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How to Cook Rice in a Pressure Cooker

cooking with spoon

There are several varieties of rice to choose from, and each type offers a different texture or flavor. Some types of rice are easier to cook than others. White rice is often the go-to choice since it’s pretty simple to achieve the perfect results, whereas brown rice and wild rice can be tricky to prepare.

If you want to learn how to cook rice in a pressure cooker, in this guide, you’ll find several recipes and tricks that will result in perfectly cooked rice that takes just a fraction of the time to cook, compared to boiling rice on the stove. However, cooking rice can be kind of tricky and at times a lot will depend on personal preference. Additionally, the dryness and age of the rice, your location, and your altitude will all play a role in the type of results you can expect.

How to cook rice in a pressure cooker: Basically, you’ll want to measure a one-to-one ratio of rice to water. You’ll also need to rinse off the rice before you add it to the pressure cooker. Then you can set the cooking length and temperature based on the type of rice you’re preparing. 

The Perfect Rice

To start, measure out the rice and set it aside. You will measure out the same amount of water and add it to the pressure cooker’s inner pot. Before you add the rice you’ll want to carefully rinse it off in a strainer, then add it to the water in the pressure cooker. You should avoid filling the inner pot past the halfway mark when you’re making rice. Place the pot in the cooker’s base and plug it in and adjust the temperature setting. Close the lid and engage the locks. Select the appropriate cooking time and set the temperature to high.

1:1 Ratio

The reason behind the one-to-one ratio and why it works for any type of rice is because the rice needs to absorb the same amount of water as it cooks. Fortunately, every type of rice needs to absorb its own volume in water. So, you can use the one-to-one ratio for any type of rice whether you’re cooking basmati or brown.

In a rice cooker it’s a lot different, so you’re probably used to using more water when you prepare rice but a rice cooker uses a lot of steam, whereas the pressure cooker is totally sealed and very little water is lost to evaporation. Because of this, you don’t have to use as much water.

This one-to-one ratio will produce the perfect results, however, if you want softer rice then you can add half a cup more of water per cup of rice. If you want to ensure that your rice is cooked evenly make sure you never use less than half a cup of water per cup of rice.

Rinsing the Rice

Washing white rice

So, why do you have to rinse the rice before adding it to the pot? Rinsing the rice adds a little extra water to compensate for the small amount of water that is lost due to evaporation and it also helps to remove starch. If you decide to not rinse off the rice, then make sure you add an extra 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the pot.

Cooking Times

Following important pressure cooker cooking times is essential, otherwise, you can risk over or undercooking the rice. The exact length of the time you’ll cook the rice will depend upon certain conditions. As an example, if you’re cooking a large amount of rice you’ll need to add more time to the cooking process. When you cook rice, you need to stop once the rice has absorbed all the water. The following cooking guidelines that I’ve included here have been tested, so as long as you follow these directions closely you will end up with perfectly cooked rice every time. However, you will need to experiment with the cooking times if you want to cook a large batch of rice.

Basic Guidelines

You need to adjust the rice cook time depending on the type of rice you’re cooking. As I mentioned, some types of rice will take longer to cook than others. If you’re cooking brown rice, then you’ll need to cook it for 20 to 30 minutes. For jasmine rice, it only needs to be cooked for 4 to 6 minutes. White rice will only need to be cooked for 5 to 7 minutes. If you’re cooking up a pot of wild rice it has a cook time of approximately 25 minutes.

Volume

So how much rice can you cook in a pressure cooker? I recommend cooking a minimum of 1 cup of dry rice. You can use the one to one ratio for any amount of rice just keep in mind that you should never fill the inner pot over the halfway mark especially when you’re cooking food that expands. If you decide to cook a larger batch then you’ll need to add more time to the cooking process.

Cooking Options

You don’t have to cook the rice in straight water if you don’t want to, You’ll simply just need to use a water-based liquid in order for the rice to cook properly. Some people prefer to cook rice in vegetable, beef, or chicken broth. You can do this as well however, I recommend using half broth, half water.

You can also try mixing half almond or coconut milk and half water, instead of broth. For more flavor, try adding some soy sauce, lime juice, or lemon juice. Feel free to experiment with a variety of flavor boosters.

For more information on the different cooking methods you can try, click here to read my article on pressure cooker versus rice cooker.

White Rice

Most people prefer using white rice since with certain varieties of rice, it can be difficult to achieve the right texture and may need to cook for a longer period of time. Brown rice can take much longer to cook compared to white due to the thick bran layer. White rice does not have a bran layer since it has been removed during the manufacturing process so it cooks much faster and has a more tender texture.

Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice

If you want a faster way to cook jasmine rice that produces fluffy separate grains and requires a little attention, then using a pressure cooker is your best bet. One of the best things about cooking rice in a pressure cooker is the fact that it doesn’t require as much water. When you cook a pot of rice on the stove the water evaporates throughout the entire cooking process, so you’ll need to use plenty of water to compensate for that loss.

When you use a pressure cooker, once the cooker has become pressurized it turns into a sealed environment that prevents further evaporation. Because of this, regardless of how much rice you prepare, you only need to add enough water to equal the volume of rice.

For jasmine rice, which cooks much faster than brown, you’ll use one cup of long-grain jasmine and place it in a mesh strainer. Rinse it under cold water until the water is clear and the rice is free from debris. Next, you’ll move the rice to your pressure cooker, I recommend the Mirro 92122A pressure cooker, which is very beginner-friendly and easy to use.

For every cup of rice, you can add another cup of water. The rice should be cooked on high for 3 to 5 minutes. Once the pressure cooker has been shut down it will naturally release pressure and the lid lock will disengage. Wait five to ten minutes before removing the rice. After this time, you can open up the pressure cooker and use a fork to fluff the rice then serve. It’s that simple.

For more information on pressure cookers and canners, click here to read my buyer’s guide.

How to Cook Brown Rice in a Pressure Cooker

For many, cooking brown rice can be a hassle. This type of rice is more difficult to cook than any other due to the thick bran layer coating. Many people will prepare this rice in a pot of water on the stove only to be left with rice that’s undercooked or mushy. Try cooking it in the oven and you’ll end up with rice that is unevenly cooked or burnt. Have you ever tried cooking brown rice in a pressure cooker? This method allows you to set it and forget it, and you’ll end up with perfectly cooked brown rice in just 30 minutes.

This cooking method is very simple if you use the correct rice to water ratio. If you follow the instructions I concluded here you’ll end up with rice that’s perfectly cooked, unlike the gummy, mushy, crunchy brown rice you’re used to via the stovetop method. Making pressure cooker white rice is simple in comparison since brown rice features the aleurone, germ, and bran layer, which is not removed during the manufacturing process like it is for white rice. While brown rice is the same thing as white, it’s more nutritious and high in fiber.

On the stovetop, when you make this type of rice, you can expect varied results, not to mention the fact that it can take over an hour to cook.  But in a pressure cooker, you can cook up a large batch in just a fraction of the time.

Make sure you rinse the rice before adding it to the pot. Add 1 cup of water to the pot, seal the lid, engage the lid lock, set the temperature to high and set the timer for 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off, you’ll need to wait for the pot to depressurize before the lid locks will disengage. After this point, use potholders to remove the inner pot and fluff the rice with a fork. You’ll be blown away by how perfectly cooked your brown rice is.

Wild Rice

Wild rice is a very versatile side dish that’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and flavor. However, this nutrient-dense rice can take a long time to cook. But considering it has 30 times more antioxidants compared to white rice, and it’s also loaded with fiber, it’s definitely worth the long wait time. On the stovetop, cooking wild rice can easily take over an hour.

However, you should keep in mind that wild rice is actually an aquatic grass and not really a type of rice. It’s simply referred to as wild rice because it cooks and looks like rice.

However, cooking this aquatic grass / rice is just as difficult as brown rice, if not more so. It also has a longer time in the pressure cooker at 35 minutes. But when cooked in a pressure cooker, not only can you prepare it faster, you’ll end up with perfect results instead of overcooked, mushy rice.

Unlike other rice, you need to use a lot more water for wild rice. You’ll use two cups of wild rice and 5 cups of liquid, whether it’s water or a combination of broth and water. The rice will also need to be thoroughly rinsed before adding it to the pot, in order to remove dirt and debris. Now, place the rice in the pot, add 5 cups of liquid, close the lid and engage the lock. Set the timer for 35 minutes and turn the heat to high. Once the alarm goes off, give the pressure cooker time to depressurize, then remove the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.

Final Thoughts

As someone who prepares dinner for your family every night, finding a cooking method to use that’s faster and turns out impressive results, can be invaluable. Learning how to cook rice in a pressure cooker will not only save you plenty of time in the kitchen, but it also allows you to get more use out of your pressure cooker, an appliance that’s incredibly versatile. Following the one-to-one ratio when you cook any type of rice will ensure you achieve the perfect results every time, just keep in mind, not all pressure cookers are created equal, so if you’re using an older model, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

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