Ninja Foodi Not Pressurizing [8 Causes and Quick Fixes]

An “all-in-one-pot” – that’s what a Ninja Foodi is because it comes with three cooking functions: pressure cooking, steam crisping, and air frying.

I love to cook in my Ninja Foodi. But it was challenging for me whenever it stopped pressurizing suddenly. If you’re also a Ninja Foodi user, I’m sure you’ve experienced the same as me.

But many users like us often complain that their Ninja Foodi is not pressurizing. If you are one of them, I have good news for you.

In this article, I’ve not only talked about why your Ninja Foodi won’t pressurize, but I’ve created a list of solutions and the prevention measures you should take to avoid the Ninja Foodi pressurizing problem from appearing.

Stick to the end to find out how to ensure your favorite kitchen appliance works without issues.

Why Is My Ninja Foodi Not Pressurizing?

People who use Ninja Foodi often complain that the cooker sometimes doesn’t create enough pressure for the food to be cooked. And that’s what we call the pressurizing problem.

In the Ninja Foodi, food is cooked using steam, and the steam is built from pressure. So, the food won’t be cooked properly without enough pressure.

If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you are experiencing the same problem and asking yourself, why my Ninja Foodi is not pressurizing?

I’m here with all the reasons that might be responsible for your Ninja Foodi not pressurizing.

1. Broken Seal

You can see a sealing ring around the pressure lid that keeps the steam inside the pressure cooker.

The Ninja Foodi won’t even start if it’s not sealed properly. Because if the seal is broken or not working, the steam will start escaping from the cooker, and pressure won’t build.

So, if your Foodi is not pressurizing, a broken seal can be a reason.

2. The Liquid Is Not Enough

When using a pressure cooker if you see the pressure isn’t enough to cook raw food like meat, rice, or vegetables. It may happen due to using less water.

After food items absorb a certain amount of water, the heat keeps disposing of the water level; enough liquid doesn’t remain to create steam if you use less water than required.

ninja foodi not pressurizing

3. Food Ingredients Are Stuck

As there are multiple functions of a Ninja Foodi, sometimes, while doing sauteing or searing, food items can be stuck to the base of the Ninja Foodi. This hampers pressure-building because stuck items disturb liquid circulation, producing poor pressurization and steam.

If you add too much material and cross the Pressure Max line, there is a high chance that food items will get stuck in the base, which will not build pressure.

4. The Release Knob Is Not Adjusted or Broken

As we already know, a release knob is used to control the pressure. Using a release knob, you can release pressure.

Now think, what if the pressure starts releasing when you cook? Your food won’t be cooked, right? Hence, the release knob should be sealed properly while cooking. If the knob is broken or not adjusted properly, pressure won’t build up.

5. Low Heat

You might think the pressure is not building; it might be because of some critical problems. But no! A simple low heat problem can be responsible for your Ninja Foodi not pressurizing.

If the heat is not enough for the water to boil, then it’s only normal that pressure won’t create on its own.

6. Food Items Are Too Icy or Thick

You can cook any food in a Ninja Foodi. But the problem arises when you try to cook too much-frozen food. Frozen foods are plunged together; therefore, they don’t observe water easily or quickly, which creates a pressurizing issue.

Also, dense items like potatoes and sauce can obstruct the water from spreading and create steam, stopping Ninja Foodi from pressurizing.

7. Pressure Valve Is Not Working Properly

If you see an unusual amount of water vaporizing through the pressure valve, the valve is broken, or the vent pipe is clogged. We already know what happens when water escapes; it hampers steam and pressure building.

If the Ninja Foodi pressure release valve is not working properly, it may prevent pressure from building up.

ninja foodi pressure release valve not working

8. The Pressure Lid Is Not Functioning Properly:

Food being stuck, overfilled ingredients, and sealing issues are the same reasons behind Ninja Foodi’s pressure lid error and the pressuring problem.

However, sometimes because of sensor failure, Ninja Foodi Pressure Lid stops functioning.

How to Fix the Ninja Foodi No Pressure Problem?

Well, here we are to the most important part you’ve been waiting for. Yeah, I know now that you’ve read why pressurizing issues occur; you want to know what you can do to solve this problem.

It’s easier than you think. So, let’s just dive right in.

1. Inspect the Lid, Arrows, and Valve

Before you start mending with the cooker, check three things.

  • Examine the lid to see if you’ve locked it properly.
  • Ensure the arrows in the lid and Ninja Foodi match.
  • Make sure the Valve is in the SEAL position.

Also See: Instant Pot Lid Error: What It Means and How to Fix It

2. Clean the Seal and Look for damages:

Wash the seal and the lid to ensure no food items are there. Now, look for damages in the seal.

If you find any damage, you must replace the seal with a new one.

How to replace the sealing ring?

You need to follow four easy steps to replace the sealing ring.

  1. Around the lid, you’ll see a silicone sealing ring under the metal rock.
  2. Keep tugging the sealing ring upwards until it comes out.
  3. Buy a new silicone sealing ring, don’t go for the cheap rubber ones.
  4. Finally, place the new ring around the lid while pushing it into the racks. Make sure it seals perfectly and no air escapes.

3. Remove Stuck Food

To remove food from the cooker’s base, open the lid and remove all the stuck food using a spatula. However, it only works for food that is not hard or stubborn.

For stubborn stuck food, you need to work a little harder. First, pour four cups of normal water into the pot and then add two spoons of baking soda.

Then, pressure cook for five minutes, and you have to let the pressure release naturally. Finally, clean the cooker with warm soapy water. You’ll get a brand new, clean cooker.

4. Make Sure the Liquid Is Enough

Whether it’s water or juice, or any other kind of liquid, while pressure cooking, make sure to follow the general thumb rule. With liquid, you have to cover the bottom of the pot.

But, when cooking food items that expand, like pasta, beans, or rice, pour water to cover the ingredients plus an additional one inch. This way, the liquid will never be less.

5. Replace The Release Knob

First, check if the pressure release knob is at the sealing position. If it is and you still hear a hissing sound, or even if you adjust it, it keeps bouncing back.

It means you have to replace the release knob. It may happen either because it’s old or broken. In that case, you must consult a professional and return the release knob with a new one.

6. Set The Temperature Right

To boil water, the temperature has to be a hundred degrees celsius, but sometimes when people start with low heat, the water doesn’t boil, and it doesn’t create enough steam and pressure.

So, ensure you don’t use low heat settings and that the temperature is at the boiling point of the liquid.

7. Fix The Pressure Valve

A worn-out pressure valve creates pressurizing issues. To avoid that, you must replace your pressure valve or gasket every eighteen months.

However, sometimes, when a pressure valve is not positioned correctly, pressure doesn’t build up. So, properly set the pressure valve and lock it securely. And you’ll experience instant high-rate pressure building.

If the valve is not damaged or even after being set correctly, you see steam escaping, which means you must clean the vent pipe.

Clean the clogged vent pipe and pressure valve with baking soda, water, and lime juice. Ninja Foodi will start pressurizing immediately.

pressure release valve

8. Fix The Pressure Lid Error

Even after cleaning the pressure cooker, removing the stuck food items, and replacing the sealing ring or valve, Ninja Foodi still shows Lid Error. That means it has something to do with the sensor failure.

So, try unplugging the Foodi and letting it rest for a while. Then in a different switchboard, plug it in.  If the error still shows a red light and pressure is not building, you must take it to a professional.

Pro Tips To Avoid Ninja Foodi Pressurizing Problem

If you don’t want to face any of the issues that stop your Ninja Foodi from pressurizing, then you should maintain some safeguards.

  • Never cover the pressure valves.
  • Before cleansing, always unplug the device.
  • Never put the food or liquid into the unit without installing the pot.
  • While pressure cooking, never saute or fry using oil.
  • Never exceed the “Pressure Max” level of the cooking pot when you’re pressure cooking.
  • While cooking foods that expand, only fill halfway through.
  • Follow the maximum and minimum level liquid quantities as per the recipes.
  • Every few months, check the appliance thoroughly.
  • Always clean the silicone ring and place it properly in the lid.
  • Always keep the pressure lid closed while pressure cooking. And place the pressure release valve in the vent position.
  • After cooking, let the cooker rest for at least thirty minutes.
  • Always separate the food items and warm them a bit before cooking.

More Read: Instant Pot Lid Won’t Close or Seal: 7 Reasons & Solutions

How to Use Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Mode?

To get accustomed to Ninja Foodi, you must know how to start and operate the Pressure Cooker mode. Or else you won’t understand if you’re having trouble with pressurizing.

Let’s walk through the steps to familiarize yourself with using the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker.

Trial Run:

This is mainly for beginners. If you do a trial run first, it benefits you while cooking.

  • Step 1: Put the pot in the cooker and add three cups of water.
  • Step 2: Lock the pressure cooker lid by aligning the arrows of the lid and the cooker base. You’ve to rotate the arrows clockwise.
  • Step 3: Place the pressure release valve in the SEAL position, which you’ll find on the lid.
  • Step 4: Press the pressure button to see the default time of two minutes; high pressure will start automatically. Then press the START/STOP button.
  • Step 5: You’ll see lights rotating, which means the Foodi is building pressure. The Foodi will start to count down when it’s about to complete pressurizing.
  • Step 6: After the countdown, the Foodi will beep and turn on the Keep Warm mode.
  • Step 7: To release pressure, turn the pressure release valve to the VENT position that’ll find on the lid. After the pressure is released, the unit will open automatically.

Pressure Cooking with the Pressure Lid:

To pressure cook, you need to use the pressure lid just like you did in the trial. Here’s how you do the pressure cooking:

First, add all the ingredients and about half a cup of water to the pot, but you must ensure you don’t cross the ” Pressure Max” marked line.  If you’re cooking items that expand, fill the pot only halfway through.

Then install the pressure lid and turn the pressure release valve to the SEAL position. After that, press the pressure button and set the time and temperature. The unit starts counting down the time only after it reaches the temperature you’ve set.

Then, finally, when the timing is complete, the cooker automatically turns on the KEEP WARM mode. After the cooking, it’s up to you whether you want to release the pressure naturally or quickly.

Some Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

How long does it take Ninja Foodi to pressurize?

Though it depends on the recipe, the cooker doesn’t take more than ten minutes to build pressure.

Why does my cooker show the “PRE” sign?

Ninja Foodi reveals “PRE” when it’s not pressurized yet. It indicates that pressure is still building inside the cooker.

How to know if my Ninja Foodi is not pressurizing?

If you see the “PRE” sign is on for more than ten minutes or you can’t hear its hissing sound while pressurizing, your Ninja Foodi is not pressurizing.

What does Pressure Fail mean?

“Pressure Fail” is also an error code of Ninja Foodi. It means the pot isn’t building enough pressure to complete the cooking.

How to know the pressurizing is complete?

When you see the “PRE” sign has disappeared, the lights have stopped rotating, and the floating valve in the lid has popped up, starting the times, it means pressurizing is complete.


Now you know why is your Ninja Foodi not pressurizing and how to fix it.

Next time your Foodi is not pressurizing, without worrying, go for the quick-fix methods I talked about, and your food will be cooked in no time.

Do not forget to comment if the techniques I discussed work for you.


  1. Antony Guest June 10, 2023
    • Maria June 10, 2023

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