Instant Pot Natural Release vs. Quick Release

Instant Pot Natural Release vs. Quick Release

Quick Pressure Release (QPR or QR) & Natural Pressure Release (NPR or NR) are 2 methods to release the pressure from your Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot.

It is super easy to master these 2 pressure release methods.

First, let’s learn a few basics of your pressure cooker’s lid:

Instant Pot Natural Release vs. Quick Release

Look closely at your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker’s lid. There’s a Floating Valve (metal pin) and a Venting Knob.

Noticed the Sealing Position and Venting Position on the lid?

How to do a Pressure Cooker Quick Release?

After the cooking cycle finished, carefully move the venting knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to quickly release the pressure inside the pressure cooker.

Usually, it takes a few minutes to release all the pressure. Wait until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.

The steam shooting out maybe intimidating at first. Using a wooden spoon or wear oven mitt/silicone glove to move the Venting Knob may help. You will get used to it.

What’s the advantage?

Quick Pressure Release is great for quickly stopping the cooking process to prevent overcooking. It’s ideal for food such as quick-cooking vegetables (e.g broccoli, bok choy, corn, etc.) and delicate seafood (e.g salmon, crab, lobster, etc.)

What’s the catch?

Not suitable for food with large liquid volume or high starch content (e.g. porridge, congee, soup, etc.). Food content may splatter out from the Pressure Release Valve.

Foamy food may clog the Pressure Release Valve.

Food, especially beans may break apart due to the sudden change in pressure/temperature.

If the recipe is designed for Natural Pressure Release, the food may come out undercooked.

How to do a Pressure Cooker Natural Release?

After the cooking cycle finished, wait until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.

Always turn the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to ensure all the pressure is released before opening the lid.

This pressure release method usually takes 10 – 25 minutes (depending on the amount of food in the pressure cooker).

What’s the advantage?

If you are cooking foamy food, food with large liquid volume or high starch content (e.g porridge, congee, soup, etc.), Natural Pressure Release is great for keeping your kitchen nice and clean.

Why?

Since the pressure is released gradually, there is less movement in the pressure cooker. Your stock and soup come out cleaner and food are more likely to stay intact.

What’s the catch?

A pot full of stock or soup takes very long to release pressure naturally.

If the recipe is designed for Quick Pressure Release, the food may overcook, as the cooking process continues during the natural release process.

– The Hybrid of Quick Release and Natural Release –

How to do a 10 – 15 Minutes Natural Pressure Release?

After the cooking cycle finished, wait 10 – 15 minutes before moving the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to release the remaining pressure.

Always make sure the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.

What’s the advantage?

Compare to Quick Release: Significantly reduces the chance of food splattering out from the Pressure Release Valve.

Compare to Natural Release: Faster release method when the pressure cooker is full of food with high liquid volume.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get all the newest articles, information, tips, and recipes delivered straight to your inbox!

    You are welcome to join our Instant Pot Facebook group:

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Get all the newest articles, information, tips, and recipes delivered straight to your inbox!

      You are welcome to join our Instant Pot Facebook group:

      Never Miss A RECIPE

      Subscribe to our mailing list and get the newest recipes Straight to your inbox.