How to Perfectly Cook Instant Pot Rice in 4 Easy Steps

One of the first things I’ve ever learned to perfect was cooking rice on a stovetop but deep down, I’ve secretly always wanted a rice cooker. The only problem was I couldn’t get myself to buy an appliance that technically excelled at only one thing. When I discovered the Instant Pot, things changed and Instant Pot rice suddenly became a possibility.

Here was another appliance that took even more precious counter space away BUT was helping me recover counter space by eliminating the need for a separate pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and many more. With the Instant Pot, I now had a rice cooker that promised to cook Instant Pot rice perfectly at the touch of a button. And to my amazement, it delivered. Cooking rice in Instant Pot for the first time was a dream and it finally allowed me to use the perfect 1:1 ratio of rice and water.

With the Instant Pot, I now had a rice cooker that promised to cook perfect Instant Pot rice at the touch of a button.

Generally, most stovetop rice recipes will ask for 1.5 cups of water for every cup of rice. The reason for this is because of evaporation which escapes while your rice is steaming on a stovetop. Obviously, there are several factors like the type of cooking vessel you’re using and how tightly the lid fits, but chances are, steam will escape during the cooking process.

How much water do you need to cook Instant Pot rice?

With the Instant Pot, very little steam escapes and it does so in a controlled manner; therefore, it’s possible to use a 1:1 ratio of rice and water. One cup of water for every cup of rice and you’ll get perfectly cooked Instant Pot rice with tender, distinct grains. In other words, no mushy rice!

The other great thing is that you simply adjust the water and rice together if making more. Need, 6 cups of cooked rice for a recipe? Just use 3 cups of water and 3 cups of rice. The ratio stays the same, one to one.

When cooking rice on a stovetop, doubling the water and rice usually meant mushy rice. According to Dan Souza, Senior Editor of Cook’s Illustrated, increasing the water and rice using the 1.5:1 ratio when cooking rice on a stovetop doesn’t take evaporation into account. For example, whether you cook 1 cup of rice or 4 cups of rice, it doesn’t take any longer to cook. The added water will only make the lower layer of rice in the pot mushy while the top layer will most likely be perfectly cooked.

The science behind cooking perfect rice…

YouTube

So basically what the video suggests is that water to rice ratios can’t be scaled up proportionally if using a cooking vessel that isn’t sealed. So, the bottom line is cooking rice in an Instant Pot allows you to proportionally scale water and rice ratios because there is very little evaporation.

It also explains why brown rice usually requires more water than white rice. Because it takes longer to cook, more steam will escape explaining why 1 cup of brown rice generally requires 2 cups of water while white rice requires 1.5 cups of water when cooking rice on a stovetop.

“Thanks for the science lesson but all I want to do is cook rice!”

Considering that we established 1 cup of water for each cup of rice, does this apply to every type of rice? The answer is yes. It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking white, brown, basmati, or any other type of rice.

What is the ratio of water to rice in an Instant Pot?

The ratio will still be one cup of water for every cup of rice when cooking in the Instant Pot. Because brown rice has the outer bran layer, it will take a little longer for the moisture to break through that layer.

Keep in mind that in nearly every instance, if you use the 1:1 ratio and there is still water left or the rice is “wet” when stirring it, the cooking time wasn’t long enough, and the 10-minute natural release should be disregarded, and simply try a full natural release next time.

How long does it take to cook rice in an Instant Pot?

Instant Pot jasmine rice

  • Use a 1:1 water quantity ratio.
  • Cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
  • Use natural release or 10-minute natural release for firmer rice.

Instant Pot brown rice

  • Use a 1.25:1 water quantity ratio (1 1/4 cups of water for each cup of rice) to cook brown rice in the Instant Pot
  • Cook for 20 minutes on high pressure
  • Use natural release or 10-minute natural release for firmer rice.

Instant Pot basmati rice

  • Use a 1:1 water quantity ratio.
  • Cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
  • Use natural release or 10-minute natural release for firmer rice.

Instant Pot wild rice

  • Use a 1.25:1 water quantity ratio (1 1/4 cups of water for each cup of rice) to cook wild rice in Instant Pot.
  • Cook for 20 minutes on high pressure
  • Use natural release or 10-minute natural release for firmer rice.

Does Instant Pot have a rice setting?

The Instant Pot rice button on the Instant Pot is very handy, but it is only a preset setting for white or parboiled rice. It also cooks rice for 8-12 minutes and uses the 10-minute natural release. While it is a convenient setting, I’ve personally found the manual method quicker and it still delivers scrumptious, fluffy rice.

How do I make rice in an Instant Pot?

How to make rice in the Instant Pot

4 Steps to Cooking Perfect Instant Pot Rice

How to Perfectly Cook Instant Pot Rice in 4 Easy Steps.

Cooking rice in an Instant Pot allows you to proportionally scale water and rice ratios because there is very little evaporation. The result? Perfect rice!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. First, you want to rinse the rice to remove starch. You can either rinse the rice with a sieve or fine mesh colander or add it to the inner pot and rinse with water until clear.
  2. Next, add an equal amount of water to the inner pot. Close the cover and ensure the steam release handle is in the ‘sealing’ position.
  3. Next, press ‘Pressure cook’ and select ‘High Pressure’ if not already selected. Adjust the time based on the type of rice (i.e.: 4 minutes for white rice).
  4. Once completed, let the pressure release naturally before opening the cover or use a 10-minute natural release for firmer rice. Season with salt.

Notes

Water and time will depend on the type of rice you are cooking. Please review the suggested cooking times and water ratios if not cooking white rice.

After cooking Instant Pot rice, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s the easiest method for cooking rice!

If you have success cooking Instant Pot rice or maybe run into issues when cooking rice in your Instant Pot and want to submit questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments!

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