I’m furious the Instant Pot makes better rice than my expensive Asian rice cooker

Photo: Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post, Foodcollection (Getty Images)

Like anything with a modicum of mainstream popularity, my reaction to the Instant Pot was initially dismissive. “I know how to cook,” I convinced myself, “I don’t need no novelty gimmicks to make good food.” Nevertheless, I bought one for work. Skepticism still coursed through my veins. But after just one batch of fork-tender pot roast in 45 minutes, the rest, as they say, was happily ever after.

Still, there was one threshold I refused to allow the Instant Pot to cross. It involved my trusted rice cooker—an extremely Asian rice cooker—a futuristic appliance you’d mock me for owning if you knew how much I paid for it. (It plays a song when it’s done cooking!) Rice was the last frontier, and I wasn’t about to allow this $70 Instant Pot to usurp my [grumble grumble]-dollar Zojirushi from Outer Space.

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Well, what do you know.

This stupid $70 appliance invented in Canada makes the superior rice.

Better. And quicker.

(This briefly and legitimately stirred up feelings of an ethnic identity crisis—inner monologue: “We Asians shall not be defeated!”—until I realized how ludicrous this sounded. And not that it should assuage my cultural insecurities, but an out-of-work Chinese immigrant did invent the Instant Pot and became a gazillionaire.)

I now have zero hesitations declaring that the Instant Pot shall be our household’s appliance of choice for making rice. I make it the same way every time:

“I hate that Instant Pot makes better rice” rice recipe

  1. Wash two cups of jasmine rice through a sieve to remove starches.
  2. Dump rice into pot, add two cups of water (or chicken broth).
  3. Add a pat of butter and a pinch of salt (and if you’re me, MSG powder).
  4. Set Instant Pot on manual high pressure for four minutes, with vent sealed.
  5. Let cook, allow for 10 minutes of natural release.
  6. Fluff rice with the scoop paddle that came with Instant Pot. Serve.
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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.