Cooking Rice in an Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker

Cooking rice is a frequent activity in most households. You might think that it doesn’t matter which method to use when cooking rice.

One can use the traditional stovetop method or utilize a kitchen appliance.

Despite what you may have heard, kitchen gadgets make work easier and have features that make the process quick and easy.

You’ll end up preparing well-cooked and delicious rice irrespective of the type of rice.

In this article, we’ll compare cooking rice in an instant pot versus a rice cooker. Having used both appliances to cook this dish, I can easily identify the difference in their processes.

A rice cooker is a kitchen appliance specifically designed to prepare rice and related dishes such as pasta. The rice cooker accomplishes this task by steaming.

An instant pot is an enhanced electric pressure cooker with multiple functionalities. It works by creating a high-temperature and pressure environment that facilitates cooking.

There are differences between how the two appliances work. We’ll compare how they perform when it comes to cooking rice.

Differences When Cooking Rice in Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker

Before we tackle the differences, there were steps taken to make the comparison as close as possible. One, the same type and quantity of rice was used in the instant pot and rice cooker.

The appliances were the Black+Decker 8-cup rice cooker and the Instant Pot Duo. Here’s what I found:

Cooking Time

An instant pot takes a shorter time to cook rice than a rice cooker. For 2 cups of rice, an instant pot prepares this for about 5 minutes.

However, you’ll need to factor in the time an instant pot takes to come to pressure and the pressure release time.

The total time an instant pot takes to prepare rice when considering the two actions is about 25 minutes.

When it comes to a rice cooker, the cooking time is about 30 minutes. The rice cooker is done cooking when all the water is depleted and it automatically switches to keep warm.

An instant pot is faster in cooking no doubt. However, when you consider the additional time for coming to pressure and pressure release, the time difference is not as significant.

To speed up the process of cooking rice with either a rice cooker or instant pot, it’s best to use warm or hot water. Higher temperature water cuts down the time needed for it to heat up and start cooking.  

Read: How Long Does Instant Pot Come to Pressure?

Water

The quantity of water needed to prepare rice in an instant pot is less compared to a rice cooker.

An instant pot works best with a 1:1 ratio of rice to water while the rice cooker should be 1:2. This is specifically when preparing white rice.

The reason why an instant pot requires less water is because of the pressure element.

An instant pot features a sealing ring that locks in all the contents to create high pressure and temperature.

On the other hand, a rice cooker doesn’t create a high-pressure environment. The hot water is responsible for cooking as opposed to high-pressure steam.

You’ll need much more water to properly cook the rice.

Taste

The taste of rice after cooking with either appliance is great. Its final texture is also okay. What matters to get a good outcome is to maintain the recommended rice-to-water ratio.

Adding spices, vegetables and cereals enhances the taste of the rice dish. What you choose to add is a matter of preference.

Read: How Much Water Is Needed for Pressure Cooking?

Capacity

The capacity of an appliance determines how much rice you can prepare at a time. Rice cookers have an average capacity of between 2 to 10 cups of dry rice.

Zojirushi rice cookers are better for users with large families that would want to prepare large batches of rice at a time.

An instant pot gives you room to cook more especially if you have a small rice cooker. The smallest size instant pot is 3 quartz which is equivalent to 12 US cups.

Convenience

Convenience refers to the ability to proceed to do or use something without difficulty. A rice cooker is easier to use than an instant pot.

Let me explain.

Due to the many features and buttons on the instant pot, it needs getting used to. Furthermore, there are several steps to get through before getting the rice to cook.

On the other hand, operating a rice cooker is straightforward. Most like the DASH Mini Rice Cooker have two buttons- cook and warm.

All you’re required to do is plug in the appliance, place the rice and water and press the cook button.

Another aspect of convenience is the versatility of an appliance. With an instant pot, you can prepare a variety of meals, which may not be possible with a rice cooker.

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Safety

In the kitchen, safety features are your best tools. The more safety features an appliance has, the safer the experience.

An instant pot is designed with 10 safety features that prevent any accidents when the appliance is in use.

Some of the features include: overheat protection, steam release valve, automatic temperature, and pressure control.

A simple rice cooker has limited safety features. The appliance only automatically switches to keep warm once cooking is done.

It may require one to set up a residual current device (RCD) to protect from any faults.

Even when opening the lid in a rice cooker, you’re prone to burning from steam if you don’t give the appliance time to cool down.

The instant pot steam release valve ensures all the steam is released before you’re able to open the electric pressure cooker.

Clean up Time

When cooking rice in an instant pot versus a rice cooker, the cleaning process is quick and simple with both appliances.

Both appliances feature removable sections and non-stick interiors. A quick clean with soap, warm water or a quick wipe-down does the trick.

Conclusion

Cooking rice in an instant pot versus a rice cooker has contrasts in time, convenience, safety, the quantity of water needed, and capacity.

The instant pot appears to be a clear winner for users who prefer its versatility. It all boils down to preference. One can also have both appliances and make the most out of both experiences.

Now that you know the key differences, let us know which of the two appliances you have or would prefer and your experience.

Try cooking rice in an instant pot and rice cooker and make your observations. Enjoy!

Kim

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