This post was created in partnership with Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. I received complimentary products and compensation to facilitate my review, but all opinions within are my own.
You know how much I love it when cooking gets easier, right? As someone who hasn’t quite mastered the art of making edible food without a whole lot of assistance, I’m all for anything that helps me in the kitchen. We’re big fans of the Ninja® brand in our family. I got my mom one of their food processor/chopper systems two years ago for Christmas. She uses it all the time and we’ve yet to have to replace the blades. I have a long list of Ninja products on my wish list (the Coffee Bar is way up there at the top), so I was thrilled by the chance to try out The Ninja® Cooking Systems with Auto-iQ™!
The Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ features not one, not two, but FOUR manual cooking functions PLUS it has over 80 pre-programmed recipes that you can put together in just minutes. Let’s check out the features and how I’ve used them so far (and how I plan to use them for years to come)!
The Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ
The Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ is four appliances in one! It’s a slow cooker; a stove top for searing and sautéing; a steamer; and an oven for baking. Ever since it arrived in our home, I think we’ve only turned the actual oven on once, and that was for Thanksgiving when my mom was using every single available cooking appliance in the house. I’ve only used my stove top once or twice, too. Other than that, it’s been the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ all the way.
Features that make your life easier
Let’s start with what I think is the most unique and neatest feature of the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ: the Auto-IQ part. For novice cooks like me, this is an absolute miracle invention. The system comes with a cookbook filled with 80+ “one-button” recipes (plus a bunch of manual recipes to bring it to over 100 delicious meals, sides, and desserts that you can make).
Making these meals is literally as easy as tossing in the ingredients, hitting a button, and turning the dial to the recipe number indicated in the book. While the cooking time varies depending on what you make, the prep time is always crazy simple. I prepared lasagna in under five minutes, then hit the right button and walked away until it was done. The recipes include everything from simple poached meals to hearty layered bowls.
2. ACCUTEMP Slow Cooking
For years now I’ve been saying that I want to slow cook more meals. I like the idea of throwing ingredients into a pot in the morning or early afternoon and having dinner ready in the evening. The other night, we made one of the recipes from the included cook book: Korean Chicken Wings. I put the ingredients in the Slow Cooker around noon and set the timer for 5 hours on low slow cook. At 5, we had delicious “fall off the bone” chicken that was perfectly infused with flavor.
Did you know that most slow cookers only heat from the side? Ninja has Triple Fusion Heat® that brings bottom, side, and steam heat together, so your recipes are evenly cooked and full of tasty goodness. Plus, the ACCUTEMP temperature control makes sure that your food doesn’t burn or boil over.
3. Stove Top
Aside from the convenience of having a stove top feature built right in, I love this feature for another very important reason: safety. My dog Freya is a counter shark, meaning she’s always on the prowl for something to steal. It’s a pretty common thing in her breed, just about every Pharaoh Hound parent that I’ve talked to said their dog does the same thing. I also have cats that, despite my best efforts, occasionally walk across the counters. When we cook on the traditional stove top, we have to use the back burners only and make sure Freya doesn’t jump up and grab a hot pan. After we’re done, we cover the burner with a lid until it cools down.
With the stove top feature, the innovative heating element turns the Cooking System into a skillet! Not only can you saute and sear meats & veggies, it’s also pretty handy for making quick meals like French toast! The heating element is contained within the system, so Freya and my kitties are FAR less likely to get hurt. When I’m done cooking, I unplug and put the lid back on and slide it back until it cools down. No wide-open hot surface to pose a danger to my furbabies! Oh, and if you’re thinking “why not just train your dog to stay away from the counters,” you haven’t met a Pharaoh Hound!
Ever find yourself in the mood to bake some bread, a cake, or even just a simple little snack but the idea of turning on the oven is just too overwhelming? Since out kitchen is short on space, we keep a lot of pans and what not in the oven. When I want to bake something, I have to drag everything out and find a spot to put it, preheat the oven for a good 25 minutes (it’s old and slow), put the stuff in, almost burn my hands pulling it out to test it, put it back in, pull it out, find a place to put it now that I’ve cluttered the counter with the stuff that was in the oven…well, you get the point. It’s a pain.
Thanks to the baking function on my Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ, baking is as easy as taking off the lid, putting the ingredients in, putting the lid back on and hitting the right buttons. With a controllable temperature range of 250°–425°F and both a dry and wet bake function, you can make everything from roasts to cakes. I haven’t tried making breads or cakes yet, but we used the baking function every day for a week when we were going through an English muffin pizza phase. Before my Ninja, I was toasting the muffins in the toaster, then transferring to the microwave to make them. They were edible but soggy.
With the Ninja, I just heated it up to 375°F (put it on the stove top function for a few minutes to preheat), then pop my little pizzas onto the included roasting rack and set the timer to about 15 minutes. Voila! Perfect mini pizzas every time!
I haven’t tried the steaming function yet, but we plan to soon. I always get my mom some fresh clams for Christmas Eve dinner. I don’t eat them, but she loves them. There’s a recipe for Garlic Lemon Steamed Clams in the cookbook that is just perfect for her. Prep time is only 5 minutes, and the clams are steamed to perfection in about 30 minutes. You can also use the steamer function for veggies and other seafood.
Regardless of which function you use, the Auto Stay-Warm feature keeps everything warm until you’re ready to serve your meal. The programmable digital timer is easy to adjust with the turn of the knob. The 6-quart nonstick pot is large enough to make robust meals for the whole family. When you’re done, just pop it in the dishwasher. If you do choose to hand wash it, don’t worry, it’s super easy to clean. While I recommend reading the manual before you start cooking, the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ is super user-friendly and doesn’t have much of a learning curve at all. With this amazing multi-cooker, you’ll be making delicious meals in no time!
Coupon Alert! Save 15% off the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ!
I hope I’ve convinced you that you need this baby in your life. Trust me, it’s been a MAJOR time-saver for me! If you’re ready to purchase, use my code NICOLE15 to receive 15% off your very own Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ – good from now until Dec. 31”.
Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ GIVEAWAY
Enter below for a chance to win one of 20 Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ! Giveaway ends on 12/31/17. Winners will be randomly selected from all program entries and Ninja will facilitate fulfillment of the 20 winning prizes.
What would you make first with your Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ? Tell me below!