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Learn the lingo

Learn the Instant Pot Lingo!

As your Instant Pot becomes your new culinary BFF, it’s only a matter of time before you take to the internet for a quick google search of “instant pot recipes” to see it brings up millions of results… 259,000,000 to be precise [correct as of 12th January 2021].  Whether that is our own website recipe collection, or one of the many bloggers, influencers or recipe sites that have tried and tested dishes in our popular multi-cooker.  On some of these recipes, you may have seen various acronyms, or unusual terminology dotted about that you really aren’t quite sure what it means, or what piece of the Instant Pot it is even referring too!

Have no fear, we are here to help you learn the lingo, so no recipe you stumble across online sounds too daunting for you to master!

QPR/QR – Quick Pressure Release/Quick Release

When you Quick Pressure Release, you are turning the steam release handle or moving the pressure release switch to venting immediately after the cooking program has finished to let the steam out quickly, until the float valve drops down.

QPR is ideal for foods such as quick cooking vegetables or delicate seafood, as it quickly stops the cooking process to prevent overcooking.

If your recipe calls for QPR and uses foods that foam up, such as starchy, milk or dairy products, then wait a few seconds for things to calm down inside the Instant Pot before releasing pressure and opening the lid.

NPR/NR – Natural Pressure Release/Natural Release

Natural Pressure Release allows the cooker to cool down naturally until the float valve drops down, which can take anywhere from 10-40minutes depending on the amount of food in the cooker.

Some recipes will call for NPR for a set amount of time e.g. ‘5minutes followed by QPR.’ The Instant Pot display will automatically begin a new timer when the natural pressure release begins, so you can easily stop this at the required time, and finish with QPR.

If the recipe calls for NPR only, then the cooker will automatically go into Keep Warm mode once all pressure has released.

NPR is ideal for foods with large liquid volume or high starch content such as Porridge and Soups.

PIP – Pot in Pot

This pressure-cooking method refers to placing another pot inside of the inner pot to prepare a dish. Simply place a bowl or ovenproof dish on top of the trivet in the inner pot, and the water underneath creates the steam to pressure cook.

This method is useful for dishes that don’t contain any liquid themselves such as a cheesecake or lasagne, or useful for making smaller quantities of food in a larger Instant Pot.

5-5-5 or 6-6-6

This is a popular method used to prepare eggs without fail in an Instant Pot. It refers to 5 minutes on high pressure, 5 minutes natural release and 5 minutes ice-bath prior to peeling.


And some product terminology…

Inner Pot / Stainless Steel Inner Pot

The inner pot is the removable stainless-steel cooking pot where you place your food and liquid into. It is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Additional inner pots are available to purchase from our accessories online store. All our inner pots are interchangeable across models of the same size (except for the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus, which is our only inner pot that has handles)

Instant Pot Lid

Probably the most important part of the whole appliance – the lid is how the magic happens! All Instant Pot lids are model specific, however there are a few critical parts that they all have: Silicone Sealing Ring, Venting Knob, Float Valve, and Anti-Block Shield.

You can also purchase additional lids for your Instant Pot, whether that is a 3L, 5.7L or 8L. On our online store, we have an Instant Pot Glass Lid (for slow cooking, keep warm mode), or Instant Pot Silicone Cover (for storing leftovers in the fridge) available to buy.

Silicone Sealing Ring

The Silicone Sealing Ring is vital for pressure-cooking, so you should always check that it is correctly positioned to seal properly before you close the lid. Every Instant Pot model comes with a silicone sealing ring already in place in the lid, however some models do include an extra sealing ring too.

All our silicone rings are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, however they can sometimes absorb food smells so many Instant Pot users like to have a second silicone ring – one for savoury and one for sweet dishes. Additional silicone sealing rings are available on our online store.

Float Valve

The Float Valve is the main signal as to whether your Instant Pot has built enough pressure to begin the cooking program – The pin will raise at this point; Or if the Instant Pot has finished releasing pressure and is then safe to open – The pin will drop at this point. You should always make sure the silicone cap is attached to the float valve to ensure it works correctly.

Steam release handle

These are model specific. It is perfectly normal for this to be loose on some models, so it can be removed for cleaning.

Sealing Position / Venting Position

Most of the newer Instant Pot modeIs have an EasySeal™ lid which automatically seals the pressure cooker when in place. However, if you are using an Instant Pot Duo, then you must ensure the Steam release handle is in the Sealing Position to build up pressure and Venting Position to release the steam inside.

Condensation Collector

This little plastic cup will already be in place on your Instant Pot when you first open the box. It helps collect the condensation that sometimes drip into the gap as you open the Instant Pot Lid. These are clear and model specific, and sometimes can get lost in the packaging so make sure you check that it is attached to your Instant Pot before throwing away the box.

Steamer Rack

All Instant Pots come with a stainless-steel rack which is a handy tool for cooking in the Instant Pot – especially great for steaming and Pot-in-Pot. The Steam rack for our 3L models comes without handles.

You can also purchase longer handled silicone trivet/rack from our online shop.

Water Test / Initial Test Run

We recommend that every user performs a water test with every new Instant Pot to make sure everything is working properly.

You wouldn’t buy a car without giving it a test drive, or get new shoes without trying them, so we don’t see any difference with a Multi Pressure Cooker. The water test allows you to familiar with how it works without the fear of spoiling food that could’ve been inside. If you select the wrong button, it’s as simple as then pressing ‘cancel.’

We hope you found this information helpful. Please let us know if there is any “lingo” you have made up yourself when cooking with your Instant Pot – we’d love to hear from you!

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