How To Use Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker [Step By Step Guide]

The Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker is not just another appliance in your kitchen; it's a versatile tool that combines pressure cooking and air frying.

For anyone new to this device, here's a comprehensive guide on using it, ensuring delicious dishes and safe cooking every time.

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Basics

A Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and air fryer is a much used appliance in an RV camper

If you're new to the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker, it's essential to understand its basic functions and control panel display.

Its versatile cooking options make it a great addition to your kitchen.

Here's a quick guide to help you understand the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker basics.


The Ninja Foodi pressure cooker has several functions that make it versatile.

It can pressure, steam, slow cook, sear/sauté, air crisp, bake/roast, and grill.

With its pressure cooking function, you can cook meals quickly and efficiently, making it an excellent option for busy weeknights.

The air crisp function allows you to get crispy results without the need for deep-frying.

Control Panel Display And Operating Buttons

Familiarizing yourself with the control panel is crucial.

It features a digital display showing time, temperature, and selected functions.

Buttons like 'Pressure,' 'Air Crisp,' 'Sear/Sauté,' and 'Steam' will be your constant companions.

The up and down buttons help in adjusting time and temperature.

What To Do For First-Time Use?

Congratulations on your new Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker!

Before you start cooking, it's important to prepare your pressure cooker for first-time use properly. Here are some steps to follow:

Read the Manual

The first step is to read the owner's manual carefully.

Doing so will help you understand the different parts of the pressure cooker and how to use it properly.

Make sure you understand the safety precautions before you start cooking.

Clean The Pressure Cooker

Before using the pressure cooker, it's essential to clean it thoroughly.

Remove all the packaging materials and wash the inner pot, lid, and accessories with warm soapy water.

Rinse and dry them thoroughly before using.

📌 Note: Do not wash the cooker base or the pressure lid in the dishwasher.

Perform A Water Test

The next step is to perform a water test to ensure the pressure cooker works properly. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Add 2 cups of water to the cooking pot and shut the lid. Ensure the valve is set to seal.
  2. Press the pressure cook button and set the timer for 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, wait another 10 minutes for the pressure to go down on its own.
  4. Next, turn the pressure release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure.
  5. Open the lid and check the water. If the water has evaporated, the pressure cooker is working properly.

Familiarize Yourself With The Controls

Spend some time getting familiar with the controls of your pressure cooker.

Learn how to adjust the cooking time, pressure level, and temperature settings. This will help you cook your favorite dishes more efficiently.

Also worth the read: What Are The Different Models Of Ninja Foodi?

How To Use The Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

Now that you've learned the essential functions of your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker, let's try it out!

Follow these steps.

Step 1: Getting Your Food Ready

First, put your food and at least half a cup of water or broth in the pot.

If your chosen recipe suggests an accessory, add that too. Just make sure not to fill it above the line that says "PRESSURE MAX."

Step 2: Putting On The Lid

Next, line up the arrow on the lid with the arrow on the cooker's base. Rotate the lid clockwise until it clicks, indicating it's securely locked.

Now, move the small valve on the lid to the spot marked "SEAL."

Step 3: Picking Your Cooking Setting

Activate the cooking process by pressing the "PRESSURE" button. The cooker will then present you with its default pressure level.

Use the "TEMP" arrows to select the best pressure level for your dish.

These arrows will allow you to toggle between "HIGH" and "LOW" pressure.

The timer will show minutes and seconds if your food cooks in less than an hour. If it's more than an hour, it will just show minutes.

Step 4: Setting The Time

Now, pick how long you want to cook. Use the "TIME" arrows to specify your cook time.

For durations up to an hour, you can adjust in one-minute increments.

But, if your cooking time stretches from one to four hours, the adjustments are made in five-minute increments.

Step 5: Starting To Cook

Push the "START/STOP" button. You'll see the word 'PRE' on the screen. This means it's getting ready.

When it's hot enough, the timer will start counting down.

Step 6: Finishing Up

When the time is up, it will beep and will automatically keep your food warm and start counting up in minutes.

However, if you wish to switch off this mode, simply press the "KEEP WARM" button.

To let out the steam, turn the small valve to the spot that says "VENT."

If the recipe doesn’t say to do this, wait, and the steam will come out on its own.

Here's a nice video from Ninja Foodi to help you get started.

Related article: Ninja Foodi Won’t Turn On – What To Do?

Some Nice Recipes You Should Try!

It's time to put your Ninja Foodi pressure cooker to good use and try out some delicious recipes. Here are a few recipes that you must try:

Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

If you love BBQ ribs, then you must try this recipe. It's super easy, and the ribs come out tender and juicy every time.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour water into the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and place the rack of ribs inside.
  3. Close the lid and set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 25 minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, release the pressure and remove the ribs.
  5. Brush the BBQ sauce over the ribs and place them under the broiler for a few minutes until the sauce caramelizes.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Alfredo

This recipe is perfect for those tiring weeknights when you don't have a lot of time to cook. It's quick, easy, and delicious.

  • 1 pound of chicken breast
  • 1 pound of fettuccine pasta
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add salt and pepper to the chicken breast for seasoning.
  2. Pour chicken broth into the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and place the chicken breast inside.
  3. Close the lid and set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, release the pressure and remove the chicken breast.
  5. Add the fettuccine pasta, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese to the pressure cooker.
  6. Close the lid and set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 5 minutes.
  7. After the timer sounds, relieve the pressure and mix the pasta with the sauce.
  8. Slice the chicken breast and serve it on top of the pasta.

Pressure Cooker Cheesecake

Yes, you read that right. You can make cheesecake in your Ninja Foodi pressure cooker, and it's amazing.

You'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs, then firmly press this blend into the base of a springform pan.
  2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together until smooth.
  3. Slowly add the cream cheese blend over the graham cracker crust.
  4. Pour 1 cup of water into the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and place the springform pan on top of the trivet.
  5. Close the lid and set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 25 minutes.
  6. Once the timer goes off, release the pressure and remove the cheesecake.
  7. Let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Safety Precautions When Using Your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

Using a pressure cooker can be intimidating, but it can be a breeze with the proper safety precautions.

Here are some tips to keep you and your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker safe:

  • Don't overfill: Never fill the pressure cooker past the "PRESSURE MAX" line, which can cause the pressure to build up too high.
  • Release pressure carefully: Be careful when using the quick-release valve, as the steam can be hot and cause burns.
  • Keep it away from children: Keep your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker out of reach of children, and make sure they know not to touch it.
  • Don't open the lid too soon: Never try to open the lid of your pressure cooker before the pressure has been released.

What Should You Not Put In Your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker?

When it comes to pressure cooking, there are certain types of food that you should avoid putting in your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker.

Below are some things you should not put in your pressure cooker:

Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk and cheese can curdle under high pressure, affecting your food's taste and creating a mess in the cooker.

Fried Foods

Avoid cooking fried foods like chicken or fries; the high pressure can cause oil to splatter, posing a safety risk.

Thickening Agents

Don't add thickening agents like cornstarch or flour before cooking in a pressure cooker.

They can over-thick food, causing it to stick and making cleaning difficult.

Raw Rice

Don't cook raw rice in a pressure cooker without sufficient liquid; it can burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.

Small Grains

Small grains such as quinoa and millet can easily get stuck in the pressure release valve and cause it to malfunction.

If you're facing issues with your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker from what we discussed above, this page can help you out.

You might also like: How Big Is The Ninja Foodi?

Final Thoughts

You have now learned how to use your Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker like a pro.

With its various cooking functions, you can now cook various meals for your family and friends.

Remember to always read the owner's guide before using your pressure cooker and follow all safety precautions.

Enjoy your new cooking adventures!

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