Instant Pot White Rice

5 from 16 votes
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Instant Pot white rice allows you to effortlessly batch cook a versatile side dish that goes with just about any meal. Follow these simple steps like rinsing, sitting, and steaming and you’ll have light and tender rice every time.

Instant Pot White Rice

Cooking a pot of white rice is a go-to side dish for any eating occasion. Using an electric pressure cooker makes the job even more seamless, with very little need for constant attention. It’s the next level of rice cookers, that shortens the wait time while upping the excitement.

Please note that with so many types of rice available, a few adjustments may need to be made to the recipe. The size and variety play a role in the duration of cook time. However, the amount of water doesn’t change as much as you’d expect. Below are the basic steps for cooking different kinds of white rice, from preparation, settings, and cook time for the perfect batch.

Rinsing grains of rice in a strainer

Don’t skip the rinsing step

Rinse the rice with cold running water to remove any excess starches on the outside of the grain. This allows you to reduce the amount of sticking as the starches become gummy as they cook this creates a tackiness between the grains. I always do this step even when cooking rice on the stovetop.

The proper water-to-rice ratio

Cooking most kinds of rice in the Instant Pot needs a 1:1 water-to-rice ratio. For every 1 cup of rice, simply add 1 cup of water. The reason for the equal amounts is that rice requires the same volume of liquid for full absorption. This is plenty of water to help the starches absorb, swell, and soften the grains.

If you like a little more softness to the grains, adding an additional ¼ cup of water may help, especially for heartier grains like brown rice.

Pouring water into an Instant Pot

Setting selection and cook time

Use the “manual” button on the Instant Pot and set it to high pressure. This function provides the most control for any variety of white rice. I find that for long grain white rice, basmati, or jasmine, pressure cook for 3 minutes then natural-release for 10 minutes to yield separate, fluffy grains. If cooking short grain or medium grain white rice like sushi or calrose, use 1 ¼ cups water for 1 cup of rice. Pressure cook for 5 minutes and use the same natural-release time.

Natural-release has two benefits

That additional 10 minutes of natural release safely eliminates the pressure from the unit while gently steaming the rice. This process allows for full absorption of the hot water into the grains. Just make sure to press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button if not serving right away to prevent the rice from scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pot insert.

Water and rice in an Instant Pot before being cooked

What about the “rice” program?

Selecting the rice button is a preset program that works well for certain kinds of white rice. It provides an automatic time adjustment using smart controls based on volume. However, I recommend only using this setting for long grain white rice or parboiled rice.

Maxing out quantity

The ingredients should not go above the halfway mark in the pressure cooker. Note that rice can expand 2 to 3 times its size, so do not overfill the insert. A minimum of 1 cup of rice can be made in a 6-quart Instant Pot, which yields about 3 cups of rice.

Making smaller individual portions

If you want to cook an individual serving of ½ cup dried rice, use the pot-in-pot method. This is where you mix the rice with equal parts water, then steam it in a smaller pot that sits on top of a trivet with 1 cup of water in the larger insert. Pressure cook for 5 minutes instead of 3 minutes, and naturally-release for 10 minutes.

Fluffy grains of rice after cooking in a pressure cooker

Why less water is needed

In a pressure cooker, the ingredients are locked in an enclosed system where very little evaporation is occurring, only as the unit comes up to pressure. Therefore, no excessive amount of water is lost like with the stovetop method where you have to account for steam exiting the sides of the pot during the entire cooking process.

Instant Pot White Rice

Instant Pot white rice allows you to effortlessly batch cook a versatile side dish that goes with just about any meal. Perfectly cooked grains every time!
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Side
Cuisine Asian

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions 

  • Add rice to a fine meshed strainer. Rinse and wash under cool running water until it runs clear, scrubbing the rice in between your fingers several times, about 1 minute. Shake to drain excess liquid.
  • In a 6-quart Instant Pot add rice, water, and salt.
  • Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock.
  • Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 3 minutes using the "+" or "-" buttons. It will take about 7 minutes for the pot to heat and build up pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
  • Once cooking time is complete, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button.
  • Allow the pressure to naturally-release for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully twist the steam-release handle on the lid to "Venting" position.
  • Carefully remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released from the pot.
  • Gently fluff the rice with a fork. Serve the rice hot.

Notes

  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Recipe Yield: 2 to 3 cups depending on type
  • For even softer grains of white rice add 1 ¼ cups of water.
  • This recipe was designed for long grain white rice, extra long grain, basmati or jasmine.
  • Cook short grain and medium grain white rice like sushi or calrose rice, use 1 ¼ cups of water. Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure and natural release for 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 113kcal (6%)Carbohydrates 25g (8%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 1g (2%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Sodium 100mg (4%)Potassium 35mg (1%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 1g (1%)Calcium 9mg (1%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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12 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Ally says

    For one cup of rice, after rinsing do i add 1 cup of water? Or is the water absorbed by the rice while rinsing taken out of the 1 cup of water?
    I think I’m over thinking, but have also wondered if rinsing rice affects the amount of water to add!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      After rinsing make sure to press on the grains or shake the colander to drain the excess moisture as much as possible. Then add the advised amount of water to help hydrate the grains.This will prevent the rice from tasting too soggy if there is too much moisture in the instant pot.

  2. Barb says

    Hi There
    I have a 3qt Instant Pot Duo. There are only myself and hubby and I don’t like to make extra rice and freeze it. Any idea what would be the minimum of rice/liquid I could safely use in the 3qt?
    Thanks very much.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      The minimum amount of liquid for the pot to come to pressure is 1 cup, so I would recommend 1 cup of dried rice to get to best results.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Keep the cooking time the same. If more time is needed, then you can add another few minutes of pressure cooking after the first cook.