How to Cook Rice in an Instant Pot

Cooking the perfect rice can be tricky. Surely, we’ve all wondered the same thing- what’s the trick to getting it soft and fluffy? If you’ve ever struggled with cooking the perfect rice, then you’re probably familiar with the taste of overly wet or dry grains. While you might be able to perfect it over time with trial and error, wouldn’t it be nice to know some tips? Sure, you can buy an electric rice cooker, a specially designed appliance to boil or steam rice, and let it do all the work but what if you don’t have the counter space in your kitchen for such an item? Or if you simply do not want to invest in another product? When the craving for rice hits, what’s the fastest, yet easiest way to cook rice to perfection?

Enter the Instant Pot. A combination of an electronically controlled slow cooker and pressure cooker, the 7-in-1 kitchen appliance is designed to make preparing food easy- of course, rice is no exception. Though it was released in 2010, the idea of such a multi-purpose cooker has been around since the mid 2000’s. Aside from cooking rice, it’s also capable of steaming food, making yogurt, warming food, and more. If anything, it’s an essential piece of equipment for those who like quick and easy-to-make food!

Before we delve into the art that is rice cooking, let’s go over some basics. First things first- the water to rice ratio is incredibly important to making the perfect white rice. While it may be hard to remember at the beginning, you’ll quickly master it after making it a couple of times. If you’ve ever cooked rice on the stovetop, you’ll quickly realize that the water to rice ratio is different. In fact, if you’re almost guaranteed to end up with subpar rice, should you follow the same ratio.

With all that said, the ratio that you want to follow for al dente aka “firm” rice is 1:1; that is, the same amount of rice and water (assuming that you’re cooking long-grain white rice such as Jasmine or Basmati rice). Should you like your rice a little softer, however, you can add up to 1/2 cup of additional water. As far as brown rice goes (remember, brown rice contains much more nutrients as it is whole grain), typically, you can use a similar ratio to the one we’ve mentioned above.

How to Cook Rice in an Instant Pot – Instructions


Before you put the rice into your Instant Pot, there’s a couple of things that you should do first. After measuring the amount needed into a bowl,  you’ll want to rinse it with water using a strainer. Not only will this step help to remove any debris that may be in the grains, but it’ll also remove excess surface starch (too much of that can cause the rice to clump together or become “gummy”).

After rinsing the rice, you can add some add a pinch of salt for some additional flavor. Alternatively, you can also add a tablespoon or so of unsalted butter (on the Sauce setting), which can also help to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.

Full Instructions

1.) Measure out a portion of dry rice, and set it aside (remember to store the rest of the uncooked rice (either in a sealed, airtight container or in its original bag) in a cool, and dry area to prolong shelf life)

2.) Measure out the same amount of water (e.g. if you measured out one of rice in the above step, you’ll want to measure out one cup of water). Remember, the water to rice ratio is crucial in cooking the perfect rice!

3.) Carefully pour the water into the Instant Pot

4.) Take the dry rice that you’ve measured out in step one, and rinse it with water accordingly (as mentioned previously) to remove excess starch and debris from the surface

5.) After rinsing the rice, you can add it to the Instant Pot, which should already contain the measured water

6.) Securely lock on the lid on the Instant Pot, ensuring that the steam valve is in the “Sealing” position

7.) Next, you’ll want to input the time- aka, how long you want the Instant Pot to cook the rice for. For maximal precision, it’s recommended to use the “Manual” setting as opposed to the “Rice” setting as the latter is for parboiled or white rice only

8.) In order to adjust the cooking time on the “Manual” setting, press the “-“ button. Typically, you’ll want to cook the rice anywhere from 21 to 23 minutes (of course, depending on your preference)

9.) Relax and chill for the next ~25 minutes as the rice cooks in the Instant Pot

10.) Once the rice is fully cooked, it’s recommended to let it sit for approximately 10 minutes (though you may bypass this step if you’re hungry)

11.) Open the lid to see perfectly cooked rice

How to Cook Rice in an Instant Pot – FAQ’s

Why does the Instant Pot require less water than a Rice Cooker?

If you’ve ever cooked rice using the rice cooker, you’ll know that it tends to require more water than what you need with the Instant Pot. Why is less water required for the same quality of rice?

The answer is simple- the way the cooker is designed (mainly its superior sealing ability), it allows for minimal water evaporation. In contrast to this, rice cookers tend to have a much greater water evaporation; thus, more water is necessary

Why is there water left over in the pot after the rice is cooked?

You’re probably using too much water- remember to follow the 1:1 ratio. Another tip- don’t forget to drain out the excess water after rinsing your rise as it can tip the ratio off.

Is the Instant Pot predominantly used as a rice cooker?

While many people use it to cook rice with a high rate of success, the Instant Pot is not limited to cooking rice.

Why is my cooked rice sticky?

If your cooked rice is sticky, you may need to give it more time to rest and cool before serving (i.e. allow it to cool off with the lid off for at least five minutes). The reason for this is that white rice tends to get sticky above 155 Fahrenheit (68 Celsius).

Why is my rice only half cooked?

There are many possible reasons for this. For instance, the rice that you’re cooking may require more time that was inputted. If your rice is old, it may also require a little bit of extra water. Depending on the reason, it may take a little troubleshooting to perfect.

When do I use the “Rice” button?

The “Rice” button on the Instant Pot is intended for cooking white rice (e.g. basmati, jasmine, etc.). If you’re making brown rice, you’ll have to use the “Manual” mode (of course, you can also make white rice on the “Manual” setting).

So is an Instant Pot better than a Rice Cooker?

That depends. What will you be using the Instant Pot for? If your only aim is to cook rice, and nothing else, a standard Rice Cooker may suffice. If however, you’re interested in cooking other things (anything from meatballs to veggies), an Instant Pot may be a better choice. After all, it’s designed to do more than just cooking rice.




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