Ninja Creami Troubleshooting Guide – Common Issues

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Intro – Ninja Creami Troubleshooting Guide

The purpose of this guide is to share some reasons and solutions for common technical issues with the machine itself.

The Ninja Creami is a GAME-CHANGING home ice cream maker that makes it possible to have decadent, sugar-free, high-protein homemade ice cream from clean ingredients. It is based on an original product called the Pacoject, a high-powered blender designed turn frozen ingredients into a creamy ice cream texture.

The Pacojet is typically only found in professional establishments, so getting the technology of the Pacoject into the hands of home cooks is a tremendous gift.

But is it perfect? No. Nothing is! But homemade, healthy, low-calorie, high-protein ice cream that tastes AMAZING wasn’t possible before this machine. No appliance on the market available to home kitchens gives similar results.

But the truth is, it is prone to a few bugs just like every single small appliance on the market.

This guide is here to help you through these most common problems.

There is No Ninja Creami Dupe

Some say that they get ice cream like the Ninja Creami by blending protein shake ice cubes, or they consider “Nice Cream” recipes to be the same thing.
The Ninja Creami is capable of SO much more than blender shake ice cream or banana “nice cream.”
If this is all you’d use a Creami for, you are not using it to its full potential.
If your Ninja Creami ice cream isn’t turning out better than what you’d make in a blender, you NEED to try some of my recipes designed with best practices in mind.


Visit my Ninja Creami Recipes page for some delicious ice cream flavors that have a MUCH better texture than blender nice cream!

Basic Operation

There are a few different models of the Ninja Creami on the market. I won’t get too in depth on the differences of each model in this Ninja Creami troubleshooting guide, but they all operate under the same general principles.

For all models, you will create a base mixture and freeze it for 24 hours in the designated ice cream container (2 cup capacity for the 5-in-1, 7-in-1, and the Breeze, but 3 cups for the Deluxe).

Once completely frozen, you can install the pint into your machine per the instructions for your model. Select the ice cream option on the control panel that best fits the ingredients of your base recipe and your desired end result. The control panel has a variety of one-touch programs that vary slightly depending on the model you purchased, but all Ninja Creami machines have the same basic functions, such as Ice Cream, Light Ice Cream, Sorbet, Mix-In, and Re-Spin.

When the first spin completes, you can remove the processed base from your Ninja Creami Ice Cream maker by pressing the bowl release button and check the texture. From there you have three choices:

  1. Eat as is. If your ice cream looks good, go ahead and eat!
  2. Re-Spin. The re-spin program option is for fixing your ice cream if it is bumpy-looking or powdery. Most of the time, you will end up needing one re-spin.
  3. Mix-in. If your ice cream looks good or is just slightly bumpy and you would like to add some mix-ins, you can do that with this setting. Scoop out a well in the center of the ice cream container, add up to 1/4 cup of your mix-in of choice, then put back in the machine and press “Mix-in.”
ninja creami 7-in-1 next to a breeze model on a dark countertop.

Do I Have to Freeze my Ninja Creami 24 Hours?

All guidance from Ninja states that Creami mixtures should be frozen for a minimum of 24 hours. This 24 hours is a guideline that accounts for the varying freezer temperatures across households, the most common ingredients used, and what is required for a good, solid outcome.

Remember that just because it’s hard to touch on the top doesn’t mean it’s completely solid through the middle. The middle is the last part to completely harden, and that core center cannot be seen or touched.

That said, will some mixtures be fine with less than 24 hours of freeze time? Sure. But there will be some that won’t, too.

Too many variables go into this for me to say whether or not you can universally get by on less time, such as the sugar content. Both sugar and sugar alternatives lower the freezing points of these mixtures, so that alters timing.

If you spin your Ninja Creami mixture too soon, you’re likely to end up with a soupy mixture that overflows your container when spun. You also risk overheating your machine because it will not be able to churn properly.

For best results, give yourself 24 hours in the freezer or as close to it as you can.

Freeze on a Level Surface

You must freeze your ice cream container on a level surface in your freezer.

If your ice cream accidentally froze at an angle, you can remove it from the freezer to thaw on the counter for a few hours until it has melted enough to be put back in the freezer to freeze level.

ninja creami pints lined up in freezer.

Freezer Temperature

Ninja Creami ice cream mixtures should be frozen at temperatures between 9 and -7 degrees F. This temperature range is maintained by most refrigerator/freezer combos.

Deep freezers, such as a chest freezer, are often set lower than that–as low as -10 degrees F. If your chest freezer is set that low, it would not be a good place to keep your Creami concoctions and you should make room for them in your fridge freezer.

Freezing Creami Pint with/without Lid & Ninja Creami “Hump”

Getting a hump on top of your frozen Creami mixture is a common issue. Some people find that freezing without the lid lessens the “hump” that can form on the top of your ice cream. You can certainly give that a try and see if that works for you!

As for me, I find it may lessen the hump a small amount, but I still get one, and I’ve had a few disastrous spills or things messing with my uncovered Creamis that the benefit is not worth the risk for me. I always freeze with a lid, and the hump is not much of an issue, but it comes down to personal preference.

Certain mixtures of base recipes are more prone to humps than others.

frozen ninja creami pint container with small hump.

It’s worth pointing out that the Ninja Creami user manual does not suggest you should eliminate the hump on your ice cream, but removing the hump has become conventional advice by users in the online Ninja Creami community.

As for me, I don’t think that a small, symmetrical hump is worth worrying about. I used to spend so much time trying to get rid of any hump regardless of size, but it did not seem to spin any better when I did than when I didn’t.

However, the concern comes into play if your hump is large or asymmetrical. At that point, you risk sending the blade in a crazy direction that will break your machine or possibly shave plastic from the side of the container into the ice cream.

If your hump looks large or off-center, then I recommend removing it with one of the following methods:

Methods for Creami Hump Removal

  • Hot Spoon – use hot water from the sink or even a tea kettle. Pour in a mug and let a large spoon sit in the hot water for 10 seconds. Press the back of the spoon on the hump. Repeat this until you’re able to flatten the hump.
  • Hot Water on the Surface – pour hot water from the tap right on top of your Creami and swirl for 10 seconds. Pour the water off, then use a fork or spoon to scrape down the hump.
  • Vegetable Peeler – If you have a vegetable peeler that fits well inside the pint, this is a great option. I have two different vegetable peelers, and unfortunately, neither of them are able to maneuver well in the small area.

These are the options I believe to be best. While some other ideas float around online, those ideas will also begin to soften and melt your base affecting the results of your ice cream.

ninja creami pint with a spoon and vegetable peeler sitting on it.

Common Issues Encountered 

A. Ninja Creami Blade Falls Off 

Ninja creami lids on a wooden board.

First of all, make sure the blade is installed properly–remove the blade from the lid and put it back in to rule out any issue there.

Assuming you’ve made sure it’s installed correctly, the Ninja Creami blade repeatedly falling off despite proper installation is a sign that your lid is breaking down or that something is off with the metal blade itself.

This can be the result of normal wear and tear on the machine from long term regular use, or it could be a result of an accident (like dropping the lid, etc).

When this first happened to me, I was able to tinker with it** to get it to work a time or two after that, but it was the beginning of the end for that lid.

Tinkering Note: I love to tinker as much as the next person, but be careful. If your Ninja Creami starts making a loud, scary noice, that is what happens when the blade falls off but it keeps trying to drill. Do NOT let it keep going. Press the power button to turn off immediately. This is how people have melted parts of their Ninja Creami and caused a burning smell or fires.

Solution

I recommend calling Ninja Creami Customer Service and detailing the issue with them. They will be able to determine if your machine needs a replacement part or an entirely new machine.

There is not an easy fix for this problem, unfortunately. It means something is broken and needs to be replaced.

B. Ninja Creami Install Light Blinking

When the Ninja Creami install light is blinking, this indicates a problem with the installation. One safety feature of most Ninja Creami models is a safety interlock system that prevents the machine from running if something is not properly installed, and that’s what the blinking light is attempting to warn you about.

Solution

First, uninstall your pint, remove the lid and the blade, and completely reassemble everything to make sure there isn’t an issue with the installation.

Make sure the power cord is properly plugged in, and try a new outlet for a power source if necessary. If you’re new to Ninja Creami, you may have things put together incorrectly.

But if you’re a Ninja Creami veteran and are certain that everything is installed properly, this is likely a glitch beyond your control related to the sensor or power supply.

If you are using the Breeze model, this could be an issue with a broken lid. In this case, you must contact Ninja Creami Customer Service.

C. Ninja Creami Plastic Shards in Ice Cream

Firstly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recipes your Ninja Creami machine–do not freeze a solid block of ice, do not add whole hard objects to your creami mixture, etc.

But assuming you followed all best practices for making your Creami, finding plastic shards in your ice cream reflects a defect in your Ninja Creami machine. This happened to me with the first machine I had, and only about 1 month into owning it!

This was when my machine was new and I was very careful with it–only following tested, safe recipes, removing any semblance of a hump, etc. Everyone online had me believing this machine would break if I did even the slightest thing not by the books, so I was certain to follow all the rules. Yet, it still happened.

The cause is most likely one of two things:

  1. A defect with the machine. This defect, while not super common, is a known issue and if your machine is affected, Ninja is good about replacing it. Contact customer service for support.
  2. A foreign object got into the ice cream without you knowing that caused the blade to malfunction, or you added hard mix-ins that were not appropriate for the Ninja Creami.
  3. You may have had a large, asymmetrical hump that caused your blade to get off track while spinning.

Solution

This machine is not safe to use. Call Ninja Customer Service for their advice.

Light Scratches in Ninja Creami Container

Light scratches in your Ninja Creami container is normal wear and tear after regular use. But when the gashes are deep enough to shave plastic, the scratches are easy to feel and you will find strings of plastic in your ice cream.

D. Ninja Creami Won’t Release

When the Ninja Creami bowl gets stuck and won’t release, the first thing to examine is to make sure your pint was installed correctly–was the pint container properly aligned in the bowl assembly, was the outer bowl lid placed on properly, etc.

If you’re certain that it was installed correctly, then your mixture was likely too thick and/or too hard. This could be because of a few reasons:

  1. Improper proportion of ingredients. Despite what you may see in a TikTok video, not everything can be thrown in a creami cup and spun to perfection. Ninja cautions against freezing plain water–water freezes too hard without other ingredients to lower the freezing point (one way this is done is with sweeteners–sugar and most non-sugar sweeteners will lower the freezing point of a liquid).
  2. Freezer is too cold. As mentioned above, the temperature range for a Ninja Creami mixture should be between -7 degrees F at the coldest up to 9F.
  3. Container was over-filled. This means there wasn’t enough headspace, which could cause it to get stuck.

Solution

The best way to fix this issue is to let your machine sit for 5-10 minutes to give the mixture a chance to melt a little bit, then see if it will release.

Also, make sure your blade is completely dry before processing because a wet blade can cause a bit of ice buildup.

E. Leakage or Spillage

Leakage is caused by two possible reasons:

  1.  Your creami was not fully frozen solid through the middle, or you let it thaw too much before spinning.
  2. The pint container was too full. Make sure you do not go past the max fill line when pouring your Ninja Creami into the pint container. Keep in mind that many liquid ingredients will expand when frozen.

Solution

To solve this issue, do not fill your container past the max fill line and freeze your mixture a full 24 hours before spinning.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your Ninja Creami is important.

The Ninja Creami bowl assembly, pint containers, lid, and blade paddle are all dishwasher safe. Remove the pint container from the bowl and lid and wash everything separately. I also recommend removing the blade from the lid for thorough cleaning.

If you do not have a dishwasher, you can wash all these parts by hand with soap and water.

After each use of the machine, wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth. Make sure to wipe off the spindle that hands down from where the lid meets the machine.

How to Clean the Ninja Creami Lid

The Ninja Creami lid is an area where water can easily get trapped, which is a concern as it pertains to mold. It is a good idea to give the lid a good shake after washing to make sure all water is removed to reduce the risk.

You may also wish to occasionally swish the lid in a water-vinegar mixture. If you choose to do this, MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THE RUBBER GASKET ON THE LID. You can do this easily with a fork.

Vinegar will destroy rubber and ruin the seal of the gasket.

That said, vinegar is a good choice to kill mold spores. Just make sure you remove the gasket and rinse the lid thoroughly before putting it back on, and you should be good to go.

2 side by side pictures showing how to clean the ninja creami lid by removing the gasket and swishing in a bowl of water/vinegar mixture.

Ninja Creami customer service specialists are responsive and helpful, and your Creami should not break under normal household conditions. Do not hesitate to reach out to get their support. You paid a lot for your machine and it comes with a 1-year limited warranty–it’s okay to get their help and support to keep it in tip-top shape! Their warranty coverage has helped me with a few issues now.

Start by registering your Ninja Creami here: https://ninjakitchen.com/myaccount/registerproducts/

Then, contact customer service by phone. They’re available 9am-9pm ET on weekdays and 9am-6pm on Saturday. Last time I called them, I didn’t need to wait to speak to a representative at all. Ninja Creami’s customer service number is 1-800-365-0135.

You can go to Ninja’s Website to see more customer service options.

A typical customer service experience will involve a video call so they can see the issue for themselves, determine if it falls within the warranty guidelines, and whether or not you need replacement parts or an entirely new machine. If a replacement is warranted, the will replace the machine with one of equal or greater value.

Need Some Ice Cream Recipes?

I hope you found the Ninja Creami troubleshooting guide helpful!

If you need a simple Ninja Creami recipe, try my decadent dark chocolate Ninja Creami. My Ninja Creami recipes page has a ton more options for you. Make sure you check it out!

This is raspberry ice cream in a dish with fresh raspberries on top.
This is two small dishes with scoops of raspberry sorbet with spoons and lime wedges in the background.
This is a ninja creami pint container with dole whip next to a pineapple with a spoon taking out a big bite.

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