I Used the Ninja Foodi XL To Make Crispy Wings—These Are My Honest Thoughts

Photo: Ninja
Once a chef has spent enough time in their kitchen, they might grow bored of their regular appliances. They can spice things up with counter-top tools like air fryers, pressure cookers, and sous vides. But, instead of cluttering your space with lots of small appliances, it might just be best to get one tool that does it all. Enter: the Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer.

This tool features 14 programmable cooking functions: pressure cook, steam and crisp, steam and bake, air fry, broil, bake/roast, dehydrate, sear/sauté, steam, sous vide, slow cook, make yogurt, keep warm, and proof. It comes with an 8-quart cooking pot, a 5-quart cook and crisp basket, a reversible rack to cook multiple items at once, and a cookbook with over 45 chef-inspired recipes.

Because it has so many options, you can cook anything in the Ninja Foodi. Chicken, calzones, cakes, cauliflower—you can do it all. And since it comes with a rack, it also allows you to cook multiple foods at once, meaning you can make an entire meal for your family including a protein, grain, and vegetable at once.

Using the Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer

Getting started with my Ninja Foodi was pretty simple. The pot and basket are dishwasher safe, so I put those in to clean and gave the rest of the machine a wipe down. The first recipe I made was fried chicken wings, following a recipe from Dr. Davinah's Eats. Most recipes I saw called for the wings to be split up into pieces. I imagine this is so you can fit more chicken, as full wings create weird angles when stacked and take up more room. However, I wanted to try my wings full, so I cooked 14 of them in two batches.

I started by patting down my wings with a paper towel (Dr. Davinah says the more moisture you remove, the crispier the chicken will be) and coating them in a mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, sea salt, and baking powder. Next, I placed half of them them in the Foodi, using the rack to separate them into two layers with three on the top rack and four on the bottom, and drizzled them with olive oil. To get them nice and crispy, I left them in for 30 minutes. But, because the heating element is at the top of the machine, you have to swap the wings between racks halfway through so they get an even cook. Once this batch was done, I repeated the steps with the rest of my wings, taking an hour in total to cook them.

Chicken wings I made in my Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer.

These wings were delicious. Perfectly crispy with very little oil used. I don't like frying food with grease, mainly because it's messy and annoying. Making the wings in the Foodi was definitely more involved than frying them in oil, but overall simple and easy. In the future, I would likely bite the bullet and cut my wings up so I can cook more at a time.

Who the Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer is good for

Because the Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer is so versatile, it's great for anyone. It makes cooking simple, healthy meals easy. Plus, it's fun to play with, which makes cooking a more enjoyable process. Like all tools like this, the clean-up is a bit tricky. There's a small piece that has to be removed and cleaned that I still haven't figured out how to remove, but the wings were so good that it will be worth taking the time to actually figure it out. If you're stumped on a gift, the Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer makes a perfect option for anyone who likes to cook regardless of their skill level.

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