How To Cook Rice in the Electric Pressure Cooker

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Rice seems to flummox so many home cooks, and even more so when we want our rice in a rush. Stovetop rice, rice cookers, rice in the oven — many methods promise perfect rice, but few offer rice that is ready almost as soon as we want it. An electric pressure cooker is the key to perfect rice in a rush.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Pressure Cooker, Not a Rice Cooker

Rice cookers are fine (even industrious) appliances, but a pressure cooker can cook rice in half the time while also shortening a myriad of other kitchen tasks. Rice cookers are designed to turn off when the water inside reaches a boil, while pressure cookers are designed to bring water (and food stuff) above the boiling point. While many electric pressure cookers include a rice-cooking function, the results will be faster and more consistent if the rice is cooked on a manual pressure setting.

Natural Release

Good pressure-cooking recipes will instruct you on whether the pressure of the cooker should be released by natural release or rapid release. Natural release is considered part of the recipe’s cook time, especially with foods like rice and beans that continue cooking during natural release. Rapid release of rice will result in a foamy spurt from the pressure cooker and under-done rice.

Water-to-Rice-to-Release Ratios

Successful rice cooking depends on a specific water-to-rice ratio. This remains true for cooking rice in an electric pressure cooker too, but natural release time also becomes a factor and needs to be accounted for. Below is a guideline for cooking common rice types, including water-to-rice-to-release ratios. Times may vary by rice manufacturer and electric pressure-cooker brand. We use basmati in our recipe here, but use this chart if you cook a different variety of rice.

Rice: 1 cup






1 1/2 cups

4 minutes


10 minutes natural release


1 1/4 cups

22 minutes


10 minutes natural release


1 cup

1 minute


10 minutes natural release


3 cups

25 minutes


Natural release

42 Ratings

How To Cook Rice in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Makes6 cups


  • 2 cups

    basmati rice

  • 3 cups


  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    unsalted butter (optional)


  • Measuring cups

  • Measuring spoons

  • Electric pressure cooker


  1. Combine the rice and water: Place the rice, water, and salt in the bowl of an electric pressure cooker. Lock the lid on.

  2. Set and cook: Set the pressure cooker to HIGH and set the timer for 4 minutes.

  3. Natural release: Let the steam release naturally for 10 minutes. Do not open the release valve.

  4. Open and serve: Carefully quick release the remaining pressure until the lid can open. Add the butter, if using, and fluff with a fork.