Anyone Have A Ninja Cooker? Good, or gimmick?

I have an ancient ceramic crockpot with an adjustable temperature dial. It can also be used for deep frying, though I suspect with modern safety regulations some might find that horrifying.

Anyway, I’ve been looking around for a more modern replacement that would still allow me to specify a specific temperature for cooking. ‘Low’ and ‘High’ just doesn’t cut it for me. I guess I am too persnickety for that, plus a gift crockpot I got a few years back would always burn stuff on the ‘High’ setting, so I guess that spoiled my expectations further.

Recently the Ninja Cooking System has been brought to my attention. I am a bit troubled that there’s not much on the site itself to actually back its claims. Anyone have one? What do you think? Since I live in the South, having a small appliance that would do more than just slow cook is an attractive idea - don’t have to heat up the whole kitchen and living room by turning on the big oven.

I read Modernist Cuisine, and the praise they heaped on steam ovens impressed me. And the multi-thousand-dollar price of those ovens impressed me as well. $159 for an electrical appliance is pretty reasonable if it works, and doesn’t seem like that much to gamble to find out.

I bought a NuWave oven, which uses infrared, and have been very happy with it. Plenty of room for innovation in the kitchen.

I was shopping for some stuff on Chicago’s Craigslist and ninja popped to mind. Here’s one NIB for $60:
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/hsh/4095901907.html

I don’t know if the OP is in an area with an lively CL community but probably worth checking for this sort of unproven, novelty item.

I don’t eat enough ninjas to justify buying a dedicated cooker.

I don’t blame you, they always give me a bad case of the “silent but deadlies”.
I have a fascination with all the infomercial cooking gadgets, I’d be interested in learning how well this one works.

:smiley: Bravo

According to online reviews, it works:

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Ninja+Cooker+review&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

We got one as swag from a food blogging conference DoctorJ attended last fall. It’s a very nice slow cooker, and a reasonable stove top for very small portions. We’ve never used the oven setting–if we’re making something small enough to fit in the Ninja and don’t want to heat up the real oven, we use the toaster oven for baking or the grill for roasting.

The thing he was excited about, and that it failed miserably at, was searing a large piece of meat. You know how a lot of slow cooker recipes call for searing/browning the roast or whatever before you put in the pot? And how it kind of defeats the purpose of a set it and forget it appliance if you have to use and clean a skillet first? The Ninja was supposed to eliminate that issue by letting you sear right there in the same pot, but it just doesn’t get hot enough for that.

We’ve kept it because our old slow cooker died shortly before this one arrived and hey, it was free. And as I said, it works very well as a slow cooker. But it simply doesn’t fill enough of a void in our kitchen to justify us paying more for it than we would for a comparable Crock Pot. If we didn’t have a toaster oven, that calculus might change.

I was wondering exactly this - thanks for the info!

The aftertaste sneaks up on you as well.

I have been using the Ninja cooking system for quite some time, and i’m picky regarding quality, shape, functionality. I did a small pork roast and later did braised red cabbage. Each Of Those dishes really good. The cooker is creatively very good placed on my kitchen counter whilst it cooks. It takes up smaller space than I thought it would, and it has got a interesting recipe book as well. So far, awesome!

Review

I like a nice dry oven for baking. You can always add a bath or cover.