How To Use Natural Release On Instant Pot

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What Is Natural Release

Lesson 4: How to Use “Natural Release” in an Instant Pot

Instant Pot natural release is when you allow the Instant Pot to cool down by itself, releasing steam slowly. When the food is done cooking, the Instant Pot will automatically release steam gradually until the float valve drops down. This could take up to 30 minutes.

We recommend natural release for soups and other food with high liquid content.

Disadvantages Of Quick Release

Using Quick Release creates a lot of movement inside the pot. If the pot is very full or youve just cooked something foamy or starchy, this can result in liquid or bits of food spurting out of the release valve and making a mess of your kitchen.

Another side effect of the rapid change in pressure is that some foods can break apart or burst, especially beans. And if youre using Quick Release after cooking something that was meant for Natural Release, its likely your food will come out undercooked or tough.

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.

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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.

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Things Not To Do When Quick Releasing

Instant Pot Natural Pressure Release vs. Quick Release ...
  • Let pressure release under or very close to upper kitchen cabinets. Just unplug and move it a bit if necessary. I know some Instant Pots have short cord. Steam can damage your cabinet doors.
  • Stick your face, arms or fingers right above the steam. Just move release valve to Venting carefully with one finger.
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    Read Also: L On Instant Pot Display

    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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    What Does The Instant Pot Natural Release Do

    The natural release function of your Instant Pot is an incredibly useful feature. It allows your food to stop cooking gradually, and as a result, have a more intense flavor and turn softer too.

    Youll need to keep one little thing in mind though. When youre planning to let the Instant Pot depressurize using the natural release function, youll need to reduce the cooking time, since the food will continue cooking inside for as long as it takes for the pressure to be completely released.

    If you dont do this, you might end up overcooking your food.

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    What About The Quick Release

    On the other hand, the Quick Release Pressure is more commonly known as the QPR. This is the process of letting all the pressure from the pot to escape quickly. To do this, simply move the valve to the venting from the sealing. This way, you will release both pressure and steam.

    When doing this, make sure that theres no cabinet above the cooker or anything that will get hit directly by the steam. Also, keep your face and hands away for your safety.

    Keep A Positive Mindset

    How to Use Instant Pot: Natural Release & Quick Release

    When we surveyed our readers about their initial experience with the Instant Pot, many users had the advice to just have fun with the pressure cooker! Set aside any expectations, know the Instant Pot is an exceptionally safe kitchen device, and try something new. Even if it doesnt go according to plan, it should boost your confidence.

    Over to you! Do you have any further questions about how to use the Instant Pot as a beginner? What foods or recipes do you plan to cook first? Anything else we can help you with? Leave your feedback and comment below!

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    Is It Better To Slow Cook Or Pressure Cook

    Slow Cooker: Which One Is Right for You? A pressure cooker uses hot steam and pressure to quickly cook food, such as dried beans, faster than conventional cooking methods. Slow cookers use lower temperatures and longer cooking times to slowly cook food, such as meat and stews.

    How To Do A Pressure Cooker Quick Release

    After the cooking cycle finished, carefully move the venting knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to quickly release the pressure inside the pressure cooker.

    Usually it takes a few minutes to release all the pressure. Wait until the Floating Valve completely drops before opening the lid.

    The steam shooting out maybe intimidating at first. Using a wooden spoon or wear oven mitt/silicone glove to move the Venting Knob may help. You will get used to it

    Whats the advantage?

    Whats the catch?

    • Not suitable for food with large liquid volume or high starch content . Food content may splatter out from the Pressure Release Valve.
    • Foamy food may clog the Pressure Release Valve.
    • Food, especially beans may break apart due to the sudden change in pressure/temperature.
    • If the recipe is designed for Natural Pressure Release, the food may come out undercooked.

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    How Is It Different From Quick Release

    So you see a quick release option too, and youre wondering how exactly it is different from the Instant Pot natural release function.

    Well, the natural release function releases the steam in the pot to release naturally, without you needing to take any action. Once the cooker has cooled down and the heat has dissipated on its own, you can open the lid.

    In contrast, the quick release needs you to release the handle from the sealing to the venting position, which helps the cooker depressurize and quickly remove the pressure.

    How To Natural Release Instant Pot

    How to double Instant Pot recipes

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    Everything you need to know about How to Natural Release Instant Pot vs. Quick Release, when its safe to open the lid, and how long it takes.

    Dont have an Instant Pot yer or new to it? Check out our Instant Pot guide, start learning the basics with beginner Instant Pot recipes and also browse our Instant Pot healthy recipes.

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    Quick Release In Bursts

    This is a slower form of the quick release method, and also has a variety of benefits! The quick release in bursts will stop your cooking process instantly.

    Here, the steam is released in small bursts, so you avoid messy froth and food from splattering out of the steam release valve. This method is faster than a timed natural release and slower than a quick release.

    How Long Does The Instant Pot Take To Warm Up

    An instant pot takes about 10-15 minutes to warm up depending on the number of contents present in the instant pot. The more the contents inside the instant pot, the longer It will take to come to pressure. The pressure is released from the instant pot in two ways.

    In a quick or natural release, the control knob above the pot from the seal is tuned resulting in quick depressurization of the pot. In case of a slow-release, the pot is allowed to sit and release pressure slowly and naturally. This is particularly important when cooking delicate foods like beans.

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    What Is The 10 Minute Natural Pressure Release

    A: The 10 minute natural pressure release is a technique that helps relieve the symptoms of anxiety and stress. It involves sitting on the floor with your legs crossed, leaning back against a wall, and placing your hands behind your head. You should also close your eyes and breathe deeply for about 10 minutes.

    Instant Pot Steam Setting

    Instant Pot Natural Release vs Quick Release + BONUS Tips

    The Steam setting on the Instant Pot is perfect for cooking vegetables, fish and seafood, tofu and any other food that is suitable to steaming. This function uses Low pressure, which helps to avoid overcooking the food and means that the Instant Pot will come to pressure quicker. You need to use the trivet/steam rack provided to elevate food from cooking liquid. Always use QR to prevent food from overcooking. Below is how to use the Steam setting on Instant Pot.

    • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add a cup of water to the inner pot and place the trivet on top. You can place the vegetables or a piece of fish or thinly sliced chicken on top of the trivet OR you can use an additional steam basket or a round pan with holes that fits inside the pot. A steamer basket might be useful for smaller-sized vegetables or cut-up vegetables to prevent them from falling into the water.
    • Secure and lock the lid. Press the Steam button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at Low pressure for 10 minutes. If you press the Steam button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More.

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    My Recipe Says To Do A Natural Release Followed By A Quick Release Help

    Not to worry, many recipes have you do this.

    First, you perform an Instant pot Natural Release for a certain amount of time, usually 10 or 15 minutes.

    Then you to a Quick Pressure Release to toggle the steam release valve to quickly vent any remaining pressure.

    Finally, you release any remaining pressure by moving the top of the Instant Pot from the sealed position to completely open. Just be careful to do this slowly.

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    First Thing You Should Do With Your Instant Pot

    When you first receive your Instant Pot, the first thing you should do is to take time to read the guidelines set on the instruction manual that the pot comes with.

    Then conduct a water test. After that, look for recipes that you can cook using the pot. There are tons of resources online that you can refer to for ideas on what to cook on your instant pot, so check them out.

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    Which Should You Use

    Which release method you choose depends on what kind of food youre cooking. Rick Martinez, host of Food Networks Pressure Point and resident Instant Pot expert follows this simple rule, “Generally, foods that are cooked to a specific temperature, like meat, fish and poultry should be quick released so they don’t continue to cook. Foods like rice, grains and dried beans should be naturally released because they benefit from continued hydration in a warm, humid environment with a gently falling temperature.” Natural release or a partial natural release is also your best choice for soups, mac and cheese and runny braises where you are dealing with a lot of hot liquid a quick release could cause it to spew out of the valve everywhere.

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    After the cooking cycle finished, wait until the Floating Valve completely drops before opening the lid.

    Always turn the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to ensure all the pressure is released before opening the lid.

    This pressure release method usually takes 10 25 minutes .

    Whats the advantage?


    Since the pressure is released gradually, there is less movement in the pressure cooker. Your stock and soup come out cleaner and food are more likely to stay intact.

    Whats the catch?

    • A pot full of stock or soup takes very long to release pressure naturally.
    • If the recipe is designed for Quick Pressure Release, the food may overcook, as the cooking process continues during the natural release process.

    The Hybrid of Quick Release and Natural Release

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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.

    Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn

    The Instant Pots burn message simply means that your Instant Pot has detected that its inner pot has gotten too hot. There may be a slight amount of burned food at the bottom of your pot, but not enough to ruin whatever youre cooking. Instead of continuing on with this warning, your Instant Pot will actually stop the cooking process to prevent further burning.

    There are a number of reasons your Instant Pot will display its burn message. Most of these involve mishaps that may occur during the cooking process, like not adding enough liquid or forgetting to adjust the steam valve to the sealing position. Once you figure out what youve done wrong, correcting the error is easy. Heres what may be triggering the burn notice and the precautions you can take to prevent it.

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    When And How To Use A Quick Release

    “Use a quick release when you want to get into the cooker fast,” says Bir.

    Rather than letting your food sit in the cooker as the pressure slowly releases, a quick release calls for action. The valve is opened manually and all of the pent-up steam comes rushing out. “Manual is handy when you have quick-cooking foods, like tender greens or seafood, that would become overcooked with the slower process of a natural release,” says Bir.

    Some quick, one-pot meals also call for quick releases as well as pasta dishes. Pay close attention to what a recipe calls for, since using the wrong release can not only ruin a dish, but also make a serious mess in your kitchen. If the pot is very full or the dish inside has foamed up, the valve will not only release steam but sputters of hot liquid.

    To use the quick release function, turn the steam handle release knob or press the steam release button on the Instant Pot lid. If your valve and steam release are all one mechanism, Bir recommends using a long-handled spoon to push the valve from sealing to open as an extra safety measure against steam burns. Once all of the pressure has released, the float valve will descend and the lid will unlock.

    Quick tip: “Always remember steam is hotter than boiling water, and it can cover a lot of surface fast. Steam burns suck,” says Bir. Keep your hands and face clear of the lid for the entire time it is releasing pressure.

    Do You Turn Instant Pot Off For Natural Release

    Instant Pot Natural Release vs Quick Release

    No, you dont. You can be sat on the sofa and let the natural release happen while you are in the middle of a Netflix marathon.

    Because what happens is that the instant pot beeps and then goes straight into natural release mode.

    Therefore, what I do, is sit on the sofa and relax when I put the instant pot on. Then when I hear the instant pot beep that the food is done, I set the timer on my watch.

    I set it for an approximate time that I feel it will take for the instant pot to naturally release its pressure. Then I head to the kitchen and check on the food.

    If its a recipe that calls for a 5 minute natural pressure release, yes I am talking to you instant pot macaroni pasta salad, then I will set my watch to 5 minutes and then go to the instant pot when it hits the correct time.

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