Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer Review

Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro with dinner

Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer Review

Years ago, when I first started playing around and reviewing indoor grills, there was definitely some skepticism. After working for some time with the original Ninja Foodi Grill, I had a change of heart. That original grill was, and continues to be, a workhorse—and I still recommend it. 

Fast forward a few years and the newest edition in the Ninja Foodi Grill family came along. The Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill & Griddle is now my top choice for indoor grilling. The changes from the original are significant and purpose driven. Capacity has increased, grill heating has changed, temperature probes have been added, a griddle surface is now an option, and cooking can be done with the hood up or down. 

Overall, of the countless indoor grills I’ve reviewed, this is the best unit on the market today.   

stir fry is easy with Ninja Foodi Smart Grill

Item Specs: Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill (Model IG6 series)

  • Product Dimensions (in.): 15.7 W x 17.4 D x 11.63 H
  • Wattage: 1760
  • Capacity
    • 9 x 13-inch grill grate fits 6 steaks
    • 12-inch flat top bbq griddle cooks a whole platter of nachos or fits 4 sandwiches or 6 pancakes
    • 4 quart crisper basket
  • Cord Length: 3 feet
  • Dishwasher Safe: Much but not all

What We Loved

There are so many great features to talk about with the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill & Griddle. First, the grill surface itself is now heated electrically as opposed to only via hot air from the unit’s hood. The hood still circulates heat of course, but having the grill heated electrically makes for a more evenly heated cooking surface and a faster temperature recovery time when cooking multiple steaks, chops, burgers, etc.

Having the ability to grill with the hood open also simulates more of the outdoor grilling experience. Perfect grill marks are achievable every time. There’s just something sort of primal about watching your food cooking and hearing it sizzle on the Ninja Foodi Grill. 

perfect grill marks on meat, lemons and veggies

I was impressed with the performance and even heating of the griddle surface, which opens many more options for cooking. Don’t limit yourself to pancakes and eggs or the occasional smash burger. The griddle excelled when cooking things like Philly cheese steaks, Mongolian bbq, stir fry, etc.

The air fry function of this grill is a hidden gem. I’ve used a number of dedicated single-function air fryers over the past year; all with issues I didn’t like. I’d say the air fry function of this grill beats them all—despite the fact that air frying isn’t the primary function of the Ninja Foodi Grill. That was certainly a nice surprise. 

Preheating for the air fry function happens quickly, and food was cooked evenly and without that “plasticy” smell and taste that I have experienced with other units. What’s more, it’s relatively quiet as compared to other air fryers I’ve used, which is a big plus.

The available temperature probe is very helpful for alerting you (and the grill) to the internal temperature of whatever you’re cooking. I found this exceptionally valuable in larger foods, such as a spatchcock chicken. The smart technology will actually turn off the grill for you when the food you’re cooking reaches the desired temperature. 

Finally, the clean up…cleaning the Ninja Foodi Grill and Griddle couldn’t be any easier. The grill surface and griddle are both dishwasher safe and both come out of the dishwasher looking brand new.  

What Could Be Improved

Sadly, while the newest version of the Ninja Foodi Grill does have a bake function, there is no baking pan included, or even available for purchase. I have no idea why that is, but it’s a missed opportunity. So, while you can bake a potato for example, baking a cake or brownies or anything starting in liquid form is a bit of a challenge. I found an aftermarket baking pan that fits inside the unit, on top of the griddle surface, but it would be nice if there was a dedicated baking pan available. This was one of those things that just made me think “come on man.”

The other issue is the weight of the unit. Buyers should be aware that the grill is a tad bit on the heavy side. Not unreasonably so, but heavy nonetheless. It’s best kept sitting on the countertop because moving it in and out of a cabinet isn’t a delicate task. 

Who Is It For?

Like the original unit, this is great for apartment or condo dwellers, RV enthusiasts, or those in a military barracks or college dorm. Those would be the obvious choices though, right? 

If you’ve followed my blog for long, you know I have more grills than most people have teeth, so an indoor grill wouldn’t be a great gift for someone like me…or would it? Check out my final thoughts for more. 

Final Thoughts

I use the Ninja Foodi Grill Smart XL Grill & Griddle all the time. It heats up faster than my outdoor grills, cleans up easier, controls smoke very well, and I’m not dependent on good weather to cook a perfect steak. 

Is it better than a high-end outdoor grill? Of course not, it would be silly to think so, but that’s not the point of the Ninja Foodi Grill. It won’t replace your outdoor grill, but it is a reliable substitute for the outdoor grill when time, weather, or space are factors. 

Scroll to Top