The Main Difference Between A Rice Cookers And A Pressure Cookers And Why It’s Important
Both appliances cook food by using steam. However, the similarity stops there. A rice cooker features an external casing with the heating pad or coil, an inner pot, and a lid. It may or may not come with extra parts such as a steaming basket or a basic tofu maker.
The heating element in the rice cooker heats up the liquid with the rice, causing it to evaporate and turn to steam. The rice then absorbs the hot liquid and becomes soft. This explains why the liquid added into the rice cooker “disappears” once the rice is cooked.
A pressure cooker, on the other hand, comes with similar parts as a rice cooker but with certain differences. A pressure cooker has a pressure sensor and a lid that can be sealed or locked. The lid usually has a rubber lining to prevent steam from escaping. This allows the cooker to increase and maintain the pressure level inside the pot. It cooks the food more quickly than conventional pots due to the combination of heat and pressure.
Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker
Cooking rice perfectly has never been easier than with a rice cooker and an instant pot. To the delight of cooking enthusiasts, they are now available in different models. But which one is actually better for your kitchen?
Both the appliances are getting love for their technology, ease of use, and time-saving properties. That’s why it’s important to know all the similarities and differences to choose the right one.
Find in our buying guide the secrets of Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker as well as some tips that will help you choose your appliance.
Before getting further along, why not check out the comparative tables of our top picks:
Is An Instant Pot Really Worth It
Thereâs no denying an Instant Pot is a great kitchen appliance but you may be wondering if itâs really worth it? Or will it simply end up as another kitchen gadget that languishes on your countertop gathering dust?
Itâs important to remember that while Instant Pots offer a multitude of cooking methods, many of which means you no longer need to use an oven or a hob, they canât cook everything. For example, theyâre not an option if you regularly prepare pasta, noodles, or stir frys. And while some do come with lids that can air fry, we found making fries in an Instant Pot wasnât as good as using one of the best air fryers.
At the same time, you canât just pop the lid off and check the dish youâre cooking, as you would when using the hob, the oven, or a slow cooker. Youâll need to release the pressure, effectively stop cooking, and detach the lid. Then if the dish isnât ready, youâll need to start cooking again.
Similarly, an Instant Pot can certainly shave a few hours off cooking stews, ribs and other dishes that usually take the best part of a day to cook, however with dishes like rice or steaming vegetables the time saving is minimal, which may mean an Instant Pot isnât worth the investment.
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Pressure Cook One Of Two Ways
Method 1: Main Pot
Turn on the Instant Pot. Add rinsed rice, water, salt, and oil . Close the lid and set the vent to sealing mode. Pressure cook for 6 minutes at high pressure on Pressure cook or Manual mode .
Method 2: Pot-In-Pot
Assemble the rinsed rice, water, salt, and olive oil in an oven safe bowl that fits easily in your Instant Pot.
Depending on the size of your pot, add 1-2 cups of water to the inner pot. Place a trivet. Place the rice bowl on top of that.
Close the lid and pressure cook for 6 minutes at high pressure, sealing mode.
Important Note: For accurate results, use the same cup for measuring rice and water/liquid.
How To Cook Rice In An Instant Pot
To cook rice in an Instant Pot, first you will need to rinse the rice several times until the water becomes mostly clear. Then, add the rinsed rice, water and a dash of salt to the pot. Next, close the lid and switch the vent to the sealed position. Press the rice button on the Instant Pot, then wait till the instant pot timer counts down. Allow allow the rice to rest for around 10 minutes before releasing the pressure valve. Easy as that!
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Instant Pot Lux: Performance And Size
As previously mentioned, the Instant Pot Lux is a great investment for smaller households due to the three quart sizing available. According to the Instant Pot brand, the quart size of your device correlates to the number of people you can feed with it. In this case, a three-quart pot would therefore comfortably feed three people. This makes it a perfect choice for single households or couples lacking in storage space.
You could also purchase the Instant Pot Lux as a secondary Instant Pot for your home, as this would mean you could cook side dishes simultaneously with a larger multicooker, which could provide the bulk of the meal. What’s more, the Instant Pot Lux Minis compactness would be an ideal option for traveling too meaning you can stress less about cooking whilst on the road.
For those with larger households, the Instant Pot Lux is also available in six and eight quart sizes. The Instant Pot Lux in the ‘Mini’ three quart size weighs 8.5 pounds, with a width of 11.5 inches and a height of 10.5 inches. It has 700 watts of power and is complete with a 12-month warranty.
Pairing Rice With Other Dishes
If you are making rice for dinner, most likely you will be eating it with a main dish – which could be a stir fry, curry, lentil or a soup.
When cooking rice with an entree, consider the cooking time for the entree. If it takes 5-12 minutes to cook the entree, then cook white rice pot-in-pot with the entree in the main insert.
However if the entree needs over 20 minutes to cook, then I would suggest to cook pot-in-pot brown rice with the entree.
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The Cons Of Cooking Rice With An Instant Pot
The cons of cooking with an instant pot include
- An instant pot is a non-stick pot one has to be very careful not scratching the pan
- Some users may feel it unsafe while taking the inner pot out of it, so there will need to be a precaution
- If it is not known the optimum amount of water as well as the length of time to cook, it may need to create a few batches
- It is more expensive than other cooking appliances
Instant Pot Lux: Features
The Instant Pot Lux is ideal for those getting to grips with all the functions a multi-cooker has to offer. It has six different cooking programs: a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and warmer, and a sauté function.
Presets for certain foods, such as boiled eggs or rice, allow the right cooking temperature to be selected at the push of a button. Saving time whilst cooking is the essential appeal of the Instant Pot brand and this is no different with the Lux, which makes cooking processes 70% faster than traditional methods.
The Instant Pot Lux would be a great fit for a less technologically comfortable user, with ten safety features designed to give ultimate peace of mind. This includes automatic temperature controls and a leaky lid warning system, as well as a burn detector to ensure your meal is a success. Those using the Instant Pot Lux can put cooking to the back of their mind as the Keep Warm function operates for up to ten hours, meaning dinner is ready whenever you are.
Given its refined design, the Instant Pot Lux does lack certain advantages of other devices, such as the cooking progress indicator and steam release valve of the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus. However, if youre less interested in range and focused on quality, the Instant Pot Lux is a capable and reliable cooker.
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Happiness Is A Bowl Of Perfectly Cooked Rice
Learning the key differences between a dedicated rice cooker and an instant pot can help you select the right appliance. If you have a little extra money to spend, grab them both.
If youre on a budget, have a smaller kitchen, and want perfectly cooked rice every single time, opt for a rice cooker. If versatility, speed, and time matter to you, purchase an instant pot.
Whats your choice? If you have any questions or suggestions, drop a comment below. Also, dont forget to share this valuable information with your social media friends and family.
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Disadvantages Of Using Instant Pots
- They are more costly than rice cookers.
- Instant Pots are bulky and harder to clean.
- Theres a bit of a learning curve when using them.
- Small Instant Pots may not cook enough for a large family.
- Simpler Instant Pot models cant fry or crisp food.
- Customers have reported that food smells remain on sealing rings, even after cleaning them properly. To circumvent this, you may want to consider purchasing an extra sealing ring. One can be used to cook savory meals, and the other can be used to make desserts.
- When looking at Instant Pot rice vs rice cooker food, rice cooked by the latter is perfectly soft and fluffy. With an Instant Pot, you risk either undercooking or overcooking your rice.
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Best Splurge: Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker And Warmer Or Aroma Professional Digital Turbo Convection Rice Cooker
Want modern features with visual pizzazz to match the price tag? The handsome Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker and Warmer in Stainless Dark Brown will fit the ticket. This appliance is a small but mighty machine that adds the ability to cook germinated brown rice to perfection, along with other helpful settings like “quick cooking,””rinse-free,” and cooking options for a variety of grains. Reviewer JuSTLiKEriCe says of this cooker, “This is life-changing. Eating this rice is like seeing new colors. Get this.”
The Zojirushi holds up to three cups. However, if you want even greater capacity with an equally elegant appearance, we recommend buying the Aroma Professional Digital Turbo Convection Rice Cooker in a gorgeous rose gold hue. It holds a whopping 16 cups and has useful settings such as “porridge,””soup,” and even “cake.”
Buy it: Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker and Warmer, $255 Buy it: Aroma Professional Digital Turbo Convection Rice Cooker, $160 kohls.com
The Best Mini Instant Pots: Reviews And Recommendations
- Not compatible with the Instant Pot air fryer lid
Instant Pot is known for making highly durable and versatile multi-use appliances, and this miniature 3-quart model doesnt disappoint. The compact pressure cooker takes up minimal storage space but offers seven different cooking techniques, all available at the touch of a button on the easy-to-access digital control panel.
This is also one of the safest Instant Pots, with smart safety features like overheat protection, a locking lid, and loud alerts if anything goes wrong. You can confidently start a recipe and walk away, knowing that this appliance will do its job safely and effectively every time.
Another great thing about this Instant Pot model is that it comes with an abundance of informational resources. You can access the large community of avid Instant Pot fans online to discover new recipes and culinary tricks to try in your new appliance. Plus, theres always someone who can answer your question, so even if youre brand new to pressure cooking, youll quickly master the art with this miniature Instant Pot on hand.
- No sterilization setting
- Lid gets hot during pressure cooking
The Duo Nova is a newer addition to the Instant Pot line of mini pressure cookers. It has a few enhanced features beyond the Instant Pot Duo. These include an easy steam release feature which uses a button for safe steam release, rather than the wobbly dial used on older models.
- Multi-button display can feel overwhelming
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How To Cook Brown Rice In Instant Pot
Unlike white rice, the brown rice has its grain husk intact, which takes longer to cook. Using the Instant Pot to cook brown rice really speeds up the process.
Rinse 1 cup of brown rice once under cold water . Add brown rice to the pot together with 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt or the same amount of stock without salt. If cooking 2 cups of rice, add 2.25 cups of water and or stock.
Set to Manual/Pressure Cook for 22 minutes on HIGH with 10 minutes natural pressure release , and then use the quick release. Total time is about 35 minutes.
Making Rice In An Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious Rice! You can double or half this recipe without needing to change the cook time.
Though you can cook brown rice easily on the stove, using your Instant Pot means that you dont need to even keep an eye on it. You will also save 20 plus minutes in the process!
- 2 cup brown rice
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
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How To Cook Rice In A Rice Cooker
Cooking rice in a modern rice cooker isnt rocket science.
Just rinse the rice grains with cold water. Then, put 1 cup of rice in your rice cooker bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of water. Finally, press the start button and youre good to go!
When the rice is done, the cooker will turn to keep warm.
Watch this video to know more:
Golden Rules For Cooking Perfect Instant Pot Rice :
- Cooking Time : High Pressure for 3 minutes and 10 minutes Natural Release.
- Water-to-Rice Ratio: 1 cup of cold water for 1 cup of white rice
- Instant Pot users: take note that the rice measuring cup that comes with the Instant Pot is only 180 ml
These golden rules must be followed strictly for the best results.
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Instant Pot Duo Mini 3
The updated version of the classic America’s #1 most loved multi-cooker!
Easy to use, easy to clean, fast, versatile, and convenient, the Instant Pot® Duo is the one that started it all. The updated Easy-Release switch makes steam release simple and fast. Redefine cooking and enjoy quick and easy meals anywhere, any time.
- 7-in-1 pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer
- Easy-Release switch for simple, fast steam release
- 11 customizable programs for quick one-touch meals
- Stainless-steel inner pot with tri-ply bottom for perfect sautéing
- Cook up to 3 servings, perfect for students, singles, small families, and sides
- Great in dorms, small apartments, cubicles, on holiday and more
- Up to 70% faster and more energy efficient than other cooking methods
- Dishwasher-safe lid and inner pot for quick and easy clean-up
- 10+ proven safety features, including Overheat Protection and safe locking lid
- Stainless-steel steamer rack included
- 700 watts, 120 V~ 60 Hz, UL & ULC Listed
How Much Water Do I Add
You can cook any kind of rice in your pressure cooker, long or short grain, brown or white. No matter what kind of rice Im cooking, I use the same 1:1 ratio of rice to water or broth.
This is probably less water than youre used to using for cooking stovetop rice, and thats because theres very little evaporation when youre using the pressure cooker. This ratio produces fairly firm, separate grainsyou can add a little more water, maybe about 1/4 cup extra, if you like softer rice.
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When A Single Function Rice Cooker Is Best
A rice cooker, as its name implies, is best used for cooking rice and a limited number of related dishes. However, some rice cookers are manufactured as multi-functional and may be used as slow cookers for meat or fish stews and soups, or as a steamer for cooking eggs, vegetables, fish, thinly sliced meats and dumplings.
A pressure cooker, on the other hand, is best used for tenderizing tough or large chunks of meats for dishes such as beef stew and pot roast. It also cooks vegetables such as whole corn and squash more quickly. There are, however, pressure cookers with multi-function features that can also be used as slow cookers and rice cookers.
What Can I Cook In An Instant Pot
The best Instant Pots offer a range of different cooking methods, which means there are a plethora of different dishes that can be created in Instant Pots and multi-cookers. Slow cooking means you can use cheaper but tougher cuts of meat and cook them low and slow to make casseroles and stews, while pressure cooking speeds up cooking times, making it great for ribs and chicken wings. However, you can even bake cakes – in particular, we found making cheesecake in an Instant Pot was very good, air fry foods like fries, and even hard-boiled eggs. You can find an extensive variety of recipes at instantpot.com.
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Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker: Which Is Better
Not sure whether to get an Instant Pot or rice cooker to make rice at home? This post will help you understand the differences between the two and pick the one better suited to your cooking needs.
If youve been looking at cooking appliances to add to your arsenal of kitchen equipment, you may have considered this debate: Instant Pot vs rice cooker. It can be hard to choose products and accessories that will work best for you, especially when many options are available.
Before we look at which is better rice cooker vs. Instant Pot we first need to understand both and what they do.