What is Natural Release?

When you are pressure cooking, natural release means that you let the pot cool down on its own and as it cools down the pressure is reduced. To do a natural release after pressure cooking, you don't do anything. Leave the valve sealed and leave it alone for the specified time. 

Some recipes will call for a full natural release, which means you do nothing until the pin in the back drops on its own and it's safe to open the lid. 

Sometimes recipes might say, "do a 10 minute natural release, then immediately release the remaining pressure." This means do nothing for 10 minutes, then turn the sealing valve to vent and release the remaining pressure. 

There are also times where you might see a recipe say to allow for a natural release for 10 minutes and your pin drops before then. Depending on the recipe, you may want to wait the full 10 minutes before opening the lid. One example would be rice and another would be chicken. Even though your pin dropped before the 10 minutes is up, there is still steam inside that is slowly turning back into liquid form and the rice may need the full 10 minutes of natural release to absorb it and become fluffy. The chicken might need that extra time in the heat of the pot to fully cook. 

When you are first starting out with pressure cooking, it is very helpful to follow well tested recipes by reputable recipe creators. 

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