When Is It Safe To Open Your Instant Pot?
Just like any other kind of task that you get in the kitchen, you’re going to want to make sure that you prioritize safety when working with your Instant Pot. One of the most common things that people get wrong due to lack of information is the issue surrounding the question of when is it safe to open an Instant Pot. To help protect you, your loved ones, and your food, here are the details to keep in mind.
There is a reason the lid locks.
If you’ve worked with your Instant Pot before and, without thinking, tried to take the lid off in the middle of a cooking cycle, you’ve probably already discovered that the lid isn’t easy to remove. In fact, it doesn’t budge because it’s locked. Can you override this by trying to take it off anyway? Yes. Should you? No.
The reason for this is to protect you. When your cooker is building or holding itself at pressure, it will instantly hit you with a massive amount of steam, and this will seriously burn you even if you happen to have oven mitts on at the time. It will also leak all over your kitchen and will ruin your food.
So, when is it safe to open an Instant Pot?
You’ll know when it’s safe to open the lid for your Instant Pot because it will tell you! No, seriously. When it’s done pressure cooking for however long you set it for; it will beep. You’ll be able to have it switch over to a natural pressure release (NPR) if you’ve programmed it to do so, or you can switch it over manually by pressing a button. With the NPR is done, it will let you know (it’s usually 15-20 minutes) and you can take the lid off.
Certain recipes call for a quick release (QR) instead. This is done much faster, and it also uses a button on the machine to activate it. When you press the QR button, make sure your hands, face, etc. are clear of the vent holes, as the term “quick” is, well, quick. When it is done, it will let you know, and you’ll be able to remove the lid safely.
Lastly, remember that you can’t override the pressure cooker by just simply pressing the release valve whenever you want to (rather than trying to take off the lid). Just like removing the lid at the wrong time, this will injure you if you do it while the pot is holding pressure, and it will also ruin your food.
While most Instant Pots hover around the 12-20 mark for NPR and less than 5 minutes for the QR options, you’ll want to consult your own Instant Pot’s guide to make sure you know roughly how long it will take you to open your pot safely. An Instant Pot is a safe and powerful kitchen tool, but make sure you always use it safely, just anything else that you may be using in your kitchen.