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Ninja Foodi XL Pro Air Fryer Toaster Oven In-depth Review
Ninja Foodi XL Pro Specifications
The stainless steel Ninja DT201 Foodi XL Pro Air Convection Air Fryer Toaster Oven is an excellent family-sized choice. Its 2-level even cooking feature makes it remarkably capable even during special occasions when you have a lot of dishes to prepare.
Throughout our performance tests, we witnessed the capability of the oven’s convection system and heating elements. Their power outputs were tailored to each cooking function. Though not perfect, none of the foods we made with the oven scored below average.
The oven showed a high build quality from its buttons and digital display to its door hinge and accessories. Overall, it was easy to use and easy to clean. Unfortunately, the unit we received had some faults regarding the interior light and the baking pans.
Things We Like
- Straightforward and informative control panel
- Tailored cooking functions
- Family-sized capacity
- Tray-level suggestions
- Sturdy construction
- Well-designed accessories
- Easy-to-clean stainless steel exterior
- Cool-touch door handle
Things We Don’t Like
- No safety mechanism for the door
- Faulty interior light upon received
- Updated Feb 22, 2023:
Added a Youtube video for full review.
- Updated Nov 09, 2022:
The stainless steel Ninja DT201 Foodi XL Pro Air Oven is, for all of its intended purposes, an air fryer toaster oven. We were intrigued by the machine’s impressive capacity, advertised true surround convection, plethora of cooking functions and accessories, and especially the ‘2-level even cooking’ feature.
As a result, we had no choice but to purchase and test it for ourselves. At the time of writing, the price is $299.99, which we considered reasonable from our first impressions of the product.
Introduced in 2020, the Ninja DT201 Foodi XL Pro Air Oven is currently the #5 best seller in convection oven on Amazon, with nearly 11 thousand ratings (over 80% 5-star). There’s another model that shows the current internal temperature of the oven and has an incorporated meat thermometer.
The machines are products of the long-accredited SharkNinja Operating LLC. They are America’s #1 brand in small kitchen appliances according to the NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service based on brand-level dollar sales from 2020 to 2022. The brand specializes in kitchenware from countertop appliances like juicers, waffle makers, grills, to cookware and cutlery.
Ninja Foodi XL Pro Air Fryer Toaster Oven Review Video
Ninja DT201 Foodi XL Pro Air Performance: Outstanding for Large Servings
The Ninja DT201 performed differently on each of our tests but even at its worst, it still gave good results. We were most impressed with the oven’s ability to quickly reach and maintain its temperature despite the large cooking chamber. This could be attributed to the oven’s high power output, powerful convection system, and a total of 5 heating elements.
With these factors, you don’t even need to turn food during cooking, especially if you incorporate the air fryer basket. Interestingly, this was one of the few units where we felt increasing the food amounts would lead to even better results.
We began our Toast test by setting the toast function to level 4. With four slices of bread placed on tray level 3, they came out very light on top. The bottom side had a bit more color but it wasn’t enough.
After that, we cranked the oven up to level 6. That gave us a very even color, but it was too brown. In the end, we settled for toasting at level 5, which ran for around 5 minutes 15 seconds, as the best option, earning a score of 8.3/10.
Under this setting, the toast mostly received a light golden brown color. However, there were various areas that were a bit darker or lighter, possibly due to the bread’s varying thickness. The unevenness in surface color, especially on the bottom, prevented us from scoring it higher than 8.5/10.
Interestingly, this unevenness in the bread gave it a variety of textures throughout which deserved another 8.5/10. Our head chef, Tuyet Pham, determined the toast would go great with pretty much everything including omelets, sandwiches, eggs benedict, and soup.
The light golden brown areas were slightly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. On top of that, the golden brown areas were crispy all the way through and the light golden areas gave us a different, softer texture.
For the immediate second batch at the same toast level, the oven automatically reduced the time to 4 minutes. This time, the toast had a more even brown color than the first batch. However, there was a more apparent unevenness on the bottom with colors that ranged from white to dark brown.
Nonetheless, nothing was burnt, so it did not taste bitter. The extra crispiness made the toast even better for soup. All in all, the oven got a 7.8/10 for consecutive usability.
Our Pizza test was one of the few occasions where we felt the Ninja didn’t measure up to its potential. We suspect the score would be better if we were baking a fresh pizza instead of a store-bought 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza. Anyhow, we settled on a score of 6.5/10 for this test.
After preheating, we placed the baking tray and the pizza at tray level 3 as suggested by the digital display. The oven only took 5 minutes to bake the pizza compared to the recommended 10 minutes on the label. According to our standards, this deserved a 10/10 for cooking time.
Unfortunately, despite having the convection system on low, the crust was only golden on the side closest to the fan. The other half of the crust lacked color. In addition, such a short amount of time wasn’t enough to crisp any of the crust (even the golden side). Thus, we could only give the crust a 6/10.
The reason we had to stop the cooking so early was that the meat and the bell peppers on the golden half of the crust were beginning to char. Luckily, the toppings on the other half cooked properly. However, it seemed the cheese didn’t have enough time to melt, so the toppings only got a 5/10.
Considering the state of the crust and the toppings, our chef gave the pizza a 6/10 after tasting it.
9.0Whole Roasted Chicken
The strengths of the Ninja really shined through in our Whole Roasted Chicken test, scoring an impressive 9/10. We placed our 3-pound whole chicken in the air fryer basket with plenty of room to spare and slid it onto tray level 3. We also placed a baking pan below to catch any drippings.
With this test, we were able to confirm the manufacturer’s claim that food in this oven didn’t need to be turned, especially when using its air fryer basket. Nonetheless, to stay consistent with our test parameters, we still flipped the chicken after the first 25 minutes.
The oven took only 40 minutes to cook the chicken all the way through and to create an appetizing-looking and crispy skin. It was one of the fastest cooking times among our toaster ovens and deserved a whopping 10/10, on par with the Cosori CO130-AO which uses a rotisserie kit.
The skin was evenly golden from the bottom to the top. It also crisped up nicely around the tips of the wings and drumsticks as well as areas with a lot of fat.
However, it would seem the surface of the chicken cooked so quickly that a lot of the fat didn’t get rendered out from the skin. Thus, while the outer layer of the skin was crispy, the inside was soft. The skin’s softness from the remaining fat, unfortunately, prevented it from scoring higher than 8.5/10.
Checking with a meat thermometer, we found the chicken’s internal temperature to be 194°F-199°F which was quite high compared to the USDA recommended of 165°F-180°F. This was the reason we didn’t continue cooking longer for better skin caramelization. Our chef was afraid that would overcook the chicken. After carving the chicken, we found no pink spots in the meat and gave it an 8.4/10 for doneness.
With such a short cooking time, the meat remained delightfully juicy. Also taking into account the texture of the skin, our chef gave the chicken a 9/10 for taste.
7.8Baked French Fries
We put 12 oz of frozen fries into the air fryer basket and slid it onto tray level 3. We also gave the fries a toss after the first 13 minutes. The overall score for our Baked French Fries test was 7.8/10.
The oven took 19 minutes to bake the fries which was enough for a 7.7/10. With this oven, our chef had to balance the cooking time with the color of the fries. If we stopped baking too early, the thicker fries would lack color; if too late, the thinner fries might be burnt.
The fries’ colors ranged from light golden on the thicker ones to golden brown on the thinner ones. This unevenness resulted in a 7.5/10.
The colors of the fries largely reflected their texture. The longest and thickest fries had a slightly crispy outside and a very moist interior. Meanwhile, the shortest and thinnest fries were completely crispy all the way through.
The silver lining was that average-sized fries got perfect, crispy surfaces with moist interiors. While the texture varied, none of them were bad, so we gave the overall batch an 8/10.
Considering the varied colors and textures of the fries, our chef awarded them a respectable 8/10 after her taste test.
Ninja DT201 Foodi XL Pro Air Toaster Oven Design: Not As Flashy as It Looks
The Ninja DT201 shows a high build quality in all of its design features from the exterior and interior to the included accessories. What stood out to us the most was the powerful convection system and the number of heating elements. We couldn’t confirm the accuracy of the Ninja’s claim that it had ‘up to ten times the convection power’ of a traditional full-size convection oven, though.
In the Ninja Foodi 10-In-1 XL Pro Air Fry Toaster Oven Box
- Model: DT201
- Warranty: 1 year
- User Manual
- Baking Rack x 2
- Baking Pan x 2
- Broiling Rack
- Removable Crumb Tray
- Air Fryer Basket
The Ninja toaster oven arrived firmly positioned between two foam pads inside an eye-catching package. Its seven included accessories were also fitted nicely in carton boxes. The oven came with a separate user manual, a tips and tricks sheet, and a recipe booklet.
The Ninja has many ventilation holes on its casing, especially at the back and on the bottom, to accommodate its extremely powerful convection system. A unique design choice that stood out to us was the fact that the control panel was located on the oven’s cool-touch door handle.
Most ovens situate their control panel on the casing, thus adding to the oven’s footprint. By combining the control panel with the door handle, the oven can also maximize space for its cooking chamber.
You don’t need to worry about the handle slamming to the ground or countertop since the door hinge does a great job of keeping the door firmly in place. While it doesn’t have tray-level indicators on its glass door, the digital display does show the recommended tray level for every function.
Our measurements of the oven’s footprints were 16.93" x 20.28" x 13.34" which jived closely with the manufacturer’s 17.09" x 20.22" x 13.34". For these measurements, we also took into account the door handle and rear buffer.
The oven has a buffer on its backside to prevent it from being pushed too close to the wall. The feature could be a bit longer, in our opinion. We do need to mention that the bulky shape of the oven and its lack of carrying handles may make it difficult to move around.
When plugged in, the On/Off switch will light up. You then press it to turn on the oven and its digital display. The door handle is black while the digital display is white, creating good color contrasts.
The control panel includes two buttons to adjust cooking functions, two for time, two for temperature, a light toggle, a Start/Stop button, and the ‘2-level’ button.
The ‘2-level’ button is unique to this Ninja. It suggests the best rack levels for cooking two trays of food at the same time. This even allows you to roast a tray of meat and a tray of vegetables at the same time. Everything is explained in detail in the Ninja recipe booklet.
Cooking Functions of the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- Air Fry (250°F–450°F)
- Whole Roast (250°F–450°F)
- Air Roast (250°F–450°F)
- Bake (180°F–450°F)
- Dehydrate (85°F–200°F)
- Pizza (180°F–450°F)
- Bagel (level 1-7, 1-9 slices)
- Toast (level 1-7, 1-9 slices)
- Broil (HI or LO)
- Reheat (100°F–450°F)
Each cooking function on the Ninja has its own temperature range to match the function’s purpose. What’s special about this model is that each function deploys a specific convection level and a specific number of heating elements, each tailored to the dishes stated in the recipe booklet.
Whole Roast, for example, uses a high fan speed and the rear convection heat source to provide rotisserie-style results. Air Roast uses the maximum fan speed and the rear convection heat source to quickly cook food for a crispy outside and juicy inside.
Air Fry also uses the maximum fan speed and the rear convection heat source to cook food as quickly as possible for the crispiest results. Pizza uses the rear convection heat source but a low fan speed to avoid drying the pizza crust and toppings too much.
Bake operates the same way as Pizza. The same goes for Dehydrate, which has a lower temperature range for removing moisture from foods.
The remaining cooking functions don’t deploy the convection fan. Broil activates the top heating elements on the high setting to provide top-down heat for a crispy finish. On the other hand, Reheat activates the top and bottom heating elements on the high setting.
Toast also activates the top and bottom heating elements but on the medium setting to quickly and evenly brown both sides of your bread. Bagel, however, activates the top heating elements on the medium setting and the bottom heating elements on the high setting. This is because the recipe book instructs you to place the bagel slices cut-side up.
The best aspects of the DT201 are its convection system and heating elements. Together, these two systems are designed to eliminate the need for rotating your pans or flipping foods halfway through cooking, a fact that we confirmed with our performance tests.
The convection fan provides airflow of up to 130 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Such a powerful convection system would usually be very noisy but thanks to the door’s tight seal, it wasn’t a problem.
The Ninja has three quartz heating elements on top and two on the bottom; most other similarly-sized units have four in total. What really separates this oven from the rest, however, is its third heat source in the rear, right where the convection fan sits. This nichrome heating element surrounds the convection fan cavity to properly and consistently heat the airflow.
The quartz heating elements heat food directly using infrared light, so airflow isn’t always important. Meanwhile, nichrome heating elements heat up the air around them, so their effectiveness can be improved with the help of convection systems.
The cooking chamber has four tray levels with engraved numbers 1-4 from the bottom up. It also has a coating but it’s not 100% non-stick, so it may be prone to stubborn stains.
Of course, an oven like this won’t lack an interior light. While this oven isn’t designed to accommodate a rotisserie kit, its performance showed that it could provide the same results.
Capacity of the Ninja Foodi 10-In-1 XL Pro
The Ninja has the largest cooking chamber out of all the toaster ovens we’ve reviewed so far, measuring around 30.82 liters. While the manufacturer didn’t state a specific capacity, this unit could comfortably accommodate a 12-pound turkey.
Each rack level can also fit nine slices of toast or a 12-inch pizza. With the 2-level even cooking feature, you can roast a 5 lb whole chicken and a tray of vegetables at the same time.
The power cord is roughly 38 inches — plenty for household use. Unfortunately, the oven doesn’t have a storage place for the cord. The rear buffer is also not designed to wrap the cord around.
Accessories: Baking Rack x 2
The Ninja comes with two baking racks which fit perfectly with the rail guides to prevent accidents when moving food in or out.
Accessories: Baking Pan x 2
The Ninja comes with two baking pans to make the most out of its capacity. They are designed to be smaller than the baking racks and too short to reach the upper guide rail.
They have an enamel coating which is non-stick and easy to clean. Note that citric acid from citrusy fruits can damage this coating.
Accessories: Broiling Rack
The broiling rack is designed to fit nicely onto the baking pans and also has an enamel coating. It has grooves and ridges which can give your roast dish that grill-like appearance. The holes at the bottom allow grease to drain from the food onto the baking pan below.
Accessories: Removable Crumb Tray
The removable crumb tray is a useful accessory for cleaning up pesky crumbs. The tray also fits perfectly with the oven’s shape so as to minimize crumbs falling onto the oven’s floor when you take it out.
Accessories: Air Fryer Basket
The air fryer basket fits with the guide rails, unlike many other toaster ovens that have a basket which fits inside the baking pan,e.g., the Cuisinart TOA-60. Of course, you’ll still need to place a baking pan below to catch drippings. However, this design choice, combined with its fishnet structure, allows for plenty of space and maximizes heat circulation around the food.
The Ninja’s casing is made of durable and thick stainless steel which gives the oven good heat insulation. Thus, during our tests, the oven’s exterior only got hot to the touch after cooking for a long time at a high temperature (>400°F).
The digital display has a good color contrast which makes it easy to see—an advantage compared to the Instant Omni Plus 18L. Its buttons are highly responsive and very sturdy. All of the accessories are designed well to fit their purposes and make the most out of the oven’s capacity.
Unfortunately, possibly due to uneven metal expansion, the pans that we received bent when heated. Even though they flattened out again once they cooled, this was still a manufacturing flaw.
Moreover, the light button seemed to be broken when we received the oven. We could sometimes turn the light on and sometimes not. Nonetheless, we deemed these flaws to be specific to our particular unit, so we didn’t deduct too many points in terms of build quality.
Ninja DT201 Foodi XL Pro Air Usability Review: Excellently Convenient
The straightforward control panel on the Ninja DT201 allowed for easy adjusting and readjusting of the cooking settings. Moreover, the informative display combined with distinguished buttons removed all of the guesswork when it came to operating the oven.
The oven’s practical cooking functions shined all the more in combination with the 2-level even cooking feature. The oven’s interior could be improved with a coating for easier cleaning, though.
The control panel of the Ninja is far from simple but the digital display presents all the information in a way that’s pleasing to the eye and not at all complicated. In addition, its buttons are really straightforward.
The timer adjusts in 1-minute increments when under 1 hour and 5-minute increments when over 1 hour. You can also hold the +/- buttons for 2 seconds to activate faster scrolling in 5-minute increments.
The temperature can be increased in 5-degree increments. You can also hold the +/- buttons for 2 seconds to activate faster scrolling in 10-degree increments.
For the Toast and Bagel functions, the preset temperature is 450°F, similar to all toaster ovens. Adjusting the Temp/Shade and Time/Slice buttons simply changes to a predetermined cooking time.
The best part, however, is that you can select the number of bread slices and toast up to 9 slices at once. You can also manually adjust the time once cooking has started to better choose your preferred shade of browning. This toasting performance really puts the Ninja in a class of its own.
The Air Roast and Air Fry functions are basically distinguished by their tray positioning, especially when cooking two trays at the same time. To utilize the Air Roast function, for instance, you can place the meat dish on tray level 1 and the vegetable dish on level 3. As for the Air Fry function, you can cook two trays of the same food to the same results by placing them on tray levels 2 and 4.
The Dehydrate function is another stand-out feature in our minds. The recipe booklet outlines instructions for several types of food. You can purchase additional dehydration accessories to dehydrate up to 4 levels at one time. The Reheat function can also be used to keep your food warm at around 120°F.
9.9Ease of Use
The oven has a short automatic preheat phase which lasts 1 minute 25 seconds and heats the oven to around 200°F. While this feature wasn’t very useful in practice, the oven still reaches the correct temperature extremely quickly. All cooking functions use this phase except for Toast, Bagel, Broil, Dehydrate, and Reheat.
Whenever you select a function, the oven will display the optimal oven rack position. As you cycle through functions, you’ll notice the tray-level recommendations change for the best results. When the door is open, display settings freeze to prevent any accidental changes to the cooking cycle.
The 2-level even cooking feature allows you to cook two sheet pan meals at once which can be very helpful for big gatherings or weekly meal prep. The door hinge allows for partial opening at any angle greater than 75° which most toaster ovens can’t do.
The manufacturer’s claim of ‘30% faster cooking than a traditional full-size convection oven’ was a bit arbitrary. The same goes for ‘up to 30% crispier results vs. a traditional convection oven’. Nonetheless, our performance tests did show crispier and juicier results than many other toaster ovens.
We also couldn’t confirm the claim of ‘up to 50% more even baking results vs. a leading countertop oven’. Our observations of the cooking process did show, however, that the oven distributed heat so evenly that there was no need to flip food midway through the bake.
Keep in mind that opening the door stops the oven but not the interior light. During the cooking process, the light will turn off automatically after one minute, and there’s no way to keep it on.
The oven turns off automatically after 10 minutes of no interaction. Nevertheless, we still suggest you unplug the oven after use for safety reasons.
The exterior’s stainless steel finish made it very easy to clean. In addition, the interior has plenty of space, so the grease rarely reached the cooking chamber’s walls.
However, the interior doesn’t have a non-stick coating so we had to put in a little effort to clean the grease. We were also worried that grease could have splashed inside the fan cavity.
The baking pans and broiling rack are easy to clean thanks to their enamel coating. The small downside to this was that the stains that did appear stuck out like a sore thumb.
We could remove most bits that fell off our food thanks to the removable crumb tray. Plus, when the door was fully opened, its hinge left a small space where we could just sweep the remaining crumbs out.
Ninja Foodi XL Pro Air FAQs
Yes, the Ninja DT201 has internal lighting. No, this oven doesn’t have a stay-on function.
The Ninja DT201 uses 1800 W of power. The oven rarely gets hot to the touch unless it cooks for a long time at a high temperature (>400°F).
This oven doesn’t have a non-stick coating, so it’s free of PFOA. Nonetheless, it’s still easy to clean.
The oven turns off automatically after 10 minutes of no interaction. Nevertheless, it’s still advised to unplug the oven after use for safety reasons. No, the Ninja DT201 doesn’t have a self-start timer.
About your guide
Alan Nguyen is a writer and product reviewer at Healthy Kitchen 101. His major in English language teaching taught him to present concise information. In addition to his cooking hobby, he values the practical aspects of household appliances.
Lap Vo is head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (the RTR) at Healthy Kitchen 101. He is responsible for designing and overseeing the testing of kitchen tools and appliances.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.