The new Ninja® Foodi™ Smart XL Grill is finally here and it's well worth the wait!
Ever since I got my hands on the original Ninja Foodi Pro 5-in-1 about a year ago, it's been a blast to cook with!
The indoor grill quickly became one of my favorite indoor cooking devices and does an amazing job for its size.
Compared to the over two dozen outdoor grills and smokers I frequently cook with the Foodi grill is compact and powerful. It's quite a formidable option for when cooking outside isn't possible.
What's new with the Ninja® Foodi™ Smart XL Grill
The people at Shark/Ninja must know they are on to a winning product with the Foodi Grill because they have made some amazing improvements to the new Ninja® Foodi™ Smart XL Grill.
For starters, the Smart XL Grill has a 50% larger cooking capacity than the original Foodi Grill.
The extra capacity is wonderful for cooking enough food to feed the whole family. You can pack this thing full of food as it can make about 6 steaks or up to two dozen hot dogs perfectly char-grilled without breaking a sweat.
It also boasts some never before seen technology for accurately achieving your desired doneness with certain foods.
Taking advantage of a probe thermometer, the grill measures the internal temperature of your food in two locations. It predicts not only how long your food needs to cook, but how long it may need to rest so you can achieve your desired doneness. This is a nice upgrade from the previously released 5-in-1 indoor grill.
Along with being done properly, the high-density grill grate makes wonderful grill marks and flavors on all kinds of meats and vegetables.
You can read more about how carryover cooking affects foods in this article.
How do you use the Foodi Grill Smart Cook System?
Let the grill know if you are cooking Beef, Pork, Chicken, or Fish and it takes the guesswork out of the cooking process.
The Foodi grill gives you the ability to select your desired doneness so you can create perfectly cooked meats that are juicy and flavorful time and time again.
But this grill is no one-trick pony.
In addition to grilling, the Ninja® Foodi™ Smart XL Grill has 5 additional cooking functions.
The grill will also:
- Air Crisp (or air fry)
The air crisp function is what other devices commonly refer to as air fry or air frying. This setting is one of the most powerful and popular. Used often for cooking it's also wonderful for reheating foods.
The baking function is great for doing brownies, cakes, cookies, and casseroles. Using the bake function seems to have a slightly slower fan speed than others
The roast setting on the Foodi Grill works for all kinds of meats and vegetables. I speculate that the fan speed is more intense than the bake setting but less than using air crisp mode so your food gets browned somewhat with the interior safely cooked.
Use the broil function for any time you want extra browning on the top of your food or you are trying to get something like cheese to melt. I suspect the fan may move in a pushing direction rather than drawing for broil.
People love the dehydrate function for making foods like beef jerky and dehydrating herbs. Lower temperatures and slower fan speeds allow foods to dehydrate slowly which produces flavorful results. Pet owners often use the dehydrate function of the Ninja Foodi Grill to make pet treats.
How many models of the Ninja Foodi are there?
The Ninja Foodi Grill is currently available in two models. The XL Grill and the Original Ninja Foodi Grill.
The Original Foodi Grill has less capacity than the XL grill but there is more headroom. This extra headroom is great for cooking foods like roasts or whole chickens.
Different versions of this model may come with different accessories and the Pro version includes a temperature probe for monitoring foods doneness.
One look at the Ninja Foodi XL Grill and you can see it's wider than the original grill. A sleek control panel allows you to immerse yourself in the world of smart cooking and take advantage of the preset temperatures and doneness suggestions for various meats.
One concern for users is that the Foodi Grill may smoke from time to time.
The Foodi Grills cyclonic grilling technology is designed so that it cooks food efficiently without smoking.
My testing has shown that if the device smokes it's typically because air circulates and mixes with oils and fats from previous cooks and if your Foodi Grill smokes you can learn more about why in this article.
Fortunately, the cooking components are ceramic coated and easy to clean.
The rule of thumb is that if there's not a plug attached, it can be washed in the dishwasher. So the high-density grill grate, cooking pot, air crisp basket, and heating screen can all be washed in the dishwasher.
The versatility of this cooker is astounding for a compact countertop device. Where else can you make low carb chicken wings and before you even bust out the blue cheese dressing you're making brownies for dessert.
Although I've already been fortunate to have cooked a variety of dishes with the Ninja® Foodi™ Smart XL Grill I will wait until I get a consumer model in a few weeks to do a full review.
Meanwhile, you can read more about the XL grill on Amazon or take advantage of an exclusive offer from Ninja Kitchen that includes a variety of additional accessories and a 3-year warranty. Once you get your Ninja Foodi Grill home and setup you should check out what I think are the best accessories for the Ninja Foodi Grill.