a list of everything included:

  • 4 qt. ceramic-coated crisper basket (for air-frying)
  • 6 qt. ceramic-coated cooking pot (for roasting, baking, etc)
  • 10″ x 10″ ceramic-coated grill grate (for grilling steak, salmon, shrimp, other food items)
  • Ceramic-coated veggie tray
  • 5 kebab skewers
  • 20-recipe book
  • Manual book
  • Grill grate cleaning brush
  • and a grilling cheat sheet (shown separately below)

 

Using the grill was pretty self-explanatory but I love that there was a grill cheat sheet and recipe book.

The grill cheat sheet had a chart showing the recommended time of use for the different types of food you plan to cook as well as the type of function. 

The recipe book came with 20 recipes that you can try in the Ninja Foodi Grill. I haven’t tried any of the recipes shown yet but all the images looked tempting!

What are all the functions?

I mentioned this earlier but I figured it would be easier to clarify all the wonderful functions this Ninja Foodi Grill can perform with the image below.

You can see that on the left side, there’s the grill function controls. There are four grilling options: low, med, high, and max.

Each grill option is best used for the popular ingredients provided in the grill cheat sheet (i.e. steak, chicken breasts, burgers, salmon, sausages, or hot dogs).

On the right side, you will notice four other functions: air crisp, dehydrate, roast, and bake. 

Depending on the function you’d like to perform, you may select any of those functions and the Ninja Foodi Grill will begin to pre-heat before you can place food items inside for cooking.

Pre-heating takes approximately 8 minutes for the grilling option.

My First Time Grilling Steak

The first thing I wanted to try with the Ninja Foodi Grill was to, of course, grill steak! 

Set-up: I placed the cooking pot inside the machine with the grill grate inside the cooking pot (refer to image chart above for details). 

Per the instructions, it is recommended to use a tablespoon of oil. I used Avocado oil with my steak and then seasoned generously with kosher salt. I set it aside for around 10 minutes.

Note: It is not recommended to use olive oil with the Ninja Foodi Grill because it does not have a high smoke point. Use other oils including avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. 

I selected the “High” heat option per the grilling cheat sheet and allowed the grill to pre-heat approximately 8 minutes. The “High” heat option is automatically set to grill up to 11 minutes but I opted for an additional 4 minutes by increasing the time. 

(Here’s an image of the steak at 4 minutes left to go!)

One neat feature I love is that you can have a “sneak peak” with the grill, which means that each time you open the lid to check on the food, the grill will pause and then resume once the lid closes again. 

This is convenient since I was able to flip the steak to cook how I wanted it to.

Throughout the time, I consistently checked on the steak just to make sure it was cooking appropriately. Check the final results below!

Total amount of time to grill steak: 15 minutes

Personal Thoughts: I feel like the Ninja Foodi Grill did a great job on the steak. I did find it tricky to start with because I wasn’t familiar with the heat temperature so I checked on the steak a few times to make sure it wasn’t over-cooking. Overall, it was delicious though!

Air-Frying Fries

The next food item I tried was the air crisp function with fries. 

My husband decided that he wanted to complement steak with fries on this meal so it was the perfect opportunity for me to give it a try.

Set-up: I placed the crisper basket inside the cooking pot (refer to image chart above for details).

To start with fries, I followed the instructions provided in the recipe book: Use a temperature of 350°F for a cook time of 20-25 minutes for 1 Ib. of fries. 

See fries below.

Total amount of time to fry fries: 25 minutes

One thing I like is that it is not necessary to use oils with fries and you can just air-fry it as-is. 

In general, fries contain enough oil already so being able to air-fry without the extra oil was comforting. Throughout the cook time, I paused the unit mid-way to shake the fries and let it continue cooking for the remaining time.

As expected, the fries did turn out crispy. I was able to crunch and munch on the fries and the taste was superb!

Personal Thoughts: The air crisp function worked out well with fries. It made the fries super crunchy – which is what I like – and I didn’t have to do much “cooking” at all!

Cleaning the Grill

Cleaning the grill was fairly easy, which is what I like about the Ninja Foodi Grill.

After each use, you must allow the base to cool before removing the unit (cooking pot/grill grate/crisper basket). In other words, let everything inside the grill cool down before cleaning.

I was able to thoroughly clean the grill grate once it cooled down by using the cleaning brush that came in the box. I cleaned using Dawn dish soap!

In addition, I removed the splatter shield for cleaning after it cooled. The splatter shield is the top part of the lid (from the inside). You can remove it by lifting up the top piece with the arrow (shown below). 

I hand-washed each piece but you may perform a deep clean of all the removable parts in the sink (excluding the unit) by soaking it in the sink before hand-washing or, even better, you can place it in the dishwasher for cleaning!

All parts are dishwasher-safe except the unit. 

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

My first experience with the Ninja Foodi Grill left a positive impression and I love that it minimized the time I spend in the kitchen cooking meals. 

Instead of walking back and forth in the kitchen between my stove top and the sink (where I stand most of the time), I was able to place food inside this incredible invention and just sit on the chair waiting for it to be cooked.

This is a mom’s dream come true after a long day at work. 

The total amount of time it took me to cook my meal (steak and fries) was a total of 40 minutes – which was not bad at all!

Considering that I also deal with back pain, it made me physically less tired since I was able to rest most of the time. 

I also enjoy that the food cooks incredibly fast but I recommend staying on top of your toes when it comes to grilling meat.

Always check in and out on to make sure the grill is not over-cooking it. Or, you can also lower the temperature and adjust the time once you find the perfect setting for your meal. 

Although I have yet to try the roast, bake, or dehydrate function, I will post more as I explore the different ways of cooking with the Ninja Foodi Grill. 

Total Rating: 4.9/5

Where can I buy the Ninja Foodi Grill? 

Here’s a list of retail stores I know that are currently selling the Ninja Foodi Grill:

Oh, one more thing.

If you enjoyed this post, please share? Others may find it helpful as well!

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