Discover the Secret to Perfect Instant Pot Rice Every Time

A clear measuring cup filled with rice and a small wooden spoon rest on a wooden surface in front of an Instant Pot displaying "OFF.

From creamy Italian risotto to the sticky rice used in sushi rolls, it’s easy to see why rice is a popular staple around the world. But did you know that you can make rice in an Instant Pot? Here’s how to use this handy kitchen gadget to make perfect Instant Pot rice every time.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

Rice isn’t just delicious — it’s also incredibly versatile. Whether you’re whipping up a quick stir-fry, need a base for your favorite curry, or just want a simple side dish, rice has got you covered.

Plus, as long as you don’t cook it with any sneaky mammalian ingredients (I’m looking at you butter and bone broth), it’s a good source of alpha-gal friendly plant-based protein.

If you’ve ever made rice using a rice cooker, you’ll definitely want to try it in your Instant Pot. Not only can the Instant Pot do more than a rice cooker, but it also cooks faster — and you don’t need any special Instant Pot accessories. So whether you’re cooking up a batch of fluffy white rice, hearty brown rice, or even wild rice, here’s how to make perfect rice every time using an Instant Pot.  

A bowl of rice with a tomato-based chicken dish. Text overlay reads: "Perfectly Cooked Instant Pot Rice: A Foolproof Method." Fork and knife are placed beside the bowl on a pink napkin.


In This Article

Choosing the Rice

The first step in making perfect Instant Pot rice is choosing the type of rice you want to cook. There are many kinds of rice. Typically they are categorized as long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain  — each with unique characteristics. And, to keep you on your toes, some varieties, like Basmati, come in both white and brown varieties.

Variety of rice grains in wooden scoops and a bowl on a ceramic plate, surrounded by dried plants.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Long-Grain Rice

Long-grain rice, like basmati, jasmine, or white long-grain, is the best option for most dishes. Its lower starch content results in fluffy rice with separate grains. 

Medium Grain Rice

Medium-grain rices include arborio, black, bomba, and Valencia. They are best for paella and risotto. 

Short Grain Rice

Some of the most common types of short grain rice are Japanese rice, sticky rice, and sweet rice. This option is best for sushi rolls, poke bowls, and rice balls.

Illustrative chart detailing types of rice: short, medium, and long grain, with descriptions, common uses, and paired with stylized rice plant graphics on a chalkboard background.

Sage Advice: While it’s not technically rice, you can substitute low-carb cauliflower rice for regular rice in many dishes. It’s a great way to add a twist to your favorite dishes.

Measuring the Rice and Liquid

The next step is to measure the rice and water correctly. Generally, the ratio of uncooked rice to water is one cup of rice to one and a half cups of water. That means if you are cooking 1 cup of rice, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of water to cook it. But you can tweak this ratio a bit depending on the type of rice and how you like it. Some people prefer a bit drier or wetter rice, and you can adjust the ratio accordingly.

A metal strainer with uncooked rice being rinsed under running water in a sink.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Preparing the Rice

One common question people have when cooking rice is, “Do you need to rinse rice?” If you want light, fluffy rice, then the answer is yes. Thoroughly rinsing the dry rice in a fine-mesh strainer with cool water helps remove excess starch. However, if you want starchier rice with grains that stick together, you can skip this step.

Cooking Rice in an Instant Pot

After rinsing, add the rice to the Instant Pot and add water. Stir to combine, and then secure the lid and be sure the pressure valve is in the sealing position. If you’re wondering how long to cook rice in an Instant Pot, the answer is that it varies by the type of rice.

White Rice: Cook white rices like basmati and jasmine for 4 to 5 minutes on high pressure.

Brown Rice: Long grain brown rice takes 20 to 22 minutes on high pressure.

Wild Rice: Wild rice takes the longest to cook in an Instant Pot, usually around 30 minutes on high pressure.

Set the Instant Pot to manual mode and adjust the time based on the type of rice you are cooking. For example, if you are making long-grain white rice, set the timer for 5 minutes.

An overhead view of a rice cooker with uncooked wild rice inside. Fresh vegetables, garlic, and a bottle of oil are placed on a cutting board next to the rice cooker.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Once the rice has been cooked in the pressure cooker for the desired amount of time, let the Instant Pot do a natural release for 10 minutes. This means that after cooking the rice, the pot will slowly let the pressure and steam release. After that time, carefully open the pressure release value to allow any remaining pressure and steam to escape and then remove the lid.

Fluffing the Rice

The final step is to fluff the rice with a fork. This is as simple as gently stirring the rice with a fork, fluffing it up from the bottom of the Instant Pot. This step separates the grains and makes the rice light and fluffy. You can serve the rice immediately or keep it in the Instant Pot using the keep warm setting.

A bowl of white rice on a bamboo mat, surrounded by decorative green leaves and wooden ornaments.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Tips for Perfect Instant Pot Rice Every Time

Here are some additional tips to ensure your Instant Pot rice turns out perfectly every time:

  • Use Good Quality Rice. High-quality rice will cook more evenly and have a better texture.
  • Let the Rice Sit Before Fluffing. After cooking, let the rice sit for a few minutes before fluffing. This will allow the grains to set and become firmer.
  • Do Not Open the Instant Pot too Soon. Opening the Instant Pot too soon can release the pressure and cause the rice to end up undercooked.
  • Adjust the Cooking Time. Depending on your altitude and the type of rice, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
  • Experiment with Seasonings. Rice is a blank canvas, so feel free to experiment with different condiments, like chili paste or herbs to add flavor.
A wooden bowl filled with cooked rice garnished with a small green herb is placed on a green fabric napkin. Slices of tomato and cutlery are visible in the background.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Flavorful Additions to Instant Pot Rice

Here are a few ideas for ingredients you can add to your Instant Pot rice to give it some extra flavor:

  • Herbs and Spices: Add dried herbs or spices to the cooking water. My favorites include thyme, oregano, cumin, and smoked paprika. The spices will infuse the rice with a delicious flavor.
  • Broth: To give the rice a richer, more savory taste, substitute some or all of the water for chicken stock or vegetable broth.
  • Vegetables: When you cook the rice, add chopped vegetables such as onion, garlic, carrots, or bell peppers to the Instant Pot for added texture and flavor. 
  • Beans: Adding beans to your rice is a great way to add more alpha-gal-friendly protein to your meal. Drain and rinse a can of black beans or kidney beans and add them to the Instant Pot with the rice.
  • Coconut Milk: For a creamy and slightly sweet dish, substitute coconut milk for the water when cooking the rice. This is an excellent option for Thai-inspired rice dishes.
  • Mexican Rice: Add diced tomatoes and taco seasoning for a Mexican-inspired rice dish.
  • Cilantro Lime Rice: Squeeze the juice of one or two limes into your liquid measuring cup and fill it with water to the amount needed. Cook your rice in this water-lime mixture, then stir in a handful of chopped cilantro when you fluff the cooked rice.

Storing Instant Pot Rice

If you have leftover rice or want to meal prep by cooking a big batch of rice to use throughout the week, here’s how to safely store it. First, let the rice cool to room temperature as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by spreading the rice out on a baking sheet. Once the rice is cool, place it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge where it will last for three to five days.  

A plate of white rice garnished with cilantro, served alongside a portion of chicken curry in a light sauce, with a lime wedge on the side. A fork is placed next to the plate.
Photo Credit: Pexels.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Rice in an Instant Pot

How Long Do You Cook Rice in an Instant Pot?

The cook time depends on the type of rice you’re using. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the varieties people ask about most often:

White Rice: For white rice, you’ll want to cook it on high pressure for 4 to 5 minutes. That’s it, just 4 to 5 minutes! Your rice will come out perfectly fluffy and delicious every time.

Brown Rice: If you’re making brown rice, it takes a little longer to cook. Plan on a cooking time of around 20 minutes on high pressure. 

Jasmine Rice: This fragrant beauty is a type of white rice. It only needs about 4 to 5 minutes on high pressure.

Basmati Rice: Like Jasmine, Basmati is another type of white rice. It also cooks up quickly at about 4 to 5 minutes on high pressure. 

Just remember, no matter which type you’re cooking, always let the Instant Pot release naturally for about 10 minutes before doing a quick release.

How to Use Rice Button on Instant Pot

Do you have an Instant Pot with a rice setting? If so, this is a fast and easy way to cook white rice. However, if you’re cooking brown rice or wild rice, the pre-programed rice button probably won’t cook your grains long enough. For those varieties, please use the manual setting, using about 15 minutes for brown rice and about 30 minutes for wild rice.

Do You Like to Cook Rice in an Instant Pot?

Why is an Instant Pot your preferred way to cook rice? Or are you still all about making rice on the stove or in a rice cooker? Any other tips or Any additional tips and tricks to pass along? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Portions of this article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

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