The smell, oil disposal, and health risks of deep-frying outweighed the great taste of the deep-fried food. Not many people have deep fryers these days for those very reasons.
An air fryer does not fry food in the traditional sense. It circulates very hot air to cook your food and can successfully make it crisp on the outside like deep-frying, but without the high calories you would consume if you fried the food the old way.
And it cooks the food in less time as well without the greasy spatter and inconvenience of deep or pan frying. I am posting a picture of the chicken we prepared, as well as the sweet potato fries we made as a side dish.
There are many recipes available, but I found one which used a seasoned rub to coat the chicken. Air frying could produce a crispier skin, but we have not yet tried that with chicken.
“It is important to coat foods first with flour, then with egg, and then with breadcrumbs. Because the air fryer has a powerful fan as part of its mechanism, breading can sometimes be blown off.
Second, you are generally going to have to move the food around in the middle of the cooking session. Push the basket back into place, and the timer picks up where you left off.
One note: the crisper plate, which is used for preparing some foods, including the chicken we cooked, has what look like rubber feet. I was tempted to remove the feet before placing the crisper plate at the bottom of the basket, but the instructions did not mention doing this, and shows illustrations with the feet in place.
This thing will Bake, Air Fry, Dehydrate and Crisp! Living in a warmer climate I really like the idea that this doesn't heat up the kitchen anything like a conventional oven would.
Each preset program per Ninja is set to have optimized fan speeds for better results. Preheated the air fryer for three minutes as per the instructions and then placed the two chicken breasts in the basket.
The frozen French fries we cooked had a nice crisp exterior. Chicken wings that we brought home from a restaurant were quickly heated all the way through.
I'm looking forward to trying roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts recipes. I'd note that cooking times are usually a range so one has to keep an eye on items that they don't get overcooked or too crispy.
It is very easy to just pull the basket out by the handle and then stop or proceed with cooking based on the desired oneness one wants. The air fryer fan will turn off when the basket is removed and then resume once pushed back in.
The appliance has a minimal footprint so it doesn't take up a lot of counter space. I'm looking forward to finding some additional recipes online to experiment with the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL.
And don’t get me started about Cheesy Broccoli Tots!!!! I've cooked so many foods with this ranging from taters to fish to hot wings.
My last one was a 5.2qt fryer, this Ninja is a 5.5qt, yet is has a much, much smaller footprint on the countertop than the previous one. Opening the box, a non-traditional battleship gray air fryer, as opposed to the most common black bodied appliances greets you.
A simple power cord and instruction/recipe guide and that is about it to complete the unboxing. Plug it in, it beeps, the display lights up in a nice white on black and gets you ready to choose your settings.
Default appears to be 20 minutes, but you can choose up and down from there to dial in exactly what you want. It's recommended to preheat the air fryer for about 3 minutes before using, and in my experience, that really helps out a lot.
Yes, that's it, actually in less than 2 minutes you have pizza reheated to perfection, with a nice crisp crust again, and soft toppings! We chose to do untreated, fried chicken, a healthier option.
Take the defrosted chicken breast, spray the smooth side with olive oil, then put your seasoning on. Place the ceramic coated air fryer plate in the bottom before preheating, then lay your chicken breasts seasoned side down on the plate.
Next test was store bought, frozen Garlic Bread. The air fryer has the capacity to put a whole box, that's 8x 1" thick slices of Garlic Bread into the basket.
Stand the Garlic Bread on it's end, so they are all upright in the basket. If they have too much moisture in them, the air fryer will have a challenge to make them crispy, as all its trying to do to start with it dry them out, so the cooking time takes a lot longer than you imagine.
I wasn't incredibly successful with homemade fries on my first attempt, but have learned that they really do need to be as dry as possible before putting them into the fryer. Simply dump out a bag into the air fryer, set the temp to 390, and the timer for 12 minutes.
Every 3 minutes or so, shake the basket to move them around a little (don't be too violent, or they will break up), but they are self-sufficient. You can use the included broil rack to stack different foods to cook them at the same time.
And as equally good as the air fryer is at cooking, it is an absolute dream to clean up. When I cooked the fried chicken, looking in the bottom of the basket when done, there was black, burned chicken juice and oil spattered all over the basket.
Cons: My only negatives in this review would be the two-tone beeping, the first tone is fine, the second is a lot higher pitched and annoying, which is a personal thing, but something to be aware of. Secondly, when first out of the box, the basket was a little stubborn at coming out of the opening smoothly.
Also, be aware that in my experience, all air fryers get warm on the outside of the machine. This is normal, but make sure you have a good amount of space around the unit for air circulation.
Aside from those two things, I couldn't be happier with this Ninja Air Fryer Max XL! I’ve also baked in the air fryer and cooked so really yummy potato rounds.