Ninja Speedi reviewon February 23, 2023 at 17:35 Tech Advisor
As fast as the name promisesDual-cooking function is a genuine game-changerHard to think of anything you can’t cook in it
Large appliance that takes up a lot of countertop spaceHeavy lid doesn’t lock in its open position1760W means it’s not as economical as smaller air fryers
The Speedi will replace all your other countertop cooking appliances – and your oven. It’s the most versatile multicooker we’ve tested. But it requires a big spot on your counter and it’ll cost more to run than a smaller air fryer.
Countertop cooking has been revolutionised by the speed and ease of the air fryer. But there’s one thing a conventional air fryer can’t do – and that’s cook more than one dish at once. It means you’ll always end up resorting to a hob or microwave for your side dish.
Unless, that is, you invest in a Ninja Speedi. The latest multicooker from Ninja – now the third largest small appliances brand in the world, and one of the most trusted – can cook two different dishes, using two different cooking methods, at the same time. In 15 minutes flat.
It’s a ten-in-one cooker that can steam air fry, steam bake, steam, grill, air fry, bake/roast, dehydrate, sear/sauté, slow cook and make Speedi meals – which we’ll explain later on in this review.
Design and appearance
Large countertop footprintHuge 6QT/ 5.7 litre capacitySimple, intuitive controls
There’s no getting around the fact that the Speedi is a grey and silver countertop monolith. There’s no seeing around it, either.
It’s a massive near-cube of industrial looking metal that, at 31 x 33 x 35cm is approaching the size of a microwave. It looks like something you’d use to cut cogs from sheet metal.
The Speedi may be huge (and it is) but every aspect of it is high quality and feels robustly made.
It has a hinged lid that swings upwards to a 90° angle when open. As the lid houses its heating element, it’s heavy, and we’d really love to see it lock in place for safety. It feels secure when in its open position and we never felt it was likely to slam shut on our hands – but if you have children around when you’re cooking, you’ll want to ensure they stay away from it.
The Speedi lid’s handle is inset into the lid itself. For ease of use, we’d love to see a bigger handle – something that’s easy to grab and hard to lose your grip on if your hands are wet. A panini press handle would be ideal.
But the exterior of the Speedi is always cool to the touch, so you don’t need to worry about touching the handle or lid when it’s in use.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
In spite of its size, there’s enough space under standard kitchen cabinets for the Speedi’s lid to open. Not that you’ll want to use it there. Ideally, you’ll want to place it under your extractor fan when it’s on – at least when it’s in a steam cook mode, unless you want the cupboards above it dripping with condensation.
The Speedi may be huge (and it is) but every aspect of it is high quality and feels robustly made
But given its weight – the Speedi is 6.5kg/ 14.3lbs – you won’t want to move it far. There’s no way it could be stored up on a shelf or in an overhead cabinet.
Inside the Speedi, there’s a removable deep cooking tray with a massive 6QT/ 5.7 litre capacity. This means it can comfortably make a meal for four.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
There’s also an air frying insert that can be used at the base as a crisper tray, to allow hot air to circulate around the food, or higher up, as a shelf, to allow for double-decker cooking. But we’ll come back to that.
The cooking pan and shelf have a high quality non-stick finish that makes them easy to wipe clean but they’re also both dishwasher safe, so there’s no need to wash by hand.
The Speedi is simple and intuitive to use. On the appliance’s lid, there’s a toggle switch that lets you choose between dry or steam cooking functions. Set it one way and on the control panel, you can choose from grill, air fry, bake/ roast, dehydrate, sear/ sauté or slow cook.
Set it the other way and you can steam, steam bake, steam air fry and cook Speedi meals (the double decker cooking feature).
Emma Rowley / Foundry
Also on the control panel are up and down keys for temperature and cooking time, which can be seen on the digital display.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
Apart from that, there’s just an On/Off button and a Start/Stop button. It couldn’t be easier or more intuitive to use.
There’s one thing to bear in mind with a multicooker of this size and that’s wattage. One of the reasons to use an air fryer in the first place is that it’ll save you money on your electricity bills by being faster, smaller and more efficient than an oven.
But the Speedi is a 1760W appliance. On my current electricity tariff, it would cost me 63p per hour to run, which isn’t cheap.
However, the Speedi allows you to cook a full meal (carbs, vegetables and protein) in just 15 minutes, which would cost me a much more appetising 16p. That may make it one of the cheapest ways to cook an entire meal.
Still, you’ll find that some of the things you’ve grown used to cooking cheaply in a smaller air fryer, such as baked potatoes, may not be as economical in the Speedi.
Steam and air fry at the same timeTen functions in allRecipe booklet included
To be honest, when I first unboxed the Speedi, it wasn’t love at first sight. I found its hulking presence and industrial look a bit off-putting. It would have to do something pretty special to warrant a spot on my not-so-spacious kitchen counter.
Then I started using it. Now, if I had to choose between my oven and the Speedi – well, let’s just say that I’d have a handy new kitchen cupboard under my hob.
It’s so fast and convenient to use and, thanks to its large size, you can do almost anything you can in an oven in the Speedi, including roasting a joint or an entire chicken, or baking a cake, although I haven’t tested the latter yet.
The fact that you can sauté, then steam or slow cook means you can brown onions and garlic for a dish and then continue your recipe in the same pot. I’ve tried sautéing in other multicookers and have been less than impressed. But it’s as easy in the Speedi as cooking them in a pan.
Its steam cooking functions mean you can steam and air fry at the same time (impossible though that sounds) and it’ll give food a winning combination of juicy and crunchy.
If I had to choose between my oven and the Speedi – well, let’s just say that I’d have a handy new kitchen cupboard under my hob
Then there’s the Speedi meals setting, which allows you to cook double-decker style, steaming a rice, grain or pasta dish with vegetables underneath, and air frying your protein on top.
The first time I tested it, I prepared Spanakorizo, a Greek spinach and rice dish, underneath and stuck some Quorn fillets on top. I set it to Speedi meals, and the time to 15 minute and the temperature to 175°C and promptly forgot about it. There’s an initial preparation stage, in which the appliance builds up enough steam to cook, then it gets to work.
It beeped to alert me to the end of the cooking cycle and there it was – an entire meal, perfectly cooked in 15 minutes without needing to stir or shake, and ready to eat.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
After that, I experimented with Speedi meals and found you can cook two separate dishes in the bottom half if you use oven-safe ramekins, so you can make a full English breakfast, or two separate vegetable dishes with your meat or fish. The only issue I found with these more experimental uses is that it’s hard to move the top deck when it’s loaded with food to check on what’s underneath or to stir a dish.
In case you’re in need of inspiration and to ease you into this type of cooking, the Speedi comes with a recipe booklet which shows you how to put together a base + vegetable + protein Speedi meal and then gives in-depth cooking instructions for several options, including cod fillets with spiced quinoa or honey mustard glazed pork chops with colcannon mash. But the formula is applicable to all kinds of meals.
I’ve used multicookers before but I’ve always found them a bit of a chore. There’s always a limitation to overcome and you end up resorting to a pan to cook part of the meal. After a while, this means that you revert to your old ways of cooking while the multicooker ends up languishing in a cupboard, unused.
But I’ve used the Speedi from everything from roasted vegetables to soups to slow-cooked stews to full meals and it really has become indispensable.
Price and availability
The Speedi is widely available in the US and the UK for $199.99 and £249.99 respectively, at the time of writing. In the US, you can buy it from Amazon, Best Buy and Target, among other retailers. Currently, there’s little variation in pricing. In the UK, it’s available from Argos, Very, Currys and more. Again, the prices are all very similar.
Price-wise, it’s obviously much more expensive than an ordinary air fryer. If you think that would be a better fit for your cooking needs, have a look at our round-up of the best air fryers we’ve tested. But it’s in the same price bracket as most high quality multicookers and we can’t think of a better multicooker option.
It’s easy to buy a countertop appliance with the intention of changing your cooking habits to fit it – but it never works. Instead, you end up donating it six months later and ruing the cost. If you’re going to invest, it needs to be in something versatile and flexible enough to fit the way you cook now. We think the Speedi fits the bill.
It’s a large appliance, it’s a fair initial investment and it’s not the cheapest multicooker to use – but in spite of those factors, we still think it’s more than worth it.