My Recipe Turned Out Bland
It’s not you, it’s the ‘extra liquid’ that recipes require for the pot to build pressure. THAT waters down flavors.
But, here’s a fix –> After pressure cooking, turn on saute and simmer for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. You’ll see that the flavors concentrate again. This has worked for me 99% of the time when a dish didn’t come out as I expected.
Instant Pot Natural Pressure Release Vs Quick Release
Last updated By Susan
Instant Pot Natural Pressure Release vs. Quick Release -What does it mean when an Instant Pot recipe calls for ” Natural Pressure Release” and/or “Quick Release”? and how do you know which method to use?
One of the first things youll want to understand when cooking in the Instant Pot is how to release the steam thats formed in the pot while youve been pressure cooking. How you release the steam will depend on what you are cooking.
Here’s a visual for the terms we will be talking about.
Anatomy of an Instant Pot
**Please Note- I have the Instant Pot Ultra model and the photo above is of my Ultra- depending on what model you own, the configuration may be slightly different. In some models the steam release valve and the quick release handle are combined.
Does The L Symbol Mean The Same On All Instant Pot Models
Even though all instant pot models are not programmed to have the same features, some features remain the same in all the models.
Having used two different models , and researched thoroughly how the other 7 different models work. Here is what we discovered:
All instant pot models display the L symbol and they all have the same related meaning.
However, the L symbol means different things for different users. Some of the meanings are not stated in their manual, but the shared knowledge can be useful to you.
The three meanings stated above are the basic shared meanings of the L symbol, but the common one known to all is that the L symbol means the instant pot is on low heat. This low heat feature applies to all the instant pot models.
On all instant pot models, whenever the L symbol comes up, it means the food is ready and switched to keep warm mode. It displays automatically near the timer. For some models, you have to set a timer for the keep-warm timeframe.
Instant pot manufacturers use similar and same symbols across all their models, but new programming features for the newer models.
While some symbols differ among other models, the L symbol shares the same meaning.
This is because when any cooking cycle has finished on the instant pot, it automatically enters the low heat mode. If you cancel it, it goes off, but when its left on, it can be on that mode for up to 10 hours when not adjusted.
Also Check: How To Use Instant Pot Cook Rice
Instant Pot Accessories And Parts
Heres a breakdown of the components of Instant Pot.
Upon unboxing your Instant Pot, the first thing youll want to do is wash the parts and accessories. The stainless steel inner pot and steam release valve are dishwasher-friendly. The base unit isnt dishwasher-safe and will require you to wash it by hand and as you do so, avoid immersing it in water.
Did You Know We Have A Podcast
We started the Magic With Gadgets podcast in the January of 2021 as a way to offer a different way to enjoy Recipe This. It focuses on cooking with kitchen gadgets. You can find out more about our podcast here.
With twice weekly episodes through September to December. This is episode 2 of the second season and you have the choice between reading this post, listening to the podcast or both.
If you would like to stay in the loop with our podcast, I recommend you subscribe below:
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When You Want A Quick Pressure Release
Opening an instant pot as soon as your food is ready is dangerous. For recipes that require a quick release of pressure, you can follow the timer count as soon as the L symbol lit up. . So when your food is cooked and you want a quick pressure release, leaving your instant pot on the L symbol is advisable.
In summary, recipes that require you to start up on high heat and finish on low heat can be in the instant pot while the L symbol is lit up. The low heat will serve as the slow cooking mode needed to complement the recipe guide.
B Cooking Liquid: Too Much Liquid
Mistake: On the contrary, when there is too much cooking liquid in the Instant Pot, it will increase the overall cooking time . This may overcook the food.
Plus, too much cooking liquid will dilute the seasoning, resulting in a bland dish.
Solution: Unless stated in a recipe, we recommend new users to use 1 cup of total liquid until they get comfortable with the machine.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Instant Pot Error Codes Deciphered
Instant Pot Terms, Abbreviations, and Jargon to know. Not all abbreviations, cooking functions, or terms are applicable to every instant pot. For instance the 6-in-1 LUX does not have a yogurt function nor does it have the option to set high and low pressure. IP Instant Pot.
C5 Inner pot not seated properly. C2 If your Instant Pot displays a C2 error, unplug it immediately. There is a faulty pressure sensor and has short-circuited. Contact their Customer Support for assistance. C1 If your Instant Pot displays a C1 error, unplug it immediately. There is a faulty pressure sensor.
The best Instant Pots you can buy, including the Duo, Lux, Smart, Ultra, and more. Get a side-by-side comparison of the top-tested Instant Pot models on the market.
Instant Pots newest model is based on the success of their previous model with 7-pre programmed functions, lid slots, etc., but has leapfrogged all multi-cookers to become a smartcooker a cooking appliance with functionality that can be custom programmed by the cook.
5-5-5 or 6-6-6: A method used to prepare eggs in your Instant Pot®. It refers to 5 minutes on high pressure, 5 minutes natural release and 5 minutes ice-bath prior to peeling. Anti-Block Shield: The round metal part with 5 holes underneath the lid.It is designed to prevent food particles from interfering with the steam release valve.
Is This Thing Safe
Its actually safer than conventional cooking or stovetop pressure cooking. Everyone has heard stories about old-time pressure cookers exploding. Your Instant Pot wont do that because the temperature and pressure inside the pots is carefully monitored and regulated through its internal programming.
Remember: Its your trusty cooking robot.
Also Check: Instant Pot Gem Recall
I Cant Seal My Instant Pot Lid
The pot lid can be tricky to lock and unlock without a little practice. If you are new to your Instant Pot, try moving the lid back and forth from the locked position until you get the hang of it. If you know for sure that your lid isnt locking properly, look for food blockages or a sign of a slipped sealing ring. The lid may also be damaged, but this is relatively rare Instant Pot lids are very tough.
Should Instant Pot Valve Be Up Or Down
Make sure that the pressure release valve is in place, and it is set to the Sealing position . If all of these are properly in place, your Instant Pot should be able to build pressure and cook your food. When everything is under pressure, the floating pin of your Instant Pot should be in the “up” position.
Also Check: What Does C7 Mean On Instant Pot
Where Can I Find Instant Pot Accessories
Online retailers such as and big-box stores like Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond will sell many of the Instant Pot accessories mentioned here at an affordable price.
You can even check out the kitchen and appliance section of off-price department stores such as – you never know what may be hiding between those shelves!
One shopping tip – if you’re not in need of the accessories right now, I recommend waiting for long weekends, holiday sales or Amazon Prime Day to get the most bang for your buck!
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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Use Hot Liquid In A Recipe That Calls For Cold Liquid
Mistake: Some users ran into a problem that all their Instant Pot meals were undercooked. We later found that they always start cooking by pouring hot water into the Instant Pot.
Using hot liquid in a recipe that calls for a cold liquid shortens the overall cooking time, because Instant Pot will take a shorter time to come up to pressure.
Since the food starts to cook when Instant Pot is heating up & going up to pressure, and this part of the cooking time is shortened, the food may come out undercooked.
Solution: Use cold liquid to cook or adjust the cooking time stated in the recipe accordingly.
You Can Use Your Instant Pot As A One Pot Wonder
Let me make your day. You can brown meat, add your veggies, add your sauce and cook it all in one pot. Yes the Instant Pot® is truly magical. It has a Saute feature that is AMAZING. I use it often to create an extra layer of flavor. I can brown most of my thawed meat in there creating a beautiful brown crust and then finish by cooking it to completion. Its truly amazing and I recommend you take the time to saute if the recipe calls for it. You wont be mad you did.
You can also use this Saute feature to thicken sauces after cooking. The IP is incredibly healthful in that it cooks with steam so you can remove your meat and veggies and then add some corn starch or arrow root and thicken up sauces beautifully right in the same pot you cooked your food in, capturing all that great flavor left in the sauce and bottom of the pot!
Recommended Reading: How To Cook Venison Roast In An Instant Pot
Need Help Learning The Instant Pot Or Want To Help Family & Friends
Check out the preview for this awesome FREE cheat sheet. It has 14 Instant Pot tips and tricks! And is the perfect list to laminate and post on the fridge or near your own pressure cooker. It will help you remember as you become more familiar or will help others in the household learn to use this great kitchen tool too.
Whats The Big Deal With Instant Pots Anyway
Instant Pots are multifunction, programmable electric pressure cookers. Think of them as little cooking robots.
If youre not familiar with pressure cooking, the entire point of an Instant Pot can be confusing.
The big sell here is pressure cooking is up to 70 percent faster than other ways of cooking. Pressure cookers reach higher temperatures because their lids lock into place without steam escaping, which creates a pressurized environment inside the pot. In this environment, the cooker reaches 250°F .
With pressure cooking on a stove, you have to keep a close eye on the cooker because you regulate the heat source. If you let the burner get too hot, the pressure builds up too much and the cooker spews out angry jets of steam .
But with an electric Instant Pot, the cooker regulates its own heat via sensors. Thats the other win. No need to carefully monitor it as your food cooks. Program the Instant Pot and once its going, youre free to go for a walk, vacuum the living room, check your emailyou get the idea.
Instant Pots can do other things besides pressure cook, too. With the lid off, you can sauté ingredients before pressure cooking. You can also use it as a slow cooker or make yogurt in your Instant Pot. Were not going to worry about doing those things here, though. This guide is all about pressure cooking.
Recommended Reading: Can You Use Crockpot Liners In An Instant Pot
Want More Practice Bring It Back To Pressure
Try it again with the same hot water. This time, press Manual and then adjust the 30 minute default time by pressing the button, then press the + button to go up. Lets do 10 minutes.
You may notice how, if you press Manual and take too long before pressing the other buttons, the cooker will just beep on its own and proceed for 30 a minute pressure cooking time. If you need to re-start, just press Cancel/Keep Warm and start over.
Since the water is in your cooker is already almost boiling to begin with, the cooker will come to pressure a lot faster than it did the first timewithin a minute or so. Itll hiss, then the hissing will abruptly stop as the pressure indicator button goes up. If the hissing just keeps on going, its probably because you left the valve in the venting position instead of sealed. Just use your spoon handle to nudge it back.
What next? Same as before: the cooker beeps, the readout will say 10, and then it will switch to LO:00. You can do quick or natural release, whichever floats your boat.
What Is The Difference Between A Crock Pot And An Instant Pot
Crock–Pots work by slowly heating your food at a constant temperatureso you can prep a meal in the morning and it’ll be all cooked by the time you get home. … The Instant Pot, on the other hand, is an electric pressure cooker, which means it cooks foods faster by controlling the pressure within the pot.
Also Check: How To Reheat Tamales In Instant Pot
What Does C8 Mean On Instant Pot
Thanks in advance, on the other hand, They are designed that when it detects a high temperature > 280 degrees at the bottom of the inner pot that you put the food in, I only need a 6 quart, errored out and shutdown with a C8 on the first recipe I was making with it, 2, Its no longer made and difficult to find, Pot = Instant Pot Example: My DH accidentally poured food in the IP without the pot, Please help, 2019] Phantom Sight Test Server Patch Notes SOLVED C8 Error on boot for no reason : miniSNESmodsI think I hate the Instant Pot, the burn trigger is initiated and it retards heating, 2014[May 28, : Cooking
What Do Npr And Qpr Mean
NPR stands for Natural Pressure release. QPR stands for Quick Pressure Release.
But theres a simpler way to remember all this. NPR means leave it the heck alone.QPR means to terrify the dogs and cats in your house by turning the valve to venting and having that huge hissing sound take over your kitchen.
When a recipe asks you to NPR, its basically saying let the pot sit undisturbed. In this case, you will do nothing except exercise patience, and wait until the float valve drops. At that point, you can open the lid safely and eat.
When a recipe asks you to QPR, you are expected to safely and carefully move the valve from SEALING to VENTING, forcing all the pressure out of the pot quickly. I find a long-handled wooden spurtle to be quite handy during this operation.
You definitely want your hands and face away from the steam valve. This is NOT a good time to try to get a facial.
It is also important to keep the steam away from cabinets. One thing that I find quite handy is a steam diverter.
Also Check: Frozen Meatball Instant Pot Recipes
Cooking Times Are Based On Size Not Weight
This is very important. People often think that times go up as weight goes up. Thats not really the case here. Time goes up as SIZE of the chunk you are cooking goes up.
For example I have a 1 lb pork shoulder and a 3 lb pork shoulder. If I cut my 3 lb pork shoulder into roughly 1 lb chunks I would cook all three of those 1 lb pieces the same amount of time that I would cook the single 1 lb roast.
Larger chunks = more cooking time.
You can find the all the recommended Instant Pot® cooking times and charts here.