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Instant Pot Rice

Vidya Rao
Cook Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Rice is universally loved. There are so many ways to dress it up, from pilaf to classic chicken and rice, and leftovers make for fantastic fried rice or burrito filling. Cooking rice is easy once you get the hang of it, but if you’re doing it on the stovetop, you do have to pay attention to the time and temperature. Sometimes you are juggling making multiple parts of a dish (say, the rice and the curry), or just multitasking at life (like making sure your kid isn’t practicing their next daredevil move). You want to set it and forget and know that you’ll have perfectly cooked rice waiting for you when you’re ready for it. This is where the Instant Pot excels.

One of the many things you can do with an Instant Pot is cook rice using the pressure cooking setting. With this method, rice cooks faster than it does on the stovetop, and you get consistent results every time.

Here are a few tips to get started:

Rinse your rice: This is, of course, optional, but it’s a quick step that leads to better-tasting rice. Consider the fact that rice does have dust and debris from it’s long journey to you. To rinse, dry rice into a fine-mesh strainer and run it under cool tap water. Swirl the rice around with your fingers. Once the water runs clear, you’re done. From here, you can drop the rice right from the strainer into the Instant Pot.

Add water: Use a 1:1 ratio of water to rice. So if you’re cooking 1 cup of dry rice, you’ll add 1 cup of water; if you’re cooking 2 cups of dry rice, add 2 cups of water and so on.

Add salt: Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every cup of rice. This will infuse the rice with light flavor, and you can add more salt to taste after cooking.

Bonus step: Add spices. Depending on what you’re doing with your rice, adding some whole or ground spices at this step can infuse your rice with even more flavor. Think whole-toasted cumin for Indian or Mexican dishes, and bay leaves or garlic powder for pretty much any type of cuisine.

Use the manual pressure cooking setting: There is a rice setting that will work for white rice only, but you’ll get better results using the manual setting. For white rice (basmati, jasmine, etc.), hit "pressure cook," set the timer for 3 minutes, and set the pressure level to high. This will give you rice that’s chewy and well separated — perfect for pilaf, fried rice or most typical dinner preparations. If you want a stickier, softer rice (which works great for stuffings and rice balls), set the timer for 4 minutes. For brown rice, cook for 15 minutes, and for wild rice, cook for 20 minutes.

Use the natural release: Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then push the knob to "vent" and do a quick release until you can open the lid. Note that the steam is hot, so do this wearing an oven mitt.

Fluff rice with a fork: Once you take the top off, immediately use a fork to fluff the rice. Scrape up rice from the bottom of the pot. Close the lid and keep it on the "warm" setting until you’re ready to serve.


  • 1 cup white rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt



Add rice, water and salt to the Instant Pot. Close the lid, hit the "pressure cook" button, set the pressure level to "high," and set the timer for 3 minutes. If you prefer a softer, stickier rice, set the timer for 4 minutes.


Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release for 10 minutes, then push the knob to vent for a quick release until the lid is loose enough to open. Wear an oven mitt to do this so you don’t get burned by the steam.

Vidya Rao

Immediately fluff the rice with a fork, making sure to scrape up the rice from the bottom of the pot.


Put the lid back on and keep it on the "warm" setting until you’re ready to use or serve.