How to Cook Rice in the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker

Learn how to cook rice in your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or any other brand of electric pressure cooker. Whether you want to cook white rice, brown rice, or any other kind of rice, I’ll help you figure out YOUR perfect cook time to get your rice exactly how you like it. After a little practice, you’ll be an expert at making rice that comes out perfect EVERY TIME!

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White rice, brown rice, black rice, and pink rice, ready to go in the Instant Pot

Hi everyone, Jenn here! I love rice! We eat it several times a week because it’s inexpensive but full of flavor and can go with nearly any meal!

However, before I got my pressure cooker, I never could get it quite right. Sometimes I’d forget to turn down the heat to simmer. Other times, I’d run out of water and then add too much extra and it was a mess. 

The first time I made rice in the pressure cooker, it was love!!! I could just add the ingredients and walk away! No more worrying about boiling over or checking to make it’s not cooking too hot or too cold. 

If you haven’t made rice in your pressure cooker, you absolutely have to try it! 

Four wooden bowls of different types of rice with an Instant Pot in the background

How to Cook Rice in Your Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot

All of these rice recipes will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, and Mealthy MultiPot. They are easy to use and can help you create the perfect pressure cooker rice dish!

Should I Choose Short Grain or Long Grain Rice?

For making the basic recipes—plain white rice or plain brown rice—use whichever you prefer. The recipes will work with short-grain, medium-grain, and long-grain rice.

I generally buy long-grain rice.

An overhead shot of four wooden bowls filled with different types of rice—white, brown, black, and pink—with additional white rice in a wooden spoon

How Much Liquid Should I Use to Make Instant Pot Rice

You can use water or a clear liquid like broth or juice to infuse your rice with flavor as it cooks. Whatever liquid you use, the ratio will stay the same. When cooking at High Pressure in a 6-quart pressure cooker, I recommend:

  • White Rice: 1 cup rice to 1¼ cups liquid (10 ounces)
  • Pink Rice: 1 cup rice to 1¼ cups liquid (10 ounces)
  • Black Rice: 1 cup rice to 1⅜ cups liquid (11 ounces)
  • Brown Rice: 1 cup rice to 1½ cups liquid (12 ounces)

For larger pressure cookers, you may need to add more liquid for perfect results. Or, you could use the above ratios with the pot-in-pot method—just add 2 cups water to the cooking pot under the trivet!

Pot-in-Pot (PIP) method for making rice in your Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Can I Cook Rice Pot-in-Pot?

Yes! If you prefer, you can definitely cook rice pot in pot! When cooking pot in pot, I often will add a minute to my rice since it’s a little farther away from the heat source. Check out my in-depth tutorial here. 

Do I Use the Pressure Cook or Rice Button to Make Rice in the Instant Pot?

The rice button on the Instant Pot is ONLY for white rice! (Remember, your Instant Pot can’t sense what’s in the pot; the buttons only run a preprogrammed cook time.)

The Rice button cooks white rice at low pressure for a longer time than rice cooks at high pressure. 

However, since I write my recipes for all brands of electric pressure cookers, and since not all pressure cookers have a rice button, I prefer to set a custom cook time and cook my rice at high pressure. 

Even if your brand of pressure cooker has a rice button, not all rice buttons give people the results they like. 

I’ve had great results using my ratios of water to liquid.

A side profile shot of four wooden bowls of different types of rice

What Kind of Rice Is Best?

That all depends on your personal taste and what you’re serving it with! 

White and brown rice are the two best-known kinds. White rice has had the outer coating removed, and it has a really mild flavor. 

Everyone describes brown rice as having a “nutty flavor.” Honestly, I’m not really sure about the “nuttiness” but it is a rich flavor (thanks to the bran coating) and is high in fiber.  Difference between the types of rice black rice is a superfood, white rice is generally fortified, brown rice has the outer coating on so it’s higher fiber.

How to Cook Jasmine or Basmati Rice in an Instant Pot? 

In the pressure cooker, jasmine and basmati rice have the same cook times as other long-grain white or brown rice. You can substitute them without changing the recipe.

Pressure Cooker White Rice prepared with a green onion garnish and an Instant Pot in the background

Common Questions about Making Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Rice 

How Do I Make a Half-Batch or a Double Batch of Rice?

These recipes are really flexible! To make a double batch, just double the rice and water ratio, but no need to increase the cook time. 

You can also make a triple or quadruple batch of rice—just make sure not to fill your pressure cooker more than two-thirds full.

To make less than 1 cup of rice, I recommend cooking pot-in-pot to make sure you have enough water in the bottom of the pot for it to come to pressure.

Black rice after pressure cooking in the Instant Pot, inside the cooking pot with a wooden spoon for stirring

Do I Need to Rinse Rice Before Cooking in the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker?

Rinsing the rice involves running it under cool water until the water runs clear. It’s different from soaking the rice. (More on that below.)

So, should you rinse your rice? 

Short answer: Do whatever you feel most comfortable with.

(Really) Long answer: Ultimately, whether or not you rinse your rice depends on the type of rice you’re cooking and what type of food you’re making. 

Years ago, white rice was processed with a talc or cornstarch coating, so rinsing the rice was a necessary step. However, most domestic white rice isn’t prepared this way anymore, so it’s technically not necessary.

Some people still prefer to rinse the rice to make sure it’s free of debris or surface starches. Other people think rinsed rice has a better texture that highlights the individual grains.

However, other people prefer a bit of stickiness in their rice, so they skip the rinse. (This is especially important in Asian cuisine and for foods like Risotto, where the creaminess is essential to the finished dish.) Still other people do not like to rinse their rice since many major brands of white rice are coated in vitamins, and washing the rice removes this coating. 

And other people object to using the amount of water it takes to rinse the rice thoroughly or don’t want to dirty the strainer. 

So, really, we’re right back where we started—experiment to find your preference and go with it!

A small bowl of pressure cooker brown rice, with a small dish of salt and a gray cloth napkin in the background

Isn’t It Just Easier to Cook Rice on the Stovetop?

No.

This popular stovetop recipe for brown rice calls for the rice to be brought to a boil, then let simmer for 45 minutes, then check and cook 10 minutes more if needed, then let stand for 10 to 15 minutes more. 

With Instapot rice, you just toss in the rice and water, set the cook time, then walk away. No remembering to reduce the rice to a simmer. (Or questioning if your “low simmer” is the right amount of low.) No worrying about pots to boil over.

Just hands-off, easy cooking.

A dark brown bowl full of short-grain brown rice, prepared in teh Instant Pot, with a garnish of sea salt in the background

Do I Have to Use Oil or Salt?

Many recipes call for adding salt or oil to the rice. I am frequently asked if those are necessary.

When you’re making plain rice, these are completely optional and you can add them or not according to your preference. 

However, adding salt and oil to the rice while it cooks helps to flavor the rice, so I generally include it.

Also, when making a big batch of rice, adding a little oil helps keep the rice from foaming when you release the pressure. 

How Do I Cook Rice as a Side and My Main Dish in the Pressure Cooker?

Well, there are two options. If your rice and main dish have similar cooking times, you can cook them using the pot-in-pot method. For example, diced chicken cooks in 4 minutes and white rice cooks 4 minutes pot-in-pot, making them the perfect pair.

However, if your ingredients have different cook times, I prefer to make my rice first. Once cooked, I transfer it to a bowl and cover tightly. 

It generally retains its heat well while the main dish cooks. 

(Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have the storage space and room in your budget, I love cooking rice in my 3-quart and my main in my 6-quart.)

A spoonful of prepared Instant Pot pink rice, with steam rising from the spoon.

What Should I Do with Leftover Rice?

I often cook larger batches of rice with leftovers in mind. 

Rice freezes really well and makes a great addition to many lunches or quick dinners. 

I also like to use leftover rice to make Ham Fried Rice (page 256 in my Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook). Day-old rice is ideal for Ham Fried Rice, since it improves the texture and allows the rice to absorb the flavors better. 

How Big Is the Little Rice Cup that Came with My Pressure Cooker?

Honestly, I didn’t know about this until it was explained in my Multipot review. The rice measuring cup is smaller than a U.S. standard measuring cup and is supposed to represent a single serving of rice. 

However, since it’s difficult to measure exact amounts of water with that cup, I prefer not to use it.

An overhead shot of white rice prepared in the Instant Pot and green onions, with chopsticks balanced between the bowls

Troubleshooting

Over the years, I have helped a number of readers troubleshoot problems in their kitchen. So if you have trouble with your Instant Pot rice, I can help!

My rice is too crunchy

Crunchy rice is a common problem and means that it was either not cooked long enough or there was not enough water added to the pot. 

Be sure to check your pot to see if there is extra water in the bottom that has not been absorbed. If not, it likely means you will need to add a little more water. I’d start small and work your way up.

My rice is too mushy

Mushy rice means you added too much water or cooked your rice for too long. Be sure to check the recipe to make sure you add the correct amount of water and select the correct cook time.

An overhead shot of four wooden bowls filled with different types of rice—white, brown, black, and pink

My rice is too sticky

Some types of rice are stickier than others, but if you have a problem with sticky rice it is likely because you did not rinse the rice well enough. Follow my instructions above for the best results

My rice keeps sticking to the bottom of my pot

Rice stuck to the bottom of the cooking pot could also mean you are overcooking your rice.

However, when I see rice stuck to the bottom of my cooking pot, it’s almost always because I forgot to turn off the Keep Warm setting. 

When the rice is done, I make sure to turn my pot off and keep the rice covered. You may also want to remove the pot from the pressure cooker so the heating element doesn’t continue to cook your rice.

A wooden bowl full of white rice, ready to cook in the pressure cooker

My Pressure Cooker Spits When I Release the Pressure

This can happen, especially if you’re cooking a double or triple batch of rice. 

As soon as you see large water droplets or foam start to emerge from the pressure release valve, switch it right back to the Sealed position. 

Wait a few moments, then switch to Venting again and allow the pressure to release once more. (I call this an Intermittent Pressure Release.)

Since rice is a pretty forgiving food, you don’t need to worry if it takes a minute or two before you’re able to release all the pressure.

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The Best Rice Recipes for the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker

Whether you want to make basic white rice, a fancy lemon risotto, or a classic rice pudding, you'll find what you're looking for in this collection of our BEST rice recipes.

Basics

Simple step-by-step instructions on how to make any basic kind of rice in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker.

Flavored Rice

Add a blast of flavor to your side dish with one of these mouth-watering recipes, from classic Mexican rice to a Greek-inspired lemon rice.

Pilafs and Risottos

To make a great pilaf or risotto, you need to saute your rice before cooking. These recipes will help you create a creamy, delicious side without all the work of the traditional stove-top versions.

Desserts

Enjoy comfort food at its finest with our classic rice pudding recipe, or mix things up a bit with one of our variations on the classic.

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