When a recipe says natural release (NR) for 10 minutes, they are signalling, that is when you can do a quick release of any remaining pressure. That extra 10 minutes is necessary because it adds more cooking time.
If you’re not in a hurry, just let the Instant Pot release on its own. Sometime, this can take up to 40 minutes because it’s dependent on how long it takes for the steam inside the pot to cool down and slowly release through the valve plus cool down from the pressure-causing steam to condensation.
If you want to speed this up, put cold wet clothes on the metal parts of the lid. Putting the cold wet clothes on the metal part of the lid helps the heat inside the pot to transfer outside of the pot quicker. As the water evaporates, the energy is being transferred, steam is turning to condensation, decreasing the pressure until all is released.
When the Instant Pot reaches pressure, the contents inside are actually under pressure. Think of reaching pressure as a big plunger coming down from the lid and compressing the food. When the contents are under pressure, they heat up but they have no room in which to boil. When something is under pressure, it reduces the time needed to cook something by a lot. Unless you are cooking a whole chicken or roast, it’s very rare that you need to set your time to more than 10 minutes under High Pressure.
The reason why the contents boil when you do a quick release is because the steam is displacing so quickly, the contents inside are at boiling temperature finally have room to boil as the “plunger” moves up. Contents can’t boil under pressure, even though they reach boiling temperature, because they have no room in which to boil.
Most Instant Pot recipes you see call for too much fluids. The creator of the recipe is simply following a stove-top recipe without making the necessary adaptation.
Most recipes that calls for more than 2 cups of water/broth/etc. for a 6 qt recipe, are bogus because all the meat and veg you put in your Instant Pot will release a lot of fluids. Adding more than 2 cups results in a very watery and bland product. Most of my recipes only use the minimum 1 cup needed to reach pressure.
The exception to this is my Doukhobor Borshch recipe. It calls for half of the water from the stove-top version.
A good rule of thumb when converting a stove-top recipe to an Instant Pot recipe is to cut the amount of water/broth/etc. in half. And if you are cooking with lots of veg, including tomato, you can get away with adding less than the 1 cup minimum because those items will release a lot of fluids.
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