Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker For Perfect Rice

CRYSTAL H.  |   |   Updated
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There are reasons to love Instant Pots. One is they replace the need for other appliances. But can they replace a rice cooker? The answer is yes you can and here I write about what I discovered about cooking rice in an Instant Pot vs a proper rice cooker.

cooking rice with Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker

If you’re like I was before I looked into this, you’re probably thinking the rice will end up mushy or sticking to the pot using an Instant Pot. Surprisingly no! But still wouldn’t a rice cooker be better than an Instant Pot? Read on…

Rice cooker vs Instant Pot

Let’s look at these in what they can do…

Rice cooker

A smart rice cooker cooks flawless rice without you having to do too much thinking — I wrote about this my article on the joys of smart rice cookers for brown rice.

With the smart rice cookers like the models by Zojirushi, Cuckoo, and Tiger, it’s simply a matter of adding rice using the supplied measuring scoop and then fill with water to the level marked inside the pot.

Then you simply choose the settings and run the rice cooker. It’s automatic, there’s no working out to do.

But, unless it’s a multi-cooker (modern ones are), it offers only the function of cooking rice.

But then, the latest rice cookers include steaming and pressure cooking and more. The difference is the many programs you’ll find with these are suited to cooking rice, oats and other grains, not meats and hearty meals you do in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot.

Instant pot

An Instant Pot can have multiple functions and programs that make it a pressure cooker, slow-cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, sterilizer, and yogurt maker, all-in-one.

With an Instant Pot, using pressure to cook rice takes less time.

With an Instant Pot, you use the same water to rice ratio as normal. The cooking time with pressure will be shorter than cooking rice on the stovetop or in a rice cooker. But the trick, I found out, is to use the natural pressure release at the end to allow the rice to continue cooking and form fluffy perfect rice.

Is instapot good for cooking rice?

Does Instant Pot make good rice? An Instant Pot can make good rice if you follow the recipe. Apparently so!

Some people use the Instant Pot as an everyday way to cook rice and are happy with the results.

Some even say they’ve stopped using their rice cooker after buying an Instant Pot.

The only thing…Unless the Instant Pot can do two functions at once (not really), then using the Instant Pot for something that you intend serving with rice will mean you need a rice cooker or a pot to cook rice on the stovetop.

Then again, you can transfer the contents to another bowl and keeping the contents warm, wash the empty insert and then cook the rice in it in the Instant Pot.

Instant pot as rice cooker

To get fluffy rice from an Instant Pot, use the natural pressure release (NPR).

If you opt for quick pressure release (QR) but longer cook time, you’ll end up with sticky mushy rice. Lorena Grater of Green Healthy Cooking backs this advice.

Recipes for rice in Instant Pot

The basic recipe for IP white rice: 1 cup of white rice to 1 cup of water, set for 3 minutes at high pressure and release pressure naturally.

With brown rice you’ll need to adjust cooking time and add more water, say 1 cup of rice to 2 cups. Brown rice takes longer to cook because of the bran layer, so set the cooking time for 15 minutes.

This recipe suits basmati or jasmine rice (1:1 ratio):

  1. Rinse well 2 cups of rice and then add to Instant Pot
  2. Add 2 cups of water and a good pinch of salt
  3. Choose HIGH pressure and cook for 6 minutes
  4. Allow the Instant Pot to depressurize naturally

Instant Pot Cheat Sheet for cooking Rice and more

It helps to have a cheat sheet. You can make these up yourself or for not a lot of money, you can get a magnetic flip chart with cooking times for all sorts of foods you want to do in an Instant Pot. It includes grains such as rice. You can stick it on the fridge, or pop it on the side of your instant pot.

Willa Flare Electric Pressure Magnetic Cooker Cook Times Cheat Sheet (Large Font) - Reference Chart Compatible with Instant Pot and InstaPot + Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg Method, Cooking Tips and Tricks
Magnetic IP Cook Times

at Amazon

What is an instant pot good for?

An Instant Pot is good for cooking beans, meats, vegetables, and anything you would normally cook in a pressure cooker for tender flavorsome meals. You can even cook hard boiled eggs in an Instant Pot.

Rather than using it to cook rice, an Instant Pot is probably used more for reheating already cooked rice — using the steam function and the pot-in-pot (PIP) method.

An Instant Pot does multiple functions, for a price that’s a lot less than what you’ll pay for the more sophisticated rice cookers these days. See what else there is to know in my article with tips on using Instant Pots.

Final thoughts

Some people prefer to cook rice on the stove top rather than a rice cooker or an instant pot. A good rice cooker is probably a simpler way to cook rice, while an instant pot is a “good enough” alternative especially when it’s not worth buying another appliance just for the sake of cooking rice.

The flip chart with cooking times shown above is a brilliant idea to help you get satisfying results with using an Instant Pot…check it out!

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