Ninja Air Fryer AF100 vs AF101 according to 10 Points
Ninja is easily one of the most reputable kitchen appliance manufacturers. They make everything – from coffee makers to juicers and blenders. But their air fryers are some of their most famous products.
Like many other top brands, they have several air fryer models on the market currently, which can make choosing one a little confusing, you may also wonder about the best 10 Ninja air fryers. Even more so if you have to pick between two fairly similar models, like the Ninja AF100 and AF101.
At first glance, the AF100 and AF101 look almost identical. While they do have similarities and are both top-performing models, they are not exactly the same. In this article, we will show you how these two amazing air fryers compare.
We asked 30 members of our Facebook forum that use either air fryer to give us their honest reviews. We also tested both models over several months to see how they perform, before using this data to create a comparison of the two models. But first, a quick overview of the air fryers.
Ninja Air Fryer AF100 Overview
The Ninja Air Fryer AF100 has been a popular model for quite some time now. It is always a top model for people looking for a space-saving air fryer, but this 4-quart air fryer has plenty to offer besides being compact.
One of its main selling points is its versatility. It can reheat, roast, and dehydrate food despite being small in size. There are also dedicated presets for these cooking functions. Together, these preset and its other intuitive controls make the air fryer super easy to use. Plus, it comes with a ceramic-coated basket to make cleanup hassle-free.
The air fryer is also quite fast at what it does. Of course, actual cooking time still depends on the specific food but many dishes can be completed in under 15 minutes. Everyday foods like bacon and shrimp will even cook in as little as 6 minutes!
- Super easy to use
- Makes lots of food even more delicious
- Cooks common food in under 15 minutes
- Cleanup is a breeze
- Some of the suggested cook times in the cookbook are not very accurate
Ninja Air Fryer AF101 Overview
The Ninja Air Fryer AF101 is a best-selling air fryer and you can be certain it will serve you well. Like the AF100, it is a 4-quart model. It can also do much more besides air frying, with 3 other cooking functions – roast, dehydrate, and reheat.
The cooking speed is what sets it apart from other small air fryers though. As this model gets to its optimal cooking temperature in less than 3 minutes, it can shave off up to 5 minutes from the total time you need to air fry fries, wings, and tater tots.
The AF101 is also an easy-to-use model with a highly intuitive interface. Its instruction and setup are clearly illustrated in the manual, so. they will make the initial usage hassle-free. Plus, the basket and crisper tray have a nonstick coating meaning they are dishwasher-safe to simplify cleaning.
- Super fast cooking
- No greasy mess
- Easy setup thanks to the clear instructions
- The basket is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
- Overall build feels sturdier
- Can be quite loud
- The strong chemical smell when using it for the first time
Ninja Air Fryer AF100 vs AF101: 10 Key Points to Consider
You will still have a high-performing air fryer regardless of whether you pick the AF100 or AF101. But if you are stuck between the two, here is our firsthand and unbiased comparison to help you out.
1. Sales Volume
It is difficult to determine any appliance’s sales volume accurately. You cannot do it without getting the data from the manufacturer or retailer. Things are even harder when comparing popular air fryers like the Ninja AF100 and AF101. The two are retailing in all major online retail stores, so it is difficult to get hard data from all of these platforms.
But, you can use a few indicators, such as the number of reviews and ratings each product has received on Amazon.
When writing this article, the Ninja AF100 had under 200 ratings on Amazon. The Ninja AF101 had over 41,000 ratings. It is a no-brainer that the sales volume is much higher for the AF101, as well as receiving a best-selling air fryer award on Amazon.
The price is probably one of the reasons making the AF101 the more popular air fryer of the two. The actual price you will pay depends on where you buy it, and whether you get deals and discounts. It should be said though that the Ninja AF101 is significantly cheaper on Amazon.
It is currently retailing at $89.99 on Amazon, while the Ninja AF100 is going for $119.99. The $30 price difference could be quite significant – even more so when you consider the two are virtually identical appliances.
The price difference is enough to cover the cost of extra accessories you might want to add, such as air fryer liners. If you are on a tight budget then, the AF101 would clearly be the clear choice for you.
Note: In some online retail stores, the AF100 is cheaper than the AF101. And so make sure you shop around before buying.
3. Cooking Capacity
Both the Ninja AF100 and AF101 have a 4-quart capacity. Hence there is no model between the two that has a particular advantage here. Plus, they have the same basket shape meaning they both hold the same amount of food.
Their 4-quart capacity basket is enough for cooking a whole 3-pound chicken. Also, you can cook over 1 pound of french fries without overcrowding the basket. With those metrics, it’s estimated either air fryer is probably big enough to cook for up to 4 people.
Still, the AF101 will be a better option when cooking large batches of food. Although it holds the same food as AF100, it cooks relatively faster, thanks mostly to the fast preheat time and more efficient cooking technology. It enables you to cook subsequent batches of food much faster.
4. Power Rating and Temperature Range
These air fryers have a similar power rating – they are both rated at 1550 watts. This should be more than enough power for a 4-quart air fryer and it ensures they should still be relatively energy-efficient, saving you on electricity costs.
Both air fryers also have a wide temperature range, adjustable from 105 to 400°F. It can go low enough to allow you to remove moisture from foods for dehydration. Alternatively, it can get hot enough to crisp up foods quickly, without drying them out.
Neither of the fryers has an edge then regarding power and temperature. Both are powerful enough, and the temperature range is ideal for cooking most foods.
5. Cooking Functions
Both air fryers are built to be multi-functional and they can easily replace several appliances in your kitchen. This is perfect when you want to save some money and space (who doesn’t!).
You can cook foods in various ways by tweaking the time and temperature. But the two air fryers support 4 main cooking functions, which are:
- Air frying
You can use either the Ninja AF100 or AF101 to air fry fries, or even roast beef. They are also perfect for dehydrating apples and kale to make chips. They could also reheat your leftover pizza!
Since these two are basket-style air fryers, you should expect to only get a few accessories when purchasing. Especially given they are marketed to be more affordable than many models out there. Neither will have extras such as baking pans, skewers, or rotisserie kits.
The Ninja AF100 only comes with its crisper tray and basket. But they are all you need to utilize the 4 main cooking functions.
The Ninja AF101 also includes a reversible rack, however, giving it a huge advantage. It allows you to increase your cooking capacity, by adding food in two layers. It also makes it possible to cook two different dishes in one batch, as well as being extra handy when dehydrating.
These air fryers do not include several presets like more expensive models (ome multifunctional air fryers can have over a dozen presets!)
For our two Ninjas, you get presets for the 4 cooking functions (air fry, roast, dehydrate and reheat). They are quite accurate, though, meaning they can still simplify your cooking.
Other buttons on the interfaces are start/pause, power, and time/temperature adjustments. You will often need to make adjustments manually to suit your cooking through trial and error, according to our research
8. Ease of Use
Since these two air fryers have identical user interfaces, it is hard to tell which is easier to use. At the end of the day, both are still relatively straightforward.
Many users that we talked to found the Ninja AF101 a little easier to use. The buttons feel softer and are highly responsive. Still, the one-touch control panel on the AF100 presents no problems with daily use.
9. Ease of Cleaning
The ceramic-coated basket and crisper plate on the Ninja AF100 ensure food does not stick, meaning clean-up is less of a hassle. Also, these removable parts are dishwasher-safe, which could save you further time and make things simpler overall.
The Ninja AF101 also has a ceramic coating on its basket and crisper plate and is similarly dishwasher-safe. Cleaning this air fryer shouldn’t take much time or effort.
So, to reiterate, when it comes to cleanup, we found no obvious differences between these two. The high gloss finish on the AF101 can give it a slight edge though, as it doesn’t stain and wipes clean easily.
Since both AF101 and AF100 have ceramic-coated parts, they both offer a high level of safety. Ceramic coating is an inert material that does not add toxins to your food, and this coating was specifically chosen to ensure the air fryers can not leech chemicals such as PTFE or PFOA. And like other Ninja appliances, the air fryers do not use any material containing BPA.
Besides using safe materials, the two air fryers also have several safety features. They include auto shut-off when cooking is complete and overheating protection.
The only safety concern is with the Ninja AF100. The air fryer does not shut off automatically when you remove the basket. There is a pause button, however, meaning you can use it to stop cooking before removing the basket.
Ninja AF100 vs AF161: 5 dIFFERENCES
The Ninja AF161 air fryer is another excellent model from Ninja. It could be a perfect alternative if the similarities between the AF100 and AF101 aren’t making things easy for you. Even more so if you are looking for a larger cooking capacity! Here is how it compares to the AF100:
1. Cooking Capacity
The Ninja AF161 has a larger 5.5-quart capacity, around 1.5-quart larger than what you get with the AF100 or AF101. This extra capacity allows you to cook up to 3 pounds of french fries or over a dozen chicken wings. The AF161 also has enough space to fit a 4-pound or slightly larger chicken, meaning you can use it to cook for up to 6 people.
2. Cooking Functions
The Ninja AF100 can air fry, roast, dehydrate and reheat food. The AF161, however, is a 7-in-1 air fryer, offering an extra 3 cooking functions. The extra cooking functions are broil, bake, and max crisp. As a result, this air fryer is perfect if you want something more versatile – particularly when you want to cook the crispiest foods.
3. Power Rating
Given the AF161 is a larger model, it should made clear that it requires more power to get things going. It has a 1750-watt power rating – 200 watts higher than the 1550 watts rating on the AF100. The extra power allows it to cook faster and more evenly, though – on average, it can cook most foods at least 30% faster than the AF100.
4. Max Temperature
With its more powerful heating element, the AF161 can also get hotter. The max rated temperature is 450°F, which is almost as high as any air fryer can get. It’s this high temperature that allows you to broil food, or quickly sear steaks to lock in all the juices and make them tastier. The AF100 can only get to 400°F, which is not high enough for broiling.
5. Cooking Technology
The cooking technologies also differ significantly. The Ninja AF100 mostly relies on a smart processor to keep the temperature and fan speed optimal when cooking. But, the AF171 goes beyond this by using bespoke ‘MaxCrisp Technology’. This technology allows the air fryer to get hotter which in turn speeds up your cooking. It also ensures you get crispier results without using too much oil.
Wrap-Up: Which Model Should You Choose?
Frankly speaking, it is difficult to go wrong when picking a Ninja air fryer. The brand has proven to be one of the most reliable in the market and so whether you choose the AF100 or AF101, you will still have a fantastic air fryer to play around with.
That said, the AF100 is a better option if you will be baking a lot. It can bake better cookies and muffins than your convection oven.
The AF101 is the best for dehydrating. This air fryer will make some tasty and crunchy chips in minutes. It really depends on what you see yourself using it most for.
So, which air fryer between these two would you prefer and why? Please share your answers in the comments. And also, remember to share this article to help others still stuck between the two.
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!