Sharing is caring!

When I first got my Instant Pot, I was confused about how to do a Quick Release VS. Natural Release. I assumed you would turn the pressure valve to one of the two, but nope. I was like how in the heck do I do this?! In my Instant Pot Group, I see so many people confused with the same thing! So, today, I am going to break it down for you. 

what is quick release instant pot and natural release

Quick Release VS. Natural Release

Some recipes will tell you to quick release when the beeper goes off where others will tell you to naturally release. But, what is the difference and how do you do it? Below, you will learn all you need to know about Quick Release VS. Natural Release.

Quick Release

Quick Release is letting the pressure out quickly or immediately. The reason you would use this feature is because the longer the pressure is in the pot, the longer your food continues to cook. If you don’t want it to continue to cook, you do a quick release which immediately lets all the pressure and steam out of your pot. Most recipes will use the terms QR or QPR for Quick Release. 

How do you do this?

The pressure valve at the top of your Instant Pot is where you would do this. Most models say “venting” or “sealing.” When you use your IP, you put it in the sealing position to keep the pressure in. When you do a quick release, you turn the valve to the venting position. That’s it! The pressure will release and when it is all done, the lid will unlock and you can open your Instant Pot. 

Natural Release

Natural Release is where you allow the pressure to stay in your pot and release naturally. By doing this, it gives your food a little more time to cook. Most meats, you will do a natural release to make them more tender and juicy. Most recipes will use the term NR or NPR for Natural Release.

How do you do this? 

To do a Natural Release, you simply just let the Instant Pot do its thing. You don’t have to do anything after the timer beeps. Most recipes will tell you to do a Natural Release for a certain amount of time. If it doesn’t, 10-minutes is usually sufficient. After the alloted time on the recipe, you will then turn your valve to the “venting” position to release the rest of the pressure. However, you can just continue to leave your pot and the pressure will naturally and completely release within about 20-minutes. You will know all the pressure has been released because your lid will unlock and you will be able to remove it. 

Keep Warm Function

When it comes to the Natural Release, many people get confused about the keep warm function. When your Instant Pot beeps that the time of cooking is up, most Instant Pot models will turn on the keep warm function and begin counting up. 

Can I turn it Off? Does that Affect the Quick Release VS. Natural Release?

Yes, you can turn off the keep warm function. This does NOT affect your Natural Release. This function literally has nothing to do with Quick Release or Natural Release. However, I recommend keeping it on because it counts up, so you don’t have to keep track of how long you have been doing the Natural Release. It is a convenience and nothing more. 

Additionally, the keep warm function is nice because if you aren’t ready to eat yet, it keeps your food warm until you are ready. If you want to turn it off, just hit the cancel button. 

Other Information and Tips

If you liked this information on Quick Release VS. Natural Release, check out some of our other posts on questions we get asked a lot!

Remember, sharing is caring! If you found this post helpful, please share it on Pinterest!

quick release versus natural release