Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: which multi-cooker is best

Ninja Foodi with all its accessories on a wooden kitchen counter
(Image credit: Amazon)

The first Instant Pot came to market over a decade ago and created a storm in the kitchen appliances market. Since then, multi-cookers have come a long way and though Instant Pot was the first, it didn’t take long for other brands to hop on the trend for multi-functional countertop cookers. One of Instant Pot’s most successful rivals is the Ninja Foodi and both brands have a range of different models to choose from.

The best Instant Pot can replace several other appliances which is part of the appeal of this one pot cooker. In fact most multi-cookers function as a pressure cooker and slow cooker and many others can be used as a yogurt maker, dehydrator, and sous vide, newer models even have air frying capabilities.

At first glance, most multi-cookers can perform the same range of core functions and it can be tricky to figure out if there are any differences at all, particularly if you’re new to countertop cookers. Here we’re comparing Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot, delving into the features each brand offers, how much they cost, and what you can cook in them. 

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: What do these machines do?

Both Ninja Foodi and Instant Pot offer a range of appliances that are designed to carry out lots of different cooking tasks. The brands have created everything from rice cookers to blenders but for this comparison, we’re mainly focusing on the multi-cookers that each manufacturer offers.

The first Instant Pot was designed to cook food at intense high temperatures in a tightly sealed pot. Ninja Foodi machines can do the same, although both brands have since diversified by launching air fryers too - both the Instant Vortex Plus and the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer made it into our round-up of the best air fryers

We’ll come onto the full features each model offers shortly, but essentially, both Ninja Foodi machines and Instant Pots carry out multiple functions in one and can do anything from pressure cooking to slow cooking, and rice cooking.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: price 

Since Ninja and Instant Pot make so many different appliances, we’ll compare the Instant Pot Duo Crisp which has 11 functions in one, and the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 Pro Pressure Cooker. The Ninja was more expensive, but since Ninja launched its new range of one lid multi-cookers, the price of this model has dropped to $119/ £199/ AU$349, while the Instant Pot is just under $189 / £119/ AU$231.

On the whole though, Ninja Foodi machines are often more expensive than most Instant Pot cookers - and you’ll likely find Instant Pots on sale. You can pick up an Instant Pot - the Instant Pot Duo for around $89 / £64 / AU$114 as this model has been around for a while now. 

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: features 

Instant and Ninja offer a large range of multi-cookers and some are more basic than others so we’ll focus again on the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 Pro Pressure Cooker. We’ve listed the features each has below. 

Instant Pot Duo Crip features:

Pressure cooks, sautés, steams, sous vides, slow cooks, warms, air fries, roasts, bakes, broils, and dehydrates. 

Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 Pro Pressure Cooker features

Pressure cooks, steams, slow cooks, makes yogurt, sous vides, air fries, bakes, roasts, broils, dehydrates, and warms. 

Both the Instant Pot and the Ninja Foodi offer the same functions with the exception of yogurt making and dehydrating. So, what else sets these appliances apart? Price will obviously be a key deciding factor for many and the Ninja Foodi model is more expensive, but aside from that, the capacity each cooker offers will also be worth keeping in mind. 

The Ninja Foodi Pro Pressure Cooker has a 6.5 quart/6.1-liter capacity, whereas the Instant Pot Duo Crisp has a larger 8-quart/7.6-liter capacity, so you’ll be able to fit more food in the Instant Pot. 

When it comes to power, the Instant Pot model has a 1,500W heating element, and the Ninja Foodi has a wattage of 1,460, making the Instant Pot slightly more powerful. Both of these machines are pretty big and will take up quite a bit of space on your kitchen countertop. If you’re planning on moving your appliance after using it, you might be interested to learn that these models weigh roughly the same at just over 10kg each. 

Both of these appliances come with some accessories as standard. The Ninja Foodi Pro Pressure Cooker has a crisper lid, pressure cooking lid, a dishwasher-safe non-stick cooking pot, non-stick cooking plate, a broil rack, and a recipe book. 

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp also comes with an additional lid for air frying, a multi-level air fryer basket, steam rack, broil tray, and a protective pad.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: cleaning

You can place the cooking pots from Ninja Foodi machines and Instant Pots in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Ninja Foodi models have non-stick cooking pots so you shouldn’t end up with dried-on bits of food that are hard to get rid of, whereas Instant Pots have stainless steel pots. 

As Ninja Foodi machines feature a cooking pot with a non-stick coating, you’ll have to avoid using any metal utensils with it in case you scratch off this coating. 

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: Are the recipes the same?

Not always, but given that these two multi-cookers offer very similar functions, it’s usually easy enough to adapt recipes to make them work in whichever brand you have.  There are various different capacity Ninja Foodi and Instant Pot models, so check that your appliance has a large enough capacity for the recipe you’re looking at. Then, it may just be a case of tweaking the settings to suit your multi-cooker. For example a slow cooker or pressure cooker recipe designed for one brand, should work in the other, but the temperature settings on offer may not be exactly the same. Once you've interpreted the settings for your machine though, you should get the same result.

Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot: verdict  

Spec-wise the Ninja Foodi and the Instant Pot are pretty much level pegging. As both offer 11 functions in one machine, you won’t be missing out on either option. 

If you need all the cooking space you can find, the Instant Pot will be your champion here as it has a bigger capacity than the Ninja Foodi. Of course, how much you pay might be the biggest deciding factor of all and if that’s the case, the Instant Pot is the cheaper option. 

The short answer is that there aren’t masses of differences between these two popular brands so if you’re struggling to decide which is best for you, consider how much space you have to store a multicooker, how much you’d like to spend, and what size capacity suits your needs. 

Sophie Bird

Sophie writes about all things appliance-related and is currently the Home Editor at TechRadar's sister site, Top Ten Reviews. When she's not testing coffee machines and appliances, Sophie is thinking of eating delicious food, and asking people what they're having for dinner.