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This Air Fryer Kept Me Fed Through College. And It’s on Sale for Prime Day

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If you’re anything like me, meal times are a logistical nightmare. In college, I would have elaborate plans for things I wanted to cook for myself, but that would also require me to accurately time my sides and main dishes so that everything would be done at the same time. Reality would set in after coming home from a long day of classes, and I was hardly in the mood to put in the time and mental energy necessary to plan my meals. This resulted in me wasting money on takeout or just eating cold cereal. However, that all changed once the Ninja Foodi 13-in-1 Air Fryer found its way into my college home. 

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide to everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.

One of my roommates brought the air-fryer home, and just like that, my cooking experience was changed. Essentially, I began treating this air fryer like a second oven. No longer was I doing incredibly questionable math to figure out temperatures and timings to accommodate multiple things in one oven or just giving up on cooking altogether. The air-fryer was able to act as a whole separate oven right on my countertop. That second option eliminated part of the mental energy that cooking required, and I found that I started cooking more. 

With the air fryer’s multiple options, I found I could get even more specific with what I was cooking. If I wanted to crisp up some tofu, I would use the air-fryer setting, but if I wanted to roast some veggies, I would use the bake or air-roast options. This thing can even toast, which was an absolute must-have during college. I could even switch up what method of cooking I was using in the middle of cooking. So if I was baking something in the oven, I would air-fry it for the last few minutes of its cook time, giving it a bit of extra crisp. 

The only thing that really bothered me about the Ninja Foodi 13-in-1 Air Fryer was that it is a little small, and the pans I would usually put in my oven wouldn’t fit into the Ninja Foodi. It does come with a “SearPlate,” a basket and a rack, but if you plan to use it frequently, you might want to invest in some extra pans (these should fit just fine).  

While this product is on the pricier side, it is on sale during this October’s Amazon Big Deal Days event, and it’s CNET’s top pick for the best air fryer toaster oven. If you want to get yourself a Ninja Foodi 13-in-1 Air Fryer, it’s $170 right now, a $160 discount from its original price. Personally, this was the only countertop kitchen gadget I needed, and it saved me tons of money, since I was cooking food that I really wanted to eat in instead of eating out, so I think it’s well worth the price tag. 

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