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Rice in a Pressure Cooker?

Does this method work well? If so, how do you do it? Does the proportion of water to rice change? Either white or brown rice.

Thank you for your help!

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  1. no - rice and pasta and other grain starches (this doesn't include tubers like potatos and yuca) do not work well in a pressure cooker because they settle to the bottom (since you can't stir) and then harden/burn slightly on the bottom

    not to mention that rice will be WAY to bubbly to be safe for the pressure cooker - the valve needs to stay clean

    if you read the safety manual of your cooker you will see it warns against cooking pasta/rice/grits etc.

    pressure cookers are great for beans and other legumes - just not grains

    9 Replies
    1. re: peanuttree

      that's strange... I didn't know that. I cook rice in my pressure cooker all the time, white and brown. Perhaps because my p/c is large, the valve issue isn't a problem? I soak the brown rice overnight, but otherwise use the same proportions. I am pretty sure my p/c manual slash recipe book had a recipe for brown rice. I will try to find it.

        1. re: alex8alot

          Lorna Sass' wonderful Cooking Under Pressure has several rice recipes, including both white, brown and wild rice. She also has risotto recipes.

        2. re: peanuttree

          I have to respectfully disagree. I had a Korean man living with me for a couple of years, and according to him, pressure cookers are commonly used in Korea for rice. We made many a batch of Korean rice in my WMF pressure cooker, and it was perfect. Of course, it's important not to fill the pot, as the water does foam up with rice, but that's true of legumes also.

          1. re: Full tummy

            Judging from offerings at HMart (a NJ based Korean grocery chain), most of the upper end rice cookers ($100+) use pressure. I haven't looked up what pressure they use, but the lid clearly has a seal and locks down. Induction heating of the liner also seems common.

            1. re: paulj

              I am assuming that you are referring to the electric rice cookers. We have never had or used one of those, but the man who was staying with us was very familiar with our stove-top version. To be honest, I hadn't even used the pressure cooker yet -- I was afraid of chaos, explosions, disasters; thank goodness he inspired me, as I now use it for many things.

          2. re: peanuttree

            What absolute nonsense.

            Rice is famously superb in a pressure cooker.

            Pressure cookers are also not static inside and generate a lot of air/fluid movement.

            1. re: lemon2

              Nonsense about the tubers, too! I have cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes many times in the pressure cooker with great success. I use the steamer basket that came with the pressure cooker, so I'm not sure how it would work without a basket...

              1. re: Full tummy

                I agree. Pressure cooking is a great way to cook potatoes for use in potato salad or mashed, and sweet potatoes for use in casseroles. In fact they come out much better tasting than when boiled and it's much, much quicker. I also use a steamer basket for them. It keeps them from absorbing too much water.

          3. Zojirushi and several other companies are now making pressure rice cookers. I saw one at H-Mart the other day and was wondering about that since I also thought that rice wouldn't work well in a pressure cooker.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hannaone

              my friend has it, and truly, it makes the best rice. The texture is just perfect:chewy and fluflly. Apparently they make it especially for brown rice.

            2. PC books and web sites have rice recipes. Foaming can be controlled with the addition of some oil. Time savings are greatest with brown rice. Risottos are supposed to work particularly well in the PC. You can also cook rice in bowl that is set in side the PC.

              Looking at the tables in one book by Lorna Sass, the water to rice ratio is a bit lower than with conventional pans, but not drastically. As with conventional cooking, the ratio changes with the overall volume. It may also depend some on the PC. Newer ones let less steam escape than jiggletop ones.


              5 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                I recently cooked a risotto for the first time in a pressure cooker (Rival 4-qt stainless). It came out great. However, when the lid was first removed, the rice needed more liquid and also needed about 5 more minutes of stirring. This was on a gas stove. An electric stove, with its burner right against the pot bottom, may produce different results (scorching, burning, sticking?). You can also use the microwave to make a good risotto.

                1. re: Antilope

                  Mine 1st attempt was on the wet side. When first opened the rice was in a compact layer under the liquid, but a stirring, and few minutes on the stove (plus the addition of some cheese) brought it to uniform, if a bit wet, consistency.

                  A problem with any dish in a PC is that you can't tweak the moisture level during the pressure phase. So you have learn by trial and error just how much water you need for the dish, or be prepared to adjust things after opening. Same, of course, goes for seasoning.

                  I haven't tried white rice which I want to have a loose dry consistency. A PC isn't going to save much time or effort.


                  1. re: paulj

                    I usually cook any kind of rice in a covered sauce pan. The recipe for pressure cooked risotto sounded interesting in that it saved about 25-minutes of stirring. My rice was also a compact layer under liquid when first opened. I stirred until all of the liquid was absorbed. The rice was still slightly "tough". I added more liquid and continued stirring until it was fully cooked. I usually make risotto in the microwave. It takes about 20-minutes and involves about 15 or 30 seconds of stirring.

                2. re: paulj

                  The bowl method works great for brown rice (and barley, and wheat berries, and all the other grains that take so long to cook). Put the trivet and a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of the PC, set a heat-proof bowl on the trivet, and put appropriate amounts of grain and water in the bowl. (Make sure the bowl is large enough to hold 2-3 times the volume of cooked grain, or the water will boil over into the bottom of the PC and the grain will be dry and undercooked. Oh, and a few drops of oil help control foaming.) Bring pressure to high for 20 minutes, and voila!

                3. My friend makes brown rice in her pressure cooker, comes out great and only takes 20 minutes.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: daily_unadventures

                    I have read that using a natural release method for the cooling down step allowing one to remove the lid/cover involves a ratio of 10 minutes for each 4 minutes of cooking time. Does the 20 minutes INCLUDE the cooling down period? Sometimes timing charts just include the cooking time and leave out the cooling down period, so the short time can be misleading when time is needed for the cooling down.

                    I wonder if other pc users know whether this ratio for resting time/cooking time is accurate. I am not talking about foods such as certain more tender vegetables, such as corn on the cob that after cooking time can be immediately removed by using the cold water release method.

                    White rice (plain, basmati, jasmine) cooked in a normal sauce pan in boiled water, and then covered takes so little time, I don't see the need to use a pc for this purpose. Brown rice can take 45 to 60 minutes in a conventional way, so there would be some time saved in using a pc.

                    I have read different approaches - some say to put the rice in a bowl filled with water, others say to just add it directly to the pc. If you are sauteeing other foods to be mixed with the rice, then that method would work better, but if insufficient water is used, the rice would tend to burn more easily.

                    I wonder if in the case of rice placed in a bowl with water, if anyone has tried covering the bowl with aluminum foil to seal in the contents, sort of like a steamer bowl within another steamer. Some people cook their rice in a covered dish in the oven, this is just using the heat of the steam to do the same thing. If the rice is rinsed beforehand, I don't know why there would be froth.

                    1. re: FelafelBoy

                      Lorna Saas recommeds 3 minutes under pressure, 7 cooling for white rice. I tried that and it worked pretty well. However the rice tends to be stickier than if done with a nomal 20 minute simmer, even when using the same long grain (or basmati). It may be possible to fine tune the amount of water to minimize this. But the time are not enough to commend this method.

                      Resotos are supposed to work well. I don't recall the timings, but I was pleased the one time I tried it.

                      Brown rice is where the PC shines due to the time savings.


                  2. I found an old Galloping Gourmet cookbook with a rice recipe in it. I have since thrown out my rice cooker.

                    1. Boil rice for 10 minutes.
                    2. Drain rice into a collander, reserving the hot liquid.
                    3. Place collander with rice over hot liquid and put a lid over the rice.
                    4. Steam for 10 minutes.
                    5. Fluff and serve.

                    This recipe is bulletproof with basmati, japanese, and converted rice. Add a few minutes for brown.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      My bullet proof method for rice (long grain, jasmine, calrose, basmati, etc)

                      2 cups cold water
                      1 cup rice
                      1/4 tsp salt

                      Bring salted water to a boil in a 2-qt sauce pan.
                      Add rice, stir once or twice.
                      Allow pan to come to a roiling boil again.
                      Stir rice once more to make sure it's not sticking to the pan or clumping together.
                      Turn down heat to a low simmer (just a few bubbles rising through the water/rice)
                      Place cover on pan and do not peek.
                      Simmer for 25-minutes.
                      Remove from heat.
                      Remove lid and fluff rice.
                      If some rice has stuck to the bottom of pan, replace lid for
                      five minutes (off heat) and the rice will steam itself loose from pan bottom.

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        The boil, drain, then steam approach to rice is used in some of the fancier Indian rice dishes. In a biryani, for example, the rice in the steaming step is mixed or layered with a rich meat sauce.

                      2. my korean grandmother makes rice in a pressure cooker (that's right...she's probably the only korean in korea without a rice cooker) and it comes out delicious.

                        My mother also has a new fangled rice cooker that speaks to you in korean and is part pressure cooker. The rice tastes much better than my basic rice that comes out of a rice cooker. I forget the brand of our rice cookers (it's the same), but it's korean and starts with a "c"

                        hannaone? any guesses?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bitsubeats

                          the brand is "cuckoo". crazy, I know. koreans (like my father) swear that it is superior to zojirushi... but they aren't biased or anything ;)

                          1. re: alex8alot

                            yep cuckoo. It's a really good brand. I have a really cute green cuckoo rice cooker (green is my favorite color) and it is good for someone like me who only cooks rice for one person.

                          2. re: bitsubeats

                            Alex beat me to it.
                            Cuckoo is the largest Korean mfg for rice cookers. (and many other small appliances)

                          3. I always make my brown rice in a pressure cooker. I apprenticed to a Japanese chef and that's how we made the brown rice. Tips:

                            1) Rinse the rice first
                            2) Water level: The Mt. Fuji method, which also works with white rice in a cooker or a pot.: Lay your hand flat on the rice and the water will come up just at the top of the knuckle.
                            3) A flame spreader will help prevent scorching. You can also use a little less time than the recipe if you leave the pot on afterwards so it cools down and the pressure falls more slowly. The bigger the pot of rice and the more heat retentive the burner the longer you can do this for.
                            4) Darkened rice on the bottom of the pot -- as long as it's not burned -- is a real treat. If it burns it's history...
                            5) It's better to let the pressure come down slowly, but if you're in a hurry you can run the pot under water until the valve releases.
                            6) Keep an eye and an ear out for the valve sputtering. If you've used a pressure cooker before you know what I mean...

                            Try adding maybe 1/3 brown basmati rice -- mmmm.
                            Try adding amaranth, maybe 1/5th. Amaranth requires more water.
                            It's not how I was taught but sometimes I add butter and/or EVOO before cooking.

                            Good luck!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Richard 16

                              I just cooked some brown basmati in the PC. I first sauteed some shallot and diced bacon. Then added the rinsed rice, some pureed basil, chicken stock and water. About 1 cup of rice and 1 3/4 of liquid. Enough salt so the water tasted about right. 20 minutes under pressure, with a natural drop.

                              The results were good. Still more of a risotto like consistency, rather than loose and fluffy. The rice was tender with some of the chewiness one expects from brown rice. No sticking or burning. Next time I may try it with a bit less water, since rinsing probably added a 1/4 cup.


                              1. re: paulj

                                That sounds very good, paulj. I will try that. I like the added touch of the shallots and bacon(!!). Thanks for sharing your method.

                              2. re: Richard 16

                                I just made a white rice pilaf that turned out pretty well. I followed proportions and timings from a Lorna Sass book. In this case I made just 2 servings in my new 1.5L Hawkins (camping) pressure cooker.

                                briefly sauté a diced shallot, and part of a bell pepper
                                add 1/2 c white basmati rice (Trader Joes, unrinsed)
                                1/4 c cooked garbanzos, 1/4c frozen chopped spinach
                                3/4 c chicken stock
                                about 8 thawed raw shrimp

                                Bring to pressure; cook at pressure for 3 minutes; cool naturally for 7 minutes; release pressure.

                                The rice was perfectly cooked, moist but not sticky.

                                I was worried that the shrimp would be tough from over cooking. They were actually a bit on the soft side. I considered adding leftover salmon to the rice, but decided to warm it separately.

                                So the 1.5: 1 ratio of liquid to rice (plus some liquid from other ingredients), 3 min pressure, 7 min cool, seems to be the right combination for white rice.


                              3. So, someone who makes thai food a lot showed me how to make white rice in a pressure cooker... and it turns out perfect. it's a 1 to 1 ratio of water and rice... put it on the stove and bring it to the point where the little things on top of it rattle. Shut it off. Let sit 20 minutes. Open, serve. I've been experimenting with bouillon and seasonings to create some flavored rice sides lately. Nothing has worked out too well yet... but plain white rice does.

                                1. I was given a cheap rice cooker with a steamer vent hole. The 3 1/2 cooker contained an inner light-weight aluminum bowl insert along with a small trivet which I discovered fit into my 4 qt Fagor PC.

                                  I had read where such in inner bowl could be used for cooking rice and oatmeal.

                                  I cooked rice (plain white) in the rice cooker and although steam came out continually during the cooking process, the rice was a bit on the wet sticky side (althouh it dried out more to my liking after it sat for about 15 to 30 minutes with the lid off after cooking) and a small portion of the bottom of the rice was slightly browned.

                                  My concern is - does the material (aluminum) affect the cooking of the rice?

                                  I am used to cooking white (plain and basmati) rice and brown rice in a covered sauce pan/pot with no steam escaping during the cooking process. Therefore, I would think that a PC might produce a result closer to what I am looking for. I do prefer separate grains than a sticky texture.

                                  Am I more likely to get a drier texture by not covering the inner bowl with aluminum foil? I understand the technique is to place a trivet on the bottom of the PC, fill with a small amount of water, and fill the inner insert bowl with a 1 to 1 1/2 ratio of rice to water (white), cover the lid, bring to pressure and cook for about 4/8 minutes [basmait/plain white] and release through natural release method.

                                  My concern is with the cheap thin material consistency of the aluminum bowl.
                                  Should it be oiled first to keep the rice from sticking? (It's not nonstick.)

                                  The 15 to 20 minute nonstick sauce pot container has worked for me well, but it would be interesting to see if the cooking time could be shortened even more.

                                  Perhaps the shorter cooking time of brown rice might work better in a PC than white rice. I wonder how people manage cooking a small amount of rice in a larger PC. I just have a 4 qt size which might make such cooking of a small amount of rice more manageable.

                                  So, to summarize -
                                  to cover the inner bowl or not,
                                  to oil the inner bowl or not,
                                  what method works best for producing drier rice with separated grains of rice like what some Indian restuarants do?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: FelafelBoy

                                    The aluminum inner pot is common with rice cookers; I don't see why there should be any problems using it in the PC. Rice is not acidic. But I have also found inexpensive stainless steel bowls (even with a lid) in Asian groceries.

                                    The rice cooker (at least the simple ones) operates by cooking the rice at full power until most of the liquid has evaporated, and the temperature (as sensed by a thermostat below the pot) rises. Then it switches to warm. The instructions for mine specified letting the rice sit for 15 min on that warm setting. The proportions of rice and water a chosen to work with a bit of steam loss, and the setting time - producing rice as preferred in the rice-cookers manufacturer's country or marketing area. You can tweak the water proportion to get different textures. Without the vent hole, the lid would bounce (it may still do so). New fancier rice cookers have tight lids that raise the pressure some (I don't know if they go to the 15psi of true pressure cookers).

                                    Water proportions when using the same container in the PC may or may not be the same.

                                    I don't think there's a need to cover the inner pot in the PC (though I would for steamed puddings and such).

                                    But I'm not sure what the liner does for you when cooking rice. Rice does not foam like oats and some beans.

                                    For well separated grains of rice, I suggest one of two methods:
                                    - pilaf style, saute the rice briefly before adding the water
                                    - pasta style, cook the rice in lots of water till half to 3/4 done. Drain, and steam till done, adding butter (ghee) and spices to taste. This seems to work especially well with really dry rice which sometimes cooks unevenly by other methods.

                                    Of course type of rice affects the texture. Long grain rice is better for producing light, well separated grains.

                                  2. One of my housekeepers used to make pullao in a pressure cooker, she would make a seasoning base by frying onions, ginger, garlic, and green chilies, then add in some cube sized veggies like potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, or whatever was on hand. Then she would add basmati rice 2:1 rice to water, then close the lid for 2 whistles. The rice would absorb the aromatics' flavors very well and even though it was long basmati it would come out somehow rounded at the ends instead of tapered. It was cooked thoroughly, but somehow chewy. Very delicious.

                                    I never tried it myself, but I had seen her do it a bunch of times.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: luckyfatima

                                      I have made brown rice for years in a stainless steel pressure cooker. 20 minutes after it comes up to pressure! 1 cup brown rice to 2 cups of water. The secret is that you first put water in the bottom of the cooker ~1 -2 inches to make the steam. Then you find a stainless steel bowl that will fit into the cooker with a double or more folded aluminum foil around the bowl so you can lift it out otherwise you will burn yourself on the hot pot. In the inner bowl add your rice and double the amount of water. DO NOT add salt as this will keep the inside of the kernel of rice from cooking all the way through! This is the reason that brown rice is said to be nutty tasting. Fix the lid on your pressure cooker and set it on the stove. The pressure is at 15 lbs or Hi. Let the cooker come up to pressure and start the timer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and release the pressure. Open the pot and fluff the rice. Carefully, lift with pot holders the foil sling with bowl. Enjoy! You may have to play with timing and water to rice ratio according to kind of rice. Those that don't want crispy rice or having to scrub the bottom of pot and haven't invested in a rice cooker, this is the fastest easiest method for brown rice.

                                      That said, I have gone to the rice cooker. I just gave away my 10 cup Zo IH to my DD & SIL and am looking at purchasing a Cuckoo IH pressure cooker. My problem is not being able to read Korean. I have yet to find a comparison table for their different models. Any help would be appreciated. I want the 6-8 person models in the IH lines. Thanks!

                                    2. I have a non-stick Wolfgang Puck electric PC that I love for cooking rice (and all sorts of other things). Use it for plain rice or rice dishes. Since I got it, I haven't used the stove method for rice. for brown and/or wild rice, which I mostly use, I have had to triple the cooking time. But still better than on the stove and not sticky.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: sirlancelot

                                        I just purchased a Wolfgang pressure cooker. In the recipe book it comes with there is nothing at all on cooking rice, or even if you're able to. I was so happy to read your comment. Now the next query I have is: Can you put the rice/water straight into the pressure cooker, or do you have to cook it in another container inside the pc?

                                      2. I'm glad to see that you are actually getting some ratios, now! I have not noticed anyone discuss Aroborio rice (the one for risotto). The ration is 4:1 - that rice sure takes a lot of water! But, it would be a shame to make it plain! There is a website with photographed step-by-step instructions for making risotto.


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: pazzaglia

                                          As I posted earlier using the "Mt. Fuji method" eliminates the need for measured ratios. You will find that printed ratios show that ratios of water to rice go down the more rice is used. And it's incrredibly easy!

                                        2. Cooking rice in a pressure cooker will yield the absolute best possible rice, and you don't need to do anything "special" with rice that isn't done with normal pressure cooking. You mix rice, water and salt, build pressure, cook, let pressure naturally relax. That's it (details below).

                                          I've been making rice for 40 years, starting out with good stainless pan, and then rice cookers. I've always had a pressure cooker, but read experts who advised against using one, so I didn't try it out.
                                          Then a couple of years ago I was experimenting with general pressure cooking and decided to try brown basmati rice using my Kuhn Rikon skillet (2.5 qt, ideal for two people rice cooking). It took a few tries to figure out the method, but when I did . . . wow.

                                          Rice properly made in a pressure cooker has three qualities non-pressurized cooking can never equal. First, it puffs the rice so that grains become fat little pillows (my main reason for using a pressure cooker); second, cooking under pressure makes each grain more separate; and third, pressure cooking retains more flavor and nutrients since water doesn't boil off as in conventional cooking. However, it saves no time to cook rice in a pressure cooker, so that isn't a valid reason to use one.

                                          I'll share with you my method. I learned a long time ago that 1 cup of rice (any brown rice, which is all we eat) cooks perfectly in 40 minutes; that is, water and/or heat are adjusted ONLY so that rice is cooked perfectly in forty minutes. So if in 40 minutes (using the conventional 2 cups water to one cup rice), rice is wet, then turn up the heat and try again; likewise, if it is too hard, turn down heat.

                                          A pressure cooker works the same way, but using less water. I weigh ingredients, and 320 grams (1 1/2 cup) water is perfect. The Kuhn Rikon cooks at two pressures, the higher one (15 psi) is what I use. I preheat the burner I'm going to cook on (we have an electric stove, no need for this obviously with gas), first using high heat for a few seconds and then turning it down to medium.Next I wash the rice. While it drains, I put 320 grams water and 1/2 tsp salt in pan and bring to a boil on a second burner on high heat, add rice and stir, fit the pressure top on the pan, and still using high heat bring the pressure up to the high setting. I then transfer the pan to the other burner which is still at medium heat, and turn it down to . . . okay, here's where you have to extrapolate for your stove.

                                          My stove's burner settings have low, sim, 2 thru 8, and high; I turn the knob to 2 and set the timer for 40 minutes. Years ago when I used gas to cook, I learned to recognize the size of the flame, but the right heat should maintain the "high" pressure setting on the pressure cooker.

                                          When forty minutes is gone, set the pan on a cool surface and let the pressure subside naturally. If you've cooked at the right heat level, the rice will be beautiful. I've successfully cooked all kinds of grains using this method, but each type of grain requires adjustment (white rice for example needs even less water and time, bulgur is similar to brown rice, barley takes more water and time, etc.). If you are a rice lover however, the learning curve is well worth having such great rice to enjoy for the rest of your life!

                                          1. Ok, time to add my personal experience on this...I'm Italian, live in Italy, and of course I learned my cooking style mainly from my roots, my mother and so on.
                                            My answer is that of course u can cook rice in a pressure cooker, no doubt about it. The question is what do u want to do with rice.
                                            If u are just cooking plain white rice, as a side to some main course (which is common in Asia and Latin America, for example), I assume the pressure cooker is fine. If u want to cook rice as a dish itself (with any possible ingredient and flavor), I suggest that u learn the traditional way of cooking it (the way we make "risotto" here), unless u get really really good at using the pressure cooker, and even then, u would not reach the level of traditional rice cooking, made of a first stage of "toasting" rice (forgive me if I don't know the exact technical words), and then cooking it adding liquids (like vegetable broth or similar), little by little, along with the other ingredients (timing depends on each of them). It does take more time and care, but the result is way different, to me, especially if u are not a master of pressure cooking (my mom is but she's not on this forum :-) and doesn't speak english either...)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: lariam

                                              It is somewhat counter intuitive, given the fact that traditional risotto cooking calls for adding the stock gradually, and stirring frequently, but 7 minutes in the pressure cooker, followed by a good stirring, and addition of the cheese (etc), works surprisingly well.

                                              For light fluffy rice (Latin American pilaf) doesn't work as well in the PC. I think the PC extracts too much starch.

                                              1. re: paulj


                                                New recipe on hippressurecooking for rice, Arroz caldoso (soupy rice), a Spanish style rissoto. It claims, as I've experienced, that pressure does a good job of releasing the starch in rice.

                                            2. Great great site. Was looking everywhere for a good idea on how to cook white rice in a 2.5q PC and this is the best site by far. I cooked it on low for 20 min then took it off the stove. Haven't checked it yet. I usually keep things i'm cooking in a PC covered and pressure unreleased until I'm gonna eat or about 20 min or so have passed. Just checked the rice. It is really flavorful but almost sushi quality rice in that its a little sticky, but not bad for first try. I got nervous and cooled the bottom with cold water; looks like I didn't need to do that because not even one grain stuck. Next time i'll let it cool down on its own. I bet it won't be as sticky. Really turned out great though.

                                              1. Pressure cooker rice is not good for stomach which is having more starch