Ninja Foodi Pressure cooker review: FD401 vs OP401 vs OP302

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  June 26, 2021

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Ninja makes some of the best electric pressure and multi-cookers out there in the market. Excellent products backed up by happy customers make it a formidable brand in this field.

Ninja offers a wide variety of different cookers; it might seem hard to choose the right one that fits your needs.

To make things easier for you, we have listed and differentiated three cookers by Ninja, the Ninja Foodi FD401 vs. OP401 vs. OP302.

difference-ninja-foodi

These three are the most popular models, and each of them has a unique addition to the essential functions. Each of them is best when they are put up against situations where they are the most suitable and furnished.

1. Ninja Foodi FD401


The FD401 is one of the most successful products of Ninja. The FD401 comes in many different configurations. We’ll take into consideration the 8-quart model. The FD401 has the usual electric cooker functions baked into it. It, not only pressure cooks food air crisps with the help of XL 5 quart cook and crisp basket, broil, sauté, dehydrate, slow cook, and even can bake. It comes with an 8-quart dehydrator and a skewer stand.

The tender-crisp technology of cooking makes it a unique addition in the kitchen. This time-saving cooking unit has a reversible rack and can be your best buddy in times of hurry! It can cook meat and defrost quickly. Hard to believe, but it takes as less as 20 minutes to defrost as well as cook simultaneously.

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Check the full FD401 review here

2. Ninja Foodi OP401

This model is also available with the tender-crisp technology. It has a crisping lid, which helps make the food crispy. It is a perfect cooking device for large families. The basket can hold 7 lb of food. The device has an 8-quart pot, which is ceramic coated, pressure, and crisping lids. It comes with a 5-quart ceramic-coated cook, rack made of stainless steel, crisp basket, and a recipe book! The OP401 model is available in different configurations and colors; the two unique models are the one with a dehydrator and the other one with a skewer stand.

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Check the full OP401 review here

3. Ninja Foodi OP302

The OP302, like the other two models mentioned above, is a highly versatile pressure cooker. The pressure cooking mode can cook food 70 times faster than open pot cooking. The total capacity of the cooker is around 6.5 quart. The inside of the pot coated with ceramic is non-stick, and PTFE/PFOA free. The design of both the inside and the outside of the op302 doesn’t give difficulty while cleaning.

The cooker also comes with a 4.5-quart crisp and cook basket; it can easily fit a 5-pound chicken inside of it. The op302 also includes air fryer and tender-crisp technology. It allows you to make everyone’s favorite French fries with 75 times less oil and helps you cook the juiciest and crispy chicken.

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Check the full OP302 review here

Comparison

FD401-vs-OP401

What Is the Difference Between Ninja Foodi FD401 and OP401

The FD401 is the newer version of the OP401. Both of these come at the same price point and have a somewhat similar kind of features. The main difference between the two is that the FD401 comes with a different menu navigation system. The FD401 comes with a button knob combo. It makes navigating and selecting the different kinds of modes an effortless task.

What Is the Difference Between Ninja Foodi OP401 and OP302

The OP302 carries all of the features from the OP401 model. It has all the usual cooking modes, and along with that, it also has the air frying mode and the tender-crisp mode. The main difference between them is that the OP302 is available in only one variant. The available variant has a capacity of only 6.5 quarts. The other difference is that this variant includes the dehydrate mode along with the different modes. The dehydration mode is included; the OP302 comes along with the dehydration rack pre-bundled.

Ninja-Foodi-Pressure-Cooker

Even though the pressure cooker has already been around for several years, it’s still getting huge traction among cooking enthusiasts these days. And now that we’re in the modern age, these cooking devices come with innovative features and great displays.

If you’ve seen those traditional pressure cookers, then you have probably noticed that they come with an analog gauge right above, which displays the device’s pressure level. But this is no longer the case in today’s pressure cookers, which is why they are back in popularity. The pressure cookers of today are equipped with modern and innovative features.

For instance, the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker is very efficient at what it does. Of all the modern pressure cookers I’ve come across, this is the only model that has certainly raised the bar for pressure cookers.

What is Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker?

The Ninja Foodi is perhaps the most popular of all models of modern pressure cookers these days. It comes with great features, such as the multi-pressure levels, digital displays, keep-warm feature, timer, and more.

What makes this device stands out from the rest is that it also functions as an air fryer. Therefore, it will not only pressure cook your food in a very fast and efficient way, but it will also give it a crispy texture, which is what we all love, right?

Features

Compared to other pressure cookers, the Ninja Foodi is larger. That’s because it can do a lot more tasks. It is for this reason why it’s the most popular pressure cooker in the market now.

In front of the cooker, there’s an excellent display that’s easy for anyone to understand. Featuring a touch panel, this display allows you to set the cooker at a certain time. This is also where you will adjust the pressure from low to high. The display will also let you choose the cooking that you want, whether it’s pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, using the air crisp, broiling, searing or sautéing, dehydrating, etc.

At the back of the Ninja Foodi, you’ll find several vents and drip cups. What’s great about the drip cup is that you can easily pull it out for cleaning.

Another thing that makes the Ninja Food different from the other pressure cookers is its 2-lid system. The lid that’s attached to the cooking device is actually the lid for air fryer or air crisper. This lid is equipped with a built-in fan that circulates the air fast in order to cook crisp food without the need to deep-fry it.

When buying the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker, you’ll also get an air crisper basket made of metal, which is very useful for when you need to cook French fries or similar things. There are slots at the bottom of the basket that circulate the air and allow the oil to drip right through the main cooking pot that’s underneath it.

If you want to use it as a pressure cooker, you must use a pressure lid and leave the air crisp lid in an open position. For those who are already knowledgeable with using the pressure cooker, then you should be familiar with the vent valve that’s right above the cooker. There’s also a large handle that makes it easy to remove or secure the lid.

tender-crisp

Advantages of Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

So, let’s understand how the Ninja Foodi Pressure works when cooking a 6-pound chicken. I can say that I’m truly impressed with the way this cooking device works. In only about 30 minutes, I already have a perfectly cooked chicken. This works really fast compared to other cookers that cook 20-lb meat for 20 minutes.

I also find it very easy to use. I simply poured 1-cup of water into the pot and then placed the chicken. After that, I added some spices like thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper. I then covered it with the pressured lid and turned the device on. As for the time, I set it to 30 minutes and then pressed start.

The pressure cooker’s display is showing a cursor that animatedly rotates around the display until the pressure reaches a certain level. Then the timer starts counting downwards until it’s over.

I left the device to release naturally for about a few minutes and turned the valve into a vent position until its pressure pin dropped. This means that it’s already okay to take the lid off. Upon opening the cooker, I was presented with a perfectly cooked chicken that tasted absolutely amazing. What’s more, the bottom of the pot has several cups of chicken broth, which I can later on use to cook the leftover meat.

I also tried using the air crisp lid for cooking some leftover fish and fries. Usually, when you heat leftover fried foods, you’ll end up with a soggy or rubbery result, which is truly a mess. But the Ninja Food Pressure Cooker had surprisingly revived the fried foods into something that’s exactly the same as when they were first cooked. What’s more, doing it is pretty easy. I simply arranged them in the air fryer and placed them into the main cooking pot. Then I set the device to cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

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Clean Up

Another thing that I find impressive in the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker is that it can be cleaned quickly and easily. I love cooking, but I absolutely hate the cleaning up afterward, which is why I am so pleased with how easy it is to clean the Ninja Foodi.

You simply have to place the inner cooking pot into the dishwasher. The lid must be hand-washed, which I don’t mind since it rarely gets dirty. That’s because the pressure prevents the food from getting splattered to the lid.

Pro & Cons

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

I have long been using pressure cookers for prepping up meals, but of all the pressure cookers I’ve used, I find the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker to be really impressive. It saved me a lot of time since it cooks faster than the other pressure cookers. Plus, the food turned out really tasty, and the cooker did a great job at infusing flavor into the food.

To start with, the circumstances in which the three models are useful, first of all, the aspect of capacity. The Ninja Foodi FD401 and the OP401 come in varying sizes, the biggest of which is the 8-quart size. If you have a big family to feed or if you have a regular list of guests who come over, then the 8-quart variant will come in handy. There are also two other sizes that you can choose, the 5 quart and the 6.5-quart options.

The OP302, on the other hand, comes in a single size variant which is the 6.5-quart variant. It makes the OP302 fit for small to medium families only. Also, to produce sufficient food, you might need to make the total serving in two rounds.

The thing that makes the FD401 unique from the other two models is that the FD401 uses a button/knob combination for menu navigation. The other two models have the touch panel. The main problem with the touch panels is that operating them with wet or oily and slippery hands becomes a big ordeal. Having a knob makes navigation easy, hassle-free, and simple.

The best factor is if you use the dehydrate mode or not. The FD401 and the OP401, both of them, have a separate variant that comes with the dehydrate mode and the dehydrate rack. The OP302 comes in only one variant, and along with that, the dehydration feature and the dehydration stand come bundled.

If you have a big family to feed and need that extra capacity, then the most favorable cooker would be the Ninja Foodi FD401, the reason being its user-friendly and efficient navigation system. If you have a small or medium family to feed or if the dehydration feature is one of your main priorities, then you should go for the OP302. Lastly, the OP302 is also the best choice if you want all of the features of the Ninja Foodi FD401 and OP401 at a lower price.

Also read: Instant Pot DUO60 Review, the perfect Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.