Ninja’s outdoor range is set to be summer’s hottest buy - but should you snap up the sellout Ninja Woodfire BBQ or Oven?

Which Ninja Woodfire is the one for you? We break down all the differences between these two bestsellers

Testing the Ninja Woodfire oven
(Image credit: Future/Ninja)

We all know that Ninja is a must-have brand in the kitchen, but deciding between the Ninja Woodfire Oven vs the Ninja Woodfire BBQ is something you should be considering if you love cooking outdoors too.

If you didn't already know, Ninja now has versions of the best BBQ and best pizza oven as well as a sell-out line of air fryers. 

We've tried both in our Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Oven review and our Ninja Woodfire BBQ review, and while each is easy to set up and wonderfully fun to use, they are pretty different despite the very similar names.

We'll be breaking down the functions and the need-to-know information of these new releases so that you can work out which will suit your garden best, or decide if you should go the whole hog and get both. 

Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Oven vs Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ & Smoker 

Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Oven vs Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ: The basics

The first thing to know is these are both electric appliances kitted out for the outdoors. Both feature RCD plugs (to prevent electric shocks), are protected from the elements and can be kept outside. You can buy covers for both if you want to keep them looking pristine.

The Ninja Woodfire BBQ was the first of these two products released in the UK, hitting the shelves in the spring of last year. It was a sell-out success, with John Lewis reporting in April 2023 that the number of people searching for this particular BBQ was up +136% following the month it was first available. 

Ninja now claims it is the UK's best-selling electric BBQ, a factor we covered when we delved into the differences between the Ninja Woodfire and the Weber Lumin

The Ninja Woodfire is an electric BBQ with a difference, thanks to its ability to air fry. It also features a smoker element that users can fill with pellets to create an artificial smokiness.

The Ninja Woodfire BBQ & Smoker being tested outside at home

During our tests of the Ninja Woodfire BBQ.

(Image credit: Future)

The Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Oven came later, with a release date at the end of 2023 and caters to a different outdoor activity entirely: pizza making. 

With a maximum temperature of 370°C, it's capable of crisping pizzas to perfection but also has settings and space to allow you to roast large joints of meat and even bake cakes or brownies inside, which our reviewer tried to great effect. 

Testing the Ninja Woodfire Oven

(Image credit: Future)

Price-wise, you'll find another similarity between these two Ninjas, with a shared RRP of £349.99. At the time of writing, both are part of Ninja's spring sale, with the Woodfire Oven now available for £299.99 and the Woodfire BBQ now available for £279.99. Bargain prices, just in time for the bank holiday weekend.

Ninja Woodfire BBQ vs Oven: Design

The Woodfire BBQ is an interesting-looking appliance, with a large domed lid. Inside the lid is the air fryer cooking element that makes it unique for outdoor use, a feature I haven't seen on any other BBQ. You also receive a dedicated air fry basket, so you can use the Woodfire just as you would one of the best Ninja air fryers.

The standard Woodfire has a good sized grill plate (28cm x 38cm), which can fit 8 burgers, 16 sausages or a 2kg pork shoulder. If that doesn't sound large enough, you can size up to the Ninja Woodfire XL, a product we're currently reviewing, which has an RRP of £399.99.

Ninja Woodfire during testing at home

(Image credit: Future)

As with all Ninja appliances, this BBQ has easy-to-use controls, so you can easily switch between functions and set the temperature. The LED panel lets you know when the appliance is at the optimal temperature to start cooking. 

Another genius feature of the Woodfire BBQ is the integrated smoke box attached to the side. Simply feed flavoured wood pellets into the box and the convection fan inside the BBQ will then circulate the aromas and flavour you know and love from cooking on a charcoal BBQ. 

Not only did our reviewer find the smoky flavour impressive when she tried it, but she was also impressed at how this process can cut down the time needed to smoke a joint of meat, taking it from her usual time of 10 hours down to just five. 

The Ninja Woodfire BBQ & Smoker being tested outside at home

Smoking a joint of pork with the Ninja Woodfire BBQ.

(Image credit: Future)

Happily, the smoker element from the Woodfire BBQ is something it has in common with the Woodfire Oven. Using the same smoker box design, Ninja has engineered it so that you can inject wood-fired flavour into the pizzas you can create with this oven, for that authentic flame grilled taste. 

Our expert reviewer and home economist Helen McCue was seriously impressed by the pellet system with the Ninja oven and was amazed by how few pellets you need to create a smoky taste. She also loved how the pellets were fired automatically.

She found using the Woodfire Oven and the pellet system to be straightforward, producing a great result, even on her first try.

Testing the smoker function on the Ninja Woodfire Oven

(Image credit: Future)

Largely, that's where the design similarities with these appliances end. The Woodfire Oven lacks the air fryer feature that the BBQ has, but most certainly makes up for it with its ability to function as an outdoor oven. 

Testing the Ninja Woodfire Oven

(Image credit: Future)

Our reviewer Helen loved using the bake function to cook salmon fillets to perfection and even roasted an entire chicken in the oven thanks to the spacious design.

Both are fairly large appliances, and heavy too, weighing in at 12kg each. Thanks to the electric designs, however, they are both balcony-friendly, so even if you're lacking a garden, you can enjoy what the Ninja Woodfire range has to offer.

Ninja Woodfire BBQ vs Oven: Cooking

Now for the important part - what kind of cooking results can you achieve with these appliances? Let's start with the air frying function on the Ninja Woodfire BBQ, which sets it apart from competitors. 

Our reviewer found that the Woodfire BBQ took just two minutes to preheat to 200°C on the air fryer setting, and reported that the cooking time for her cheddar and chive scones was cut down from 15 minutes to just 6 minutes on the air frying mode. 

The Ninja Woodfire BBQ & Smoker being tested outside at home

(Image credit: Future)

The resulting scones were 'fluffy and moist on the inside but also extra crispy on the outside', with our reviewer saying the results were far better than she had previously achieved in a normal oven. 

The quick air frying times of the Ninja Woodfire means that it's perfect for entertaining in the summer, especially if you're catering to a crowd and want chips or a side of potatoes to accompany your BBQ selection. 

The Ninja Woodfire BBQ & Smoker being tested outside at home

(Image credit: Future)

Our expert reviewer also found the results using the grill function on the Woodfire BBQ impressive, saying that the appliance 'provides all of the crispy skin and flavour benefits of a traditional gas BBQ without the long preheating time and cook time or temperature guesswork.'

The Ninja Woodfire Oven similarly impressed during our testing process, this time with its pizza-making prowess. Our reviewer Helen trialled an array of pizzas, finding that the oven took just 16 minutes to preheat and stayed at optimal temperature between different cooking sessions. 

Testing the Ninja Woodfire Oven

(Image credit: Future)

Not only was our reviewer blown away by the quality of the pizza function, but she also tried making brownies using the bake setting to great effect, saying that the results had the perfect 'chewy, fudgy texture'. 

Testing the Ninja Woodfire Oven

(Image credit: Future)

All in all then, our reviewers were maximally impressed by the cooking results of the Ninja Woodfire BBQ and Oven. 

If the outdoor air frying function is what appeals to you, then the Woodfire BBQ won't disappoint, but if pizza making is higher on your agenda, then it might be worth sacrificing it for the functionality of the Woodfire Oven.

Ninja Woodfire BBQ vs Oven: Which should you buy?

Either of these appliances is perfect for entry-level use, so even if you're starting out with outdoor cooking, you'll have success.

The dealbreaker here is whether you'd prefer to stick with a traditional BBQ and gain the fantastic air fryer function, or whether you want to branch out with the oven and try your hand at making pizzas. 

As Ideal Home's Kitchen Appliances Editor, I'm most tempted by the Ninja Woodfire BBQ for the outdoor air frying function alone. As the chef in my family, it would help to have the air frying function to speed up the last bits of a BBQ and get everything plated on the table. 

Ultimately, until they combine the functionality of these appliances into one do-it-all Woodfire (please, Ninja?), it's certainly a tough choice to make. Whichever you decide on, there's no doubt your garden is about to get one hell of an upgrade.

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on.