How to Use Ninja Foodi Air Fryer: A Total Beginner’s Guide

If you’re the proud owner of a brand new Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, or maybe just considering getting one, I’m here to help you navigate the world of air frying. And why am I a good guide? Well, because I have not one, but three Ninja Foodi Air Fryers in my kitchen!

I’ve got the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker complete with Tender Crisp for air frying, the sleek Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fryer Oven, and the versatile Ninja Foodi Grill. Each appliance is unique, but the principles I’ve picked up from using them over the years will help you.

Whether you’re deciding which one to buy or how to cook a meal without “air fryer” instructions, I’m more than happy to share what I’ve learned.

Ninja Foodi Function Buttons: Their Uses and Functions

Let’s embark on a flavorful journey with your Ninja Foodi, a versatile kitchen appliance that caters to both your pressure cooking and air frying needs.

I am going to explore each button and its functionalities, making sure you get the most out of your Foodi. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Air Crisp

Let’s start with the Air Crisp feature. Paired with the Cook & Crisp Basket, this function is your best friend when you’re in the mood for some frozen goodies like French fries, onion rings, or chicken nuggets.

The best part? You can cook most dishes oil-free! Just press the Air Crisp button and voila! You’re air frying. Oh, and don’t forget to give your basket a good shake at least once during the cooking process for the crispiest results.

Sear / Sauté

Next up, we have the Sear/Sauté button. It transforms your Ninja Foodi into a stovetop, allowing you to sauté vegetables and sear meats to perfection.

There’s plenty of space to accommodate your ingredients, and the five temperature settings from Low to High give you full control over your cooking.

Whether you’re simmering gently or searing at high heat, your Ninja Foodi is there to assist, making it a truly versatile cooking tool.


The Ninja Foodi’s pressure button is your secret weapon for faster cooking times. With a low and high-pressure option, you can tailor your cooking to your needs. Got a tough piece of meat or need to whip up some rice in a hurry?

The pressure button has you covered. Plus, the handy pressure release valve lets you control the pressure release speed – natural or fast, it’s your choice!

Slow Cook

The Ninja Foodi excels in slow cooking with its Low and High settings, perfect for those dishes that need time to develop irresistible flavors.

The Slow Cook button is your best friend for those busy days – just toss in your ingredients in the morning and come home to a perfectly cooked meal.

Not to mention, you can even let the Ninja Foodi do its magic overnight, waking up to a ready-to-eat meal. It’s a truly convenient feature for those with a packed schedule.


The Ninja Foodi’s Steam feature is your go-to for whipping up an array of foods like fish and veggies, all without a drop of oil. It employs high heat and steam to keep your food’s authentic taste and texture intact.

To use this feature, simply fill the pot with water, set the Reversible Rack in the bottom position, arrange your food on top, and shut the lid. Voila! Your meal is cooking!


Think of the Ninja Foodi’s Bake/Roast button as a compact convection oven at your fingertips, perfect for baking delicious dishes and roasting succulent meats in no time. It manages to preheat in a swift 4 to 5 minutes, which is a lot quicker than your usual oven.

So, if you’re looking to avoid using your standard oven or need to prepare a small meal, the Ninja Foodi is a fantastic choice for baking and roasting.


The Dehydrate function of the Ninja Foodi is a fun and healthy way to create your snacks. Imagine making your fruit chips, vegetable crisps, or even jerky, all without any preservatives! Plus, it helps to reduce the oil content in your food.

The trick is in the Crisping Lid which lowers its fan speed to gently eliminate moisture. You’ll end up with perfectly dehydrated snacks, far healthier than store-bought options laden with sugar and preservatives.


Next up, we have the Broil button. This is your go-to for all things grilled or barbecued. It’s the hottest of all the Crisping Lid functions, perfect for achieving that dreamy, crispy sear on your meats. Think of the Broil feature as an upside-down barbecue grill right within your Ninja Foodi.

Keep Warm

The Keep Warm setting is a thoughtful addition to the Ninja Foodi. It kicks in automatically after steaming, slow cooking, or pressure cooking. It’s capable of keeping your food warm for up to 12 hours. But if you need it off before then, just hit the Warm button.


The Power button does exactly what you’d expect.

Start / Stop button

Then, there’s the Start / Stop button. It’s your control center for setting the time, temperature, or pressure.

Temp buttons

Lastly, the Temp buttons, marked by arrows, help you fine-tune the cooking temperature, either higher or lower.

Do you need to clean the Ninja Foodi air fryer before first use?

Absolutely! It’s a smart move to give your Ninja Foodi air fryer a quick and thorough cleaning before its inaugural use. This ensures any lingering factory odors are removed and it’s completely germ-free to make contact with your food.

This may seem like common sense but do double-check for any sneaky packaging materials like cardboard inserts that may still be hiding inside the machine.

How to Use Ninja Foodi Air Fryer to Air Fry

How to Use Ninja Foodi Air Fryer to Air Fry

Get your cooker ready – Decide whether you’ll use the included basket for air crisping, the Grill Grate for grilling or baking (when flipped over), the Rack for dehydrating or roasting, or simply the bottom pan.

Pick your preferred setting – Most of the time, you’ll want to go with the Air Fry option; for a handy guide on temperatures and timings.

Sometimes, the cooking instructions for your meal will be conveniently located on the package or bag. If not, don’t worry!

Here are some basic rules of thumb to follow:

For burgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob, and most pre-packaged foods, go with Medium to High heat for 10-15 minutes.

For deli items, sausage, grilled cheese, and potatoes, set the heat to Low to Medium and let it cook for 5-15 minutes, depending on your taste preference.

Get your unit warmed up and ready to cook! Depending on the model and temperature you’re using, this could take anywhere from three to ten minutes.

Typically, the grill needs about 10 minutes, the Digital Oven, just 3 minutes, and the 8 Qt model sits comfortably in the middle at 5 minutes.

You can trust your unit to tell you when it’s ready. And guess what? Some foods don’t even require preheating. So feel free to experiment! For instance, the Foodis will invite you to “Add Food” and will give a friendly beep once it’s preheated.

Ready to cook? Open the lid, pop your food in, and voila! The automatic timer begins counting down as soon as you close the lid. It’s set to 10 minutes initially but don’t worry, you can easily adjust it with the “time” buttons during the cooking process.

Here’s a cool feature:

The timer pauses when you lift the lid, although this means you’ll lose a bit of heat. But don’t fret! It resumes as soon as the lid is closed.

It’s true, you may lose a smidge of heat at the start, but I suggest peeking at your food every 3 minutes or so.

When your Ninja cooking time is up, it will cheerfully beep and turn itself off. Depending on your model, it might announce ‘Food Ready’ or simply say ‘End.’ This is pretty similar to other Air Fryers I’ve used – you’ll know when your delicious meal is ready!

Now, make sure to check your food. If it needs more cooking time, go ahead and pop it back in. Remember to note down the cooking time, it’ll come in handy for your next cooking adventure.

Just a little tip for you, Air fryers typically preheat for about 2-5 minutes. But Ninja Foodi Air Fryer has a speedy preheat time of just 3 minutes. Preheating is a great way to ensure your food comes out nice and crispy.

For things like french fries and toast, I like to skip the preheating and let the machine do its thing with the food already inside. Happy cooking!

How to Use Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

How to Use Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

The Ninja Foodi is a unique kitchen marvel, combining the features of an air fryer and a pressure cooker into one handy gadget. Unlike most others, its air frying capabilities come with a special crisping lid and easy-to-use buttons like Bake/Roast and Air Crisp.

Meanwhile, its pressure cooker function is a breeze to operate, making your cooking experience all the more convenient.

Here’s a quick guide on how to use its pressure cooker feature:

  • Step 1: Load up the Ninja Foodi’s inner pot with your chosen ingredients.

  • Step 2: Secure the pressure lid in place and make sure the pressure release valve is set to the “Seal” position.

  • Step 3: Choose the pressure cooking function, then set your preferred pressure level and cooking time.

  • Step 4: Press the start button to kick off the pressure cooking cycle.

  • Step 5: Once the cooking cycle concludes, let the pressure release naturally or manually vent it by switching the pressure release valve to the “Vent” position.

  • Step 6: Open the pressure lid with care and voila, your mouth-watering meal is ready to serve!

Remember, it’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific Ninja Foodi model to guarantee you’re using it correctly and safely. Enjoy your cooking adventure!

Here is a full walkthrough video of the Ninja Foodi Air fryer to help you make the proper use of your kitchen appliance:


Does the Ninja Foodi Air Fry Oven Live up To the Hype?

Absolutely! The Ninja Foodie Air Fryer is worth the buzz it’s been getting. It’s a versatile gadget that can air roast, air broil, dehydrate, and keep food warm. But it’s worth noting that due to its smaller size, fitting in a whole chicken might be a bit of a squeeze, unlike other toaster ovens in the same price range.

If you’re on the hunt for other versatile kitchen gadgets that can do a bit of everything – slow cook, pressure cook, grill, and more, Ninja has got you covered. Check out the impressive Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer and the Ninja Foodi Grill.

How does the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven look and feel?

The moment you unbox it, you’ll instantly feel the premium quality of this product. It’s beautifully crafted from brushed stainless steel, featuring elegant rounded corners and a sleek digital control pad. Plus, it’s noticeably wider and shorter than your average toaster oven, giving it a unique look.

When it’s cooled down and not in use, the Foodi Air Fry Oven cleverly flips up for easy storage at the back of your countertop. Instead of the typical front towel bar handle, it sports a quirky little handle at the side for opening the door. It might take a bit of getting used to, but it works flawlessly while making the oven more space-friendly.

The Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven is generously equipped. It comes with an air fry basket, a wire rack, a nonstick sheet pan, and a crumb tray. All these accessories are impressively sturdy and well-crafted. Plus, they’re bigger than what you’d usually find in a toaster oven, thanks to the oven’s wide build.

How do I use my Ninja air fryer for the first time?

Before you start using your air fryer for the first time, it’s a good idea to give it a quick clean. This will get rid of any factory smells and make sure it’s germ-free before your food touches it. It might sound obvious, but it’s important to check if there’s any extra packaging still in the machine, such as cardboard inserts.

Do I put oil in a Ninja air fryer?

Yes. a little oil using Kitchen oil sprayers is good to achieve a good air fry.

Which Ninja Foodi has the dehydrator?

In case you’re on the hunt for an all-in-one kitchen appliance that can do it all – slow cook, dehydrate, pressure cook, grill, and much more, Then the impressive Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer from Ninja might be your perfect choice!