Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1 review — straightforward, easy-to-use, and fast

The Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL may be the solution for simple weeknight cooking

Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL on a gray counter with white pot of black utensils and a wooden chopping board leant against light gray wall
(Image credit: Ninja)
Real Homes Verdict

The Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1 is one of the best-looking air fryers I've ever seen and its sleekness extends past the design. This air fryer offers six different cooking options, yet the user experience of its buttons makes it incredibly simple and intuitive. Its biggest selling point is how straightforward and easy to use it is. On the first day alone of having this on my kitchen counter, my husband and I used it four times. FOUR! It's that easy.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Sleek design

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    Straightforward buttons

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    Six cooking options

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    Easy to clean crisper plate

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    Perfect size for small family

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    Small footprint

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Have to pull out basket to see progress

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    No automatic preheat setting

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    Strange smell through first few uses

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Ninja is dialing back complicated machines and the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL is no exception. Air fryers these days keep presenting us with more options, functions and uses and it's not uncommon to see them have 10 or more settings, all sorts of automated directions, and more buttons than I can keep track of or understand. 

This super straightforward air fryer does have six options — max crisp, air fry, roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate — but each one has a singular button, along with power, temperature, time, and start. It's not trying to do too much. It's keeping things simple and that makes my life easier, and it makes me a heck of a lot more likely to use it on a daily basis (which I have been so far!).

Plus, it works, and it's quick. I've made everything from falafel to grilled cheese. I've baked, air-fried, reheated, and max-crisped. Every time, it's consistent and fast. The Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL has convinced me it's one of the best air fryers you can add to the kitchen.

Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL Review

What I thought of the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL

Quick start guide on Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL

(Image credit: Heather Bien)

This sticker, which I promptly peeled off after taking this photo, sums up the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1 in one small rectangle. Straightforward and easy to use. Each button clearly tells you what its job is, and this diagram clearly spells out exactly how long you should cook different types of food. 

With Max Crisp Technology and temperatures of up to 450° Fahrenheit, this Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL cooks quickly, which I appreciate when I'm trying to make lunch between deadlines and meetings. 

I can throw in a grilled cheese and it's done in just a few minutes flat. It does automatically set the time to 20 minutes each time you use it, so make sure you keep an eye on the time rather than relying on the timer, or manually adjust the time duration down.

My favorite use for an air fryer is heating up restaurant and takeout leftovers so that they actually taste like they did when they were fresh, and, whether it's fries or Brussels sprouts, this Ninja does the trick perfectly.

At 6.5 quarts, it's the perfect size for a small family. My husband and I can make dinner in it, but it's not so big that it's taking up precious counter space. Plus, it's so sleek that I don't mind leaving it out — and that's saying something.

Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL specifications

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Model NameNinja® Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1
Dimensions (in.) H12.00 x W11.29 x L14.92
Weight (pounds) 11.44lbs
Wattage (watts) 1750W
Capacity (quarts) 6.5 qt
Temperature range Up to 450°F
Default options Max crisp, air fry, roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate

Unboxing the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL

Shot from above, a picture of the open box of Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL, revealing plastic molded protective styrofoam and quick start guide which is a red booklet

(Image credit: Heather Bien)

Whenever I open up an appliance, I'm quietly dreading the setup. How many parts am I going to have to assemble? How long am I going to spend trying to match numbers up to a diagram? 

Luckily, the minute I pulled this Ninja air fryer out, I knew I was in luck. It was packed safely in styrofoam, which I don't love from an environmental standpoint, but it kept it snugly in the box. And then the assembly — there was none. 

This came fully assembled, and I could immediately see the basket and crisping plate were well-made and fit perfectly into the unit. All I had to do was pull off four stickers, which easily lifted off the surface. Setup couldn't have been easier, and the air fryer comes with a quick start guide and a manual.

Then I cleaned the air fryer crisper plate and the inside of the basket with hot, soapy water, dried them, and we were ready to go.

Using the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL

Buttons on the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL

(Image credit: Heather Bien)

To get started using the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1, all you have to do is familiarize yourself with a few key buttons. First, you have power, temperature, time, and start — all self-explanatory. Then, right below, you have the cooking settings: max crisp, air fry, roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate. And I can't tell you how much I value words over icons, where I can never tell if I'm looking at a turkey leg or a chicken wing.

Regardless of which mode you're using, you'll turn the unit on, make sure the crisper plate is locked in the basket, then select the mode and temperature, and let it preheat for three minutes before putting your food in. The air fryer will automatically be set to 20 minutes, but you can use the time button to adjust for your recipe (20 minutes is longer than most food will need in an air fryer). 

Croissant rolls in the Ninja Air Fryer XL Pro

(Image credit: Heather Bien)

If you're air frying or using max crisp, halfway through cooking, you should use the start button to pause cooking, then take out the basket and shake the food to make sure everything is cooking evenly. 

This is where the only real complaint I had came into play — I wish there was a way to see the food while it's cooking (like the COSORI Dual Basket, which we reviewed, which has a handy viewing window) rather than having to open the basket. But, if you're opening it to shake the food anyway, then I suppose it's no big deal.

If you're roasting, the quick start guide says you should subtract 25° Fahrenheit whenever you're baking in an air fryer. It doesn't say the same for baking, but I found that it bakes super fast, which could be because of the temperature. If you look below, those croissant rolls were supposed to take 20 minutes, yet I popped them in and, nine minutes later, they were a golden brown.

The Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL also has a list of tips and tricks in the quick start manual that I found incredibly helpful. I wouldn't have thought to secure lightweight food to keep it from blowing around, or to reduce the time when there's less food, but now I know.

Cooked croissant Rolls in the open drawer of the Ninja Air Fryer XL Pro

(Image credit: Heather Bien)

How to clean and maintain the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL

To clean the air fryer, Ninja recommends hand washing the crisper plate basket to extend the life of the unit. They can be put in the dishwasher in a pinch. However, ideally, hand washing with warm, soapy water and towel drying will help the non-stick surface last longer.

Once you've found the right cadence on how often to clean your air fryer, you can wipe down the exterior with a damp microfiber cloth with a bit of dish soap if necessary to keep the exterior as clean as the inside, but never submerge the appliance in water.

Should you buy the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL?

If you're looking for a sleek, stylish, and straightforward air fryer that is a big enough size to make dinner for a small family but doesn't take up major counter space, then this is your air fryer. 

Of all the air fryers I've ever used, this one does the best job of keeping things super simple while still giving you options. We're definitely in a new era of air fryers where one setting isn't enough, but I also don't want to choose from 15 different options every time I want to heat up fries or falafel. 

By limiting it to six settings, this Ninja air fryer makes it easy. Less thinking, more eating. If that's your motto, this is the air fryer for you.

Good to know

The Ninja® Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1 comes with an instruction manual and a quick start guide with recipes. I also found the sticker on the front of the machine to be super helpful in understanding timing.

A one-year limited warranty from the date of purchase is included with the Ninja® Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1.

Where to buy the Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL

The Ninja® Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1 is available to buy directly from Ninja, via their Amazon storefront, or from retailers such as Target.

How we test air fryers

The Ninja Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1 was sent to me by the brand, and I used it over a several-week period. Here are a few things I like to look out for when testing air fryers:

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Ninja® Air Fryer Pro XL 6-in-1 test criteria
Criterion Description
Basket Is it easy to take in and out of the machine? Does it hold into place?
Operation How easy is it to use the machine? Are the prompts/buttons legible? Do I know when the machine is done?
Controls Are the settings easy to use and clearly labeled? Is it easy to remember which ones do which?
CleaningHow easy is it to clean?

If you love the sound of this air fryer, but would indeed like more cooking functions, the Ninja Speedi, which we reviewed — a multicooker air fryer able to cook whole meals in 15 minutes flat — might be the one for you.

Heather Bien
Freelance writer

Heather is a lifestyle content creator and writer who grew up in Richmond, VA, and went on to the University of Virginia, where she studied Art History and Architectural History. She and her husband, Adam, split their time between their condo in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, DC, and their cottage on the Rappahannock River near Urbanna, VA. She loves good food, frequent travel, and a homemade latte.