Rice is an interesting ingredient. It is easy to make rice, but it is not easy to get it perfect. Home cooks may run into a couple of different issues. Common problems include Instant Pot rice too sticky, or undercooked rice. But there are solutions to the problem.
Instant pot rice too sticky? Don’t worry; there are ways to fix sticky rice, so you have perfect rice for any recipe you are making! Cooking rice is usually considered pretty simple.
Rinse a cup of rice, dump it in the pot, add a cup of water, cook to a boil, and let it simmer for 20 minutes. That’s all it takes to make perfect rice. However, the rice may not always come out correctly.
Good rice is fluffy and delicious, but sometimes it comes out sticky, which means we did something wrong. Some people find a way around this common problem by purchasing a dedicated rice cooker.
Rice cookers essentially heat up the water to the correct temp and then simmer the rice for the appropriate amount of time. However, the actual cooking of the rice is not the hard part; knowing how to simmer means simply turning the heat down when the rice starts to boil.
All of this is to say you can still get sticky rice from a rice cooker. Then there is the Instant Pot. Instant Pots use a combination of heat, high pressure, and steam to cook food.
In fact, using an Instant Pot cuts the cooking time down to less than 10 minutes. These three methods of cooking are perfect for rice, so you will surely get perfectly cooked rice every time, right?
Unfortunately, the answer is no; you can still end up with Instant Pot rice that is too sticky. Most people would recommend tossing the rice and starting over. However, there may be a way to save the rice.
More importantly, we can also learn new ways to make sure we don’t end up with rice that’s too sticky.
Instant Pot Rice Too Sticky? – What to Do
Rice is one of the most common grains in the entire world. You can find white rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, wild rice, and many other rice grains. But the best rice is the rice you can always cook to perfection.
Of course, sticky rice is not a terrible thing. In fact, sticky rice is also known as sushi rice. Sushi rice needs to be stickier than normal. But we don’t enjoy sticky rice as a side dish or as part of a meal.
You can follow the directions perfectly but still end up with sticky rice. Learning how to handle an Instant Pot filled with sticky rice is more about learning how to avoid it. Starting at the beginning is the best way to learn.
Basic Instant Pot rice calls for as many cups of rice as you want. Add two cups of water for every cup of rice you use. The water ratio is always one-for-two. Then, seal the release, cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally before venting and opening the Instant Pot.
Fluff the rice with a fork, and you’re all done. So, where can we possibly go wrong?
Tips for Making Instant Pot Rice
Did you know that rice is covered in starch? Well, to be fair, rice is covered in rice. The grains rub together as they make their way to you from the field. That friction creates the powder that covers each grain, and since rice is starchy, it is a starch powder.
We can rinse it off, but there is still starch inside each grain that can’t be removed. The specific starch for making rice sticky is called amylopectin. This starch molecule is usually balanced out with another starch molecule called amylose.
Too much amylopectin in the rice means you will get sticky rice every time. Of course, we can safely say that short-grain rice is the only grain that has zero amylose starch, which means it is the only type of rice that will always be sticky.
Long-grain rice is more common in the US and can still be too sticky. We have to be sure we rinse the rice with cold water to remove any starch that might cause the rice to be sticky. That’s step one.
Perfect Amount of Water for Rice
Ask an Asian grandmother how to measure the water for rice, and she will point to the first knuckle on her index finger. The finger trick is a common method of ensuring you don’t get Instant Pot Rice too sticky.
But some of us like to be as precise as possible. We just want to make sure we use the right ratio of water. You will most likely come across recipes that say 2 cups of water for every one cup of rice. But the Instant Pot is slightly different.
The Instant Pot brings steam and pressure into the equation, which changes the water ratio. Instant Pots only need one cup of water for every cup of rice, a one-to-one ratio.
You can be sure that you use the right amount of water with a one-to-one ratio in an Instant Pot. Using less water will result in undercooked rice, and too much water will produce mushy rice.
Instant Pot Rice Tips
Still getting Instant Pot rice too sticky? We washed the rice, we used enough water, and we even made sure to set the Instant Pot correctly. Another reason you could end up with sticky rice is how you finish cooking.
First, we should never open the quick pressure release valve too soon. Natural pressure release is the best way to go with your electric pressure cooker. The natural release allows the steam to do its thing and cook the rice a bit longer while also carrying away starch molecules.
You should get perfect results if you give the Instant Pot ten minutes to release naturally the next time you cook Instant Pot rice. The cooking process isn’t done just because the Instant Pot dinged.
This idea can also be applied to the many different kinds of rice, so long as you avoid short grain rice. Regular white rice is most likely the rice you’re trying to cook most often.
But stick with the right amount of rice and water; your results should be perfect.
Final Step in Cooking Rice
We now know that the types of rice, the amounts of water, and the cooking time all play a role in making rice. But there is one last step that is often the determining factor in whether the rice is being tossed out or not: fluffing the rice.
The first step here is to let the rice cool a bit. Rice is going to be sticky every time while it is still hot. When the starch molecules are above a set temperature, they become sticky.
So, let that rice cool before you do anything else. Remember, the starch that cooked out of the rice is still in the inner pot. We fluff the rice to get fluffy rice instead of stirring. Never stir the rice after it is done cooking.
Fluffing allows the steam to come off the rice and carry away some of those starches. Stirring the rice will just mix any leftover starches into the rice, and you will end up with clumpy, sticky rice.
No one wants Instant Pot sticky rice unless they are looking for a quick way to make sushi. Fluffy white rice simply requires a nice fluff with forks. But what happens if you finish all these steps properly and still end up with Instant Pot rice too sticky?
The Oven Rice Trick
There is one option you can turn to when your rice is too sticky. However, this is more like a Reddit hack than an actual cooking method. Maybe don’t let everyone know you did this, especially your Asian friends; they will be saddened.
Still, you can take sticky rice and rinse it. Then, dump the rice onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss the rice into the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The rice might be saved, but don’t keep your hopes up.
This method doesn’t work every time. However, it is a great option if you are on your last cup of rice and don’t feel like running to the store. Another option is to throw the rice in the fridge, uncovered, and let it sit overnight.
This rice can then be used to make fried rice. Fried rice is always made with leftover rice. Lastly, the only option you have left if the rice doesn’t come out correctly is to toss it. Throwing out food is not fun, but if it is inedible, it must be done.
You can start over with some more rice, and just be sure to follow the steps exactly as stated. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add the rice to your Instant Pot and add one cup of 2 cups of water for every one cup of rice.
Cook the rice on high pressure for 3 minutes and let it naturally release. Then, open the valve and remove the lid. Let the rice rest for ten minutes, and then fluff with a fork. And remember, you can always have fried rice tomorrow night.
More Instant Pot Ideas
Instant Pot Rice Recipes from Around the World | Rice really is the most common ingredient used all around the world.
Best Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Recipes | Chicken is an easy meat to cook along with your rice side dish.
Instant Pot Breakfast Burrito Recipes | Rice is not the only thing your Instant Pot can help you put together.
Easy Instant Pot Balsamic Chicken Recipes | Balsamic chicken with some rice sure sounds amazing. You can even use black rice for a fun experience.
Instant Pot Chuck Roast Recipes that are not a Pot Roast | A roast in an instant? Absolutely! You just need your Instant Pot and a good side dish. Any recommendations?