The Foodi MAX differs from traditional multi-cookers for sheer scope and size. It make soups, stews and curries, plus twin lids mean it can double as an air fryer, too, browning everything from meat to vegetables, steak and seafood. In our tests it delivered great results, and was effortless to use. However, it’s big, so consider whether you need the capacity and functionality before you invest.
- Large capacity
- Nine cooking functions
- Dishwasher-safe parts
- No storage
- Very large
- Review Price: £229.99
- 350 x 420 x 380mm
- One cooking compartment
- Pressure cook, steam, slow cook / yoghurt , sear, air crisp , grill, bake/roast and dehydrate cooking modes
- 7.5-litre capacity
- Cooking pot, Cook & Crisp basket, pressure lid, 2-tier reversible rack, silicone lifter, 2 x roasting forks, apron
If there’s one problem with kitchen gadgets, it’s that you can end up with a cupboard full of them, all taking up space. While you could hardly call the Ninja Foodi MAX 7.5L Multi-Cooker OP500UKDB small, it’s certainly a tidier solution than buying multiple appliances.
As the name suggests, this model can pressure cook, air fry, slow cook, roast, grill, steam, bake, sear and dehydrate. If you want one device that can pretty much do it all, then this is as close as you’ll get. This particular model is a special edition unit, which ships with a silicone sling, roasting forks and apron, which are lacking from the standard product. Initially sold for £229.99, it’s currently on sale for £179.99 from Ninja while stocks last.
Ninja Foodi MAX OP500UKDB – What you need to know
- Homemade chips test – A few pieces of potato emerged pale but cooked; others were golden and crisp.
- Poultry test – Cooking a whole chicken was quick, and the meat remained juicy. Skin turned golden, but not as brown and crispy as it would have had it been cooked in an oven
- Vegetables test – Very effective at steaming corn on the cob, so each kernel was soft and sweet, but not overcooked.
Related: Best air fryer
Ninja Foodi MAX OP500UKDB design and features – Does everything, but lots of extras to store
Including the word MAX in the product name should prepare you somewhat for just how big this unit is: measuring 350 x 420 x 380mm and weighing 11.3kg, it’s a beast. There’s good reason for this size, though. Inside you’ll find a 7.5-litre cooking pot, which offers up a huge amount of flexibility, allowing you to cook everything from stews to an entire roast chicken.
This product ships with two lids: a standard fold-down lid that houses a heating element; and a screw-on pressure cooking lid, too.
You can attach a range of accessories to the cavernous 7.5-litre cooking pot. For air frying, there’s a Cook & Crisp Basket, which has a large 5.7-litre capacity. Then, there’s a two-tier wire rack, which raises food off the base and is perfect for roasting or steaming.
New to this model are the silicone lifter, which makes it easier to add and remove ingredients or your own pots, plus two meat forks for adding and removing poultry or joints of meat. Ninja throws in an Apron, too. All these accessories won’t fit inside the Foodi MAX for storage, so you’ll need a fair amount of cupboard space to house it all.
You can buy additional accessories, too, including a loaf pan, cake tin and skewer stand.
Although the Foodi MAX can do a lot, Ninja has made it easy to use. On the front panel, a simple programme selector lets you choose the cooking mode, from pressure cook, steam, slow cook (which is also the yoghurt mode), sear, air crisp (effectively, air fry), grill, bake/roast and dehydrate. Next, select the desired temperature and cooking time and you’re good to go.
Some handy cooking charts are supplied with the appliance, which means you’ll have a good starting point to work out how to use all of those features.
The fact that most parts of the Ninja Foodi MAX are dishwasher-safe is welcome, although the bulkier containers are easier to wash by hand; otherwise, they’d practically take up the entire dishwasher. The biggest faff is that the silicone ring needs to be removed from the pressure cooker lid and washed each time. Despite doing so, the ring continues to pick up odour, which is common for pressure cookers; Ninja sells replacements for this reason. It’s worth having different rings for sweet and savoury dishes.
Ninja Foodi MAX OP500UKDB performance – Excellent results across the board
Starting with home-cooked chips, the large basket made it easy to fit in a decent-sized portion. However, since this model has a pull-out crisper, rather than a drawer, shaking food partway through cooking is more difficult. You’ll either need to put on a pair of oven gloves, or use tongues to move food around.
Even so, the results from the Cook & Crisp basket were excellent, pretty much as good as those from any air fryer. Most of the chips were nicely browned, without being burnt at the edges, and there were only a couple of chips that were a little pale.
Next, I put a whole chicken into the basket, using the Tendercrisp method of cooking, which uses pressure-cooking to start, followed by air crisping to finish off. Cooking time was fast, at just 35 minutes, although it took seven minutes to get the Foodi MAX up to pressure. The result, was a tender and juicy chicken, packed full of flavour, all cooked in a fraction of the time that it would have taken in an oven.
Steaming corn on the cob using the wire rack was simple, too, with cooking times similar to those of a tabletop steamer; the Foodi MAX vented only a small amount of steam as it cooked, though. And, here, you can finish cooking using the grill function to add colour and texture.
Finally, it was also possible to use the Ninja Foodi MAX to ferment yoghurt, although note it takes 20 minutes to heat up the cooker, then an hour to cool it to the right temperature. Even so, following 12 hours we had a bowl of thick and creamy yoghurt.
Should you buy the Ninja Foodi MAX Multi-Cooker OP500UKDB?
Is the Ninja Foodi MAX the right product for you? Well, that rather depends on what you want to do. If you’re simply looking for air-frying capability, then the Ninja Air Fryer Max AF160UK is a little smaller, yet will still hold an entire chicken. The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone 7.6L Air Fryer, on the other hand, has two drawers for combination cooking.
If you want to expand your repertoire to use different forms of cooking, and need the capacity to cook for four or more, then the Ninja Foodi MAX Multi-Cooker OP500UKDB is an exceptional buy. Not only does it offer multiple cooking options, but you can combine those different modes, too – with Tendercrisp to mix pressure and air crisp features, for example.
For batch cooks, keen entertainers and healthy eaters, the Ninja Foodi MAX Multi-Cooker OP500UKDB is the ultimate do-everything kitchen appliance.
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