How to Use Instant Pot: Natural Release & Quick Release



Are you a proud new owner of an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker?

You’re probably excited and overwhelmed with where to start, which button to use, or how to start cooking!

As you’re reading some pressure cooker recipes, you might be confused about:


What is a Quick Pressure Release?

What is a Natural Pressure Release?

How about 10-minutes Natural Pressure Release?


Quick Pressure Release (QPR or QR) & Natural Pressure Release (NPR or NR) are the 2 methods for releasing pressure in your Instant Pot.


When should we use Quick Pressure Release?

Quick Pressure Release is great for quickly stopping the cooking process to prevent overcooking.

Ideal for food such as:

  • Quick-cooking vegetables (e.g Broccoli, Corn on the Cob, Bok Choy)
  • Delicate seafood (e.g Salmon, Crab, Lobster)

When should we use Natural Pressure Release?

Natural Pressure Release is great for keeping your kitchen nice and clean. Since the pressure is gradually released, there is less movement in the Instant Pot. Your stocks and soups come out cleaner and food are more likely to stay intact.

Ideal for food such as:

  • Foamy food, food with large liquid volume or high starch content (e.g Porridge, Congee, Soup)


Watch: How To Pressure Release: Natural Release & Quick Release Video

Read More: How To Pressure Release: Natural Release vs. Quick Release

For More Easy Instant Pot Recipes


26 replies
  1. Bec
    Bec says:

    I just did my test run with water. When I went to do the QR, it wouldn’t stay open. I had to put on a glove and hold it open. Now there’s no steam from the valve, but my pressure button is still up. Is my valve wrong, is there no water/steam to release, why hasn’t the pressure gone down then? Ahhhhh!

    • mjun
      mjun says:

      Hi Sharon,
      It’s up to you if you’d like to keep it on keep warm or not. [Keep Warm] will keep the food warm during the NPR process.

  2. Amanda Cartier
    Amanda Cartier says:

    When I followed a recipe for Mac and cheese, there was still a ton of liquid and steam released when I attempted quick release. Can someone advise on how to avoid a starchy shower in my kitchen?


  3. Janine
    Janine says:

    My valve never goes down after the time has expired on my manual or programmed setting. I have left it on keep warm for as long as 35 minutes and the valve was still up so I have to use the quick release. What am I doing wrong?

    • KathyZ
      KathyZ says:

      Hi Janine –
      Unless the recipe says to allow the warming function to start at the end of the natural release, I turn the Instant Pot off. Some of my recipes have still taken up to 35 minutes to release naturally. But the pin will drop! I just have to be patient.

  4. Lim
    Lim says:

    How about meat eg beef, chicken and pork for instant pot? Is quick release or natural release better? Eg stew meat, BBQ pork ribs

  5. Bill
    Bill says:

    When doing natural release (or QR or combo Qr/NR, do you turn the IP off or do leave the warming mode on? This fact is not disclosed in what I’ve researched. Thanks


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply to Krishna Bhajans Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *