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Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker review
5:00 pm | April 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Multi Cookers Small Appliances | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker: two-minute review

If you’re looking for a top multi-cooker, then there are plenty of best Instant Pot options to choose from. The Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker stands out as a great buy, not just for its 10 settings, but also because of its smart functionality. So, not only can you control the appliance from the touchscreen display on the front of the cooker, but you can start, adjust and stop it remotely via an app on your smartphone as well. This makes it a much more convenient option than your standard Instant Pot.

I really enjoyed browsing the Instant Connect app, which features lots of cooking inspiration. Offering access to over 1,400 recipes, you can search for a recipe to cook using keywords such as “chicken”, “fish”, or any other random ingredient you have to hand. Once you’ve decided what to cook, following the instructions in the app is super simple, and it will nudge you to choose the right cooking mode for the recipe chosen. This is a game-changer, making cooking really quick and speedy, with no need to refer to the instruction manual. It’s also handy when you’re stuck about what to cook and need some inspiration.

A hand holding a phone displaying the app for the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

Provided the device is plugged in, you can turn the appliance on and off remotely, too – which is helpful if you want to keep an eye on the cooking cycle from the comfort of the sofa. This also means that provided you’ve prepped your ingredients correctly, you can turn on the cooker while you’re out – so that the slow-cooked lamb you planned first thing will be ready to eat when you walk through your front door.

In terms of design, the Instant Pot Pro Plus won’t catch the eye. Nevertheless, its timeless black and silver finish will work well in both modern and classic kitchen schemes. Offering 10 useful cooking modes, including those for steaming and making rice and a delay start and keep warm function; if there’s one option I was disappointed not to see, it’s an air fry function.

Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker review: price & availability

  • List price: $199.99 / £199.99
  • Reasonably priced for capabilities
  • Available in US and UK

The Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker is above average in price for an Instant Pot multi-cooker, setting you back $199.99 / £199.99. At the time of writing, this 6-quart / 5.7-litre design is on sale for $149.95, however.

You’ll be paying that bit more than the average due to its smart capability. For a  6-quart model minus smart features you can pick up the Instant Pot Rio for around $99.99. Or in the UK, you can buy the Instant Pot Duo Plus With WhisperQuiet Multi-Cooker for £99.99, which is currently on offer, down from £129.99.

  • Value for money score: 4 out of 5

Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker specs

Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker review: design

  • 6-portion capacity
  • 10 functions accessible via touchscreen
  • Dishwasher-safe removable pot

In terms of looks, the Instant Pot Pro Plus is rather average; with a sleek black finish and touchscreen display, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. However, what makes it stand out from the crowd is its high-tech smart capability, which allows you to control the multi-cooker not just through the touchscreen panel, but via a smart app on your phone.

Size-wise, it isn’t too intrusive on the countertop, and at 7.05kg it isn’t too heavy either. Its body is curvaceous and sleek, offering a generous 6-quart / 5.7-liter dishwasher-safe stainless steel inner cooking pot with aluminium core that can hold up to six portions. In the box you’ll also find a steam rack and extra sealing ring for when the original wears out.

The various parts of the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

While you won’t need too much room to store this appliance on the countertop or in a large kitchen cupboard, you will need to ensure there’s adequate space around it for good ventilation while cooking. Venting is easy: there are three touchscreen options for natural venting, pulse venting or a quick vent. The display also denotes how much cooking time remains, and highlights the cancel and start buttons for quick access while running.

I found the digital display clear and easy to read, allowing you to choose from the 10 settings available. These include pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, sautéing, yoghurt making, canning, sous vide, delay starting and keeping your food warm.

I found the device feels solid and secure on the worktop, with ample cord length to easily plug it in at the socket. The multi-cooker has a lid that’s easy to remove and lock into place when needed. Note that the sides of the machine do get a little hot to touch when it’s on, but nothing out of the ordinary – and the only time the multi-cooker makes much noise is when the steam is being vented. Helpfully, the inner pot comes with handles, which makes it super easy to take out.

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker review: performance

  • Cooks up to 70% faster when pressure cooking
  • 10 cooking functions via touchscreen or app
  • NutriBoost to lock in vitamins, improve texture

To test out the Instant Pot Pro Plus, I used it over the course of a month to cook a variety of dishes. I downloaded the Instant Connect app and followed recipes such as pressure-cooked Easy Holiday Butternut Squash Coconut Soup, which was made in under 20 minutes. I was keen to see how well this multi-cooker could pressure cook, sauté, steam and cook rice, as well as produce a slow-cooked lamb curry.

I found the digital control panel simple to use, and found that the “easy seal locking lid” clicked into place effortlessly. Pairing the appliance with the smartphone Instant Connect app proved faultless, too. After pressing the Wi-Fi button on the pot, and following the instructions to connect, I was able to use the app to control my recipes.

Screenshots of the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker app

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

The app itself is actually one of the easiest and most comprehensive I’ve used. I welcome the way you can search for a recipe, and the app delivers step-by-step instructions – from gathering your ingredients to choosing the right settings, adding ingredients and venting the steam – all in real time.

Offering 20% more power than previous models, for faster pre-heating time and 15psi suitable for canning, the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker claims to be the most powerful Instant Pot to date. This design does, in fact, claim to cook up to 70% faster than other cooking methods when pressure cooking, and can therefore help you save on energy bills as a result. I certainly found pressure cooking to be super quick: I was able to cook very tough butternut squash in just five minutes.

Butternut squash pressure cooked in 5 minutes in the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker

(Image credit: Future)

Following the recipe for pressure-cooked Easy Holiday Butternut Squash Coconut Soup, the app automatically guided me through the natural venting setting at the end, which I found reassuring and easy to follow. The appliance does get quite loud when venting steam, and you’ll need to ensure there’s sufficient space above to avoid covering the kitchen units with condensation. While making the soup, I also clicked on the NutriBoost setting on the control panel, which is designed to make meals healthier by breaking down the food, locking in vitamins and enhancing the flavour. It’s hard to tell if this made any difference to the final results of the soup, but it’s a reassuring addition to the offering.

I found the appliance very quiet in use – particularly when used for making a slow-cooked lamb curry. It was very easy to sauté ingredients such as the lamb, onions and seasoning directly in the pot at the start of the recipe, which saved time and having to wash up a separate pan. I then simply added the rest of the ingredients and switched to the slow cook setting for four hours on high. I like the fact that the sauté setting can be used at the end of the slow cook to reduce liquids directly in the pot if needed, too. The appliance gently beeps to let you know when the food is ready.

Saute-ing lamb for slow cooked lamb curry in the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker

(Image credit: Future)

Cleaning was pretty simple; the pot is dishwasher-safe and the base and lid can be cleaned with warm soapy water and wiped down with a damp cloth. For more advice, learn how to clean an Instant Pot.

  • Performance score: 4.5 out of 5

Should you buy the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker?

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

How I tested the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker

  • Tested for a month
  • Used for a variety of dishes

I tested the Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart Multi-Cooker over the course of a month, using it to cook a variety of dishes and to gauge the effectiveness of its different cooking modes, including pressure cooking, sautéing, steaming and slow cooking. I also rated it on ease of use both with its touchscreen and app, as well as factoring in how easy it was to clean.

Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL BBQ Grill and Smoker review
3:00 pm | April 6, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Multi Cookers Small Appliances | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL: two-minute review

Ninja’s near-relentless mission to become king of all appliances continues with the launch of the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL, its first smart Woodfire offering huge capacity and the same delicious flavors. 

We loved the Ninja Woodfire, scoring it a perfect five stars in our review. Nevertheless, on a personal level, I’d remained largely unconvinced by Ninja’s outdoor cookers – until now. Adding smart features such as the app-connected thermostat and a higher capacity for catering to larger groups, the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL stands to make a grill master out of me yet. 

Delivering delicious smoky flavors, convenient smart cooking features, and fantastic ease of use, there’s very little to complain about with the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL BBQ Grill and Smoker. If I’m nitpicking, I’d say the hefty ‎40.2lb /18.3kg weight warrants the inclusion of the Ninja Woodfire stand, especially if you have a wooden table as I do and are concerned about it buckling; but that might have driven up the price enough to discourage prospective grillmasters, so I understand the logic. 

At 16.1 x 22.4 x 20.1in / ‎41 x 57 x 51cm, it’s a little larger than the 13.4 x 18.1in x 18.1in / 34 x 46 x 46cm  (h x w x d) standard Woodfire model, and enough so to offer 30% greater capacity according to Ninja. In practice, it offers some (much-needed) headroom, plus space for another portion or two of food – which, in my opinion, is more than enough to justify the meager $ / £50 / AU$ price difference. In addition, there’s the included smart thermostat, which can connect with the Ninja app to ensure perfect results every time. 

With that logic in mind, I’d go as far as to say the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL BBQ Grill and Smoker is far more than a capacity upgrade to the original model. It might not quite qualify as a next-generation device, but it iterates enough upon the success of the original to stand on its own four feet. 

Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL on a table with the lid open

(Image credit: Future)

Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL review: price & availability

  • List price: $449 / £499 
  • Available in the US and UK, no confirmation on AU release 

Available for $449 / £499 directly from Ninja US and Ninja UK, as well as third-party retailers such as Amazon, the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL is a fairly pricey purchase, coming in at around double the cost of a standard, basic BBQ – but you get a whole lot more for that price. 

It arrives with a sample pack of robust blend pellets, plus a pack of all-around blend wood pellets, which you can purchase separately for $32 / £30 for two 2lbs / 900g bags. Also included is the Ninja smart thermostat, which you can buy separately for $19.95 / £19.99, as well as a pellet scoop, a crisper basket, the grill plate, and the grease tray. 

There are a few further accessories you might need, however. The Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL is water resistant to IPX4, but to keep it in good condition if storing outdoors, you’ll want the waterproof cover that costs an additional $25 / £25. 

While the outdoor cooker’s underside is heat-safe and won’t damage surfaces, it’s a fairly heavy piece of kit, so you might prefer to shell out for Ninja’s collapsible grill stand, too, which will set you back a further $150 / £130.

If you want the full assortment of accessories, there are a variety of bundles available through both Ninja and Amazon. 

Considering the original Woodfire sold for $370 / £350 at launch in 2023 and now is available for $399 / £399, the relatively slim price difference between the original and the new XL version makes for a compelling argument to spend a little more for a whole lot more.

  • Value score: 4.5 out of 5

Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL on a table with the lid open

(Image credit: Future)



  • Bigger capacity than the original 
  • Handy smart thermostat storage tray 
  • IPX4 water-resistant for rainy days 

It’s pretty hard to make a BBQ, grill and smoker multicooker look sexy, but Ninja has certainly tried – and to great effect. Available in an attractive blue colorway, it’s a fairly robust device, weighing 40.2lbs/ 18.3kg and measuring 16.1 x 22.4 x 20.1in / ‎41 x 57 x 51cm.

One of the biggest design departures from the original Woodfire is the layout of the control panel, which has been entirely revamped. From left to right, you’ll find the seven cooking functions (Grill, Smoker, Roast, Bake, Dehydrate, Air Crisp, and Broil), which can be easily navigated using the Mode button, as well as the Woodfire Flavor button to the left, the LCD panel and temperature/time controls in the center, and the control dial, start/stop and thermometer buttons to the right. This offers a significant improvement over the original model, which we found difficult to navigate for our original review. 

Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL

(Image credit: Future)

Above the control panel is the lid handle, which stays cool even after longer cooking periods. A surprising omission, given the increased weight of the Pro Connect XL, is the handles – meaning it’s a little more difficult to maneuver than the original Woodfire. Thankfully, however, there are still small grips on either side to help you lift and maneuver the Woodfire Pro Connect XL. On the right-hand side of the device, you’ll find the wood pellet tray, and underneath the control panel is a slot that houses the smart thermostat when it isn’t in use.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the entire Woodfire product line is that none of the accessories are dishwasher-safe. This isn’t too much of an issue when it comes to the grill and grease tray, which are relatively easy to clean by hand; but the crisper basket is quite a chore to clean off after use. At least all of the accessories are non-stick, but due to the increased size of the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL, they’re just a little too large to soak in the sink.

Plate with Wood smoked ribs, chicken, asparagus and beans

(Image credit: Future)


  • Delicious, smoky flavors 
  • Very easy to use 
  • Smart thermometer app pairing and features work well 

As someone who isn’t really a fan of a BBQ, I was pleasantly surprised by how consistently and deliciously well the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL performed on-test. In terms of its cooking capabilities, it’s as successful as the original Woodfire; both smoked and unsmoked dishes were bursting with flavor and cooked to perfection. 

It’s easier than ever to smoke your meals with the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL. Simply throw in one level scoop of pellets, preheat the grill, and you’re set to throw on whatever you’re cooking. For my test, I tried chicken, ribs and asparagus with the robust blend wood pellets, using the smart thermostat to primarily test the internal temperature of the chicken. Following Ninja’s instructions, I set the Pro Connect XL to cook for one hour at 275°F / 135°C. 

Both the ribs and chicken cooked faster than the app had suggested, but it’s worth noting both were pretty lean to begin with. Regardless, the speed with which Ninja’s Woodfire cookers can work while still creating delicious food is incredibly impressive.

The results overall were spectacular. Enriched with smooth yet smoky flavors, the wood pellets had clearly done a fantastic job of imparting flavor to the meat. I loved that I barely had to interact with the cooker, freeing me up to speak with guests, tidy up the kitchen, or even file my taxes. 

I turned my food halfway through for this test, given it was a whole (albeit small) chicken we were cooking. For the next meal, I made chicken wings, where I didn’t see as much benefit from the flavor when left unturned – which is pretty similar to my experience with the original model. 

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Cooking results from Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL - chicken on a plagte

(Image credit: Future)
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Cooking results from Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL - chicken on a ribs

(Image credit: Future)
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Plate with Woodfire smoked salmon

(Image credit: Future)
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Plate with Woodfire smoked halloumi and vegetables

(Image credit: Future)

Even the non-smoke-enhanced cook settings work fantastically, netting me some deliciously grilled burgers, immaculately air-fried potato wedges, and crispy asparagus full of flavor – and moisture. We tried and enjoyed baking brownies in the previous model, and while I wouldn’t normally bake in my garden, having the ability to do so is useful if only for the Pro Connect’s app controls.  

If you opt to use the Woodfire technology for non-smoking settings, you really don’t need to use the recommended level scoop of wood pellets; better to be conservative with these fairly pricey pellets and opt for a half-scoop instead.

While the Woodfire Pro Connect XL is undoubtedly larger than the original, it’s nowhere near big enough to cater for larger groups. In terms of branding, Ninja would have been more accurate with “large”, since there’s nothing extra about this smart cooker when you’re feeding more than six people. 

All in all, the Woodfire Pro Connect XL is a spectacular addition to any patio, porch or plot, offering impressive (albeit sometimes unnecessary) versatility, fantastic flavor, and blistering cooking speeds.

Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL BBQ Grill and smoker

  • I used the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL BBQ Grill and Smoker to cook a variety of meals over several weeks 
  • I tested all of its different cooking functions on vegetables, meat and fish 
  • I used the smart thermostat and app to test the functionality 

I put the Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL BBQ Grill and smoker through its paces by cooking a variety of different meals over the course of my three-week testing period – including chicken, ribs, salmon, pepper, asparagus and beans. 

I tried all of the different settings, including the Woodfire mode where appropriate, and used both of the sample flavor packs that came with the device. I compared the results to my previous experience with standard BBQs as well as the original Ninja Woodfire, evaluating how well it delivered on flavor and ease of use.

While I’m no grill master, I’ve been cooking on BBQs during the rare bouts of summer sun in the UK for years, and I’ve also tried a host of electric cookers, both indoors and outdoors during that time.