However, when choosing one among them, the task can get a little complicated.
I hope our experience will help you make an informed decision.
The main difference between Ninja AF161 and Instant Pot air fryer is their design and cooking capacity. Ninja air fryer has a tall tower design and is made of plastic. Contrary to that, the Instant air fryer has a lower profile and a stainless steel build.
Ninja Air Fryer AF161 Vs. Instant Pot Air Fryer
Decent Cooking Capacity
Ninja AF161 has a 5.5 QT capacity, enough for two to three people.
It has a deep basket design that allows you to insert a shallow rack and cook more food in one go.
You can effortlessly cook thicker foods like drumsticks and chicken breasts in Ninja AF161.
On the other hand, the Instant Vortex pot has a 6-quart cooking capacity.
Unlike Ninja, its basket is not very deep; therefore, you cannot fit an additional wire rack.
However, even without a rack, it can cook plenty of food for two people thanks to its square-basket design that allows for more efficient food arrangements.
Control Panel Style And Functionality
Both Ninja and the Instant Pot have a fully digital control panel that is very sensitive to touch and doesn’t need pressing twice.
Their cooking functions, including baking, roasting, air frying, dehydrating, and broiling, are also the same.
Furthermore, the control panel of both units is pretty easy to navigate, eliminating the need to use any application.
Overall, the units are designed reasonably well for allowing versatile cooking.
Big fonts on both air fryers are a relief, as deciphering small fonts is often a challenge for senior users in the house.
However, the instant pot comes with a shake reminder feature, which the Ninja does not, and the visual alert for turning the food appears on the control panel.
Design And Finishing
Ninja Max XL sports a glossy gray finish. At the same time, the instant pot has a black stainless steel exterior with silver accents, making it suitable for new and traditional kitchens.
Both units are designed attractively, so the choice solely depends on personal preference.
The user interface of the Instant Pot air fryer is quite similar to the Instant Pot pressure cookers, so if you have already used one of those, this unit will feel very similar.
With the Instant Pot, you don’t need to worry about its placement in the kitchen—the air fryer surprisingly releases minimal heat when working, so you can put it anywhere you want.
Comparison of Ease Of Use
The Instant Pot remembers your last cook settings, making it effortless to cook the same things multiple times a week.
This air fryer stops cooking when you pull out the basket and resumes once the basket sits nicely in its chamber.
With Ninja, you are required to manually pause the air fryer before taking out the basket to freeze the timer, and later, you can push the start button to restart cooking.
Since both the baskets are reasonably wide, accessing the food during the cooking cycle and turning sides is effortless.
The only slight complaint about the Instant Pot is that the grill grate/plate falls off when you tilt the basket more than a little. I did not experience this problem with the max XL.
Which Air Fryer Is Easy To Clean
As far as cleaning is concerned, cleaning both Ninja and Instant Pot air fryers is much easier than an oven-style air fryer.
Simply wiping down the entire unit with a clean, damp microfiber cloth can keep the interior and exterior new for a long time.
As for the crisper/grill plates, cleaning them can become a bit challenging as food residues can stubbornly cling to their nooks and crannies.
Washing them thoroughly with warm, soapy water and scrubbing with a soft bristle brush can extricate the grease.
Cooking Performance Tests
Ninja does a splendid job of crisping up food items like potato sticks, wings, fish, and chicken that are traditionally deep-fried.
However, claiming that Ninja Max XL fried food is exactly like the deep fried would be a bit of an exaggeration, but the food still has a nice crisp on the outside.
When the turn for testing the instant pot came, I cooked everything from fish and fries to broccoli and chicken thighs.
It excels at cooking both frozen and fresh food.
When cooking freshly cut fries, I soaked them in water to remove extra starch and dried them with a paper towel before adding them to the air fryer basket.
The air fryer is particularly terrific for reheating leftover food, turning cold, soggy fries and pizza slices into fresh ones.
Ninja Air Fryer Max XL vs Instant Vortex Plus
The main difference between the Ninja Max XL and the Instant Vortex Plus air fryer is the design and style of the basket. Instant Vortex Plus has a square-shaped basket with a ClearCook window, while Ninja Max XL has a round basket with no peeking window.
Deciding between competent air fryers like Ninja AF161 and Instant Pot is not easy. Both of these air fryers are splendid for preparing quick and easy meals. Their cooking functions and cooking results are also similar.
Finally, the decision hinges on their design and slight difference in their cooking capacity—the Instant air fryer being slightly bigger.
If you want a square basket style air fryer with a sturdy stainless steel design and are willing to invest extra dollars for a no-less-than premium-looking air fryer, instant is the one for you.
But if you want all the cooking functions in a compact design and a lower price tag, go for Ninja without a second thought.