Ninja Air Fryer Keeps Saying Add Food? Here’s Why

The Ninja Air Fryer can display several alerts when something is missing or needs to be done with the appliance. As a user of this device, one has to follow the warning on the display to correct the error to proceed with food preparation.

This device shows Add Food when it is preheated and tells you to add food to the cooking basket. If you already have added the food but your Ninja Air Fryer keeps saying to add food, there is an issue with the device. Let’s discuss, what you should do:

If your Ninja Air fryer keeps saying Add Food, it means the sensor located on the upper right corner of the grill is failing to detect added food. So, clean this sensor to solve this problem.

Let’s dive deeper into what you need to do to fix a Ninja Air Fryer that keeps saying add food.

Ninja Air Fryer Keeps Saying Add Food? Here’s Why

Why is Ninja Air Fryer Saying Add Food?

Ninja air fryers have a sensor that detects a circuit board if the food is added to the basket or not. It is necessary to preheat this device for 3 minutes before putting something in its basket. Once it is preheated, the Ninja says “add food”.

If you already added the food to the Ninja air fryer, but it is stuck on the Add Food mode, there is something wrong with its sensor. 

Probably oil or dirt stuck on the sensor prevents it from detecting the food added to the basket. Once it fails to work, it continuously signals to the circuit board that the basket is empty. 

Once it happens, the display shows a fool alert. Furthermore, the appliance won’t run until the sensor detects the added food for preparation.

grease/oil/smoke can stick on the sensor. This comes off when users often fry oily food and don’t take time to clean their appliances. Care and maintenance of the air fryer is a must to take it up to work. 

This appliance won’t run until the food is not added to the basket, no matter if it is preheated or not. However, preheating is also important before adding the food.

Your Ninja air fryer stuck on ADD FOOD mode will start working again once you address and fix the problem related to the sensor.

How to Fix Add Food Error on Ninja Air Fryer?

There are three methods to fix the Add Food error on the Ninja air fryer. You have to go ahead with each method, but it’s compulsory to address the cause first. However, it is simple to clear away this error. Let’s see how?

The Following are Best Practices to fix add-food errors on Ninja air fryers:

  • First of all, as we know this error comes off when the device detects no food in the basket. Thus, if you have not put the food inside the basket, add it now. 

Just remove the basket from the appliance and add the item you want to prepare and insert the basket back into the appliance. If this was caused, the new error will stop displaying.

  • In case food is already added, remove the basket from the appliance. Take out the item and put it inside the basket. Turn off the device. Wait until it gets cooled as it was preheated. After 30 minutes, use a piece of cloth to clean the basket. 

Clean the grill, basket, and all sides of the air fryer, especially where the sensor is located. Preheat the appliance again and add the food to the basket. Put the basket into the air fryer. See if the error goes or not. If the error is no longer displayed, all done.

  • In case cleaning the sensor doesn’t solve the problem, try to reset the appliance. To reset the Ninja air fryer, press the start/stop button for 10 seconds, this will cancel all the programs and reset the unit.

Why is Ninja Air Fryer Stuck in Add Food Mode?

The Ninja brand added technology to their appliances. Their Ninja air fryer is loaded with features. It has a sensor to sense the working and food added to the basket, this sensor is important and beneficial to avoid any mistakes during the cooking operation. 

For example, it prevents the fan and heating element from running when there is no food added to the cooking basket. This sensor is small in size and works to detect the inserted item and send commands to the main circuit board. 

As this sensor is located in the food preparation area, this can get dirty with food residues, such as smoke, oil, and crumbs. Unfortunately, when you manually look at it, you can only know the sensor is dirty. 

This appliance has no error code to show and inform about the food-detecting sensor that needs to be cleaned. However, Ninja air fryers will be stuck in add food mode when the sensor won’t respond. 

It means when the sensor fails to detect the added food. If this comes off with your appliance, consider cleaning this sensor. Don’t use any liquid on it as it’s an electrical component. 

Make Sure you only use a dry cloth to clean it. Otherwise, the added food error will go away once you clean your unit properly.

How to Add Food to an Air fryer?

As there are a variety of air fryer models available in the market, each has unique and similar features in comparison to other models. However, the food-adding method for all air fryers is the same. 

Every air fryer has a container called a cooking basket, it has multiple names such as basket, drawer, cooking container, and fry bowl, etc. users have to remove this basket from the air fryer. 

It is located on the bottom side. It has some containers in it. You may find a grill or round pan-type container in it. Just apply a little oil on the pan inside the basket and add the food into the basket. 

Put the cooking drawer back into the air fryer. All done, and now food is successfully added to the air fryer. Note: some air fryers need to be preheated before adding food into their basket. 

Once preheated, you will see add food and a notification on the display. However, it is optional that all models can show this.