Instant Pot Terminology | Food Under Pressure

Instant Pot Terminology

One of the most intimidating things when I first got my Instant Pot was all this Instant Pot terminology I kept hearing/reading/seeing – it sounded like they were talking in code!



5-5-5 / 6-6-6 / 7-7-7…

like, what?!

So, I’ve decided to help crack the Instant Pot Terminology Code!

    • 5-5-5 / 6-6-6 / 7-7-7
      • a method for cooking soft to hard to extra hard boiled eggs
      • # – # – #: minutes of steam time – minutes of natural pressure release time – minutes of ice bath time
      • 5-5-5: soft boiled
      • 6-6-6: hard boiled
      • 7-7-7: extra hard
    • I make soft, medium & hard boiled eggs EASIER THAN THAT!
  • Anti-block shield (image from the manual)
    • Don’t get confused here! You DO NOT have to remove the shield. In fact, it should STAY ON! You only remove it if you want to clean in. It’s tough to remove, honestly… try a teeter-totter, up on left down on right, type of motion with trying to pull out.instant pot terminology
  • NPR = Natural Pressure Release
    • NPR is letting the pressure in your IP naturally dissipate and release after cooking time is complete. You do nothing – just let it sit there, and depressurize. This usually takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on what you have cooked and the quantity
    • NOTE: until ALL pressure is released, the IP will not let you open the lid — give thanks to the IP Gods for this, serious safety precaution here y’all
    • When to use NPR: meats (especially large cuts), stews, soups, and generally when your pot in very full
      • If you QPR when you have a full pot of stew, you will likely end up with a mess on your hands (and your cabinets)
    • How do you know when NPR is done? This is such a common question!
      • See that picture vent knob below? See that silver sort of “pin” to the right of the knob? It will drop when pressure is released.
  • QPR = Quick Pressure Release
    • QPR is manually releasing the pressure in your IP – releasing the pressure is essential, and without doing so, the IP will not let you open the lid (safety precaution!). If you want the pressure to quickly release (as opposed to naturally – NPR), turn the vent knob on the lid of your IP to “Venting”. BE CAREFUL – vent means steam will come out (steam = hot). I always place a hand towel over the Vent knob before doing QPR.
    • When to use QPR: veggies, fish, very lean meats like chicken tenderloin – “delicate” items you want to avoid over cooking
  • Sealing
    • ANY time you want to use your pressure cooker, you must seal the vent. Sealing the vent allows the pressure to accumulate/build up inside your IP – hence, the ability to cook with pressure. After closing your lid, turn the vent knob to “Sealing” before selecting your cooking preference and cook time.
  • Venting
    • The Vent knob turned to “Venting” allows you to manually release pressure from your Instant Pot – this means letting out some serious steam! After cooking on any setting, you must allow the pressure to release before you are able to open you IP lid (safety first!). You can allow your IP to naturally depressurize (refer to NPR), or you can quickly release the pressure manually (refer to QPR).
    • TIP: Before turning vent knob to “Venting”, place a hand towel over the vent — Less noise and less steam bath for your face, hands and cabinets!
  • Water Test aka Initial Test (from the manual)instant pot terminology
Need more information on all those buttons on your Instant Pot? Check out our guide – Instant Pot Buttons – Which button do I use?

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