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How to do quick release on Instant Pot Pro?

The Instant Pot Pro is one of the most popular electric pressure cookers on the market. It has a range of built-in smart programs and settings that make cooking fast, convenient and consistent every time. One of the handy features of the Instant Pot Pro is the quick release function, which allows you to quickly depressurize the pot after pressure cooking is complete.

What is Quick Release?

Quick release is a method of quickly releasing the internal pressure from the Instant Pot after pressure cooking is finished. It rapidly brings the internal pressure back down to normal atmospheric levels, allowing you to open the lid right away. This is much faster than the natural release method, which allows the pressure to come down gradually over 10-15 minutes.

To do a quick release, you simply turn the steam release handle on the Instant Pot Pro from the ‘Sealing’ position to the ‘Venting’ position. This opens up the valve and allows all the steam and pressure to escape rapidly. You will hear a loud hissing noise as the steam rushes out from the valve. The floating valve will drop down when the pressure has fully released. Quick release typically takes just 1-2 minutes compared to 10-15 minutes for natural release.

When to Use Quick Release

Quick release is useful when you want to access your food faster. For example, if you are in a rush or cooking foods that overcook easily. Quick release stops the cooking process immediately so your food doesn’t end up overcooked. It is recommended for foods like:

  • Vegetables – spinach, greens, broccoli
  • Seafood – fish, shellfish
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Rice and grains
  • Foods that don’t require extra time to thicken or infuse – broths, juices, watery dishes

Quick release is not recommended for foods like:

  • Meat dishes with juices that need time to reabsorb – stews, larger cuts of meat
  • Thick sauces and gravies that need time to thicken
  • Foods that benefit from natural release such as certain rice dishes, risottos, cheesecakes, etc.

How to Quick Release on the Instant Pot Pro

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to do a quick release:

  1. When the Instant Pot has finished cooking and displays the message “Cooking Complete”, wait for a few minutes before doing a quick release. This allows the temperature inside the pot to come down slightly.
  2. Put on oven mitts to protect your hands and arms. The steam released will be extremely hot.
  3. Turn the steam release handle from the Sealing position to the Venting position. It is easiest to turn it gradually rather than all at once.
  4. Steam will start rushing out of the valve immediately. Keep your hands, arms and face away from the steam as it can cause burns. Do not lean over or put your face near the steam.
  5. Let the unit release steam until the hissing sound stops, the float valve drops down and the display reads L0:00. This will take 1-2 minutes typically.
  6. Press Cancel and open the lid. Tilt the lid away from you to avoid the residual steam inside.
  7. Use caution when removing hot food or liquids from the pot as they can still bubble up and splash due to residual heat.

Here are some important safety tips when quick releasing:

  • Always wear oven mitts to protect yourself from steam burns.
  • Keep your hands, face and body away from the releasing steam.
  • Do not let children quick release the pot.
  • Release steam away from cabinets, walls and curtains. The steam can damage surfaces.
  • Do not try to force the lid open while the float valve is still up.
  • Allow liquids to settle before removing food from the pot.

Natural Release vs. Quick Release

Here is a comparison between natural and quick release methods:

Natural Release Quick Release
Lets pressure come down slowly over 10-15 minutes Releases pressure quickly in 1-2 minutes
Safer – less risk of splatters or bubbles Requires caution due to rapid steam released
Allows food to finish cooking gently Stops cooking immediately once pressure is released
Best for meats, stews, foods that need time to thicken Best for delicate foods that overcook easily
Can leave a “pressure line” on some foods Less likely to cause a pressure line

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Use natural release for meats, thick liquids, rice/grain dishes, cheesecakes etc.
  • Use quick release for vegetables, fruits, eggs, fish etc.

However, you can always modify based on your specific recipe and personal preferences. The great thing about the Instant Pot Pro is that you have the option to choose between both release methods.

Tips for Quick Release

Here are some additional tips for getting the best results when quick releasing:

  • Vent away from you – Make sure the steam is directed away from your hands, arms and face.
  • Wait before releasing – Let the pressure cooking cycle complete fully and allow the pot to rest for a few minutes before turning the valve.
  • Release gradually – Turn the release handle slowly at first rather than all at once.
  • Release in intervals – If a recipe has a large volume of liquid, release pressure in short bursts to prevent splatters.
  • Adjust timing – Add a minute or two to the pressure cook time to allow for the quick release method.
  • Remove condensation – Wipe the condensation off the lid and around the valves before opening the lid.
  • Let food settle – Allow liquids to settle before removing food as bubbles may still rise up.
  • Vent properly – Make sure the steam release valve and float valve are in the Venting position after releasing.

Troubleshooting Quick Release

Here are some common quick release issues and how to fix them:

Problem Solution
Float valve not dropping down Sealing ring might be damaged. Replace sealing ring.
Steam leaking from sides of lid Sealing ring not installed properly. Reseat sealing ring.
Very little steam releasing Make sure release handle is in Venting position. Check for obstructions in valve.
Pot not depressurizing Let pot cool down further before releasing. Contact Instant Pot support.
Food splattering everywhere Do not open lid until pressure has fully released. Let food settle before removing.


Quick release is a handy function of the Instant Pot Pro that can significantly speed up pressure cooking. It rapidly vents the steam to bring the pot back to normal pressure levels. While quick release isn’t suitable for all recipes, it can help you gain access to your food faster, especially delicate ingredients like vegetables and seafood.

Always exercise caution when quick releasing by keeping away from the escaping steam. Allow foods to rest before removing and take care when handling hot liquids. With some basic safety measures and a bit of practice, quick releasing will become an invaluable tool in your Instant Pot arsenal.