If you have already used different countertop cooking devices, you are well aware of rice cookers and instant pots. Both the devices are perfect for cooking instantly and suit the busy women in their kitchen.
If you want to cook rice quickly, without the hassle of straining excess water and not wasting rice at all, both devices are the perfect things to look for. Now, both the appliances look almost the same, and the functions are not too different than each other.
What are the differences between the two products that make some people buy rice cookers and others instant pots?
We have discussed the points that will help you to differentiate rice cooker vs instant pot. You will find out the exact appliance that will serve your kitchen the best.
Rice Cooker – What Does It Do?
Do you find it difficult cooking rice in usual bowls?
No more any such hassles as you can have a rice cooker at home. If rice is your staple food, a rice cooker can help you a lot.
Once you have a rice cooker handy, you can cook the only rice you want to cook. Also, you can measure the right amount of water and set the appliance to cook fresh rice within a minimum time.
Using the rice cooker is very simple. By following simple steps, you can use a rice cooker.
- Take the right amount of rice by using a measuring cup.
- Rinse the rice well to remove any impurities.
- Put the rice into the inner bowl and spread well for evenly cooking.
- Use the measuring cup again and fill the bowl.
- Place the bowl inside the rice cooker and close the lid properly.
- Switch on the power button and let the appliance cook rice.
- Once the cooking is done, it will be off automatically, and the appliance will be in the ‘WARM’ position.
- For the best results, keep the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Open after this duration and stir the rice.
When to Get a Rice Cooker?
A rice cooker is one of such appliances that can support you while cooking rice. It can make your work faster, and you can utilize your spare time for something else. So, buying a rice cooker is quite beneficial.
If you cook rice every day, you can invest in the best rice cooker in India. If you are in a hurry and have to be ready for your office, a rice cooker can cook rice instantly and save much of your time. Also, this device is quite handy for newbies.
If you are not comfortable with the traditional method of cooking rice, buying a rice cooker will be an ideal choice. It is safe and easy to use. You will get freshly-cooked rice without over boiling it.
Instant Pot- What Does It Do?
Instant pot is nothing new as this kitchen appliance was around for quite a time. These got immense popularity in recent years when people get busier, and they are looking for kitchen appliances that can make their job easier and faster inside the kitchen.
Not only for cooking rice, but instant pot is a multi-functional device that can cook several recipes. It can work as a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a slow cooker, and even a yogurt maker if you make a one-pot meat dish in a slow cooking process and forget about it, not to worry. Your appliance will take care of the dish and be shut off automatically once it is done.
An instant pot is ready to serve you in various ways. It performs multiple functions like roasting, air frying, broiling, reheating, baking, etc. Healthy cooking is possible here as you can use very little oil for fried dishes. Also, you can prepare rotisserie-style dishes in an instant pot.
When to Buy an Instant Pot?
From the last few years, instant pot has become quite popular in the kitchen. This is such an appliance that can cook varieties of recipes within little time. It comes with so many features that buying it will be an excellent option for you.
Do you want an appliance that cooks rice quickly?
Do you want to cook varieties of recipes in just one appliance?
Do you want a user-friendly device that reduces your effort inside the kitchen and prepares tasty and healthy dishes?
When you get a ‘Yes’ for all these questions, you can buy an instant pot.
Rice Cooker Vs. Instant Pot
If you plan to buy any of these appliances for the first time, it isn’t easy to differentiate those by look. Both of the appliances look almost the same. Here we will discuss the features, based on which you can choose which product you want.
Differences in functions
Rice Cookers have limited functions
The rice grain requires two things to become fluffy rice- the right amount of water and heat. Therefore, cooking rice goes through four steps-
- Sitting in water
A rice cooker can cook the rice through all these processes. This appliance comes with different body parts like the main body, an inner bowl, a thermal sensing device, an electric heating pan, and some controlling buttons.
The water and rice are put into the inner bowl, and it is fixed inside the cooker. The weight of the pan activates the thermal-sensing device, and the heating plate starts boiling the water. Cooking rice is simple in the rice cooker. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, and when it reaches a steady boil, the appliance won’t get hotter.
When the rice starts absorbing the heat, the appliance starts to get hot. This time, either the rice cooker switches off automatically or switches to the warming cycle. The rice is cooked and entered the resting stage.
Instant Pots have more features than rice cooker
The working principle of the instant pot is different from a rice cooker. It can cook rice like a rice cooker, but it can do something more.
Though there are different cooking modes of an instant pot, it works as an electric pressure cooker. While cooking rice, the water is boiled at 100 degrees Celsius inside the rice cooker, while inside an instant pot, water boils at 120 degrees Celsius. So, it can cook rice faster and better than a rice cooker.
The working principle of an instant pot depends on three components of the appliance- the inner pot, outer pot, and cover. All these parts work together to release high temperatures for cooking dishes faster.
usability and application
Rice Cookers have numerous applications
Though it is a ‘rice’ cooker, you can use the appliance in various ways, like-
- Make hot breakfasts like oatmeals
- Cook one-pot meals with vegetables, chicken, fish fillets, tofu, etc.
- Slow cooking is possible, and you can make soups and stews
- You can make risotto without stirring
- Making fruit sauces and apple sauces is possible with a rice cooker
Instant Pots have more usability
An instant pot is a multi-functional kitchen appliance that can do many things along with cooking rice-
- You can use it for making yogurt
- Boiling eggs and baking potatoes are easy here
- Making soups and stews is possible in this appliance
- Roast the whole chicken for family gala dinner
- Make your oatmeal for breakfast and pop out popcorns for your kids
Safe operation and maintenance
A Rice Cooker is safe if used properly
A rice cooker is an electric device. So, you have to be very careful while handling it. Here are some safety usage of rice cooker you should follow-
- Never use your rice cooker near curtains, cupboards, shelves, or anything where the steam gets barred from escaping well.
- It will help if you do not overfill the bowl with rice or water.
- Be careful to pour water and rice into the rice cooker so that the socket and the power cord remain dry.
- Though many rice cookers are featured with the stay-warm feature, you should not keep the device unattended for long hours.
- Always switch off the appliance when not in use.
Instant Pots should be used with proper safety precautions
If you are using an instant pot for the first time, or you use it for long, here are certain safety features you need to maintain-
- Never fill the pot with too much food or water, which can create immense pressure to explode.
- It is essential to lock the lid properly and also check if there is any debris. Clean it before using.
- Don’t go too close to the appliance, as the hot steam can cause nasty burns.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Rice Cookers need maintenance like any other appliance
Maintaining a rice cooker is easy with the following tips-
- Always disconnect the appliance from the power source before cleaning it.
- Let it cool before cleaning the appliance.
- Use warm water with a soapy solution to clean it.
- You can use a mild dishwasher for cleaning the rice cooker, but never use dishwashing detergent to cause discoloration.
- Never use harsh and coarse cleaners on the non-stick base.
- Rinse the inner bowl thoroughly and dry it properly.
- Never put the exterior under running water. Instead, clean it with a moist cloth.
Instant Pots are not prone to heavy maintenance
To clean and maintain the instant pot for more prolonged usage, you can follow the following tips-
- Always cool down the appliance before cleaning it.
- Make sure the outer part never gets wet. Clean it with a moist cloth and dry it properly before using it again.
- You can wash the inner pot and the steam rack in the dishwasher.
- If the inner pot ever gets burnt, you can use a cup of vinegar and soak it for five minutes. Wash off under running water.
Rice Cooker are cheaper than instant pots
The cost of the rice cooker is within your reach. It depends on the features of the particular product and also on the brand. Usually, you can buy a quality product within Rs. 2000.
Instant Pots are quite costly
The instant pot is pricier than the rice cooker as you can have a good quality product at Rs. 10,000. So, if you want an appliance for making rice, oatmeal, soups, etc., you can go for a rice cooker. But, if you want an all-in-one appliance, the instant pot is for you.
Ease of Use
Rice Cooker are very easy to use
Using a rice cooker is super easy. It will be best if you are very careful about putting the proper ratio of rice and water. It takes only 20-25 minutes to cook rice.
Instant Pots are easily operable too
Instant pot is also an easy-to-use appliance. As it can be used as a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, etc., you will find an all-in-one solution in your kitchen.
Rice Cookers consume relatively higher power per Litre
If you buy a 1.8 L rice cooker, it will consume around 550 Watts of power. Generally, a rice cooker consumes 300 to 1100 Watts of power.
power consumption rate of Instant Pots are less
The power consumption of an instant pot depends on the capacity of the appliance. A 5.7 L Instant pot consumes 1000 Watts, while a 3 L consumes around 700 Watts of power.
Comparison of Rice Cooker vs Instant Pot
|Appliance||Rice Cooker||Instant Pot|
|Functioning||Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius to cook rice||Multiple cooking temperatures available for cooking different kinds of foods|
|Application||Can cook rice, oats, soups, stew, etc.||Can cook rice, soups, beef, meat, apple cider vinegar, etc.|
|Safety||Very safe to use||Very safe to use|
|Maintenance||Easy to maintain as it comes with lesser parts||maintaining is time-consuming as there are different parts|
|Cost||Ranges within Rs. 500 to 2000||Available at more than Rs. 8000|
|Ease of Use||Very easy to use||Very easy to use|
|Power Requirement||400 Watts to 1000 Watts||700 Watts to 1200 Watts|
So, Rice Cooker or Instant Pot – Which one to choose?
So, here we have gone through a comparison study between a rice cooker and an instant pot. Both the devices are user-friendly and save much of your time. You can now spend your valuable time on other essential works than only cooking.
There are unavoidable differences between the two- rice cooker vs instant pot, based on the functionality, usage, cost, power consumption, etc. Based on our discussion, you can choose a suitable device for you.