Instant pot vs rice cooker– which one should you buy and why? Upon passing glance these two kitchen devices seem certainly much the same. In fact, they pretty look-alike most of the time.
Most people are curious to know the difference between the two kitchen appliances. More and more questions are raised about which is one is better and why. But both are greater in their way.
In recent years, countertop cookware has increased in popularity. Pressure cookers, otherwise known as instant pots and rice cookers are probably the most reputable names in the kitchen appliance industry.
Rice is the most common cereal consumed everywhere you go in the world. And that’s why top manufacturers are innovating smart cookers to cook rice effectively.
The two additions cook rice amazingly. Their incredible speeds are astonishing without error compared to other simple models you’d be having.
Personally, my favorite dinners – chicken pot pie is usually and consistently served with a side of brown rice. I believe that I enjoy this dish more than an average person.
If making the best rice is something you’re striving for, but never getting there, then the answer could be in your equipment.
To help you out, we break down the existing differences between instant pots and rice cookers.
Aforementioned, both cookers are very similar but not the same. There are quite a number of differences between them.
Depending on what you’re yearning to cook will relatively influence your choice.
What's An Instant Pot?
Also referred to as a pressure cooker, an instant pot is a multi-purpose appliance. It functions as a rice cooker, electric pressure cooker, steamer, warming pot, sauté pan, slow cooker, and a yogurt maker.
How fascinating is this? Imagine only a single kitchen gadget performing the functions of more than five kitchen appliances.
This cooker comes with pre-programmed functions and smart features to allow precision cooking. With this, you won’t overcook your rice.
Most people in Europe, USA, and Asia love to cook rice. However, they like to cook in an accurate way, both with rice-based one-pot dish and plain rice.
Not to mention, you can use an instant pot to cook your most favorite meals. It automatically cooks well. This appliance uses steam to cook. As you’d want, it cooks using the shortest time as possible with a great aroma and flavor.
Cooking your rice in the instant pot is easy. It doesn’t require much attention because it features the control panel settings that enhance this. Just set and forget it.
It’s versatility, performance and reliability make it the most valuable kitchen appliance amongst electric pressure cookers. Besides, the pots consist of a lid, an inner pot, and an outer pot. With that, it’s easy to clean and use.
Key Features Of An Instant Pot
- Fast and quick cooking
- Replaces more than five kitchen gadgets into one (multifunction)
- Valuable than other models like rice cookers
- Versatile – it can cook other many foods apart from rice
- It’s available in a couple of series and models
- Pre-programmable to ensure effective cooking
- Convenient to clean and use
Which Types Of Food Can An Instant Pot Cook?
As advertised, an instant pot can cook several types of food. With its multi-cook feature, this has been made possible than before. You can use the pressure cooker to cook rice, meat, soups, dry beans, and cakes.
Also, it can steam, fry, braise, simmer and yogurt with it. Overall, any food that requires liquid when cooking does well in an instant pot. For slow cooking, this appliance is the best if not better.
With these amazing functions, an instant pot is worth any penny you invest in it. Whether you’re having a party, an occasion, a restaurant or you want to surprise your family with well-cooked rice, use this pot. It will deliver remarkable results.
Surprise her with the most delicious meal that has been prepared in an instant pot. They will have a reason to appreciate it.
How To Cook Rice Using An Instant Pot
Cooking your rice in an instant pot is very easy and fast. It’s capable of churning out tasty cooked batches of rice.
As a professional chef, I use mine frequently to get better of brown rice. Moreover, I find it easy to prepare polenta, farro, bulgur wheat, and quinoa.
The simplicity of a pressure cooker is unquestionable. It’s easy to operate and set up. While there seems to be new version of pressure cookers, the instant pot remains the same – the rice still remains inexplicably delicious.
Uniquely, the device makes the rice seem so fancy. How it suffice, only the user can tell.
Let’s dig through how you can cook rice in an instant pot (step-by-step)
- Add your desire amount of brown/white rice. If there’s a need to rinse it, just do it.
- Then, add the stated cups of water. The water to rice ratio is vital in facilitating great results. Make sure the ratio is 1:1 to avoid mushy rice.
- The principle is that water will boil at 20 degrees higher. This ensures quick and fast cooking. Remember to set your appliance.
- Once the rice is ready, your pressure cooker will shut off automatically.
Benefits Of An Instant Pot
Pressure cookers come with many pros to like about. However, like any other product, you can’t miss a basic downside.
- Cooks the food in a short time. This saves more time, especially during rush hours.
- Because of high heat and pressured-steam, no micro-organisms can survive
- Cooks the meal with aroma and delicious flavors. The lids ensure no steam is escaping
- Compared to other cooking methods, an instant pot is more energy efficient.
- Requires less attention and seasoning
- The control panel settings facilitate the excellent functions of the appliance
- Programmability allows you to set and forget it without any worry about overcooked food.
- Relatively expensive than other regular pressure cookers
- They are somehow heavier
- Can be dangerous when misused
What Are The Best Instant Pots Of 2020?
Now that you know instant pots are the greatest appliances for cooking rice. Let’s review some of the best products that will transform your dinner. More than being best, they are also best-selling products.
Best Overall: Instant Pot Duo 7-In-1
It’s only with the greatest appliance that your dream will come true. By picking Instant Pot Duo, you’re closer to happy cooking. The model comes in 3-, 6-, yet 8-quart options. With it, you’ll have replaced seven kitchen appliances.
The multi-functional cooker allows you to cook different types of meals. DUO60 functions as a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté, and warmer.
Further, the pot’s interior is made of quality stainless steel that boosts even heat distribution. This also makes it durable. Plus, it features the essential bonus features: a “keep warm” and a “delay start” function.
With extra settings and standard features that DUO offers, you can make homemade yogurt. And because the pressure cooker is programmable, you can cook on low.
So, you’ll enjoy much control over your desired cooking temperature of lentils and soups. Not overcooking the rice into mushy oblivion.
DUO60 comes with essential accessories like the steam rack, rice paddle, and measuring soup spoon to make the cooking easier.
Most importantly, the pressure cooker cooks fast and will save time for busy people. Out of the total 14 feature programs, the main one is a timer; you can set minutes for cooking any recipe.
Unlike stovetops cooking cookers, an instant pot doesn’t require much attention. It’s capable of delaying and slow-cooking process. No need to monitor it.
The pot is easy to clean. Being UCL and UL certified means the safety guidelines and quality is up to standard. I believe this one wins.
- Replaces 7 essential kitchen appliances
- 14 feature programs including a timer, slow cook and dual pressure
- Pot’s interior made of sturdy stainless steel
- Accessories like rice paddle, measuring spoon soup and steam rack.
- Requires no monitoring (Set it and go)
- Certifies and numerous safety features
Runners Up: Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1
For plenty of recipes, Instant Pot Lux is a standout. It uses the pressure to cook rice, steams, and sautés. Lux offers impressive results when it comes to cooking and the other 6 functions.
With this kitchenware, you get 6 appliances just in one smart device. These are rice cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, slow cooker, and sauté. It also features a “keep warm” setting.
The latest versions have eggs and cake programs. Therefore, cooking a cake will not be a problem for you. Surprisingly, Lux is relatively affordable than DUO, but it impresses when the occasion arises.
In addition, this model will save you time when cooking dishes like a cut of meat, stew, and chili. The pot has really become a nice addition to every kitchen. Since it employs 6-quart, you can cook food for a family of 4-6 people.
The 12-smart programs ease cooking, especially for different meals. Whether your prep is a stew, cake, slow cook, soup, porridge or rice, Lux is a top choice.
When it comes to safety, this instant pot is a product to beat. With its 10 safety mechanisms, you can fancy the best usage without panic. Accidents are no longer and may only happen due to mishandling.
Above all, it’s packed with accessories such as soup spoon, recipe booklet, measuring cup, steam rack, and rice paddle. All these add value.
Nonetheless, if the idea is to make your own yogurt, purchasing Lux is a disappointment. The instant pot doesn’t include such a setting.
- 12 Built-in Programs (smart)
- 10 safety and integrated features
- Saves a tone of time
- Extremely affordable
- Essential accessories included in the package
- “Keep warm” setting
What's A Rice Cooker
As the name suggests, a rice cooker is a reputable kitchen appliance suitable for cooking rice by boiling and steaming. It comes with a thermostat, cooking bow, and heat source (electric/gas).
You’ll find it in many Asian homes because they highly consume rice.
One thing we appreciate about a rice cooker is safe usage. Furthermore, it comes with innovative features, including auto-shutoff. This function simplifies monitoring. Along with that, the user can operate it with ease.
Opposite to what most people thought, a rice cooker is versatile. You can also use it to cook other related dishes.
Today, some new versions have been equipped with multi-functional attributes that allow them to work as slow cookers. You can prepare things like eggs, fish, thinly sliced, and vegetables.
Types Of Rice Cookers
The most common types of rice cookers are:
Gas Rice cookers. You’ll often find the gas rice cookers in commercial kitchens. They offer great capacity. Gas cookers are fast when it comes to cooking than any other type of a gas cooker.
Electric rice cookers. With electric rice cookers, they normally employ induction to heat. Vitally important, electric models have more features than gas-powered rice cookers. These features make it great amongst cooks and chefs.
Key Features Of A Rice Cooker
- Ideal for cooking rice
- Come in different brand and versions
- Relatively cheaper compared with instant pot
- Trendy versions feature more functionalities
Which Types Of Food Can A Rice Cooker Cook?
Mostly, a rice cooker is designed to cook rice. And because the competition is increasing every week, more functions are seen in modern rice cookers.
They are able to multi-cook.
With control panel settings, you can set the appliance to cook any type of rice, sushi, sticky, porridge among others. Some are made for slow cooking.
How It Works
People who own this device typically do make good rice. But how it works is the reason for this.
A rice cooker consists of the main body, inner cooking pan, an electric heating plate, few buttons, a control panel, and a thermal sensing device.
The cooking pan that has been inserted on the shell or main body is where rice and water are placed. This pan will depress the heating element which instantly boils the water swiftly.
Meanwhile, a small thermometer which is the sensing device in this case ensures the temperature of the pan remains stable. It should not go beyond 100°C.
Once the water is fully absorbed, the cooker senses the change in temperature. This is an indication that your dish is ready. The cooker shuts off automatically. Still, it can change the mode of the warming cycle.
Benefits Of A Rice Cooker
A Rice cooker is beneficial in one way or the other. Just like other appliances, it has advantages and disadvantages.
- It offers safety
- Easy to clean and use
- Delivers outstanding results when cooking rice
- Versatile to cook other related dishes such as oatmeal
- Adds more flavors, aroma, and texture
- Features automatic shut-off when the meal is ready
- Some models can only cook rice
- It’s slightly slower when cooking than instant pot
- Needs more seasoning
How To Cook Rice With A Rice Cooker
What Are The Best Rice Cookers of 2020?
We’ve types of rice cookers of different sizes and makings in the market today. But, which models are the best?
Best Pick: Hamilton Beach (37548) - 7 Cups
Hamilton Beach is a distinguished brand in the cookware industry. One of their best products is Hamilton Beach (37548) rice cooker that offers a great cooking experience.
One feature I like is the multi-purpose cooking function. For satisfying cooking in a family of several people, this device can cook from 3 – 15 cups of grain.
One advantage of this appliance is that it offers multilayer steaming. Longer-cooking foods like fish steaks, chicken breasts can stay put, too. You can also steam veggies.
On the other hand, the simmer and heat mode can be used longer-cooking foods like beans, soup, and pasta. If you want to cook all types of rice (brown, white faro, long-grain) Hamilton 7 cups is an ideal choice for you.
Not to mention, a 2-in-1 nonstick basket is convenient and easy to clean. The inclusion of a steam basket and a rice rinser is another extra feature.
With nice settings and functions, cooking with Beach 37548 is easy. Just place your ingredients inside and switch it on.
- Has 2-in-1 basket (steam basket/rice rinser)
- Auto shifts ensure warning after cooking
- A non-stick pot that’s dishwasher safe
- 6 programs and pre-programmable settings
- 7 cup uncooked and up to 14 cups uncooked rice capacity
Runners Up: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10
Made in Japan, Zojirushi Neuro cooker is the most versioned appliance for cooking rice. It comes with a Fuzzy Logic Technology that manipulates the adjustments of the heating time and temperatures. This makes sure you get the best-cooked dish.
Powered by microcomputer technology, Zojirushi features a menu with multiple functions. As a result, you can apply different cooking programs.
Still, you can set different temperatures for certain types of rice if need be.
Furthermore, the cooker is capable of making 10 cups of cooked rice. Switch to the right function of the cooker and get the job done. Other functions include quick-cooking, rinse-free, brown rice, porridge, white rice, and brown rice.
An indicator usually notifies when the cooking is ready through a beep sound. While the inner lid is detachable for easy cleaning, the LCD displays the numerous functions.
More also, the cookers are designed with multi-menu selections. These consist of an extended keep warm, automatic keep warm and reheating cycles.
Also, accessories like rice spoon holder, recipes, nonstick rice spoon, and 2 measuring cups are included for efficient rice cooking.
Eventually, its quality is unbeatable. For this reason, the model delivers high-end cooking all day. The part is that the user’s manual is available in French, Japanese, Korean, English, and Chinese.
- LCD display and timer
- Detachable inner lid for easier cleaning
- Accessories included
- Multiple menu selections
- Bead audio indicator when the cooking is ready
- Fuzzy Logic technology
- 10 cups cooking capacity
Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker Main Differences
Both appliances are amazing in the quest to better cooking. So, it doesn’t hurt to have an instant pan and a rice cooker. But if you had a choice to pick one, some factor will help you make your mind.
Can the appliance be used for a number of applications? An instant pot outsmarts a rice cooker in terms of multi-cooking capabilities. While the former can replace various appliances, the latter doesn’t.
Initially, instant pots come with 7 cooking modes. Though working as a pressure cooker, this pot can also function as steamers, slow cookers, yogurt makers just to mention but a few.
A rice cooker is best in cooking rice, steaming vegetables and hardly performs better in others.
Whenever cooking habits are mentioned, safety will come in your mind. It should be the first criteria when choosing a kitchen device. Therefore, your choice between the two is no exception.
Practically, a rice cooker is much safer than an instant pot. Remember that pressure cookers come with several dangers and instant pots are pressure cookers.
However, instant pots feature several safety features, including steam release valves. These ensure hot steam is rightly released before opening the lid. You should not worry about steam burns.
After you use an appliance, cleaning comes on as the task. Cookware should endure an easy clean up or be dishwasher safe.
When deciding between the two, ease if cleaning is a critical consideration. An instant pot has a stainless steel interior. With it, you can use your hand s to spark it clean.
Also, some parts like the gasket and outer rims are detachable.
In contrast, rice cookers have a non-stick interior. This boosts easier cleanup. However, some models will come with a non-detachable interior pan. It’s annoying to clean it at times.
All in all, the two devices are pretty easy enough to clean. You won’t struggle when washing them. It only takes little time, and you’re done.
Frequently Asked Questions To Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker
The two kitchen appliances will at times confuse you. While they perform miraculously, many have asked all sorts of questions regarding instant pot vs rice cooker.
Can an instant pot be used as a rice cooker?
Yes. An instant pot is a multi-functional cooker. Apart from being a nice rice cooker, the gadget is also a steamer, slow cooker, yogurt maker, and sauté machine. It’s simple to prepare different recipes in it.
Is a rice cooker better than pressure cooker?
A rice cooker is mostly designed for cooking rice and steaming vegetables. On the same, it performs efficiently. But single or two functions can’t be compared with seven functions of the pressure cooker.
We conclude that a pressure cooker beats rice cooker hands down.
The case between an instant pot vs rice cooker is now solved. Both appliances will make the cooking life easier. For many homeowners, the two are always added to the list of important appliances.
If you want to buy one at a time, consider various factors like ease of cleaning, application, and safety. Such things will help you make an informed decision.
Finally, if your priority is versatility and multi-functionality, go for an instant pot. For something more affordable and safer pick a rice cooker.