Instant Pot Natural Release vs Quick Release is two functions for releasing pressure from the Instant Pot, Rice Cooker, etc. However, if you are a new instant Pot, you may need help to operate these functions when essential after cooking.
Here is a quick explanation of Instant Pot’s Natural vs Quick Pressure Release:
- Natural and Quick Release is used to alleviate pressure from inside the Instant Pot after cooking.
- Natural Release refers to depressuring Instant Pot’s inside naturally and gradually.
- The Quick Release method is the opposite, where you forcibly and quickie release the pressure inside the Instant Pot by opening the pressure valve.
Yes, Instant Cooker is very easy to use with accessible operating functions. But as you come across new Instant Pot recipes, you’ll see that Natural Release and Quick Release after cooking are necessary to ensure flawless meals.
Thus, you should understand everything about Natural Release vs Immediate Release thoroughly.
How Does Pressure Cooking Work in Instant Pot?
Before knowing what Natural Release vs Quick Pressure Release is, let’s briefly figure out what pressure cooking is. That way, you will also under why pressure is so essential.
In the Pressure Cooker mode, the Instant Pot boils the food and water inside it quickly. After that, it uses the created steam pressure to cook food much faster as the steam pressure increases the boiling point of water.
After the cooking cycle is over, the steam pressure takes a lot of time to subdue on its own, and only then you can open the Pot safely. Opening the Instant Pot without releasing pressure can lead to injuries.
Moreover, pressure release plays a significant role to get you a perfectly cooked dish in an instant. Therefore, there are two ways to depressurize the steam from the Instant Pot.
So, you must do either Natural Pressure Release or Quick Pressure Release after cooking.
What Is Natural Release on Instant Pot?
You already have a brief idea about what is Natural Release on Instant Pot. So, here is some detailed information for you:
The Natural Pressure Release is just how it sounds, a natural, safe, and very useful method. Regarding this, the Chef and Food Editor Sara Bir says, “The easiest pressure release of a cooker is Natural Release”.
Further, the method to carry out the Natural Release is the easiest. You just need to let the Instant Pot or Cooker sit till the steam pressure naturally escapes and the pressure inside the pot is optimal.
The Instant Pot Natural Release time is usually only 5 minutes or sometimes as long as an hour. Thus, if you are not in a hurry, wait until the pressure inside the cooker returns to normal.
Remember that while natural release happens, it can take time and make a hissing noise. Hence, let’s find out what is Quick Pressure Release.
What Is Quick Release on Instant Pot?
The Quick Pressure Release is also called the manual/steam release, which is not natural or automatic. If you want to carry out a quick steam release, you just need to open the steam valve on the Instant Cooker.
This will let the steam release into the air in a supervised stream. Moreover, this manual or Intermittent pressure release is more common than the Natural Release as delicate foods may overcook if the steam is not out fast.
As well, Instant Pot Quick Release time is only just about 30 seconds to up to 5 minutes. So, if you happen to make something that is very delicate and worry that the food may overcook use the Quick Release on the cooker.
Note: The pressure release valve operates differently depending on the different Instant Pots and Cookers models. Therefore, some consist of a valve release button, and other comes with switch and valve settings.
However, a few high-tech models let you program the pressure release function and automatically initiate it after the cooking cycle ends.
When to Use a Natural Release on Instant Pot?
Since there is so much pressure inside the cooker, Natural Release is more efficient and gentler. Therefore, this approach is better suited for meals that take longer to cook and don’t get overcooked easily, such as broths, curry, stews, braises, etc.
Moreover, it is also ideal to use natural pressure release after cooking porridge-like meals like oatmeal, polenta, congee, and many more.
Even the renowned chef Bir says, “Natural Release is the best release for porridge-like foods or else Quick Release will sputter the dish and may make a huge mess by clogging the valve ”.
Yes, it sounds like wasting time, and waiting is unbearable when you’re hungry. However, the food inside the Instant Pot keeps on cooking slowly till there is no more buildup pressure.
Thus, this No Action matter will make your meals taste better with a richer texture.
How to Use a Natural Release?
If an Instant Cooker/Pot recipe requires a natural pressure release, you don’t need to do anything. That’s right, the action is inaction, aka doing nothing.
So, after the Pot beeps indicating the cooking cycle is complete, leave it be for a few moments.
In case you are wondering, after the buildup pressure escapes, the float valve will make a popping sound and then pop into the Pot’s lid.
When to Use a Quick Release on Instant Pot?
The Quick Release is the best approach if you want to eat the steamy food right away. Moreover, this also helps to keep your delicate food from overcooking.
As well the food specialists also recommend using the Quick Release while making foods such as rice, seafood, vegetables, pasta, etc. Nobody likes to end up with soggy greens or textureless fish on their plate after the Natural Release process.
That’s why you shouldn’t allow particular foods to settle in Pot and depressurize slowly on their own. Regarding this, if you need to release pressure from the Cooker quickly, open the float valve manually to let out all the pressurized steam in a controlled manner.
Moreover, the easy one-pot meals require manual pressure release to avoid ruining the dish. Therefore, you must make sure you go through the Instant Pot recipe carefully to ensure what release it needs.
However, if your dish is all foamy and overflowing in the Pot, using Quick Release may make a mess in the kitchen and the float valve.
So, be careful and choose pressure release methods wisely. Of course, the Instant Pot recipes will never cause any issues.
How to Use a Quick Release?
After your Instant pressure cooking is complete, pressure release is essential. Here are the detailed steps to perform Quick Pressure on Instant Pot:
- Rotate the Steam handle or push the Steam Release switch.
- If your Instant Pot’s steam release and valve have a single mechanism, follow the next step.
- Turn the steam release valve to the Vent position (Recommended: Use a long wooden spoon to push move the valve for safety purposes).
- After that, a stream of steam will come out of the valve (Keep your face and hands away at a safe distance).
- When all the pressure is released, the steam release will fall down to the seal position.
- Now, you can press cancel and open the Pot lid.
Pro Tip: Steam burns happen, and they can get worse than water-boiling burns. So, keep a safe distance between your hands and face from the direction stream discharging.
How Long Does Natural Release Take?
The duration of natural release can vary depending on the specific recipe, the amount of pressure built up in the cooker, and the size and type of pressure cooker being used. Generally, it can take 5 to 40 minutes or even longer.
For stovetop pressure cookers, you can turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally once the cooking is done. It typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes, but it can take longer if you cook larger quantities of food or if the pressure cooker is full.
For electric pressure cookers, the natural release time can be a bit longer due to the slower rate of pressure release. It can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes or more.
During the natural release, it’s important to let the pressure release on its own without using the quick-release valve or any other methods to release the pressure manually.
It allows the food to continue cooking in the residual heat and helps prevent sudden pressure changes that could lead to food splattering or overcooking.
So, always refer to the specific recipe or the manufacturer’s instructions for your pressure cooker model for the recommended natural release time.
Useful Tips to Follow While Releasing Pressure
Here are some tips that will help you with releasing the steam pressure of your Instant Pot after cooking:
- All models of Instant Pot contain an automatic lid-locking mechanism that activates when the steam pressure buildup inside. This lessens the possibility of casualties and makes your cooking experience safer. Thus, after cooking, when pressure is no longer buildup, the lid will unlock on its own.
- Long-term steam exposure on a fixed position can make the paint or warp wood of kitchen cabinets strip off. So, you should ensure that the valve’s position is away from the cabinets and that nothing wears off.
- A few Instant Cooker recipes first need a Natural Pressure Release for a few minutes and afterward, Quick Pressure Release. This process lets the food cool down moderately, decreases the foamy texture, and avoids the Quick Release from splattering hot liquids through the venting valve.
- Cooking in Instant Pots is faster and effortless. But there are factors you must store in mind. Many Instant Pot recipes have calculated cook time along with estimated pressure release time and release method. If you want to achieve better cooking results, you must follow the instructions about timing, pressure release, and build altogether.
- Some models of Instant Cookers take more time to discharge the pressure in both quick and Natural Release modes. Such as Ultra Release refers that a release will need some extra long time, whether it is Natural or Quick.
- In case, you already waited 30-40 minutes to let the Cooker release pressure; you can most likely use Quick Release to get rid of the remaining pressure. Don’t worry; this will not negatively impact your sensitive dish at all.
- You must frequently examine whether the float valve is clogged or not. Further, cleaning the valve every few days is better to remove clogging, which may disrupt its functions.
The Natural Release vs Quick Release ends here. These are the two ways; you apply when you want to flush out the trapped steam pressure of the cooking Pot. Both release methods are essential to make your meals tastier.
After you get used to Instant Pot functions, you will find yourself commonly using both Quick Release and Natural Release after every cooking. Just remember to be careful while applying Quick Release, and happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
Yes, you should definitely turn it off in order to ensure that the pressure inside the pot dissipates naturally. For best results, letting the steam inside the pot escape slowly and naturally is important, which can be achieved by turning off the heat.
Natural Release will only take up to 5 to 40 minutes and mostly an hour rarely. But, the release time may change depending on the Instant Pot models.
The Natural pressure release happens naturally and slowly. However, the Quick Pressure release happens when we change the valve’s position to let the pressure go down quickly.
Natural Pressure Release is better, simpler, and there’s no action required. But both Natural and Quick Pressure Release plays a vital role for different Instant Cooker dishes.