Ninja is a brand that’s achieved cult status in the kitchen appliance world, after launching its smoothie maker to rival the Nutribullet in 2013. Now the brand offers an array of blenders, as well as multi-cookers to rival iconic name Instant Pot and air fryers.
Its latest launch is the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK, which is a dual-zone model that features two cooking drawers. This enables the cooking of foods at different temperatures in one appliance, while also ensuring cooking times can be synced so that both are ready at the same time.
The AF400UK works in much the same way as every other air fryer on the market. It circulates hot air around food to cook them, ensuring the same crisp finish you’d achieve from deep-frying, but using far less oil. Ninja claims the Foodi Max dual-zone air fryer reduces the amount of oil required by 75%.
The new model builds on the previous AF300UK, offering a larger 9.5-litre / 10-quart capacity, which makes it an ideal option for larger households or entertaining. As well as letting you air-fry foods, this model can also roast, bake, dehydrate and reheat. There’s even a mode designed specifically for battered onion rings, popcorn chicken and other frozen foods that are traditionally deep-fried.
However, that larger capacity comes at a price: the AF400UK isn’t cheap at £229.99 / $219.99; and it’s bulky, too, taking up considerable worktop space. Nevertheless, if you regularly cook large quantities, or prepare two different dishes at the same time, it’s worth the investment.
Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK price and availability
- List price: £229.99 / $219.99
The Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air fryer AF400UK, which is known as the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 10-quart Air Fryer with DualZone technology (DZ401) in the US, will set you back £229.99 / $219.99, making it the most expensive air fryer we've tested to date. Currently, it isn’t available in Australia.
Ninja also offers a version with a 7.6-litre / 8-quart capacity, which is more affordable at £199.99 / $179.99. This model is available in Australia for AU$449.99.
- 9.5-litre / 10-quart capacity
- Two separate cooking zones
- Comes with a two frying baskets and crisper trays
The large capacity of the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK makes it a bulky appliance. Measuring 32.5 x 41.5 x 27cm / 13.9 x 12.8 x 17.1inches (h x w x d) and weighing 8.8kg / 19.8lb, this isn’t an appliance you’ll be storing in a cupboard and lifting out every time you need it.
Finished in a stylish matte black with chrome accents, the AF400UK offers two independent cooking zones. You can place different foods into each of the frying baskets, both of which feature a crisper plate, and select different cooking methods and temperatures to prepare items. When it comes to cooking duration, you can set each to complete cooking independently, or utilise the Sync feature that stalls the basket with the shorter cooking time so that the two zones complete at the same time.
The Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone offers six cooking methods: Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Dehydrate, Reheat and Max Crisp, which is designed for frozen foods such as chicken nuggets, battered onion rings and other indulgent treats that would normally be deep-friend. The air fryer has a total capacity of 9.5 litres / 10 quarts, which is split evenly across the two frying baskets.
Cooking temperature ranges from 40ºC / 104ºF to 240ºC / 464ºF, for up to 12 hours at a time – although the latter is at lower temperatures. At its maximum temperature, it can cook for up to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Thankfully, the AF400UK is also easy to clean, as the baskets and crisper plate are dishwasher-safe.
- Crisp homemade fries and chicken wings
- Can synchronise cooking times of both zones
- Lacks a reminder to shake
When it comes to making crisp foods, the Ninja Foodi Max excels. The homemade fries and frozen steak-cut fries were both cooked to perfection, with crisp, crunchy exteriors and soft and fluffy potato inside. Meanwhile, chicken wings had crisp, golden skin while the meat remained succulent and tender.
However, the air fryer wasn’t particularly effective at evenly browning fries. We followed the suggested cooking temperature and duration in the booklet supplied with the Ninja Foodi, but we found the cooked steak-cut fries weren’t consistent in colour, with some looking pale while others were almost burnt around the edges. We shook the food just once to ensure we could confidently compare the results with other air fryers we’ve tested; however, Ninja recommends shaking the contents of the air fryer baskets several times during cooking. Unfortunately, the air fryer lacks a reminder to shake, which may leave you watching the air fryer like a hawk.
We were impressed by the Sync feature, which allows you to cook two different foods with different cooking modes, temperature,s and durations, to be ready at the same time. Alternatively, you can set one zone with a cooking mode, temperature, and duration, and press the Match button to duplicate the settings in both zones, doing away with fiddling with the controls again.
The AF400UK does require you to use more oil for cooking than some models we’ve tested. For chicken wings, for example, the instruction manual suggested brushing each wing with oil, whereas air fryers such as the Instant Vortex Plus require no oil at all when cooking chicken wings. Similarly, 500g / 1.1lb of home-made fries required 1 tbsp of oil. As such, those looking to keep their calorie intake as low as possible, might not appreciate this.
During cooking, the Ninja Foodi Max registered 60.7db for noise on our decibel meter, which is the equivalent to the gentle hum of a refrigerator.
Should I buy the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK?
Buy it if...
You want to cook different foods at the same time
The two separate compartments and the ability to sync cooking times so that both complete at the same time makes the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer ideal for those who regularly cooks different types of foods in an air fryer.
You want to cook large quantities
With a 9.5-litre / 10-quart capacity, this air fryer is ideal for anyone that has several mouths to feed or wants to batch cook.
You cook lots of frozen foods
The Max Crisp feature is ideal for those who regularly cook frozen foods – such as battered onion rings or popcorn chicken – that would usually be deep-fried rather than oven-cooked.
Don't buy it if...
You’re on a budget
At £229.99 / $219.99, the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK is one of the most expensive air fryers we’ve tested, and isn’t suited to those on a tight budget.
You’re short on space
The dual zone and large capacity of the AF400UK means it’s a bulky appliance. It’s heavy, too, weighing in at 8.8kg / 19.8lb, which means you’ll need to make permanent room for it on a countertop rather than storing it away in a cupboard.
You want a reminder to shake
Air fryers achieve the best results when hot air reaches every inch of the food’s surface, which is the reason you need to shake or turn food regularly while cooking. However, the lack of a reminder function here means that those who prefer a prod should consider a different model.
First reviewed: December 2021
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