The Ninja Air Fryer Max AF160UK makes few compromises. It offers generous capacity sufficient for several portions, plus the Max Crisp function means it can do more of what an oven can but faster – and it’s only about £30 more than the standard-sized AF100UK. Maybe not ideal is you don’t require the extra capacity, for everyone else it offers a means to make crispy low-fat fries, healthy snacks and roast meat without having to hang around for the oven – and in this regard the Air Fryer Max blows away the competition.
- Generous capacity
- Six handy presets
- Larger worktop footprint
- No power cable storage
- Heavier than most air fryers
- Review Price: £149.99
- Ceramic-coated crisper plate
- 360 x 250 x 320mm 5.2kg
A larger version of Ninja’s popular AF100UK Air Fryer, it isn’t just more generous capacity that the Ninja Air Fryer Max AF160UK has on its side. It can also reach a sizzling 240ºC with an additional Max Crisp setting that brings extra crunch to frozen foods. As such, you can say goodbye to soggy breaded fish, mozzarella sticks or chicken nuggets without having to resort to the oven.
In fact, the AF100UK claims to cook up to 50% faster than fan ovens (tested with fish fingers and sausages). While this higher temperature setting sets it apart from rivals, you’ll still find everything that’s great about the AF100UK. This includes a dehydrate option for making jerky or dried fruit or veg snacks, and a removable ceramic-coated plate for extra crispy chips.
- Large and bulky, you’ll need a fair amount of space to store this
- The huge capacity drawer is ideal for large families
- Simple and intuitive controls
The Air Fryer Max’s large capacity would be irrelevant if it were tricky to use, but luckily, it’s effortless. The control panel of named presets, up and down buttons for altering time and temperature plus a large, clear digital display make it incredibly simple to set and start.
Two other functions – Bake and Dehydrate – give it extra functionality. The former for desserts, while the latter works at the lower temperatures (60ºC or 70ºC) required for drying out fruit slices over several hours, or making jerky – which can be pasteurised afterwards using the Roast function.
On the design front, it’s almost identical to the AF100UK apart from in size and an extra button, with the same style of removable crisper plate and pan. Both are coated with ceramic, meaning that cleaning up by hand was fuss-free, plus they were dishwasher-safe.
- Cooks quickly and efficiently
- Reheat mode makes the most of left-overs
- Enough space to cook large amounts of food
Most air fryer owners will regale the joys of speedy hot-air cooking with little or no oil – whether it’s catering for kids who have come home hungry, grabbing a bite before going out for the evening, or when dinner needs to stretch to an extra portion. Where the Air Fryer Max excels is in making these situations faster and easier, with its combination of up to 240ºC Max Crisp setting and large-capacity basket (which can make up to 1kg of chips or even most of a full English breakfast).
The Max Crisp preset isn’t just an almighty temperature boost – it also provides super-fast airflow to first thaw and then crisp frozen food in minutes. For example, I was able to cook chicken nuggets from frozen in just nine minutes, while potato waffles started to singe in the same time frame.
The usual Air Fry setting doesn’t lag, either. The fresh potato chips I made were lightly tossed in a tablespoon of oil and took 25 minutes at 200ºC, emerging beautifully crispy and golden. Ninja estimates that cooking chips this way uses up to 75% less fat than deep frying, and while I felt that the results weren’t exactly the same as deep frying, they were still a good alternative.
One of the other notable functions is Reheat, which I used to warm up slices of takeaway pizza. The preset time of 10 minutes proved to be too long as the topping started to burn, but the 170ºC temperature produced a box-fresh crunchy crust with no trace of sogginess.
While smaller air fryers have a limited capacity, the deep 5.2l basket of the Air Fryer Max easily accommodates large items. This includes a 1.2kg chicken, which its recipe booklet estimates can be roasted in around 30-35 minutes – making it a good choice for mid-week dinners.
There’s even a specific Roast function, which has a default time of 25 minutes at 170ºC. I used this to cook three chicken legs, which fitted in comfortably. After the cooking time had elapsed, the meat was still slightly pink inside, so I added a further five minutes. This resulted in meat that wasn’t dry or overcooked and very crispy skin.
You should buy it if…
- You want a lot of capacity
This air fryer has a huge capacity, so you can cook a load of chips or even multiple chicken legs, making it the ideal companion to large families.
- You want intuitive controls
This is one of the easiest air fryers to use, with an intuitive control panel and a manual that gives you a guide to cooking times.
- You want versatility
With cooking modes ranging from Max Crisp to Dehydrate and Reheat, you can do pretty much everything you want in this air fryer.
You should not buy it if…
- Space is a concern
This air fryer is big and bulky, so needs a fair amount of storage room to deal with it.
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It can take up to 5.2-litres of food.
It has these modes: Max Crisp, Air Fry, Air Roast, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate