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
Things Not To Do When Quick Releasing
Read Also: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
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.
Read Also: Make Bread In Instant Pot
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.
Some Last Minute Advice
Its critical to use whichever method is best for the dish thats on the menu. Fortunately, most Instant Pot recipes will note whether Quick Release or Natural Release is optimal. Its best to follow these directions as closely as possible, no matter which top Instant Pot is in use.
Of course, many home cooks skip recipes, especially when cooking a family dish from memory. In that case, consumers need to use their best judgment. Remember that Quick Release is used for any dish that needs to be removed from heat immediately, while the Natural Release is for food that can simmer and has a high liquid content.
Either way, check to make sure steam isnt escaping during the cooking process. Its essential that the Instant Pot is sealing correctly to ensure that the food is cooked to perfection.
And finally, some people have found that food turns out best from the Instant Pot by using a combined approach. To do this, allow the Instant Pot to Naturally Release for ten minutes and then flip the release valve to vent the remaining steam. In this way, consumers can get the best of both worlds, and create some truly delicious meals.
You May Like: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
When Do I Use A Quick Pressure Release
Since a Quick Release stops the cooking quickly, it’s used in recipes where you want to avoid overcooking the ingredients.
This is best when you’re cooking vegetables such as asparagus, bok choy, corn, broccoli, or sweet potatoes.
Quick release is also good for delicate foods like hard boiled eggs, seafood, and fish.
Or you do it anytime when you quickly have to stop the cooking process.
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
What Is A Natural Release And Quick Release
To understand the best release method to choose on an Instant Pot, it helps to have a base understanding of how the electric pressure cooker works.
When an Instant Pot is in pressure cooker mode, it traps the steam generated by the food and liquid inside the pot. As steam builds, pressure increases, which in turn raises the boiling point of water. This allows you to cook food faster.
After every cooking cycle, and before you can safely open the Instant Pot, the pressure must be released from the pot no matter what kind of release you use.
Instant Pots automatically regulate the pressure for you, with a release valve in the lid to allow steam to escape. Every multi-cooker on the market, including Instant Pots, have valves that allow you to control what type of released is used. Good Instant Pot recipes factor all of this in, resulting in a perfectly cooked dish.
There are two ways to release pressure in an Instant Pot:
Note: The release valve is designed differently depending on the Instant Pot model. Some have valve and switch combo with a marking to show when the valve is sealing or open. Other models have a separate steam release button that you press, while high-end models allow you to program the type of release and the pot does it automatically at the end of cooking.
Broken Component Of The Natural Steam Release Valve
Whether you got your Instant Pot years ago or are new to pressure cooking, it can be challenging to maintain your little gizmo in good shape. Lids can fall off, and minor accessories such as the steam valve, sealing ring, and so on can become misplaced. Simply put, things happen, which is why its essential to understand how to replace any parts that become worn-down, lost, or broken over time. Of course, at times, it might make more sense to just buy a new instant pot altogether, but a broken release valve is not one of them.
Its normal not to realize your instant pots natural release mechanism is broken until youre halfway through cooking things within it. If some component of the natural steam release valve is broken, your instant pot will not be able to generate any pressure, all while youre ensuring everything is in place. If you figure your steam release valve is broken, replacing it altogether is the only viable option youre left with.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean An Instant Pot
Recommended Reading: How To Install Instant Pot Sealing Ring
How To Make An Instant Pot Naturally Release
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Reheat Soup In Instant Pot
Taking Care Of Your Instant Pot
Its a good idea to give your pressure cooker a good inspection before using it. That way, you know its in tip-top shape before starting to cook.
Remove the stainless steel inner pot. Now, look inside the base. Ensure the heating element is dry, free of dirt, dried-on food, or grease before using your pot.
After cleaning your inner pot with Barkeepers Friend and a non-scratch sponge, make sure its dry before starting to cook or when putting it away.
Make sure the silicone ring fits snugly onto the lid. It should be tear-free, clean, and dry.
Remove the steam release valve by slowly pulling it straight up. Make sure its clean and free of grease and food debris.
If its dirty, use warm running water to clean it. Then place it back on the Instant Pot lid.
Check the float valve to ensure its clean and free of dirt, grease, and dried-on food. Use warm water to clean it, if necessary.
If needed, wash the lid in warm water to clean it. Make sure the top is dry before cooking or putting it away.
Clean the rim of the Instant Pot, both the lid and its threads. I find that dried on food debris is a significant source of burn notices.
Finally, when putting your Instant Pot away, I advise leaving the lid off and upside down for a few days. That way, if the silicone ring is damp or has some lingering food smells, it has some time to air out.
How Long Does Natural Release Take
Natural Release time depends on:
- The size of your Instant Pot 3 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart.
- Whats inside what you are cooking.
8 quart Instant Pot has larger pot , so larger volume of pressure to build up inside. If it is meal type recipe, barely any liquid in final product like Instant Pot chicken breast or Instant Pot teriyaki chicken, Natural Release takes about 10 minutes. For Instant Pot lentil soup for example, it could take as much as 40 minutes for pressure to release fully because the pot is large, and all that hot liquid keeps the steam going.
6 quart Instant Pot takes less time to do Natural Release anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Thats one of the features I like about smaller pressure cooker.
Wondering which size works for you? Check out my post on which Instant Pot to buy?!
Recommended Reading: Can You Put Foil In An Instant Pot
What Is Quick Release
This is the fastest way to release the pressure from your Instant Pot and stop the cooking process. To use the quick release method, turn the steam release handle on the top of the Instant Pot from the sealed position to the venting position. This will allow the excess steam to shoot out of the lid immediately, and the Instant Pot will be depressurized within minutes.
We like using quick release for fast-cooking vegetables like broccoli, or delicate seafood like this lemony poached salmon recipe.
Editors Tip: Be sure to read the safety precautions before using the quick release method!
How Long To Cook Sweet Potatoes In Instant Pot
The size of your sweet potatoes will determine how long they will need to cook. I suggest getting sweet potatoes that are similar in size so that they all cook evenly. All times are cooked on manual high heat with a 5 minute natural pressure release after cooking time ends.
- Small sweet potatoes cook for 15 minutes.
- Medium sweet potatoes cook for 18 minutes.
- Large sweet potatoes cook for 22 minutes.
Don’t Miss: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
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
Quick Pressure Release Safety Precautions
The jet of steam coming out of your Instant Pot is extremely hot. Keep your face and hands away from it.
Make sure the hot steam is kept well out of your childrens reach, too.
Dont let the pressurized steam come in contact with your skin. If you need to touch the hot lid, use kitchen tongs, a wooden spoon, a kitchen towel, or an oven mitt.
As the float valve drops and steam is released, make sure to move your Instant Pot away from low cabinets, walls, and windows. You dont want to damage the finish or paint.
The Quick Pressure Release method is safe as long as you take the right precautions.
Also Check: Meat Setting Instant Pot
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! ð
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
Does Quick Release Make Meat Tough
Quick release does not necessarily make your meat tough. There are many recipes that have a longer cook time, so doing a quick release is better. It really just depends on what you are making.
However, if the recipe calls for a natural release and you do a quick release, then yes your meat could come out tough.
Do you have any other questions about the Instant Pot? If so, share them in the comments below, or visit our post What is an Instant Pot for more information.
You May Like: Tamales In Pressure Cooker
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
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
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.