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Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven Review: Here’s how it actually works

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Second only to the Instant Pot, air fryers are still one of the hottest kitchen gadgets on the market. But these contrivances, which typically serve just one purpose, eat up a considerable amount of valuable counter space. No wonder there’s been a rash of new products that seek to combine air fry technology with the traditional appliances people already have in their kitchens.

The latest entry, the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven, builds off the success of the existing Ninja Foodi products by combining an air fryer and toaster oven into one convenient package. But is it worth the investment? We tested the Ninja Foodi oven to see if it could actually combine two pieces of equipment in one without sacrificing on the performance of either.

How the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven looks and feels

Ninja Foodi Oven - Closed

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Ninja Foodi oven is narrow and can be flipped up on its side for storage.

As soon as you take it out of the box, you get a sense that the Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven is a high-quality product. Constructed of brushed stainless steel, it’s beautifully finished with rounded corners and has a digital control pad. It’s also wider and shorter than a typical toaster oven.

When cooled and not in use, the Foodi oven can be flipped up on one side to stand up at the back of the counter, an odd but convenient storage solution. Rather than a towel bar handle in the front, it has a small one off to the side that you use to open the door. While it’s unusual and takes a bit of time to get used to, this handle functions perfectly fine and helps make the oven more space efficient.

The Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven comes with an air fry basket, a cooking rack, a nonstick sheet pan, and a crumb tray that also seem sturdy and well made. They’re larger than the ones you typically find in a toaster oven, as the oven is so wide.

What can the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven do?

Ninja Foodi Oven - Pizza

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

This toaster can air fry, dehydrate, toast, bake, air broil, and keep food warm.

As the name implies, the Ninja oven air fries. And just like a typical toaster oven, this Ninja toasts and bakes. It also air roasts, air broils, dehydrates, and keeps food warm. Because it’s so short, however, it can’t hold a whole chicken like many toaster ovens in its price category.

The manufacturer encourages using the large sheet pan to make sheet pan dinners and includes a formula and some recipes for them.

If you’re looking for other multi-functional appliances that can slow cook, pressure cook, grill, and more, Ninja also offers the classic Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker, which we love, and the Ninja Foodi Grill, which we’ll be testing this fall.

What we like

  • It’s beautifully designed.
  • The digital controls are easy to read and intuitive to navigate.
  • It’s quiet.
  • It’s an excellent toaster, and does a good job of baking a sheet pan dinner.
  • To check on food, there’s an oven light.
  • For storage, it easily can stand on its side.

What we don’t like

  • It’s expensive.
  • It can’t roast a whole chicken.
  • There could be more cooking guidelines for specific foods in the cookbook.

How does it perform?

Ninja Foodi Oven - Fries

Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

The air fry setting left fries unevenly cooked.

Air Frying

To be blunt, it’s not the best air fryer on the market but it’s also far from the worst. The Ninja Foodi oven air fries unevenly, and food prepared from scratch seemed baked, not fried. On the website the manufacturer claims it can air fry four pounds of food at once. While we could pile up that amount of fries in the air fry basket, the loaded basket couldn’t fit in the oven at the rack position recommended for air frying.

Toasting

Ninja Foodi Oven - Toast

Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

The Ninja toasts very evenly, but there’s no setting that allows for extremely light toast.

The Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven can accommodate nine slices of packaged bread without squishing them. And it can toast them fairly evenly, too. When used to toast two slices, it gives impressive results, browning exceptionally evenly. It does, however, toast to a golden-brown shade on both the light and medium settings, so it could be a disappointment if you like your toast only lightly browned. It has a special bagel toasting setting and it browns bagel halves very uniformly.

Air Roasting

Ninja Foodi Oven - Sheet Pan Dinner

Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

Our sheet pan dinners came out beautifully cooked.

Ninja recommends using their oven to air roast sheet pan dinners with a protein (like steak, chicken, or seafood), vegetables and spices. After following the oven booklet’s recipe for Spicy Chicken, Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli, I was impressed with the result. All of the ingredients (about three pounds in total) came out lightly browned and tender in just 22 minutes and made a tasty sheet pan dinner for four. This technique does seem like a very good use for this appliance.

Baking

Ninja Foodi Oven - Biscuits

Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

Biscuits browned evenly in this toaster.

You’re not going to be able to fit an entire loaf or Bundt pan in this Ninja, but you can use it to bake a cake or muffins in a shallow pan, or small items like cookies right on the sheet pan. Biscuits baked up just as well as from a full-size oven.

Air Broiling

Chicken breasts came out juicy and browned on both sides in just 20 minutes. However, even when cooked well-done, steaks looked gray on the outside and in no way resembled broiled or grilled meat. So, while this oven is fast, it can’t consistently deliver the kind of searing you expect from broiling.

Dehydrating

Ninja Foodi Oven - Banana Chips

Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

The dehydrate setting works fine, but you can’t fit enough to make it worthwhile.

Although its wide air fry basket holds more food than the ones in a typical air fryer (or the racks in a toaster oven), the Ninja is still only able to dry a small amount of food. After running the dehydrator for 10 hours, I was rewarded with a small bowl of banana chips. At least the machine kept quiet as it worked.

Keep Warm

The Ninja kept a small macaroni and cheese casserole at a safe serving temperature for a full two hours. As you would expect, however, the food was dried out by then. If you’re not going to serve food within a half hour or so, you are probably better off just reheating it in the microwave.

Is the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven easy to use and clean?

Ninja Foodi Oven - Dials

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Ninja has an easy-to-use digital interface, although it does smudge.

The digital control panel on the Ninja oven is well laid out and easy to read. It interface centers around a knob that you turn to select the time and temperature (or number of slices and doneness) for each function, and it’s fairly intuitive to program.

We love the fact that the oven preheats automatically and the preheat time is just one minute, so it doesn’t add appreciably to the cooking time. During cooking, the product is quieter than most air fryers, and you can turn on an interior light to check on your food’s progress.

The sheet pan and the air fry basket can be cleaned in the dishwasher. In the standing position, the back opens, giving you access to the inside for cleaning.

The Ninja Foodi oven comes with a very thorough and easy-to-understand owner’s guide, as well as a booklet that contains recipes and cooking charts for air frying and dehydrating and a leaflet with instructions on how to build a sheet pan meal. It would be helpful if there were also charts to use as guidelines for baking, air roasting, and air-broiling.

Warranty

Ninja offers a one-year limited warranty on the Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven and a 60-day money back guarantee.

What owners say

At the time of writing this story, the Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven was only being sold through Ninja’s website, where it had 64 reviews and a star rating of 4.9. It’s now also available at Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers. In their comments, its early adopters rave about its multi-functionality, large capacity, and speed. They also love the ability to flip it up and stand it up and out of the way when it’s not being used.

Is the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven worth it?

Ninja Foodi Oven - Pizza

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Although it’s not an amazing air fryer, this is a great toaster oven.

If you’re looking for an air fryer and a toaster oven, this product is definitely worth your consideration. It’s an excellent toaster and a fair air fryer. The only real drawbacks are that it has a large footprint on your countertop and can’t roast a whole chicken. If you have the counter space and are in the habit of buying rotisserie chickens at the supermarket, we say go for it.

We do recognize that it’s not an inexpensive appliance, but it costs equal to or less than the Breville and Cuisinart ovens that are its main competitors. If you decide to spring for it, definitely try out the sheet pan meals.



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The iPhone 11 Pro Max is great

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The iPhone 11 Pro is the most expensive iPhone you can buy today – Is it a worthy successor to the previous most expensive iPhones you can buy or is it a rehash worth skipping?

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Can J.J. Abrams stick the landing?

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Will the Dark Side of Star Wars fandom accept J.J. Abrams’ latest?


LucasFilm

This December, after a staggering 42 years, the Star Wars trilogy of trilogies comes to a close. With J.J. Abrams once again at the helm, the ironically titled Rise of Skywalker marks the end of the nine-movie Skywalker saga. 

Here’s the big question: Can Abrams stick the landing? After his generally well-received first Star Wars effort, The Force Awakens, and the decidedly controversial Rian Johnson follow-up, The Last Jedi, Abrams has the chance to send the trilogy — and the entire series — out on a high note. Maybe the highest note. 

No pressure. 

Can he do it? Will he tell a story that’s at once thrilling and satisfying? Give us answers to burning questions? Drop a few surprises along the way? 

Let’s discuss. Don’t worry, no spoilers. But to fully understand my predictions and perspective, you need to know me a little better. Here, then, is my Star Wars origin story. 

It’s 1977. I’m 9 years old and dragging behind my parents, who have told me nothing about the movie we’re about to see. Star … Wars? Sounds wholly uninteresting. Granted, movies hadn’t yet played a formative role in my life. I remember laughing at Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in Silver Streak and Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit. In fact, the latter opened the same weekend as Star Wars, and I’m sure I saw it first. 

But on that fateful day, I’d experienced precious little science fiction, save perhaps for a few Star Trek reruns. I liked the spaceships, sure, but beyond that it held little appeal. Hence it was a very glum little Ricky who plopped down in his seat. No runaway trains? No Trans-Ams? No, thanks. 

I don’t remember how long it took for my brain to catch fire. Was it when the Laurel and Hardy robots strolled through a flurry of blaster fire, causing the theater to erupt with laughter? Or when the monstrous figure in a black cape hoisted a man by the neck, causing a collective gasp? My overall memories of that first viewing are a blur, but I know this for certain: Two hours later, I emerged transformed. Overnight my world became Star Wars and every ancillary aspect of it: computers, robots, technology, outer space, spaceships, movie tie-in books, magazines, action figures, soundtracks. 

I distinctly remember going batshit crazy when a TV commercial announced The Star Wars Holiday Special. (Little did I know what I was in for.) I distinctly remember arguing with friends who insisted the movie was fantasy, not science fiction. (Technically, they were right — because The Force — but they were also snobby dorks. When I think of sci-fi, I think of Star Wars.) 

Flash-forward to 1999. I’m 31 and, like everyone else on the planet, holding a ticket to see The Phantom Menace, the first of three Star Wars prequels. Three! If the original movies looked incredible with 70s and 80s technology, imagine how they’d look on the cusp of the 21st century. 

Two hours later, I emerged… well, like everyone else on the planet, confused and disappointed. What… the hell… was that? Trade disputes? Midichlorians? Jake Lloyd? 

Eh, OK, even George Lucas can whiff once in a while. He’ll pull it together for Attack of the Clones. And Revenge of the Sith.

Nope. And nope. I’m not saying the prequels are bad, just that I have no desire to watch them ever again. They’re dull and soulless and dumb and I hate them I hate them I hate them. 

Flash-forward to 2015. Star Wars continues! Blessedly, with George Lucas’ misguided pen nowhere in sight. Instead, The Force would reawaken under the careful eye of J.J. Abrams, the man behind Alias, Lost, an excellent Mission: Impossible outing and a damn fine Star Trek reboot. This is gonna be good. 

But it wasn’t good. Although The Force Awakens had more nuance in its pinky toe than all three prequels combined, it gave us flat characters and a nonsensical (to say nothing of rehashed) plot. It asked us to love Rey and Finn not because we felt for them or identified with them, but simply because they were the stars of a Star Wars movie. Nothing about the story felt organic; instead, we were force-fed (sorry) our heroes, villains and plot points. The Millennium Falcon is just sitting around with the keys in the ignition? Finn and Poe Dameron are BFFs after spending, what, five minutes together? And, come on, another Death Star? 


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Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker trailer tees…



2:04

I won’t say much about The Last Jedi, because that was a Rian Johnson joint and we’re here to talk about Abrams’ latest. I’ll give it praise for at least trying to mix up the formula, even if it failed miserably at times. Its worst offense: turning our innocent Tatooine farmboy-cum-Jedi, our beloved hero, into a dick. If you’re going to dig up Luke Skywalker, don’t make him grumpy and unlikable. And if you’re going to kill him at the end, figure out a way to do it that doesn’t leave everyone scratching their heads. “Huh? He died from… Force-projection exhaustion?” 


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First look at D-O, the interactive Star Wars toy droid



4:17

Low hopes

So here we are, one movie left, with Abrams quarterbacking again. Sure, I’m hoping it’ll be great, or at least good, but my inner child — who’s been sulking in the closet ever since 1999 — is dubious. The truth is I have low hopes for The Rise of Skywalker, in part because Abrams has a mixed track record when it comes to closure (see: Alias, Lost, etc.). 

But the larger problem might be the script: Abrams co-wrote it with Chris Terrio, who penned Batman v Superman and Justice League — a pair of incredibly bad films. Some (maybe most) of the blame there goes to director Zack Snyder, but I fear The Rise of Skywalker has rot in its bones. There’s no solid foundation on which to build, no way to conclude a story which, let’s face it, concluded at the end of Return of the Jedi. Where I’m aching for something original, or at least logical, I expect we’re in for more nonsensical moments (a decades-dormant R2-D2 suddenly wakes up because … the movie’s about to end and it’s time to find Luke?) and intelligence-insulting action sequences (the First Order’s fleet can’t catch the Resistance ships until they run out of fuel?!). 

Ah, but what about the trailers? They look cool, right? I’ll have to take your word for it, because I don’t watch trailers. Trailers ruin movies. I don’t want any jokes spoiled, visuals revealed, surprises telegraphed. I want to go into the movie cold, with close to zero idea what’s coming. The more you’ve seen in advance, the less you’re going to enjoy the film. Period. 

Full disclosure: I briefly broke my rule, only because I’m feeling pretty “over it” about the whole franchise. I watched the first teaser, the one with Rey staring down, then running from, a land-skimming TIE Fighter, which just seemed ridiculous out of context.

Then I heard that familiar, menacing cackle at the end, and that’s when I knew I was in for another disappointing Star Wars outing. So Emperor Palpatine is alive, apparently? How original. The Force Awakens gave us Death Star 3.0; looks like The Rise of Skywalker is going for Big Bad 1.0. Yawn. 

There’s another shadow looming over The Rise of Skywalker, one that’s sad and inescapable: However the movie handles the death of Princess Leia, it’ll feel artificial and contrived as it forces us to remember dearly departed Carrie Fisher. It’ll take us out of the story for that collective in-memoriam recognition. 

Think of Star Wars’ best moments. Luke and Leia swinging across the chasm. Han appearing at the last second (“Yee-haw!”) to give Luke the all-clear. Yoda raising the X-Wing from the swamp. Darth Vader spilling the beans; Luke’s gut-wrenching reaction. The shock of Lando’s betrayal. Vader saving his son from the Emperor (before George Lucas ruined it with that insipid “Noooooo!”). 

No modern Star Wars movie has given us a single goose-flesh moment to rival any of these, and that’s all the evidence I need that the Skywalker saga will go out in a blaze of Force-push, with very little pull. Prove me wrong, Abrams. 

Originally published Oct. 12. 



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HuffPost is reportedly on the auction block – TechCrunch

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Late last night the Financial Times reported that HuffPost, arguably one of the crown jewels of Verizon Media Group’s remaining network of media properties (which includes TechCrunch), is up for sale.

Verizon has been shedding media properties in a retreat from the strategy that it had begun to execute with the acquisition of AOL for $4.4 billion back in 2015. Through the AOL deal, then-chief executive Tim Armstrong became the architect of the telecommunications company’s media and advertising strategy.

Armstrong’s vision was to roll up as much online real estate as he could while creating a high technology advertising architecture on the back-end that could better target consumers based on their media consumption (which the telecom company would also own).

The idea was to provide a broad-based competitor to the reach of ad platforms on Google and Facebook which were also targeting users based on their browsing history and interests. The benefit that Google and Facebook had was that they had a more holistic view of what consumers did online and they positioned themselves as a distribution channel between media companies and users — essentially redistributing their articles and videos and hoovering up the ad dollars that had previously gone to those media companies.

The multi-billion dollar land grab continued when Verizon paid $4.5 billion for Yahoo in 2017.

Now it appears that Verizon has a multi-billion dollar case of buyer’s remorse. Part of the billions that Verizon spent on Yahoo was for the early social network Tumblr, which Yahoo had acquired for $1.1 billion back in 2013.

Earlier this year Verizon unloaded Tumblr for the cost of a luxury Manhattan apartment. That $3 million sale was presaged by the significant fall from grace of other former high-flying media and tech properties.

Vice was once worth $5.7 billion at the height of the media investment bubble, but earlier this year Disney wrote down its stake in the company to virtually nothing.

At least Vice is emerging as a survivor. the company has rolled up Refinery29. Vox Media is also doing well in the new world of media. It bought Recode back in 2015 and recently acquired the publisher behind New York Magazine to expand its purview into paper publications and get its hands on the popular New York websites Intelligencer, The Cut, Vulture, and Grub Street.

Other publications like Hello Giggles, which was founded by the actress Zooey Deschanel, were sold to Time Magazine. High-fliers like Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Vice and Vox have all had to lay off staff in recent months.

It’s been a wild ride for HuffPost, which began in 2005 as a collection of celebrity bloggers brought together under the auspices of Arianna Huffington, from whom the site took its name.

AOL acquired The Huffington Post back in 2011 in a deal that was valued at $315 million less than a year after picking up TechCrunch for $25 million.

Verizon announced layoffs across its media properties at the beginning of the year. It cut roughly 7 percent of its staff — or around 800 jobs — including some at HuffPost.

In a statement to the Financial Times, Verizon said that it would not comment on rumors and speculation.

Neither Verizon Media nor HuffPost responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.



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