Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker Comparison

The comparison of this two great kitchen appliances has been going on for some time among consumers. Many questions are asked about which between the two is better? Rice is the most popular cereal consumed in the world and many top brands are manufacturing kitchen appliances to cook rice efficiently without try and error. Instant pot vs rice cooker all of these cookers can cook rice but it depends on one’s choice which one to use.

The Pressure Cookers, in this case, is the Instant Pot, are just an advanced rice cooker and mostly look like the rice cooker with additional features. The two devices have the same function to cook rice but there are differences to the features and capabilities of each cooker. It’s better to have the best appliance for cooking rice and avoid the mushy cooking devices. As the competition continues, more improved Instant pot and Rice cookers have come up to simplify the way to cook rice.

What is an Instant Pot?

An Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that performs the functions of an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, saute/browning pan and warming pot. How amazing is this? Only a single appliance performing jobs of more than seven kitchen appliances. The Instant Pot comes with many features and pre-programmed function to make cooking easier than before.

You can simply set the instant pot your favorite and most cooked meals to automatically cook them. The foods are cooked in a short time just like a pressure cooker does with a great flavor and aroma. Cooking with an instant pot doesn’t require a lot of attention as the control panel settings take care of that. Set it and forget it. The instant pot has gained a lot of popularity amongst kitchen appliances making it the face of electric pressure cookers.

Facts of an Instant Pot

  • Replaces several kitchen appliances into one
  • It is available in a variety of models and series
  • The cost is more than a rice cooker
  • Apart from cooking rice, it cooks other many meals
  • Cooks very fast

The Best Instant Pot in the market

  1. 6-quart Instant Pot Duo
  2. 6-quart Instant Pot Lux

Types of Food to cook in an Instant Pot

The foods to cook in an Instant pot are several as the pot has the ability to multi-cook as advertised. By using the pressure you able to simmer, braise, cook rice, meat, yogurt, cakes, soups, Slow cooking, steam, dry beans and any food which requires liquid to cook can be cooked in an instant pot. This is the real deal and value for the money due to multiple functions.

Benefits of Pressure Cooker [Instant Pot]

Advantages
  • The micro-organisms are killed due to high pressure and heat
  • Food is cooked in a short time which saves a lot of time, especially for busy people.
  • Cooks food with delicious flavors as the lids prevent the steam from escaping.
  • It has more energy efficiency than the other cooking methods
  • In places with high altitudes, it helps in speeding up the cooking
  • Requires less seasoning
  • Digital control panel to set the functions of the pot
  • Replaces several cooking kitchen appliances to function as a multi-cooker
  • Automatic settings to set it and forget it
Disadvantages
  • The price is higher than the regular stove-top cookware
  • The gasket and the sealing ring needs thorough cleaning which is tiresome.
  • They are heavier
  • Some safety concerns in case of misuse of the device
  • The perception of pressure cookers are dangerous

How To Cook Rice in an Instant Pot

As we have mentioned above, the instant pot has the function to cook rice. The following is the process to cook rice in your instant pot:

There is not much difference in how to prepare rice in other types of cookware.

  1. Measure the amount of rice and rinse it if it needs to be rinsed.
  2. Measure the amount of water preferably the same amount as the rice and pour into the pot.

The rice to water ratio is very important for a great result and avoid mushy rice. The ratio is 1:1 for white rice, and if for brown rice the ratio is 1:1/2

3. Add the rinsed rice to the pot and securely close the lid setting the release valve to the seal

4. Then, after all, press the rice button.

Some Rice cookers have several buttons for different types of rice like brown rice and some don’t, you set the time manually for other varieties of rice if their button is not available. The default rice button is for white rice.

5. The rice cooker will auto shut-off once the rice is ready

The Best Instant Pot Reviews

1. 6-quart Instant Pot Duo60 7-in-1

Instant Pot vs Rice CookerIts a dream come true to have this great appliance, the DUO60 7 in 1 programmable pressure cooker which is rich in features. You can cook different types of foods as it is a multi-functional cooker. Some of the instant pot DUO60 functions are a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, saute/browning, steamer and warmer.

The instant DUO60 is made with a stainless steel construction that means its durable for you to use for many years without break down. It consists of 14 built-in smart programs that enable to operate the pressure cooker for the different food settings. The automatic keep warm feature can keep food warm up to 99 hours. For instance, when using the saute mode, there are three options to choose from like thickening, simmering and browning. The slow cook has also different temperature settings the high, low and warm.

You don’t have to worry about some accessories like measuring cup soup spoon as it comes with these already. It includes a steam rack, condensation collector, rice paddle to make the pressure cooking easier. Out of the 14 feature programs, one of them is a timer which is used to set the time for cooking your meals. The instant pot doesn’t have to be monitored, unlike the traditional stove tops pressure cookers. It has the ability for delaying the cooking process for up to 24 hours.

The instant pot DUO60 is UL and ULC certified which means the safety measures are up to standard. It includes a pressure regulator, Steam Release, excess pressure protection, electrical fuse, thermal fuse, safety lid lock, anti-blockage vent, high-temperature warning to maintain the safety of the device.

Features

  • 10 Safety Features
  • 14 smart programs including Dual pressure, Automatic keep-warm and 3 temperatures for sauteing and slow cook
  • Delay cooking time up to 24-Hours.
  • 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, stainless steel steam rack with handle & manual and recipes in English and French.
  • 6 Quart capacity for 4-6 people
  • 11.8 pounds weight.

2. 6-quart Instant Pot Lux

Instant Pot vs Rice CookerThe instant pot Lux is the oldest model of the instant series but it has its popularity regardless of new models.  First, the Lux is extremely affordable which offers great results in pressure cooking and other six functions. With this Lux V3, you get 6 appliances in one device which are a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, saute, steamer and warmer. The latest Lux versions have a cake and egg programs so that if you need to cook a cake, it’s a great option to choose.

This instant pot Lux feature 10 smart-built-in programs for easy cooking for different foods. It has meat/stew, cake, egg, rice, saute, slow cook, multigrain, soup/broth, porridge, and steam. The 6 quarts can cook meals for 4-6 people which is ideal for medium families.

The Lux is built with the latest 3rd generation microprocessor technology to enhance the operation of the digital control panel. It has up to 240 minutes pressure cooking and up 24hours delay start and auto keep warm for up to10 hours.

The safety of this instant pot comes with 10 safety mechanisms to provide the user with the best safe usage and avoid accidents. It has accessories which enhance the usage of the pot by addition of steam rack, soup spoon, measuring cup, recipe booklet, rice paddle. This is a great addition to your kitchen and comes with a variety of sizes to choose from small to large quarts.

Features

  • 10 Safety Features
  • 10 Smart Built-In Programs
  • Latest 3rd generation microprocessor technology
  • UL and ULC certified
  • Delay cooking time up to 24-Hours.
  • Automatic Keep Warm up to 10 hours
  • 13.2 x 12.2 x 12.5 inches
  • 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot which is extremely durable.

What is a Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is a popular kitchen appliance that is dedicated to cooking rice by steaming and boiling. It consists of a cooking bowl, thermostat and the heat source either electric or gas. The rice cooker is most popular in Asian countries which consume rice on a daily basis. It is safe to use and also provides features to make the use easier like the auto shut-off function. There are rice cookers with multi-functions just like the electric pressure cookers and ability to slow cook.

Facts of a Rice Cooker

  • Dedicated to cooking rice
  • Available in different brands
  • Some upgraded rice cookers feature more functionalities
  • Cheaper than the instant pot

Benefits of Rice Cooker

Advantages
  • It has a high rating in safety
  • It is easy to use and clean as well
  • Focuses on one main function to cook rice proving excellent results
  • Ability to cook other related foods to rice like oatmeal
  • Cooks rice with the best flavors, texture, and aroma.
  • Cooks all the types of rice efficiently
  • Features to enable to keep warm and automatic shut-off
Disadvantages
  • Takes longer to cook rice compared to Instant Pot
  • More expensive to buy than regular stovetops
  • Some rice cookers have only one function of cooking rice
  • It requires more seasoning
  • The temperature only reaches boiling point thus it can’t cook some foods like beef stew

Types of Foods to cook in a Rice Cooker

Mostly as the name suggests, rice is the number one food to cook in this appliance. Since competition has increased, more functions have been added to the modern rice cooker to be able to multi-cook. They come with a control panel to set white rice, brown, rinsed-rice, sushi, porridge, sticky/sweet and many others. There are some rice cookers with some functions like of instant pot like a steam basket for vegetables and slow cooking.

Types of Rice Cookers

There are only two types of rice cookers which are electric and gas.

Gas

The gas rice cookers are mostly found in commercial kitchens and have a great capacity. Using gas cooks faster the electric Rice cookers.

Electric

With electric cooking, they mostly use induction to heat the rice cooker. The electric rice cookers tend to have more features compared to the gas-powered rice cookers. This features can set the timer to cook the rice and auto shut-off when finished. They can also set to keep warm after cooking the rice and other great features.

Best Rice Cooker Reviews and Buying Guide

1. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10

2. Cuckoo Electric Heating Rice Cooker CR-0631F (Pink)

3. Hamilton Beach (37548) Rice Cooker, 7 Cups [Budget pick]

4. Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked (ARC-150SB) [Best large capacity]

5. Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Steel Gray

Best Rice Cooker Reviews

1. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10

Instant Pot vs Rice CookerThe Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice cooker is the most advanced appliance that thinks for you made in Japan. It features the Fuzzy Logic technology which controls the adjustments of the temperature and the heating time to provide the best-cooked rice. Zojirushi is powered by Micom (microcomputer technology) which allows multiple functions on the menu to offer different cooking programs. The fuzzy Logic tunes the adjustments to adapt to various types of rice which require different temperatures.

This rice cooker has the capacity to make 10 cups of cooked rice which can be cooked using the function of the cooker. You have functions comprising of white rice, porridge, mixed rice, sweet, semi-brown, brown rice, rinse-free and quick cooking. The indicator has a beep sound to indicate when the cooking process is done and ready.

The LCD control panel is easy to read and large with a well-arranged display of the various functions of the rice cooker. The inner lid of the cooker is easily detachable for easy cleaning. The spherical inner cooking pan and the heating system ensures even heating. It has also multi-menu selections which consist of an automatic keep warm, extended keep warm and reheating cycles.

Zojirushi comes with accessories to make the preparation of rice cooking more efficient including 2 measuring cups, rice spoon holder, nonstick rice spoon and recipes. If you are not sure how to prepare rice with the right measurements, this rice cooker does it for you.  The quality of the rice cooker delivers is of a high-end rice cooker. The instruction manual is available in English, French, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.

Features

  • Multi-menu selections; automatic keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheat cycles
  • 14 by 8 by 9 inches
  • 5-1/2-cup computerized rice cooker and warmer with advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology.
  • LCD clock and timer; retractable cord
  • Programmable melody or beep audio indicator
  • 680-wattage
  • Programmable Delay timer (2 settings)
  • Advanced Fuzzy Logic technology
  • 1-year limited warranty

2. Cuckoo Electric Heating Rice Cooker CR-0631F (Pink)

Instant Pot vs Rice CookerThe Cuckoo electric rice cooker is another top-rated model from a reputable brand made in South Korea. It also features fuzzy logic technology to enhance the cooking quality and simplicity. Make sure to 6 cups of dry rice for perfectly cooked rice outcome with a delicious taste. Other great features of this rice cooker are the two cooking functions to maximize the cooking process with slow cooking and turbo functions.

Internal pot has a curved shaped side and a flat bottom which allows evenly cooked rice. The inner pot is made with Aluminum with Teflon coating to ensure the rice doesn’t stick and for easy cleaning.

Cuckoo Rice cooker can cook all types of rice enabled by the 6 cooking functions. The LCD control panel is large and easy to read. This rice cooker will cook GABA rice which is a healthy beneficial addition to the body. It comes with accessories of a measuring cup, nonstick rice scooper/spoon, and a user manual.

Features

  • 6 Cups Uncooked (3 Liters / 3.2 Quarts)
  • Fuzzy Logic & Intelligent Cooking Algorithm
  • Non-Stick Coating Inner Pot
  • Stylish Design
  • 6 Cooking Settings
  • GABA Function
  • Turbo Cooking and Slow Cook Function
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty covering parts and labor

3. Hamilton Beach (37548) Rice Cooker, 7 Cups [Budget pick]

Instant Pot vs Rice CookerThis Hamilton Beach rice cooker provides the best cooking experience with multi-purpose cooking function. It can cook rice from 2-14 cups or any type of grain that can be enough for several people. You get 6 programs to choose from the LCD control panel. With these programs, you will be able to cook white rice, steam, heat, quick rice, hot cereals and simmer. The delay can be up to 15 hours.

The steam mode can be used to steam vegetables, meat, and seafood. The heat and simmer mode can be used for pasta, soups, beans, and one pot dinners. Hamilton Beach rice cooker can cook all types of rice including brown, long grain, white farro, and other grains.

You can multi-cook with the Hamilton Beach 37548 by placing the meat or vegetables in the basket while the rice is cooking below. The 2-in-1 nonstick basket includes rice rinser and steam basket which are easy to clean and convenient.

Cooking rice with this Hamilton Beach cooker is easy as all you need to do is place the ingredients in the nonstick pot and turn it on. Select the setting and wait for your perfect rice. Keep warm function is automatically activated when cooking is finished.

Features

  • 2-in-1 Basket which Includes rice rinser/steam basket
  • Pre- Programmed settings
  • 2-14 cup cooked rice capacity – 1-7 cup uncooked rice capacity
  • Automatically shifts to warm after cooking
  • Delay start makes breakfast and meal planning easier
  • Dishwasher safe nonstick cooking pot

4. Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked (ARC-150SB) [Best large capacity]

Instant Pot vs Rice CookerIf you would like to cook large amounts of rice then this the best large capacity rice cooker with a multi-cooking function. The Aroma Housewares prepares 10 cups uncooked rice to make 20 cups of rice. Depending on the number of people you will be cooking for, it can cook from 4 to 20 cups of rice. It comes with a time delay of up to 15 hours and a keep warm function to maintain the food until you get home.

The pre-programmed settings let to cook and steam food from a touch on the button. It can cook more than just rice in extending to hot cereals, saute, whole grains, slow functions, steamed vegetables, and others. The beeper lets you know when the food is ready and automatically switch to warm mode. This rice cooker’s built-in steamer function allows cooking nutrient-rich meals above while at the same time cooking other meals below to save you time. The accessories include a steam tray, measuring cup, soup spoon, rice spatula to help you in preparing and cooking your meals. This is a big capacity rice cooker but the price will amuse you, selling under $40 makes it the perfect appliance to have in the kitchen.

Features

  • Easy-to-use, programmable digital controls.
  • 15- hour Delay Timer for flexible meal planning
  • Includes Steam Tray, Rice Measuring Cup, and Serving Spatula
  • 20-cup of cooked rice capacity
  • Automatic Keep-Warm and White Rice, Brown Rice, Steam, Flash Rice and Slow Cook function.

5. Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Steel Gray

Instant Pot vs Rice CookerThe Tiger rice cooker has a capacity to hold 5.5 cups of uncooked rice and double the amount after cooking. The exterior has a shiny stainless steel body and plastic while the interior has an Aluminum pot which is nonstick to make sure the rice does not stick to sides or bottom of the pot.  The power code is retractable which uses one easy switch to power up. The steam vent is removable for easier cleaning mostly hand was preferred.

The tiger is different than other rice cookers on this list as the menu doesn’t have specific buttons for different types of rice. Tiger cooks all types of rice by use of steam and water for less than 30 minutes. It can keep warm food up to 12 hours whereby it switches to automatically warm mode after cooking is done. This comes with accessories to help in the cooking process which includes a measuring cup, user manual, and a nonstick scooper. The Tiger is made in Japan.

Features

  • Removable and washable steam vent
  • Retractable power cord
  • Non-stick inner pan
  • Keep-warm function up to 12 hours
  • 1-year warranty

Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker Differences

Safety Features

Safety first! This is one of the important aspects of any kitchen appliance before buying. Its good to know if the appliance is safe to use. The Instant pot comes with several safety features like the steam release valves to make sure the hot steam is released before you open the lid. This makes it safe to use and avoid steam burns. The lids are also very tight to seal the pot and prevent steam from coming out. The program features have settings for temperature for safe cooking in the kitchen.

On the other hand, the rice cooker is also safe to use but they lack valves to release the steam before opening the lid. This can burn the user easily. It is advised to wait for 10 minutes after the rice is ready to unlock the lid.

Types of meals

The instant pot is a winner when it comes to the meals prepared due to its multi-cooking capabilities. Most of the instant models have more than 7 cooking modes ranging from slow cooking, rice cooking, soup, pot roast, yogurt, cakes, and others. You can get these meals with just pressing the button and within a short time, it’s done.

The rice cooker we already know it can cook rice. There are rice cookers with multi-cooker functions and you can try to cook some of the foods cooked in an instant pot. It can cook other related foods like oatmeal, porridge, and soft beans. Mostly the rice cookers are dedicated to cooking rice the other functions are extras.

The Pressure

The major difference here is the amount of pressure produced in the pots of these devices. Both use steam to cook the food which makes them similar but the pressure is different. Instant Pot cooks with high pressure that makes it cook rice within 4 minutes. The pot is extremely sealed with a tight lid containing the steam inside.

Rice cookers use boiling elements to boil the water for the rice to absorb it. The steam is produced to heat the rice after the boiling point is reached. The steam is responsible for cooking rice to be soft and delicious. The process is a bit longer than the instant pot for rice to be ready.

Ease of Cleaning

The instant pot interior is made of stainless steel which is very easy to clean. Some are made of nonstick coating which is also easy to clean. The gasket and the outer rims of the pot are detachable to clean them separately. The parts of the instant pot are dishwasher safe.

Rice cookers have nonstick interiors which are easy to clean but there are some which are not detachable from the inner pot. This can make cleaning a bit harder and can get dirty after some time. Make sure to check if the inner parts are detachable for the easy cleaning process.

Conclusion

The important thing to consider here is the frequency of use in your kitchen. I would not point which one is better than the other because they are great appliances with a lot to offer. If you mostly cook rice and don’t mind waiting for some time for the food to be ready, a Rice Cooker will be suitable for you. Since the rice cooker is a dedicated rice cooking appliance, it cooks rice efficiently. The Instant Pot cooks food in a short time and can perform multiple functions. If you are able to cook the many options in the instant pot, then it will be good to purchase it.