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How to Perfectly Cook Instant Pot Rice in 4 Easy Steps

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 thing.

When I discovered the Instant Pot, things changed. 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 perfect rice at the touch of a button. And to my amazement, it delivered. Cooking rice for the first time was a dream and it finally allowed me to use the perfect 1:1 ratio of rice and water.

Generally, most stovetop rice recipes will ask 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 rice in an instant pot?

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 which explains 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. 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/or the 10-minute natural release should be disregarded and simply try a full natural release next time.

These are suggested cooking times for various types of Instant Pot rice:

Instant Pot white rice or jasmine rice

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

Instant Pot basmati rice

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

“Doesn’t the Instant Pot have a ‘Rice’ setting?”

The Instant Pot rice setting on the Instant Pot is very handy but it is a preset setting for white or parboiled rice only. 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 to be quicker and still deliver scrumptious, fluffy rice.

 

4 Steps to Cooking Perfect Instant Pot Rice

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Natural Release 10 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Rice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp 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.

Recipe 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 rice in your Instant Pot, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s the easiest method to cook rice!

If you have success cooking rice with your Instant Pot or maybe ran into issues and want to provide suggestions, let me know in the comments! Please share how to cooking Instant Pot rice perfectly with your friends and family.

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