Instant Pot Rice Too Sticky (How to Make It Perfect)

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Is your instant pot rice too sticky? Learn the steps to fix it and how to achieve flawless rice every time. Read on for the ideal rice-to-water ratio, the appropriate cooking time, the preferred rice variety, and the best way to cook perfect rice every time.

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Instant Pot Rice Too Sticky and How To Fix It

The versatility of rice knows no bounds, and I particularly enjoy using an electric pressure cooker to prepare it. Whether as a side dish alongside this Vegan Potato Curry, this Sticky Sesame Oyster Mushroom Recipe, or pre-cooked and ready-to-go for this Vegan Fried Rice recipe, having rice on hand is always a great option.  

I didn’t eat rice often before I lost 125 pounds, mainly because I’ve never been able to make it correctly on the stove top It was either burned and overcooked rice or watery and soggy rice.

I used to have a rice cooker and it helped, but I felt like it was just taking up space since I only used it for rice. Now that I have discovered the Failproof Extra Long Grain Rice Recipe, I enjoy it all the time.

It took a bit to figure out the best cooking process, but I figured out how to fix instant pot rice that is too sticky, undercooked, or watery rice. For the best rice, you need the right amount of water, the precise cooking time, and the correct type of rice.

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Instant Pot Rice

How do I fix Instant Pot rice that is too sticky?

There are a few ways to fix rice that is too sticky. Try one or more of these steps for delicious rice.

  1. Add More Water: If the rice is already cooked and too sticky, add a bit more water or broth to the Instant Pot. Turn on the sauté function and stir the rice with the additional liquid until it reaches your desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much liquid at once, as it can make the rice mushy.
  2. Fluff with a Fork: After the rice is cooked, let it sit with the lid on for a few minutes, then fluff it with a fork. Gently separate the grains to break up any clumps and release excess moisture.
  3. Add Fat: Adding a small amount of fat, like vegan butter or olive oil, can also help loosen sticky rice. Place a tablespoon of fat in the Instant Pot with the cooked rice and stir gently until the fat is evenly distributed.
  4. Steam the Rice: If the rice is too sticky and you’ve already fluffed it, you can try steaming it for a few minutes. Place the rice back in the Instant Pot with the lid on, but with the Instant Pot turned off. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the steam to help separate the grains.
  5. Spread on a Tray: If the rice is still too sticky and none of the above methods work, spread it on a baking sheet or tray. Let it cool, then gently separate the grains with a fork. This method can help remove excess moisture and make the rice less sticky.

Using one or a combination of these methods, you should be able to fix Instant Pot rice that is too sticky and achieve the desired fluffy texture.

Why is my Instant Pot rice too sticky?

Instant Pot rice can become sticky for a few reasons:

  1. Rinsing: If you do not rinse the rice before cooking, the excess starch on the surface of the rice grains can cause them to stick together during cooking. Rinsing the rice under cold water until the water runs clear helps remove this excess starch.
  2. Water Ratio: Using too little or too much water can result in sticky rice. It’s essential to follow the recommended rice-to-water ratio for the type of rice you’re using. See below for the perfect ratio.
  3. Cooking Time: Overcooking rice can lead to a sticky texture. If the rice is cooked too long, the grains can break down and release more starch, resulting in stickiness.
  4. Type of Rice: Different varieties of rice have different levels of starch content. Some types, like short grain rice, tend to be stickier than others, like long-grain rice.

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How to make rice in Instant Pot not sticky

To cook rice in an Instant Pot so it comes out fluffy and not sticky, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the Rice: Before cooking, rinse the uncooked rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch, which can cause the rice to be sticky.
  2. Use the Right Ratio: The ratio of rice to water is crucial for fluffy rice. A general rule of thumb for white rice is 1:1 ratio (1 cup rice to 1 cup water). For brown rice, use a 1:1.25 ratio (1 cup rice to 1.25 cups water). 
  3. Add Fat (Optional): Adding a small amount of fat, such as vegan butter or oil, can help prevent sticking and improve the texture of the rice. You can add a tablespoon of fat per cup of rice.
  4. Cooking Time: Set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure. The cooking time varies depending on the type of rice:
    • For white rice: Set the Instant Pot to cook for 3-5 minutes at high pressure.
    • For brown rice: Set the Instant Pot to cook for 20-22 minutes at high pressure.
  5. Natural Release: After the cooking time is up, allow for a natural release for at least 10 minutes. This means letting the pressure release without using the quick release valve. This helps the rice finish cooking and allows excess moisture to escape.
  6. Fluff with a Fork: After the natural release, carefully open the Instant Pot and use a fork to fluff the rice. Gently separate the grains to prevent clumping.
  7. Let it Rest: For best results, let the rice rest for a few minutes with the lid off before serving. This helps any remaining moisture evaporate, leaving you with fluffy rice.

By following these steps, you should achieve perfectly cooked, fluffy rice in your Instant Pot without it being too sticky. Adjust the cooking time and water ratio slightly based on your preferences and the type of rice you are using.

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Ingredients Perfect Instant Pot Rice 

This recipe requires very few ingredients, but you need to make sure to use the right type of rice and the right water ratio. You can find the full recipe card, including ingredient quantities, full step-by-step instructions, and nutritional information below. 

  • Rice – short-grain white rice – be sure to rinse it
  • Water – you could opt to use vegetable broth for extra flavor. As you can see in the picture, I did. 
  • Salt – you can omit especially if you decide to use veggie broth.
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ingredients for instant pot rice

Instructions for making Perfect Instant Pot Rice

Step 1 – Rinse rice

Rinsing rice helps eliminate excess starches, leading to more individualized grains after cooking. This step is crucial so do not skip it. 

To rinse the rice, place it in a large mixing bowl and cover it with cold water. Using your hand, gently swirl the rice. Pour off the water and repeat this process several times, or until the water runs somewhat clear. 

Alternatively, you can rinse the rice directly in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water. 

Step 2 – Drain the rice

Drain off excess water from the rinsed rice before cooking.

Step 3 – Cook on high pressure

For every cup of rice, add a cup of water and a quarter teaspoon of salt to the inner pot of the pressure cooker. Gently stir with a spoon or spatula.

You can add half a teaspoon of fat like coconut oil, vegan butter, or olive oil, if desiredThe fat reduces foam generated when the rice is cooking and gives it flavor, but it isn’t necessary for fluffy rice. 

Place the cover on and move the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure/manual for 4 minutes  It should take about 7-10 minutes to pressurize before the 4 minutes will start counting down.

Step 4 –  Natural pressure release

When the cooking time is over, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for ten minutes. DO NOT SKIP this step. The rice is continuing to cook and will result in fluffy white rice.

Then, press the cancel button and carefully release any remaining steam by turning the steam release valve to the venting position and doing a quick pressure release. Once the pin drops down, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

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Instant Pot Rice


If you like this recipe, please leave a 5-star rating and tell me how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

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Instant Pot Rice Too Sticky – How to Make It Perfect

Is your instant pot rice too sticky? Learn the steps to fix it and how to achieve flawless rice every time. Read on for the ideal rice-to-water ratio, the appropriate cooking time, the preferred rice variety, and the best way to cook perfect rice every time.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword instant pot rice too sticky
Cook Time 4 minutes
Pressurize Time 20 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 320kcal
Author Cindy Newland with Intentionally Eat


  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Rinse rice. Place it in a large mixing bowl and cover it with cold water. Gently stir the rice. Pour off the water and repeat this process several times, or until the water runs somewhat clear. Drain off excess water from the rinsed rice before cooking.
  • Add the ingredients to the inner pot of the pressure cooker.
  • Place the cover on and move the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure/manual for 4 minutes.
  • Release pressure naturally for ten minutes. DO NOT SKIP this step. The rice is continuing to cook and will result in fluffy white rice.
  • Quick pressure release the remaining steam. When pin drops, carefully open the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Serve and enjoy!


This recipe uses short grain white rice. If using brown rice change cooking time to 22 minutes.
Nutritional Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of this recipe may differ depending on the ingredients you use.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 6g

Recipes that go with rice

How to add flavor to plain rice

Here are a few ideas to add flavor to plain rice:

  1. Herbs and Spices: Mix in fresh or dried herbs like parsley, cilantro, thyme, or rosemary, or add spices such as cumin, turmeric, paprika, or curry powder to the cooking water for aromatic rice.
  2. Coconut Milk: Replace some or all of the water with coconut milk for a creamy and tropical twist. This is perfect for serving alongside Asian or Caribbean-inspired dishes.
  3. Broth or Stock: Cook the rice in vegetable broth instead of water for a richer flavor. You can also stir in a spoonful of bouillon paste or bouillon powder for added depth.
  4. Fresh Garlic and Ginger: Sauté minced garlic and ginger in oil or vegan butter before adding the rice to infuse it with aromatic flavor. This works well in Asian-inspired dishes.
  5. Double or Triple: You can increase the recipe and freeze leftover rice for meal prep for busy weeknights. 

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and combinations to create your own unique variations of plain rice!

Troubleshooting common mistakes when cooking Instant Pot rice

  • Not Measuring – This basic recipe has been tested to ensure the correct ratio of rice to ratio of water. For best results be sure to measure. 
  • Burned Rice – Not enough water or liquid can lead to hard rice, burnt, and stuck to the bottom of the pot. You might even receive a burn notice from your pressure cooker.
  • Mushy Rice – When cooking long-grain white rice you want a 1:1 ratio. That means you should add a cup of water for every cup of rice. Too much water or liquid can cause mushy rice. Overcooking can also make the rice mushy. Be sure to pay attention to cook time. Cooking on low pressure instead of high pressure can also result in mushy rice. 
  • Sticky Rice – Be sure to rinse the rice until the water runs fairly clear. If you skip this step you run the risk of the rice turning out sticky. This, as well as, the things listed above might be causing your rice to be sticky too.
  • Undercooked Rice – Do Not quick release. A natural release of pressure is a necessary step if you want fully cooked rice. However, if your rice is consistently undercooked, you may need to change the amount of time you are cooking it. Try adding a minute or two and see if that improves the results.


Should rice be cooked on low or high pressure? 

Rice should be cooked on high pressure.

What is the rice button for on Instant Pot?

The “Rice” button on the Instant Pot is a preset cooking program specifically designed for cooking white rice. When you press the “Rice” button, the Instant Pot automatically sets the cooking time and pressure level for white rice.

Since there are many varieties of white rice, I recommend following the recipe above and manually controlling the amount of time the rice will cook.

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Instant pot long grain rice

What’s the best way to store leftover rice?

The best way to store leftover rice is to allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

If there are any large clumps, gently break them apart with a fork. It’s important to store the rice in the refrigerator promptly, within 2 hours of cooking, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

By following these guidelines, you can safely store leftover rice and enjoy it later without compromising taste or quality. For more info regarding food safety, click here

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What to serve with rice?

There are many amazing ways to serve rice. Click here for some healthy options.

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​Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a medical professional. The information provided on this blog is based on my personal experiences and research as a vegan recipe enthusiast. While I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns. The recipes and tips shared on this blog are meant for general informational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always prioritize your health and well-being by seeking personalized guidance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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