Is Instant Pot a Good Rice Cooker?

Instant Pot and a wooden spoon with cooked rice

If you are in the market for an electric pressure cooker, it is likely that you are also looking for a multi functional product that can replace some of your other kitchen appliances.

These days it is easy to find an electric pressure cooker that also functions as slow cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, rice cooker and more.

Instant Pot and a wooden spoon with cooked rice

This article will be focusing on one of these specific functions in one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. Today will be investigating how well Instant Pot electric pressure cookers prepare rice.

Which Instant Pot pressure cookers make rice?

Instant Pot has several electric pressure cookers, all of which have a rice cooker function.

  • Instant Pot IP-DUO (5 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart)
  • Instant Pot IP-LUX (5 quart and 6 quart)
  • Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus60 (6 quart)
  • Instant Pot IP-Smart (6 quart)
  • Instant Pot Ultra (6 quart)

Instant Pot electric pressure cookers all have a preset options for cooking rice. The newer models have separate presets for both white rice and brown rice.

The included recipe book has a recipe for cooking both white and brown rice. Customer reviews overwhelmingly report that both white rice and brown rice come out flawlessly when you go buy the provided recipe.

My recommendations for cooking rice

Rice-water ratio:

1 cup of water for every 1 cup of rice.

Cooking times:
Instant Pot Jasmine Rice –  3 minutes + natural pressure release.
Instant Pot Persian Rice- 3 minutes + natural pressure release.
Instant Pot Basmati Rice - 3 minutes + natural pressure release.
Instant Pot Brown Rice – 15-25 minutes.
Instant Pot Wild rice mix – 25-30 minutes.
Instant Pot Sushi rice - different method.

Check out this Instant Pot rice calculator so you can get the perfect rice each and every time.

Instant Pot Recommendations for cooking rice

On the Instant Pot website you can find a time table with recommended cooking time and water to grain ratios for all rice and grains.

For simple white rice they recommend a 1 to 1.5 ratio of rice to water and a cook time of 8 minutes. For brown rice the recommended ratio is 1 to 1.25 with a cook time of 22 to 28 minutes.

The rice function cooks the rice on the low pressure setting.


What do users say?

Although Instant Pot recommends a 1 to 1.25 ratio, several customer reviews reveal that a one to one ratio comes out better, especially with rinsed rice. Also this holds true when making larger portions.

While the rice cooked at the recommended ratio comes out well for just a cup of rice, if you use this same ratio for larger volumes of rice, your rice may come out mushy.

The reason you would use less water when cooking rice with a pressure cooker than with a normal rice cooker is because the pressure cooker has an air tight seal.

When using a pot or a rice cooker, excess water escapes as steam through a loose lid or through a small vent designed to let off steam.

Because the seal is air tight all of the water is converted to steam when the cooker pressurizes or its absorbed by the rice. There's no way to boil off some of the water if you have added too much.

For more info, check how cooking rice in a pressure cooker is different from using an actual rice cooker.

Another thing to consider when cooking rice with a pressure cooker is your elevation. At higher elevations the pressure that the pressure cooker cooks at is not as high.

If you are using your pressure cooker at 3,000 feet above sea level or higher you will want to use the cook time at the higher end of the recommended time on the time table.

How to cook white rice with an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker?

  • Choose and measure the amount of rice you would like to cook.
  • Add water to your Instant Pot Pressure cooker at the desired ratio, depending on your type of rice.
  • Rinse the rice and add it to the pot.
  • Select the rice function and start.
  • Let the rice stand in the pressure cooker for ten minutes before manually releasing the pressure.

What about other types or rice?

If you are cooking any other type of rice with an Instant Pot pressure cooker, you will want to use the manual programming setting. This will allow you to input the longer time needed.

Also if you are cooking at high elevation and need to adjust time you can do this with the manual setting as well.

If you are using the Instant Pot Smart, you will be able to right your own recipe or download one to manually program your perfect rice recipe from your phone.

Another recipe you may be interested in trying with the Instant Pot is sticky rice. This glutinous rice is the type you'll find accompanying dishes like stir fry and teriyaki.

There are two ways to make this in an instant Pot pressure cooker.

If you have a trivet you can add one cup of water to your pressure cooker, place the rice in a stainless steel bowl on top of the Instant Pot trivet with a water to rice ration or ⅔ to 1. You would cook this on high pressure for about 12 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally, for about 5 to 7 minutes before opening.

The other approach to cooking sticky rice in a pressure cooker is based off of the traditional way of cooking it.

Sticky rice is traditionally prepared by steaming the rice. You can use the same water to rice ratio and use the steam setting to cook for about six minutes, then manually release the pressure as soon as it is done cooking.

Things to remember when using the rice cooking function

  1. Use a lower water to grain ratio when cooking larger volumes of rice.
  2. The rice will come out better if you cook at least one cup of rice, no less.
  3. You may need to adjust cooking time depending on your elevation.
  4. You can adjust the amount of water you add. Use more water if you like your rice softer, use less water if you prefer your rice al dente.

If you bought your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker with the intention of using the rice cooking function then you will not be disappointed.

If you didn't plan on using the rice cooking function with your Instant Pot pressure cooker, you are in for a pleasant surprise.

Instant Pot electric pressure cookers are decent replacements for the traditional rice cooker or stove top pot.

2 thoughts on “Is Instant Pot a Good Rice Cooker?

  1. I just bought my instant pot Duo. I'm so glad to have these recipes and instructions to use it online!! So helpful. I'm excited to start cooking with the Instant Pot Duo

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