Can a Rice Cooker Be Used as An Instant Pot? (It DEPENDS, Here’s Why)
You’re reading a recipe and everything is going to be great! You have the ingredients, you have the kitchen equipment, and you’ve got a ton of time on your hands.
The only problem is that one of the instructions says “use an instant pot,” and you don’t have one. What do you do?
But wait—you do have a rice cooker! Could it be that this appliance can serve as an instant pot substitute?
The answer is yes and no! It all depends…
Can a rice cooker replace an Instant Pot?
A rice cooker does not have the same capabilities as an instant pot. While you can cook rice in both the instant pot and the rice cooker, you cannot use a rice cooker in place of an instant pot, especially if you are trying to do something other than cook rice. A rice cooker uses steam to cook, not pressure. An instant pot uses pressure to bring the temperature of the water up to a boil quickly.
How do you use a rice cooker as an Instant Pot?
If you are making a recipe that calls for an instant pot to do something like cook pasta, rice, or veggies, you can swap the two out.
If you are trying to make a recipe that needs the pressure option for the recipe, you do need to use an instant pot instead of the rice cooker.
Now, if you are using your rice cooker to cook things like veggies or to steam them, you can use a rice cooker to cook the veggies and get them to the tenderness that you need.
- The cooking time will be shorter than it would be in a regular rice cooker because the Instant Pot cooks at a higher pressure. If you are using a rice cooker instead of the instant pot, you are likely going to need to cook your food for a bit longer than you would with the instant pot. Take the time to convert the times.
- You’ll need to add more water to the pot because the steam will escape more quickly than it would in a regular rice cooker. Make sure you add the appropriate amount of water to the rice cooker. Since the rice cooker uses steam to cook, you need to make sure you have enough water to cook the food that you are putting into the cooker.
What are the benefits of using a rice cooker as an Instant Pot?
One of the benefits of using a rice cooker instead of an instant pot is that rice cookers are quite a bit smaller than an instant pot.
This means you are not going to have to have as much space to store it. The rice cooker is going to be able to steam your food and cook it rather quickly without you having to add extra oils or fats to cook.
What are the drawbacks of using a rice cooker as an Instant Pot?
A rice cooker is essentially only going to be able to steam foods. You cannot use a rice cooker to pressure cook. It is not going to help to make the cooking time any less, it is not going to be able to be used as a bunch of different machines in one, and so on.
With a rice cooker, you basically only get the option to steam foods. If you are looking for something that is going to be able to cook your food quickly and easily, you are going to be able to use a rice cooker in place of an instant pot.
If you need any other function, you will likely do better with an instant pot versus a rice cooker. You can use an instant pot in place of a rice cooker.
What is the difference between a rice cooker and a pressure cooker?
There are a few differences when it comes to a rice cooker and an instant pot or a pressure cooker.
The first and most obvious difference is the method of cooking. A rice cooker uses the liquid that you put into it to create steam that then cooks the food that you have inside of it.
When you use a rice cooker to cook anything other than rice, you do have to take into account how long it is going to take to cook that particular food and then adjust the time that you leave it in the cooker to match.
With a pressure cooker, a pressure cooker or an instant pot also uses steam, but in a slightly different way.
The pressure cooker traps the steam from the boiling water that is put into it and then increases the pressure inside the chamber and helps change the boiling temperature of the water so that it comes to a boil faster.
This is going to cut down on cooking time and is going to help you cook your food faster overall.
With a rice cooker, the steam is not trapped to increase the temperature of the water, instead, the steam turns off the thermostat when it gets to the right temperature and then the steam is what cooks the food.
If you have a pressure cooker and you are contemplating buying a rice cooker, you do not need a rice cooker and a pressure cooker.
If you have a pressure cooker already, the pressure cooker can certainly take the place of the rice cooker.
A traditional pressure cooker is only going to be able to use steam to cook, while an instant pot can be used for a ton of other things as well.
The instant pot has a heating element at the bottom of the pot and can be used as a traditional cooking surface as well. An instant pot can cook rice, and a rice cooker can steam foods other than rice.
Instant Pots can cook faster
Thanks to the pressurized compartmentalization of Instant Pots and the incredibly high temperatures that they can achieve, instant pots can cook much faster than rice cookers.
It can take anywhere between 25 to 35 minutes for a typical rice cooker to cook rice. That also depends on the size and quantity of the rice you’re cooking.
However, in the same situation, an instant pot or pressure cooker can cook rice in as little as three to 10 minutes under high pressure.
Rice cookers need more water than Instant Pots
The main reason is that rice cookers cook with boiling water, which means they need a lot of liquid to do their job properly. On the other hand, Instant Pots use a process called pressure cooking, which uses less liquid overall.
Much less water is required when using a pressure cooker.
If you’re converting a recipe from a rice cooker to an Instant Pot, you’ll need to use less liquid overall. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of water, you would only use 1/2 cup in an Instant Pot. Additionally, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly since pressure cookers typically cook food faster than rice cookers.
If you are trying to cook something in your rice cooker and you have a recipe for something for your pressure cooker, then it’s likely you’ll need to double the water that you add into the rice cooker.
If you don’t, the rice cooker will boil out all the water and end up drying your meal.
Instant Pots what’s the trouble can do more than cook rice
An Instant Pot is a multi-use cooking appliance that can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and warmer.
The main differences between an Instant Pot and traditional rice cookers are that an Instant Pot can also be utilized as a pressure pot, slow-cooking device, yogurt maker, cake-maker, saute pan, steamer, warmer, and so forth.
Instant Pots have a ton of built-in features
With an instant pot, these are usually known as multi cookers.
These types of appliances have multiple features and functionalities including:
- Slow cooker
- Pressure cooker
- Yogurt maker
- Saute and browning
- And yes, even rice cooker
Instant Pots are sealed in, rice cookers are not
If you want to use a rice cooker as an Instant Pot, it’s important to understand the difference between sealed and unsealed cookers.
Sealed cookers have a rubber ring that helps to create a seal, while unsealed cookers do not have this feature.
This means that unsealed cookers will not be able to create the same level of pressure as a sealed cooker.
Rice cookers are unsealed cookers.
Instant Pots can sterilize
The Instant Pot can be used as a sterilizer for baby bottles, utensils, and other small items. To do this, simply fill the pot with water, place the items to be sterilized in the basket that comes with the pot, and set the timer for 5 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before opening the lid. The items will now be sterile and ready to use.
Rice cookers typically don’t get hot enough to properly sterilize items. The Instant Pot, on the other hand, reaches temperatures of up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for sterilization purposes.
Rice cookers cannot heat up beyond 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Instant Pots vs rice cooker prices
An Instant Pot can do the work of several kitchen appliances, while a rice cooker is more limited in its functions. For example, an Instant Pot can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and warmer, while a rice cooker can only cook rice.
When it comes to price, you really get what you pay for.
An instant pot will cost you anywhere between $90 for the cheapest version to $250 for the really advanced models that include added features such as size and crisp and air fry.
However, rice cookers don’t shy away from prices either. Some of the cheapest rice cookers can set you back $20 while some of the most advanced and smartest rice cookers out there can cost up to $200!
Should you get a rice cooker or an Instant Pot?
Rice cookers are great for cooking rice, obviously. But they can also be used to cook other grains like quinoa and millet. They’re also handy for steaming vegetables. And if you get a good quality rice cooker, it can last for years and years.
Instant Pots are amazing all-in-one appliances that can do the job of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, and more. They’re great for making quick meals like soup or chili. And they’re also really good at cooking tough cuts of meat like chuck roast.
However, if you had to choose just one, then I would recommend you get a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot. These cooking devices have a ton of different features and options that will include cooking rice.
While most rice cookers are not capable of such things as pressure cooking, they are still a viable tool for many different types of meals outside of just cooking rice.
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