Rice meals in a rush? Well, you can always cook rice in pressure cooker to cut your kitchen time in half.
Most of us, however, use this pot for tenderising tough meats. Is rice cooking any different?
These steps and tips are all you need to make bowl after bowl of pressurised fluffy goodness!
Ways to Cook Rice in Pressure Cooker
You can use either a stovetop or an electric pressure cooker for steaming rice. But you can opt for the water bath or Bain Marie method using your pressure cooker pot, too.
Each cooking technique has slight variations, but the result stays the same — perfect rice for your curries, stir-fries or burritos!
Here’s a rice recipe with three cooking methods that you can try.
- 250g (1 cup) long-grain white rice
- 375ml (1½ cups) water
- Put the measured rice into the pressure cooker pot or bowl, rinse it under cold water, then drain. You can also wash the rice in a strainer if you like.
- Pour in the water or cooking liquid of your choice. Swivel the pot from side to side to make sure the grains are level and covered with water.
- Next, do the following steps, depending on the type of method or cooker you’re using.
For stovetop pressure cooker rice
- Close and lock the lid of your stovetop pressure cooker.
- Start cooking on high heat. Turn the heat to low when it reaches high pressure, then give it 3 minutes of cooking time.
- Afterwards, turn off the heat. Leave the lid on and allow a 10-minute natural release process. This method will cook your rice grains further using the cooker’s residual heat.
- After 10 minutes, carefully unlock and remove the pressure cooker lid. Make sure to keep your face away from the pot. Finally, fluff rice with a fork, then serve.
For electric pressure cooker rice
- Close and lock the lid of your electric pressure cooker, then plug it in.
- Move the steam release valve to seal the lid, and select the Rice setting. The cooker should automatically cook the rice following its pre-programmed settings (or check your manual).
- After cooking, allow a 10-minute natural release process before moving the valve to the venting position. It should release the remaining pressure through the valve.
- After 10 minutes, carefully unlock and remove the pressure cooker lid. Make sure to keep your face away from the pot. Finally, grab a fork to fluff the rice, then serve.
For Bain Marie pressure cooker rice
- Transfer the washed rice and water to a heat-proof bowl. Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot (or the minimum amount of liquid needed to maintain pressure).
- Put a steamer basket into the pressure cooker, followed by your uncovered heat-proof bowl with rice.
- Close and lock the lid of your pressure cooker. Then follow either cooking step above, depending on the type of pressure cooker you’re using.
- After doing the natural pressure release method, remove the lid and the heat-proof bowl. Grab a fork to fluff the rice, then serve.
Note: Do this cooking method when preparing one-pot rice meals. Instead of plain water, you can use your main dish as your steam source while the rice cooks on top of it.
You can also use this method with low-quality cookers that tend to burn rice when cooking it directly in the pot.
Tips for Cooking Rice in Pressure Cooker
Is it necessary to rinse the rice before cooking? Can I add flavourings? Why do I need to release the pressure naturally? These tips can answer your most frequently asked rice questions!
Rinse the grains to keep rice fluffy.
It is always safe to rinse your dry rice grains under cold running water to ensure they’re free from dirt or pebbles. But the main reason for doing this step is to remove the extra starch outside the grains.
If you wash them until the water runs slightly clear, you get to fluff rice easily and avoid excessive stickiness. You’ll notice the importance of this tip when cooking white rice varieties.
Rinsing has little effect on brown rice, though, as a protective hull keeps the grains from clinging to each other.
Follow the required amount of rice for pressure cooking.
Check your manual for the minimum or maximum rice amount, and make sure to follow it. The reason for this is because the pressure cooker pot is concave. Grains at the sides will be submerged in the water while those at the centre will not, resulting in uneven cooking.
It is not good to overfill your pressure cooker either. Keep in mind that grains, beans and pasta expand as they cook. More importantly, they produce foam that can block your steam release valve and affect cooking results.
Use the 1:1 ratio for cooking rice in pressure cooker.
Rice grains absorb their volume in water during pressure cooking. And this fact applies to all kinds of rice, short and long grain, white and brown. It also explains why a 1:1 ratio of water to rice is advisable.
This water-to-rice ratio will make firm and separate grains. However, if you’re aiming for softer rice, you can add more liquid, about ¼ to ½ cup.
You might need to do this, too, if you’re cooking stovetop rice to compensate for water loss during evaporation. It won’t be an issue with a sealed pressure cooker rice, where there’s little room for vapour to escape.
Adjust the cooking time based on the type of rice.
While you can use the same amount of water for all types of rice, it doesn’t apply to your cooking time. You need to adjust it based on the kind of rice and the amount.
Naturally, a large batch of rice will need extra cooking time than a cup or two. Jasmine rice will cook for up to 6 minutes, whereas wild rice will need about 25 minutes.
To lessen the guesswork, you can cook steamed rice in small amounts first before making a large batch. And then experiment with the cooking times until you get your desired doneness.
Make flavoured rice using aromatics, broth or butter.
The best thing about cooking plain rice in pressure cooker is that it goes well with almost any main dish. But you can always cook it with flavour boosters of your choice.
For instance, you can cook it with half water and half broth or milk. You can also add spices, soy sauce or citrus juice before steaming if you want.
I especially like doing the pilaf method where I’ll sauté my jasmine or basmati rice in oil and garlic before pouring the broth. I then fluff it with some butter or toss it with vegetables, nuts or dried fruit. Yum!
The natural release method is always best.
Rapid pressure release will only result in foamy pressure cooker spurts and undercooked rice. Like beans, rice grains continue cooking after taking it off the heat.
That means the natural release method is part of their cooking process. So, let your cooked rice rest for about 10 minutes in a covered pot. This technique should ensure that no grain sticks at the bottom, too.