Ninja is an appliance brand that’s best known for making some of the best blenders and smoothie makers, which rival models from the likes of Nutribullet when it comes to blitzing fruit and pureeing vegetables. However, it also offers an ever-growing range of cooking gadgets that are giving some of the best multi-cookers and best air fryers a run for their money.
The Ninja AF100UK, which is known as the Ninja Air Fryer AF101 in the US, is the brand’s entry-level air fryer, although its price tag means it sits at the top end of the market. It has a 3.8-liter/ 4-quart capacity, which Ninja says is enough for 900g / 2lb of fries, and as well as air-frying, the appliance can also roast, reheat and dehydrate food.
Like all air fryers, the Ninja AF100UK uses considerably less oil compared to deep frying – Ninja claims the Air Fryer AF100UK requires 75% less oil – offering a healthier way to enjoy tasty treats such as fries and chicken wings, which are cooked in a frying basket with holes in the bottom to allow the hot air to circulate around the food.
There are four presets that activate the different cooking functions, each with a default cooking time and temperature, although you can adjust these settings as you see fit using the touch controls on the 3.4cm / 1.26 inch display.
For small households looking for a healthier way to enjoy fries, chicken wings, and other indulgent foods, and which don’t have a lot of countertop space, the Ninja AF100UK is well worth considering.
Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK price and availability
- List price: £119.99 / $119.99
The Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK, which as we've already mentioned is known as the Ninja Air Fryer AF101 in the US, is priced at £119.99 / $119.99, and is available through Ninja’s own website, as well as online retailers including AO.com (opens in new tab) in the UK. It's currently not on sale in Australia.
Ninja also offers the Air Fryer Max AF160, which is called the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL in the US. This has a capacity of 5.2 litres / 5.5 quarts and is available worldwide costing will set you back £149.99/ $159.99 / AU$349.99. Alternatively, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300 and the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400 come with two separate air frying sections so you can cook two different dishes at once. The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer has a 7.6 litre / 8 quart capacity and is priced at £179.99 / $199.99, while the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer can hold 9.5 litre/ 10 quarts and costs £229.99 / $219.99.
- 3.8-liter / 4 quart capacity
- Frying basket and crisper plate are dishwasher-safe
- Four presets covering air frying, roasting, reheating, and dehydrating
The Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK is a circular-shaped air fryer that comes with a dishwasher-safe frying basket and crisper plate. One of the more compact air fryers we’ve tested, measuring 36 x 25 x 23cm / 13.6 x 11 x 13.3 inches (d x w x h), at 3.8 litres / 4 quarts it does have a lesser capacity than many other air fryers on the market. As well as air fry, it can also roast, reheat and even dehydrate, making it as versatile as many of the best air fryers we’ve tested.
The AF100UK has a sleek grey plastic exterior, which can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, and a 3.4cm / 1.26 inch LED display that shows the temperature selected and the remaining cooking time. As we’ve mentioned, there are four presets that activate different cooking functions, each with a default temperature and cooking time, and both the temperature and time can be manually adjusted using buttons on either side of the display.
The air fryer is able to cook for up to an hour at a time, and reaches a maximum temperature of 210C / 410 F. It’s also supplied with a recipe booklet, which offers suggested timings, cooking temperatures and oil quantities for various foods.
- Crisp results for both fries and chicken wings
- Hot air is ejected from the top
- Lacks a reminder for turning/shaking food
The Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK proved to be excellent when it came to crisping foods: from fries to chicken wings, everything we cooked had a satisfying crunch. However, this is in part because every item cooked in the air fryer requires oil – even chicken wings, which can be cooked in rival air fryers such as the Instant Vortex Plus without any oil. The instruction booklet recommended anywhere from 1 tbsp of oil for a 500g / 1.1lb batch of chicken wings to up 3 tbsp for the same-size batch of fries. Some oil does drain away thanks to the design of the crisper plate, but it does slightly reduce the healthiness of the meal you’re cooking.
We found that fries, both homemade and frozen, had fluffy, soft potato inside the crisp shell; however, while the chicken wings had extremely crispy skins, the meat wasn’t as tender and moist as when cooked in rival air fryers. We followed the time and temperature suggestions in the instruction booklet, and in our experience, there was no need to tweak either setting – the results were just right.
The air fryer requires three minutes preheating before use, although there’s no dedicated setting for this – instead, you need to add three minutes to the timer, and it’s up to you to remember to put the food in after the fryer has preheated. We were also disappointed by the lack of a reminder to turn or shake the food part-way through cooking to ensure that items are evenly browned; the AF100UK does, however, offer an audible and visual alert on the completion of cooking.
The fryer has a vent on the top that expels hot air, rather than ejecting it from the back of the device, as many air fryers do, meaning you don’t have to ensure so much free space is left around the machine. During cooking, the AF100UK registered 60db on our decibel meter, which is equivalent to the noise a dishwasher makes mid-cycle. While not the loudest air fryer we’ve tested, it’s not the quietest either; that said, the fryer is only noisy for the duration of the cooking time, and for most dishes that’s around 20 to 30 minutes.
Should I buy the Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK?
Buy it if...
You’re cooking for one or two people
With its 3.8-litre / 4-quart capacity, which is smaller than many other air fryers, the Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK is ideal if you’re cooking for one or two people.
You want different cooking functions
With the ability to roast, reheat and dehydrate, the Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK is a versatile kitchen gadget, meaning you won’t have to clutter up your countertop with so many appliances.
You want to cut down the time you spend in the kitchen
The Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK can really cut down the time you spend cooking, as it can produce crisp fries and chicken wings in just 20 minutes – up to half the time it would take using other cooking methods.
Don't buy it if...
You want to use the minimum amount of oil
Ninja recommends using oil with everything you cook in this air fryer, with the exception of frozen foods. While this amount is considerably less than for deep-frying, it’s more than is required by rival air fryers such as the Instant Vortex or Instant Vortex Plus.
You’re on a budget
There’s no denying that this is one of the more expensive air fryers on the market. If you’re on a tight budget, consider models from Tower, which are more affordable.
You need a reminder to turn food
+It’s important to shake or turn food part-way through air frying to ensure that it’s browned evenly. Unlike many air fryers, the Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK doesn’t offer a reminder for this.
First reviewed: May 2021
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