What do I do if I get the Water Notice?

Don't panic! It isn't the end of the world if you get the "WATR" (water) notice when pressure cooking or steaming. The first thing you want to do is turn the Ninja Foodi off and turn the pressure release valve to "VENT" if it is sealed. 

If you are steaming and the valve is already vented, then look to see if the pin (red or silver) is up or down. If it is down, you can open the lid. Do this away from you, so hold the lid in front of you as you remove it so you don't get blasted with steam. If the pin is up, then you have to wait for it to go down before opening the lid. 

Whether you are pressure cooking or steaming, once the steam is released and the pin goes down, it's safe to open the lid. The first thing you want to do is look into the pot to see if there is still THIN liquid there. If there is plenty of thin liquid, then something has burned to the bottom. My recommendation, if you want to salvage the foodi, is to empty the contents of the pot into another container, but DON'T scrape the bottom while doing this. If you have a layer of burned food at the bottom and you scrape it, that burned flavor will end up being throughout the food and everything will taste burnt. Instead, pour or gently scoop out the contents until you can see what is going on in the bottom of the pot. 

If all of the food comes out easily and you don't have a layer of burned on food, then wash the pot out and return the food to the inner pot and you can begin pressure cooking again. Chances are there was something stuck on the bottom that wasn't easily visible. When you resume pressure cooking, you will want to decrease your total pressure time to take into account the cooking that has already occurred during the first building of pressure and/or the time the pot was under pressure the first time AND the time to pressure when you resume pressure cooking. This will vary based on what you are making. 

If you get to the bottom and see a layer of burned food, scrape it out and wash the pot. This can happen when certain ingredients settle to the bottom, especially with rice, pasta, and beans. They create a barrier on the bottom of the pot and despite having plenty of thin liquid, the food still burns. Taste the food that you removed and if it doesn't taste burnt, then return it to the pot and as long as there's enough thin liquid, you should be able to resume pressure cooking. You also want to check to see if the food is already done. Sometimes the time to pressure is prolonged if the Ninja Foodi is having a hard time building the steam to go under pressure and in some cases, your food will already be cooked before you even see the water notice pop up. 

If you get the water notice a second time, then you didn't have enough thin liquid and I would finish the meal using a different cooking method. The sear/sauté is great for finishing off soups, sauces, or foods that are in a thicker liquid. Use the sear/sauté like you would the stove and make sure to adjust the temperature based on what you are cooking and to stir frequently. The slow cook method is also a good choice for when you don't have enough thin liquid to go under pressure. 

Keep in mind that you don't simply want to add water or another thin liquid to your food UNLESS the extra liquid won't affect the outcome. For example, adding extra water to a chili will result in it being too runny because there is very little evaporation that occurs during pressure cooking. You can fix this by adding a thickener at the end, like tomato paste, but then your seasonings might be off. A much better option for finishing chili if you get the water notice is using sear/sautê or slow cook. 

If you look into the pot and don't see any thin liquid, I would first check to see if your food is already cooked. If it isn't, then you can remove it and add about ½ cup of thin liquid on the bottom of the pot and then add back in the food and try to go back under pressure. In some instances, but rarely, you can simply add some extra thin liquid without remove the food and go back under pressure. This might be the case when cooking beans and the beans absorbed all the available liquid, but aren't tender. As long as they haven't burned to the bottom, you can add liquid, stir and go back under pressure. 

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