Looking for a cooking appliance to enhance your existing lineup? Ninja’s versatile offering may just be for you. Lavishing us with choice, the Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK joins Ninja’s fast-growing kitchen appliance collection. Best known for its range of blenders and food processors that rival the likes of Nutribullet in terms of style and functionality, Ninja designs appliances to ‘fit the lifestyles of busy people all over the world’. As well as blenders and food processors, the company offers an intuitive range of choppers, multi-cookers and health grills, all designed to create great tasting food, fast.
The AF300UK is the latest model to join Ninja’s range of dedicated air fryers and multi-cookers, boasting the most sleek finish and convenient features to date. It’s unique in that it provides the ability to produce two separate dishes in record time. This is possible as a result of its Sync mode, which does the hard work for you by ensuring that the food you place inside – meat in one compartment and veg in the other, for example – are both ready at the same time.
The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK offers all the health benefits of a decent air fryer in that it can cook up to 75 per cent faster than a fan oven, with little to no oil required. What’s more, it has the ability to carry out five other tasks, including max crisp for cooking frozen foods such as nuggets and chips; roast, for vegetables and meats; reheat, which is great for leftovers; dehydrate, for making veggie crisps; and bake, for when you fancy something sweet.
Price and availability
You can buy the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK for £179.99 from the Ninja website.
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Design and key features
Ninja’s Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK is unlike any other air fryer we’ve tried. As well as the ability to create healthy air-fried foods using little to no oil, it comes with a unique offering in that it can cook two separate foods at the same time and ensure they’re ready to serve together.
Measuring an ample H31.5 x D35cm, it’s quite a large appliance as countertop gadgets go, but its design is sleek and attractive, as well as functional. A sophisticated black and chrome finish means it’s the kind of gadget you won’t mind keeping out on your worktop – provided you have the room for it.
The appliance feels ergonomic in hand and is luxuriously made. It features two independent cooking drawers that slide out easily to give you an overall capacity of 7.6 litres. Each compartment is deep enough to cook a decent amount of food – be it a 500g batch of sweet potato fries, 1kg of chicken or up to 12 cupcakes, for example. The drawer handles feel comfortable and are easy to insert and take out.
Within each compartment is a crisper plate that helps to brown the food when you air-fry; it ensures that air can circulate around the food to remove excess moisture and ensure a crispy, golden finish. They also stop the food sticking to the base of each compartment. We found them easy to take out for simple cleaning, either by hand or in the dishwasher.
As well as air frying, the device has the ability to max crisp, roast, reheat, dehydrate and bake, too, and all these features are clearly marked on the digital control panel. The countdown timer also makes it easy for you to see how much cooking time remains in each section.
At 8.2 kg, lifting the Ninja’s Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK out of the box and positioning it on the worktop is the hardest part of handling the machine. It features clearly marked controls that light up stylishly as soon as you plug in the appliance and turn it on.
The appliance comes with a quick-start guide book, which features recipes for inspirational meals you can cook inside covering chicken, pork, fish, vegetarian dishes and desserts. There are things listed that you wouldn’t necessarily consider air frying – browse between ‘Hunters BBQ Chicken and Chips’ to ‘Sweet and Sour Tofu and Asian Style Vegetables’.
To get a feel for the six-in-one appliance, we used it to perform a number of tasks. Firstly, we air-fried some fresh pork sausages and frozen sweet potatoes. While each zone automatically suggests a set time and temperature, you can easily adjust these to your preference. The guide suggests cooking sausages for around 9 mins at 200 degrees, and the sweet potato fries for around 20 minutes at 190 degrees. Once you’ve programmed your zone, you can then press Sync to ensure the foods finish cooking at the same time, which is a feature we’re most impressed by.
It’s recommended that you check food mid-way through the cook, giving it a shake to ensure food is being cooked evenly – but this almost defeats the whole USP of such a machine, whereby you’re meant to be able to set it and wait for the end to work its magic. That said, trying to get the perfect finish takes some experimentation.
The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK is a powerful machine. Our sausages cooked in super-quick time; in fact, following the suggested time, they were a little overcooked. As mentioned, this will improve as you become familiar with the machine and cooking times, and you’ll soon be creating flavoursome dishes in super-quick time.
We particularly like the fact that you can choose different settings for each compartment. For example, you can roast meat on one side, and bake on the other side. We tested its dual functionality by roasting chopped courgettes in one compartment and reheating lamb cutlets in the other. We were suitably happy with the results.
We also attempted to make a batch of halloumi fries – and were impressed at how well the fries kept their structure while they cooked. We were able to enjoy crispy, melt-in-the-mouth halloumi fries in under five minutes.
Should I buy the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK?
Buy it if…
You’re looking for inspiration. Bored of meal times? The Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer may just make dinner more interesting. Use it to create recipes from the dedicated recipe booklet such as ‘Coconut-lime Cod and Cauliflower Rice’ or ‘Chicken Fajitas with Spicy Roast potatoes’.
You want flexibility in the kitchen. This device will give you six cooking settings in one, which you can access easily – use it to cook roast chicken on one side, and dessert on the other.
You want to avoid deep-fat frying but love the taste. Use this and choose a healthier air-fry option to limit the amount of oil you serve on your food.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re not a fan of fried food. The best thing about this device is its ability to crisp foods in under 20 minutes. If you prefer the taste of saucy slow-cooked dishes, this appliance probably isn’t for you.
You expect the reheat function to act as a microwave. While it does revive leftovers, it doesn’t replace a standard microwave, which can cook ready meals or warm and melt liquids, for example.
You have a lot of mouths to feed. While the 7.5-litre capacity is large, you won’t be able to roast a whole chicken in this device. If you’re looking for something that can cook large batches, it’s worth considering a multi-cooker such as the Ninja Foodi Max Multi Cooker instead.