After seeing the new Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL, I’m ready to enter my grill master era

Ninja Woodfire XL
(Image credit: Future)

I’m not much of an outdoor cook; living in the city doesn’t exactly afford much outdoor space, after all. Still, aside from that, the level of attentiveness needed with traditional barbeques makes them feel distinctly un-fun for a lazy cook like me. 

However, this week I had the chance to set eyes on the latest addition to the range, the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker, and it’s a machine that might finally convince me to start my grill master journey. 

With its connected app allowing you the freedom to leave the grill to do its thing and its enormous capacity, the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker makes for an excellent addition to your patio.

Ninja Woodfire XL

(Image credit: Ninja)

If it's hands-free, it's for me

If I’m hosting some kind of outdoor soirée, I’d much prefer enjoying the company of my friends and family than being glued to my BBQ on my quest for perfectly cooked hot dogs. Let’s face it, unless you’re really passionate about the craft, you just end up with a bad case of FOMO.

So, when I first heard about the original Ninja Woodfire I was a little unconvinced. Sure, the idea of an outdoor air fryer was cool, and I admired the wood smoking technology, but ultimately it felt just like an electric BBQ with a few frills, and certainly not enough to convert me to a bona fide BBQ fangirl.

In part, I still feel that way about some of the older models - though having tried some dishes cooked in a Woodfire this week I’d certainly say I underestimated the level of flavor imparted by Ninja’s wood chips. However, it’s Ninja’s newest model, the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker (say that five times, fast) that has really converted me.

The Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker is the largest model of Ninja’s outdoor cooker, offering 30% more capacity than the original model. That’s roughly 10 burgers at once, or 6.8kg / 240oz of brisket, according to Ninja.

That’s a pretty impressive spec, but it also offers some cool added features that make it a particularly enticing option.

Paired with the Ninja Pro Connect app, the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker is the first smart Ninja Woodfire, allowing you to remotely operate your grill and providing real-time cooking status notifications. Plus, there’s ample educational material and instructions, courtesy of Ninja.

It offers seven cooking functions; grill, smoke, air fry, roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate, and has a built-in thermometer that allows users to cook and program two different types of meat simultaneously at different cooking levels.

The Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker uses the same, 100% real wood-burning pellets to deliver gorgeous smoky flavors, all without using any charcoal, gas, or flames, and in our review of the original Ninja Woodfire, we were impressed with how few were needed to deliver impactful flavor.

We don’t yet have pricing and availability information for the UK, but the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker is already available in the US for $449.75 directly from Ninja and third-party retailers like Amazon.

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Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.