How to Make Rice in the Pressure Cooker

How ToPressure CookerRice

Rice in the pressure cooker? Yes, it works! This is the most reliable, fool proof way to make fluffy rice that we know.

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

Ever since I got my Instant Pot a few years ago, I’ve stopped making rice any other way! It’s such a simple, basic method, and you never have to worry about it getting gummy or a pot boiling over on the stove.

Every time I make rice, I achieve the same results: separate grains, with a pleasing, chewy texture. Pressure cooking does give rice a slightly different texture than stovetop cooking, and I have actually grown to prefer it prepared this way. Give it a try and see what you think!

HOW MUCH WATER FOR PRESSURE COOKING RICE?

You can cook any kind of rice in your pressure cooker, long or short grain, brown or white. (It even makes a killer risotto, but that’s a recipe for another day.) No matter what kind of rice I’m cooking, I use the same ratio of rice to water or broth, 1:1.

This is probably less water than you’re used to using for cooking stovetop rice, and that’s because there’s very little evaporation when you’re using the pressure cooker. This ratio produces fairly firm, separate grains—you can add a little more water, maybe about 1/4 cup extra, if you like softer rice.

How to Make Rice in the Instant Pot fluff the rice

HOW LONG TO PRESSURE COOK RICE?

The amount of water (or other liquid—you can also use stock) will remain the same. Different kinds of rice, however, take different amounts of time to cook under pressure. Wild rice and brown rice will require more time than white rice, for instance. Any variety can be cooked at either high or low pressure; it comes out a little fluffier at low pressure, and a little chewier at high pressure.

Although you can cook any variety of rice on the automatic “rice” setting, brown rice works better on either a manual setting, or a setting that’s specifically designed for whole grains, such as the “Multigrain” setting on the Instant Pot.

Here are my preferred cooking times for cooking rice in the pressure cooker:

  • Brown rice: 20 minutes on high pressure for firm rice, or 22 minutes for softer grains
  • White rice: 15 minutes on low pressure for firm rice, or 17 minutes for softer grains

RINSE WELL FOR FLUFFY RICE

I don’t always remember to do this step, but it helps when I do: Rinse the rice in a wire mesh colander under cold water for 30 seconds or so, or until the water runs clear.

Rinsing makes the rice fluffy, and seems to make more of a difference with white rice varieties verses brown; the latter is protected by its hull and doesn’t tend to have a lot of extra starch clinging to the outside of the grains.

JUST ADD WATER—OR BROTH. OR GARLIC. OR BUTTER.

Just like on the stove, you can cook rice in the pressure cooker with broth or water, use as much salt as you like, and add extra seasonings, a pat of butter, or a little olive oil for extra flavor.

I sometimes sauté a little garlic in olive oil before adding my rice and broth, which turns a basic pot of grains into a flavorful side dish! You can also use seasonings such as turmeric and coriander for some Indian-inspired basmati rice, or chili powder for rice to tuck into burritos.

USE A NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE

No matter what kind of rice you’re cooking, it’s a good idea to let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before opening the pot. This allows the moisture to distribute evenly throughout the grains, and helps it unstick from the bottom of the pot, too.

You *can* open the pot with a quick pressure release if you like, but it really does benefit from a little resting time!

MINIMUM (AND MAXIMUM) AMOUNTS OF RICE

One last rule of thumb to keep in mind is that you’ll need to cook at least 1 1/2 cups of rice in a 6-quart pressure cooker to get nice, even results. This is because the bottom of the pot isn’t perfectly flat, but slightly concave. If you use less rice, the grains in the middle of the pot will not cook as evenly, since they won’t be submerged in the water as much as the rice on the sides of the pot.

On the flip side, don’t overfill your pressure cooker with too much rice, either! It should be half full or less when you’re cooking any grains, beans, pastas, or other foods that can tend to foam up. I find that I get the best results when I cook between 1 1/2 and 3 cups of rice at a time.

By the way, you can always make extra rice and freeze the extra. Here’s how to do that!

Those are my best tips for cooking rice! Of course, you can also just follow the basic recipe below. Either way, enjoy!

MORE PANTRY STAPLES TO MAKE IN THE PRESSURE COOKER

How to Make Rice in the Pressure Cooker

Print
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 (1/2 cup) servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice (any variety)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Special equipment:

Method

1 Rinse the rice: In a fine wire mesh colander, rinse the rice under cold running water for about 30 seconds, until the water is less cloudy (it won't be quite clear). Drain off the excess water for a minute or so, until water is no longer dripping from the colander. (Note: If you’re using brown rice, you can skip this rinsing step.)

Instant Pot Rice Recipe rinse the rice

2 Add the rice and water to the cooker: Add the rice to the pressure cooker, along with the 2 cups of water and salt. Swivel the inner pot in the housing a little bit so that the rice settles into an even layer in the pot. Secure the lid with the release valve in its “Sealing” position.

Pressure Cooker Rice Recipe add the rice to the cooker Pressure Cooker Rice Recipe Add the liquid Instant Pot Rice Recipe rice in water

3 Cook the rice on low pressure: If using white rice, select the “Rice” cooking program on its low pressure setting. (If your pressure cooker doesn’t have high and low pressure settings, just use the default “rice” setting.) The pressure cooker will adjust the cooking time automatically. For manual instructions, set the cooking time for 15 minutes on low pressure.

If using brown rice, select the “Multigrain,” “Pressure Cook,” or “Manual” setting and set the cooking time for 20 minutes at high pressure for chewy, separate grains of rice. For slightly softer rice, increase the cooking time to 22 minutes.

How to Make Rice in the Instant Pot set the instant pot Pressure Cooker Rice Recipe cook the rice

4 Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes: When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the pressure release valve to its “Venting” position to release the remaining steam.

Open the pot, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve. (Leftover rice? Freeze it!)

Pressure Cooker Rice Recipe cooked rice How to Make Rice in the Instant Pot fluff the rice

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to How to Make Rice in the Pressure Cooker on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

Products We Love

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

More from Coco

4 Comments / Reviews

No ImageHow to Make Rice in the Pressure Cooker

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Joy

    How much rice would I need to cook in an 8 qt instant put?

  2. Anne

    Super helpful! Thanks!

  3. John Meyer

    I agree with Coco: nothing comes close to the quality of the rice made in a pressure cooker.

    I make rice at least once a week, always in my pressure cooker. However, I pressure steam it rather than cook it directly. This has many advantages: it lets me make small quantities; it avoids any burning of the rice (you cannot stir anything in a pressure cooker); and it produces a better result than traditional boiling (or pressure boiling), regardless of the type of rice. It is also a little faster than pressure boiling because, since so little water is used, the cooker comes up to pressure in only a minute or two. The cooking time, once up to pressure, is identical to pressure boiling.

    And, of course, any type of pressure-cooked rice gives you the end result in much less time than traditional cooking.

    To make pressure steam rice, find or make a trivet upon which you can place a cooking bowl. Put enough water in the cooker to cover the bottom while ensuring that the cooker won’t boil dry. Don’t let the water reach the trivet. The water in the cooker is there to create steam, but the rice is not put in that water, so the exact amount is not critical.

    Put half a cup of long grain rice (or other rice) in the cooking bowl. This is enough for the two of us, but I’ve made much more when we’ve had company. Then add about 3/4 – 7/8 cup of water (I use slightly less than the usual 2:1 water/rice ratio). Add a little salt, if you wish. Bring to pressure, and as soon as the cooker reaches 15 psi, start timing. I cook for six minutes. I then turn off the heat and let the rice continue to cook for another 4-6 minutes. If you let it stand longer than that, it will get a little stickier, but will still be wonderful. This lets you stall if you need to wait for some other part of the meal to finish cooking.

    I have not been rinsing the rice, but Coco is almost certainly right that this would produce a better result. I’ll have to remember to do that next time.

    Pressure steaming is a wonderful technique for all vegetables, especially potatoes. I long ago started using a similar technique for cooking potatoes for mashing. Unlike rice, where timing can be a little sloppy, you have to pay closer attention to timing when cooking potatoes, but the result, after mashing is far better than what you get with boiled potatoes.

    I adapted my pressure-steamed rice recipe from ideas I got in the “bible” of pressure cooking, Lorna Sass’ “Cooking Under Pressure.” I highly recommend that book.

  4. Sarah

    I make white jasmine rice in my Instant Pot mini almost every day. The instructions I have been using make perfect rice in even less time:
    1 part rinsed wet rice to 1 part water plus a pinch of salt
    Pressure cook on High for 1 minute, then do a full natural release (usually 13-16 mins after cooking for the valve to drop)
    15 mins cook time (same water-rice ratio and NR) works great for making short grain brown rice. Never mushy, no discolored overcooked layer on the bottom of the pot!

How to Make Rice in the Instant PotHow to Make Rice in the Pressure Cooker