Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill 6-in-1 with 4-Quart Air Fryer Review (2023)

The multi-functional cookers have been incredibly popular, but their bulky designs can require dedicated storage space, as I all know. Like most home cooks, I will only give up precious kitchen space for appliances worth their salt.

I took full advantage of the opportunity to review the Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill once it became available. I heard incredible things about this indoor grill. It can be used for air frying, a cooking method that uses heated air to brown and crisp food like a deep fryer without all the calories and fat from deep frying. 

Is the Ninja Foodi Grill XL worth it?

Ninja Foodi Grill XL is worth the price; I couldn’t believe how easy it was to operate. I enjoyed the cooking process while using the Indoor foodi grill from Foodi. Usually, grill ng requires some practice; however, it allows it to be relatively effortless and seamless.

It also dehydrates various fruits, vegetables, and meat to go with healthy snacks. Additionally, it has roasted and baked settings that mimic oven functionality, a valuable feature for extra oven space while hosting parties and holiday dinners.

In addition to being robust enough to rival the power of outdoor grills, Ninja’s Indoor Grill can even cook from frozen for perfectly chargrilled steaks and burger patties. Having the ability o grill year-round without leaving the house or worrying about whether the propane tank is nearly empty sounds like a dream come true. I grabbed my Ninja Foodi Grill XL and tested its functionality in my kitchen. Here is what I found.

Buy Ninj FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill at Amazon.

Plug it in, and It’s Ready To Go.

Foodi Grill setup is straightforward. I removed the packaging materials, gave the cooking pans and grill grate a quick hand wash, plugged it in, and it was ready.

The Design Is Attractive But Big and Bulky.

A stainless steel exterior and a black finish allow the Foodi grill to blend in with most kitchens. Its size, however, could make t hard to place in some kitchens. The Foodi Grill measures about 15.7 L x 16.54 W x 11.05 H, and you can grill up to 50% more food than the original Ninja Foodi Grill XL for bigger family-sized meals.

At first, I thought there would not be enough space to open the lid; it did, but barely. It stands 15 pounds, one of the heaviest devices I’ve used, so I recommend storing it where you intend to use it if space allows.

The grill grate, cooking pot, and crisper basket are ceramic coated with nonstick properties and free from potentially harmful chemicals. The cookware pieces are heavy-duty, durable, and quality built.

Heat is intense and cooks food rapidly, so it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it appliance.

Buy: Ninja FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill at Amazon

The Smart XL Grill Cyclonic Grilling Technology Has Several Features.

The Foodi’s high heat mimics the cooking results of a traditional grill. An electric fan pushes hot air around the food to cook it quickly and evenly with grill-like results; Ninja calls this combination its Cyclonic Grilling Technology. A top-down heat source produces temperatures of up to 500 degrees.

Furthermore, the grill also features a smoke control system that results in a considerably lower level of smoke in your kitchen when cooking at high temperatures. A metal mesh screen snaps over the mesh to contain grease splatter and reduce smoke.

The control panel has intuitive, one-touch buttons to power the unit on and off, select your cooking function and set cooking time and temperature anywhere from 105 to 500 degrees. When grilling, you can choose between four preset temperatures: low, medium, high, and max. A cooking guide is included to help you select the best settings for whatever you’re grilling, which I used to base all my cooking times and temperatures on.

Overall Performance: Impressively Crisped Crust and Browning

The Ninja Foodi Grill XL is the most durable and practical air fryer I’ve ever used. It cuts thru meat and veggies, caramelizes a steak to a perfect crispness, and moistens the meat. I was delighted with my purchase.

I used it within minutes of plugging the machine in, and there was no need to read the instructions. It had a straightforward control panel, and once I selected the time and temperature, the machine kicked into push mode and preheated as soon as I added the food. Preheating takes 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the setting.

I used the air fryer function to cook the frozen french fries and tater tots while grilling marinated salmon filets, chicken breasts, hot dogs, and salmon burgers. As a result, my salmon had crispy skin and was caramelized even without turning it over. My chicken looked chargrilled, and my potatoes were golden. I didn’t notice any smoke while cooking.

My meals seem to have come out pretty well, thou I must admit that the very first few things I made that I cooked were slightly overcooked and dry, which was more of a user error on my part rather than a cooker problem.

Cooking with the Foodi is a learning experience, even tho the included cooking guide helps you determine each food’s time and temperature. I suggest starting with a cooking time of the shortest recommended measure and checking for doneness with a food thermometer to ensure you aren’t burning your food. The oven’s powerful heat can c ok food rapidly, so you can’t set it and forget it.

Using tongs or a spatula to flip my meats and giving my potatoes a toss without touching the hot basket is straightforward because the lid opens up. I used the air fryer to create grill marks and crisps on my food. The grill grate can hold enough meat or fish to feed a family of four, and the crisper basket is deep enough to fit an entire bag of frozen fries or tots. You can’t grill and crisp simultaneously, so you must plan accordingly.

If you want to bake or roast foods, you may find that the overall shape and size limit the amount you can cook with the Foodi. If my oven is overcrowded, I’ll probably limit myself to the roasting and baking functions of the Foodi. Some reviews suggest that Food Grill does an excellent job drying fruit slices. However, its limited capacity limits your options because you can only do small batches before several hours of drying.

My salmon had crisp skin and was caramelized on top, even without flipping. The chicken looked chargrilled, and my potatoes were golden.

Buy Ninja FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill at Amazon.

Cleaning Ninja Foodi Smart XL: Burned-on Food No Match for Nonstick Coating

A nonstick ceramic-coated grill grate, crisper basket, and cooking pot can be used at home or in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. I used the included cleaning bush and removed the burned-on barbecue sauce and fish skin. I still thought the cooking pa s felt a little sticky.  After hand washing, it became o greasy that a long soak in soapy water or a first run in the dishwasher took care of it.

Be prepared to wipe fingerprints and smudges off the stainless steel exterior with a soft cloth if they appear. After each use, the mesh smoke screen went from a silver-tone hue to a smoky shade; although it was cleaned after each use, it never adjusted to its original hue. 

Should You Buy the Ninja Foodi Smart XL?

With $279, Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill XL is quite an investment. However, I believe the grill performs exceptionally well indoors. Hence, it is well worth the cost for anyone who enjoys grilling, particularly those who want to grill inside all year. It can crisp out as an air fryer (see also our favorite air fryer accessories) is one of its top-selling features, so you’re getting your money’s worth.

Ninja Foodi Grill XL vs. Power AirFryer 360

One of the most popular multi-cookers is Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360. A $200 machine is bigger and more expensive than the Foodi and is made of all stainless steel with looks and functions like a typical toaster oven. Cooking functions include air ry, toast, bagel, pizza, bake, roast, broil, rotisserie, slow cook, reheat, dehydrate, and warm.

Heating elements are found above and below the food, arranged on racks that slide into the cooker. This model cannot grill but is equipped with the added functions of toasting and rotisserie cooking. 

They differ in their cooking capabilities, which means that which appliance you choose depends on what type of cooking you intend to do. The Foodi has an indoor grill, while the Power AirFryer 360 is an air fryer. If you prefer to grill in addi ion to air frying, the Foodi is naturally a better choice.

However, I recommend Emeril’s cooker if you are searching for a machine to toast and reheat.

Yes, Buy it if You Love Grilling.

I don’t recommend the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill XL exclusively for air-frying, baking, or dehydrating.

Still, it is an excellent option for an indoor grill for people without access to outdoor grilling. It does a great job of grilling and caramelizing foods in no time without smoking, and the fact that you can crisp them to golden perfection is a bonus!

Buy: Ninja FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill at Amazon


Amanda Covington

Amanda, a culinary beacon for busy mothers, boasts over 20 years of creating quick, nutritious recipes. This celebrated food columnist, contributing to various magazines, has penned three best-selling cookbooks. A frequent podcast and cooking show guest, Amanda educates many on speedy meal preparation. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, she manages her food blog and hosts workshops. Connect with Amanda Covington via Journo Portfolio or LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts