Getting started with the Ninja Dual Air Fryer

by Hint of Helen
Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK

New to the Ninja Dual Air Fryer? Firstly, try not to be overwhelmed – there are SO many delicious meals you can make it in with very minimal effort, it just takes a little practice and inspiration.

I see many people posting on social media saying they’ve just got one and are stuck for what to make in it – if you’re like this, I’d recommend taking a look at my Ninja Dual Air Fryer recipes, a mixture of meal inspo and recipes for dinners ranging from kebabs to casseroles!

I’ve listed a few tips for beginners below and if you have any of your own to add, please let me know in the comments below.

Types of things to cook in the Ninja Dual Air Fryer

Essentially, I treat my air fryer like my oven AND frying pan. Pretty much anything I can cook in the oven goes in the air fryer (I rarely use my oven anymore), and anything I would have traditionally fried on the hob, also does! Here’s an example of foods I often cook:

  • Frozen food like oven chips, fish fingers, breaded chicken, battered fish, veggie burgers, hash browns, sweet potato chunks, frozen vegetables etc.
  • Meat – such as marinated chicken breast, steak, burgers, sausages, even a whole roasted chicken
  • Veggies – fresh or frozen work a treat – of course, fresh potato chips are very popular, I also do a mixture of chopped onions and peppers, broccoli, roasted carrots and parsnips – pretty much everything turns out nicely

When making all of these meals I treat it like I’m either grilling or baking them though – aka toss them all in oil and marinate them all over and pop them in, I don’t often stir or mix during the cooking unless something would need to be turned halfway through.

Cooking times and temperatures

The Ninja definitely cooks much quicker than my oven – and this bit does take a bit of getting used to. If you’re new, I recommend always erring on the side of caution and checking your food a little earlier than you’d expect it to be done – it really is quick.

For instance – I tend to take about 5 minutes off the cooking time for most frozen foods. If it’s frozen chips which should take 12 mins, they’re often ready in 6. Fish fingers in about 9-10 minutes, frozen chips about 15 minutes. Bear in mind there’s no pre-heating time needing to be factored in, which is great.

A rule of thumb I’ve seen shared on social media is ‘ follow the instructions for fan oven but reduce the temperature by 10-20% and reduce time by 20%’

Should I pre-heat the Ninja dual air fryer?

I rarely do! It doesn’t need pre-heating really ever. BUT for some recipes, I do recommend it – aka for those with grated cheese, as the fan tends to blow the cheese around the drawer, with a pre-heated draw the cheese melts instantly avoiding this happening.

The different cooking modes

One of the main selling points of the Ninja Foodi Max dual-zone air fryer is the multiple cooking modes – at first, I thought I’d mostly just use the air fryer mode, but I really do use most of them now, there are lots of nice uses for different food.

The ninja has 6 cooking functions – Air Fry, Max Crisp, Roast, Bake, Dehydrate, Reheat.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d use many of them, but I truly use them all (I haven’t used dehydrate yet, or can think of when I would, honestly) but the rest are great!

Here’s what Ninja say about the different modes:

Air Fry – Up to 75% less fat than traditional frying methods***. Enjoy guilt-free fried favourites using little to no oil. From delicious chicken wings, fish and chips, burgers and sausages to tasty fajitas, sweet potato fries and chunky chips. How does air frying work? Super-hot air is evenly circulated around food to remove excess moisture and give it a delicious golden finish.

Max Crisp – Cook from frozen to crispy in minutes. Temperatures of 240°C evenly cook and crisp your favourite frozen foods. From breaded scampi and chicken nuggets to golden French fries, onion rings and more. Perfect for quick, delicious dinners.

Roast – Not just for Sundays, enjoy your favourite roast meat, fish and vegetables any day of the week. From a roast chicken, salmon fillets, golden chicken breasts and roast pork chops with crispy crackling to fluffy roast potatoes, balsamic-roasted tomatoes and sweet potato hash.

Bake – Easily cook pasta bakes with a crispy topping. Enjoy freshly-baked bread and homemade sweet treats, from muffins and brownies to cakes and cookies.

Dehydrate – Create delicious dried fruit snacks, from apple to mango, banana to pineapple. Enjoy homemade vegetable crisps, beef jerky, and even make your own dried herbs.

Reheat – Restore leftovers to that delicious fresh-out-of-the-oven finish, perfect for reviving leftover pizza, quiche, spring rolls and more.

Cleaning the Ninja Dual Air Fryer

I actually mainly bought the Ninja Dual Air Fryer as the baskets are dishwasher safe. I do find the whole unit easy to clean – just wipe over with a damp cloth and some kitchen spray. However, the trays are a bit tougher!

I do tend to pop them in the dishwasher about once a week, and hand-wash them all other times (using soapy water). I advise you to clean the drawers after every use to stop a build-up which would be harder to clean eventually.

Ninja recommends you do not clean the cooking elements.

More questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to answer!

You may also like:


Kay nurse 25th November 2023 - 9:26 pm

Just received my dual ninja today, it has no instructions in the box so not sure how to use

John F 10th January 2024 - 4:30 pm

This was very helpful to read, thanks! We have a Ninja 10.4l FlexDrawer Dual zone and one thing I found was it cools down pretty much almost as quickly as it heats up due to an automatic cooling cycle coming on after it finishes cooking. Hence for some foods like roast carrots/parsnips you need to get them out and serve them immediately or they turn soggy and limp. A quick blast of max-crisp can help a bit, though.

Hint of Helen 1st February 2024 - 11:03 am

oh thanks for this John! That makes sense on why they go soggy so quickly! I always thought it was just the steam being trapped in there somehow… i’ll try the max crisp next time!


Leave a Comment