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 all the more suitable for special cooking occasions or simple weekly meal prep.
Throughout our performance tests, we witnessed the capability of the oven’s convection system and heating elements of which power was 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 a digital display to its door hinge and fitting 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
The stainless steel Ninja DT201 Foodi XL Pro Air Convection Air Fryer Toaster Oven is an excellent choice for a family-sized unit even compared to a traditional full-size oven. The key to the oven’s cooking performance lies in its various cooking functions, each with tailored convection power and heating elements power. In addition, the price isn’t so high considering the number of design and usability features it provides.
This in-depth analysis strives to offer a fair assessment to support your choice in buying a toaster oven. We'll also provide you with some pointers on how to get the most out of this oven, including what to do and what not to do.
Ninja Foodi XL Pro Air Fryer Toaster Oven In-depth Review
PerformanceHow We Tested
The Ninja DT201 performed differently on each of our tests but at its worst, it still gave good results. We were most impressed with the oven’s ability to quickly reach and maintain temperature despite such a large cooking chamber.
We began our Toast test by trying the toast level 4 and the four slices of bread placed on tray level 3 came out very light on top. The bottom side had a bit more color but it wasn’t enough.
With that, we cranked it up to level 6 and the color was very even but too brown. In the end, we settled for the toast level 5—around 5 minutes 15 seconds on the timer—as the best option earning a score of 8.3/10.
In this setting, the toast mostly had a light golden brown color. However, there were various areas that were a bit darker or lighter, possibly due to the variety in the thickness of the bread. The unevenness in surface color, especially on the bottom, prevented us to give it higher than an 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 a different, softer touch.
For the immediate second batch at the same toast level, the oven automatically deducted the time to 4 minutes. This time, the toast had a more even and more brown color than the first batch. However, there was a more apparent unevenness on the bottom with colors from white to dark brown.
Nonetheless, nothing was burnt which would have resulted in a bitter taste. The extra crispiness made the toast even better for soup. All in all, the oven got a 7./8 for consecutive usability.
Conducting our Pizza test on the Ninja was one of the few occasions where we felt like the food of choice held back the score. Our assumption was that the score could have increased if we were baking a fresh pizza instead of a store-bought 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza. Anyhow, we had to settle with a pizza score of 6.5/10 for the time being.
After preheating, we placed the baking tray along with the pizza onto 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 data, this deserved a 10/10 for cooking time.
Unfortunately, despite having the convection system on low, the crust was only golden on one half of the pizza that was close to the fan. The other half of the crust lacked color. In addition, such a short amount of time wasn’t enough to crisp up the crust, even the golden half. 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 get some charred tips. Luckily, the toppings on the other half managed to have some caramelization. However, it seemed the cheese didn’t have enough time to melt, so the topping only got a 5/10.
Considering the outcome 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 lb whole chicken in the air fryer basket with plenty of space left 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 this oven could remove the need for turning food. Nonetheless, we still flipped the chicken after the first 25 minutes for good measure.
The oven took only 40 minutes to cook the chicken all the way through and to an appetizing skin color. It was one of the fastest cooking times among our toaster ovens and deserved a whopping 10/10.
The skin was evenly golden from the bottom to the top. It also crisped up nicely around the tips of the wings and drums as well as areas with a lot of fat tissues.
However, it would seem the surface of the chicken got cooked too 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 getting higher than an 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 why we didn’t increase the cooking time for more caramelization on the skin as 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 was able to maintain a lot of its juices. 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 inside an 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 adequately got 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; and if too late, the thinner fries may 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 could partially reflect the variety in their texture. The longest and thickest fries had a slightly crispy outside and very moist inside. Meanwhile, the shortest and thinnest fries were completely crispy all the way through.
The silver lining, was the average-sized fries with their ideally crispy outside and moist inside. While the texture varied, none of them were bad, so we gave it an 8/10.
Considering the varied colors and textures of the fries, our chef gave a reasonable 8/10 after tasting them.
DesignHow We Rated
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 or deny the Ninja’s claim of having up to ten times the convection power versus a traditional full-size convection oven though.
In the 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 is firmly positioned with two foam pads inside a packaging which has some eye-catching illustrations. Its seven included accessories are also fitted nicely in carton boxes. The oven also comes with a seperate user manual, 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.
Usually, the control panel is connected to the casing which adds to the oven’s footprints. By combining the control panel with the door handle, the oven can also maximize the space of its cooking chamber.
You don’t need to worry about the door handle slamming to the ground as 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 mostly coincided with the manufacturer’s 17.09" x 20.22" x 13.34". For these measurements, we also took into account the door handle and back buffer.
The oven has a back buffer to prevent it from being too close to the wall which 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 in the rare cases where you need to move the oven around.
When plugged in, the On/Off switch will light up, then you can press it to turn on the oven along with 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 more for time, two more for temperature, a light toggle, a Start/Stop button, and the ‘2-level’ button.
The ‘2-level’ button is a unique feature that belongs to the Ninja. It suggests the rack levels for cooking two trays of food at the same time to the same results. This is even applicable to roasting a tray of meat and a tray of vegetables at the same time. Everything is explained in detail in the Ninja recipe booklet.
- 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 of the Ninja has its own temperature range suitable for its purpose. What’s special about this model is that each function deploys a specific convection level and a specific number of heating elements, suitable for specific foods which are stated in the recipe booklet.
Whole Roast uses the 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 the low fan speed to not dry out the pizza crust and toppings.
Bake operates the same way as Pizza. The same goes for Hydrate 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 the 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.
Capacity: 30.82 liters - 9 slices of toast - 12-inch pizza - 5-pound chicken
The Ninja has the largest cooking chamber out of all the toaster ovens we’ve reviewed so far, measuring at around 30.82 liters. While the manufacturer didn’t state a specific capacity, this unit could comfortably accommodate a 12 lb turkey.
Yet, the best aspects of this oven are its convection system and heating elements. Combined together, these two aspects are designed to eliminate the need for rotating of pan or flipping of foods, which we confirmed with our performance tests.
The convection fan provides airflow of up to 130 CMFs (cubic feet per minute). Such a powerful convection system is supposed to be very noisy but thanks to the tightly shut door, we found it to not be a problem.
The Ninja has three top quartz heating elements and two bottom ones whereas most other same-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 is. This nichrome heating element spans around the convection fan cavity for a true surround heated airflow.
The quartz heating elements heat up food directly using infrared light so airflow isn’t important. Meanwhile, nichrome heating elements heat up the air around it, which could be improved with a convection system.
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.
The power cord is roughly 38"—plenty enough for household use. Unfortunately, the oven doesn’t have a storage place for it. The back 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 placing foods inside and taking them out of the oven.
Accessories: Baking Pan x 2
The Ninja comes with two baking pans to make the most out of its capacity. For the same reason, they are designed to be smaller than the baking racks and not tall enough 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 some nicely caramelized marks. The holes at the bottom help drain grease from the food onto the baking pan below.
Accessories: Removable Crumb Tray
The removable crumb tray is a useful accessory for cleaning up the pesky crumbs. The tray also fits perfectly with the oven’s shape 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 where the basket fits inside the baking pan. Of course, you’ll still need to place a baking pan below to catch drippings. However, this design choice, combined with its fishnet design, allows for plenty of space which 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 a long cooking time at a high temperature (>400°F).
The digital display has a good color contrast which makes it easy to see. Its buttons are highly responsive and not flimsy at all. 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 became flat 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 this product and not deducted too many points in terms of build quality.
UsabilityHow We Rated
The straightforward control of the Ninja DT201 allowed for easy adjusting and readjusting of the cooking settings. Moreover, the informative display removed all of the guesswork when it came to operating the oven. 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 can be increased 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 is, however, you can select the number of bread slices for toasting up to 9 slices at once. You can also manually adjust the time once cooking has started to better choose your preferred shade, putting this oven above many others.
The Air Roast and Air Fry functions are basically distinguished by their tray positions, especially when cooking two trays at the same time. To utilize the Air Roast function, 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 to us having instructions for specific types of food in the recipe booklet. You can purchase additional dehydrate 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 on all temperature settings. While this feature wasn’t very useful in practice, the oven still reaches the correct temperature extremely quickly. All cooking functions have this phase except for Toast, Bagel, Broil, Dehydrate, and Reheat.
The optimal oven rack positions will illuminate based on the selected function. As you move 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 for cooking 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.
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. Nonetheless, it’s still advised to unplug the oven after use for safety reasons.
The exterior’s stainless steel finish made it really easy to clean. In addition, the interior has plenty of space so the grease rarely reached the cooking chamber’s walls.
However, the interior didn’t have a non-stick coating so we had to put in a little effort to clean the grease. We were also worried that the grease could have splashed inside the fan cavity.
The baking pans and broiling rack are also easy to clean thanks to their enamel coating. The small downside to this was that the stains, if any, stuck out like a sore thumb.
We could remove most of the falling bits thanks to the removable crumb tray. Then, when the door opened, the door hinge left a small space and we could just sweep the remaining crumbs out.
The Ninja Foodi XL Pro Air Compared to Other Toaster Ovens
The Ninja DT201 is one of our largest and most expensive toaster ovens; and it even has one of the highest overall scores. However, its performance score is tied with the Cosori CO130-AO—our best-to-buy toaster oven. Nonetheless, the investment in terms of design and usability made the Ninja more convenient to use, especially when cooking large servings.
In the cooking battle against our best air fryer toaster oven—the Instant Omni Plus 18L, the Ninja won some and lost some. The decisive loss was due to the Instant’s outstanding performance in its air-frying capability shown in baking french fries.
Compared to the simplistic Cuisinart TOA-60—our best convection toaster oven which was more suitable for experienced cooks, the Ninja required no guesswork—anyone could use it and had great results. It was worth noting, however, the Cuisinart has a higher performance score thanks to its consistently excellent cooking results.
Ninja Foodi XL Pro Air FAQs
Length: 14.49 inches
Width: 11.8 inches
Height: 11 inches
Yes, the Ninja DT201 has internal lighting. No, this oven doesn’t have a stay-on function.
The Ninja DT201 uses 1800 Watts of power. The oven rarely gets hot to the touch, only after a long cooking 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. Nonetheless, it’s still advised to unplug the oven after use for safety reasons. No, the Ninja DT201 doesn’t have a turn-on timer.