Once the Instant Pot finishes pressure cooking, it beeps to let you know that it has finished the cook cycle. At this point, most recipes direct you to either release pressure naturally, quickly release pressure, or perhaps a combination of the two, such as allowing the pot to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes and then releasing all remaining pressure.
Natural Release (NPR): To release pressure naturally, simply allow the pot to rest undisturbed. As the pressure cooker cools, it will gradually release pressure until the float valve drops, indicating that the pot is no longer under pressure. This may take 10 to 40 minutes, or even longer, depending on the amount of food in the cooker. Place a wet towel on the lid to speed up the cooling process (Note: Do not cover the steam release valve).
Quick Release (QPR): To release pressure quickly, turn the steam release handle to the venting position to let steam out until the float valve drops. Ensure that the pot is not directly under cabinets that may get damaged by steam, and be sure to keep hands and face away from the steam.
For food with large liquid volume or starch content, use the Natural Release as thick liquid may splatter out.