Ninja Foodi DualZone Air Fryer review: The DualZone divider makes a difference

Save on counter space and time spent cooking with this all-in-one air fryer

Ninja Foodi DualZone Air Fryer DZ701 on kitchen counter
(Image: © Ninja)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Ninja’s Foodi DualZone air fryer reduces the time I spend in the kitchen, separates flavors, and is easy to use which earns the DualZone the spot of my new everyday air fryer.

Pros

  • +

    Heats up fast without needing to preheat

  • +

    Two cook zones can prepare foods different ways simultaneously

  • +

    Large capacity in a sleek design

Cons

  • -

    No reminder to flip your food at the halfway mark

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If you’re cooking for a crowd — or need to make two things at once — the Ninja Foodi DualZone air fryer could come in handy. Unlike many other large-capacity air fryers, its  7-quart basket can be separated into two individual 3.5-quart cook zones so it can heat up food separately using different functions at different temperatures and times. All in all, it offers six cooking functions; air broil, air fry, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate.

This versatility ensures you can whip up a variety of recipes and separate foods without them touching. In my testing, it produced some of the crispiest results of any air fryer I’ve used. Read on to find out and see how it ranks among the best air fryers we’ve tested.

Ninja DZ701 review: Price and availability

The Ninja DualZone (DZ701) air fryer is available on Amazon for $179. It comes with two removable dishwasher safe crisper plates and a silicon divider.

Ninja DZ701 review: Design and setup

Ninja’s FlexBasket divider design stands out from the crowd — its large single basket can easily be divided into two cook zones. The air fryer consists of one long 7-quart basket that slides into the main housing unit which measures in at a counter-friendly 18.2 x 11.8 inches but a hefty 17 pounds. It holds up to 3 pounds of air fried ingredients in each 3.5 basket or a 6-pound pork roast and veggies in the full 7-quart MegaZone space.

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Each zone comes complete with dishwasher-safe crisper plates and can be set to its own settings, such as air frying a protein on one side and roasting your veggies in the other. For example, I often air broiled my steaks and salmon while roasting veggies.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

These plates are secured by a tight fit and have rubber feet to raise them up and prevent slipping. The removable divider slides into a groove in the center of the air fryer to prevent juices from leaking to either side.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You’ll find digital buttons on the front of the air fryer so that you can select zones, functions, and adjust the time and temperature. Ninja’s Smart Finish feature ensures both zones can cook food two different ways simultaneously, yet finish at the same time by waiting to start cooking the ingredients that need less time. Match Cook syncs settings across both zones.

Ninja DZ701 review: Performance

The Foodi DualZone air fryer jumps right into a cook without needing to be preheated. Strip and filet steaks received a beautiful brown sear from the air broil option while french fries came out crisp and golden with plenty of crunch. It excels in proteins—as you can see in the pictures throughout this review, I found myself consistently wowed by how crisp yet moist cuts came out.

There was no gambling on how foods would turn out either — the Foodi consistently met the description of each recipe I threw at it. For example, the chicken wings I used had two instructions on their packaging for normal wings or extra crispy results. I split half the bag to see what the extra five minutes could do and the extra crispiness was visible with darker crispier exterior while the normal came out light brown and accurate with the picture on the front of the bag to a tee.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The juices from steak and salmon stayed on the protein side of the divider without giving flavor hints to the veggies or sides. The elevated crisper grate provided some clearance to let the juice flow underneath it without touching the ingredients on the other side. 

Where things did get messy is removing the sides—if you tip the basket over, the juice can spill onto the veggies from the bottom. To solve this, I just drained the meat side first and then removed the protein with a fork. Next I shook the veggies out of the basket. Veggies stayed moist while proteins stayed crispy — a happy compromise.

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Remove the divider and you have a full 7 quart air fryer to work with. This is plenty to roast a full chicken or multiple cuts using the MegaZone button to set the time and temperature for the full basket. The Foodi doesn’t tell you to flip foods at the halfway mark, but I found flipping the meat manually resulted in a slightly more seared outside; I wish there was a notification for those who prefer to flip.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The broil function creates a crisp sear with an even overall browning. Roasted vegetables and sides come out flavorful, butI did find myself adding a tablespoon of oil with this function. Reheating worked well with leftover bar food that included onion rings, chicken tenders, and burgers, but to be honest it didn’t feel much different than air frying. 

The only ingredient I had on hand to dehydrate was chickpeas and they came out as a crunchy and tasty work snack.

Ninja DZ701 review: Ease of use and cleaning

The Foodi’s large buttons and streamlined functions make the cooking process easy. Just drop in your food, select the zones, and choose your method. It runs cool and quiet during operation and doesn’t get past room temperature on its exterior. You can hear an audible notification when your dish is ready and can pull the basket in and out with ease.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Once you finish cooking, the DZ701 cools quite quickly in less than ten minutes. Its nonstick innards are dishwasher safe so you can wash the crisper plates and soak the basket. I wiped residue out with a paper towel and found the setup simple to just wash by hand for a quick cleanup that doesn’t drag out.

Ninja DZ701 review: Verdict

I’ve been air-frying a majority of my meals for years. With my initial single-basket air fryer, I would have to make the proteins first and leave it waiting around to throw in asparagus or carrots after. This back-to-back cooking let my meat rest, but it also added to cook times and delayed the time it took to serve. Ninja’s Foodi DualZone air fryer reduces the time I spend in the kitchen, separates flavors, and is easy to use which earns the DualZone the spot of my new everyday air fryer. 

This air fryer has a large capacity without eating up a ton of space like other dual baskets or my Brava smart oven. It’s often on sale at $149 which is a great buy  — I simply wish it had a simple reminder to flip the meat.

Hunter Fenollol
Senior Editor, Smart Home

Hunter Fenollol is a Senior Editor for Tom’s Guide. He specializes in smart home gadgets and appliances. Prior to joining the team, Hunter reviewed computers, wearables, and mixed reality gear for publications that include CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, and Laptop Magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest cooking gadgets, you can likely find him playing a round of golf or out with friends feeding his paycheck to a QuickHit slot machine.

Hunter started his career as an intern at Tom’s Guide back in 2019 while in college. He graduated from Long Island University Post with a degree in Communications and minor in Advertising. He has been vlogging ever since the iPhone 4 took front-facing cameras mainstream.