This time, we’re looking at the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer. It’s a 1500 watt compact air fryer with a ceramic coating and some great presets.
The Ninja brand of kitchen appliances never ceases to amaze us. It seems that no matter what you’re trying to do in the kitchen, they’ve found a faster, better way to get it done.
Let’s take a closer look at this air fryer to see if it’s a good fit for your kitchen.
We’ve included a link to the manual and some usage tips at the end of the article.
A Deeper Look at the AF101 Air Fryer by Ninja
Capacity: 4 quarts. Ninja touts that it holds two pounds of French fries but honestly, if that’s all you’re doing with it, you’ve wasted money. The basket is a single piece that slides in and out of the main unit.
It’s a round basket which is a turn off to some people.
Materials: Non-stick Ceramic Coating
It ships with a ceramic crisper that rests on the inside of the basket. This allows fat and oils to drip through and away from the food. If you’re used to separating the basket from the drip pan to pour out the food, you’ll need to change your mindset. Tipping the basket over right out of the oven will also allow all of the drippings to ride along. Integrating the basket does offer a little more room along the sides when compared to the basket-drip-pan models.
The crisper can also be used for dehydrating foods. There’s not a lot of room here in a four quart air fryer so don’t get this thinking that you’ll be able to dehydrate everything that comes out of your garden with this appliance. Think of it more for dehydrating a piece of fruit for chips.
Aesthetics: It’s round and black and looks like other appliances in the Ninja line. It will fit underneath standard kitchen cabinets but be sure and move it away from the cabinets before you start to cook. The heat from the exhaust fan will damage things that are too close.
Fingerprints are very noticeable on the metal handle. There’s a “cheat” sticker on the machine to tell you what to use for the basic settings.
Temperature Range: 105° to 400° Fahrenheit.
Soft touch buttons are not a part of a touch screen. They’re actually toggle buttons that you can feel and hear click on and off. I’d normally hate these but can’t complain for the price.
There are toggle arrows for the time and the temperature. There is also a Pause button. When you want to pull the basket out and give it a shake, most air fryers automatically pause the timer. With this AF101, you actually have to press the Pause button to pause the timer. It won’t happen automatically.
Presets: Most of what this changes is the speed of the fan. Keep in mind that the slower the fan speed, the longer it will take food to cook. While there are default time and temperature settings for each preset, you can easily adjust these as needed.
Air Fry: Your standard air fryer settings. This setting is the loudest that the appliance gets.
Roast: This setting is actually great for items you don’t want flying around in the basket as they dry out. If you’ve ever heard food bashing around inside your fryer so loudly that it sounds like a death cage battle, you’ll appreciate this setting.
Reheat: A very good setting for warming up leftovers that already danced in the air fryer setting.
Dehydrate: Good for chips and jerky. It runs on 150° for six hours. You can’t do that with a standard air fryer.
It also has a Standby mode where basically after ten minutes, it goes into a dormant mode if nothing happens while the timer is running and the basket has been removed.
Cleaning: Basket, Metal Rack and Crisper Plate are all dishwasher safe.
Dimensions: 14 L x 11W x 13.3 H inches
Cord length is 2.6 feet. Why this 1500 watt appliance only has a two prong plug is beyond us. Get it on this Ninja, we need a ground plug when we’re running an appliance for up to six hours.
Basket Diameter is 8.5 inches so any 8 inch cake pan from Dollar Tree will fit. Just make sure to create an aluminum foil handle for lifting it out like Meredith Laurence shows us. This not only helps with lifting, it also encourages air to flow underneath the pan.
The basket is 4.5 inches deep.
The heat exhaust is located on the bottom of the unit’s back end. Keep objects away from this area when in use.The top draws the air into the machine.
Accessories: It also ships with a metal rack that is supposed to be used as a second tier for dehydrating foods. We don’t know of anyone that ever uses these things.
Warranty: One year limited warranty (details on Amazon).
Feedback on the Ninja AF101
What Others Say
This is a very popular compact air fryer. It’s light and not too bulky at all.
What they like
Buyers love the settings because that fan speed control eliminates the possibility of food flying around in the basket.
Most say it’s a good size for one or two people.
What to Look Out For
Some people have complained that the “plastic smell” simply never disappeared.
We’ll never turn our noses up at a ceramic coated air fryer. Yes, there is a very distinct smell when you first start using the appliance but it does disappear. The price on these air fryers has come down considerably and you may see one on Amazon’s Deals at any time.
You can get about four decent sized burger patties in the fryer. This air fryer does what it’s supposed to do and that’s cook up food quickly with little to no oil.
On the practical side, you’ll need a trivet or solid counters because the pan will be extremely hot (400 degrees – hello!).
If you’re looking for a compact air fryer that will whip up a side dish, snack or a meal for two people, this Ninja Air Fryer AF101 is definitely worth considering.
Resources for the Ninja Air Fryer AF101
You can download the manual here
It comes with a 20 page Quick Start Book
- Ninja® recommends preheating the unit for a full three minutes prior to adding your food.
- While Ninja insists that you don’t need to season this appliance before using it, buyers recommend that the first time you run it, set it outside or in a well-ventilated area for at least 10 minutes. The odor of the burn off can be an overwhelming smell.
- To convert conventional baking recipes, Ninja recommends reducing the temperature by 25 degrees.
- Use the Roast preset if you need lower temperatures. This is also a good setting for baked goods. Use this slower fan speed to set the batter and turn it up at the end to get a nice browned look and taste.
- Ninja is all over the comments on the Amazon listing. They even suggested the best way to make kale chips. If you’ve ever tried making kale chips, whether in an air fryer or in the oven, you know how hit or miss it can be to get them just right.