air fryer crispy fries

Ninja Air Fryer Max XL Review


Ranked 25 out of 32 Air Fryers by Consumer Reports, the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is a solid air fryer with plenty of great features and a whopping 5.5 qt capacity.  It’s no wonder it scored Best Overall Air Fryer by Good Housekeeping.

This basket style air fryer features 7 preset functions including Max Crisp, Air Broil, Air Fry, Dehydrate, Air Roast, Bake and Reheat.  

WIth a temperature range from 105 to 450 degrees, the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer can do everything from dehydrate foods to achieving maximum crispiness.

The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL’s signature Max Crisp function provides hotter, crispier results to frozen foods by using a higher temperature (Just remember to reduce cooking time and shake basket often).

A nonstick basket is pretty standard on any air fryer, but the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL basket’s nonstick ceramic coating is a step above the standard nonstick coating offering superior release of foods and super easy cleanup.

The 5.5 qt capacity basket can fit up to a 3 lb whole chicken for crispy skin and tender, juicy meat your family will love.

The manufacturer provides a 1 year limited warranty to cover any defects.

Wondering what is an air fryer and why do you need one? Check out this post!

What we love about the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL

The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL has so many great features that make it one of the leading air fryers on the market.

This air fryer has a nonstick ceramic coating that makes it very easy to clean.  This means there’s no chemicals being released into your food if the coating gets scratched.

This is the only air fryer we’ve seen that goes to 450 degrees.  That means it will quickly produce the crispiest foods possible without frying in oil.

The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL’s one-piece basket is easier to use and you don’t have to worry about accidentally disengaging anything when it’s hot.

It’s dishwasher safe. A frequent comment among reviewers is how easy these units are to clean compared to other air fryers.

The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL comes with a recipe book, and the recipes are well-liked and easy to follow. It even tells you what settings to use, what temperature to set and how long to set it for.

This unit has intuitive buttons that are firm and large, making it easy to use.

The Max XL is backed by Ninja’s top notch customer service, with quick response time and customer satisfaction being a priority.  If you have a problem with your unit, just let them know.  Many reviewers with problems within the 1 year warranty period have gotten a free return label and Ninja shipped out a new unit as soon as they get notification of the return from the shipper.

Air fryer noise level is often a complaint among owners. Not this one. Many reviewers thought the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is quieter than some microwaves and stove vent fans.

This is a big one. Because it is so popular, there are many videos and recipes out there that help you learn how to use the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL. A quick search on YouTube will show you how to make just about anything with your unit.

What’s not so great about the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL?

Of course, nothing in life is perfect. There’s always going to be something someone somewhere doesn’t like. Here we take a look at the most common complaints, or things you should be aware of before you purchase the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer.

This unit is rather large.  The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is Ninja’s biggest air fryer.  At almost 15” tall, this should still fit underneath most cabinets.  It is the same width as the smaller Ninja Air Fryer at 11” wide, but it is deeper at 14” allowing the extra space in the basket.

There is no auto-switch to warming function so it won’t keep food warm after cooking until you’re ready to eat.

The exterior surface is not a cool touch (but it won’t burn you).  Just keep little hands away while it’s running.

The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL has a round basket, which isn’t as convenient for fitting some foods inside.  There’s often wasted space.

It’s difficult to utilize the full capacity of the basket without using additional accessories such as racks and inserts.

The timer is preset to 20 minutes, so you always have to adjust it to your needs.  This is not uncommon among various small appliances.

Tips for using an air fryer

A common complaint among customers with all brands of air fryers is a plastic smell during first use.  To remedy this, it’s recommended to wash and dry all parts well.  Then take the air fryer outside and run it for 15 minutes on the hottest setting (Max Crisp for the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL).  Allow the unit to cool, then wash and dry again.  You should be ready for cooking now.

Always preheat before putting food in the air fryer for the best results.  Putting food in the hot air fryer prevents the outside from getting soggy and steaming your food rather than “frying” it.

There is a learning curve when cooking with an air fryer.  Be patient and keep an eye on your food until you get a feel for the time and temperatures needed to cook certain foods.

Companion accessories

There are many accessories that will help you get the most out of your air fryer.  Here are some of the most recommended items to consider.

Silicone tipped tongs will help you place, flip, and remove foods from the hot basket without scratching the nonstick surface.

An instant read meat thermometer will help to ensure consistent results and make sure foods are cooked to the proper temperatures to avoid anyone getting sick.

This air fryer accessory kit includes many great tools for use with your air fryer including cookbook, cake pan, pizza pan, skewers, racks, silicone muffin cups, and it’s dishwasher safe.

How to use oil in an air fryer

Cooking in an air fryer saves you much of the fat from frying foods in oil.  That doesn’t mean cooking is 100% oil free.  

You should use a small amount of oil when cooking most things in the air fryer.  This prevents the foods from drying out while cooking, and gives them that deep fried crispy outside.

Depending on what you’re cooking, that could be a spritz or two from your Misto, to a tablespoon or two.

You don’t put the oil in the fryer, like you would a deep fryer.  Instead you spray or rub it directly onto your food before you put it into the basket.  Make sure to cover all sides of your food.

When you shake the basket while cooking, if your food looks a little dry, give it another spritz of oil.

The best oil for an air fryer

With so many types of oils available in the supermarket, it’s hard to know what is the best oil for an air fryer.  You may have your favorite cooking oil, that may not be the best for the high temperatures in an air fryer.

Because of the high temperatures required to air fry, the most important factor when choosing an oil for an air fryer is the smoke point.  Smoke point is the temperature at which the oil will burn or smoke.  Many oils will lose their nutritional benefits at these high temperatures as well.  

The best oil for an air fryer has a high smoke point and retains its nutritional integrity at high temperatures.  Avocado oil, extra light olive oil, peanut oil and sesame oil are the best oils for an air fryer.

Why is Pam bad for air fryers?

The ingredients in Pam are not just oil.  Aside from lower quality oils, there are also propellants or aerosols that help disperse the product from the can.  These aerosols are known to cause chipping of the nonstick coating on air fryer baskets.  

A healthier alternative to aerosol oils is buying a refillable oil mister.  Then you can use whichever oil you prefer, and you can even have multiple types of oil for different foods.  

For example, coconut oil pairs well with shrimp. Since shrimp cooks at a lower temperature and coconut oil has a lower smoke point, these pair well for air frying.

Final thoughts

Ninja Max XL Air Fryer is a very popular machine with a 4.7 out of 5 star rating and over 5,600 reviews on Amazon.  Many reviewers have owned other air fryers and they consider the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL a better choice all around.  

If you’re cooking for a crowd, this air fryer is sure to please you.