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3 Best Ninja Foodi Grills (2022) Comparison, Reviews & Buying Guide

You’re in the right spot if you’re looking for the best Ninja Foodi Grill.

Though there are only three products in Ninja Kitchen’s lineup of indoor grills, only one of them can be genuinely called as such.

Classic models rely on the top heating element or the air fryer lid to cook your barbecue or burger patty. Technically, you can’t call a grill a proper grill if the heat source is not coming from below. It’s more of an air fryer that doubles as a grill.

Thankfully, that’s no longer the case with their newest indoor grill.

So without further ado, let’s jump right into the Top 3 Ninja Foodi Indoor Grills, starting the list with their newest product offering.

That’s the short version of this buying guide. Feel free to read the full review of each Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill and Air Fryer by clicking the links above; otherwise, let’s continue exploring all your options below.

Top 3 Ninja Foodi Indoor Grills

#1 Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer – Best Overall

The Best Ninja Foodi Grill, Ninja IG651

The most exciting feature of the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill or simply the Ninja IG651 is, without a doubt, the griddle. As I’ve mentioned in the intro, there’s only one product on this list that is genuinely a grill. It’s this model, and that’s why it’s the best Ninja grill.

7-in-1 Cooking Functions: grill, air crisp, BBQ griddle, bake, roast, dehydrate, broil

Unlike the previous models, it highlights direct heating and stripe grill marks which means you can have a more authentic grilling experience.

Like Ninja’s line of smart products, Ninja IG651 offers an integrated meat thermometer. It’s a must-have accessory if you love a medium-rare finish for your prime rib or steak. It will also work for grilling other types of protein.

Instead of constantly checking your meat for doneness, the Ninja Foodi Pro Grill will notify you (beep) once it reaches the temperature you’ve set.

Unless you’re a professional cook, this feature is super handy.

If you think you won’t be needing the integrated probe thermometer, the brand also released a cheaper version of this model — Ninja XL Pro Grill and Griddle.

You can read the full review of Smart XL Ninja Foodi Pro Grill and Griddle here.

#2 The Original Ninja Foodi Grill – Best Budget

Ninja Foodi 5 in 1 Grill, Black/Silver

The Original Ninja Foodi Grill or the Ninja AG301 is undoubtedly the cheapest among these three options. However, despite being a classic model, it’s still a capable indoor grill.

First off, its five functions—grill, air fry, dehydrate, roast, and bake—enable you to create numerous recipes. In short, it’s an excellent package deal, just like a multi-cooker. 

Additionally, the AG301 preheats faster than traditional grills, saving you some time.

Also, it has the best space-saving design compared to the other two grills in this guide. So, if you live in a small apartment, it will complement your available kitchen space.

You can read the full review of Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Grill here.

#3 Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill – Best Value

Ninja Foodi FG551, Black/Silver

The Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill or simply the Ninja FG551 is the closest thing next to our #1 Best Ninja Indoor Grill. It also offers an integrated thermometer. However, its griddle doesn’t have built-in heating elements.

So, it’s more like an air fryer with a griddle.

6-in-1 Cooking Functions: grill, air crisp, bake, roast, broil, dehydrate

I wouldn’t say that it’s not a good product, as it can also cook your steak to perfection or perhaps serve as your go-to kitchen appliance for a Korean barbecue night.

The best part, though, is it’s not that expensive. Thus making it the best value option in this buying guide.

You can read the full review of Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill here.

Compare Ninja Foodi Smokeless Indoor Grills


If you still can’t decide between all those models, here’s a comparison table you can refer to. We also included the cheaper configuration of the Ninja Foodi IG651.

Ninja Foodi Pro Grill
Ninja Foodi IG651 Pro Smart XL Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer
The Best Ninja Grill of 2022
✔ Virtually Smokeless
✔ 7 cooking programs
✔ Includes a griddle
✔ Can air fry
✔ Fits 6 steaks simultaneously
✔ Direct heating for better cooking experience
✔ Traditional stripe grill marks
✔ Includes smart thermometer for perfect doneness all the time
Ninja IG601Ninja Foodi IG601 Pro XL Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer
More budget-friendly than the IG651 (see row above)
Virtually Smokeless
✔ 7 cooking programs
✔ Includes a griddle
✔ Can air fry
✔ Fits 6 steaks simultaneously
✔ Direct heating for better cooking experience
✔ Traditional stripe grill marks
✘ No smart thermometer
Ninja FG551Ninja Foodi FG551 Smart XL Grill & Air Fryer
Virtually Smokeless
✔ 6 cooking programs
✔ Can air fry
✔ Fits 6 steaks simultaneously
✔ Includes smart thermometer for perfect doneness all the time
✘ Indirect heating
✘ Curved grill marks
Ninja AG400Ninja Foodi AG400 Smokeless Indoor Grill & Air Fryer
Virtually Smokeless
✔ 5-in-1 cooking functions
✔ Can air fry
✔ Direct heating for better cooking experience
Includes smart thermometer for perfect doneness all the time
✘ Can only fit 4 steaks simultaneously
✘ Curved grill marks
Ninja AG301“The Original” Ninja Foodi AG301 Indoor Grill & Air Fryer
Virtually Smokeless
✔ 5-in-1 cooking functions
✔ Can air fry
✔ Direct heating for better cooking experience
✘ Can only fit 4 steaks simultaneously
✘ Curved grill marks
✘ No smart thermometer
This table compares all the Ninja Foodi Grills based on the most notable features.

Based on the info above, making the right choice is just a matter of cooking capacity and if you need a genuine grilling experience.

What to look for in a Ninja Grill?

Here are a few things to consider when buying a Ninja Indoor Grill or any smokeless grill in particular.

Budget

An indoor grill features a more affordable price tag than outdoor ones. However, Ninja Air Grill is sadly on the more premium side of the spectrum.

kitchen budget

But wait, let me tell you something:

Its price is reasonable, given that the Ninja Foodi offers more features and functionalities. 

Now:

For the most budget-friendly option, you should consider the Ninja Foodi AG301. As I noted earlier, it’s still a capable grill even without the smart feature.

There’s also the affordable choice for a more recent model—Ninja Foodi IG601. It’s the sibling of the #1 Ninja IG651, but without the integrated smart thermometer.

See the Ninja Foodi IG601 XL Pro Grill in action:

Maintenance

Fortunately, since most removable accessories are non-stick, cleaning is easy-peasy. Meanwhile, the rest of the unit only needs a quick wiping and you’re done!

In short, taking care of the Ninja Foodi Grill is much more straightforward than an outdoor grill. 

However, there’s a catch:

In between cooking, you may have to wash the accessories (including splatter shield) to prevent any smoke. Then again, the non-stick accessories clean effortlessly, so most of the time, this isn’t even an issue.

Grill marks

Essentially, Ninja Foodi has two types of grill marks: curved (Ninja FG551, Ninja AG301) and traditional stripes (Ninja IG651, Ninja IG601).

curved grill marks

Even though it’s only an aesthetic factor, this could be a deal-breaker. If you love grilling and you want those classic grill patterns, it’s only available with newer models.

Otherwise, curved marks (see image on the right) will do fine since the overall flavor isn’t really affected.

Functions

The Ninja Pro Grill offers the most functions. It has an extra bbq griddle function (and accessory), enabling you to create griddle recipes. In short, you have more options with the Ninja IG651.

Better yet?

All of these grills also double as an air fryer, that’s something you won’t get with traditional outdoor grills.

Smart Features

With the smart feature or smart thermometer, in particular, your cooking experience can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. 

Ninja meat thermometer

Just set the doneness level to either well, medium well, medium, medium-rare, or rare, and the machine will do all the cooking. In short, you can effortlessly achieve a perfectly cooked meal.

And the best part? Ninja Foodi Grill and Air Fryer is one of a few that offers smart functionality, so that’s a win-win! 

Therefore, if you want this feature, go for either the #1 Ninja IG651 or #3 Ninja Smart XL Grill.

Smokeless

Luckily, all of Ninja Grills are virtually smokeless. Well, perhaps that’s just marketing as you still need to follow some steps to prevent that from happening. Let’s put it to the test one of these days.

Size & Capacity

Fortunately, Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill won’t consume that much space in your kitchen compared to other appliances. It’s also not that heavy, so you can easily store it in your cabinet or drawer.

6 steaks in one go

Now, deciding the capacity solely depends on how many people you’ll serve. If you’ll host gatherings often, definitely choose the XL sizes (XL Pro Grill, Smart XL Pro Grill, Smart XL Grill). 

An XL size also works great, even if you’ll only make food for 1-2 people. 

Think about it:

When making a burger, there’s usually the patty and the bun, right? Instead of waiting for the other component to finish, you can simultaneously cook (or toast). In that case, it will certainly save some of your precious time.

Why Choose a Ninja Foodi Grill?

With all that said, the Ninja Foodi Grill is genuinely a fantastic machine. Thus, if you want the ability to grill all year round, you can never go wrong with a multifunctional indoor grill.

In that case, let me leave you with the Best Ninja Foodi GrillNinja Foodi Pro Grill and Griddle.

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