An Instant Pot is a smart electric pressure cooker that has taken the world by storm. It can do many things- from cooking rice to making yogurt to preparing a delicious meal.
But what happens when your Instant Pot’s natural release system stops working? This blog post will explain the possible causes of why your Instant Pot’s natural release system isn’t working and how to fix it.
Why is my Instant Pot Natural Release Not Working?
If you’ve been wondering why your Instant Pot’s natural release isn’t working, a few possible explanations are given. First, it could be that the valve isn’t set to “venting.” Second, the float valve could be stuck. And third, there might be something blocking the release valve.
Let’s now take a good look at these reasons impacting your instant pot’s natural release function and fix them:
Its Steam Handle is in the Venting Position
The most common reason is that the valve is not set to the “venting” position. If the valve is not in the venting position, the steam will not be able to escape, and the pressure will build-up, which can cause the pot to explode. This can happen if you forget to adjust the handle or its clasps are broken. After punching in a cooking time, make sure your instant pot’s handle is set right.
The Sealing Ring is Damaged
If the sealing ring is damaged, it will not create a seal, and the pressure will not build up. If your Instant Pot’s natural release function has stopped working, it could be because the sealing ring is not properly fit or damaged.
The sealing ring is a rubber ring that sits on the lid and seals in the pressure. Over time, the sealing ring can become warped or cracked, which can cause it to lose its sealing ability. If your sealing ring is damaged, you’ll need to replace it before your Instant Pot works properly again.
You can find replacement sealing rings at most kitchen stores or online. Once you have a new sealing ring, follow your Instant Pot’s manual to install it.
The Venting Knob is Clogged
If your Instant Pot’s natural release function isn’t working, it might be because the venting knob is clogged. To fix this, clean the venting knob with a toothpick or similar object. If the Instant Pot is still having trouble releasing pressure, you may need to replace the venting knob.
If the venting knob is clogged, the steam will not be able to escape, and the pressure will build up. This situation usually happens when you cook rice, porridge, and other grains. You must check the steam valve first since this is a common reason behind your instant pot’s natural release function getting blocked.
The Pressure Cooker is Not Plugged In
If the pressure cooker is not plugged in, it will not be able to build up pressure, and the natural release function will not work. Usually, the natural release function does not stop working when it’s not plugged in. However, if you’re using the Instant Pot for cooking food that requires a long cooking time, it’s best to plug it in so that the pot can maintain a consistent temperature.
Additionally, unplugging and then re-plugging in the Instant Pot can reset the timer, so if you’re using the natural release function for cooking food that requires a long cooking time, it’s best to leave it plugged in.
How to Fix Natural Release on An Instant Pot?
When you struggle with the instant pot’s natural release not working, here are some tips you can follow to fix this issue:
1. Move the Steam Valve to the “Sealing” Position
One of the first things you should check is whether the steam valve is in the sealing or venting position. If it’s in the sealing position, that means the pressure is not being released from the pot. To fix this, move the valve to the venting position.
2. Use The Quick Release Method
If moving the steam valve doesn’t work, you can try using the quick release method. To do this, turn off the instant pot and then use a long spoon or chopstick to slowly release any built-up pressure. Once all the pressure has been released, you can open up the pot and proceed with your recipe.
3. Do a Manual Release
If both of those methods fail, then you’ll release. To do this:
- Turn off the instant pot and remove the lid.
- Use a towel or oven mitt to carefully turn the steam valve to the “venting” position.
- Stand back while doing this so that you don’t get burned by any escaping steam. Once the pressure has been released, you can open up the pot and finish your recipe.
- Check for Cracks in the Sealing Ring and Replace them if needed
4. Check for Cracks in the Sealing Ring and Replace them if needed
If you’ve tried the methods above and still can’t get the pot to release pressure, there may be a problem with the sealing ring. Over time, the sealing ring can become cracked or damaged, which will prevent it from working properly. To check for this, remove the sealing ring and look for any cracks or damage. If you find any, you’ll need to replace the sealing ring before using the pot again.
Do a Water Test to Know if the Sealing is Fine
Another way to check if the sealing ring is damaged is to do a water test. To do this:
- Fill up the pot with water and place the lid on top.
- Make sure that the steam valve is in the “sealing” position, and then turn on the pot.
- Let it come to pressure, and then let it do a natural release. If the pot doesn’t release pressure, then that means the sealing ring is likely damaged and will need to be replaced.
Besides the cracks and dents, a loosely-adjusted sealing ring can also lead to a mess when you cook in the instant pot. So, it’s smart to read the pot’s user manual and adjust its sealing ring the right way to prevent this situation.
5. Clean the Steam Valve to Remove Food Stuck Inside it
If the steam valve is blocked, that can also prevent the pot from releasing pressure. To clean it, remove the valve and scrub it with a brush to remove any food particles or debris that may be stuck inside. Once it’s clean, you can reattach it and try using the pot again. It’s better to thoroughly clean the steam valve every time you cook in the instant pot because tiny food particles find their way inside the valve and impact the pot’s pressure release function.
Also, if you notice that the food isn’t coming out by rinsing or washing the valve, use a toothpick for this job and make sure there’s no gunk inside the steam valve.
If you’re still having trouble, it’s best to contact Instant Pot customer service for assistance. They’ll be able to help you better and pinpoint the error leading to this situation. This tip is especially useful if you’re new to instant pots and don’t want to deal with safety-related hazards.
What Happens When an Instant Pot’s Natural Release Function Doesn’t Work?
If the natural release function in your instant pot doesn’t work, it means that the pressure inside the pot is not being released. This can be dangerous because the pressure can build up and cause the pot to explode.
Also, the pressure trapped inside will impact food texture and quickly make it soggy, something you won’t want to deal with. It’s a worrisome factor when the pressure inside an instant pot doesn’t have an outlet.
So, if this happens, it is important to release the pressure manually by opening the valve on the top of the pot. Once the pressure has been released, you can open the pot and continue cooking.
Instant pots are amazing kitchen appliances that can make life so much easier. But, like all appliances, they can sometimes have problems. One problem that you may encounter is the natural release function not working. If this happens, don’t panic! Just follow the steps above, and you’ll be able to continue cooking without any problems.
If you have an instant pot, you probably already know how amazing it is. It can make cooking so much easier and faster. But, like all appliances, it can sometimes have problems. One problem you may encounter is the instant pot’s natural release system not working for one reason or the other. If you find yourself in this situation, check your instant pot’s steam valve, rubber ring, and sealing handle to know what’s the matter. This problem will likely go away when you tighten the pot’s sealing ring or move its valve to the correct position. If not, contact the instant pot manufacturer or read this appliance’s user manual to know better. We wish you luck!