For quite some time, one of the biggest problems with multifunctional pressure cookers is that they lacked the ability to prepare dry and crunchy foods like french fries and breaded chicken. Enter the Ninja Foodi — a pressure cooker with an additional lid for air frying, baking, and roasting. Instant Pot, perhaps the most popular name in pressure cooking devices, also came out with its own combination pressure cooker and air fryer: The Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer. What’s the difference between the Ninja Foodi and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp? We’re going to break it down.
Ninja announced the first version of the Foodi in 2018. Since then, Ninja has come out with several versions of the pressure cooker that crisps, including models like the OP 300, OP 301, the OP 302, and the more recent model, the Ninja Foodi Deluxe (FD 401).
The Ninja Foodi Deluxe and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer are similar gadgets, but they look very different. Although both appliances are 8-quart cookers that serve as both pressure cooking and air frying devices, there are some major design differences between the Ninja Foodi Deluxe and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp’s air fryer lid completely removes, unlike the Foodi’s air fryer lid, which remains hinged on the appliance when it’s not in use.
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is 14.76 inches by 13.58 inches by 15.28 inches with the air frying lid attached; and, with the pressure cooking lid attached, it’s about one inch shorter. The Duo crisp has handles with slots, and a rounded rectangular display with button controls for each cooking program and function. Inside of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, there’s a stainless steel pot that you use for both pressure cooking and air frying programs. In addition to the air frying and pressure cooking lids, the Duo Crisp also includes an air frying basket, a tray to adjust the height of the air frying basket, and a crisping tray.
The Ninja Foodi is slightly larger and heavier than the Duo Crisp, measuring 16.1 by 14.6 by 14.3 inches. The Deluxe version has a stainless steel inner pot like the Duo Crisp, but other Ninja Foodi models may come with a non-stick inner pot. Unlike the Duo Crisp, the Ninja Foodi may include other accessories like a reversible rack in addition to an air frying basket. The Foodi Deluxe also has a different display, including a center start and stop dial. The Foodi Deluxe has handles with slots, but they sit lower down on the appliance.
Features and functions
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is an 11-in-1 cooker. It pressure cooks, sautés, steams, slow cooks, sous vides, warms, air fries, roasts, bakes, broil, and dehydrates.
The Ninja Foodi Deluxe is a 9-in-1 cooker. It can pressure cook, air crisp, sear/sauté, bake, broil, steam, slow cook, dehydrate, and make yogurt.
Ease of use
Both devices are relatively straightforward in terms of their operation. When you want to use a dry function like bake, broil, air fry, or dehydrate, you use the air frying lid. Or, when you want to use a pressure cooking function, you use the pressure cooking lid.
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp may be slightly simpler to use, given both lids are completely removable, and most of the cooking programs are touch buttons. The Ninja Foodi’s display is not as intuitive, and the device is not as easy to store in a cabinet.
On the other hand, the Ninja Foodi’s inner pot tends to hold whole cuts of meat better than the Duo Crisp, and the addition of the reversible rack makes some recipes easier as well.
The Ninja Foodi Deluxe retails for $279, but you can sometimes find it on sale for around $250. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp retails for $180, and you can occasionally find it on sale for about $170. The Duo Crisp is definitely the more affordable option between the two. However, if you opt for an older Ninja Foodi model, like an OP300, you can sometimes find it for as cheap as $110.
Which is better: The Ninja Foodi or the Instant Pot Duo Crisp?
Since the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer offers a removable lid, more cooking functions, and a lower price point, most people will prefer it over the Foodi Deluxe. But, the Foodi is still a stellar appliance, so if you can find a good deal on a Ninja Foodi, you shouldn’t count it out. You’ll likely be happy with either appliance, given they both offer so much functionality.