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

Update: This post originally covered three Ninja Foodi Grills. But with their expanded lineup, we’ve expanded our coverage of the devices. We now review what we believe their top 5 units from the Ninja Foodi lineup.

Best Air Fryer Grill
Best Value
 
 
Budget Buy
Model #:
IG651
Model #:
IG601
Model #:
DG551
Model #:
FG551
Model #:
AG301
4.5
4.5
4.0
4.0
3.5
$328.87
$179.99
$279.99
$279.99
$175.00
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Smart Cook System:
No
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Functions:
Grill, Griddle, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Functions:
Grill, Griddle, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Functions:
Grill, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil, and Dehydrate
Functions:
Grill, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Functions:
Air Fry, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 13 in
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 13 in
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 12 in
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 12 in
Grill Grate Size:
10 in x 10 in
Best Air Fryer Grill
Model #:
IG651
4.5
$328.87
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Functions:
Grill, Griddle, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 13 in
Best Value
Model #:
IG601
4.5
$179.99
Smart Cook System:
No
Functions:
Grill, Griddle, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 13 in
Model #:
DG551
4.0
$279.99
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Functions:
Grill, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil, and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 12 in
Model #:
FG551
4.0
$279.99
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Functions:
Grill, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size:
9 in x 12 in
Budget Buy
Model #:
AG301
3.5
$175.00
Smart Cook System:
Yes
Functions:
Air Fry, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size:
10 in x 10 in
09/25/2022 04:47 pm GMT

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

Ninja has invested heavily in product development on their indoor grill product set. Originally, they indoor grills were little more than air fryers with grill grates. That is still true of 3 of the top 5 units. But some can now truly be called “grills.” This is because of the additional bottom heat source they’ve added in the IG651 and IG601 units.

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.

So without further ado, let’s jump right into the Top 5 Ninja Foodi Indoor Grills and Air Fryers.

By the way, if you are interested in learning the types of recipes you can cook with a Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill, check out these killer Ninja Foodi Grill recipes.

Top 5 Ninja Foodi Indoor Grills

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

Best Overall
Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro 7-in-1 Indoor Grill/Griddle
$328.87

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:
4.5
Model #: IG651
Smart Cook System: Yes
Functions: Grill, Griddle, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size: 9 in x 13 in
Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • 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
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2022 04:47 pm GMT
ig651 dimensions
ig651 dual heating elements

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.

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 Ninja Foodi XL Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer

Best Value
Ninja Foodi XL 7-in-1 Indoor Grill/Griddle
$179.99

This is the same model as the IG651 except without the smart cook system and smart thermometer. Like the IG651, it can air fry, roast, bake, broil, and dehydrate.

This unit has two heating elements, one in the lid and one below the bottom plate, allowing for super-fast cooking. It is also easy to clean with dishwasher safe parts.

Model #: IG601
Ninja Grill Rating:
4.5
Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • 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
  • No smart thermometer and not "Smart Cook" enabled.
Smart Cook System: No
Functions: Grill, Griddle, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size: 9 in x 13 in
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09/25/2022 04:57 pm GMT
ig601 open

The Ninja Foodi XL Grill is exactly like the Foodi Smart XL Pro except for one thing: it doesn’t have the smart cook system & thermometer.

If you like the idea of having the ability to cook pancakes, fried rice, and other items using an indoor griddle but want to save some money, then this device may be for you!

We love that Ninja Foodi XL Grill (IG601) has almost the same features of the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill (IG651). It has an enlarged 9 x 13 in (22.9 x 33cm) grill grate just like the more expensive model. It also has the cooking element below the grill/griddle area.

The one and only feature it does not have that the IG651 model has, is the smart cook system. The smart cook system features a smart thermometer and a system to cook your desired meat to the exact level of doneness that you desire.


#3 Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Grill (Gen 2)

Ninja's Mid-Level Foodi Grill
Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill
$279.99

The DG551 model is the latest release in Ninja's Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill series. It features Ninja's "Smart Cook" system and thermometer. This system allows you to cook your proteins to the exact level of doneness you desire.

It cooks using indirect heat from a cooking element in the lid of the device.

It has the same capacity and similar dimensions of the FG551 unit which it supersedes. The biggest difference over the previous model is that this new unit has an updated design and is about 8 pounds lighter in weight.

Model #: DG551
Ninja Grill Rating:
4.0
Pros:
  • "Smart Cook" enabled with smart thermometer
  • 4 protein settings & 9 customizable doneness levels
  • Almost 8 pounds lighter than the older FG551 model
  • Attractive design
  • Dishwasher safe parts
Cons:
  • Lighter weight & updated design may not be enough reason to upgrade from the FG551
  • Unit only cooks when the lid is closed
  • No griddle plate included/Not designed for griddle functionality
  • Indirect heating only
Smart Cook System: Yes
Functions: Grill, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil, and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size: 9 in x 12 in
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2022 05:12 pm GMT

The next Ninja indoor grill on our list is the Smart XL 6-in-1. The “Smart” part of the name means it comes with Ninja’s Smart Cook system and the smart thermometer. This system allows you to cook your proteins to the perfect temperature.

You may be asking: what’s the difference between the 7-in-1 Ninja Foodi Grills and the 6-in-1 versions? The difference is there is no ability to griddle your food. This is because what is missing from the IG651/IG601 models is the heating element below the cook area.

The DG551 model is the second generation of the Smart XL 6-in-1 series of indoor grills. It has all the same features of the older FG551 Gen 1 model. The only difference is it has an updated design and is about 8 pounds lighter.


#4 Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Grill (Gen 1)

Budget Indoor Grill
Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill
$279.99

The older workhorse of the Smart XL line by Ninja. If you like the DG551 unit but are trying to save some money, you should consider this one. It has the same features as the DG551 but is a bit heavier and with a dated design.

This Ninja Foodi Grill can Grill, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate. Like all Ninja Foodi Grills, it comes with a chef-created recipe guide to get your started.

Model #: FG551
Ninja Grill Rating:
4.0
Pros:
  • "Smart Cook" enabled with smart thermometer
  • 4 protein settings & 9 customizable doneness levels
  • Same features as the DG551 but less expensive
  • Dishwasher safe parts
Cons:
  • Unit only cooks when the lid is closed
  • No griddle plate included/Not designed for griddle functionality
  • Indirect heating only
Smart Cook System: Yes
Functions: Grill, Air Crisp, Roast, Bake, Broil and Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size: 9 in x 12 in
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09/25/2022 05:03 pm GMT
Air fryer basket & grill plate on FG551
Air Fryer Basket & Grill Plate
Grill plate on FG551
Grill plate on device
touch controls on Ninja 551
Touch controls

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 grill plate.

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.

It has the same 6-in-1 Cooking Functions as the DG551: grill, air crisp, bake, roast, broil, dehydrate.

The best part, though, is it’s not as expensive. If you don’t mind the extra weight and the older design that this Gen 1 model has, it can be a better buy.

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

#5 The Original Ninja Foodi Grill – Budget Option

Budget Ninja Grill
Ninja AG301 Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill
$175.00

The original Ninja Foodi Grill is a 5-in-1 grill and is still going strong after its release in 2019. It can grill, air fry, dehydrate, roast, and bake and is the least expensive Ninja Foodi Grill on the market.

Model #: AG301
Ninja Grill Rating:
4.0
Pros:
  • Straightforward controls
  • Programmable cooking functions
  • Can reach up to 510ºF (265ºC)
  • Cooks up to 4 steaks simultaneously
  • Temperature control and indicator
  • Programmable timer
  • Non-stick ceramic coating
  • BPA-free
  • Dishwasher safe
Cons:
  • Indirect heating only
  • No auto-warm function
  • Grill marks are not the traditional stripes
  • Can't cook when lid is open
Smart Cook System: No
Functions: Grill, Air Fry, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate
Grill Grate Size: 10 in x 10 in
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2022 07:57 pm GMT

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.

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.

Product Image / Product Name Pros Cons Primary Button / Price
    • 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
    • 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
    • Heavy
    • 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
    • No smart thermometer and not "Smart Cook" enabled.
Ninja's Mid-Level Foodi Grill
    • "Smart Cook" enabled with smart thermometer
    • 4 protein settings & 9 customizable doneness levels
    • Almost 8 pounds lighter than the older FG551 model
    • Attractive design
    • Dishwasher safe parts
    • Lighter weight & updated design may not be enough reason to upgrade from the FG551
    • Unit only cooks when the lid is closed
    • No griddle plate included/Not designed for griddle functionality
    • Indirect heating only
    • "Smart Cook" enabled with smart thermometer
    • 4 protein settings & 9 customizable doneness levels
    • Same features as the DG551 but less expensive
    • Dishwasher safe parts
    • Unit only cooks when the lid is closed
    • No griddle plate included/Not designed for griddle functionality
    • Indirect heating only
    • Straightforward controls
    • Programmable cooking functions
    • Can reach up to 510ºF (265ºC)
    • Cooks up to 4 steaks simultaneously
    • Temperature control and indicator
    • Programmable timer
    • Non-stick ceramic coating
    • BPA-free
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Indirect heating only
    • No auto-warm function
    • Grill marks are not the traditional stripes
    • Can't cook when lid is open
Best Air Fryer Grill
  • 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
$328.87
Best Value
  • 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
  • Heavy
  • 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
  • No smart thermometer and not "Smart Cook" enabled.
$179.99
Ninja's Mid-Level Foodi Grill
  • "Smart Cook" enabled with smart thermometer
  • 4 protein settings & 9 customizable doneness levels
  • Almost 8 pounds lighter than the older FG551 model
  • Attractive design
  • Dishwasher safe parts
  • Lighter weight & updated design may not be enough reason to upgrade from the FG551
  • Unit only cooks when the lid is closed
  • No griddle plate included/Not designed for griddle functionality
  • Indirect heating only
$279.99
  • "Smart Cook" enabled with smart thermometer
  • 4 protein settings & 9 customizable doneness levels
  • Same features as the DG551 but less expensive
  • Dishwasher safe parts
  • Unit only cooks when the lid is closed
  • No griddle plate included/Not designed for griddle functionality
  • Indirect heating only
$279.99
Budget Buy
  • Straightforward controls
  • Programmable cooking functions
  • Can reach up to 510ºF (265ºC)
  • Cooks up to 4 steaks simultaneously
  • Temperature control and indicator
  • Programmable timer
  • Non-stick ceramic coating
  • BPA-free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Indirect heating only
  • No auto-warm function
  • Grill marks are not the traditional stripes
  • Can't cook when lid is open
$175.00
09/25/2022 04:47 pm GMT

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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Get $20 off on the Ninja Pro Grill by using the code HEAT20 at Ninja Kitchen

Promo ends on August 24, 2022