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.
Timed Natural Release A Mix Of Quick Release And Natural Release
A Timed Natural Release is a hybrid version of the natural release and quick release methods.
This method is handy when you do not have much time on your hands, but your recipe demands a natural release process. Here, you get the benefit of both steam releasing naturally as well as quickly while the food continues to cook during the waiting period.
What Is The Difference Between A Quick Pressure Release Or Natural Pressure Release And When Do I Use Them
Those are often the first questions new pressure cooker users ask. So I thought it would be a perfect time for a post explaining it for all those who have an electric pressure cooker or multi-cooker like the Instant Pot waiting for them under the tree.
When the cook time ends, your pressure cooker will beep. At this point, the recipe will direct;you to release the pressure in the cooking pot. You can release the pressure two ways: a quick pressure release or a natural pressure release.
I really like the way the Instant Pot summarizes the two pressure releases:
Now for the details:
Also Check: Instant Pot Food Burn
Is Natural Release Safe
Yes, this method is safe. Natural release doesnt require you to move the steam valve manually, so there isnt as high a risk of coming into contact with hot steam. However, the natural release method is not always your best choice. Food continues to cook during this process, leading some foods to overcook. For those, youd want to opt for the quick release method.
Whatever method is used, just be sure the steam isnt being released during the cooking processthats one of the Instant Pot mistakes everyone makes. If youre wondering how an Instant Pot differs from an old school pressure cooker, we looked at the Instant Pot vs. a pressure cooker and found which one reigned supreme.
Quick Release Vs Natural Release Instant Pot
When you start using your Instant Pot, you will notice that some recipes call for quick release, others for natural release, and some for a combination of both methods. This question of pressure release can be confusing at first, and for new pressure cooker users, it can be worrying. In this article, we are going to compare quick release vs natural release Instant Pot.
Doing a quick release of pressure, where you remove the pressure and steam from the pot immediately, can seem dramatic and potentially dangerous because it can generate a lot of steam. Leaving the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally is less hectic but not always suitable for your recipe.
Releasing the pressure is a very important part of the cooking process. So how do you do it, and what does it all mean?
Quick release often abbreviated to QR or QPR in cooking instructions is where you turn the pressure valve to the quick release setting in order to open the vent and expel all the steam once the cooking cycle has been completed. This is signaled by a series of beeps in most Instant Pot models
Once the steam has been fully expelled from the pot, you will notice that the float valve drops down. When this happens, it is safe to open the Instant Pot.
This method is used when the food needs to immediately stop cooking so that it does not spoil or go mushy such as vegetables. It is also important for meals that you must not overcook.
Read Also: What To Do When Instant Pot Says Food Burn
Any Other Variations You Need To Know
- If you get the 8 quart model of the DUO, it will have longer pressurizing times, longer release times for it to depressurize, etc.. Thats simply because its bigger. And theres even a smaller 5qt version, but unless youre single I would at least opt for the 6qt.
- There is also a bluetooth model to control your pressure cooker remotely.
- If you cook bread a lot or anything that needs to rise, the 7-in-1 is a better option because the yogurt function can be the warm spot to proof your dough.
In the end, if you havent already purchased one, get the one that fits your budget and lifestyle the best. Theyre all great.
If youre looking for a great place to find recipes and get help, check out my co-run group,Instant Pot Recipes for Busy Parents & Families.
Q: What Is An Abbreviated Natural Pressure Release
The different types of pressure releases can also be combined. You dont have to wait for all the pressure to release to get the benefit of a natural pressure release.
In many of my recipes, I will let the pressure release naturally for a certain number of minutes, then I will finish with a quick pressure release.
I almost always only wait 10 minutes before I release the remaining pressure. Combining the two release options reduces waiting time yet gives you many of the benefits of a natural pressure release, such as reducing foam and tenderizing meats.
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
Instant Pot Natural Release Method
Remember our soda can example? What happens when you wait a bit before opening a shaken or dropped can of soda? I guess nothing happens. It opens very normally. This is the Instant Pot Natural Release Method.
Waiting 10-30 minutes allows the pressure in the Instant Pot to drop naturally. Once the heat source is turned off, the temperature starts to drop. As the temperature drops, the pressure also drops. Once the Instant Pots temperature drops below 200 degrees, the floating valve will fall to the down position. The Instant Pot is no longer pressurized and is safe to open.
So when is it best to use the Instant Pot Natural Release Method?
Resting meat after grilling allows the natural juices to reabsorb into the meat. The same is also true for the Instant Pot. Foamy foods like oatmeal and soup are also great candidates for natural release.
Whats The Difference Between Natural Release And Rapid Release For Pressure Cookers
Natural release and rapid release are two common methods used to depressurize a pressure cooker once active cooking is complete. While some recipes indicate which method to use, many dont, and the method you choose can have a big impact on the food inside. Heres what you need to know.
In short, pressure cookers use steam pressure that builds up inside the closed pot to cook food. As it heats up, the liquid inside forms steam, which raises the pressure in the pot, ultimately cooking food at double to triple the normal rate.
After active cooking is complete, the pressure built up inside the cooker needs to be released. Most electric pressure cookers have a safety mechanism that prevents the lid from opening until the pressure has been lowered. Theres two ways this can be done with electric pressure cookers: natural release and rapid release. While both depressurize the cooker, the process for each differs, and has an impact on the food inside.
Also Check: What To Do When Instant Pot Says Food Burn
How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt Cups
Yogurt cups are a convenient way to portion out your yogurt into individual or smaller servings.; After adding the starter culture to the pasteurized or warm milk, carefully pour the milk into your yogurt cups and seal them tightly.;Clean the inner pot thoroughly and place the steam rack/trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the sealed yogurt cups on the steam rack and add water to the inner pot until the cups are submerged halfway. Follow steps in Fermenting Yogurt above.
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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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
HP High Pressure
LP ; Low Pressure
QR Quick Release This means you are releasing the pressure by turning the pressure valve to the open position immediately after food is finished cooking.
There will be hot steam coming out of the top, so make sure your hand isnt covering the opening and that you dont scare yourself!
NPR Natural Pressure Release This allows the pressure to come down on its own without releasing the valve and takes a little bit of time. It will also vary based on if you have a 6 quart or 8 quart pressure cooker.
PIP Pot in Pot This means using another container inside of your Instant Pot. Since the Instant Pot does not get as hot during pressure cooking as ovens while baking, you can use any oven-proof container such as glass, stainless steel, or silicone cups.
Sealing Ring ;The silicone ring that sits inside the lid. This is what seals the pot, if it is not properly installed and in place, your food will not cook properly.
Pressure Valve ;The black valve on the top of the lid that seals or releases pressure. There are to settings for it sealing and venting.
Instant Pot Natural Release Not Working Heres How To Fix It
Instant pots are popular among many households and are great for cooking tasty meals in half the time.
An instant pot natural release can be broken and not work due to a mechanism that is stuck or a smaller piece of food such as rice or grains is stuck and causing the natural release to stick. This can be fixed by replacing the valve or cleaning the valve after each use.
In this article, we are going to talk about what can cause an instant pot natural release to stop working, how to fix and what you should be doing to care for your instant pot.
Read Also: Can The Instant Pot Lid Go In The Dishwasher
Instant Pot Steam Setting
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.
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.
To Keep Warm Or Not To Keep Warm
A lot of people, myself included, have wondered if the Keep Warm setting has an impact on how pressure is released from the Instant Pot. After plenty of research and experimentation on my own, Im ready to share what Ive learned! 🙂
The Keep Warm function is active by default, meaning that unless you turn it off, the Instant Pot will engage that function as soon as the cooking timer goes off. When Keep Warm is activated, it uses the heating element to maintain a low level of heat, and it starts a reverse timer that displays how many minutes have elapsed since the cooking process stopped.
The;Keep Warm mode does NOT have a significant impact;on how long it takes for pressure to release fully, regardless of which method youre using. That means that if youre using Natural Release after cooking a big pot of chili, you wont have to wait longer just because Keep Warm is active.
In my opinion, theres really no harm in leaving Keep Warm on when youre cooking in your Instant Pot, and it can be useful for keeping dinner warm between first and second helpings. And a lot of times that timer function can really come in handy, especially when using Magic Release!
Important Instant Pot Safety Tips
How To Do A Quick Release In Bursts
A quick release in bursts can take up to 5 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.
Recommended Reading: How Long To Cook Chili In Instant Pot
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.
Why Is The Natural Release On My Instant Pot Not Working
The process of natural release on an instant pot is a fairly simple one pressure builds during the cooking period due to steam forming within the pot. The instant pot is a sealed environment, which means that the steam cannot escape, and pressure builds.
To cut a long story short, the natural release on your instant pot wont be working because a component that causes pressure to be kept within the pot will be broken. This could be several different components within the pot, including the steam release value or the sealing ring which sits inside the lid of your instant pot.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fix anything that may be wrong with your instant pot these appliances are designed to last.
Recommended Reading: Can The Instant Pot Go In The Dishwasher
What Is The Difference Between The Natural Release And Quick Release
The above explanation states that if you leave the pressure cooker for a while until the steam releases naturally while going back to normal, it is a natural release. It can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the food inside.
On the other hand, if you decide to release the pressure right away by pushing the knob, it is a quick release. This process can take up to 2 to 5 minutes.