Reviews of the Ninja Cooking System ★ Helpful Tips
I love perusing reviews online. Whether it’s a major purchase or something as simple as a cookbook, I like knowing what other people think. I also like knowing how many people are out there talking about it—the more the merrier. Information seems more reliable when it comes from a bunch of real people who have actually used the item in question. Not surprisingly, I scoured online reviews of the Ninja Cooking System before I decided to pull the trigger and put one in my kitchen.
That was well over a year ago now. I knew I made a good purchase with the Ninja Cooking System right off the bat. But I didn’t realize just how much it would change my cooking world (in a good way). I’m obviously an advocate—which should be apparent from the growing collection of Dish-y recipes developed for the Ninja Cooking System. It’s most definitely a big focal point for the site.
Since I make cooking/food/research a full time job, I’ll save you the time. I’m sharing some of the best tips I’ve found in the many reviews of the Ninja Cooking System out there in Internet land. I’ve combed through over a thousand reviews on Amazon, QVC, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more.
The Best Tips Gleaned from Reviews of the Ninja Cooking System
- There is a bit of a learning curve since it operates differently than a traditional slow cooker. Using recipes developed specifically for the cooker initially will get you familiar with how it operates, so get your resources handy. Resources for NCS recipes are the cookbook (or the Ninja website, if you didn’t get a cookbook), bloggers who develop recipes (like me!), Pinterest and Facebook groups. Here is one Facebook group to join right away—an indispensible resource for all the recipes your heart could desire. I like to use the MealBoard app to organize all my recipes, and it’s also been helpful in making notes on traditional recipes that need a few adjustments to convert for the NCS.
- The Ninja Cooking System cooks a little faster than a typical slow cooker. Using recipes developed for the cooking system is helpful. Increasing the cooking liquid on other traditionally written recipes helps a lot—especially when using the STOVE TOP and OVEN functions, which both create more steam evaporation.
- Since the unit does produce a good amount of steam, cooking in a spot not directly underneath kitchen cabinets is a good idea. Also be mindful of how you lift the top off the unit. The steam that collects under the lid will run off very quickly. I typically tip the lid slightly towards the cooking basin to catch the dripping condensation.
- Preheating the unit for a few minutes is essential for browning meat effectively. I usually build in 3 minutes of preheat time for the recipes I develop.
- The pot can easily transfer to the oven for a quick broil to crisp up the top of casseroles. Since the unit is designed for steam cooking, food typically does not crisp up in the cooker. However, I’ve had good luck with cheese toppings crisping up a bit on the SLOW COOK function over a longer period of time.
A few finer details about the Ninja Cooking System
- Using non-scratching utensils is a must, since this cooker has a non-stick cooking surface. I especially love my long-handled silicone-tipped tongs for turning pieces of meat in the basin.
- The lid is thin—some users have reported denting it when dropped. It’s good to be aware of this so you can be extra careful. It also doesn’t lock, so the lid may slip around if it travels with you to a potluck or pitch-in. Traveling with your NCS may require some creative problem-solving!
- Using a kitchen timer with the cooker can be helpful, since the cooker does not audibly notify when the cooking time is up.
- The cord is a little short—I’ve managed to fix that with a simple 6 foot household extension cord. Just beware with this method. Extension cords almost always pose more risk than plugging any appliance directly into the wall. It’s best to avoid extension cords if possible.
- Be sure to use potholders when using the pot handles since they are not insulated.
- The unit is very easy to clean up, and does best with hand washing. A dish wand makes quick and easy work of hand washing both the pot and lid.
- Some reviewers mention that the arrow indicator on the knob is difficult to see. However, many report that adding a piece of colored tape or white nail polish has helped solve the problem.
- It’s a great item to have in a small kitchen—giving you more usable cooking space for a variety of recipes.
- Find an easy-to-access spot to store your Ninja Cooking System, because you’re going to use it a lot!
The rest of the reviews of the Ninja Cooking System are full of praises. The cooker boasts impressive average ratings on all the major sites. If you’re still considering purchasing a Ninja Cooking System, you’ve found the right place—and I encourage you to take the plunge. Starting with a strong set of resources is the sure way to get cooking successfully!
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