Here is the best fryer to buy this weekend for Black Friday 2021

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My search for the perfect airfryer is over.

Screenshot by Dashia Starr / CNET

This story is a part of Christmas Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you find the perfect gift.

Black Friday trades still happen and Cyber ​​Monday come, so big sales on frying pans are easy to find. But with so many options, which one is best for you? Given my long and sometimes uneven history with them, I can help you decide. I love the idea of ​​a kitchen appliance that circulates hot air to cook food well and crispy without the necessary oil for deep frying – and in a matter of minutes. But I had a problem. While most of the countertops work the same, each frying pan I bought somehow managed to fail me, except for one: the Ninja Foodi 8-quart 4-in-1 Dual Zone Air Fryer. And it’s worth every penny.

Read more: Best deals on airfryer for Black Friday

My fiance and I started with one $ 50 Dash Compact Air Fryer it was perfect for small spaces but it did not hold enough food to have leftovers. I then used a Bella fryer and it did not have the settings we needed for our cooking preferences. We later upgraded to a Chefman air fryer that is no longer available. Despite being cleaned properly, the grill plate clips came off and the finish began to peel off. We knew it was time for an upgrade that would last.

Black Friday Update (Nov. 21): While this story describes the author’s experience with 8-quart 4-in-1 Ninja Foodi, we link newer 8-quart 6-in-1 model. It is a similar but updated model that will get big discount this holiday season.

That was when Ninja Foodi 8-quart 4-in-1 Dual Zone Air Fryer appeared on my radar. I was a new mom with a full time job and it’s no exaggeration to say that Ninja Foodie changed our lives. Since time was a premium and healthy food a necessity, this quickly proved hot food for our growing family.

Best of all, Ninja Foodi is not just a frying pan – it is also a food dryer, a fryer and the best way to reheat leftovers that stay crisp and not soft (unlike microwave ovens). Read on to find out what features really sold me. While you’re here, here’s extra tips to keep in mind when using an airfryer. (PS How to do it Find the best deals before Black Friday.)

Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer result: 2 baskets are better than one

Again, this Ninja Foodi is more than just an air fryer. If you want to dehydrate fruits for a good trail mix or reheat fryer leftovers, there are options for just that. You can also fry chicken without heating your home with the oven (perfect for summer days). And the temperature goes up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and you can set the timer to up to one hour at a time. Most fryers only have timers for up to 25 minutes.

But here’s the thing: Depending on what you cook or heat up, you may be able to do two of these things at once. This is because while most air fryers come with one basket, Ninja’s double fryer has two. This means that you can prepare two foods with completely different settings at the same time. You can fry a chicken in one basket while you air-fry potatoes in another. Being able to make almost an entire dinner with one gadget is a game-changer for my family.

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Do you remember this summer’s air-fried pasta chips? You can make them in a snap.

Allyza Umali / CNET

Smart Finish is the best way to get your food done at the same time

I hate it when my food gets finished at different times. Smart Finish is the solution to my problems. Let’s say the chicken takes longer to cook in one basket than your vegetables. I just press Smart finish for the frying pan to finish cooking both baskets at the same time – regardless of time or temperature. When done, I have hot food I do not have to reheat before it gets on the table. That is how it works:

  1. Press to start Smart finish.
  2. Press 1 and choose your cooking preference: Air fry, Roast, Reheat or Dehydrate.
  3. Select the time and temperature for the food in the first basket.
  4. Press 2, then repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Press Start / Pause.

Match Cook gives you more space

You have probably heard of the deliciousness of frying chicken wings. They are the perfect wing that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The only problem is that the blades can take up a good amount of space in your airfryer. The best solution I found was to use my Ninja Foodie’s Match Cook setting as a way to spread my food out in the baskets for even cooking without stuffing. That is how it works.

  1. Press to start Match Cook. Both numbers, 1 and 2 will light up.
  2. Choose your cooking preference, Air fry, Roast, Reheat or Dehydrate.
  3. Select time and temperature.
  4. Press Start / Pause.

If you are ever curious about what settings to use when cooking, Ninja includes two stickers on the fryer to give you recommended times and temperatures for poultry and vegetables when using Smart finish and Match Cook. These fryer recipes can also help.

You want the space in mind

The only downside is that this 8-quart Ninja Foodi air frying pan takes up more space than other options, but it is still compact in terms of its liter size. It is about 13 inches wide. We also considered the 4-quart Ninja Air Fryer, which has the same settings but only has one basket. For us, the opportunity won with two baskets – and I’m glad it did.

It is also easy to clean

After my Chefman fryer started to peel, I decided to be very careful when cleaning my Ninja baskets. So far I have had the air freezer for a year and it has been easy to clean with soap and water. Although the baskets are dishwasher safe, I have used the washbasin method to preserve the finish. If damage occurs to the baskets, you can buy replacement plates on Amazon.

This Ninja Foodi is without a doubt my favorite kitchen gadget, especially for a quick and easy way to eat healthy (it’s a game for the best appliance in my house, along with our cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner).

Finally, here is the difference between air frying versus oven baking your food and one airfryer that acts as a microwave which I see.

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