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Bethan Girdler-Maslen

Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker vs ProCook Air Fryer Health Grill: which should you choose?

Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker vs ProCook Air Fryer Health Grill.

In today’s kitchens, almost everyone has an air fryer in pride of place on their countertop. But seeing as the best air fryers have well and truly infiltrated the kitchen, it leaves manufacturers wondering where they can go to make something more appealing than an air fryer.

We’re seeing more and more air fryers offering multiple cooking methods to expand their functionality and appeal, and helping homeowners ditch the oven altogether. Two good examples of this are the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker, and the ProCook Air Fryer Health Grill, both of which combine air frying with the best electric grill, among other pre-set cooking programmes.

I’ve had the pleasure of testing both, which you can see in my Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker review and my ProCook Air Fryer Health Grill review. I gave both five stars and noticed many similarities between the two, so which should you choose? 

Ninja Woodfire vs ProCook Health Grill: design

The Ninja Woodfire and the ProCook Health Grill look extremely similar. In terms of measurements, the Ninja Woodfire is slightly bigger at 34cm height, 46cm width and 46cm diameter, compared to ProCook’s 40cm height, 40cm width and 28cm diameter. Both are compact enough that they could sit nicely on your kitchen counter, although I found that the ProCook Health Grill was easier to store in my cupboards, whereas the Ninja Woodfire had to take up residence in my shed.

Looking at the two side by side, both have black and silver colouring and similar accents, like the ‘chimney’ at the top and a handle at the front. The Ninja Woodfire also has two handles at either side of the appliance, which is definitely needed as it’s surprisingly heavy to lift. Also on the side of the Ninja Woodfire is the smoker box where you can add flavoured pellets for barbecue flavours, which the ProCook Health Grill doesn’t have.

Both appliances have their displays and controls at the front. The Ninja Woodfire has a control dial that turns to the different cooking methods, a start/stop button and a digital display which shows instructions, timings and temperatures. There’s also a Woodfire Flavour button which you can press to activate the pellets. The ProCook Health Grill has a similar layout, although its dial is smaller and feels slightly less quality. Its buttons are more pronounced and it has two screens on either side of the controls, compared to Ninja’s one.

(Image credit: Ninja)

The inside of both appliances look almost identical, with their many accessories that slot in nicely to the device. The top of the interiors contains the heat source, and the bottom holds the baskets or grill attachments. The Ninja Woodfire is slightly deeper inside, mainly due to its size.

Winner: Ninja

Both designs from Ninja and ProCook have admirable qualities, but the Ninja Woodfire wins this race. Its display is more concise and the additional handles make it easier to manoeuvre. The ProCook Health Grill only just falls short though, and it definitely gets top points for its compact size.

Ninja Woodfire vs ProCook Health Grill: how do they work?

To fully compare the two, it’s important to understand how each appliance works. The main difference between the Ninja Woodfire and the ProCook Health Grill is that the former is designed for outdoor use, whereas the latter is for indoor use. This might completely set them apart in your eyes, but considering the similar functions, design and performance, it makes sense to judge them off one another.

The Ninja Woodfire is an ‘outdoor electric BBQ grill, smoker and air fryer’. Pre-set into the appliance is seven cooking functions, including air fry, grill, smoke, roast, bake, dehydrate and reheat. It uses Woodfire technology and integrated smoker box to burn natural wood pellets to add barbecue flavours to your food. Its size and 1.6m cable makes it ideal for all types of outdoor spaces, including gardens, patios, balconies and campsites.

(Image credit: ProCook)

In comparison, the ProCook Health Grill has 12 cooking functions, including air fry, grill, roast, bake, slow cook, broil, griddle, stew, steam, keep warm, dehydrate and manual. As it comes with grill attachments, it also has four grilling temperature settings to turn the multi-cooker into a grill.

Winner: draw

Both appliances offer a huge amount of features and functionalities, so I’m calling it a tie. Where the Ninja Woodfire leans more towards barbecuing, the ProCook Health Grill is more focused on air frying, however both appliances can do both functions and multiple others admirably.

Ninja Woodfire vs ProCook Health Grill: cooking performance

I found both the Ninja Woodfire and the ProCook Health Grill to cook delicious food. With the Ninja Woodfire, I focused more on the grilling and barbecue settings, and I tried grilling and air frying with the ProCook Health Grill to properly compare the two.

Using the Ninja Woodfire, I made burgers, skewers, chicken and halloumi, and found the grill plate gave the food that classic grill mark that you get with barbecues. Using the accompanying pellets, the Woodfire technology infused more flavour into the food, although this made the Ninja Woodfire produce a lot of smoke, compared to the amount it was already producing.

I tried the Ninja Woodfire when I was living in a flat and positioned it on my balcony. This definitely helped reduce the smoke but it was still quite a lot when opening and closing the appliance. I will say that I tried the Ninja Woodfire inside – as an outdoor device, Ninja don’t recommend using it inside and I’m not saying you should either, especially if you live in a small space. However, my old extractor fan was insanely powerful so it didn’t make my kitchen super smoky when I tried it indoors.

Ninja Woodfire cooking chicken drumsticks (Image credit: Future)

With the ProCook Health Grill, I made lamb steaks, chips, chicken and jacket potatoes. The air fryer cooking was spot on, but since the Ninja Woodfire is more like a grill, I’ll be focusing more on how the grill function worked. The ProCook Health Grill has a grill attachment similar to the Ninja Woodfire, and it also gave pronounced grill marks on the lamb that I made. It doesn’t have a smoker box like the Ninja Woodfire, but I don’t feel it’s necessarily needed during all cooking, especially if you marinate your food.

Compared to the Ninja Woodfire, the ProCook Health Grill produced hardly any smoke which made it extremely easy to use inside, which is what it’s designed for anyway. I’ve since moved from my flat and my current extractor is terrible, yet it easily coped with the small amount of heat and smoke that the ProCook Health Grill produced.

Winner: Ninja

Both appliances make delicious food that I can’t fault, although I think Ninja just takes the crown with this one, as I enjoyed using the pellet integrated smoker box. Having said that, if you’d prefer to use it as an air fryer rather than a smoker, it does make the pellets obsolete, which gives the ProCook Health Grill an advantage. 

Ninja Woodfire vs ProCook Health Grill: accessories

ProCook Air Fryer Health Grill accessories (Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

With the Ninja Woodfire, you receive a grill plate, cook and crisp basket, two Woodfire Pellet starter packs, a pellet scoop, the smoke box and grease tray. The ProCook Health Grill comes with a grill rack, non-stick crisper basket, multifunctional cooking pot, splatter shield, glass lid and cleaning brush.

Winner: ProCook

While the accessories you get from both appliances are extremely similar, I’m going to give this win to ProCook. Its attachments feel more versatile and I liked having the glass lid to store food after cooking.

Ninja Woodfire vs ProCook Health Grill: cleaning and maintenance

Both appliances are relatively easy to clean and most of their attachments are dishwasher friendly. The air frying functions use little oil so this type of cleaning isn’t too strenuous, although the same can’t be said for the grill.

The Ninja Woodfire can get extremely dirty when using the barbecue, grill and smoker functions. The top of the appliance gets very greasy, as does the grill plate, and the removable tray isn’t the best to clean, and it almost balances underneath the grill rather than fully slot in. In comparison, the ProCook Health Grill’s grill rack can sit on top of the cooking pot or crisper basket which collects all grease and drippings, yet is still easy to clean.

Winner: ProCook

The ProCook Health Grill is far easier to clean than the Ninja Woodfire, and doesn’t require too much elbow grease if there are stubborn stains stuck to the basket or grill plate. The Ninja Woodfire takes slightly longer to clean, and has more accessories and components to clean, too.

(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

Ninja Woodfire vs ProCook Health Grill: price

The Ninja Woodfire costs £349.99, and can be bought at Ninja and from other retailers like Amazon, Currys and Argos. This is a slightly high price, although compared to bigger electric barbecues, it’s significantly cheaper. Ninja also runs sales on its products, so you can find it for less.

In comparison, the ProCook Health Grill is £179, which is much more affordable. However, it can only be bought at ProCook as you won’t be able to find it at other retailers.

Winner: ProCook

In terms of lowest price and value for money, the ProCook Health Grill wins this round.

(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

Ninja Woodfire vs ProCook Health Grill: which should you choose?

Now you know what each appliance can do, which should you choose? Overall, I’d probably suggest choosing the Ninja Woodfire as while it has less cooking programmes than ProCook, it can make tasty barbecue food as well as air fried, roasted and baked creations, too.

Having said that, it really depends on what you want from your appliance. If you want something that you can use outside and for barbecue-grill cooking, choose the Ninja Woodfire. However, if you want an indoor appliance that air fries and also grills exceptionally well, choose the ProCook Health Grill. Both appliances are still five stars in my eyes and would be a welcome addition to any kitchen.

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