Ninja Foodi Pro Grill Review (NINJA IG651) 7-in-1 Smart Grill

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Best Air Fryer Grill
Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro 7-in-1 Indoor Grill/Griddle

It's a grill; it's a griddle. It also can air fry, roast, bake, broil, and dehydrate. This flexible device from Ninja can just about do it all! And the smart thermometer takes all of the uncertainty out of perfectly cooked meats.

It's easy to clean and can reach temperatures up to 500°F (260°C). It has two heating elements–top and bottom–so it cooks really fast. Throw your George Forman out with this much more capable device!

Ninja Grill Rating:
Model #: IG651
Smart Cook System: Yes
Functions: Grill, Griddle, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size: 9 in x 13 in
  • Smart thermometer = perfectly cooked meats
  • Even cooking temp from edge-to-edge
  • Cooks with lid open or closed unlike previous model
  • Very versatile. Use it to air fry wings or cook pancakes on the griddle
  • Griddle, basket, etc. are all dishwasher safe
  • At 27 ½ pounds, its a beast!
  • Must use non-metal utensils or you'll damage the cooking surface
  • Cooking with butter, olive oil, and margarine may cause smoke
  • Cooking capacity not as large as pure air fryers
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02/18/2024 04:26 pm GMT

The Ninja Foodi Pro Grill goes by many names. You can call it the Ninja Pro GrillNinja IG651, or, if you prefer its longest name, we can also address it as the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer.

For the record, the Ninja Pro Grill outmatches any regular indoor grill thanks to its smart capabilities. In fact, it even highlights new and better features than the previous Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill.

The Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill now has a true griddle with a built-in heating element, giving you more recipe options such as pancakes, fried eggs, etc. Better yet? You can try a simple version of hibachi-style cooking! (I’ve always wanted to try that.)

I guess Ninja has another noteworthy multi-cooker in its product line.

For reference, here are the two variants of the Ninja Foodi Pro Grill.

Grill name

Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill (IG651)

Ninja Foodi XL Pro Grill (IG601)

PictureNinja Foodi IG651Ninja Foodi IG601
Price range$$$$$$
Griddle functionsYesYes
Integrated probe thermometerYesNo
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This table compares Ninja Foodi XL Pro Grills by price range, griddle functionality, and integrated thermometer.

To be honest, I expected a more drastic difference. 

Anyway, the built-in thermometer is still advantageous and definitely makes Ninja IG651 worth spending a bit more. Here’s why:

Smart Cook System (Built-in Probe Thermometer)

The Smart Cook System enables you to simply select the doneness you want. You don’t need to figure out the correct duration, so no overcooking or undercooking. Therefore, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let the machine do all the work.

For instance, cooking a steak at particular doneness takes practice. A regular meat thermometer helps too, but even then, you still need experience.

ninja foodi smart xl pro grill probe thermometer

That’s where the smart thermometer of Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill comes in. 

Mainly, it monitors the temperature in real-time, so you don’t need to manually check. In addition, the machine will notify you when it’s time to flip or if it’s time to remove your food. 

Better yet? Ninja Foodi Grill Griddle also factors in the carry-over cooking, which is simply fantastic. 

(By the way, it automatically turns off to prevent overcooking.)

In short, you can effortlessly achieve perfect steak with this smart indoor grill.


  • Simple yet sleek design
  • Easy to understand controls
  • 7 cooking functions
  • Smart cook system with the Foodi thermometer
  • Customizable doneness (no more guesswork)
  • Even cooking
  • You can fit 6 steaks simultaneously
  • Smoke control for a smokeless experience
  • Expand to griddle recipes
  • It comes with a recipe book
  • Temperature control and indicator
  • Programmable timer
  • Non-stick ceramic coating
  • PTFE and PFOA free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 1-year warranty


  • Fantastic indoor grill for a premium price
  • Requires substantial space on your countertop
  • Foods sometime slide down
  • Baking feature could be better

What can you cook in Ninja Foodi Pro Grill?

Without a doubt, it can cook any grilling recipe. Needless to say, it’s so much more than that. In fact, the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill and Griddle features a total of 7 cooking functions, so you have more recipes to try!

grilled burgers
barbecue kebab
grilled cheese sandwich
Grilled Cheese
grilled chicken breast
Grilled Chicken
grilled lamb chops
Lamb Chops
grilled pork
Grilled Pork
grilled steak
Grilld Steak
grilled salmon
Grilled Vegetables
Grilled Vegetables
Hibachi Style
Hibachi Style
Breakfast plate
Breakfast items
Taco Dinner

And did I mention it? The grill has stripes now instead of the curved pattern. Even though it’s only an aesthetic factor, the grill marks on your food will look more appetizing nonetheless.

Here’s the best part:

Ninja Pro Grill features a direct heating element (unlike the previous model). Ultimately, you can quickly produce evenly cooked foods since there are no hot spots or cold spots.  

As a matter of fact, this alone makes it worthwhile to upgrade from the older Ninja FG551

Moreover, it has excellent heat control thanks to the hood’s air fryer (perhaps we can also refer to this product as Ninja Griddle Air Fryer). 

Anyway, think about it:

For thicker recipes that cook longer, you can utilize the fan (hood down) for faster cooking. Additionally, this enables you to quickly achieve frozen to crispy meals.

In fact, this is a significant advantage of Ninja Foodi Pro Grill against a traditional outdoor one.

Is the Ninja Pro Grill easy to use?

The new updates of Ninja Pro Grill include usability. Briefly speaking, it’s a lot easier to use.

First of all, the control panel looks cleaner and simpler. And thanks to the dial, it’s more straightforward to utilize than any of the previous models.

ninja pro grill control panel

Assembly is more manageable as well. 

Here’s the thing:

The best new part of the assembly is the clicky sound that tells you if it’s correctly fitted. Then, the rest of the accessories simply sit on top of the primary grill grate (and it’s straightforward to store too).

Also, you can effortlessly assemble and remove the splatter shield thanks to the new hook design.

ninja IG651 splatter shield

Sadly, there’s a catch:

The overall structure of the grill grate isn’t as impressive as the other updates. You see, the food slips due to the sloped design (sometimes the food falls into the grease catch). Needless to say, the food won’t cook properly.

But wait, let me tell you something:

Luckily, there’s a quick solution. Simply place something underneath the Ninja Foodi Pro Grill, and this slipping problem is no more!

Tip: Only use silicone or plastic tongs/spatula to prevent the non-stick coating from chipping.

How to clean the Ninja IG651?

If anything is frustrating with an outdoor grill, it’s cleaning. That’s precisely why Ninja Foodi Pro Indoor Grill wins this category. You see, it features non-stick components that are undoubtedly easy to clean.

Here’s more:

The splatter shield cleans swiftly too. In fact, even if there’s food debris, you can simply soak it, and it’ll still be straightforward to wash.

Tip: When handwashing, ensure to only use a soft sponge. 

Besides, even when you don’t wash it manually, you can simply load the said components into the dishwasher (excluding thermometer and thermometer holder). 

As for the main unit, all you have to do is wipe it off with a damp cloth, and you’re done!

See the Ninja Pro Grill in Action

Don’t take my word for it, let’s take it from CJ.

The Ninja Foodi Pro Grill is a magnificent indoor grill and, so far, the best from the brand. It features an extra griddle and 7 cooking functions (including air frying), so it’s a total utilitarian package. Furthermore, thanks to its direct heat of up to 500ºF (260ºC), anyone can have an excellent indoor grilling experience.

What makes Ninja Foodi IG651 better than its competitors?

I already mentioned most of its noteworthy qualities, but here’s the short version:

  • Smart Cook System with Smart Thermometer can effortlessly have a perfectly cooked meal every time (without guesswork).
  • Griddle plate for more than just a grilling experience.
  • Combination of air frying and grilling, or simply cyclonic action, for faster and more even cooking.
  • Hood up or hood down for more controlled cooking.

The last thing I didn’t mention is the smoke-control system. Technically, it isn’t unique to Ninja Pro Grill and Griddle, but it’s still an excellent feature. By having so (along with best practices), you can reduce smoke significantly.

*Product Images and Video Courtesy of Shark Ninja

Technical Specifications

TypeIndoor Grill, Air Fryer
Brand/SeriesNinja Indoor Grill / Ninja Air FryerThe Ninja Foodi Collection
Model #IG651
Rating4.6 out of 5
Cooking Functions7-in-1: grill, air crisp, BBQ griddle, bake, roast, dehydrate, broil
Size/Cooking Capacity9×13 inches grill grate (6 steaks at once)
8.5×12.5 inches griddle plate (4 sandwiches at once)
4-qt crisper basket (up to 2 lbs of fries)
Dishwasher safeYes
PFOA/PTFE and BPA freeYes
Dimensions (WxDxH)15.7 x 17.4 x 11.63 inches (39.8 x 44.2 x 29.5 cm)
Cord Lengthshort
ApplicationPersonal Use
Warranty1 Year
Related ProductsNinja Foodi XL Pro Grill and Griddle, Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill, Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Grill
This table shows the technical specifications of Ninja Foodi IG651.

Is the Ninja Foodi Pro Grill worth it?

Even though Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill and Griddle is a bit pricey, it’s still worth the splurge. Think about it; apart from the splendid cooking features, you’ll ultimately be paying for convenience (built-in probe thermometer), which you can’t get from other indoor grills.

By the way, if you want to see the types of recipes you can cook with a Ninja Foodi Grill, check out our roundup of several killer Ninja Foodi Grill recipes.

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