Ninja Foodi 3-in-1 toaster, grill and panini press review 2022
This appliance will brown your bread, press your paninis and even bake your nuggets. But does it do all its functions well? We tested out these features and found some uneven results.
How many toasters do you know that can cook fish fingers and onion rings? Well, the Ninja Foodi does. Upright, it functions as a regular toaster; flip it on its side and it becomes a grill and panini press, heating beyond 200°C. So your cheese will definitely melt in this thing.
What can you make in a Ninja Foodi 3-in-1?
As with many Ninja kitchen appliances, this one comes with a useful recipe guide to get you started.
When vertical, the Foodi is a 2-slice toaster and even has a bagel program, which can also be found on some toasters. Regular toasting in this machine gives even shade on both sides of the bread but the bagel setting browns the cut side more than the outside. It also has a defrost function which heats bread evenly on both sides for longer on medium heat.
When horizontal, the Foodi offers a world of possibilities (well, 4 to be precise). So the 3-in-1 label is a bit of an understatement.
Make cheese on toast on grill mode, create toasted sandwiches on panini mode, heat croissants and brioches on bake mode and resurrect leftover pizza on reheat mode.
That’s not all. The “bake” function extends to frozen goodies, too. On high temperature, throw in a few chicken nuggets, fish fingers, hash browns or onion rings. You may have to flip these foods halfway through for even cooking.
How well does the Ninja Foodi 3-in-1 toast, grill and bake?
We tested the Foodi with thick sliced white bread. First we selected the lightest toasting mode called “Shade 1” and after 1 minute 45 seconds, the slices came out as white as when they entered, but crunchier. They just about made it into the category of “toast”.
We switched it up to 4 which was straight-down-the-middle toast. Since the toaster was already hot, it took 2 minutes 15 seconds until the toast popped out. But wait: one side was sufficiently browned while the other was white as a sheet.
We amped up the toaster to its max setting – 7. 2 minutes and 50 seconds later some smoke started to rise from the machine. One side was completely charred while the other was slightly amber, yet crunchy.
You can adjust the temperature up to 10 minutes, at which point your smoke alarm will inevitably go off.
Bagels next and we tested these on “Shade 4″. After 2 minutes and 16 seconds they popped out, but were much harder to remove than the slices of bread due to their smaller size. The even colour on both sides was better than the toast colouring. The crunch on both the outside and inside didn’t disappoint, whereas the middle remained soft. A perfectly toasted bagel.
Making a panini meant the Ninja had to transform. Horizontally, that is… We filled our panini with tomato pesto, mozzarella and chorizo, put it on the grill tray and pressed the panini griddle over it. The tray was easy to insert, but wobbled around and felt a tad flimsy. On medium setting it took 13 minutes until it was fully done, which is a long time to wait for a grilled sandwich – normally you’d expect a sandwich toaster to take about half that time.
The Foodi became very hot (too hot to touch) during this process and if you have a small kitchen, that’s likely to get hot, too. At the end, the panini was well toasted on both sides, while maintaining a softer inside. The cheese was melted and the chorizo was hot. It was a nicely toasted panini, but nothing mind-blowing that you wouldn’t get from a regular grill. Also, you can only fit 1 panini in at a time – which seems like a downside, considering its size.
We baked some chips on medium and the machine suggested 10 minutes. After around 8 minutes, we pulled the chips out to have a peek and they looked cooked. They were piping hot, with a slight crunch to the outside while the inside remained soft. A thumbs up from us.
We reheated a wrap in the Foodi. On medium heat, the reheat program runs for 8 minutes; the Ninja beeped and the wrap was nicely grilled on the outside and the reheated lamb chunks inside were also steaming hot. A definite hit.
How big is the Ninja Foodi 3-in-1?
The Foodi is bigger than a standard toaster, but it has only 1 slot. The machine is wide at 42cm and will take up a fair bit of counter space. To put this into perspective, one of the largest air fryers we’ve reviewed is the Ninja OP350UK multi-cooker and this Foodi is a similar width to that. Upright, its height is 22cm and the depth is 15cm.
When the Foodi transforms into a grill, you’ll need to place it horizontally. This increases the depth to 23cm due to the flip-foot hinge that secures it in place. It weighs just over 5kg, so it’s not a burden, but still heavier than your regular 2-slice toaster.
Overall, we think it’s not one of Ninja’s prettiest products.
Is the Ninja Foodi 3-in-1 convenient to use?
Ninja products are typically easy to use, and the same applies with this super-toaster. The functions are all clearly displayed. The lever slides back smoothly and clicks into place so you can insert the grill tray.
You don’t have to preheat anything, nor do you have to flip foods on any mode.
As with any sandwich maker, you need to take out your sandwich to see how well it’s toasting. When you take the tray out of the Foodi, the timer stops automatically.
Only 2 slices of bread can fit in it at once, despite its wide set of teeth. Only 1 panini will fit in the press, too. On the other hand, you can get a couple of large croissants in or around 8 chicken nuggets.
Getting bagels out of the toaster wasn’t easy, as they were hard to reach.
What else do I need to know about the Ninja Foodi 3-in-1?
Each function does work differently and isn’t a gimmick (that’s not always the case with kitchen gadgets). Grill, panini and bake have 205°C as their highest temperature settings, but bake has a higher medium temperature than the other modes (175°C versus 160°C). Reheating a slice of pizza on its low setting is at a higher temperature of 150°C versus 120°C on the other modes.
While Ninja’s instruction manual says you can’t remove the crumb tray, we were able to do this and found it easy to remove, clean and put back.
Ninja Foodi 3-in-1 customer reviews
Ninja won Best Small Kitchen Appliance Brand in our Retail Awards 2022. We surveyed owners to decide these awards, and while most Ninja owners had an air fryer rather than this new 3-in-1 toaster, they were typically extremely happy with their product’s versatility, performance and ease of use – all attributes that we believe this machine shares, based on our hands-on test.
Since this product is new to the market there aren’t many reviews on Amazon nor on other retailer sites like John Lewis (September 2022), although the few we found were generally positive. Customers were pleased with how easily it flips from vertical to horizontal and the different shades of toast achieved with the settings. Some said they now ate more paninis because of it! The common complaint was that it should have had a bigger capacity, and wasn’t suitable for larger families.
Pros and cons of the Ninja Foodi 3-in-1
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Switches from vertical to horizontal without fuss
- Different programs are genuinely different – not a gimmick
- Can cook a range of foods
- Relatively expensive in comparison to toasters
- Small capacity
- Difficult to take certain foods out of it
- Exterior gets very hot
- Paninis take long to make
Our verdict: Is the Ninja Foodi 3-in-1 any good?
Ninja has transformed your run-of-the-mill toaster into a cooking trinity. It browns a bagel to perfection, will make a decent panini and revive your cold leftovers. But for the high price, we aren’t completely sold on its cooking times, one-sided browning of toast and limited capacity. If you’re single and a toastie enthusiast then this machine is one to consider; if not then you may be best sticking to your separate toaster and grill.