Stumped as to how to cook perfect rice? Here is the new, definitive guide! Using just a 1-to-1 water-to-rice* ratio, and pressing a button will result in perfectly cooked rice of any variety every time. Easy to remember, easy to do.
*wet rice (read on to discover the scientific details, and how we came to this easy method for cooking perfect rice in the Instant Pot electric multi-cooker!)
Cooking rice can be tricky. A lot depends on personal and cultural preferences, and even if we could all agree on the “perfect rice”, the altitude of your location, the hardness of your water, and the age and dryness of the rice may all play a role in the results obtained.
Of course millions of people have been cooking rice for thousands of years and some “tried-and-true” techniques, as well as some myths have developed.
You may have wondered about the markings in the stainless steel liner in your Instant Pot. One of the features of your multi-functional Instant Pot is a rice cooker. Rice cookers have been very popular for cooking rice for many years. The cup lines come from that heritage, and serve as a rough guide for the amount of water for the number of *cups of rice (the small *cup that came with your Instant Pot).
Still, depending on the volume of rice you cook at any one time, your results may vary. One Instant Pot enthusiast, Deborah K.,wrote us to share this account of her success using the Instant Pot to cook traditional Japanese rice (applies to all brands, e.g. Tamaki, Nishiki, Kokuho Rose, etc):
“The ratio of Rice to Water is 1:1.25 (same as brown rice). I rinsed rice; used rice button on Instant Pot; 10-minute natural pressure release. The rice was perfect – even better than when I use our Japanese electric rice cooker (and verified by my Japanese-born family members who did not realize that my “best rice ever” was cooked in your pressure cooker).”
Another Instant Pot user reported good results with the same ratio when cooking brown rice:
“I cook brown rice for 22 minutes – 1 cups of rice with 1 1/4 cups of water – and that was pretty much the most perfect rice I’ve ever cooked “
So we can be fairly confident that for cooking 1 cup of rice, 1.25 cups of water is a reasonably good amount, but what if you want to cook more rice at one time?
Jill Nussinow, “The Veggie Queen“ has long advocated a “sliding-scale” of water to rice, in her ever popular pressure cooking cookbook, “The New Fast Food”. She recently revealed in our new “Instant Pot® Community” Facebook group how she first became aware of this reality:
“My job was to acquire recipes to use, as well as helping direct the writing of the programs to get the software that would adjust for number of servings to work correctly. This is where the algorithms came in. I learned a lot and have passed it on to many people.”
A recent Cook’s Illustrated video is especially relevant to the Instant Pot – which is incredibly (and verifiably) water/moisture conserving, allowing for very little evaporation.
It turns out that the ideal water-to-rice ratio – in the sealed environment of the Instant Pot – is 1:1, with rinsed (wet) rice.
Different varieties of rice require various cooking times (pressure cooking is much shorter than mentioned in the video), but the water to rice ratio remains constant at 1 to 1, simplifying the “perfecting” process tremendously! Science and technology in the kitchen!
The video offers a good explanation of the physics and math involved in getting consistent and pleasing results when cooking rice. Keep in mind when watching that cooking pots differ as to evaporation rates, and it is worth pointing out that the Instant Pot provides a sealed environment, so evaporation is kept to a minimum, giving the most consistent results. Most cooking instructions assume lots of evaporation over time, so they call for more water along with the longer cooking times of some varieties of rice. Watch the Cook’s Illustrated video (and take notes if you are curious, or a skeptic!).
“This is probably why the “Chinese” method actually makes sense now. There are two methods… One uses your full hand: when placed barely on top of the rice, the water should reach a certain point on the top of your hand. And the knuckle method: where you stick your middle finger tip into the water, barely touching the top of the rice, the water should reach the first knuckle. I never understood how it worked but now sort of makes sense. Ancient Chinese secrets.”
Considering all of this, we tested various water to rice ratios, and can confidently recommend this as a convenient starting point in your search for your “perfect rice”:
Cooking rice in the Instant Pot, the 1:1 water to rice ratio method:
Measure dry rice, set aside. (about 1 “cup” minimum recommended, any “cup” you choose)
Measure same amount of water, add to Instant Pot’s inner pot/liner.
Rinse rice, add wet rice to the measured water in the inner pot.
Lock on the lid, and set the steam release valve to “sealing” position.
Select your pressure cooking time.
~The “Rice” button is timed for white or parboiled rice only. ~For other types of rice, set “Manual” to correct time (by pressing “-” to adjust the cooking time) for the type of rice you are cooking, in the case of brown rice, for example select 22-25 minutes depending on your preferences and any local issues, like high elevation. ~See abbreviated timing chart below, or use your preferred pressure cooking time for your variety of rice.
Let the rice rest for about 10 minutes after cooking is finished before releasing any remaining pressure, and serve.
The foundation for this 1:1 recommendation is due to two things being true:
1. The Instant Pot allows very little water evaporation due to Instant Pot’s superior sealing ability.
2. Rice absorbs its volume in water when cooked long enough.
Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, no more mushy rice, with a few stating the rice was cooked, though a bit too “al dente” for their preferences, (these individuals where happier when using a small amount of additional water). Consider this your starting point, record any adjustments you may make, and soon you will have your personal recipe for perfect rice in the Instant Pot!
Pressure cooking times (in minutes) for some common varieties of rice:
1 1/3 cup brown rice
1/4 cup green lentils
1 large potato, cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
handful of kale or chard stems or several whole leaves, chopped several sprigs of parsley, chopped or 1 cube frozen
1/2 tsp salt, preferably sea salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 1/2 cups water
1 chicken leg quarter
optional: 1 chicken liver or other giblet
Combine all ingredients in the pressure cooker pot, laying the chicken on top.
Seal and cook on high pressure for 23 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.
Pull the chicken from the bone and mix it back into the cooked rice. Refrigerate.
Serving size depends on the nutrition requirements of your dog. I feed this as one of 2 meals daily to my black lab and it makes about 5 servings. At nearly 15 years old she is still extremely healthy and I credit that in part to this quality food.
I buy chicken quarters in a 10 pound bag and freeze the pieces individually. It can be added frozen to the pressure cooker.
When fresh parsley is abundant I chop it, pack it in ice cube trays and top them with a bit of water before freezing. I have frozen parsley cubes to add all winter.
A 10 minute meal in the Instant Pot. Risotto is a popular Italian style family meal.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 12 mins + 3 mins standing time
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
50g pancetta, diced
300g diced chicken
300g Arborio rice
4 tbsp grated parmesan
100ml/. small glass white wine
800ml chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Press ‘Saute’ to preheat the Instant Pot, and when the words ‘Hot’ appear on the display, add the oil, and 30g of the butter to the pan. Saute the onion, garlic, pancetta and chicken for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the rice, season well, add the thyme, and stir in the wine. Press ‘Stop/cancel’. Pour in the stock and stir really well.
Press the ‘Manual’ cooking button, and adjust the time to 12 minutes. Give the risotto another really good stir, and seal the lid.
At the end of the cooking time, stir the risotto well to develop the creamy texture, and stir in the grated parmesan, and remaining butter. Leave to stand for 3 minutes.
Serve topped with extra parmesan, freshly ground black pepper, grated lemon zest and basil leaves.
Busy all day, forgot to prepare supper and now dinner hour is upon me…..what to do?
I realized quickly I did not have to worry as I had my InstantPot to help me!
Bacon- 3 slices cut up into pieces
Coconut oil- couple of tablespoons
Any leftover cooked meat – I had a pork chop left over from the night before, cut up into small pieces (my mother cannot chew large pieces) Leftover vegetables cut up – I had carrots and cabbage leftover from night before, but you can use any vegetable.
Cut up red pepper
One cup bruschetta- I purchase in jar from Costco and have it on hand One cup of rice- I used white rice One cup of water
I heated my Instant Pot on sauté cycle and added the coconut oil to melt I added the bacon and stirred until it was cooked but NOT crisp I added the leftover meat and sautéed it so it is flavoured in the bacon and coconut oil Along with the above I sautéed the raw rice Then I added the vegetables, bruschetta, water I sealed the lid and manual cooked it for five minutes…..let sit for a couple of minutes and released the steam.
It was delicious served with a side salad…….we ate it all!
This would also make a wonderful stuffing for Green peppers….
Oh, this is so delicious and tender. My husband can’t wait for me to make it again. If you are serving this with Jasmine rice, cook the rice first. Add a couple pats of butter to the rice when cooking.
1 LB of Boneless, Skinless Chicken thighs – about eight pieces
2 tablespoons of fresh cillantro, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
2 tablespoons of minced green onion
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of EVOO light olive oil
1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar (buy the expensive one, it is better)
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of Cream Sherry wine.
How to Make it:
In a plastic bag, Mix the basil, salt, pepper, Sherry, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, minced onion, and balsamic vinegar.
Mix it up, then add chicken to the mixture, be sure to cover the chicken in this sauce and set aside.
Set your Instant Pot to Saute, add the olive oil and saute the minced garlic, stirring frequently.
Set your Instant Pot to the Poultry setting, add the chicken and sauce from bag to the existing olive oil and garlic that is already in there. Close the lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
When serving, sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top for a tasty treat.
Serve with white Jasmine rice and your favorite vegetable. Your family will ask for more!
Sorry, I don’t have a photo, We ate it too quickly!
When cooking cycle is complete, fluff rice and serve
Options: You may also add 1 cup of frozen peas and/or mushrooms at the end of the cooking cycle–if you add them at the beginning they will turn out mushy
NOTE: This rice is going to be a much drier/less sticky rice than most of the recipes that are posted on the website or the ones in the recipe book. It is more like what we are used to here, in our Chinese restaurants.
2 cups whole-grain black sticky rice, white sweet rice or glutinous rice (I prefer the black sticky)
2 cups or 1 can, coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds and/or toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (Optional) Strawberries (or mango slice) and mint leaves (optional)
I usually use 1/2 the ingredients. More than enough for 4-6 individuals served in custard cups.
Measure rice into a bowl and rinse the rice a few times until water clears. cover with at least 2 inches of water and allow to soak 4 or more hours or overnight.
Drain the rice and place in a heat proof bowl with room enough for the rice grains to expand about a third more than its uncooked bulk. Add a small amount of boiling water, just enough to cover the rice. Place the bowl on the trivet that comes with instant pot with 2-3 inches of water and steam for 30-40 minutes. Steaming the rice with a small volume of water will leave the top layer of grains intact, retaining a chewy texture which pops in you mouth like nuts. If you wish softer rice add more water. All of this can be done on a stove top with a steamer but instant pot has an excellent steaming function leaving your stove top free for other things.(I prefer this method versus pressure cooking the rice so I can get the popping texture I love but you can pressure cook the rice for a more glutinous sticky texture.)
While rice is steaming, make the coconut sauce by heating the coconut milk, sugar and salt together in saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt and blend the sauce until smooth. Keep warm.
When the rice is cooked and still hot out of the steamer, add 1/2 of the sauce or enough to thoroughly coat the rice. Stir and mix well. The rice should be wet but not swimming in sauce. Stand 15-20 min to allow the flavor to be absorbed. Reserve the remaining sauce for spooning over the rice before serving. Can be served warm or room temperature.
The flavored rice can be molded into a round mound on serving plate and decorated with sesame seed and/or coconut shreds, sliced strawberries and mint leaves for color. Or dish into individual serving bowls or custard cups, topped with the reserved sauce, toasted seeds, coconut and mint leaf.
Because of the rich, nutty flavor, black rice is usually eaten by itself and not served with fruits, like white rice often is with mangoes.
I am finally back to cooking after what felt to me a lifetime away! We all have journeys in life – up and down – boy it felt good to get back to recipes and my Instant Pot.Notice in the photo, my elderly cat Valentina is savouring the smells coming from my latest dish. She is hoping for a taste, however, I keep reminding her she is NOT a vegetarian! She does like to keep a watchful eye on my cooking!As it is fall, there are plenty of harvest vegetables from your gardens and from the stores….a huge variety of pumpkins, squashes to be had! So good for you. Here is what I tried and was delighted with:
Squash and Rice Casserole – Pressure Cooked in an InstantPot
2 tbsp of oil (do not waste your olive oil as it loses in value when heated – becomes like any other oil. Olive oil is great cold) One large or two smaller onions peeled and finely chopped (food processor)
2 sticks of celery finely chopped (food processor)
2 carrots, washed and finely chopped (food processor)
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (food processor)
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tsp dried or fresh thyme (this also was from my garden)
6-8 white mushrooms quartered or leave out if you do not like mushrooms
2 – 3 cups of vegetable stock if vegetarian – chicken broth if not . PLEASE READ BOTTOM NOTE ABOUT RICE WATER RATIO* About 9-10 ounces of brown rice – I use California brown as it cooks fast
27 ounce tin of chopped tomatoes, liquid and all Flesh of squash – I used a smaller butternut squash and a medium sized zucchini – one of my friends substituted pumpkin and it was very good. I peel the squash, deseed it and cut into one inch cubes Salt and pepper
In the Instant pot I put the sauté function on medium and I heat the oil. I sauté the onions, celery, carrots and red pepper for about 5 minutes.
I now add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and heat for another minute. Then add the mushrooms and stir for 1 minute. Add the rice, mix it all together. Transfer all into a crock, corningware or metal bowl – any bowl that will fit the pressure cooker with a lid or that can be covered with aluminum foil. *Add the tomatoes and the 2-3 cups of stock for a sticky rice. If you prefer your rice NOT to be sticky use one cup rice to 1 ¼ cups of liquid. Take into account liquid in the can of tomatoes. Now stir in the squashes.
Put about an inch and a half of water into the pressure cooker. Place the bowl with all the ingredients mixed on a flat trivet into the pot. Cover the pot with a lid or tightly with aluminum foil. Place pressure cooker lid on securely and pressure cook on rice setting. If you are really saavy you can leave the ingredients directly in the pressure cooker pot but you may risk burning on the bottom if the water ratio is incorrect. I have done this…..thank God for the InstantPot Stainless steel pot…so easy to clean up if that happens.
Due to the abundance of carrots in my garden, I have been playing with ways of cooking them and presenting them so they are flavourful as well as more ‘gourmet’. I only cook my vegetables in a pressure cooker….so much more flavour and colour.
This dish does take some time as it is done in steps and in ramekins. However, I did want to make it fancy to serve to guests to hear them ‘ooooh and ahhhh’ so here it is:
1. Prepare your rice:
1 cup rice, I used white
1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups of water – I mixed in powdered chicken bouillon into the water – a couple of teaspoons, but that is optional Place the rice, butter and water/bouillon into the Instant Pot bowl, secure lid.
Cook manually for 8 minutes or on rice setting. Release pressure manually and place rice in a bowl, set aside.
2. Preparing the carrots:
4 cups of diced carrots
1 ½ cups water
Pour water into pressure cooker
Place carrots in steamer basket above water or in vegetable steamer on trivet, secure lid Steam it in the Instant Pot for 3 minutes, natural release, set aside
3. Preparing the sauce:
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. flour
1 ¼ cups milk
½ cup or more of grated cheese (cheddar or cheddar mixed with mozzarella) Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs beaten
Press sauté, Heat the butter and oil and whisk in the flour, gradually add the milk and whisk so no lumps, cook until thick (if need to add more milk, then do so), add the cheese into it to melt, add salt and pepper and put aside. When cool, beat the sauce into the eggs.
You may do this in a saucepan, although I used the pressure cooker for all of the steps.
4. Preparing cooked carrots:
The cooked carrots from step 2
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cloves garlic sliced thinly
Pinch of cayenne
1 ½ tbsp. white or cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Press sauté, melt the butter, mix in the cumin, paprika, garlic, cayenne, sugar and carrots and sauté for a couple of minutes….do not burn the garlic. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper, remove from heat.
Combine the carrot mixture with the prepared thick white sauce.
5. To assemble and cook your gourmet Carrot Sunrise:
Grease your ramekins or custard cups – 9 – 10, depending on size of your ramekins – I spray with cooking oil Pam.
Place equal amounts of cooked rice into each ramekin – do not pat down. Spoon the carrot/sauce mixture onto the rice in each ramekin.
Place 1 cup water in pressure cooker
Place custard cups/ramekins on trivet or cooking rack, I could fit three at a time.
Secure lid and pressure cook for 3 minutes. Release the pressure manually.
Remove Custard cups/ramekins from cooker and proceed with the rest of the ramekins.
Let them cool down somewhat, run knife along edge and unmold onto individual plates or onto serving plate.
I also thought of perhaps doing this in an 8 inch cheesecake pan rather than individual custard cups. I am positive it would work just as well, but I have not as yet tried it as I like the individual cups. If I have any left over, I do not unmold them…..I heat them for lunch and eat them out of the custard cups.
Anyway, they look great and are great tasting.
For those who do not like the spices, you can leave them out…..other than salt and pepper…still good.
It would be great to have two pressure cookers to prepare this quickly. The length of time it takes to make this dish depends on how efficient you are in the kitchen!
Rinse rice well, then put in Instant Pot. Add bay leaves and hot water. Set Instant Pot to rice setting. Since you are adding hot water it takes less time to heat up. The 10 minute setting is perfect for it.
Immediately after rice is done let off the steam until you can safely remove the lid.
Pour in oil, lime juice and sprinkle cilantro and salt over the rice. Mix all together well.
Serve. This rice goes extremely well with the Instant Pot Mango Dal.
Note: I freeze chopped cilantro to keep it handy anytime as this is one of our favorite rices. If you can get it experiment with coconut oil, or grape seed oil.
Another Recipe to share with Instn Pot uses (not for te recipe contest)
By Natural Chef Dana Miller
I love to make this rice when we make tacos or enchiladas for dinner. It was inspired from one of our local Mexican Restaurants’ recipe they shared for their rice. Plus it is a great way to get your kids to eat brown rice!
1. Combine olive oil, garlic, sea salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and lime in a large non-reactive bowl or zip top bag. Add the chicken and coat evenly with the marinade. Let marinade for at least one hour up to overnight. Stir occasionally.
2. Combine garlic, onion, green bell pepper, cilantro, sea salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Heat the inner liner of the Instant Pot on “Sauté” setting. Melt coconut oil. Remove chicken from the marinade, save any leftovers, brown the chicken in batches for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
4. Add onion, red bell pepper, cumin and oregano. Sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the sofrito and sauté another 3 minutes. Add any leftover marinade, diced tomatoes, stock, and sea salt; simmer for 2 minutes.
6. Stir in the rice, olives and brine. Add the browned chicken pieces to the pot.
7. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and lock into place. Press the Meat/Stew Button; adjust time so that the pressure time is at 15 minutes. When done and pressure has naturally released, remove lid.
1/4 cup shredded coconut, pulsed in food processor
1/4 cup almonds, pulsed in food processor
Add rice, water, coconut milk, sugar, and salt to the pressure cooker. Use the manual setting and set the time to 7 minutes at High pressure. Let the cooker to cool down naturally. Unlock the lid and uncover rice. Add in half and half, vanilla, and chopped mango. Stir together. Serve in small bowls with toasted coconut and almonds over top.
rice, raisin, butter, salt and (optional) fresh parsley.
3 or more cups of long grained or wild rice •¼ salted butter •one teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of raisin
parsley (optional) for garnishing
Washed the rice, and mix all the ingredients in instant pot, excepted for the parsley. Add water, the water needs to be 1cm-2cm above the rice line. The texture of the rice depends on the amount of water.
Set up Instant Pot as ‘rice cooking.’ After, the rice has been cooked, release the pressure, open the cover and stir the cooked rice to mix the ingredients. Add chopped parsley for garnishing.
Sweet buttery creamy rice, mixtures of texture and flavours, a taste of oriental and middle east culture, sure to be a hit for the whole family, especially loved by children.
Whole grains are high in fiber. low in fat, and rich in nutrients. Consumption of whole grains has been consistently linked with a significant decrease in risk factors for heart disease and type II diabetes.
Whole grains are more forgiving than white rice when over cooked. Multiple grains can be mixed together to create large variety of wholegrain meal. They remain pleasantly full of texture after cooking.
Prepare Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: about 70 minutes
Ingredients: 6~8 servings
3 cups brown rice, wild rice or other whole grains, rinsed
2 tablespoon of oil (olive oil preferred)
3.75 ~ 4.5 cups of water. Less water makes the cooked rice fluffy and more water makes the rice stickier.
1 ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
Combine the grains, water, oil and salt (if used) in the inner pot.
Press the Multigrain key.
After the cooking is completed, let it steam in the residual heat for 5 more minutes.
Open the lid, stir to fluff up the grains before serving.
The eight-treasure congee is a well known traditional Chinese rice soup, cooked with sticky rice and 8 different beans and nuts. This food has been through several thousand years and spreads the entire nation. The ingredients used in each place are largely identical but with minor differences. The eight-treasure rice congee with Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker is so simple to make.
What you need to do is to prepare ingredients, put them into Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker then press congee button to cook in fully automated cooking process, and switch to keep-warm after cooking.
Prepare Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time : Around 45 minutes with Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Ingredients: 6 servings
1/4 cup sticky rice
1/4 cup brown rice
1/8 cup peanut
1/8 cup red bean
1/8 cup walnut minced
1/8 cup sesame
1/8 cup chestnut minced
1/8 cup red date
1/2 cup rock candy
8 cups of water
Cooking: Put all ingredients into Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker then press the Congee button. Then that is it! Simple, fast, delicious, retaining flavor and nutrition, consistent results all the time.
Kids would love the Pineapple and Vegetable mixed Rice with Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. Even the most picky kids will love to enjoy this healthy, delicious rice with good smell of pineapple and cauliflower. What you need to do is to prepare ingredients, put them into Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker then press rice button to cook in fully automated cooking process, and switch to keep-warm after cooking.
Prepare Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: Around 30 minutes with Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Ingredients: 6 servings
2 cups of rice
1/2 pineapple or ½ can pineapple minced
1 cauliflower minced
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
fill water to the level 2 mark on the inner pot. Note: amount of water required varies significantly depending on the type of rice. You may need to experiment with your rice type to achieve the desirable rice softness.
Cooking: Put all ingredients into Instant Pot EPC then press the rice button. Then that is it! Simple, fast, delicious, retaining flavour and nutrition, consistent results all the time.