Grills logo.Grills

I’ve Extensively Used the Ninja Woodfire — Here is My Review

Like something out of a late-night infomercial, this cooker claims to do it all. But can a single grill cook seven different ways and do them all well enough that you’d actually use it? Don’t touch that dial! We are about to find out.

Jim Wright profile picture
Written by:
| Reviewed by: Mark Jenner

Last Updated: February 15, 2024

A Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill isolated on black, next to text describing this article as a review.

Today, I’m reviewing what you might call the Swiss Army knife of outdoor cookers: the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill. It grills, smokes, air-fries, roasts, bakes, reheats, and dehydrates. Quite simply, it does it all.

I’ve been messing around with the Woodfire at home, experimenting with the different settings and cook styles, and I cover each one in this review. I also share full specs and what I feel are the critical pros and cons. And I tell you who I think this grill is best suited to, and whether I think it’s worth owning.

Full disclosure time. The good people at Ninja sent me this grill free of charge in exchange for a review. I can promise you, though, that I’ll be as thorough and honest in my assessment as if I’d paid for it out of pocket.

Let’s start by getting to know this unique outdoor cooker.

/table of

Final Verdict and Our Rating

Chicken wings air frying on the Ninja Woodfire.
Smoked then air fried chicken wings are delicious from this grill!
8.6
Performance and Versatility 9.0
Ease of Use 9.0
Build Quality 9.0
Size and Portability 8.0
Temperature Control and Range 8.0
Cleaning and Maintenance 9.0
Smoking Efficiency and Flavor 8.0
Value for Money 9.0

The Ninja Woodfire is a game-changer for those who love the taste of smoked and grilled foods but don’t have the space or desire for a full-sized grill. Its seven-in-one functionality means you can grill, smoke, bake, roast, air crisp, dehydrate, and broil, all with one compact device.

The added ability to infuse wood smoke into any dish elevates it above many electric grills on the market.

I found the main drawback to be the occasional difficulty igniting the pellets, which can be a minor inconvenience. Secondly, its small cooking surface might limit those looking to cook for larger groups.

Despite this, its versatility, ease of use, and the unique flavor it brings to your cooking make it an excellent choice for small families, beginners, or anyone looking to expand their outdoor cooking repertoire without the bulk of traditional equipment.

The occasional issue with pellet ignition is a minor hiccup in what is otherwise a highly recommendable product for those exploring the flavors of outdoor cooking.

Pros

  • Incredibly simple and intuitive to use with a user-friendly control panel.
  • You can add real wood smoke flavor to any food.
  • Versatile with 7 cooking modes.
  • Simple to clean.
  • Precise temperature control.
  • Compact and portable design suitable for small spaces.
  • No propane or charcoal required.
  • Smoked air-fried chicken!!!

Cons

  • Small grill size may be limiting.
  • Can only be used where there is electricity.
  • Grease tray would be easier to access from the front or side.
  • Pellets may not light first time, every time.
  • Smoke flavor less intense than from traditional smokers.

Who Should Buy This Product, and Who Should Not?

The Ninja Woodfire is perfect for beginners and those who find large grills and smokers daunting. Its simple, intuitive design makes it accessible for anyone to start grilling and smoking right away.

Small families and couples will find it meets their needs for a variety of cooking methods without taking up too much space. Additionally, those who love camping, RVing, or tailgating will appreciate its portability and versatility.

It’s also a great match for existing Ninja product users, offering a familiar control panel with the bonus of smoke flavor.

The Ninja Woodfire might not be the best for serious barbecue and grilling enthusiasts. The smoke flavor, though decent, does not match up to the deeper smoke flavors given by bigger, dedicated smokers. And its smaller cooking surface limits its ability to cater to larger gatherings.

Furthermore, it’s not suitable for individuals without electricity access in their outdoor cooking spaces as it runs on electricity.

Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill and Smoker
Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill isolated on white

A 7-in-1 multi-function outdoor cooker that can real wood smoke flavor while grilling, smoking, air-frying, roasting, baking, dehydrating, or broiling.

Small and light, simple and intuitive to use, it produces excellent food and is weather-resistant, so can be used and stored outdoors in all weathers.

Our Ratings for the Ninja Woodfire Explained

Here’s how I rated the Ninja Woodfire in different categories, where it won and lost points.

Performance and Versatility

The Ninja Woodfire is highly versatile, boasting seven cooking functions: grilling, smoking, roasting, baking, dehydrating, air crisping, and broiling.

A minor drawback is that although it imparts a decent smoke flavor, I found it doesn’t reach the full depth of flavor of traditional pellet grills, losing it a point.

Score: 9/10.

Ease of Use

I found this grill simple to set up and use, reflecting Ninja’s reputation for user-friendly appliances. The process to start cooking is straightforward: fill the pellet tray, select the mode, set temperature/time, and start. All from a simple-to-use control panel. And any adjustments can be made quickly and easily during cooking.

I did run into a hiccup with the pellets not lighting up firs time a couple of times, which was a bit of a drag, requiring a restart in some instances and hence losing a point.

Score: 9/10.

Build Quality

The Ninja Woodfire is well-constructed, designed to last, and fits between average and premium quality materials. The power cord includes a built-in GFI, adding a layer of safety for outdoor use. The score reflects a solid build but acknowledges that more premium products with higher spec materials exist.

Score: 9/10.

Size and Portability

While its compact size is advantageous for small spaces and portability, the limited cooking surface area restricts the amount of food that can be cooked at once. Notably I couldn’t fit a full rack of ribs. And you definitely couldn’t fit a large brisket, or a large turkey on there.

Its weight and dimensions made it easy for me to carry and transport, making it suitable for tailgating or camping, but its size will not cater to larger gatherings.

Score: 8/10.

Temperature Control and Range

I found the temperature control on the Ninja Woodfire to be pretty spot-on for all the different cooking modes it offers, making it adaptable for a range of recipes and cooking needs. However, the specificity of temperature control might not entirely match the finer adjustments possible with more specialized or larger-scale smokers and grills.

Score: 9/10.

Cleaning and Maintenance

I find it extremely easy to clean. Removing the parts that need washing is easy, and they are small enough to be hand-washed in the sink. And they must be hand washed, as they are not dishwasher safe.

The grease management tray could be more accessible from the front or side, though.

Score: 9/10.

Smoking Efficiency and Flavor

While the Ninja Woodfire does well by adding smoke flavor to foods, especially in modes beyond traditional smoking, it falls short of the deep, penetrative smoke flavor of larger, traditional smokers. The flavor tends to be very mild in comparison.

Score: 8/10.

Value for Money

Considering its versatility, ease of use, and quality of build, the Ninja Woodfire offers good value,

However, the price point and the relative smoke flavor compared to traditional options slightly impact its score here.

Score: 9/10.

What is the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill?

Ninja Woodfire from the front, sat on a metal table.

The Ninja Woodfire is a versatile electric BBQ grill and smoker designed for those who love the taste of outdoor cooking but appreciate the convenience and ease of use of Ninja products.

This product stands out by offering a woodfire flavor with the ease of electric grilling. It combines several cooking functions in one, its key features include the ability to grill, smoke, bake, roast, air fry and dehydrate, all while being easy to clean and maintain.

The Woodfire boasts a robust build quality, with a design that’s both sleek and functional, fitting nicely into any modern outdoor space.

Ideal for BBQers who are short on space but big on flavor, the Ninja Woodfire aims to bring the authentic grilling experience right to your countertop.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Weight: 30.6 lbs
  • Overall Dimensions: H13.4” x W18.1” x D18.1”
  • Grill Dimensions: W11″ x L14.6″
  • Programs: Grill, Smoker, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate
  • Temperature Range: up to 260 °C​
  • Grilling Surface: 141 sq. in.
  • Power: Electric (AC)

Why Trust Us and This Review?

My time grilling and smoking since 2005, and writing for this site since 2017, means my experience spans a wide range of grilling equipment, providing a solid basis for tests and comparisons.

I own and use the Ninja Woodfire, and I’ve put it through its paces, just like I’ve done with countless other grills. So what I share with you comes from real, everyday use — not just a one-time test.

So, when I talk about the Ninja Woodfire, you’re getting the scoop from someone who’s used the equipment to cook family meals, tested every function, and can compare how it performs to the vast array of grills I’ve already tried over the years.

Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill and Smoker
Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill isolated on white

A 7-in-1 multi-function outdoor cooker that can real wood smoke flavor while grilling, smoking, air-frying, roasting, baking, dehydrating, or broiling.

Small and light, simple and intuitive to use, it produces excellent food and is weather-resistant, so can be used and stored outdoors in all weathers.

In-Depth Ninja Woodfire Review and Test results

Over the past few months, I’ve used the Ninja Woodfire Electric Grill & Smoker in all possible ways.

I’ve tested it with quick, high-temperature grilling of steaks and hotdogs, roasted lamb legs and beef joints for dinners, smoked air-fried chicken wings, and slow-cooked ribs.

The grill has seen all kinds of weather – clear, sunny mornings, windy afternoons, and even a handful of drizzly evenings.

I tested every feature, and every dish cooked on it was evaluated for flavor, texture, and overall success to give me an idea of just how well the Woodfire performs.

The rest of this review details my findings.

Unboxing and Assembly

Ninja Woodfire box on a stainless steel table.

Ninja seems to switch up its promos periodically, offering different varieties of free accessories. That being the case, I’ll just go through the unboxing of the Woodfire I received and the standard inclusions.

What’s in the Box?

You’ll first come across the Owner’s Manual and a recipe book. In addition, you get a pellet scoop, grease tray, crisper basket, grilling surface, pellet smoker box, and a small Allen key to attach the side handles.

Also included are two sample packs of pellets, one all-purpose and one “robust blend.”

Ease of Assembly

Piece of cake! You only need to attach the two side handles, and the screws are pre-threaded. It’s less than a 5-minute job.

First Impressions

My initial thoughts were that the Woodfire looked solid and reliable. The charcoal and silver color scheme is modern and professional-looking, and the control panel promises to be easy to interact with.

I also note that it’s not a big cooker by any means. The grill size is on par with some portable grills and hibachis, so I know right away it won’t be my go-to for large parties; this one is just for meals with the immediate family.

How Does it Work?

Plug the Woodfire into the closest wall socket, and you’re ready to choose from one of seven cooking functions. They are as follows:

  • Grill — Slap a few burgers, steaks, chops, or sausages on the solid cooking surface and grill just like you would on any barbecue.
  • Smoker — This setting activates the smoker box and keeps the temperature inside low for smoking ribs, butts, and more.
  • Roast — Like your oven, the Woodfire can cook beef and pork roasts, poultry, or vegetables until they are nice and tender.
  • Bake — The reduced fan speed on this mode creates a gentle, even heat for perfect bread, cake, pie, and more.
  • Dehydrate — Use this mode to draw moisture out of meat, veggies, and fruit to create jerky and chips.
  • Air Crisp — On this setting, high heat and quickly circulating air help wings, fries, and more cook up crispy with little to no oil required.
  • Broil — Finish off casseroles or melt cheese on sandwiches and burgers with a blast of high heat over the top.

No matter which mode you choose, pressing the “Woodfire Flavor Technology” button adds smoke as desired. Imagine adding real smoke flavor to your wings in the air crisper or a meat pie on bake mode? That’s what you get here.

The way this grill works is:

  • Underneath the main grate is a heating element that heats from below.
  • In the lid is a multi-speed fan for circulating hot air, a bit like a fan oven.
  • Surrounding the fan in the lid is a second heating element that can be used to heat from above, particularly for broiling, for example.
  • To the side is a small box with a lid and a third heating element, used to burn wood pellets slowly to add smoke flavor.
Close up of the wood pellet box on the Ninja Woodfire outdoor grill.

You simply select your cooking style with the rotary dial for any of the available functions. Then accept the default settings or tweak the temperature and time, and then when told to do so (after pre-heating / igniting wood pellets) add your food.

Overall Build Quality

Like most Ninja products, the Woodfire falls somewhere between average and premium quality for build and materials.

Everything looks and feels durable; it’s new, yet I feel like it will last for many years, even without babying it. Notable is the power cord with the built-in GFI; that’s fantastic if you’re out on an apartment balcony or at an electrified campsite.

The grease management system is simple but clever, with all the drippings running to the back of the grill and down into the pan. The air crisper basket sits on the grill, and any grease that doesn’t pool in its own wells will fall on the grill and from there to the tray.

All the cooking attachments seem to be aluminum, including the grill. While I generally prefer cast iron, aluminum does keep the cost and weight down.

Overall Ease of Use

If you don’t know the Ninja company (now SharkNinja), do you even have a kitchen?

Ninja make a wide array of cookware and cooking gadgets. Their small appliances share a common design aesthetic, and the controls are also similar from unit to unit. So, if you own a Ninja pressure cooker, food processor, or juicer, you’ll find the interface on the Ninja Woodfire reassuringly familiar.

I found the Woodfire simple to use, with a minimal learning curve. Everything is clearly labeled, the displays are easy to read, and there are only a handful of buttons and one knob to contend with.

Grilling Performance

For the ‘GRILL’ function, the Ninja Woodfire has the following available settings:

  • Temp: HI —  MED — LOW.
  • Time: 1 to 60 minutes.

To test the grilling performance, I went for two flat iron steaks hot and fast. One was rubbed with a general beef rub, and one was plain, the way my young daughter likes them.

As you can see the Woodfire grilled perfectly well. I was a little afraid it wouldn’t get hot enough to create a great sear, and to take advantage of the Maillard reaction. But my fears were misplaced.

I grilled my steaks on the HI setting, and it was actually so hot that it burned my rub in places. So please only use MED or LOW if grilling anything with sugar in the rub, as it will burn. But this is a GOOD thing! Many grills do not get hot enough. This one certainly does. And you can always use a lower setting.

With the Woodfire, you can also grill with the lid open, which is slower, for a better sear without overcooking the inside. Or you can grill with the lid closed, which will be quicker, cooking the insides faster, resulting in less sear. Smaller items, grill lid open, thicker cuts grill with the lid closed.

I’d be happy to use this grill for grilling anything in the future. It gets plenty hot enough, and adding a little hint of smoke flavor is a real bonus.

Smoking Performance

Chicken wings smoking on the Ninja Woodfire.

For the ‘SMOKER’ function, the Ninja Woodfire has the following available settings:

  • Temp: CLD, or 145 °F – 400 °F
  • Time: 10 minutes to 12 hours.

I should say now that I was skeptical of the smoke flavor the Woodfire would produce. Pellet grills on the whole give a more subtle (weaker) smoke flavor compared to most other types of grills, and I was expecting this electric grill with just a few smoking pellets to be even weaker. But I was nicely surprised!

For my initial test of the smoker function, I did some chicken wings that I then air-fried to crisp up. I found the smoke flavor was decent, though less than on my full-sized pellet grills. Subtle compared to the smoke flavors achieved with larger, dedicated wood fired or charcoal fueled smokers, but satisfying enough.

I found on subsequent cooks (pork loin, and some baby back ribs) that a single fill of Ninja branded wood pellets lasts approximately 1 hour.

I’m sad to report that the pellets didn’t light two times, and my cooks progressed with no smoke being generated. I’ve no idea why. But when it happened, I removed the box of pellets, gave them a shake, turned off the Woodfire, restarted the cooking process, and then the pellets ignited.

So my summary of the smoker setting is that it works well, adding a decent smoky flavor, but occasionally the pellets do not ignite. You must keep an eye on your cook to ensure they are lit, or no smoke will be produced.

Overall though, it smokes well.

Air Crisp Performance

Chicken wings air frying on the Ninja Woodfire.

For the ‘AIR CRISP’ function, the Ninja Woodfire has the following available settings:

  • Temp: 300 °F – 450 °F
  • Time: 1 minute to 1 hour.

I first used the air fryer setting to crips up some wings I had smoked on the Woodfire. I air-fried for 15 minutes or so, and it worked really, very well. The skin on my wings was wonderfully crispy.

I really like this function because low and slow smoking tends to impart also no crust and leaves the skin on poultry a little rubbery. I then tend to fire up a grill super hot and potentially use a ‘Vortex’ accessory to crisp up my chicken after smoking.

But because I’ve found the Woodfire’s air-frying of chicken works so well for crisping up the skin, I will use this function, potentially every time. It just works so well and is so fool-proof and easy I see no reason to use other methods from now on.

Roasting Performance

Roast lamb shoulder on the grate of a Ninja Woodfire.

For the ‘ROAST’ function, the Ninja Woodfire has the following available settings:

  • Temp: 250 °F – 425 °F
  • Time: 1 minute to 4 hours.

My first ‘roast’ on the Woodfire was a lamb shoulder studded with garlic and rosemary. With the smoke enabled, I roasted it off for about 45 minutes before moving it to a braise inside my kitchen oven.

My second ‘roast’ was a whole chicken, start to end, also with the smoke setting enabled.

I’m happy to report the roasting went well. This setting works exactly as you would hope, and being able to add some smoke is fantastic.

I would have liked to have seen the temperature range available as high as 450 °F, rather than stopping at 425 °F because I like to brown off some meats this high before turning them down. But other than that, this function works as well as hoped, and I find no fault with it.

Broiling Performance

For the ‘BROIL’ function, the Ninja Woodfire has the following available settings:

  • Temp: 500 °F fixed.
  • Time: 30 Seconds to 20 Minutes.

I was apprehensive about the broil setting, as broiling should be ‘heat from above.’ Apprehensive only until I discovered the second heating element wrapped around the fan in the lid!

So when you broil, the grate does not get heated from below, and it is actually true broiling.

I did a family favorite of onion and cheese on toast for my test.

The first thing I noticed is that the fan goes double speed when broiling if compared to other settings. The strength of the fan I found is actually enough to move my slices of bread around inside of the grill. Maybe I should use larger pieces next time?

Anyhow, it worked well. My toast wasn’t at all cooked further from below, there was absolutely no burning. And within minutes, my cheese had melted and started to bubble and brown.

This is a good function for finishing off foods without cooking them much further if you wish to brown off the top of foods and give a good crust.

The broil function works well. No complaints from me at all.

Dehydrating Performance

For the ‘BROIL’ function, the Ninja Woodfire has the following available settings:

  • Temp: 80 °F to 195 °F.
  • Time: 10 minutes to 12 hours.

I haven’t been able to get around to using this setting just yet. I intend to make jerky and will circle back and update this review when I do so.

Baking Performance

For the ‘BAKE’ function, the Ninja Woodfire has the following available settings:

  • Temp: 250 °F to 400 °F.
  • Time: 1 minute to 4 hours.

Here’s my confession: I’m not much of a baker. (As in, anything I do bake comes in a box with the Pillsbury Doughboy on it.)

So, I haven’t tested the 7th function of the Ninja Woodfire, the Bake setting. But baking and roasting aren’t so different from one another, and I know it does a good job roasting. From that, I conclude that it will be capable as a baking oven.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Ninja Woodfire grill grate in a sink full of soapy water.

It’s a sad fact of life; things get dirty. Here are my observations on keeping the Ninja Woodfire in tip-top shape.

How to Clean the Ninja Woodfire

You’re gonna have to get your hands dirty to clean the Woodfire, because none of it is dishwasher friendly. Actually, the pellet box insert is, but the grate and crisping basket are not.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to keep this little grill spic and span.

Pull out the grease tray, dump whatever’s inside, and then hand-wash the tray. The same goes for the non-stick grill grate and air-fryer basket; warm soapy water and a dishcloth will do the job.

Finally, you can wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and also the inside of the lid.

Any Other Maintenance Required?

Where there’s smoke, there’s creosote. If you see creosote build up inside the Woodfire, scrape it down with a wire brush. If you don’t, it will eventually flake and fall onto your food, which you want to avoid.

And, as with any pellet grill, dump out any unused pellets between uses, so they don’t get damp. Smoking with mildewed or moldy pellets is no one’s idea of a good time.

Ninja Branded Wood Pellets

Two packets of Ninja branded wood pellets and a measuring cup on a metal table.

As you can see above, the Ninja Woodfire pellets are actually manufactured by Bear Mountain BBQ, one of the top brands we recommend throughout this site.

Two sample bags of pellets come with your Woodfire, each good for three cooking sessions each. These pellets are:

  1. Robust Blend — Hickory, oak, cherry, and maple. This blend gives more depth and strength to the smoky flavor than the all-purpose blend.
  2. All-purpose blend — Oak, maple, and cherry. A more subtle and smoother smoke profile than the robust blend.

The pellets are the standard, typical size you would find for any pellet grill.

I found the flavor profiles of the pellets as described. They give a good flavor without being overpowering.

Can You Use Other Brand’s Pellets?

When you first unbox your Ninja Woodfire, you will see a label glued to the top of the device stating that you must only use Ninja branded pellets.

A warning on a new Ninja Woodfire to use only Ninja branded pellets.

So, can you use other brands pellets? In my opinion, absolutely you can! Pellets are pellets, by and large, so long as you buy good ones.

Many manufacturers claim you should only use pellets made by them, but in my experience, this is little more than an attempt to force buying their own brand, and any quality pellets work just as well.

I’ve used a handful of other brands of pellets in this grill and had excellent results, including those from Traeger, Bear Mountain, and Pit Boss.

Reviews from Others

At the time of writing, the Ninja Woodfire achieved these ratings at popular online stores:

  • Costco.com: 4.7 from 453 reviews.
  • Bestbuy.com: 4.8 from 401 reviews.
  • Niinjakitchen.com: 4.7 from 426 reviews.

The review of the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill on Hey Grill, Hey presents a generally positive sentiment, highlighting its versatility, ease of use, and build quality.

However, it also notes some limitations, such as the smoke flavor not being as profound as that from traditional wood-fired options and the grill’s size being somewhat small for certain cooking tasks.

Recommended for those with space constraints or unable to use traditional outdoor grills, but not as a replacement for a full-sized wood-fired pellet grill for lovers of deeper smoky flavors.

The overall sentiment of the Ninja Woodfire review on Tom’s Guide is mixed. It highlights the grill’s suitability for small spaces and its ease of use and cleaning as positives. However, it points out significant drawbacks such as unpredictable cooking results and the inability to quickly produce large amounts of food.

The review suggests that while the grill has potential for excellent food preparation, it requires patience and a thermometer to achieve desired outcomes. This indicates that while the product has appealing features, its performance may not consistently meet users’ expectations.

Warranty and Support

The standard model Woodfire comes with a 1 year VIP warranty.

Stepping up to the Pro model not only gets you increased functionality and more accessories, but it also gets you an extra two years on the warranty for a total of 3 years.

Ninja’s VIP warranty covers failure for any reason, with either free repairs or a free replacement, plus free shipping in both directions. Now that is a good warranty!

The Ninja website offers a smattering of FAQs and how-to videos to get you started and solve minor issues.

If you like the personal touch, you can reach a live agent six days a week at a toll-free number.

Summary of Our Findings

Compared to a full-size smoker, grill, or pellet grill, this is a scaled-down experience. However, that’s exactly what’s so appealing about the Ninja Woodfire.

I grill and smoke A LOT on a variety of equipment, including some of the heavyweights, like bullet smokers, kamados, and wood-fired ovens. But I enjoy cooking on this pint-sized grill because it’s simple and versatile and does a nice job on the food!

I’m a realist, though, and I know I’m unlikely to persuade many serious outdoor cooks to buy one, even though I’m sure they’d love it.

Instead, I’m going to thoroughly recommend the Ninja Woodfire to anyone who wants to get into smoking and try a few new styles of cooking outdoors but doesn’t want to invest the time and money into heavy-duty equipment, or who simply lacks the confidence in their skills to make a go of it. (And that’s ok! It’s no different from a guy like me being better off without an engine hoist or a compressed air nail gun.)

Here’s a final tip: when you buy, go with the Pro model and opt for the premium package. Not only does the Pro have a longer warranty and the built-in thermometer, but the package also comes with many accessories you’d pay more for separately.

At the time of writing, the premium package includes these additional goodies:

  • Combo Crisper Basket (a smaller basket that leaves half the grill free for cooking)
  • A 2-pound bag of all-purpose pellets
  • A veggie tray
  • Roast lifters
  • A grill cover.

What We Like

The ability to switch between cooking styles by turning the knob makes the Woodfire a highly approachable cooker.

It’s extremely easy to set a temperature and timer to start your cook, and there are literally thousands of recipes online that you can follow.

With the touch of a button, you can add smoke to anything you want, even if you’re not in Smoker mode.

Though it’s not what you’d call a lightweight, I’d still say the Woodfire is portable enough to take on the road. If you know you’ll have power, by all means, take it camping, RVing, cottaging, and tailgating. We’ll bet you draw a crowd wondering what you’re cooking on!

Air frying is cool. Air frying with smoke is amazing. This is a chicken-piece game-changer.

Also, if you buy the Pro version (an upgrade to the one I was sent) the built-in thermometer helps you master doneness levels with either manual input or presets. It even accounts for carryover cooking, automatically shutting down as the meat approaches the target temperature.

What Could Be Improved

Our biggest issue is, ironically, the small size of the cooking surface. We’ve reviewed many portable grills with much larger cooking grates.

While the grease management system is well designed, we’d rather the tray be accessible from the front or side. Accessing the back of the unit may not always be easy, especially if you have it on a stand next to your house.

Twice so far, out of approximately 20 cooks, the pellets did not light on the first attempt. I had to turn off the Woodfire, start the cook again and press the ‘WOODFIRE FLAVOR’ button a second time to get the pellets to ignite. I would like to see the pellets light and for smoke to be generated first time, every time.

Do We Recommend This Product?

Yes, I am happy to recommend the Ninja Woodfire, though I know most hard-core smokers will probably turn up their noses at one. It’s a very different experience than firing up a huge offset smoker with a bunch of logs. Pellet grill fans may also dismiss this as a mere toy compared to their Traeger or Recteq.

Rejecting it outright would be a shame, though, because this is a terrific little grill. I’ve enjoyed testing it out, and I’m sure it’ll be in regular rotation at my place.

Despite its smaller size, the Ninja Woodfire performs well, offers a convenient and efficient way to explore a variety of cooking styles outdoors, and gives me smoked air-fried chicken wings that are some of the best I’ve ever made, and so low effort.

Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill and Smoker
Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill isolated on white

A 7-in-1 multi-function outdoor cooker that can real wood smoke flavor while grilling, smoking, air-frying, roasting, baking, dehydrating, or broiling.

Small and light, simple and intuitive to use, it produces excellent food and is weather-resistant, so can be used and stored outdoors in all weathers.

Alternative Products

For alternatives to the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, consider grills that excel in similar compact and versatile cooking experiences.

However, the Ninja Woodfire is special because it can do a lot of different things like grilling, baking, and smoking all in one small machine. This makes it hard to find something else just like it.

Options like the Weber Q series for gas grilling, the Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill for wood-fired flavor in a portable package, or the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill for simplicity and ease of use are popular.

Each offers unique features such as portability, ease of cleaning, and varied cooking methods to suit different preferences and spaces.

Conclusion

Thanks so much for joining us for our Ninja Woodfire review. If you have any lingering questions, leave a comment below or send us a message.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Jim Wright profile picture

Written By: Jim Wright

Hi, I’m Jim! I’ve been grilling for over 20 years over charcoal, wood, and gas. Now I’m happy to share my experience and discoveries with you.

When I’m not writing about barbecue, I’m usually writing about food anyway, at a food marketing agency: nourish.marketing. Aside from my family and the perfect steak, my passions include travel and all things Disney.

Leave a Comment

Required fields are marked *

12 Comments

  1. Avatar for Dan Potyraj Dan Potyraj says:

    Jim,
    I have been researching small grills now for about 4 months. I keep coming coming back to this grill. So far, I’ve been impressed. I’m leaning toward getting this grill because I’ve done all major kind of BBQ, grilling, smoking, etc. I care to do in my 75 years. My wife and I just want something small and this seems to do it. I could even get rid of my smoker, grill, pile of wood, etc.

    My only question is this…can I plug this into my garage outlet which is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter? Or do I have to run an extension cord to an indoor outlet?

    Dan Potyraj. (Potteray)

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      Hi Dan. I’m sure it will work on your garage outlet, so long as it is the correct voltage and can provide enough power. From my understanding, a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is simply a device that cuts power when a device is faulty? So it should work fine unless there is a fault.

  2. I’ve used the ninja Woodfire grill for about 4 months and have found it to be the best for my application. I have had smoke hollow, treagers, green mountain, little chiefs, and liked them all. But now I’m a fulltime RVer and need room for travel. This is the unit for me. It gives me the smoke flavor I like and I can use 7 different settings for anything I need to do. It works the best for our family and friends. Thank you Ninja.

  3. Avatar for Dave Bellin Dave Bellin says:

    A great product. I found one issue. The grill periodically blows the electric circuit. We try to keep the use of other electric appliances inside the house at minimum while using this grill.

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      That’s an odd one, I’ve not heard of anybody else saying this. Does anything else blow the electric while plugged into the same socket? Might the grill be faulty?

  4. I am confused why there is a “smoker” feature when the woodfire setting can be used with all features, roast, bake, air fyer?
    Also confused between the “roast” and “bake” feature is?

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      It’s to do with temperatures and time mostly, mixed with different amounts of airflow via the fan. The Woodfire is aimed at the ‘plug and play’ market, where you turn a dial, press a few buttons, and walk away to let it do it’s thing, to follow a guided recipe without the user interjecting. So they have tweaked the settings for the bottom and top heating elements, fan for airflow, and smoke settings, to try to perfectly match what is required of each cooking technique.

  5. Avatar for Mike Mayfield Mike Mayfield says:

    Hi, thanks for the very informative review of the Ninja Woodfire grill. I’m now getting one for my birthday and I’m wondering if you could give an unofficial, off the record type of view on whether you consider that the grill could be used indoors as long as is was not used for smoking? After all, people have grills and air fryers in the home 🤔
    Thanks,
    Mike

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Hi Mike,

      I’ve had the same thoughts as you, and a couple of my friends have said the same thing. My completely off-the-record, unofficial, at-your-own-risk answer is that you COULD, yes. If freestanding away from any wall or other appliances, with nothing overhanging above it. But I still wouldn’t.

      First and foremost, manufacturers get safety ratings for appliances to be indoor or outdoor use. For outdoor use, the requirements are lower, but the design principles will also be far different.

      Indoor appliances are made to be pushed up against walls, possibly under overhanging cabinets etc. On the Ninja Woodfire, the ventilation is different compared to the indoor versions. The outdoor has a large vent toward the rear where heat escapes, so placing it near to any kind of wall or under anything would expose this surface to A LOT of heat, and potentially be a fire risk.

      IMPORTANTLY: Your house insurance would be invalidated should the worst happen.

      Secondly, after using it to smoke a few times, there is always a lingering smoky smell that when you next use it will fill your home with that smell. Not always desirable!

      So you COULD use it indoors, I guess, if you do not use the ‘smoke feature’, have it freestanding away from everything so it’s not near any wall, and not underneath anything like a cupboard. But I still wouldn’t recommend it personally.

  6. Avatar for James Lavern Sanderson James Lavern Sanderson says:

    I bought the Ninja Griddle for my Woodfire grill. What setting do I use for frying eggs, fried rice, pancakes, etc.?

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Use the ‘smoke’ or ‘grill’ settings.

  7. Avatar for Nick Davis Nick Davis says:

    Have had this sitting in the box for a couple of months now,usage was interrupted by surgery, but finally gave it a quick run out today.
    Used the smoker feature to do some salmon fillets, results were excellent.
    Then used the grill setting plus smoke to do some pork loin steaks, again excellent results.
    I also own a Webber Baby Q100 that I run off cylinder gas but I’m already thinking that the cover will be coming off this a lot less this year as I get ready to put the Ninja through its paces!.

More From Grills

Weber go anywhere tabletop grill on a stainless steel table.
Grills

8 Best Tabletop Grills of 2024 — Gas, Electric and Charcoal

Discover nine of the best tabletop grills that are small yet stable, will not damage the table beneath, perform brilliantly, and are highly recommended by us. We review grills running on charcoal, gas and electricity, detailing their features, their pros and cons, and help you choose the right one for you.

A group of friends tailgating, grilling and drinking from red cups.
Grills

10 Best Tailgate Grills of 2024 — Reviews and Buying Guide

In this guide, we research the very best grills for tailgating. Charcoal grills, gas grills, large ones, small ones, some you can smoke on. There’s something for everyone. We review the top 8 contenders and deep dive into what you should consider when choosing, so you end up with the right pick.

A man cooking on a charcoal grill.
Grills

13 Best Charcoal Grills of 2024 for all Needs and Budgets

This guide reviews the best charcoal grills with different price points, sizes, and features to find the top picks to suit most people. From Kettles and Kamados to portable grills and some capable of smoking, read on to explore our top picks.