How To Preheat Ninja Air Fryer?

Written By Anum Abid ✓ Reviewed By Irfan Hussain

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Air Fryer lets you cook delicious, and healthy food; however to make it crunchy, tender and juicy, you may need to follow some extra steps; one of which is preheating the appliance before cooking. This leads to the question: how to preheat Ninja Air Fryer?

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The preheating process is very simple and convenient. The air fryer uses the convection cooking method to evenly circulate the hot air around the food to cook it. Preheating can accelerate this process.  It ensures even heat distribution and takes only a few minutes to cook. This process lets you cook fresh and frozen foods in air fryer with great texture and crispiness.  

Let’s explore all the tips and tricks to preheat Ninja Air Fryer!

How To Preheat Ninja Air Fryer?

Preheating Ninja Fryer is essential for cooking a wide variety of food. Preheating can be done in two ways; you can either preheat the device manually or automatically. For manual mode; you need to set the temperature to 390-400F for 3 to 5 minutes. It’s the recommended preheat setting. Click on the start button to activate the preheat cycle. For automatic preheating; just click on the cooking function. The preheating feature is already integrated into it. Click start and the fryer will automatically start preheating.

How To Preheat Ninja Air Fryer

Preheating Ninja Air Fryer – Step by Step Process:

You can preheat ninja air fryer in two ways:

  • Manual 
  • Automatic

Let’s discuss these methods in detail

Manual Preheating Mode – Let’s Unleash Your Hidden Chef

Step 1: Clean the fryer

Before preheating, you need to unwrap the plastic covering from your non-stick skillet (if newly purchased); and remove any plastic lining the fryer basket. Sometimes; when you preheat; the fryer (especially newly bought ones) would give off a plastic smell; mostly because the plastic covering gets burnt. After successfully removing all the coverings, use warm water and dish soap to softly clean the fryer parts. 

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  • Don’t use strong abrasive cleaning solutions. The non-stick covering will get worn out. 
  • Dry the washed parts to prevent rusting.

Step 2: Read the User Manual

The instruction manual highlights the specific temperature and time for different foods. Reading it will give you a rough idea regarding your food preheating time. Commonly, it’s recommended to preheat food at 390F-400F for 3-5 minutes. However, this time and temperature vary for different food types.  Following are the temperature guidelines for different food types.

  • Frozen French Fries – 3-5 minutes preheat at 400°F (205°C)
  • Vegetables – 2-3 minutes preheat  at 375°F (190°C)
  • Baked Goods – 5-7 minutes at the desired temperature for the recipe
  • Chicken Wings – 5-7 minutes preheat  at 400°F (205°C)
  • Breaded Chicken Tenders – 5-7 minutes preheat at 375°F (190°C)
  • Fish Fillets – 3-5 minutes preheat at 375°F (190°C)

Step 3: Assesble All Cooking Accessories

Before preheating; place the accessories you intend to use while cooking. If you plan on using racks or grills to cook your meal; then it’s best that you beforehand place all the accessories into the countertop fryers; because placing them afterwards when the fryer is hot can be quite a hassle

Step 4: Make Adjustments

Set the fryer temperature and time using display controls (Recommended 5mins/400F). After that click start. The pre-heating process will initiate.


  •  If you want to use baking parchment; don’t place it in the fryer basket while preheating; This is because the parchment may ignite.
  • Similarly, don’t sizzle the fryer basket with oil and then preheat; the oil may ignite or cause smoke.

Step 5: Begin Cooking

When the fryer beeps; it indicates that the preheating is complete and the fryer is ready to cook delicious; sizzling and savoury food.

Also Read: Best Ninja Foodi Air Fryer

Automatic Preheating Mode – Lets Cook Up A Storm

To activate the automatic preheat air fryer function; follow the steps below:

Step 1: Power On The Appliance

The first step as always is to give life to your air fryer by pressing the power button.

Step 2: Select Cooking Functions

The ninja air fryer is a multi-cooker and comes with various functions like air frying, steaming, roasting, and sauteing. The preheat automatic feature is only available for the following functions;  Air fry, Roast, Bake, and Dehydrate.

Step 3: Activate the Preheating Function

After selecting the cooking function, press the Start button and see how the preheating cycle kicks in and preheats your fryer to an optimal temperature.

Note: Automatic preheating mode guesses the optimal temperature for the selected cooking function. If you want a specific temperature and time for your desired recipe; then go through the user manual.

Also Read: Ninja Air Fryer Smoking

Step 4: Let’s Cook!

When the preheating is complete; you will hear the exciting beep to alert you that your ninja fryer is ready for cooking. Spray the basket with olive oil spray to prevent the food from sticking to the basket, and click start to activate the cooking process. 

When To Preheat Ninja Air Fryer?

You should preheat air fryer when cooking:

  • Food that has a thick batter
  • Food that’s frozen 
  • Food that requires higher heating temperature
  • Food that requires longer cooking time

When Not To Preheat Ninja Air Fryer?

You should not preheat air fryer when cooking:

  • Food that has a thin batter
  • Food that requires less cooking time
  • Food that requires low heating temperatures
    Cooking already-cooked food
  • Cooking small quantity

Safety Tips For Preheating Ninja Air Fryer:

  • New air fryers should be preheated for 3 minutes; to get rid of plastic, chemical smell
  • Fryer should be cleaned before preheating
  • Preheating temperature should be 400F
  • If you are cooking multiple food batches; give your fryer a rest for 10 minutes.
  • Dont preheat with oil

Common Ninja Air Fryer Preheat Problems & Fixes:

Fryer isn’t powering on: Sometimes the fryer doesn’t power on; for this check the power plug and make sure it’s properly plugged into the socket. Check for potential damages to the power cord as well. If damaged; you should replace it

Smoke: If smoke is coming out of the fryer; it means that your seasoning, oil or butter has come in contact with the heating element. Immediately plug off the device and clean the mess. Sometimes; your heating element gets damaged; if the problem persists; show it to a professional.

Not Hot Enough: If the fryer isn’t able to achieve the desired temperature; then it means there is an issue with the heating element. Show the fryer to a professional.

Also Read: Ninja Air Fryer Stopped Working

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Does Ninja Air Fryer Need To Preheat? 

Yes, your Ninja Fryer needs to be preheated before the cooking session. Preheating will ensure a crispy texture, even heat distribution and quick food cooking. If the instruction manual suggests that you should pre-heat the fryer before use; then you should follow the guidelines. Preheating is practically a piece of cake.

All you have to do is empty the air fryer for about 3 to 4 minutes at 400F. If you are cooking frozen food, preheat it for 5 minutes up to 390F. After the fryer beeps, it indicates that the fryer has been preheated; you can then add your food and cook it. 

Advantages of Preheating Air Fryer:

Preheating the fryer before cooking brings plenty of advantages:

  • Crispy Texture: Preheating is important to maintain the smooth and crispy texture of food. Putting food in the cold fryer won’t let you achieve the desired crispiness
  • Even Cooking: The heat will be evenly distributed and your food will be cooked evenly
  • Faster &Efficient: Preheating the Fryer won’t only cook your food faster but will also save a lot of your energy.

How Long Do You Preheat An Air Fryer? 

The duration of the preheating process depends on two factors:


The air fryer model greatly determines the preheating time. If the model size is small, then it means that the heating element will be close to the food; hence the food will cook much faster. On the contrary; in a large air fryer; the heating element won’t be close to the food, and hence would take a long to cook.

Considering this; the manufacturer usually recommends 3 mins for small size Fryer models and 5 mins preheating for big-size fryer models

Food Type:

Another factor that affects the preheating time; is the type of food that you want to cook. If you are cooking food that needs to have a crispy texture; or needs to be cooked thoroughly; like chicken wings; then you would have to increase the preheating time to a few minutes. Similarly, if your desired food; doesn’t require thorough cooking; then you won’t have to give it extra time.

Also Read: Ninja Air Fryer Fan Not Working

Do You Preheat Air Fryer With Oil? 

No, you should not heat the air fryer with oil. The main aim behind preheating is for even cooking and heat distribution. Adding oil during the preheating process; can be pretty dangerous. At high temperatures, the oil can ignite or create smoke. If not, then it will surely create a greasy mess that will be hard to clean. Its usually recommended that to attain a crispy texture; add a little oil to the food ingredients, mix them well, and then after the preheating process, place the food inside for the cooking cycle. 

How To Use The Ninja Air Fryer? 

If you are a new user; then don’t worry, using Ninja Air Fryer is very simple and easy. The enterprise mainly provides an instruction manual to help users effectively operate the machine. 

Step 1: Plug into the electrical outlet

The first step towards using the appliance is to unpack this hot air machine and plug it into the nearby electrical outlet.

Tip: Place the fryer onto a flat non-wooden surface and away from gas stoves or fireplaces.

Step 2: Preheat the Machine

Before cooking; you need to preheat the fryer by setting it to the desired temperature and time.

Step 3: Place Food

Place the food into the fryer basket and then set the time for the cooking period

Step 4: Clean The Device

The appliance will sound a beep alarm to tell you it has finished cooking. Remove the food and immediately clean its internal components with dish soap and warm water.

How To Preheat Ninja Dual Air Fryer? 

The ninja air fryer preheating is very simple and easy. It includes the following steps:

Step 1: Turn on the Device

Plug the Ninja air fryer into the electrical outlet and turn it on

Step 2: Set Temperature &Time

With the help of control buttons; set the preheat temp and time. Generally, it’s 3-5 minutes at 390F. Make use of the manual for specific temperatures and time

Step 3: Start The Preheating Process

Click on start to activate the preheating process.

Step 4: Place Food

When the preheating cycle is complete;  open the fryer and place your desired food into the fryer basket and click on Start

Step 5: Food is Ready

Your food will be ready when the fryer gives the beep sound.

How To Preheat Ninja Foodi Air Fryer? 

For ninja Foodi preheat; follow the steps below:

Step 1: Power On Fryer

Firstly, you need to press the power button to activate the ninja foodi fryer

Step 2: Use Preheat Buttons

Manually set the temperature using the temperature controls. After this, press the preheat button to automatically preheat the appliance

Step 3: Place Food

After the preheating process is complete, place your food and click start to activate the cooking process.

Step 4: Switch Off

After the cooking cycle is complete; switch off the device and takeout the cooked food

How Long To Preheat Ninja Foodi Air Fryer? 

The preheating time depends greatly on the air fryer model and the food type. Usually, it’s 3-5 min preheating time. However, you should refer to the instruction manual for specific preheating temperatures and times to get the most benefits out of your Ninja Foodi. If not refereed properly, your fryer non-stick can get scarped off during the preheating cycle and even your food may give off a burnt taste. 

How to Use Your Ninja?

How to Use Your Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL (AF160 Series)


Preheating is essential for even food cooking. This step ensures crunchy, crispy and juicy food texture. That’s why we have highlighted the steps for how to preheat ninja air fryer. You can do it manually or automatically with the help of controls. The process is simple and easy. You should read the user manual for specific cooking times and temperatures. Preheating is best for food with thick coating; Don’t use it for delicate or thin-coating food; as they can get burned.

Anum Abid Author
Written By
Anum is the Senior Writer at KitchenFryer, renowned for her deep knowledge of air fryers. Since 2023, she's enriched our platform with unique recipes, practical tips, comprehensive guides, and insightful reviews, becoming an invaluable asset for cooking enthusiasts seeking to elevate their cooking skills.
Irfan Hussain Author
Reviewed By
Irfan, a master of air frying and an expert in kitchen appliances, is the Founder & Chief Editor of Kitchen Fryer. His hands-on approach to reviewing each piece of content ensures authentic, verified, and trustworthy guidance for kitchen enthusiasts.

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