Type to search

How to Use a Pressure Cooker for Rice


Making rice over the stove needs attention and patience. Just making one wrong step could spell the difference between perfect rice and inedible rice. If you want to make rice in an easier way, one of the best things to use is a rice cooker. This appliance takes the guesswork out of making the best bowl of rice. 

But what if you don’t have one and you only have a pressure cooker at home? Worry not, because you can totally make delicious, fluffy rice with it! Cooking rice in a pressure cooker is pretty quick, even faster than the typical stovetop pot. It’s very simple to do too! Here’s a guide on how to make rice in a pressure cooker.

How Do You Use a Pressure Cooker as a Rice Cooker?

If you’re tired of eating instant rice every night because stovetop white rice takes a lot of effort, here’s a lifesaver for you. Using an Instant Pot or any pressure cooker to cook rice is pretty easy! It may be intimidating but it is definitely not as difficult as cooking rice in a regular stovetop pot. There are two ways to make rice in a pressure cooker: the classic way and the pot-in-pot method. Let’s go over them. 

Pressure Cooker White Rice: The Classic Method

The regular way of making rice in a pressure cooker is to simply put all your ingredients directly in the pressure cooker and let it cook. Check out the detailed steps for Instant Pot rice below:

  1. First, measure how many cups of rice that you will need. Pour your desired measurement of dry rice into your pressure cooker. 
  2. Add the appropriate amount of liquid according to the type and quantity of white rice that you are using. Make sure to not fill the pressure cooker more than halfway with the rice and liquid.
  3. Close and lock the lid of your pressure cooker. If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, place the cooker on the burner of your stove. If you have an electric pressure cooker, simply plug it into an outlet and turn it on.
  4. For a stove-operated pressure cooker, set the burner to high heat until your cooker indicates high pressure. Then, lower the heat and maintain this pressure for three minutes. 
  5. If you are using an electric one, set the pressure cooker to high pressure for three minutes. The cooker will take a few minutes to pressure up before the three minutes of cooking time.
  6. When the three minutes cooking time is up, take the pressure cooker off the burner for a 10-minute natural pressure release. This means the pressure built up inside releases naturally when taken off the heat. The rice will continue to cook while the pressure is slowly released.
  7. For an electric cooker, turn it off when the timer beeps and set it to natural release for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes of natural release, use the quick-release method to let out any remaining pressure. Tilt the pressure cooker away from you when opening the lid to avoid the hot steam.
  9. Serve.

Cooking Rice in a Pressure Cooker: Pot-in-Pot Method

For the pressure cooker rice pot-in-pot method, you will be putting the inner pot of your rice cooker or any heat-proof pot inside the pressure cooker. Make sure to find one that fits. You will also need a steaming basket or a cooking rack. Here are the steps:

  1. Pour one cup of water into your pressure cooker or whatever is the minimum quantity required for your cooker to maintain pressure.
  2. Place a steaming basket or other cooking rack into the bottom of the pressure cooker.
  3. Put your desired amount of raw rice into the pot or bowl that you will be putting inside the pressure cooker. Add the correct amount of water for the quantity and type of rice.
  4. Place the bowl or pot into the pressure cooker. Make sure that it sits on your steaming basket or trivet. Don’t cover the pot with anything else. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  5. Set your burner to high heat until your pressure cooker indicates high pressure. Next, lower the heat and maintain pressure for three minutes. If you’re using an electric pressure cooker, set it to high pressure for three minutes. The pressure cooker will take a few minutes to pressure up before the three minutes of cooking time.
  6. When the three minutes cooking time is up, take the pressure cooker off the burner for a 10-minute natural pressure release. 
  7. Lower the heat right away after your pressure cooker reaches high pressure, otherwise, your rice can become quickly overcooked.
  8. After 10 minutes of the natural pressure release, do a quick release on your pressure cooker to open the lid. Tilt the cooker away from you when opening the lid to avoid the hot steam. 
  9. Carefully remove the pot and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

How to Cook 1 Cup of White Rice in a Pressure Cooker?

Cooking one cup of white rice in a pressure cooker is very easy. Check out the pressure cooker white rice recipe below:

  1. Add your choice of white rice to the pressure cooker. Depending on the type, use one or 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
  2. Close and lock the lid.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes on high if you’re using an electric cooker. If using a stovetop, turn the heat up to high when the cooker indicates it has reached a high level of pressure. Lower the heat to maintain it and begin counting 3 minutes of cooking time.
  4. When the time is up, open the cooker with the 10-minute natural release method. 
  5. Count 10 minutes for the contents to finish cooking.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Can I Use the Rice Button of My Pressure Cooker?

You can but if you want perfectly-cooked rice, it’s better to do the previous methods mentioned. The automated rice function in most pressure cookers uses low pressure and not high. There is nothing wrong with that but the pressure cooking time will be a little longer than on high. 

How Can I Cook Brown Rice in a Pressure Cooker?

Pressure cooker white rice is very easy, and you can do the same thing with brown rice too. Cooking brown rice on the stove can take an hour but if you use the pressure cooker, it will only take half the cooking time! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pour your desired amount of brown grains into the pressure cooker pot. Be sure to use the right amount of liquid per cup of rice. For example, if you’re cooking one cup, add 1 1/4 cups of liquid. For two cups, use 2 1/2 cups of water. 
  2. Close the lid and cook on high pressure. If you’re using an electric pressure cooker, it will take 20 minutes. As for pressure cooking on the stovetop, it can take 16 minutes.
  3. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes.
  4. Fluff with a fork and serve.

What Is the Ratio of Rice to Water in a Pressure Cooker?

One thing that you should remember is that the rice-to-water ratio for pressure cooking rice depends on the type of rice and how many cups you will be using. Here is a list of the most common rice types that you can pressure cook and how many cups of water you will need per one cup of rice:

  • Arborio rice – 2 cups of water
  • Basmati rice – 1 1/2 cups
  • Basmati rice (soaked) – 1 1/4 cups
  • Black rice – 1 1/4 cups
  • Brown rice – 1 1/4  cups
  • Jasmine rice – 1 cup
  • Forbidden rice – 1 1/4 cups
  • Long-grain white rice – 1 1/2 cups
  • Short-grain white rice – 1 1/2 cups
  • Wild rice blend – 3 cups

How Long Does It Take to Pressure Cook Rice?

In an Instant Pot, white rice can take 4 minutes at high pressure with a 10-minute natural release. Those 10 minutes also allow the rice in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker to finish cooking. After 10 minutes, quickly release any pressure left in the pot. You’ll have the perfect pressure cooker white rice after.

Pressure Cooker White Rice Tips

  • This pressure cooker rice recipe works well with an Instant Pot or any other pressure cooker.
  • You can substitute all or part of the water with any liquid or flavoring that you prefer to make pressure cooker white rice. You can use chicken broth, vegetable broth, chicken stock, or prepared bouillon.
  • You can add coconut milk, scallions, fish sauce, a teaspoon of butter, olive oil, or any oil of your choice to flavor the rice.
  • If you want fluffy pressure cooker white rice, use long-grain white rice. If you want to have stickier rice, use medium or short-grain varieties.
  • The pressure cooker rice methods indicated in this article aren’t limited to just white rice. You can definitely use any type that you want. Just make sure to use the appropriate amount of liquid.
  • It is not required to soak grains for pressure cooker white rice but you can if you wish to do so.
  • Always rinse white rice even if you will be cooking it in a pressure cooker. Rinsing rice removes the dirt and small debris on the grains. To do this, rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water until it runs clear.
  • Don’t use converted rice or parboiled rice as it will not pressure cook properly.
  • Pressure cooker white rice does not need salt. However, if you wish to add salt to taste, do so before pressure cooking. If you add salt after cooking, it will not get mixed with the rice.
  • If you have some leftover pressure cooker rice, you can definitely eat it again the next day or use it in another recipe such as fried rice.
  • If you have an induction stove, selecting between high and low pressure makes a big difference. For example, if you pressure cook jasmine rice on low and use the same cooking time and natural release indicated in this pressure cooker white rice recipe, it can turn out crunchy. So, if you have an induction stove, always select the high option to cook your rice. If you really must use the low option, lengthen the cooking time.

Final Note

Having perfectly-cooked rice doesn’t have to be complicated. Rice cookers are amazing to have in the kitchen but if it’s out of reach for you and the only thing you have in your kitchen is your pressure cooker, you’re in great luck. 

Making rice in a pressure cooker is fast and simple, and you don’t even need to babysit it unlike you would with making rice on the stove. If you have an Instant Pot or other similar electric pressure cookers, the cook time only takes 13 to 15 minutes and you’ll have a bowl of soft and delicious rice right away. 

Out of delicious dinner ideas for your family? Browse through our rice recipe collection and apply your newfound knowledge of making rice in a pressure cooker!

Hui Yin

Hui Yin moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to the USA 🇺🇸 when she was just 8 years old. Now in her late 20's she enjoys writing and taking long walks in the park to burn off the copious amounts of rice she eats for dinner.

  • 1