Natural Release - Explained in depth from my multiple experience.

Hello Ninja friends! Today, I decided to talk about the natural release of Ninja Foodi. While searching for brands and functions, I desired an air fryer; I came across Ninja Foodi and its pressure function. I thought it was cool. So, I got myself a Ninja comb. One of its functions is the natural release!

Ninja Air fryer for a yummy recipe

If you own a Ninja Foodi, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the term “Natural Release.” But what does it mean, and why is it vital to your cooking processes? We’re delving deep into the art of the Natural Release method to ensure your culinary creations are as delectable as possible!

What is natural release Ninja Foodi?

Natural Release (often abbreviated as NR) is a term used in pressure cooking. After your cooking time ends, instead of immediately releasing the steam, you let the pressure cooker naturally cool down and release pressure on its own. This process can range from a few minutes to over half an hour, depending on what you’re cooking. I am mostly in a hurry and mostly prefer using the quick release. But, I have concluded, that natural release is ideal and best for certain kinds of food for ultimate flavor.

Why Use Natural Release?

  • Flavor Retention: Quick releasing can force flavorful steam out too rapidly. Natural release ensures that all those flavors stay within your dish.
  • Safety: For dishes with a lot of liquid, quick releasing can sometimes spurt out liquid, which can be messy and dangerous.
  • Texture: The natural release can mean the difference between a tender roast and a tough one for meats.

How to Perform a Natural Release in Ninja Foodi

Step 1: Slide to the Pressure cook option. The Ninja Foodi has three main cooking options. you need to select the pressure cook option.

Step 2: Select Natural Release: Turn the knob and select natural release. The knob is that silver button indicated by the red arrow.

Step 3: Select temperature and time: This depends on what you want to cook in the pressure cooker.

Step 4: Click on the start button. Your cooking starts with the screen showing “prep…” Once the preparation is done with the pressure building up, the time starts counting down.

Step 5: Completion: Once your Ninja Foodi beeps to indicate the end of the cooking cycle, do nothing. Resist the urge to release the steam valve.

Step 6: Watch the Pin: Ninja Foodi has a float valve (the pin). As the pressure drops, this pin will drop, indicating it’s safe to open the pot.

Step 7: Patience: Let the pressure release naturally. The amount of time can vary depending on your dish.

Step 8: Safety First: Open the lid away from your face after the pin drops to avoid residual steam.

Pro tips for perfect natural release

  • Sometimes, after natural release has been completed, the lid will not open. This means there is still some pressure left; you can finish by using quick release (which will take less than 5 mins)!
  • Take care when opening the lid, so you do not burn yourself.
  • Place your Ninja Airfryer in a safe space, with items that can get spoilt from the steam kept away from your air fryer.
  • For food high in carbohydrates, use natural release to prevent clogging of the lid.

How To Perform Natural Release In Ninja Foodi

Common Misconceptions about Natural Release

  • It Takes Forever: While it might seem that the Natural Release takes a long time, this period is essential for the cooking process in many recipes.
  • Not Necessary for Every Dish: Not all dishes require a natural release. Some might need a combination of natural and quick release.

What’s the difference between Natural Release and Quick Release?

Quick Release (QR) immediately vents steam at the end of the cooking cycle, while Natural Release lets the pressure dissipate naturally over time.

MetricNatural ReleaseQuick Release
Time10-30 minutesInstant
FlavorBetter preservedMay lose some
SafetySaferLess safe
TextureBetter for meatsGood for vegetables

Can I use a combination of both methods?

Yes! Some recipes may ask you to do a Natural Release for some time and then finish with a Quick Release.

When to Use Which – Natural Release and Quick Release?

  • Natural Release: Ideal for meats, stews, and anything with much liquid.
  • Quick Release: Best for vegetables, seafood, or cooking quickly.

Does Natural Release affect the taste of my food?

It can. The method is particularly beneficial for meats as it relaxes the proteins, resulting in a juicier dish.

How long does a Natural Release usually take?

It varies. Some dishes might take 10 minutes, while denser foods require 30 minutes or more.


Understanding the nuances of your Ninja Foodi can elevate your culinary game. The Natural Release method, although requiring more patience, can be the difference-maker in crafting a meal that is truly out of this world. So the next time your Foodi beeps, pause and let nature run its course!

Want to get to know how your air fryer works?

This article explains in detail!

How to preheat an air fryer.

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