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Ninja Air Fryer Comparison: AF101 vs SP101 vs AF161

Ninja Air Fryer Comparison


Air fryers have emerged as a must-have gadget for health-conscious cooks and culinary enthusiasts in the bustling world of kitchen appliances.

Among the myriad of options available, Ninja’s lineup stands out for its innovative design, versatile functionality, and efficient cooking capabilities.

This Ninja Air Fryer Comparison article comprehensively compares three of Ninja’s most popular models: the AF101 Air Fryer, the SP101 Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven, and the AF161 Max XL Air Fryer.

Each model brings its unique set of features to the table, from compact designs suitable for smaller kitchens to multi-functional capabilities that cater to a variety of cooking needs. 

Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef looking for a convenient way to prepare healthier meals, this guide aims to help you navigate the choices and find the Ninja air fryer that best fits your lifestyle, space, and culinary aspirations.

AF101 Ninja Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 4 quarts, suitable for small to medium-sized families.
  • Functionality: Offers air frying, roasting, reheating, and dehydrating.
  • Power: 1550 watts, ensuring efficient cooking.
  • Size: Compact design, easy to fit on most countertops.
  • User Feedback: Generally positive, highlighting ease of use and cleaning, as well as its versatility for cooking a range of dishes.

Ninja SP101 Digital Air Fry Countertop Oven with 8-in-1 Functionality

  • Capacity: Can fit a 13-inch pizza or 9 slices of toast, offering more space than traditional air fryers.
  • Functionality: Features 8 functions, including air fry, air roast, air broil, bake, bagel, toast, dehydrate, and keep warm.
  • Power: Higher power usage due to its larger size and multifunctionality.
  • Size: Larger and requires more counter space but offers a flip-up feature for storage, saving space when not in use.
  • User Feedback: Positive reviews for its versatility and capacity to replace several kitchen appliances, though some note it may take time to master all functions.

Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 5.5 quarts, making it suitable for larger families or gatherings.
  • Functionality: Provides air frying, max crisp, air roast, air broil, bake, reheat, and dehydrate functions.
  • Power: 1750 watts, offering powerful performance for quicker cooking times.
  • Size: Slightly larger than the AF101 due to increased capacity.
  • User Feedback: Users appreciate the larger basket size for bigger batches of food, the quick cooking times, and the easy-to-clean basket.

Comparison Overview

  • For Smaller Kitchens/Families: The Ninja AF101 is an excellent choice due to its compact size and sufficient capacity for smaller families.
  • Versatility: If you’re looking for an appliance that can replace several others and have the space for it, the Ninja SP101 offers the greatest versatility with its 8-in-1 functionality.
  • For Larger Quantities: The Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer is best for those who often cook for larger groups or prefer to cook larger quantities at once, offering a larger capacity and more power for quick cooking.


Your choice should depend on your specific needs:

  • Kitchen Space: Consider the SP101 if you have enough space and need a multi-functional appliance. For smaller spaces, the AF101 or AF161 might be more appropriate.
  • Cooking Needs: If you frequently cook for larger groups, the AF161 is preferable. For more varied cooking methods beyond air frying, consider the SP101.
  • Budget and Preferences: Consider which features are most important to you and how each model fits into your budget.

Remember, all three products carry the Ninja brand’s reputation for quality, so your decision should be guided by your specific needs and space considerations.

Ninja Air Fryer Comparison Key Feature Overview

FeatureNinja AF101 Air FryerNinja SP101 Digital Air Fry Countertop OvenNinja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer
Capacity4 quartsFits a 13-inch pizza or 9 slices of toast5.5 quarts
FunctionalityAir fry, roast, reheat, dehydrate8-in-1 functionality including air fry, bake, toastAir fry, max crisp, roast, broil, bake, reheat, dehydrate
Power1550 watts1800 watts1750 watts
Size & DesignCompact and countertop-friendlyLarger; flip-up design for space savingLarger than AF101; designed for larger quantities
User FeedbackPositive for ease of use, cleaning, and versatilityPositive for multi-functionality and space-saving designPositive for large capacity and quick cooking
Best ForSmaller families/kitchensVersatility and saving spaceLarger families or meals
image featuring three air fryers

What does 4 and 5.5 Quarts Capacity mean?

The terms “4 quarts” and “5.5 quarts” refer to the capacity of kitchen appliances, such as air fryers, indicating the volume of food they can hold. Here’s a breakdown of what these capacities mean in practical terms:

  • 4 Quarts: This capacity is suitable for small to medium-sized families or individuals. It can typically accommodate enough food for about 2-4 people in one cooking cycle, depending on the type of food. 

  • For instance, a 4-quart air fryer can easily handle a pound of french fries, a couple of chicken breasts, or a small whole chicken. It’s ideal for those with limited kitchen space or who don’t need to cook large amounts of food at once.

  • 5.5 Quarts: This larger capacity is better suited for medium to large families or for those who entertain guests frequently. 

  • A 5.5-quart air fryer can cook larger quantities of food — for example, it can accommodate multiple chicken breasts, a larger whole chicken, or more than two pounds of french fries in a single batch. 

  • This size is particularly useful for preparing meals for gatherings or for meal-prepping, as it can handle more food at once, reducing the need for multiple cooking cycles.

In summary, the choice between a 4-quart and a 5.5-quart capacity depends on your cooking needs, the number of people you’re cooking for, and the amount of kitchen space you have. 

A 4-quart model is compact and efficient for smaller meals and kitchens, while a 5.5-quart model offers more flexibility for larger meals and can be a time-saver for cooking in bulk.

CapacitySuitable ForFood ExamplesIdeal For
4 QuartsSmall to medium-sized familiesA pound of french fries, a couple of chicken breasts, or a small whole chickenIndividuals or small families, limited kitchen space
5.5 QuartsMedium to large families or gatheringsMultiple chicken breasts, a larger whole chicken, or more than two pounds of french friesLarger families or meal-prepping, cooking in bulk

In our exploration of the versatility and efficiency of Ninja Air Fryer models, we delve into not just their functionalities but also how they can transform your daily cooking. 

For enthusiasts eager to expand their culinary horizons, we’ve curated a list of additional resources that are a perfect complement to your air frying journey:

  • For a treasure trove of air fryer recipes that span from quick snacks to elaborate dinners, check out the extensive collection at Your New Foods Air Fryer Recipes. This resource is ideal for those looking to explore the full range of dishes that can be prepared with the convenience of an air fryer.

  • If you’re particularly interested in mastering the art of cooking salmon in your Ninja Air Fryer, the guide Everything You Need to Know About Cooking Salmon in an Air Fryer offers detailed insights into achieving perfectly flaky and delicious salmon every time.

  • And for those who wish to dive even deeper into the possibilities offered by their Ninja Air Fryer, The Ultimate Guide to Air Fryer Recipes provides an expansive collection of recipes. From appetizers to desserts, this guide will help you make the most of your appliance, inspiring you to try new recipes and techniques.

These additional resources are designed to enrich your cooking experience, offering new ideas and techniques to ensure you get the most out of your Ninja Air Fryer.

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a generic comparison of three air fryers

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