AD – this is a sponsored post with who sent us this Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer for the purposes of this review.

We heard about the Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer at just the right moment. We’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster of priorities when it comes to our family eating habits over the past year. When the pandemic first hit and we were thrown into the unknown, comfort foods (and wine!) were very much needed and consumed in record-breaking amounts. The longer lockdown continued, the more it became necessary to find new, healthier and more long-term appropriate ways of coping with the new normal and I was keen to find convenient but healthy solutions to feed my family. Ninja to the rescue!

The Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer in situ in a family kitchen, with pots and pans in the background

What is the Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer?

It may be quicker to say what the Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer isn’t! It’s a high performance countertop grill and air fryer (as the title may suggest!) but it can also roast, bake, dehydrate and reheat. With an easy to use interface and a very handy temperature probe to ensure the perfect cook, this piece of kit takes all of the guesswork and worry out of cooking whilst offering significant health benefits from the reduced need for oil and a speedier cooking time too.

Four cooked sausages on the grilling plate of the Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill

Why is it good for families?

I don’t know about you, but I seem to be juggling more than ever. Trying to work from home whilst still having our school-age child with us for most of the school day (have you seen my SEN posts, lately?) has been tough, and there’s always a million and one things to be doing at the same time. For me, the ease of use of this Ninja grill means I can set it to preheat whilst I crack on with something else, letting the helpful beeps keep me on track and know exactly when to pop the dinner in.

The temperature probe ensures food (especially meat) is cooked properly and is a total game-changer! After I once attempted to be ‘efficient’ by cooking a joint of pork at lunch time ready for that evening’s dinner whilst working, only to find at 6.30pm when I came to carve it that it still raw in the middle, this function is a god send. That ill-fated pork joint was a write off and I was left feeling stressed and scrabbling around to make something quickly before bedtime, but that’s something that won’t happen now that I can put the Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer to good use.

Homemade chips in the crisping basket of the Ninja Foodi MAX

We didn’t use a lot of oil in our cooking previously, and we’ve always preferred baking to frying when it comes to making our own chips or cooking sausages, but the way the extraction filter works on this air fryer and grill, with the added benefits of a grilling plate and crisping basket, means that food isn’t left to sit in it’s own fat and juices in quite the same way. Using the Air Fry function, our chips were crisp yet fluffy, free of oily residue and with the right amount of seasoning, they were just as delicious whilst having a lightness to them that made them healthier without compromise.

It’s taken me a while to get used to the speed of cooking too! Our oven is a fairly old model (I’m talking decades old rather than a few years!) and it does seem to take longer than most instructions indicate to fully cook our food – so it was a bit of shock to see how quickly the Ninja Foodi does the job.

You can see with these sweet potato wedges that I didn’t quite keep my eye on the ball and they came out slightly darker than I was expecting but they hit the spot nicely for a quick family snack that we all shared during the recent England Euro 2020 football match. There’s also something wrong with the grill function on our oven – turning it on creates plumes of dangerous smoke – so we never use it. I cannot tell you how excited Pickle was that I could make him cheese on toast for his lunch today!

The Sleek and Stylish Design

It’s a fairly sizeable appliance, but it’s sleek design and smooth edges mean it doesn’t look out of place staying on top of our countertop and I’m more than happy keeping it out on display, ready for action at a moment’s notice. It has a bit of a pizza oven vibe to it aesthetically which also makes me feel bang on trend! The touch interface to choose the cooking option is easy to use and the display is easy to see, with handy sounds indicating when action needs to be taken.

Close up of the Ninja Foodi MAX showing temperature display and cooking countdown

Is it worth the price?

It is fairly expensive, with a retail price of £249 (correct at the time of publishing), but when you consider the versatility it offers as well as the added convenience and health benefits, I feel like it’s very quickly going to earn it’s own keep. It’ll also be a great appliance to have to hand if and when we ever want a new kitchen fitted or need to turn our gas off. I’m really enjoying getting to grips with it, and can’t wait to properly test out the dehydration function too – I’m imagining all the fruit snacks I can make for our family days out.

For me, the stress it relieves on a number of levels mean it’s a price worth paying. It’s not a necessity, but it has certainly made life a lot easier even in the short time we’ve had it so far.

Beef steak dinner with air fried potato cubes, onion rings and garden peas

This above dinner just shows how versatile this machine is: I used it to grill our steaks, and air fry these potatoes as well as cook a few frozen onion rings too (which really benefited from not sitting in their own oil, they were so crisp and tasted fresher somehow?). Food just got a whole lot healthier and more exciting in our household, and I can’t wait to keep testing out the Ninja Foodi MAX further and reaping all the time-saving, stress-relieving and oil-reduction benefits.