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Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker – Which One Will You Love?

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Ready to learn the difference between an Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker? Find out all you need to learn below.

rice cooker with a lid on

Life is getting busier, and rarely does anyone have the time to prepare big hefty meals the old-school way. We all want convenient and efficient appliances in our kitchens that can ease up our busy lives.

Rice cookers have been around for a long period, and almost every other household has a rice cooker for last-minute dinner preps. Contrarily, instant pots have recently entered the market, and people can’t seem raving about them.

Today’s busy cooks appreciate these appliances for the comfort and convenience they bring along.

When you start searching for good cooking appliances, you might get confused between rice cookers and instant pots because they look similar. But since buying an automatic cooking appliance is a major lifestyle upgrade, you cannot go wrong with it.

That’s why I decided to explain what makes rice cookers and instant pots different to clarify your doubts.

If you’re unsure which appliance to get next, read on to know the answer regarding the difference between the Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker.

What makes Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker Different? 

We’ll go to the nitty-gritty details later. First, let’s address the primary difference between these two machines. 

The instant pot is a multi-cooker designed to serve different cooking purposes and replace multiple cooking appliances. You can braise, sauté, cook gravies, make yogurt, and bake in an instant pot.

I haven’t mentioned all features, but you get the idea. 

A rice cooker is, in all its essence, a rice cooker. You put rice and water in this cooker, set the timer, and come back to a fresh serving of rice when the bell rings. 

If you’re a smart cook who wants to invest in useful appliances, an instant pot can suit you better because it’s multi-purpose. But if you CAN NOT compromise on rice’s aroma, taste, and texture, a good-quality rice cooker should be your choice.

Some rice cookers also let you cook other grains, so you aren’t always limited to rice. 

Besides the way these appliances work, here are some other factors you should know.

Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker Factors

Functionality 

Get yourself an instant pot if you don’t want cooking vessels, steamers, and frying pans to occupy your kitchen counter.

This machine takes up multiple duties and does them pretty dang well. If you look at an instant pot’s digital control panel, you’ll find options like “braise, steam, cook, soften, keep warm,” and so on.

After putting the raw ingredients in your rice cooker, you select one of these features, and it follows your command. 

On the other hand, a rice cooker will have a simpler digital display. You’ll see options like “cook, keep warm, steam,” and some more, depending upon the model in question.

You can cook other grains like oatmeal, cereals, and porridges in your rice cooker because it’s made for foods like this.  

So, if you need a multi-purpose cooker, an instant pot should be your next investment. But if you prefer cooking the main course on the stovetop and only need help with rice, a rice cooker will suit you better. 

Advanced Features 

Good-quality instant pots have digital display menus to assist your cooking tasks. Whether you want to bake or broil, punch in a key on your instant pot’s menu and relax.

You can set and forget the instant pot because it doesn’t require much effort on your part.

One helpful feature of an instant pot is its delay timer and keep warm function. If you want to pre-prep the meal and cook it later, set a delay timer on your instant pot, and you’re good.

Similarly, your pot’s keep warm feature will keep the food warm longer than usual. 

The rice cookers are no less in the race. These appliances also have digital menus where you can feed the desired time and steam setting.

Since rice cookers serve a simple function, their menus include 2-3 buttons. But some latest rice cookers also have features like broiling and baking, which are suitable for busy cooks. 

Usability 

You won’t get tired while cleaning a rice cooker because its plain ceramic liner and pressure ring don’t accumulate grime. Also, a rice cooker’s temperature is often low, so there are no incidents of food burning and boiling over. 

On the flip side, cleaning an instant pot will surely test your patience. Since instant pots work on the pressure-cooking method, the food and grease build-up inside them is often hard to clean.

You might have to rub your instant pot’s pressure ring and liner because of the high temperature it works on. 

Safety Mechanisms

Sure, modern cooking appliances bring more comfort to our lives, but some risks are also there. For instance, pressure cookers are often frowned upon because of the safety concerns associated with them.

Luckily, this is not a problem with rice cookers because they operate at low temperatures, and there’s hardly any pressure-cooking involved. 

But we can’t say it for instant pots. Instant pots are modern pressure cookers that use steam to soften and cook your food.

However, good-quality instant pots come with built-in safety locks and thermostats to keep things under control. If your instant pot is from a reliable manufacturer, you don’t have to stress about its safety.  

instant pot that says off with a measuring cup of rice

Here’s a quick list of the Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker pros and cons for you.

Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker Pros and Cons

Instant Pot Pros

  • Multi-purpose devices 
  • Advanced controls 
  • Built-in safety mechanism 
  • Fast heating and cooking
  • Good for busy cooks

Instant Pot Cons 

  • Require thorough cleaning 
  • Heavy and bulky 

Rice Cooker Pros

  • Affordable 
  • Good for all kinds of rice
  • Easy to clean 
  • Keep warm and auto shut-off features 

Rice Cooker Cons 

  • Limited cooking choices 
  • Slow cooking 

Final Thoughts about Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker

When it comes to the Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker, I’m a fan of them both! (When you can make a recipe like this Instant Pot Cheesecake – you gotta be a fan of both!)

Instant pots and rice cookers look alike, but their features are different. While an instant pot lets you experiment with many recipes and food types, the rice cooker practically limits you to grains.

So, if you want to invest in a new cooking appliance and enjoy its perks, go over your cooking preferences and decide accordingly.

If you love trying new recipes and need a reliable cooking appliance for your tasty adventures, an instant pot will be your buddy. But if rice is a staple food in your home, investing in a good rice cooker is equally smart.  

Know that you know the difference between the Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker, which one will you pick?

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