The Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven is an outstanding bit of kit that’s amazingly multi-functional. It allows you to cook so many foods outside no matter what the weather. But for me, the pizza oven function is the real game changer.
Excellent pizza oven
Fuss-free smokey flavours
Can be placed on any surface
Designed to live outside
Can’t be used indoors
Why you can trust Ideal Home
The release of the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven shows that outdoor kitchens are a garden trend that continues to gather momentum. But creating the perfect outdoor cooking space isn’t all about Instagram-worthy good looks. Your outdoor kitchen has to be functional and versatile.
Cooking on a BBQ alone isn't for everyone though. And if you’re not a fan of cooking over a fiercely hot charcoal BBQ on a sunny day, you may have noticed that Ninja doesn't have it's own version of the best pizza ovens – until now.
The brand recently released the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ which has been quite a hit. I, for one, very much enjoyed cooking on one this summer. That means it's no surprise to me that in the wake of the brand’s first BBQ, there comes the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor oven.
Like the Woodfire Electric BBQ the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven uses wood pellets to achieve smokey flavours. The difference is that it can reach high temperatures for pizza making and roasting meats. Having reviewed a lot of Ninja appliances, I’m usually impressed by their performance, so I expected big things…and I wasn’t disappointed.
Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven: Product specs
- Modes/ presets: warm, dehydrate, smoker, bake, top heat, gourmet roast, max roast, pizza
- Weight: 18kg
- Power: 2400W
- Size: (H)41 x (W)57 x (D)51cm
- Included accessories: pizza stone, pro-heat baking tray with rack, 2 taster bags of wood pellets (enough for 6 uses), pellet scoop
- RRP: £349.99
Who tested the Ninja Woodfire?
After completing a Home Economics degree, Helen went on to work for the Good Housekeeping Institute and has been reviewing home appliances ever since. She lives in a small village in Buckinghamshire in the UK, where she reviews all sorts of home and garden appliances using her wealth of experience.
Helen braved both frosty evenings and rainy days to put this outdoor oven through its paces in November. But it was totally worth it, she cooked a wide range of foods in this versatile oven, but it’s the pizza oven function that she can’t wait to use again.
Unboxing, setting up and first impressions
The hefty box arrived at my door with a big sign on the side that says it’s a 22kg box and needs to be lifted by two people. So naturally, I avoided lifting it, instead I managed to push it through to a convenient spot to get it out of the box.
It is encased in polystyrene, which is a rarity for Ninja as their products are nearly always packaged in fully recyclable cardboard packaging. And while I hate polystyrene, I can see the need to protect this big heavy appliance with a bit more than cardboard.
At 18kg, the oven is heavy, even when unboxed. Nevertheless, I didn’t find it too tricky to lift outside on my own. And since it comes fully assembled, all I had to do was familiarise myself with the accessories. It comes with a slide in metal frame that holds either the pizza stone or the pro-heat baking tray and rack.
For the smokey woodfire function there’s a couple of different taster bags of wood pellets and a scoop that measures out the exact amount needed for the pellet box. The pellet box lives on the side of the oven, so it’s easy to access, and it’s amazing how few pellets it needs to do its job.
The oven is designed to live outside, and for a pretty reasonable £25 you can buy a cover for it to protect it from the harshest of the weather. There’s also a compatible stand available from Ninja, but that’s a bit of an investment at £150.
Don’t worry if the stand is over your budget though, because despite being able to cook at temperatures up to 370C, the underside stays cool. So you can put it on any surface outside without worrying.
The oven is cleverly designed to be used in any weather. It has a special RCD plug for protection from any electrical issues. So you can cook outside come rain or shine. And as I reviewed it during a cold, wet November, I can attest to the fact that it works in all weathers.
The drop down door on the front has a nice big handle, which is helpful as you have to pull on it quite firmly to open it. Inside there are two shelf levels, but you can only use one at a time and that’s usually the lower one.
The accessory frame slides into the oven and holds either the pizza stone or the pro-heat baking tray. The pro-heat tray is a very thick, heavy tray that’s designed to handle high temperature cooking.
The control panel is incredibly easy to understand and simple to use. Simply select your cooking function via the large dial. Adjust the time and temperature, then press the woodfire button if you want added smoke. It even ignites the pellets automatically - so no fire lighters or matches required.
What is it like to use?
Having recently reviewed several of the best pizza ovens, I’m becoming a dab hand at cooking pizza outdoors on a hot stone. So pizza was the first thing I was keen to try. Amazingly, within the pizza function there are six settings for different types of pizza. These are: artisan, thin, pan, New York style, calzone and custom.
I was using my tried and trusted sourdough pizza base recipe and so went with the artisan setting. This cooks each pizza for 2 minutes 30 seconds at 370C. And since I’m used to making home made pizzas in a wood fired pizza oven, I also added wood pellets and pressed the woodfire button for some added authentic wood smoke flavour.
The preheat, including the auto ignition of the pellets, took around 16 minutes. I’d added the pizza stone at the start, so it was nice and hot once the oven had preheated. Ninja sent me their own brand pizza peel, which is an optional extra for £30, so I used that to load in my first one.
I went simple for the first attempt and put in a cheesy garlic pizza bread so I could see how well it cooked before adding in my main pizzas. I usually use semolina to stop my bases sticking to the peel, but because this peel has huge holes in it, the base stuck and ended up coming off the peel as more of an oval than a round shape.
Nevertheless, I closed the door and pressed start, then ran back indoors as it was an icy cold night! And unlike a wood fired pizza oven, where you have to stand next to it and frequently turn the pizza for an even result, there’s no need with an electric pizza oven.
I was a little nervous as to how it was cooking since there’s no glass in the door, so I couldn’t see inside. But when the timer went off and I slid the peel under it, I could see it was a good result. The crust had puffed up and the base was crisp. There were some lovely charred bits and it was evenly coloured.
I was super impressed with the result and could definitely taste the smoke too. The oven stays hot ready for your next pizza, so I put my next one in, pressed start and was overjoyed when this too was a perfect result.
I ended up making two cheesy garlic pizza breads, a margarita that I smothered in fresh basil and chilli oil, and a spicy pepperoni. Admittedly I got a bit carried away with the last two and put them in too quickly after each other, not allowing enough time for the pizza stone to reheat. The result was still exceptional, but the bases were not as well crisped underneath as the first two.
I’ve got to say, I’ve been perfecting my pizzas in my wood fired pizza oven for months and I’ve never made four pizzas as good and consistent as I did on my first attempt using this oven. These were the best pizzas I think I’ve ever made! I can’t wait to try it again, but if the results are as good, it might spell the end of my wood fired pizza oven.
I loved not having to turn the pizzas or keep loading up the pellets, it’s so hassle free. Although I did revert to my usual pizza peel and only used the Ninja one to remove the cooked pizzas.
I tried out the smoker function on some salmon fillets. Using a recipe in the included recipe book as a guide, I set the smoker to 120C for 25 minutes. You don’t have to wait for it to preheat so I placed my salmon fillets on the rack, skin side down and placed the tray and rack in the oven.
Once I’d filled up the wood pellet box, I pressed start and left it to cook until the timer went off. I was slightly sceptical, because the four salmon fillets that were delivered in my online shop were different shapes and I wondered how evenly they would all cook.
I needn’t have worried though, the salmon was beautifully cooked, soft and flaky. It remained nicely moist but with a deep wood smoke flavour, an impressive result.
The bake function intrigued me, as did the recipe for smoked fudgy chocolate brownies in the recipe book. So I made up the brownie batter and put it in my usual brownie tin. The recipe says to use the pizza stone, so I put it in the oven and set it to bake at 180C for 40 minutes, with the woodfire setting on for added smoke flavour.
After the preheat, which took around 9 minutes, I put the tin in the oven and pressed start. When the timer went off 40 minutes later, I removed it and allowed the brownie to cool in the tin.
Happily, the chewy fudgy texture was just what I was looking for. But, next time I’d do it without the woodfire setting. I think smoke flavour in your brownies might be an acquired taste and it’s not for me!
Smoked meat is a better flavour combination and I used the gourmet roast setting with the woodfire function to cook and smoke a whole chicken. As a guide I followed the crispy roast chicken recipe in the recipe book.
The total cook time was 1 hour and 30 minutes with most of it at 140C, but the unique thing about this function is that it cooks in two stages. The initial stage was a super hot blast at 330C but only for 5 minutes.
The cooked chicken was a triumph, it had a deep smokey flavour, combined with crisp skin and juicy moist meat.
While the chicken was resting I switched the oven to the max roast setting at 315C. I cleaned the pro-heat tray and put it back in to preheat before adding raw skin-on potato chunks that I’d cut into small pieces and covered in oil and seasoning.
I let the potatoes roast for around 5 minutes, then added broccoli florets and brussel sprouts and roasted for a further 15 minutes. Everything was cooked well and it was a nice accompaniment to the chicken, and super speedy to cook.
In hindsight though, the potatoes were a bit too charred in places and I think a lower, slower cook may have given a better texture. This type of very hot temperature would be ideal for fajita vegetables like peppers and red onion, so that’s what I'll be trying next time we do Mexican food.
How does it compare to similar models?
The alternative outdoor cooking option available from Ninja is the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ and Grill Smoker. This grill is essentially an electric BBQ but with the same woodsmoke effect. It’s a similar price to the oven and is better suited to your traditional BBQ fare like burgers, chicken legs and corn on the cob. Plus, it works as a smoker too and even includes an air fryer function for easy chips outside.
If it’s smokey wood fired pizzas you’re looking to make, you should consider the Ooni Fyra, which is arguably more authentic since it cooks pizzas solely with wood pellets. It’s cheaper too at around £250 and you can use it to roast veggies and meats as well. But it takes a little more skill and patience to learn how to cook pizzas in one of these than it does in an electric oven like Ninja Woodfire.
The pro-heat tray can’t go in the dishwasher, so depending on what you’ve been cooking, it sometimes requires a bit of a scrub. The rack that sits on top of it is dishwasher safe though. The pizza stone can’t get wet, so that just needed a bit of a scrape to remove any residues that were left on it.
The burnt wood pellets sit in a small removable box, so once the oven is cool, you simply remove the box and tap out the tiny bit of ash that’s left inside. And the exterior of the oven is very streamlined and easy to wipe clean.
My biggest issue with cleaning was that after I’d cooked pizzas, semolina from the bases ended up on the bottom of the oven. I really struggled to get it all out because the cooking element gets in the way. So I’m tempted to use flour instead next time, to save the hassle.
Should you buy the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven?
Personally, I’d buy it for the pizza oven function alone. I really was impressed with the quality and the flavour and texture of the pizzas I made, and it’s so easy to use. Add to that the versatility to roast joints of meat and even bake or smoke foods, and this really is an excellent bit of kit with endless cooking possibilities.
It won’t replace a BBQ though, so if you’re looking for something to cook up your summer burgers, you’ll want the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ and Grill Smoker instead. But for most other foods, this outdoor oven is a game changer that’ll add a different dimension to cooking outdoors, come rain or shine.
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After completing a Home Economics degree, Helen went on to work for the Good Housekeeping Institute and has been reviewing home appliances ever since. She lives in a small village in Buckinghamshire in the UK.
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