IFA 2023 saw a huge amount of new products brought to the market, particularly from big brands such as Shark and Philips Hue. Ninja was also one of them, launching some exciting appliances at the event, including the Ninja Blast and Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven. It's a brand that's constantly expanding, with outdoor cooking appliances in particular being a big focus in 2023. If you didn't know, the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker was launched earlier this year and was also met with plenty of praise.
When the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven arrived on my doorstep, I was beyond excited to give it a go. Unlike a lot of the best pizza ovens, it uses precision electric heat rather than gas or charcoal to cook a variety of foods, delivering premium flavours and textures. Whilst unavailable to purchase for a few months after IFA, it recently launched in the UK, meaning more people can now access brilliantly cooked food in the comfort of their own outdoor space.
Keep reading to find out exactly what my thoughts were, and whether the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven lives up to its brand's reputation. However, before you do, have you checked out the 9 surprising foods you can cook in a pizza oven? I thought not.
Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven Review: Price and availability
Why not show your favourite person how much you love them this Christmas? I'd be pretty chuffed if I received this as a gift...just saying.
Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven Review: unboxing and set-up
Unboxing the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven was a simple process, especially as it came constructed in one piece. As I pulled everything out, I was slightly disappointed to see that it came without the stand, particularly as I wasn't too sure about using it on top of my wooden outdoor table. After a quick research, I found that they're easy to purchase from the Ninja website and thankfully, I was okay to place it on a wooden surface. Phew!
In the oven itself was an Accessory Frame, Roast Rack and Pre-heat Pan, all of which I removed to have a good look at. I also found instructions, a Quick Start Guide, a Pizza Stone and lastly, a Pellet Scoop. I loved that there was a range of cooking accessories to suit whatever food you're making, and they all felt high-quality. The Quick Start Guide also had a helpful maintenance section about how to clean and care for the oven as well and its extras. For example, I learnt that you should never wash a Pizza Stone with soapy water, submerge in water or put it in the dishwasher! I'm glad I gave the guide a good read before getting started...
Another disappointment was discovering that there weren't any pellets included. Now, I actually don't know if this was a mistake because there isn't anything on the Ninja website to suggest you have to buy the pellets separately. Either way, I was a little sad that they weren't included, especially as I was so excited to get started. I ended up buying the Ninja Woodfire Pellets Bundle which included one pack of the All-Purpose Blend and one pack of the Robust Blend. This pushed my review back a few days, but it wasn't the end of the world!
Once plugged in, the oven was ready to go.
Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven Review: design and features
Overall, the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven is equipped with eight cooking functions. These include Pizza, Smoker, Top Heat, Bake, Max Roast, Gourmet Roast, Dehydrate and Keep Warm. I think the variety that this brings is absolutely fantastic, especially as you're essentially getting eight different appliances for just the price of one.
The right-hand dial provides the option to adjust the temperature and set a timer, perfect if you're hosting and can't concentrate for every second. When the oven is on the Pizza setting, the right-hand dial can also be used to to scroll between the different kinds of pizza you can make. This includes Neapolitan, Thin, Pan, Frozen or Custom.
To use the Woodfire setting, the Woodfire Flavour button needs to be pressed and the pellets added. Once this happens, the flame icon will illuminate on the display screen. The pellets are only used to create authentic Woodfire flavours and aren't used as fuel, meaning they're optional depending on what kind of taste you're after. However, it should be noted that the pellets can't be used with the Keep Warm or Top Heat functions. All you have to do is use the scoop and place them in the Smoke Box on the right hand side of the oven.
When cooking, the pellets are designed to last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the temperature setting and cooking function. You can refill the smoke box when at least half of the pellets have burned, but Ninja doesn't recommend refilling it more than twice.
The oven is capable of reaching high temperatures that remain safe and consistent due to its electrical power. In terms of size, the oven is 21.5 x 15.1 inches and weighs around 32 pounds, meaning it's not too big or too small.
Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven Review: performance
As my pellets arrived a few days after initially unboxing the oven, I wasn't able to take any pictures, but that didn't stop me trying out a few different recipes. Before I began, I followed the Quick Start Guide's advice and planned to preheat the oven. This usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes but it depends on what you’re making. The high-temp settings such as Pizza and Gourmet Roast take the longest, so it’s important to factor this time in if you’re getting ready to feed a crowd.
Even though this oven can do so much more, I was so excited to give the Pizza function a go. There were multiple recipes for each type of pizza dough in the Quick Start Guide, but we decided to go for a Neapolitan pizza. I made sure the Accessory Frame was placed in the bottom of the oven before placing the Pizza Stone on top.
After deciding on the All-Purpose blend pellets, we filled up the Smoke Box, selected the Pizza and Neapolitan functions and pressed the Woodfire Flavour button. It was all incredibly simple. Whilst the oven preheated, we made our dough and selected a number of toppings, including aubergines, ricotta and Milano salami. Whilst we were doing this, preheating took around 25 minutes which is a lot faster than other gas or wood-powered pizza ovens. Soon enough, the screen told us to add the pizza and press Start.
We were really impressed by how quick the pizza took, totalling around 3 minutes altogether. When it was cooking, we could smell the Woodfire effect which made us even hungrier than we already were. As instructed, we took the pizza out and let it rest for five minutes before cutting and serving. Once it was ready, it did not disappoint. The dough was crisp yet still soft enough cut nicely, and our toppings were crispy but roasted in just the right way. There were also some delicious char marks on the base of the pizza.
After we took a bite, it was clear that the flavour was incredible. It unfortunately wasn't as wood-fired as we expected, especially as the smell was so strong when cooking, but this didn't take away from the taste. About 10 seconds, we had literally inhaled it.
As we were disappointed with the All-Purpose blend pellets, we decided to give the Robust blend a go. Chicken thighs were up next and we had seasoned them earlier so they were good to go. I took out the leftover All-Purpose blend pellets and refilled the box with the Robust blend, before switching the function to Smoker. It only took a few minutes to reheat before could put them in. I covered the Roast Rack and Pre-heat Pan with foil and placed the chicken thighs on top before popping them in and pressing Start. They took around 25 minutes before they were ready.
After we left them to cool a little, it was clear that the Woodfire flavour was stronger with the Robust blend. It still wasn't enough for us, but it was nice to actually be able to taste it. They were still undeniably delicious, especially alongside a fresh couscous salad. The incredible taste and success of the pizza as well as the chicken was highly impressive, and certainly made up for the few discrepancies that had happened earlier on.
Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven Review: verdict
Ninja's Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven is a great option if you're looking for an outdoor appliance that does it all. Its eight different cooking functions and multiple settings allow you to get the most out of it at any time of year and it's reasonably priced for what it offers. Whilst the Woodfire smoke strength is disappointing and it lacks certain accessories, the beauty of this machine is the quality of food it produces and how easy it is to do so.
Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven Review: alternatives to consider
One high-quality alternative to the Ninja Woodfire Electric Outdoor Oven is the Witt Etna Rotante pizza oven. Whilst it's gas-only, it makes delicious pizza, flatbreads and other foods in minutes with its revolving pizza stone and a second gas burner. Whilst it's on the larger side and can be hard to transport, it's keenly priced and retails for £699 on the Witt website or Amazon.
Interested in more? Read our guide on How to Bake a Pizza at Home to get started.