How Do I Use the Keep Warm Function on the Ninja Foodi?


If you are reading this, maybe you are staring at your food getting cold while waiting to be served, or you’ve cooked your food and decided to eat later. Now that you’re here take a second to read how to keep your food warm using your Ninja Foodi.

Answer: Keeping your food warm is actually quite easy; all you need to do is leave the cooker running all the way till the end of the timer, and the Keep Warm function will come on automatically! If you already turned it off or unplugged it, turn your Foodi back on and hit the “keep warm” button on the bottom left of the control panel.

Sounds simple, I know, but we missed seeing this button for the first few months of use, and I would not be surprised if several other people have had the same issue. HOWEVER, there is some important information about keeping your food warm depending on your made. But before we look at that, a quick word about how to turn off the Keep Warm function once it is activated. Keep reading!

Keep Warm is very popular for Slow Cooking; read my article on using the Ninja Foodi as a Slow Cooker (opens in new tab)

Open Crisper Lid by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

How To Turn Off “Keep Warm”

Once the keep warm function is activated, there are several ways to turn it off.

If you have the Deluxe Model:

  1. Press the center select button
  2. Press the Keep Warm Button
  3. Pull the pot out of the Foodi
  4. Unplug the power plug

If you have the Foodi Original:

  1. Press the Keep Warm Button
  2. Pull the pot off the Foodi
  3. Unplug the power plug

Now that you know the most essential info about the Keep Warm function let me tell you about some of the things I’ve learned recently. Let’s start with why you may not want to let your food get cold in the first place.

Don’t Let Your Food Get Cold.

The best way that prevents the need to reheat your food is not to let it go cold in the first place. This might sound like obvious advice, but a lot of people never think about that simple fact.

You also wouldn’t need to trouble yourself reheating the food if you would eat the food while still warm; however, sometimes you are preparing a large meal for many people or just trying to get ahead a day.

One of the nice things about the Ninja Foodi is you can cook the food and keep it warm in the same pot. This is the same function we are all used to with our slow cookers, but now you can automatically do this from most of the settings, or you can turn the Keep Warm on yourself by hitting the button.

But you might be looking for important information about how to keep your food warm while using the Tender Crisp lid, but you can’t… Can you? Would you please keep reading to find out a little hack I figured out?

Closed Crisper Lid by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

My Ninja Foodi Won’t “Keep Warm” While Using the Tender Crisp Lid

Don’t panic; this is normal!

Ninja designed your Foodi to use the pressure cooking lid while in the “Keep Warm” state. The pressure lid allows the bottom heating element to kick in and is fantastic for anything like a soup, casserole, roast, stew, etc. However, sometimes you don’t want to keep things warm that way.

Maybe you are baking something, or you have used a trivet. You could have heated a small pizza but aren’t ready to eat it, or you need to keep something else warm, such as bread or desserts that you don’t want to have a chance of overcooking on the bottom.

In this case, I have the best little Foodi trick I have found in a long time. Just turn it to bake mode and set the temperature to around 250° F (121° C), now you can use your Tender Crisp lid and have a different kind of warming depending on your needs. Fantastic!

Please keep reading for some additional information I have learned about keeping food warm and safe!

250°F by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

What is a Safe Temperature to Keep Your Food Warm?

You may not have thought of this, and I know I never have before I started looking into this article’s information. However, as recommended by the FDA for keeping food warm, the safe temperature is 140° F (60° C).

To get to this temperature when using the bake function, I recommend around 200° F to 250° F (93° C to 121° C). Your Foodi will keep your food at the right temperature using the built-in set, and it will keep it there for 12 hrs.

Tips On Making Food Warm

I know I have learned more than I ever thought I would or could know about keep food warm, but there are other things to learn still. For instance, if you store egg dishes such as quiches or soufflé in the refrigerator, you should heat them to 165° F (74° C) before serving them.

But what can help you if you need to reheat your food, you should look at it slowly. You can set your Foodi to heat like an oven for appropriate dishes and then slowly move the temperature up till the food is warm.

Shortly, I will do an article and possibly a video, not only for the Ninja Foodi but in general, about keeping food warm and another about keeping it safe. It would be best if you thought about subscribing to our YouTube channel so you can see when that comes out.

But keep reading; I found out something cool the Foodi lets me do when meal prepping.

Warm Food by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

Transform Your Cold Food (Meal Prep Improved)

While playing with my Foodi for this article, and in general, I stumbled on something that is not really a mentioned feature, but it should be. I can cook the food I want and freeze it or put it in the refrigerator later. When I’m ready to heat it, instead of putting it in the microwave, I have been sticking it into my Ninja Foodi.

The results are nothing but impressive. I can reheat foods and put that lovely crispy edge on them that I love. I have found a few methods listed below that you might find helpful.

For Meats:

Frozen Cooked Chicken by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

I like my meats to have a little crisp on the edges, and that is easy to achieve from the fridge; just put the meat on the grill trivet and turn on the tender-crisp at the lowest setting for about 10 min then turn it up to 375° F (191° C) for another 5 min or so. This cook time will change based on how thick the meat you are reheating, but it is easy to get great flavor and not make the meat tougher like the microwave often does. Sometimes I have to tweak this based on the food, but it always turns out great.

For Stews, Stir Frys, and other “pan” foods (ones that are not too wet):

Noodles by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

Use the sear function on your Ninja Foodi to get the food to start sizzling. I like to start mine on high then move to low pretty soon after. Once it is going depending on the time you have, you can switch it to the Keep Warm or keep on sear, but if you keep it on the sear, you will need to stick around and stir it often to keep from burning anything.

For Breads, and Other Baked Goods (and tons of other stuff):

Bread Loaf by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

Ok, first, let me say I use this method for way more than bread. It works great. Turn the setting to Bake. Put the temperature to 250° F (121° C) to 300° F (149° C). Place the food you want to be reheated in the Foodi. Set a timer for about 10 min. Come back and reduce the heat by 50° F (10° C)and check it. If it is warm and getting hotter, let it run for another 10 minutes; if it is not there yet, set your timer for 20 minutes. Most foods will reheat perfectly using this method.

Last for Soups and some stews (anything very wet):

Tortilla Soup by Nathan @FoodieResults.com

If you want to use your Foodi to reheat something like a soup or stew, you will want to use the slow cooker function and set it to low. I will let this sit for around 1 hr and check it; if things are getting toasty, I will move the Keep Warm setting. This is also great because things taste better after sitting for a day or so in the refrigerator, and reheating in this method lets them cook just a little bit more but not too much.

Spencer Heckathorn

Spencer loves to learn and try new things. He has been sharing his trials, successes, and failures, online since the early 2000s.

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