After weeks of experimenting, I got it right. Here is your fail-proof guide for Instant Pot Rice. White rice, brown rice, wild rice, and many more, basically an encyclopedia about cooking rice in a pressure cooker.
If you’ve followed along for a while, you know I’m a huuuuge fan of pressure cooking. My Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe is not only a hit at my house but thousands of others now, too. YAY!
What Is The Best Rice To Water Ratio?
You’ll be surprised but it is always and for ALL sorts 1:1. Yes, you read that right.
Instant Pot Rice calls for a 1:1 rice to water ratio
You wonder why on the stove different ratios are called for. Well, the secret to rice cooking is that the darker or wilder the rice the longer it needs to cook and the longer something needs to cook, the more water evaporates during the process.
This leads us to the conclusion, that different kinds of rice do not necessarily need different kinds of amounts of water to “cook” but rather more water to evaporate.
Since the Instant Pot gives a tight seal and high pressure, no water evaporates at all.
So yes, brown rice and even wild rice need the exact same amount of water as white rice in an evaporation-proof environment. *mind-blown*
What If My Rice Is Too Hard With a 1:1 Ratio?
If your rice is hard or uncooked that doesn’t mean next time it needs more water, that means, next time it needs more TIME. Did you wait for FULL natural pressure release?
Unfortunately, you cannot “save” undercooked rice in the Instant Pot as putting the lid back on and turning the pot back on just leads to the dreaded burn warning. I recommend adding the undercooked rice to a soup or stew maybe 5 minutes before it’s done simmering.
What If My Rice Is Too Mushy?
You most likely used too much water. 1:1 water to rice ratio is essential for all rice types.
Use the exact same container to measure both rice and water. Some cups are standard American (236ml), others are metric (250ml) and the little plastic cup that comes with the Instant Pot is neither (160ml). So do not use different measuring cups to measure rice and water.
Does 1:1 Apply For 1 Cup Just As It Does For 4 Cups?
YES! When making Instant Pot Rice you need 1 cup of water for every cup of rice, regardless of if you cook just 1 cup or 4 cups.
This is different when you cook rice on the stovetop where evaporation happens. The more rice you cook the less water you need when using a regular pot on the stove.
How Many Cups Of Rice Can You Cook In An Instant Pot?
In theory: 2.5 cups in a 3-quart Instant Pot. 5 cups in a 6 quart Instant Pot. 6.5 cups in an 8-quart Instant Pot.
This is US standard measuring cups and raw dry rice.
So the mathematical thought for the theory is the following:
- 1 cup of raw white rice gives on average 3 cups cooked rice.
- Instant Pots should not be filled more than 2/3 of its full capacity at any time. So we have to take the expanded rice into consideration.
- A 6-quart Instant Pot’s capacity is 24 cups and two-thirds of that are 16 cups.
- There should not be more than 16 cups cooked rice in the Instant Pot and since 1 cup raw makes 3 cups cooked we have to divide the 16 by 3. That makes 5.3 cups.
The calculation is only theory though. I have not tried that many cups in my own 6-quart. 4 cups raw dry rice are the maximum I have cooked myself without any issues and with perfect results.
Natural Pressure Release (NPR) vs. Quick Pressure Release (QR)
What’s better? Hands down, no doubt >> natural pressure release. If you cook rice longer so you can do quick pressure release, with the hope to have the rice cooked faster overall, it gets sticky and mushy.
If you want fluffy rice, I encourage you to be patient and wait for natural pressure release. I timed all rice and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the timing. Even the same kind of rice in the same amount has had different natural pressure release times.
What Is The Rice Button For?
The rice button was designed only for white rice (regular long-grain, Jasmine, or Basmati rice). It works fine with those types of rice. The shorter high-pressure cooking times with natural pressure release work better though in my opinion.
Also, the Rice Button does not work for any other type of rice but white rice.
Do I Have To Rinse Rice Before Cooking?
Opinions vary widely and there seems to be no right or wrong answer. It’s all up to personal preference. However, thankfully it is irrelevant for the cooking times presented.
Both rinsed and dry rice work with my cooking times and method. Nothing has to be adjusted or changed either way. Just make sure you drain your rice well in a fine mesh strainer if you rinse it. Then use 1:1 ratio.
Instant Pot Rice Cooking Times
Now let’s get to the individual kinds of rice:
I’ve tried both Basmati and Jasmin and both cook in the exact same time, 3 minutes high pressure + NPR. The thicker regular long-grain white rice cooks better with 4 minutes high pressure + NPR.
I’ve experimented with Basmati brown rice and with short grain brown rice and the Basmati cooked faster than the short grain. From all my experiments it seems like the thicker the individual grains, the longer they need. With the exception of wild rice, that one needs long regardless of being a skinny dude. 22 minutes high pressure + NPR for the thin Basmati and 24 minutes for the thick short grain.
Some people swear the grain HAS to burst open, others swear, it’s best when “just about to burst” and others like it completely unburst. Guess what, you can achieve any consistency you like when you cook Instant Pot Wild Rice. Here are the times for whole unbroken wild rice: 28 minutes (unburst), 30 minutes (some burst some unburst), 32 minutes (burst).
Red Rice and Black Rice
Red rice and black rice is pretty thick and needs quite some time to break down so give it tiiime. It’s round and thick and it takes quite a bit for it to absorb all the water. It’s like a new towel that needs time to get soaking wet ;) 30 minutes high pressure + NPR.
I was actually pretty sure this would take just as long as regular white rice but surprise surprise. It’s not as sticky if you cook it or only 3 minutes and this is the only rice you really want to be sticky, right? So increasing the cooking time actually made it stickier and better to work with for sushi. Cooke it 5 minutes on high pressure + NPR.
Wild Rice Blend
Soooo, this one is the trickiest because it has several different kinds of rice that individually cook in different times. I found it cooks best in an in-between time. The wild rice in the mix will be completely unburst but the brown rice won’t be all mushy. Usually, that’ll be 28 minutes high-pressure + NPR. Of course, it will depend widely on what grains exactly are in your blend.
How to Reheat Rice in the Instant Pot
So, I’ve seen a couple of people recommend adding water or oil and stir it in the inner pot and pretty much making a mess, haha.
Um, not my favorite method.
I like things simple. I basically want the same convenience as a microwave but without the waves.
I store my leftover rice in a heat-proof glass container and then place the trivet in the Instant Pot, add a cup of water and place the rice uncovered on the trivet. Put the lid on, knob to sealing and press steam for 5 minutes. Quick pressure release, done!
So here you have it. The longest post in the history of Green Healthy Cooking.
Burn Warning Trouble Shooting
The wicked burn warning, it’s the Instant Pot user’s nemesis! For starters, some Instant Pots are a lot more temperamental than others. You most likely did nothing wrong, however, you are dealing with what we could compare with a toddler with a temper tantrum.
If your Instant Pot is generally one to scream “burn” easily and quickly I recommend you stay close in the beginning phase while it gets the water boiling and trying to get to pressure. When the pot is trying to push up the safety pin but seems to not be able to, that’s the critical moment. Push down on the handle of the lid a little to help it get to pressure.
If the pot tries and tries to get to pressure but can’t too much water evaporates through the valve and thus leaves too little inside the pot and the rice starts to burn.
If even with a little push on the lid, it cannot get to pressure, the sealing ring might not be positioned properly inside the lid. You will have to abort the mission and start over, making sure the sealing ring is still in great condition and placed correctly.
If the Instant Pot was able to pressure cook for most of the time and only showed the burn warning at the end of the cooking time, then just unplug it and wait for natural pressure release. Often times it still manages to cook the rice and just a tiny corner got burnt.
Instant Pot Rice
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 cup rice - (Basmati white, Jasmin white, Basmati brown, short-grain brown, red, black, wild, wild blend, sushi)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Add all ingredients into the Instant Pot. You can double, triple or quadruple all ingredients in same amounts.
- Make sure sealing ring is placed properly in lid, add lid, turn shut and turn knob to sealing position.
- Cook on high pressure for the number of minutes instructed below depending on the type of rice:White Rice (Basmati or Jasmin): 3 minutesWhite Sushi Rice: 5 minutesBrown Rice (Basmati): 22 minutesShort Grain Brown Rice: 24 minutesRed Rice: 30 minutesWild Rice Blend: 28 minutesWild Rice: 30 minutesBlack Pearl Rice: 30 minutes
- Natural Pressure Release until pin drops. Takes on average 9-12 minutes (max. 18 minutes for 1 cup and max 30 mins for 4 cups).
- Remove all rice from pot immediately to avoid it sticking to the bottom. If needing to keep warm, leave rice in pot after natural pressure release without opening the lid to avoid steam being released and drying out the rice > making it stick to the bottom.
- I use a US standard cup. 236ml in volume.
- I, personally, do NOT rinse or wash my rice.
- Cooking time stays the same no matter how many cups you cook.
Gary Hedler says
There was comment made on the website “Unfortunately, you cannot “save” under cooked rice in the Instant Pot as putting the lid back on and turning the pot back on just leads to the dreaded burn warning. that once the lid is off, you can’t restart the pot to cook it longer without a burn message.”
My suggestion is, use the “pot in pot” method of cooking rice. The rice never contacts the bottom of the IP pot, so no burn message! I love using the pot in pot method. Thanks for the recipe!
This was a great article, thanks very much.
But I have a question.
There are only 2 of us and I usually make only 1 cup rice (long grain white) with 1 cup broth in my 3qt Instant Pot. However, there is always rice left over and, despite my best intentions, it invariably gets thrown out.
Just wondering if 3/4 cup and 3/4 cup would work or is that too little liquid.
Lorena Grater says
Hi Barb, in a 3-quart that should work. I’ve managed to get my 6-quart to pressure with 3/4 cups sometimes even.
Nick Dixon says
How would I make parboiled rice in the IP?
Lorena Grater says
I haven’t tried it but others have reported. 7 minutes high pressure + full natural pressure release.
I was skeptical but the Basmati white turned out perfectly. I did add two tablespoons of oil and sautéed my spices (garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric and cinnamon) for one minute before adding the rice and water. I did one cup of both water and rice plus salt for 3 minutes on high pressure and natural release. I did let it sit for about 10 minutes without opening after natural release as my other dishes were not ready. The rice was perfect lovely separated gradually. I look forward to trying to cook me nemesis brown rice following your method. Thank you so very much.
Judith Yerger says
I have needed to add a quarter more water…. a cup and a quarter makes it perfect
After watching your videos using the instant pot you’ve inspired me to purchase one.
I kept debating it but now definitely feel I can get some good recipes out of it