How to Preheat Ninja Air Fryer in 4 Quick Steps

When you’re cooking something in your air fryer, it’s important to make sure you’re always preheating it beforehand.

Whether you’re frying, baking, or grilling, you need to preheat your air fryer to make sure that your food cooks properly.

How To Preheat Ninja Air Fryer featured image

But how do you actually preheat your Ninja air fryer? Don’t worry – we’ve got all the answers right here!

In this handy guide, we’ll teach you all about how to preheat your Ninja air fryer, as well as why it’s so important to do it in the first place.

If you’ve already done your cooking and need to clean up, we’ve got that covered too!  Learn how to clean a Ninja air fryer so you’re ready for the next time you need it.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Why Do You Need To Preheat Your Air Fryer?

First things first – why do you need to preheat your Ninja air fryer?

Preheating is an important step in cooking, and there are several reasons why you need to be doing it.

One of the biggest reasons why preheating your air fryer is so important is that it helps your food cook evenly.

Putting your food into a cold air fryer means that it will take longer to cook overall, and the food won’t cook uniformly.

Air fryers cook food from the outside in using superheated air. If the air fryer hasn’t had the chance to heat up, then the inside of the food may still be cold.

You also won’t get that delicious crispy outside that air fryers are loved for. Preheating your air fryer also plays a part in food hygiene.

If your air fryer isn’t preheated, then your food will be left for longer in the ‘Danger Zone’.

This is the temperature range between around 40℉ and 140℉ where bacteria can grow the most on food; bacteria grows incredibly quickly in the Danger Zone (doubling in just 20 minutes), so it’s crucial to make sure your food stays in this range for as little time as possible.

If your air fryer is preheated, you can get your food from frozen or refrigerated to cooking in no time at all, keeping its time in the Danger Zone to a minimum.

While you’re preheating, you may be curious about how many amps an air fryer uses. I discovered the common range as well as the specifics for the various Ninja models.

While you can technically use your air fryer without preheating it, this is definitely the less effective way to cook.

Preheating only takes a few minutes, and is the best way to make sure your food is cooked evenly and has that tasty crispy outside.

It’s also important for keeping your food safe and hygienic.

How To Preheat Your Ninja Air Fryer?

Okay – so we’ve looked at why it’s important to preheat your Ninja air fryer, let’s take a look at how to actually do it!

In this simple step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process so you can get to work with your Ninja air fryer in no time!

We also have a guide on how to use a Bella air fryer in case you or someone you know needs specific instructions for one of their various models.

Step One: Plug In And Switch On The Air Fryer

To use your Ninja air fryer, the first thing you need to do is give it power. Plug the air fryer into a socket and press the power button to switch it on.

The lights on your air fryer will turn on, and you’re ready to start preheating your air fryer.

Step Two: Set The Temperature

To preheat your Ninja air fryer, set it to the temperature that you’ll be using to cook your food. Then, set the timer for 3-5 minutes, and start the cook cycle.

  • 3 Minutes works for temperatures under 300 degrees
  • 4 Minutes is sufficient from 300-350 degrees
  • 5 Minutes is best for 375 degrees and above

You can always double check by placing an oven thermometer inside to ensure the basket is the correct temperature. There will be some variation amongst different models depending on the basket capacity.

Most Ninja air fryers do not have a dedicated preheat button or function on them. This is why you’ll manually set the temperature and time. However, if yours does, just select the temperature and let the preheat option do the rest!

During this process, the air inside the air fryer will start to be heated, bringing it up to the right temperature for your food to start being cooked straight away.

Step Three: Remove And Fill The Fryer Basket

Step Three) Remove And Fill The Fryer Basket

After your Ninja air fryer has had the chance to heat for, carefully take out the air fryer basket and crisper plate (use some form of protection when doing this as they will be extremely hot.

Spray the basket with some non-stick spray before you put the food in to make sure it doesn’t cook into the basket.

Then, you can start to add the food you’re cooking into the basket. Avoid letting the food touch the sides of the basket, as this can cause it to cook unevenly.

Are you craving egg rolls yet? Learn how long to cook frozen egg rolls in the air fryer and enjoy some!

Step Four: Replace The Basket And Cook Your Food

Now, you can return the basket into the air fryer and start cooking.

Since the air in the air fryer has had the chance to heat up, your food will be spending the most limited amount of time in the Danger Zone and will start cooking straight away.

This will make sure it cooks evenly and is 100% safe to eat.

Do You Need To Keep The Basket In While Preheating?

Just like preheating your air fryer before cooking is technically optional, you can also leave the fryer basket out of the air fryer while it’s preheating; however, this isn’t the best way to do things and can lead to some potential issues.

First of all, some Ninja air fryer models won’t function without the basket inside as a safety precaution.

As a result, you have to keep the basket in for the air fryer to work.

Additionally, if the basket is cold when the food is being cooked, some of the heat of the air is being absorbed by the basket instead of the food.

Another reason why you should heat the basket of your air fryer before use is to make sure the non-stick spray works properly.

Applying the spray to a heated basket means that it will coat it properly and let your food move freely.

So while you don’t necessarily have to preheat the fryer basket in your Ninja air fryer in most cases, you’re still better off heating it up before use.

Final Thoughts

Preheating your Ninja air fryer is a quick and easy step when cooking, but one that plays an important part in using your air fryer.

Using this handy guide, you can make sure that your air fryer is properly preheated before every use. Now that you know how to preheat your Ninja air fryer, you can put your newfound knowledge into practice.

While the controls may be different, if you’re shopping for a new appliance, learn how to preheat a Pampered Chef air fryer!

Enjoy your perfectly cooked and deliciously crispy food!

For some inspiration of what to make, check out our list of the 5 best Ninja Foodi Dual Zone air fryer recipes!

Katie Vine