Step by step directions get perfect, fluffy Instant Pot basmati rice. The pressure cooker gets it cooked in a fraction of time, and with a few tricks, can deliver that fluffy texture you want. This post includes directions for cooking both white and brown basmati rice.
The Instant Pot is a fantastic way to cook your grains: from creamy Instant Pot steel cut oats to fluffy Instant Pot quinoa, and even farro! And I’m excited to finally be sharing fluffy Instant Pot basmati rice with you.
Basmati rice was one of the first things I cooked in my Instant Pot and I was so incredibly disappointed. It was crunchy, firm, and not at all fluffy.
I was determined to get that perfect, fluffy texture that I get from my rice cooker, and boy, it took me a few tries, but I finally got there!
Why you’ll ♡ Instant Pot basmati rice
- it cooks quicker than on the stove or in a rice cooker
- with my tips, it comes out fluffy each time
- both white and brown basmati come out perfectly
Watch the video below to see how to cook both white and brown basmati in the Instant Pot! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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Cooking basmati in the Instant Pot
- Rinse your rice in a colander under the tap.
- Add rice to the Instant Pot
- Add water
- Add salt
- Mix up evenly
- Pressure cook for 3 minutes (white basmati) or 22 minutes (brown basmati)
Start by rinsing the rice
If you want perfect, fluffy Instant Pot basmati rice, the first step is always to rinse your rice. Rinsing the rice removes the starches on the surface of the rice grains, which can cause the rice to clump together and become gummy. Not only that, but it adds extra moisture to the pot which I found to be essential in getting that perfect texture.
You can rinse in a colander, or by swirling with water in the Instant Pot. Make sure to decant as much water as possible, and scrape any extra rice off the sides of the pot.
Most Instant Pot basmati recipes call for 1 cup of water to 1 cup of rice. This results in a much firmer rice texture than I personally enjoy. In fact, the top layer of rice came out crunchy for me!
Not only do I suggest rinsing your rice, which adds extra liquid to the pot, but I also suggest using a ratio of 1 1/4 cups water to 1 cup of rice.
Rice should be in an even layer
OK this might sound super obvious to you, but the first time I cooked my rice in the Instant Pot, it was not even across the surface, and this resulted in a small ‘peak’ of rice that did not cook through.
After adding all your ingredients to the Instant Pot, give them a gentle stir to ensure that the rice forms a somewhat even layer across the surface of the pot.
Use the pressure cook setting
Yes, your Instant Pot has a rice setting which cooks on low pressure. No, I don’t use it. In a side-by-side comparison to the ‘pressure cook’ setting, I actually found the pressure cooked rice to be softer and fluffier. Feel free to experiment on your own if you want to try it out!
Fluff up your rice
- After cooking on high pressure, allow the pressure to release naturally (this takes around 15 minutes).
- Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or butter to the pot, and fluff up the rice using a fork or spoon.
- Place the lid back onto the pot and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Fluff it up again…
- …and serve immediately. The Instant Pot basmati rice firms up more quickly than stove top or rice cooker rice.
- vinegar– in my perfect brown rice tutorial, I suggest adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the recipe to help improve the texture. When adding it to the Instant Pot, I found it to come out much gummier than stove top. I suggest leaving it out unless you like a really soft and somewhat gummy texture to your rice.
- 6 vs 8 quart– though the 8 quart Instant Pot specifies that it requires 1.5 cups of liquid to come to pressure, I had no issues cooking 1 cup rice + 1 1 /4 cups water.
- extra flavor– you may swap the water for chicken stock or bone broth for extra flavor in your rice
- meal prep- rice may be cooled and stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat until steaming hot, and reheat only once.
- expansion– since rice expands, you should not fill your Instant Pot more than half full.
- yield– Instant Pot rice yields a smaller volume when cooked than stove top. For 1 cup of basmati rice, we get 3 cups cooked on the stove top and only 2 cups in the Instant Pot.
Perfect, Fluffy Instant Pot Basmati Rice (Brown + White)
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or butter)
- Rinse rice in a colander under the tap, or by swirling in water in the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
- Drain rice, then place in the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot. Add water and salt. Stir gently to create even coverage of the rice across the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the steam release handle to the 'sealing' position. Set the Instant Pot to 'pressure cook' (or 'manual' on older models) for 3 minutes (white basmati) or 22 minutes (brown basmati).
- The Instant Pot will take roughly 6 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once pressure cooking has finished, allow the pot to naturally release (roughly 15 minutes)
- When the pin drops, remove the lid and stir in the coconut oil, fluffing up the rice with a spoon.
- Place the lid back on and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
- this recipe has been tested in both a 6 and 8 quart Instant Pot
- you may double the recipe with the same cook time; never fill the Instant Pot with rice above the half way line
- swap the water for vegetable or chicken stock for extra flavor