Skip to main content
  • About the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill

  • How we tested the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill

  • What we like

  • What we don’t like

  • What owners are saying

  • Warranty

  • Should you buy the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill?

  • Related content

About the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill

Steak and chicken breasts being cooked inside of the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker while being flipped with cooking tongs outdoors.
Credit: Ninja

The Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker is the latest portable electric grill from Ninja.

  • Dimensions: 23.62 x 18.58 x 13.31 inches
  • Cooking Space (Total): 180 square inches
  • Weight: 38.94 pounds
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Functions: Grill, Smoker, Roast, Bake, Dehydrate, Air Crisp (essentially the same thing as air fry), and Broil

Known for its top-performing countertop appliances like air fryers and the viral Ninja Creami, Ninja has certainly made a name for itself in the culinary world. The Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker is the latest grill from the brand, an upgrade from the earlier model, the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill.

This appliance comes with two built-in thermometers, a cast-iron grill grate, an air-fry basket, one grease tray liner, and three sample bags of Ninja Woodfire Pellets. It’s Wi-Fi-enabled and can be controlled via a smartphone app if desired.

To use the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Grill, simply power it on using the power button, select the cooking function you’d like to use, and set the time and temperature (or opt for the manual settings).

The grill will then begin to preheat (you can skip this step by holding down the start button for a few seconds). Once it's preheated, it will beep and the screen will read “Add Food.” At this point, you can cook the food with the lid open or closed (the grill will prompt you to close the lid, but you can ignore this if you’d like).

If you keep the lid open, your food won’t be cooked using the convection fan. The grill will beep again halfway through cooking to prompt you to flip your food, and will beep at the end of cooking when everything is done.

This grill retails for $449.75, which doesn’t include the adjustable stand that’s sold separately for $129.99.

How we tested the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill

To gauge the functionality of this grill, we used it to cook dinner for a full week. We grilled chicken breasts, corn on the cob, and asparagus to test the grill function, including use of the built-in thermometer.

To test the smoker, we smoked chicken wings and used the Ninja Woodfire Pellets Robust Blend. We also baked chicken wings to serve alongside air-fried French fries that we made using the air fry basket. Finally, we grilled Italian sausages.

What we like

It cooks food evenly

Five seared chicken breasts piled on top of white and black patterned dish sitting on red surface.
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

The Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker cooks everything from vegetables to chicken breasts evenly.

This Ninja Woodfire Grill cooks food evenly, thanks to the cast-iron grill grates and the interior convection fan, which both encourage even heat distribution.

The convection fan works similarly to an air fryer (or an oven with true convection) by moving the hot air across the food as it cooks.

When we cut into the chicken breasts after the built-in thermometer read 165°F, the meat was cooked evenly throughout. We did not find any hot spots on the grill’s cooking surface whether we were smoking meat, grilling veggies, or air frying French fries.

Its many functions actually work

On right, six cooked and browned chicken breasts sitting on top of white surface. On right, cooked french fries sitting on top of cooling rack.
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

In addition to grilling, the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker can air fry, smoke, grill, and more.

Of the grill’s seven functions, we tested four—Grill, Smoke, Air Crisp, and Bake. The grill function produced evenly cooked chicken, corn, and asparagus, and it even gave the food some of those inviting signature grill marks.

Air Crisp was another winner; the French fries were perfectly crispy without being too brown. Baking a batch of chicken wings produced evenly cooked wings that tasted as if they’d come straight from a standard-sized oven.

The Smoker function imparted a thoroughly smoky flavor to another batch of chicken wings in under 30 minutes. After easily adding the pellets to the integrated smoke box using the scoop that comes with the grill, all that was left to do was press the correct buttons.

The user manual is fairly clear to follow when smoking with this grill for the first time. But it’s important to note that the time on the grill’s display is listed in hours and minutes for this function, rather than minutes and seconds, as smoking requires relatively low heat and slow cooking time.

Clean-up is a breeze

Four pale chicken breasts cooking inside the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker's black grates.
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

The grill grate is non-stick and easy to remove, which makes the cleaning process simple and quick.

Cleaning this grill couldn’t have been easier. The non-stick grill grate is removable and relatively lightweight (about the same heft as a cast-iron skillet).

We were able to remove any residue leftover from cooking with a quick rinse, a little soap, and light sponge washing.

As for grease, the grease tray and disposable tray liners come in handy here—all we had to do was let things cool down, then remove the tray liner and dispose of it. It’s worth noting that these liners are also sold separately, but you could use aluminum foil to line the grease tray if you didn’t want to buy more.

What we don’t like

The stand is sold separately

The Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker in black and stainless steel finish sits on top of red surface outdoors with lid closed.
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

The grill's stand is sold separately, so if you don't purchase it you'll need to make do with a table or other similar surface to set it on.

The base of this grill is not flat, and instead has four very short legs and indentations in the base for where the adjustable outdoor stand (sold separately) fits in.

This presents a problem if you’re looking for a flat, heat-resistant surface to place the grill on when cooking. If the outdoor space you’re using is relatively small, it’s likely you won’t be able to fit a table large enough to hold the grill. The grill is just large enough that small tables such as TV trays won't accommodate it, especially given the small legs that extend from each corner.

We crafted a makeshift table using two recycling bins to elevate the grill off of the ground enough to comfortably cook.

Seeing as this product really needs to be elevated in order to properly (and comfortably) use it, it seems counterintuitive to not include the stand with the grill itself.

It has a small surface area for cooking

Pile of asparagus stalks cooking next to four cobs of corns on top of the black grates inside of the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker.
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

The grill's surface area for cooking is too small to cook multiple dishes, or for more than two or three people.

Ninja claims that this grill has 180 square inches of cooking space, enough to fit “two full racks of ribs, 10 burgers, four pounds of wings, two 7-pound chickens, or a 10-pound brisket,” according to the brand’s website.

​While this may technically be true in terms of square inches, fitting most of those food items on the grill would essentially cover the grill’s surface, making it difficult to flip things without food falling on the floor.

This small grill is ideal for a small family of two to four people, but it wouldn’t be ideal for cooking for a crowd at, say, a football tailgate (where a small, portable grill such as this could otherwise be incredibly useful).

The cord is short

Clocking in at just 4.59 feet, this cord is short and not removable. The instruction manual notes that this must be plugged directly into a grounded 3-prong outlet, so extension cords aren’t an option.

And since this grill can only be used outdoors, you’ll want to make sure you have such an outlet on the outside of your home or wherever you plan to use it before you purchase.

Once you’ve located a suitable outlet, you’ll need to set up the grill essentially next to the outlet since the cord is so short. This whole process can be a bit like tetris, depending on how your space is configured.

What owners are saying

Out of the almost 1,500 reviews on Amazon, this grill has an average 4.7 star rating. One owner says, “Overall, it's super quick to start, easy to get going, cooks amazingly for what it is, but the user experience could be improved quite a bit.”

Another owner calls it the best grill they’ve ever had, while another still says “I have no complaints about it except that it does not allow much room for cooking.”

On the Best Buy website, this grill has about 330 ratings with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. One user notes that this grill is perfect for apartments, stating that since “we can’t have an open flame, this was the next best thing.”

Another user says: “I love the versatility of it—it’s convenient, easy to use, and easy to clean,” while another states that they “wish the cooking surface area was bigger and the top a little higher.”


The Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker has a 3-year warranty.

Should you buy the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill?

Person holds small black scooper filled with small amount of Woodfire pellets inside next to the side of the Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker and bag of Woodfire pellets.
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

An effective, built-in smoker is one of this grill's many easy-to-use functions.

Maybe—if you need a reliable, electric multifunctional grill that's portable and space-saving

This grill would be great for specific situations, and not-so-great for others. You should consider buying this grill if you’ll be cooking for yourself and up to two or three other people. If you don’t already own an air fryer and you’re interested in an appliance that can also do this, the Ninja Woodfire certainly ticks that box.

It's also a good investment for apartment or condo dwellers with limited space for grilling, or those who can't use a gas grill or aren’t ready to invest in a full-sized grill yet.

If you’re looking to buy the best portable grill we’ve tested, consider the top-performing gas Weber Q-1200 or electric Weber Lumin. Alternatively, peruse the best full-sized grills we’ve tested to see if the larger option is right for you.

Product image of Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill Smoker MPC
Ninja Woodfire ProConnect XL Outdoor Grill Smoker MPC

Ninja's ProConnect XL is a versatile dual outdoor grill & smoker that's great for crafting up small meals.

$450 at Ninja

Related content

Meet the tester

Madison Trapkin

Madison Trapkin


Madison covered all things cooking as the kitchen editor for Reviewed in 2021. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Culture Magazine, Madison is the founder of GRLSQUASH, a women's food, art, and culture journal. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Cherrybombe, Gather Journal, and more. She is passionate about pizza, aesthetic countertop appliances, and regularly watering her houseplants. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and a Master's of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy from Boston University.

See all of Madison Trapkin's reviews

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.

Shoot us an email

Up next