Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer: Is The Hype Worth It?

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If you want the best combination of functionality, efficiency, and value for money Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer is your best bet!

The job of an air fryer is to cook crisper food, similar to a deep fryer. This is where the Ninja AF161 Air Fryer comes into the picture—an upgrade to the Ninja AF101 air fryer. It is known by different names in the UK and USA. It is called Ninja Max AF160 in the UK; in the USA and Canada, it is known as Ninja AF161 max XL.


  • Max 450F can cook a wide range of foods
  • Compact and space saving design
  • Seven popular cooking functions
  • Ceramic coated non-stick accessories
  • Powerful heating element that cooks food faster


  • Height, make its storage difficult
  • No shake reminder

Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer: Is The Hype Worth It?

Without any doubt, Ninja AF161 can take a top place among the best Ninja air fryers.

If you want to know why I am so excited and confident about this air fryer’s performance, below is my in-depth review after cooking in it for about 5 months.

During this time, I judged the Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer on its features and cooking various foods.

Our First Impression About Its Looks and Design

Our First Impression About Ninja AF161 Max XL Looks and Design

While unboxing the Ninja Max XL air fryer from its sturdy and well-structured packing, I was impressed by its compact design, making it slimmer and sleeker than most midsized air fryers.

The protective stickers and packing material kept the unit safe during transit; hence, I got a brand-new air fryer with no marks, dents, or scratches on its exterior.

The box contained the air frying, a basket, a crisper plate, an air fryer manual, a quick start guide, and a warranty card.

Construction Material Of Ninja AF161

Construction Material Of Ninja AF161 Air Fryer

The outer housing of the unit is made with high-density polyethylene, and the control panel is made of BPA-free Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) material. The basket is ceramic coated, non-stick, and the air fryer is free from PTFE and PFOA.

The high gloss finish of the Ninja Max XL’s exterior felt smooth and slippery under my fingers.

While the glossy finish of the air fryer looks extremely chic when placed in the kitchen, it is often a hassle to clean.

Shiny surfaces show streaks of water residue more clearly than matt surfaces.

How Much Food AF161 Max XL Air Fryer Can Accommodate

How Much Food Can AF161 Max XL Air Fryer Accommodate

Its round basket is fairly deep. A benefit of a deep rather than a wide basket is that the heating coil does not get as dirty as in other air fryers since oil splatters and food particles popping up don’t always reach the coil.

The crisper plate can hold 10-11 chicken wings and about 2 ½ pounds of French fries. However, the round basket may not accommodate elongated food items without folding them from the ends. You can also accommodate a whole small chicken with its limbs tied with a food-grade string.

The Ninja AF161 User-Friendliness

The control panel is completely touchscreen. The buttons are labeled with a clear and big font for better readability. They are very tactile and easy to operate.

The Ninja AF161 User-Friendliness

Its various touchscreen functions differ in temperature and time range. The set temperature for Max Crisp is 450F, and the timer range is from one to 10 minutes. Similarly, the temperature range for the baking function is between 250F and 450F, and the time range is 1 minute to 4 hours.

An impressive aspect of Ninja AF161 is that the crisper plate does not fall off when you turn the air fryer upside down. This is a common issue with various air fryers, and countless users have complained about burning their hands.

The air fryer automatically pauses when you remove the basket and pause the timer. So, there is no need to fiddle with buttons to pause the unit before opening it. 

Cooking Results Of The Ninja Foodi Max Xl

I cooked a variety of foods in this ninja air fryer, from French fries to chicken wings to vegetables and fish. It can definitely replace your microwave oven with its reheating function. Have a look at various cooking tests that I performed to test Ninja Foodi Max XL.

Air-Frying Crispy Fries

Cooking Fries In Ninja Air Fryer AF161 XL

French fries are one of those foods you cannot forget when testing an air fryer. I made fries from scratch, setting the temperature at 400F and cooking the potato sticks for about 20 minutes. The fries were cooked perfectly, except that some sticks had darker edges.

Note: The air fryer does not have any shake reminder feature, so keep an eye on the clock and shake the basket a few times during cooking.

Max Crisping Frozen Chicken Goujons

Making Chicken Wings In Ninja Air Fryer AF161 XL

I also made frozen chicken goujons. The air fryer only took nine minutes to cook frozen goujons, whereas the suggested time on the packaging was 25 minutes. The breading on the chicken strips turned crispy golden brown, and they tasted delicious.

Cooking Crunchy Bacon

The next thing I cooked in the Ninja AF161 was crispy bacon. During cooking, all the excess fat from the bacon is collected underneath the crisper plate, leaving the bacon crispy and much healthier. Since I used streaky bacon, so I could not fit more than four rashers in one go. However, the final result was commendable; the bacon was crispy and delicious.

Ninja AF161 Vs AF150AMZ Vs AF101

Features and SpecificationsNinja AF161Ninja AF101Ninja AF150
Measurements11D x 14W x 14.75H inches8.5 x 12.1 x 11 inches11 x 14 x 14.75 inches
Cooking presetsSeven cooking functionsFour cooking presetsFive cooking functions
Temperature range450F max temperature400°F max temperature450F max temperature
Capacity5.5 Qt cooking capacity4 Qt cooking capacity5.5 Qt cooking capacity
Non-stick coatingNon-stick ceramic coated basket and crisper plateNon-stick coated basket and crisper plateNon-stick coated basket and crisper plate
Ease of cleaningDishwasher safeDishwasher safeDishwasher safe
Item weight11 Pounds10.58 Pounds11.70 lbs.
Energy requirement1750 watts1550 watts1750 watts

Ninja AF101 Vs Ninja AF161

The key difference between the Ninja AF101 and Ninja AF161 is the cooking functions and the maximum temperature limit. Ninja AF101 has a max temperature limit of 400F and four cooking presets. In comparison, Ninja AF161 has 450 F as the maximum temperature and offers the convenience of seven cooking presets.

Ninja AF 161 Vs Ninja AF 150

The main difference between Ninja AF 161 and Ninja AF 150 is the number of cooking presets and weight. The Ninja AF161 has seven cooking functions and weighs slightly less than the Ninja AF 150. Both have the same dimensions, upper-temperature limit, and the wattage requirements.

Ninja AF101 Vs Ninja AF150

The main difference between the Ninja AF 161 and Ninja AF 150 is the number of cooking functions, capacity, and the maximum temperature limit. Ninja Af101 is smaller with 4 QT capacity, has four cooking functions, and can reach a max temperature of 400F. Ninja AF150 is bigger with a 5.5 QT capacity, can attain 450F of temperature, and has five cooking presets.


Is the Ninja Max air fryer any good?

Yes, Ninja Max is a good air fryer. It heats up and cooks faster than many comparable air fryers and has functional features. It excels at air frying and cooking frozen food and takes little space on the counter. When used for backing, it cooks chewy cookies with a perfect golden color on the edges.

How hot is the Ninja af161?

Ninja AF161 can attain a maximum temperature of 450F, which is 50F more than Ninja AF 101. Its MaxCrisp Technology ensures faster distribution of heat through the cooking chamber. The air fryer cooks crispy and crunchy chicken wings in just 20 minutes at 400F, while at Max Crisp Setting, the same can be done in half the time.

Can you cook a chicken in a Ninja Air Fryer Max?

Yes, you can cook chicken in the Ninja air fryer Max, both in cut-up form as well as whole chicken. For cooking a whole chicken, you need to find a small hen that can fit in the basket and tie its limbs with food-grade thread. Cooking a whole chicken requires 50 minutes at 370F—25 minutes for each side.

Is the air fryer XL worth it?

Buying Ninja Max XL is worth it. It comes with ceramic non-stick coated accessories, which means it is PFOA-free. As the removable parts are dishwasher-safe, cleaning is also effortless. The air fryer has seven cooking functions, a wide temperature range (105˚F to 450˚F), and a top-quality high-gloss construction. Buttons on the air fryer control panel are tactile and labeled with clear fonts, promoting better readability. All in all, it gives you a bang for your buck.

Who should buy Ninja AF161 Max XL?

Ninja AF161 Max XL is a perfect choice if you are looking for an air fryer for your basic culinary needs to feed a household of three to four people. However, if you are a bigger family of 5 or more people I recommend Ninja Foodi 6-in-1, 8 QT, 2 basket air fryer. Though it has a bigger footprint than AF161, it also offers more cooking space, allowing you to cook small as well as large batches.

If you need an air fryer for toasting bread and baking cakes and cookies, look at the Ninja SP101 Digital Air Fry Oven. Though it has a slim design, it still offers a lot of cooking space, and it can also be flipped up for storage, clearing space on the counter.

My Final Verdict

I am impressed with the crisping ability of the Ninja Max XL; time after time, it cooked crispier and mouth-licking French fries, chicken wings, frozen snack foods, and whatnot. In addition, Ninja AF161 Max XL delivered truly amazing results in other cooking departments, such as roasting, max crisping, etc., during most cooking attempts.

Its ease of use and the ability to give good results consistently make it stand out among similar units. The air fryer ceramic-coated basket makes cleanup easier. I also like that the removable parts are dishwasher-safe. To sum up, Ninja AF161 air fryer provides a good value for money.

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