Ninja Foodi is a popular multi-cooker that serves many functions, including pressure cooking, air frying, baking, and more. One common question is whether the Ninja Foodie can be used as a slow cooker or crockpot. The short answer is yes, the Ninja Foodie has a slow cook function that allows you to prepare recipes like chili, pot roast, and other classic crockpot dishes.
How to Use Ninja Foodie as a Slow Cooker
Using the Ninja Foodie as a crockpot is easy. Here are the basic steps:
- Add your ingredients to the cooking pot and put the lid on. Make sure the inner pot is secured in the unit.
- Select the “Slow Cook” function using the control panel.
- Choose the temperature setting – there are three slow cook temperatures to choose from: low, medium, and high.
- Set the cook time. Most slow cooker recipes take 4-8 hours on high or 6-10 hours on low.
- Let the Ninja Foodie do the work. It will automatically switch to a keep warm setting once the cook time is up.
That’s all there is to it! The Ninja Foodie will slowly cook your food at the desired temperature for the set cook time to get that classic crockpot flavor.
Tips for Using Ninja Foodie as a Slow Cooker
Here are some handy tips to get the most out of using your Ninja Foodie as a crockpot:
- Cut food into smaller pieces – this helps food cook more evenly in the shorter time of the Ninja Foodie.
- Use enough liquid – have at least 1 cup liquid for 4 hours of cooking time.
- Avoid lifting the lid – this releases heat and can increase cook time.
- Use ceramic or metal crock – the metal inner pot works fine, but a separate ceramic insert can help.”
- Adjust cook times – start checking food about 30 minutes to 1 hour before minimum cook times.
- Let pressure release naturally after cooking to allow food to finish cooking.
Benefits of Using the Ninja Foodie as a Slow Cooker
Here are some of the biggest benefits to using the Ninja Foodie for slow cooking:
- Convenience – Being able to slow cook in the Ninja Foodie means one less appliance taking up space.
- Tender and flavorful meals – Food comes out fall-apart tender with rich flavor from the low and slow cooking.
- More versatility – You can pressure cook before or after slow cooking with the Ninja Foodie.
- Faster cook times – On high heat, slow cooking takes around 4-6 hours rather than 8-10 in a standard crockpot.
- Pot-in-pot cooking – Use an inner ceramic pot to cook foods like rice, oats, or beans at the same time.
- Keep warm setting – Food stays warm after cooking until you’re ready to serve.
Tips for Adapting Traditional Slow Cooker Recipes
Many traditional slow cooker recipes will work in the Ninja Foodie, but you may need to adapt cook times. Here are some tips:
- Reduce cook time by 2-4 hours – most recipes take 4-6 hours on high in the Ninja Foodie.
- Use more liquid – the Ninja Foodie cooks faster so include more broth, water, or sauce.
- Cut vegetables smaller – this allows them to cook through fully in less time.
- Brown meats first – quick saute feature helps develop flavor for stews and chilis.
- Check for doneness earlier – start checking 1-2 hours before minimum times and adjust.
- Use a thermometer – check food has reached safe internal temperatures.
With some simple recipe adjustments, you can easily adapt traditional crockpot recipes to work perfectly in the Ninja Foodie.
What are the slow cook settings on the Ninja Foodie?
The Ninja Foodie has three slow cook temperature settings: low, medium and high. Low is 200°F, medium is 275°F, and high is 325°F. Use the chart in your manual to determine correct cook times for each setting.
Can you cook frozen foods in Ninja Foodie slow cooker mode?
It’s not recommended to cook frozen foods on the slow cook setting. Thick, frozen pieces of food may not reach safe internal temperatures fast enough. For frozen foods, defrost first and then use a pressure or steam cook program.
What size crockpot is the Ninja Foodie slow cooker?
The Ninja Foodie has a 6.5 quart ceramic coated inner pot. This is equivalent to a 6 – 7 quart slow cooker insert in capacity. Keep this size in mind when converting traditional crockpot recipes.
Can you use a separate slow cooker insert in the Ninja Foodie?
Yes, you can use a separate ceramic slow cooker insert or crock in the Ninja Foodi. Make sure it fits properly in the inner pot and doesn’t exceed the maximum 6.5 quart capacity.
Do you need to add liquid when slow cooking in the Ninja Foodie?
Yes, you need at least 1 cup of liquid for a standard slow cook time of 4-8 hours. This helps create steam and tenderizes the food. Add extra liquid for longer cook times or less juicy ingredients.
Slow Cooker Tips and Tricks
Here are some additional tips and tricks for great results when using the Ninja Foodi or any slow cooker:
- Brown meat before slow cooking for added flavor.
- Layer vegetables on the bottom to prevent burning.
- Cook on low for cheaper cuts of meat to tenderize.
- Add dairy ingredients like milk or cream towards the end.
- Use root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions which hold up well.
- Make sure the lid has a tight seal to retain heat and moisture.
- Cut ingredients into similar sized pieces so food cooks evenly.
Recommended Ninja Foodie Slow Cooker Recipes
Here are some delicious recipes to try in the Ninja Foodie on the slow cook setting:
Chicken Tortilla Soup
This classic flavorful Mexican soup with spicy, tangy flavors is perfect for the Ninja Foodie. Cook 4-6 hours on low.
Tender beef and vegetables in a rich sauce – an easy dinner. Cook on high for 5-6 hours for best results.
Cook pork shoulder on low for 8 hours until fall-apart tender. Shred and mix with your favorite bbq sauce.
Slow cooking gives inexpensive cuts of beef delicious flavor and tenderness. Cook with veggies for a hearty meal.
Ground beef or turkey chili packed with beans and spices. Top with cheese, onion and avocado.
Tips for Cooking Dried Beans from Scratch
Cooking dried beans from scratch can save money while giving you control over flavor. Here are some tips for cooking beans in the Ninja Foodie:
- Pick over beans and rinse them.
- Soak beans for 8-12 hours which helps reduce cook times.
- Drain soaked beans and place in ceramic crock with water.
- Don’t fill crock more than halfway to allow beans to expand.
- Season beans with onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt and other spices.
- Cook on low for 7-9 hours, checking if beans are tender.
- Add more water if needed to keep beans submerged.
- Mash some of the cooked beans to help thicken liquid.
Enjoy frugal and flavorful homemade beans using the convenience of your Ninja Foodie!
Common Slow Cooking Mistakes to Avoid
It’s easy to make mistakes that result in unsatisfactory dishes when slow cooking. Here are some common errors and how to prevent them:
- Not browning meat – Lead to less flavorful dishes. Quickly brown meat first.
- Not using enough liquid – Cause food to burn and stick. Use at least 1 cup liquid per 4 hours.
- Peeking under the lid – Leads to heat loss and longer cook times. Resist lifting the lid.
- Cooking on high heat the entire time – Can make vegetables mushy. Use low or mix high and low.
- Overfilling crock – Hinders heat circulation. Leave 2 inches room at top.
- Forgetting to add dairy at the end – Curdles milk or cream. Stir in 30 minutes before serving.
- Neglecting spices and herbs – Creates bland flavor. Season amply throughout cooking.
Being mindful of these common mistakes will help you make fantastic slow cooked dishes in your Ninja Foodie.
The Ninja Foodie is a very versatile appliance that can absolutely be used as a slow cooker or crockpot. While cook times may need to be adapted from traditional crockpots, the Ninja Foodie will produce tender and flavorful slow-cooked meals. Following the tips provided on converting recipes, proper cook times, recommended dishes and avoiding errors will ensure you get delicious results. With the Ninja Foodie, you can easily make classic crockpot recipes for pot roasts, soups, chili and more with the convenience of just using one multicooker appliance.