Tips & Tricks To Do It The Right Way
The Instant Pot natural release is actually one of the safest ways to use the device. Since you wont be opening the lid until it is actually safe to, theres little to no risk of you coming in contact with hot steam and hurting yourself.
The only thing youll need to keep in mind is the cooking time.
And how do you know that the pressure has been released? Youll hear a small click sound of the float valve dropping down after the cooker has completely cooled down and released all the pressure.
This usually happens 10-25 minutes after youve turned off the cooker. You can then unlock the lid easily. Cool right?
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Natural Release Vs Quick Release On The Instant Pot
One of the main questions I receive about the Instant Pot is about the pressure release methods. You hear the words quick release and natural release being throw around, but what exactly do they mean and how do you know when to use each?
A pressure cooker can be depressurized naturally or rapidly once cooking is complete. Some recipes specify the best method to use, but many do not, and the method you choose can have a big impact on the food you prepare.
Instant Pots cook food by creating steam pressure inside the sealed pot. With the liquid inside the pot heating up, steam forms, which increases the pressure in the pot, ultimately cooking food twice or three times faster than it normally would.
The build up of pressure within the cooker must be released after active cooking is completed. The lid of most electric pressure cookers cant be opened until the pressure is lowered. Electric pressure cookers allow you to do this two ways: naturally or rapidly. Both methods depressurize the cooker, but their processes differ, influencing the food inside.
When youre new to pressure cooking, releasing the pressure seems daunting, especially with the quick release and burst of steam that comes with it. The noise you hear from your pressure cooker shouldnt prevent you from using the Instant Pot. Its perfectly safe and either way you do it, it wont break anything.
> > You might also want to read our Beginners Guide to the Instant Pot.
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When To Use Natural Release
It’s best to use natural release when cooking foods with a lot of water or high starch content because these can splatter a little when you use quick release. It’s also a good option when cooking foods that can only improve from being slightly softer, like chickpeas when used for hummus, since the food inside will keep cooking during the natural release process.
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How To Use Natural Release On An Instant Pot
Ready to try natural release? Heres a step-by-step guide:
If you have kept the keep warm option on it will take even longer. If you want the natural release process to take less time, consider turning this feature off.
If the valve hasnt dropped, it means that theres still pressure inside and youll need to wait.
Turn the venting knob at this time to ensure that the pot has completely depressurized and theres no steam left inside. As said earlier, never force open the lid.
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.
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Advantages Of Magic Release
This pressure release method is something of a compromise between the Natural Release and Quick Release methods. Its a good option to choose when youre not sure which method to use, or the Instant Pot recipe youre using isnt clear about how you should depressurize the pot.
Magic Release also mediates some of the disadvantages of the other two methods. Its faster than Natural Release and gentler than Quick Release, so you can eat sooner and have less of a mess to clean up afterward.
Difference Between Natural Release And Quick Release
The prime difference between the two methods of steam release is that the natural release method lets out steam in a slow and gradual manner. This is opposite to the quick release method which forces the steam out of the instant pot quickly and almost instantaneously.
Also, by releasing the steam slowly, the food gets to stay in the pot while only the steam is thrown out of the steam release valve. On the other hand, releasing the pressure too quickly without waiting for it to take its due course of time results in both the food and the steam to vent out of the valve. This can cause a huge dirt mess in the kitchen.
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When Is It Safe To Open Instant Pot
When I first got my Instant Pot I was both scared and confused. One of the biggest questions during my trial run of using the machine was when do we know if safe to open?
Every Instant Pot has a float valve. Its a metal tip that is often dipped inside the black plastic top of the lid.
When the Instant Pot valve is up and in line with the rest of the plastic the Instant Pot is fully pressurized and can not be opened a safety feature prevents it. Once this valve is down and clicks it is safe to open your Instant Pot.
How To Use Magic Release
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When And How To Use A Natural Release
Because there is so much pressure built up inside the pot, releasing it gradually is gentler than a quick release, but it also adds time. This makes it ideal for foods with longer cook times, like braises, stews, and broths.
It’s also best to use natural release when cooking foods like oatmeal, polenta, and other porridge-like dishes that “would otherwise sputter goop out of a quick release valve, making a mess and potentially clogging the valve,” says Bir.
“Think of natural release not as a time when cooking stops, but when it continues in a more gentle fashion than when it’s under pressure,” says Bir. While the heating element shuts off, the food continues to cook at a slower pace until finally the pressure is released.
If a recipe calls for a natural release, you don’t have to do anything. It’s more of an inaction than action. Once the cook time counts down and the pot beeps indicating time is up, leave it alone. You’ll know that the pressure has released once the float valve pops down into the lid, making a clicking sound. The pot will then unlock and you can open the lid.
Make A Rich Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup With This Instant Pot Soup Recipe
Make a rich hearty vegetable beef soup with this instant pot soup recipe. No all day simmering, this is a quick and easy dinner for any busy . 1 tablespoon olive oil · 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into cubes, or to taste · 5 large carrots, chopped · 1 large yellow onion, chopped · 2 stalks . Preheat the pressure cooking pot using the browning or sauté setting. The stewing beef comes out so . · add oil to the pressure cooking pot. This instant pot beef and vegetable soup is healthy and simple to make in your electric pressure cooker. Add browned beef and any juices in the bowl, the beef broth, the crushed . Add broth, canned tomatoes, stew meat, potatoes, worcestershire sauce and spices to the instant pot. · add beef broth, tomatoes, v8 juice, . Add carrots, beef stock, and diced tomatoes . Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes with a quick pressure release: Set valve to sealing and lock lid in place, .
Quick And Easy Instant Pot Veggie Beef Soup : Beef Noodle Soup | One Pot Recipes – Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes with a quick pressure release:. · add oil to the pressure cooking pot. Add broth, canned tomatoes, stew meat, potatoes, worcestershire sauce and spices to the instant pot. · add beef broth, tomatoes, v8 juice, . Add tomato paste, soy sauce, oregano, celery seed, and bay leaves and stir, cooking 1 to 2 minutes. Make a rich hearty vegetable beef soup with this instant pot soup recipe.
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When Do You Do A Natural Pressure Release
You use a Natural Release in those electric pressure cookers recipes when you want the food to continue cooking.
Since the pressure releases gradually, there’s less movement in the Instant Pot.
This is similar to allowing meats to rest after they’ve roasted. In turn, this keeps meats juicy, tender, and flavorful.
For foamy foods like grains and pasta, doing a Natural Release reduces mess from foam. It also prevents a lot of liquid spurting out of the steam release valve or clogging it.
While Natural Release is the slowest pressure release method, it has advantages like retaining flavor and tenderness in meats.
It’s also an excellent way to avoid foam spurting from the steam release valve when making Instant Pot potato soup, broths, beans, grains, foamy foods. Or recipes with large liquid volume or high starch content like congee and porridge.
How Is Natural Release Different From Quick Release
The basic difference between these two methods is that natural release takes its own time and the quick release will depressurize the pot instantly.
If you wish to cook your food gradually and dont mind letting your food sit as the steam releases, it is best to go with the natural release method. However, if you want to pressure cook and avoid overcooking, going with a quick release method may be better.
Check out this video that explains the difference between natural release and quick release: Using Instant Pot Natural Release and Quick Release.
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What Is Quick Release On An Instant Pot
Instant pots have 2 ways of releasing the pressure from the pot a quick release and natural release. Depending on your time, what you are cooking and how you like to cook will depend on which one you choose to use.
Though the safety latch on the instant pot works the same way with each setting this may also may cause delay in opening your instant pot.
While the quick release is obviously quicker it can also cause mess and be harmful if you are not careful. The quick-release of the steam and pressure can still cause a delay in the pressure fully leaving the pot. Once the instant pot is ready to be opened the small metal latch will have dropped.
If you wish to use the quick release you would be expected to wait roughly 2-5 minutes at the most. Turn the black nozzle to venting until it clicks up, this will completely open the vent to let the pressure out. I suggest using a long tool as to keep your hands away from the steam.
Recommended Foods For Natural Release
Using natural release is good for cooking foods that need prolonged cooking.
For example, cooking foods like beans is better with the natural release method. These foods can withstand the extra cook time as the steam releases, and natural release will ensure they do not get ripped apart from the force of escaping steam.
It is also recommended to use this method for liquid foods like soup, or foamy foods like potatoes and oatmeal. As the steam is released gradually, you wont have to worry about the liquid splattering out of the instant pot and creating a mess around the kitchen.
You can also consider natural release while cooking meat, especially recipes like pot roast. The gradual release of the pressure allows the meat to rest, making it tender and juicier.
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When Should You Use Quick Pressure Release
A quick pressure release method works best when you want to stop the pressure cooking quickly. Go with this technique for cooking delicate foods that can otherwise break when exposed to high pressure.
It is also ideal for foods that you dont wish to overcook. Foods like vegetables, poultry, or pasta can get mushy if cooked for more time than needed. A quick pressure release proves beneficial here.
The quick release method is handy when you have to add ingredients in the inner pot in the middle of the cooking process. Add the required ingredients after quickly releasing the steam and program the instant pot to continue pressure cooking after closing the lid.
Need some recipe inspiration? Here are 29 healthy instant pot recipes that are worth a try.
This is the quickest pressure release method, but you should also take certain precautions while using the quick release method. Dont use quick release for liquid foods like soups as it may splatter along with the steam while creating a huge mess in your kitchen.
Also, keep your hands away while the steam is being released. As the pressurized steam is heated above the boiling point, it is hot enough to even burn your skin severely.
There are two ways to release the pressure quickly:
What Are The Cons
You might be wondering what the drawbacks of this method are. There arent many, but keep in mind that if your instant pot is filled with stock or soup, it can take a very long time to release pressure naturally.
As we mentioned earlier, natural pressure release is a longer process. You may end up overcooking recipes that demand quick pressure release, as the instant pot will keep cooking during the natural release process.
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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.
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The Process Of Using Natural Release In Instant Pot
Now that weve gone through the basic terminology, lets explore how youd use natural release in a recipe!
Add your ingredients and water to the instant pot and program it to cook the way you desire.
This is the cooking stage. Once programmed, the instant pot will go ahead with cooking your food exactly the way you want. Sit back and relax till you hear the beep.
Once the food is pressure-cooked, wait for 10 to 30 minutes till the instant pot cools down and depressurizes on its own. Do not try to open the lid at this stage.
For more info, check out this article from Instant Pot on depressurizing.
The float valve will give you an indication that the steam has been released or not.
In the case when the valve is still up and in line with the top of the lid, give some more time for the pot to release the pressure. If the float valve drops down, it means the steam has been removed. You can open the lid now.
Make sure to turn the setting to venting or press the pressure release button if you have the latest instant pot model. Do this before opening the lid. Its a safe practice to always vent the lid before opening it.
You can open the lid only after the steam is released completely. Check your food, make changes if required, and get ready to eat!
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