I’m loving an appliance I was recently introduced to: The Ninja Foodi Smart Grill.
Using what Ninja calls cyclonic grilling technology (rapid circulating hot air), this little powerhorse delivers juicy, char-grilled flavor over a range of temperatures (from 105 to 500 degrees) safely indoors. Like some other appliances, it does more than grill. You can also roast, bake, crisp (like an air fryer) and dehydrate food.
I learned about it from Anne Doan, a personal chef.
She was using it for a cooking class that will become part of a cookbook project for the Golden Lotus Foundation. Cynthia Chung Aki, the foundation’s founder, is putting together the cookbook and video series as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrated in May. The project features dishes created by chefs to match the winners in a food-themed haiku contest.
Doan, who is Vietnamese, was selected to pair a dish with Gayle Gilroy’s haiku that featured bread. Doan made her Vietnamese grilled lime chicken banh mi. Banh mi is a popular Vietnamese sandwich.
She took her Ninja grill to the filming of the dish. I was invited to attend the taping and see Doan in action.
“I bought it (the Ninja grill) for myself for Christmas,” said Doan. “I use it at least three times a week. It’s so handy and cooks really fast. There’s no smoke, or very little.”
It’s also super easy to clean. The hefty grill grate, a crisper basket and a cooking pot are all coated with a ceramic nonstick finish. It all comes apart and can go into the dishwasher. A cleaning brush is also included.
I’ve used the grill to prepare Doan’s excellent grilled lime chicken for the banh mi sandwich (recipe follows), baked potatoes, grilled asparagus and hamburgers, with delicious success. The only drawback is its size and weight. I store mine in the garage, and it’s pretty heavy to bring in and out. But at least I don’t have to fire up the outdoor grill on chilly evenings.
The grill is available at Costco, Target, Sam’s Club and, of course, amazon.com.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.