If you are a professional chef or you are just a kitchen enthusiast that loves cooking rice, one question that we have found out that most chefs or mothers like to clarify is whether an instant pot or a rice cooker is better for cooking rice. Comparing instant pot vs rice cooker has been a long-term argument among professional chefs. Many people believe that a rice cooker is a better kitchen appliance than an instant pot, but in this article we will debunk that belief, and set the record straight. We will also show you which of the cookers is better to use in your kitchen.
Remember any of these cookers that we want to compare can cook your rice perfectly, only that we want to look at the disadvantages and advantages of each of these kitchen appliances so that we know the one that we can recommend for you to purchase on the market.
Comparison Between Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker
One of the major differences between a rice cooker and an instant pot is the fact that the rice cooker is a dedicated cooking pot that is used to cook only rice, while an instant pot is a multi-pot that you can use to cook different delicacies. In essence, what we mean is that an instant pot has the ability to cook rice and other meals that you feel like cooking.
So, if you need a cooker that you want to dedicate to the cooking of rice then we advise you to go for a rice cooker, but if you need a pot that you can use to cook other meals then instant pot is your best bet. In order to highlight the other differences between these two cookers, let’s take a look at what each of these cookers entails.
What is an Instant Pot?
An instant pot, like the name suggests, is a multi-purpose cooker or kitchen appliance that performs the function of a slow cooker, an electronic pressure cooker, as well as a rice cooker. An instant pot can also perform the function of a steamer, yoghurt maker, warming pot, as well as a browning pan.
Are you not surprised that only a single cooker can perform all these functions that 7 kitchen appliances should do? An instant pot is equipped with pre-programmed functions and it comes with many great features to make rice cooking very easy. To use an instant pot to cook, all you need to do is to set the pot and the cooker will cook your food automatically. As with a pressure cooker, an instant pot will cook your food within a short period of time and bring out the great aroma or flavour of your food.
When you are cooking with an instant pot, you need to dedicate a lot of your attention to the cooker, as the control panel settings is programmed to cook your food automatically; so you have to set the control panel and then allow the cooker to do its job. In recent years, instant pots have gained a lot of popularity among professional chefs working in different hotels and even mothers in various households. As a matter of fact an instant pot is currently the face of electric pressure cookers that we now have on the market.
Facts of an Instant Pot
Some facts that are associated with an instant pot include the following:
- An instant pot replaces several kitchen cooker into one unit
- Instant pot are available in different sizes and models
- The cost of an instant pot is more expensive than a regular rice cooker
- Aside from cooking rice, an instant pot can cook other delicacies.
- Instant pots are known worldwide to cook food very fast.
Types of Foods That an Instant Pot Can Cook
You can use an instant pot to cook a wide range of food and delicacies. With an instant pot, you are able to cook meat, rice soups, cakes, simmer, slow cooking, dry beans, steam, as well as any other food that requires liquid to cook. These multiple functions on instant pot offer value-for-money more than a rice cooker.
Benefits of Pressure Cooker
One of the greatest benefits of using an instant pot to cook is that the micro-organism that are usually present in fresh foods are killed very fast due to the high pressure and heat. Another benefit is that it saves a lot of time and energy which you would have expended trying to cook different foods. In addition, the cooked food that you will use an instant pot to cook will bring out delicious aroma and flavour, as the lid fitted into the pot prevents the steam from escaping.
This cooker also has more energy efficiency than other cookers on the market. The instant pot used by professional cooks also requires less seasoning; plus, it comes with a digital control panel where you can set the temperature to cook any desired food. Whether you want to use an instant pot to cook rice or you want to use it to bake cake, you can do that to your satisfaction. All you need to do is to set the temperature and you are good to go.
One of the major disadvantages of using an instant pot is that the price on the market is higher than all other forms of cooker. The sealing ring and the gasket need thorough cleaning after every cooking, which is usually very tiresome. Additionally, most of the instant pots that we have seen are usually healthier than regular pots; plus, the fact that there is this perception of using pressure pots each time the issue of safety concerns comes to mind.
Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker Differences
Let’s now take a look at the major differences between a rice cooker vs pressure cooker. The comparison between instant pot vs rice cooker goes thus:
Remember in anything we do in life safety is very important. Whenever you hit the market to buy any kitchen appliance, one of the top priority to pay attention to is the safety of the appliance. If the appliance is safe for you to use, then proceed and purchase the appliance. The instant pot is equipped with different safety features in order to make sure that the hot steam is not released before you open the lid.
One of the safety features that we found using an instant pot is the steam release valve, which is fitted into the pot so that it will protect the steam from escaping into the air before releasing or opening the lid. As such, this makes the pot safe and it also protects you from steam burn.
Additionally, the opening lid is very tight to keep the pot seal while cooking. This helps to prevent steam under high temperature and pressure from escaping. An instant pot also has a temperature control where you can regulate temperature. If what you are cooking requires a low temperature, you can easily set the temperature to your desired level to cook the food and also prevent the food you’re cooking from burning.
On the other hand a rice cooker is also very safe and comfortable for use, only that they do not come with valves to easily release the steam before opening the lid. If you’re not careful using a rice cooker, the steam will escape and burn your hand, which can leave an injury to users that are not careful. So, it is advisable that when using a rice cooker to cook rice you have to wait at least 10 minutes after switching off the rice cooker, so that the temperature will drop to a safe level where it will not injure your hand when opening the lid.
Types of meals
Comparing an instant pot with a rice cooker in terms of the type of meal both cookers can cook, an instant pot is the winner here. Most of the instant pots that are on the market come with more than seven cooking models, ranging from soup cooking, pot roast, rice cooking, cakes, yogut, and others. With the press of a button, you can get your meals prepared within a short period of time.
For the rice cooker, it can only cook rice; however, we have seen some rice cookers that come with multiple cooking functions. You can use this type of multi-cooking function to cook different kinds of food like porridge, oatmeal, as well as soft beans. Ultimately, a rice cooker is solely dedicated for the cooking of rice, the other functions mentioned in this article are just extra.
While an instant pot and a rice cooker use steam to cook the food, their pressures are different. For instance, an instant pot can cook your rice in less than 4 minutes, which means it has a higher pressure than a rice cooker. As a matter of fact, an instant pot is sealed in such a way that the tight lid will prevent the steam from escaping into the atmosphere.
This is a clear departure from the rice cooker, as the rice cooker uses boiling elements to first boil the water, so that the rice will absorb the water to become soft. Once a rice cooker has achieved or reach it boiling point, it will then generate heat or steam that will be used to cook the rice. This process is usually longer compare to the time it takes to cook rice using an instant pot
Ease of Cleaning
In terms of the ease of cleaning, it is easier to clean the interior of an instant pot because it is purely made of stainless steel. As a matter of fact, some instant pots are made of non-sticky coating, which means the food item you’re cooking will not stick to the interior. As such, cleaning will become very easy. The outer rims and the gasket of an instant pot are usually detachable so you can clean them separately. More so, the parts of an instant pot are to be disassembled for washing.
For rice cookers, they also have nonstick interiors that are easy to clean; however, some of them are not detachable from the inner pot, which can be very difficult to clean the interior if it gets dirty after cooking. For this reason, any time you hit the market to buy a rice cooker make sure you check the inner pot and confirm that the parts are easy to detach aso that it will be very easy for you to clean after every use.
Final Thoughts – So Which Is Better?
Deciding on whether to buy an instant pot vs rice cooker depends on the frequency of the use of the pot while in the kitchen. If you are a professional chef that does not just cook only rice, we suggest that you buy an instant pot since you will cook different meals to serve your customers. But if you are using it in a family setting, and you are sure you want to cook only rice with the pot, then we suggest you go for a rice cooker.
Additionally, if you don’t mind spending so much time cooking your rice, you can go for a rice cooker because the rice cooker usually takes time to cook rice until it is done. But if you care so much about time and you are busy doing other things, we suggest you purchase an instant pot since it takes less than four minutes to completely cook your rice.
So you can see that the choice between a rice cooker or instant pot largely depends on the user. Whether you want to purchase an instant pot or rice cooker, ensure you review your personal circumstances before making a buying order.
Another point of consideration is the issue of safety. If you are a stay-at-home mum and you have little children always roaming around your house including your kitchen, we advice that you buy an instant pot because you can pre-program the instant pot to cook your rice at your desired temperature, so that even if any of your kids go close to the pot the pressure or the temperature will not be too high to inflict injury on the child.