What’s Up With Rice in an Instant Pot®?
You’ll note that your new “toy” has a “Rice” setting. This is an automatic setting that determines cooking time depending on how much rice you’ve added. You have no input as to how the appliance will behave when you select the “Rice” setting. However, the automatic setting is only for white rice. It cooks the white rice at a lower pressure setting and the cooking cycle can be much longer than you’ve anticipated.
This fantastic cooker is really not “Instant” under these circumstances.
Additionally, the “mouthfeel” of the cooked rice is unique to each user. For example, most of the recommended settings yield a cooked product that, in my opinion, are undercooked and a bit too “crunchy”. I like a smooth, silky mouthfeel rice experience. In my case, I make my rice with a little more water than what other cooks recommended.
A search of the literature will yield myriad “recipes” for cooking rice in such a pressure cooker. All of them are wrong!
What tastes good to you will be entirely different than what someone else would prefer.
What’s the “Bottom Line”? You must experiment for yourself, and adapt the rice cookery to your particular desires and wants.
This article can help.
As I said, my preference is for a silky experience. Accordingly, I add a little more water than most will recommend.
However, there is an upside. A common ground. All of us agree that brown rice and wild rice, because of their unique structures, need to cook longer than the white rices. That’s a plus: the cooking times I recommend are uniform across all forms of white rices and almost uniform across all forms of brown and wild rices.
The difference is in the amount of water used in the cooking process.
How do you proceed? You make trial runs of the various settings and see what you like.
I suggest that you start with the following procedure:
- Start with a single cup of white rice (White, Calrose, Jasmine, Basmati).
- Wash the rice thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer under cool running water.
- Dump the wet rice into the liner
- Add 1¼ cup cool water into the Instant Pot® and swirl to evenly distribute the rice grains.
- Make sure that no rice grains are above the waterline, or stuck to the liner’s sides.
- Select “Pressure Cook”, High Pressure, 4 minutes, steam vent closed, “Warm” function off.
- When the pot beeps, follow the NPR method and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- At the end of the 10 minutes, follow the QR method and carefully open the vent to release any residual pressure and steam.
- Using the provided spatula, transfer the cooled rice to a bowl and fluff with a fork.
- Taste the cooked rice. If it’s what you like, you’re done!
- If it’s a bit too “wet” for your liking, reduce the water by ¼ cup and try again.
- If it’s a bit too “dry,” increase the water in ¼ cup increments until you get a cooked rice that you enjoy.
The following table gives me the cooked rice that I like:
Use 1 cup of raw rice. Add water and cook as shown:
- White, Jasmine, Basmati: 1 1/4 cup, 4 minutes
- Brown: 1 3/4 cup, 22 minutes
- Wild: 2 1/2 cups, 20 minutes
Additionally, I make sure to rinse all of the types of rice that I cook, even though some cooks will recommend not rinsing brown or wild rice.
Do You Cook With Wine?
I’m sure you’re aware that there are two classes of wine: “Cooking” and “Drinking.” You’ve probably tried “Cooking wine,” presumably because it’s not as expensive as “Drinking wines.” One word of caution: so-called “Cooking wines” are cheaper because they have been “denatured,” and thus are not taxed as heavily as “Drinking wines.” But the denaturing process adds so much salt to the wine as to render it unfit to drink straight. And that salt goes straight into your cooking!
My suggestion is when a recipe calls for “Wine,” stick to using “Drinking wines.” They’re not that expensive – even the cheapest ones are better for your cooking than “cooking wines.” The flavor’s better with “Drinking wines”, and there’s also no salt loading to contend with!