Why Use An Instant Pot
The Instant Pot drastically cuts down the cooking time for cuts of meat that usually have to cook slowly for a long time in order to become tender. And there are many accessories you can use with it to cook in lots of different styles. Its one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy.
The Instant Pot is an incredible tool in the kitchen for making dishes that usually take a long time. If you dont have one yet, check out our guide onwhich one to buy. You can also read up on how to use it, in case youre not sure if its for you.
- Dont Have an Instant Pot Yet?This guide can help you choose the right one.
Take The Fear Out Of Instant Pot Cooking
Are fear and uncertainty are holding you back from making the most of your Instant Pot ? I have a great video course that will help you learn all the basics, whether youre a first time user or could use a refresher.
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What delicious creations have you been cooking up in your Instant Pot?
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Minute Instant Pot Natural Release Method
There is one method that is a happy medium. Its the 10 Minute Natural Release method. All you need to do is follow the Instant Pot Natural Release Method for 10 minutes and then switch to the Quick Release Method. Youll still have steam to vent through the quick release valve, but it wont be much. This method allows you to get the time benefits of the Quick Release with the cleanliness benefits of the Natural Release.
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How To Use Magic Release
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How To Do A Natural Or Quick Release
The procedure for doing a natural or quick release are easy to remember.
For a natural release of pressure: do nothing. Just wait for the pressure to release. Once its done, the float valve will drop, indicating that its okay to open the lid.
See the image below. On the left the pressure is still high and the float valve is up. On the right, the pressure has completely released and the float valve is down.
For a quick pressure release: once the machine beeps to indicate the cooking time is done, carefully turn the valve from sealing to venting.
On some machines, this is a switch instead of a valve, which you turn from Seal to Vent. Be sure to keep your hands away from the actual vent, which is where the steam will spout from.
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Difference Between Natural Release And Quick Release
The prime difference between the two methods of steam release is that the natural release method lets out steam in a slow and gradual manner. This is opposite to the quick release method which forces the steam out of the instant pot quickly and almost instantaneously.
Also, by releasing the steam slowly, the food gets to stay in the pot while only the steam is thrown out of the steam release valve. On the other hand, releasing the pressure too quickly without waiting for it to take its due course of time results in both the food and the steam to vent out of the valve. This can cause a huge dirt mess in the kitchen.
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What Does Natural Release Mean On Instant Pot
Lets get the big question out of the way as I know many of you want to know, what is instant pot natural release?
Well, basically, its a simple concept for leaving the instant pot on after the instant pot has beeped and told you that your food is cooked.
Its a way of carrying on the cooking process a bit like when you cook on the stove and then you turn the heat down to a simmer.
Instant pot natural release is very important to learn and understand when you get an instant pot. Even though about 5% of recipes use a natural pressure release, it is still essential for some instant pot recipes.
Such as instant pot raspberry jam. I made the error of NOT doing a natural pressure release when I first made it and ended up with jam syrup up the walls of the Milner kitchen!
General Rule Of Thumb
Most recipes should tell you which method to use. This is because how much time you allow the pot to depressurize should be taken into account in the recipe. Which way you choose can have a big affect on the outcome of the dish.
However, if you come across a recipe that doesnt specify which method to use, you can follow these general principles:
- For food like pork roast, beans, rice, soup, and things that are mostly liquid, like bone broth, use natural release.
- When cooking eggs, vegetables, delicate foods, or ingredients that have a preferred temperature range, use quick release.
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How To Do A Natural Release
1. Upon completing the cooking cycle, your Instant Pot beeps to signal it completed the cooking cycle.
2. Most Instant Pot models automatically begin to use NPR.
3. The process is complete when you see or hear the float valve drop down.
4. Taking the lid off of your Instant Pot vents any remaining pressure.
Is Quick Release Safe
Yesif you take the right precautions. The steam that immediately releases from the Instant Pot will be extremely hot. The Instant Pot User Manual warns to not place your hand or lean your face over the cooker while it is releasing steam. Its best to turn the valve with an object such as kitchen tongs or a wooden spoon to avoid any skin coming in contact with the hot steam. Other Instant Pot users like wearing silicone oven mitts, or simply covering their hand with a kitchen towel.
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Do I Need To Adjust My Recipes At Higher Altitude
The short answer is yes. Some Instant Pot models e.g. Ultra and MAX will allow you to set your altitude and the cooking times will be automatically adjusted for you. Otherwise, cooking should be adjusted 5% for every 1,000 feet above 2,000 ft. above sea level. So, for example, at 3,000 ft., you will increase cooking time by 5% and at 4,000 ft., you will increase cooking time by 10% and so forth. One of our team members has lived at many varying high elevations and personally, I have never run into altitude-related issues with my Duo model.
How To Do An Instant Pot Natural Release
Once the cooking is done, wait for the Floating Valve to drop down completely before taking off the lid.
Always rotate the Venting Knob from the Sealing Position to the Venting Position to release all the pressure before opening the lid.
The process of releasing the pressure roughly takes about 10 25 minutes depending on the quantity of food present in the Instant Pot.
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How To Do A Timed Natural Release
The timed natural release process can take 10 to 20 minutes. You can keep the Keep Warm mode on or off while doing a quick release in bursts. If you wish to turn this mode off, press Cancel.
Natural Release Vs Quick Release On The Instant Pot
One of the main questions I receive about the Instant Pot is about the pressure release methods. You hear the words quick release and natural release being throw around, but what exactly do they mean and how do you know when to use each?
A pressure cooker can be depressurized naturally or rapidly once cooking is complete. Some recipes specify the best method to use, but many do not, and the method you choose can have a big impact on the food you prepare.
Instant Pots cook food by creating steam pressure inside the sealed pot. With the liquid inside the pot heating up, steam forms, which increases the pressure in the pot, ultimately cooking food twice or three times faster than it normally would.
The build up of pressure within the cooker must be released after active cooking is completed. The lid of most electric pressure cookers cant be opened until the pressure is lowered. Electric pressure cookers allow you to do this two ways: naturally or rapidly. Both methods depressurize the cooker, but their processes differ, influencing the food inside.
When youre new to pressure cooking, releasing the pressure seems daunting, especially with the quick release and burst of steam that comes with it. The noise you hear from your pressure cooker shouldnt prevent you from using the Instant Pot. Its perfectly safe and either way you do it, it wont break anything.
> > You might also want to read our Beginners Guide to the Instant Pot.
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What Is The Difference Between Instant Pot Lux And Duo
These are the two different models of an instant pot, each differing in their own ways. For instance, the Instant Pot Duo allows the warm function to be manually set to 99 hours and 50 minutes, while the Lux model can only keep the food warm for 10 hours.
Also, Lux comes with only high setting, whereas Duo provides both high and low setting options. Similarly, Duo is designed to even make yogurt which Lux canât.
What Is Natural Release Time
Natural release time relies on the following two factors:
The Size of Your Instant Pot
The instant pot is available in 4 different sizes: 3-quart, 5-quart, 6-quart, or 8-quart. The larger the size, the longer it will take for pressure to release.
The 8-quart Instant pot has a larger capacity, so it is likely to build up a larger volume of pressure. On the other hand, a 6-quart and a 3-quart instant pot will take less time to do a natural release.
Whats In the Instant Pot
The natural release process may last anywhere between a couple of minutes to 30 minutes, depending on what you are cooking. If cooking takes less time, the instant pot will have less natural release time and vice versa.
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Turning The Instant Pot Off
There are those who will unplug the pot to allow for the natural release of pressure. Some people will leave the cooker plugged in. At this point, youll notice the display will show L0:00. The L here stands for elapsed time.
If you leave the pot plugged in, it will automatically switch to the Keep Warm mode. But take note that whether the pot is turned on or not, the keep warm setting wont affect the amount of time it will take for the pot to release the pressure naturally.
Its all basically up to you on what you prefer. Personally, Id prefer for the pot to be plugged in so I can see for how long it has already been done.
Season To Your Tastes
just like on the stave, you can cook rice in the coerce cooker with broth or water, function as a lot salt as you like, and add excess seasonings, a tap of butter, or a little olive oil for extra flavor .
What I Do : I sometimes sauté a little garlic in olive petroleum before adding my rice and broth, which turns a basic pot of grains into a flavorful side dish ! You can besides use seasonings such as turmeric and coriander for some Indian-inspired basmati rice, or chili gunpowder for rice to tuck into burrito .
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What Is Instant Pot Natural Release
Natural Release is as it sounds: a method that allows steam to leave the Instant Pot via the small floating valve at its natural rate of venting into the air. Its a slower way of letting off the pressure, so its more suitable for meals with a lot of liquid that might otherwise rise with the steam and splatter.
Q: When Do I Use A Natural Pressure Release
Using a natural pressure release allows the cooking to stop gradually. You dont want to open the valve quickly when the ingredients inside could be foaming. Youll get foam shooting out through the valve, so use a natural pressure release when making steel cut oats, a large pot of soup or pasta.
You also want to use a natural release for large cuts of meat. Just like youd let meat rest after grilling it, a slow natural release is said to let the meat relax and be more tender.
Our Favorite Recipes to use Natural Pressure Release
During a natural release, the cooking continues so you need to take that in to account when determining your cook time. If a recipe calls for a Quick Release, you can use a Natural Release if you prefer, but reduce the cook time.
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Tips & Tricks To Do It The Right Way
The Instant Pot natural release is actually one of the safest ways to use the device. Since you wont be opening the lid until it is actually safe to, theres little to no risk of you coming in contact with hot steam and hurting yourself.
The only thing youll need to keep in mind is the cooking time.
And how do you know that the pressure has been released? Youll hear a small click sound of the float valve dropping down after the cooker has completely cooled down and released all the pressure.
This usually happens 10-25 minutes after youve turned off the cooker. You can then unlock the lid easily. Cool right?
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Let Us Discuss Few More Aspects Of Natural Release In An Instant Pot:
The count-up number is used to keep track of the natural release. Quick-release is when you manually let the instant pot emit the steam while a natural release occurs when you move the valve to the venting position.
Natural release is usually specified by a recipe. If a recipe calls for natural release wait for the release time-lapse then shift to the venting position. Let the steam and pressure release completely and drop down the valve. Open the lid slowly facing away from your face.
Natural pressure release happens when the cook cycle ends, and the steam escapes. The natural pressure release will occur 10-20 minutes after the instant pot completes its cycle.
Natural Release is a viable option if you are cooking foamy food. If you do not use natural release for foamy foods hot steam could come out of the steam release valve or float valve.
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What Should You Use Natural Release Quick Release Or A Combination Of Both
Whatever method you choose, the goal is the same: releasing the steam from the instant pot so you can open it safely and enjoy your cooked food.
The method you use to remove steam from your instant pot will make a difference to your overall output. It can also affect the safe operation of the pressure cooker.
Foods that need to be cooked at a specific temperature, like meat, fish, or poultry should be quickly released as you wont want them to be overcooked.
Alternatively, foods like grains, rice, and dried beans should be naturally released as they benefit from continued cooking in a warm, humid environment with a gradually falling temperature.
Consider turning off the keep warm setting for foods like rice during natural release. If not, the heating element in the bottom of the instant pot will stay on and can even cause burning.
A natural release is recommended for liquid recipes like soups or mac and cheese basically, any recipe where you are dealing with a lot of hot liquid.
To sum it up, the method you use to release the pressure comes down to what you are cooking. Simply follow this rule:
- Use natural release while cooking dried beans, legumes, rice, soup, meat, and other recipes that are mostly liquid
- Use quick release while cooking vegetables, eggs, delicate foods that dont benefit from additional cook time
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