Capacity: Nine slices of bread, 4 pound chicken
Dimensions: 18.6 x 16.5 x 13.3 inches
Weight: 34 pounds
Settings: Top Oven: Broil, Toast, Bagel, Bake, Reheat, Keep Warm, Cookies Bottom Oven: Whole Roast, Air Roast, Air Fry, Convection Bake, Pizza, Dehydrate
Smart features: None
Once you invest in the Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401, you may never turn on your full size oven again. This large countertop appliance is loaded with cooking options, including everything from toasting and air frying to roasting. But, what makes it really unique is that it has two oven cavities you can use separately, or to cook two food types at different settings simultaneously. In our tests, everything from a frozen pizza to Brussels sprouts to roast chicken came out perfectly.
Often, a product with plenty of functions can be difficult to program. But, the Ninja has an intuitive digital control panel that makes the oven straightforward to operate. To see our complete test results, continue reading our full Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 review. Will it make the cut as one of the best toaster ovens?
Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 review: Price and availability
The Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 costs $329 at Ninja Kitchen. It is also available at Amazon, Walmart, and at Kohl’s, sometimes reduced down to $249. It is available in black and stainless steel.
Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 review: Design
Design-wise, the Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 is larger than a typical toaster oven, with dimensions of 18.6 x 16.5 x 13.3 inches. While it takes up a good deal of countertop space, it isn’t too tall to fit underneath a cabinet. The exterior is stainless steel with the exception of the control panel and handle, which are black plastic. Its solid construction, well laid out and responsive control panel, and sleek parts, gives this appliance a quality look.
When you open the Flexdoor — one door which can be opened in two segments — it reveals two separate ovens. The top half is a small oven with just one rack position, while the bottom has a larger space with two rack positions. In addition, there’s a button on the handle you can press to only open the top oven, if you only want quick snacks or meals and don’t require the lower compartment.
Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 review: Ease of use
The digital control panel is placed to the right of the door. It’s well laid out with the settings for the top oven above those for the bottom cavity. After selecting a function with a toggle dial, time and temperature are chosen by pushing a button and turning the dial. The pads are very responsive to the touch and we found it intuitive to program all of the functions for each oven. It did require several readings of the manual to understand how to use the Smart Finish feature — this is what’s needed to make the ovens finish simultaneously.
Along with the oven, you get two oven racks, an air fryer basket, two sturdy enameled sheet pans, and a removable crumb tray. It is necessary to move the crumb tray around between oven cavities; it’s not needed for functions for which you use the sheet pan but you will want to use it in the top oven when making toast and in the lower oven during air frying. The Ninja has a button for turning on a light inside of the oven when you want to check on the cooking progress.
The stainless steel racks and air fryer basket can be cleaned in the dishwasher, although hand washing is recommended. The sheet pan and crumb tray should not go in the dishwasher — this could degrade them. Ninja recommends lining the sheet pans with foil or parchment paper and we understand why: It took some scrubbing to get them thoroughly clean after roasting.
The use and care guide that comes with this oven is very thorough. You also get a recipe book which focuses on using the two cavities at once. There are cooking charts for air frying and dehydrating. However, we wished there were charts for the other functions and more information on what to cook with the Air Roast setting.
Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 review: Performance
The Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 did a great job at air frying Brussels sprouts, chicken wings, breaded chicken breasts, and both frozen and homemade French fries. It also did a superb job at roasting a whole chicken, however, it was only satisfactory at broiling burgers.
Although it performed well at baking cookies, it was only fair at baking cake layers. In addition, I was impressed by the results of cooking a rising-crust frozen pizza, and both white bread and bagels came out toasted and browned evenly. What’s more, when we cooked two items in the top and bottom ovens at the same time, we got very good results all the same.
When you program the oven for most functions, the Ninja automatically goes into a preheat mode, which is always three minutes. Once the preheat is up, the display begins to count down the cooking time, meaning you either have to have your food ready before you start preheating or reset the time, which isn’t ideal.
Much like all toaster oven air fryers, the Ninja comes with a shallow stainless steel air frying basket for cooking a single layer of food at a time. The oven was impressive at frying Brussels sprouts and did a really good job of browning and crisping both frozen French fries and ones that were made from scratch.
When it came to panko-crusted chicken breasts and chicken wings, the oven didn’t brown them as deeply or evenly as I would have liked, although it did crisp them and keep them moist and tender. Unlike other toaster ovens, there is no prompt during cooking to toss or turn over food, so you need to remember to do this yourself.
We roasted a 4 pound chicken in 60 minutes using the Roast setting in the bottom oven. It came out evenly golden brown with a crispy skin, while the inside was incredibly moist and tender. So there were no complaints here!
On the Broil setting in the top oven, we cooked four 4-ounce hamburgers. Although the burgers turned out juicy, they didn’t become brown or crusty on the outside as they would in a skillet or on a grill. So we wouldn’t recommend it for this.
The Ninja was only fair at baking a yellow cake in a 9-inch pan. When baked on the Bake setting in the lower oven, the bottom and sides of the layer were well-browned, and the crumb was moist and tender. However, the top was unevenly browned and domed in the center. Although chocolate chip cookies took a few minutes longer than expected to bake in the lower oven, they came out well-browned and chewy inside.
An unbaked frozen 12-inch pizza came out perfectly when we used the Pizza setting in the top oven — the dough was thoroughly baked, the cheese was evenly melted on top, and the entire bottom was well-crisped.
You can find the Toast and Bagel functions in the top oven. On light, medium, and dark toast settings, the Ninja made perfect toast and bagels that were evenly browned to an appropriate shade for the setting. It also toasted in about the same times as pop-up-toasters — unlike most toaster ovens which take considerably longer. While the oven is only programmed to toast up to six slices, it’s large enough to toast nine slices of bread at once, and was able to brown nine slices fairly evenly.
In the bottom oven, there is a setting called Air Roast which is designed for sheet pan meals. We cooked a turkey tenderloin and two acorn squashes cut into wedges on this setting. In 30 minutes, the oven turned out a thoroughly cooked, well browned meal for four people.
It also took 30 minutes for a casserole of macaroni and cheese to reach a serving temperature on the Reheat setting in the upper oven, using the highest temperature allowed. Once it was hot, the casserole was browned and crispy on top. On the Keep Warm setting, also in the upper cavity, the mac ’n’ cheese stayed hot for a full hour and remained creamy inside.
Using the Dehydrate setting in the lower oven, the Ninja transformed five bananas into a cup of tasty dried bananas. However, it did take 11 hours — three hours longer than the suggested maximum time of eight hours.
We carried out three tests to review the oven’s ability to cook in both oven cavities at the same time. First, we baked yellow layer cakes simultaneously in the top oven on Convection Bake mode, and in the bottom on Bake. Both layers were done in the minimum recommended time and were thoroughly baked. Although both were unevenly browned on top, the one baked on Convection Bake had a darker appearance.
Next, we baked chocolate chip cookies on Convection Bake in the top oven, while Air Roasting cauliflower brushed with a garlicky marinade in the bottom. Both items came out perfectly and we didn’t detect even a hint of garlic flavor in the cookies.
Lastly, we baked a yellow layer cake on Convection Bake at the same time that we broiled salmon. For this test, we used the oven’s Smart Finish feature. Both the cake and fish were put in their respective ovens after the preheat period. The oven did not start cooking the salmon — which was programmed for a shorter cooking time — until its end time would coincide with the cake’s. After this test, we didn’t discern any crossover of flavor between the salmon and the cake.
As it cooks, the glass door gets extremely hot (which is the case for most toaster ovens), reaching temperatures as high as 270°F. However, the handle and the controls stay cool enough to touch during cooking. With a dBA reading of 65.8, this oven is quite noisy when running — louder than any other toaster oven or air fryer we tested.
Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 review: Verdict
The Ninja 12-in-1 Double Oven with FlexDoor DCT401 is the only countertop oven that we know of with two chambers to cook two things at once. So if you’ve got picky family members, you can cater for both appetites.
It also gives you plenty of cooking possibilities — serving as a toaster, oven, broiler, and air fryer. Best of all, it’s easy to use, in spite of all its options.
Bear in mind, at 18.6 x 16.5 x 13.3 inches, it’s not a compact size. However, if you do have the space it can replace several appliances, not to mention your full size oven.
Compared to our winning toaster oven, the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, the Ninja fared very favorably. It scored as well or better on most air fryer tests, as well as when roasting a chicken, baking cookies and a pizza. However, the Breville was better at baking cake in comparison.
Additionally, the Breville is a more premium-looking appliance, but doesn’t have two ovens and is about $70 more expensive. Ultimately, if you’re keen to cook two things at once, the Ninja might be the perfect pick for you.