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Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer review: we tried the double drawer air fryer to see if it’s a meal prep game changer

Are two drawers better than one? We put this Ninja Foodi Air Fryer through its paces, both in the Test Kitchen and in a busy family home setting.
Food director Fran Abdallaoui using the Ninja air fryer
Food director Fran Abdallaoui with the Ninja Dual Drawer Air Fryer.
Stefanie Maystorovich

As the air fryer continues making inroads into Australian kitchens, it makes sense product innovation will follow. Enter the two drawer air fryer by Ninja, with its promise of six functions in one appliance, and the ability to cook two different foods, using two different cooking methods, at the same time.  With our Test Kitchen experience using basket and oven air fryers for cookbook recipes, we were keen to get across this next evolution. Does it speed up dinner prep? Is it easy to clean? What kinds of meals does the Ninja dual zone air fryer suit?    

To really get to know this popular product – it’s currently Amazon’s No. 1 bestselling air fryer – our food director Fran Abdallaoui put it to the test in the Test Kitchen. Our digital managing editor Sarah McInerney then took it home for a few weeks to cook dinners for her family.

Here’s how we found it…

Women’s Weekly Food’s Ninja Foodi Max XXXL Dual Zone 9.5L Air Fryer (AF400) review verdict

  • GOOD FOR: Solo diners, a couple or a small family wanting the versatility of an air fryer with other functions, and the convenience of two drawers to get dinner on the table, fast!

What we love

  • It’s easy to use and clean.
  • Speedier and easier dinner prep using the sync function.
  • No pre-heating required.
  • It’s a nice looking appliance and not too overbearing on the benchtop.

What you need to know

  • The drawers are quite compact compared to some single drawer machines
  • It has a short power cord.
  • Food takes longer to cook when using both drawers versus one.

What’s so special about the Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer?

This dual air fryer will help you get dinner on the table fast, plus it’s easy to clean.

  • It has six functions – max crisp for reheating frozen food, air fry, roast, re-heat, dehydrate and bake. We tested every function except dehydrate.
  • The function we found most useful was the ability to Sync the two drawers. You put food in each drawer at the same time, for example a whole chicken in one and vegetables in another, program in the different cooking functions, temperatures and times, hit the Sync button and the drawers finish cooking at the same time.
  • If you’re air frying a larger quantity of food and there’s not enough space in one drawer (they are quite compact), split the food over the two drawers and use the Match function to replicate the cooking temperature and time.

Ninja Foodi Max XXXL Dual Zone 9.5L Air Fryer: components and size

Fran Abdallaoui putting the Ninja Dual Air Fryer through its paces in the Test Kitchen.
  • This dual air fryer has two 4.75L capacity drawers and each drawer has a removeable non-stick crisper plate. These elevate the food, allowing air to circulate under and around producing a crispy end result. Excess oil drains underneath the trays and we liked that the food wasn’t sitting in it while it cooks. It’s also really easy to grab the handle and pour that oil out when it’s time to clean up.
  • The drawers themselves are quite compact. We roasted a 1.3kg and 1.4kg chicken, and it was quite snug in there, although the box says it can handle up to 2kg. Drawer size is also a limitation if wanting to bake in the air fryer, as special tins are needed to fit in the drawers. A banana bread recipe became two small banana loaves, for instance, leaving nothing to freeze for school lunches. But it worked fine for small portions eaten that same day. The kids loved that afternoon tea!
  • The crisper drawers and baskets are all dishwasher safe, although handwashing is recommended by Ninja to extend the life of the drawers. We did find the drawers retain a bit of water in the door section so suggest inverting the drawers so they can drain and dry out for a few hours. The main unit can be wiped down with a damp cloth.
  • The Ninja Dual Air Fryer comes with a two year warranty.

How to use Ninja Dual Air Fryer

The control panel of this Ninja Foodi air fryer is really easy to use with up and down arrows for temperature and time, a dial for cooking method, and buttons to select either Sync or Match.  Each drawer – Ninja calls them zones – has its own control panel and a small screen where selections are displayed. Once cooking starts this is where the countdown is shown.

The Ninja Dual Air Fryer’s Sync mode in action, the chicken is roasting in drawer one while the vegetables are on hold in drawer two until their cooking time begins.

It’s worth noting when both drawers are in use, food takes longer to cook. So recipes or cooking instructions written for single drawer air fryers will need to have the cooking time tweaked a little. Also, in Sync mode, if a drawer is open for more than 2 minutes cooking will be cancelled and each drawer will need to be manually set to cook again. Tricky if you haven’t paid attention to how much longer the dishes need to cook for.

Results from our test

In our Test Kitchen test we made a classic roast dinner, using drawer one to roast a small chicken and drawer two to air fry potatoes, carrots and red onion. We also used the air fry function on some frozen money bag appetisers.

These chicken nibbles (pictured left) were cooked much faster in the Ninja air fryer compared to the oven. The frozen money bags were high on the crunch factor (pictured right).

At home, we also tried the same chicken roast with a slightly larger chicken, as well as air frying chicken nibbles (five star review from the kids), chicken nuggets, panko-crumbed chicken tenders, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and salmon fillets, baking mini-banana bread loaves, and using the max crisp function for sweet potato and regular fries (the kids couldn’t believe their luck!). All massive hits.

“During my two weeks with the machine, I barely used the oven. Some of our family favourite dinners were on the table faster and I loved that the drawers and crisper trays can be cleaned in the dishwasher.”

Sarah McInerney, Digital Managing Editor. Women’s Weekly Food

Overall, is Ninja Foodi Max XXXL Dual Zone 9.5L Air Fryer worth it?

We were really impressed with this Ninja double air fryer. It’s easy to use, versatile with all the different cooking methods and easy to clean. The dual drawers and the Sync function were a real time saver when this model was tested at dinner time in a home setting.

Where to buy Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer

The Ninja Dual Zone air fryer comes in two sizes:

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