Reference & Tips

Instant Pot Beginners Guide

For all of the new Instant Pot users, I know it can be overwhelming seeing all the unfamiliar acronyms when reading an Instant Pot recipe. Say no more, I'm here to help guide you! I've created a list of the commonly used terms and acronyms below for a better understanding and to ensure success in all of your Instant Pot recipes.




Instant Pot


Pressure Cooker


High Pressure


Low Pressure


Natural Pressure Release

When pressure cooking is done, let the Instant Pot release the pressure by itself until the pin drops. Do not change the pressure valve position.


Quick Release

When the pressure cooking is done, release the pressure by moving the pressure valve to venting position. Wait for the pin to drop before opening the instant pot.

X minutes NPR

NPR for X minutes, QR

You will see this used often as “5 minutes NPR”. 5 minutes NPR means you release the pressure manually 5 minutes after the instant pot beeps.


Pressure Cook

In older versions and Instant Pot models, the button was called “Manual” and in newer models it is rightly called “Pressure Cook”.


Float Valve

Silver or Red (8qt) pin in the lid that pops up when the pot pressurizes or drops when the pot depressurizes.


Max Line

The max fill line only applies to slow cooking. Leave ample space (only 2/3 full to 3/4 full). Overfilling can result in a burst of liquid out of the vent once you depressurize it. If you do overfill, make sure to do natural pressure release, so the foam has time settle down post-cooking.

Second Sealing Ring

Keep a second silicone sealing ring to separate sweet & dairy food from savory food. Strong smells tend to get trapped in the silicone sealing rings.

Cooker Handles

The right and left cooker handles are also a lid holders. The lid has been designed with lid fins that fit perfectly inside the right and left handed cooker base handles.


Replace the silicone sealing ring every 18-24 months, as they will stretch over time with normal use. Keep an eye on yours and make sure it isn’t stretching out or fitting too loosely in the lid. This could result in loss of pressure, failure to reach pressure, or steam to leak out the side of the lid.


Cut larger pieces of food into smaller chunks for even and thorough cooking.

Glass Lid

You can use a glass lid on your Instant Pot for non-pressure cooking programs: Sauté, Yogurt, Slow Cook, and Keep Warm.

Boiling Water

You can use substitute water to boiling water to speed up the cooking process in your recipes.