What Is An Instant Pot
Instant Pot is a multicooker an all-in-one convenient kitchen tool. It plays the role of a pressure cooker, a steamer, a warming pot, and much more.
The instant pot has gained popularity in recent years as it has proved handy for people who want to pressure cook food quickly without any hassle. You can read more about the specifics of this device here.
The top three benefits of using an instant pot rather than a pressure cooker are:
Using an instant pot to slow cook healthy meals can bring some exciting new recipes to your kitchen! If youre planning to use an instant pot to prepare healthy meals for your family, this post on how to eat healthy using an instant pot will make it easier for you.
If you dont have one yet and are planning to buy, know that there are various sizes of instant pot available on the market. The size you choose to purchase will depend on how you intend to use your instant pot.
If you are confused with the size that will fit your requirements, check out this post on which instant pot you should buy for some helpful tips!
Advantages Of Natural Release
Using Natural Release, the pressure inside the Instant Pot drops gradually over time. Theres less movement going on inside the pressure cooker, which can be a very good thing when your pot is extremely full or youre cooking something frothy like beans or grains.
The Natural Release method is also useful when youre cooking big cuts of red meat. The slow and steady release of pressure gives the meat time to rest and reabsorb its own moisture, resulting in juicer and more tender meats.
When Should I Use Quick Release
Quick Release is used to prevent your food from overcooking. Some dishes are sensitive, such as when cooking chicken in an Instant Pot or Macaroni and Cheese. The last thing anyone wants is for chicken to become rubbery or mac and cheese to be too mushy.
To prevent these things from happening, its essential to complete the cooking process as fast as possible. Using the Quick Release does just that.
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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.
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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Instant Pot Meat/stew Setting
The meat and stew setting is best for cooking large or tough cuts of meat at high pressure. This button can be used for cooking meat pieces in a little broth or stews that contain meat in them. Below is how to use the Meat/Stew setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add meat, seasonings and liquids to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Meat/Stew button. The default Instant Pot meat setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 35 minutes, which is suitable for most dishes like beef stew or pulled pork. If you press the Meat/Stew button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .
- Less mode 20 minutes at High pressure for soft texture meat great for diced steak, pork or lamb, pork or beef ribs, ground meat like when making taco meat or Bolognese sauce, and most stews that use diced or ground meat.
- Normal mode 35 minutes at High pressure for very tender meat texture great for slightly larger pieces of meat and for stews that use tougher cuts of meat like Beef Bourguignon.
- More mode 45 minutes at High pressure for fall-off-the-bone texture great for pork shoulder, beef pot roast or lamb roast.
If desired, use the / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.
When Do I Use A Natural Pressure Release
A natural pressure release is best used when youre cooking something with a lot of liquid or starch, like soups, stews, and porridge. As the steam in your Instant Pot rises, it carries along with it drops of liquid in these foods, which may be colored, sticky, and/or oily.
Natural release prevents this liquid from rising too quickly and making a mess by splattering across your kitchen. Just make sure the Instant Pot recipe you use takes the natural release into account in its timing, as the remaining heat can still cook your food as steam is released, with the potential to overcook it.
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Is There A Silent Pressure Cooker
In fact almost every electric pressure cooker is virtually silent. They all make only the smallest bit of noise when they vent steam and the very end of a cooking cycle. The absolute quietest pressure cooker that will be the best value to the most amount of people will probably be the Instant Pot IP-LUX 60 V3.
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How To Know When Instant Pot Natural Release Is Done
Instant Pot is a trendy kitchen tool. Using it in your daily life cooking isnt that hard. With its user manual and less complex equipment, it gets quite handy even for amateur cooks to go on a wild cooking journey. Although, it is quite intimidating to cook with Instant Pot, especially for newbie cooks, when it comes to knowing if the natural pressure release is done or not. You can easily find out if the natural release is done when the float valve is at the level of the lid. In this way, Instant Pot would not be sealed and the natural pressure release would be done. However, there is much more to the natural release of the Instant Pot, we will walk you through all the relevant details in this article. Stay with us!
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Go Back To The Instant Pot App
Once youve connected your mobile device to the Instant Pot ad hoc network, close the Settings app and again bring up the Instant Pot app. Youll notice that now, the app is trying to activate your Instant Pot on your Instant Pot account. See this pictured next. This page shows a mobile phone and a cloud, with a line between them where a blip of light is running back and fourth between them. Presumably, this means that your mobile device, the Instant Pot, and the cloud servers at the Instant Pot company, are exchanging data to establish the linkage.
After perhaps fifteen seconds, your smart WiFi cooker connects to the WiFi network you picked when you connected your mobile device to it in step 3 above.
When that happens, you get the Connection Successful page in the Instant Pot app, as shown in the next screenshot.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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Q: What Is An Intermittent Pressure Release
An intermittent pressure release is the best of both worlds. Its a way to quickly release pressure for foods such as pastas, soups, and certain grains, which are prone to foaming or spitting if you try to release pressure with a quick release but would be overcooked with a natural pressure release.
With this method, you open and close the pressure release valve in short intervals. This allows the pressure to escape more quickly than a natural pressure release and also prevents foam from coming out of the pressure release valve.
With some foods, one or two closed intervals is all I need before I can leave the valve in the Venting position with other foods, if the foaming is particularly bad, I will close the valve and wait a minute or two, then slide the valve to Venting again and continue opening and closing the valve as needed.
Favorite Recipes with Intermittent Pressure Release
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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.
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.
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What Is Natural Release On An Instant Pot
When using your Instant Pot on pressure cooker mode, the lid can’t be opened until the pressure inside reduces to normal levels. Natural release is when the Instant Pot naturally releases the pressurized steam inside at its own pace over the course of around 30 minutes. All Instant Pots with a pressure cooker function allow for natural release, including two of our favorites: the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus.