Would a small electric roaster that can save you cooking time, add feature convenience, perform 4 times the functions of a conventional roaster peek your curiosity?
It did mine and I had to check it out.
This small electric roaster is really four small kitchen appliances in one — and at the weight of less than a standard 6-quart crock pot.
It roasts, steams, functions as a stove top — works at the speed of a convection oven and doubles as a crock pot — all in one device.
It’s lightweight, easy to handle with easy-to-read digital controls and sits comfortably on a kitchen island, counter or stove top.
The Ninja Small Electric Roaster Cooking System Features
There are four different cooking options all rolled into one.
The biggest time saver is going to be the convection oven-style cooking feature.
Food placed in the small roaster is heated from the bottom and air is circulated up and around the food. Much like convection oven cooking, this even distribution of moist heat cooks your food faster — at least 30% faster, depending on what you’re cooking.
If your goal is to get a meal out fairly quickly, then the convection feature will rise to the occasion.
The Crock Pot Feature
The Ninja Cooking System still functions as a crock pot but with an added bonus that you can’t get from a regular crock pot.
Anyone who cooks meat in a crock pot does so because they have the time to let it cook slowly through the course of a day — or, because they like the fork-tender results you usually get when cooking meat in a crock pot.
Where this small electric roaster shines is that you can sear or brown meat and vegetables right in this little cooking system — without having to brown your ingredients in another pan and transfer them to the slow cooker.
No need to leave those flavor-enhancing, caramelized or rich, roasted brown bits in the bottom of a skillet, they stay in the Ninja and you retain all that flavor while it slow cooks into your meat.
Again – big time saver, flavor saver and also a cleanup saver.
The Steam Roaster Feature
This feature comes in handy if you like to steam fish, vegetables, puddings or other foods you would typically steam on a rack, or set in a water bath like custards or creme brulee. This works greats for making breads, rolls and cakes, too!
The steam roasting feature is not for food items that you would normally leave cooking all day — the moisture for steaming will cook out if water or broth is not replaced as it evaporates.
This defeats the purpose of all day cooking if you have to lift the lid to add moisture back — and would then impact your cooking time.
Making a cake, a streusel, some lemon bars, a layered apple pie with crumb topping and many other types of desserts, using the roasting rack and the steam feature in this small electric roaster marvel will turn out moister having had the benefit of steam you can’t get when cooking in a conventional oven.
The One Pot Meal Advantage
Now you really don’t need to have a busy schedule to love a one pot meal cooking option — it’s more about convenience and using your time in the kitchen efficiently. Here’s how the Ninja Cooking System could work for you:
Pros and Cons of the Ninja Small Roaster
Not every cooking appliance is perfect and a lot of what people like and dislike about any appliance is based on user preference and sometimes you just get a lemon — a good manufacturer, however, will stand behind their product.
The Ninja Cooking System is one of the best multi-use small electric roasters currently available but comes with a few things to consider.
What’s Good about the Ninja
- It provides diversity in offering multiple cooking methods – steaming, slow cooking, roasting, baking and speed cooking
- It combines 4 small appliances into one
- Size and weight make it convenient for handling and storage
- Based on selected cooking option — it can reduce cooking time by up to 50%
- Both digital and analog controls make operation easy
- It has a sleek, attractive appearance — worthy of tabletop display
- Offers a “buffet mode” to keep foods warmed for hours
- Steam-infused baking makes cupcakes, cakes and breads moister
- Sear and bake or roast without having to change pans
- The Ninja Cooking System comes with a 2-Year Warranty
What’s Not So Good about the Ninja System
- Just like a crock pot, this unit gets HOT on the outside. Convenient handles are provided so the sides should never need touching. (If you’ve ever inadvertently touched the side of your crock pot while on, you know what I mean.)
- The lid on this small electric roaster has a little vent hole for steam to escape. While this is necessary for the steam function, it may require adding liquid at some point during the cooking process for other methods — based on what you’re cooking.
- The cooking pot or liner is the ONLY part of the Ninja Cooking System that is dishwasher safe. The roasting lid, multi-purpose pan, silicone petite muffin tray and roasting rack (all included by the way) are not dishwasher safe and need to be hand washed with warm, soapy water.
- Similar to most non-stick coated appliances, the use of metal utensils is discouraged so the surface doesn’t get scratched.
The Ninja Cooking System is comparable in cost to the multiple small appliances it replaces — should you buy those same appliances individually. The cost then boils down to convenience and storage. If you want the features AND need the space in your kitchen, then this is a purchase worth considering.
Here’s a Ninja Cooker recipe to enjoy:
- 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3 to 4 pounds)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 1 package (15 ounces) slider or mini sandwich buns (12 mini buns)
- Season pork with salt, black pepper, and paprika.
- Stir mustard, brown sugar, garlic, and cider in pot.
- Add pork and turn to coat.
- Set to SLOW COOK HIGH for 5 to 6 hours.
- Cover and cook until pork is fork-tender.
- Using two forks, shred pork in pot.
- Spread additional mustard on buns, if desired.
- Divide pork mixture among buns.