There are reasons to love Instant Pots, but rice cooking? We’re talking about an Instant Pot vs a rice cooker. How does an Instant Pot compare to a rice cooker for cooking rice? Here I look at what’s involved with cooking rice in an Instant Pot and some of the problems you might encounter.
You might be one to have followed a bunch of suggestions to cook rice in the instant pot but none of them worked to your satisfaction.
So, you’re looking for answers. Or, you might be new at cooking rice in an Instant Pot and want to try it out with a bit of knowledge from others.
Here’s what to know…
Rice cooker vs Instant Pot
With a rice cooker, like the brand Zojirushi models I have written about, it’s simply a matter of adding rice per the measuring scoop provided and water to the level marked on the pot.
As long as you know the quantity and the chosen grain type, you simply punch in the settings and run the rice cooker for the preference you’ve chosen for that grain type.
With an Instant Pot, you need to know the water to rice ratio, the cooking time, and then the release method to get that perfect result while using the pressure cooking function of an Instant Pot. Not getting the formula right means you end up with rice that’s undercooked, mushy, or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Rice cooker better than Instant Pot?
One of the advantages of a rice cooker is that it cooks flawless rice without you having to do too much thinking.
One disadvantage is that, unless it’s a multi-cooker, it offers only the function of cooking rice. Compare this to an Instant Pot, which has multiple functions and programs that make it a pressure cooker, slow-cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, sterilizer, and yogurt maker, all-in-one.
But then, the latest rice cookers, like the one shown here, 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.
Zojirushi NP-NWC10XB Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker
available at Amazon
Is instapot good for cooking rice?
Does Instant Pot make good rice? An Instant Pot can make good rice if you follow the recipe. 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.
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
Rice comes out fluffy from an Instant Pot if you use natural pressure release (NPR) and the right recipe. 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 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 1¼ cups and 15 minutes.
This recipe suits basmati or jasmine rice (1:1 ratio):
Rinse well 2 cups of rice and then add to Instant Pot
Add 2 cups of water and a good pinch of salt
Choose HIGH pressure and cook for 6 minutes
Allow the Instant Pot to depressurize naturally
With rice in an Instant Pot, let it continue to cook until the pressure releases 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.
Magnetic IP Cook Times
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 it, 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 covering safety tips on using Instant Pots.
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!