Instant Pot Consistent Grain Cooking Ratios and Times

Published On: April 5, 2024

Instant Pot Consistent Grain Cooking Ratios and Times

One of the reasons that pressure cookers are so popular in domestic kitchens is their ability to cook grains consistently. An Instant Pot is a multicooker that can cook at both high pressure and low pressure which makes it ideal for cooking grains. Whether it is rice, oats or pasta the Instant Pot is the ideal tool for delivering consistent results. Simply follow these guidelines:

White or Brown Rice

You can make delicious rice-based dishes such as biryani, pilau or jambalaya using these cooking ratios but also cooking with the appropriate spices, herbs and seasonings for each dish. Brown rice contains the bran, germ and endosperm which are removed from white rice so it takes longer to cook and needs longer to absorb moisture for the right outcome. By cooking at high pressure but also leaving to naturally release pressure (NPR) you can achieve this texture.

Risotto or Paella Rice

Cooking both risotto and paella in the Instant Pot is a great stir-free method that brings consistent results. At the end of cooking simply release the pressure quickly – QPR. Stir well. If there is a little excess liquid, then simply leave to stand and the rice grains will continue to absorb the excess until the texture is ideal.


Quinoa is a high protein grain alternative that can be used in dishes you might otherwise use rice such as ‘quinotto’ instead of risotto, and quinoa pilaff rather than rice based. As with rice-based dishes you can pep it up with the spices, herbs, stocks and seasonings that suit your intended final dish.

Oats, Buckwheat Flakes, Quinoa Flakes

Porridge made from oats, buckwheat flakes or quinoa flakes is best cooked “pot-in-pot”. That means in a heatproof bowl that fits your Instant Pot inner pot with space around. You simply place the grains and liquid, which could be water, milk or a combination of both, in the bowl and stir. This then goes into the pot with 250ml water in the inner pot then the trivet on top and the bowl on top of that. Cook for 12 minutes then carry out a quick pressure release and serve whilst hot.

Buckwheat Groats

These are simply the hulled seed of the buckwheat plant. They’re also a source of protein. They can be used to make porridge or in place of rice in pilaff-style dishes. However, they do need soaking in advance of cooking to help break down anti-nutrients and make them more digestible. The instructions above suggest an overnight soak but at least 4 hours will suffice. Rinse after soaking then follow the cooking ratios and timings for the best results.


There’s every reason to cook pasta using the pressure cook function of your Instant Pot. It’s consistently the right texture and you can either cook in the sauce or just in water or stock then add a sauce once cooked. The ratios and times recommended apply to cooking pasta (both gluten free and pasta made using wheat) in water or stock. If using spaghetti, then break the strands in half and lay in a criss-cross pattern to reduce the likelihood of sticking together or clumping. Try and push the pasta under the surface of the liquid. At the end of cooking release the pressure using an intermittent pressure release to reduce the likelihood that starchy pasta water will try and escape through the valve. Stir the pasta well. If there’s any excess water, simply leave the pasta in the pot until the water is absorbed. Stir in your sauce and heat on Sauté function until it’s piping hot and ready to serve.

An Instant Pot Multi Cooker is a game-changer for anyone who loves delicious food but doesn’t have hours to spend in the kitchen. It’s a super helpful appliance that makes cooking easier, faster, and much more enjoyable. Give it a try and see how it transforms your cooking experience!

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By Jenny Tschiesche (BSc(Hons) Dip(ION) FdSc BANT)