Both pressure cookers and rice cookers are essential parts of modern-day kitchens.
But since they have similar appearances, one often wonders about the proper application of each gadget.
As the name explains, a rice cooker is a dedicated gadget for cooking rice and is unsuitable for cooking hard foods (meat, corn, etc.).
At the same time, a pressure cooker is suited to all cooking.
You can easily make rice, meat, hard vegetables like beetroot, etc.
Both units differ in functioning mechanisms and cooking styles.
In this post, we will go through all the differences and see each unit’s part in your kitchen.
Scroll down to enjoy an information-loaded post on rice cookers vs pressure cookers!
Rice Cooker Vs. Pressure Cooker – The Differences
Although the two gadgets have several differences, the first one is the design.
A pressure cooker is a regular metallic pot that operates on a stovetop.
A rice cooker is more like a compact unit with different controls on the outer side.
Most rice cookers have alloy or plastic bodies that are not resistant to heat.
Pressure cookers have stainless steel bodies that last for many years.
There are electric pressure cookers as well.
But they are distinguishable from rice cookers as they have a signature opening handle.
Both units have different working mechanisms.
Therefore, we will observe each one separately.
Let’s examine the working of a rice cooker first.
Most rice cookers feature a heating source (an electric plate that heats up when current passes through it) that heats the metallic bowl.
The bowl gets hot and heats the water and rice present in it.
The heating process continues unless the water starts boiling.
The boiling water produces steam which remains sealed inside the container.
Since rice is mainly composed of starch, they absorb water, and the high temperature caused by the steam tenderizes them.
Since the process makes the rice absorb the water, you should pour in an adequate amount.
Too much water will make the rice mushy.
A traditional pressure cooker uses steam to cook the food.
It is a sealed container that traps the steam generated by boiling water.
The steam inside raises the internal temperature, which breaks down the tough tissues of the food cooking it.
Pressure cookers include a rubber lining to prevent the steam from escaping.
Hence, the overall cooking process is faster.
Rice cookers offer less flexibility compared to pressure cookers.
Therefore, they are relatively inexpensive.
On average, a rice cooker costs around 100 dollars which can fulfil daily needs.
However, the overall price depends upon capacity as well.
Pressure cookers have more versatility and a lower cooking time.
Therefore, they are more expensive than regular rice cookers.
Typically, pressure cookers cost around 80 to 300 dollars, but the price varies with specifications like capacity, construction materials, etc.
Electric pressure cookers are available, and they are likely more expensive than stovetop ones.
The machines have different categories.
So it is best to look at them to prevent confusion at the purchase time.
For Rice Cookers
· Digital Rice Cookers
These cookers come with digital control panels that allow you to pre-set the cooking time and temperature.
You can choose the type of rice you want to cook, and the unit automatically switches to optimal settings.
· Basic Rice Cookers
Basic rice cookers are a simplistic version of digital rice cookers with a metal bowl and a heating element.
They mostly have control knobs to adjust time and temperature.
· Induction Based Rice Cookers
Induction-based rice cookers have a magnetic coil that heats the bowl’s contents rather than conventional boiling in other rice cookers.
These rice cookers make precise cooks and are, therefore, more expensive.
· Multi-Function Rice Cookers
These cookers combine steamers and slow cookers.
So you can steam vegetables, cook some soup and other foods.
These are more versatile and can cook light foods besides rice as well.
For Pressure Cookers
Pressure cookers are commonly categorized into stovetop pressure cookers and electric pressure cookers.
· Stovetop Pressure Cookers
They require an external heating source, i.e., a stove. The rubber-lined lid helps keep the steam inside to cook the food.
· Electric Pressure Cookers
The electric pressure cookers have an inbuilt heating source, much like rice cookers.
Since both types have different working styles, their price varies accordingly.
Stovetop pressure cookers are naturally less expensive as they have only basic functionalities.
However, the electric ones have more features and more cost.
5. Kinds of Foods They Cook
The next thing in comparing rice cookers vs pressure cookers is the types of food they can cook.
Rice cookers are only ideal for cooking, primarily because rice doesn’t require higher pressure and steam.
In comparison, pressure cookers are better for cooking larger meat pieces or hard foods like corn, vegetables, etc.
They can also cook rice; however, you need to be more careful with cooking as they can cook them quickly.
Related Reading: How Long Does A Rice Cooker Take – Click Here To Find Out.
Pros of a Rice Cooker
· Automated Cooking
Unlike other cooking pots, rice cookers need minimal monitoring.
You put on the required amount of water with the rice and turn on the machine.
The unit is intelligent enough to stop cooking when the contents are entirely cooked.
· Auto Warming
Once the contents are done, the machine switches to warming mode to keep them warm till serving.
· Space Saving
Although pressure cookers are excellent for making various foods, they require more kitchen space.
Contrastingly, rice cookers are more compact.
· Cooks Lighter Foods
Rice cookers cannot cook bulkier foods like meat or grains, but you can use them for other purposes.
You can heat milk, cook porridge or make soup in them.
· Prevents Overcooking
Rice cookers have an automatic turn-off feature, so there is no danger of overcooking.
Electric pressure cookers also feature this safety.
However, there is no such prevention in a stovetop pressure cooker.
If you don’t notice the timing carefully, the food may burn or overcook.
The inner pot of the rice cookers is made of non-stick material, so the contents don’t burn and stick to it.
Pros of a Pressure Cooker
1. Steam and Pressure Cooking
Pressure cookers use steam for cooking food, so the food cooks evenly, and the flavours remain delicious.
2. Versatile Cooking Capacity
Pressure cookers can make all kinds of food, from meat to vegetables to corn and other ingredients.
Hence, they prove more economical in the long run.
3. Energy Efficient
Since these pots combine steam and pressure, the overall cooking time is less. It saves energy and time.
4. Cleans Microorganisms
On average, pressure cookers maintain an internal temperature of around 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit.
Such a high temperature sterilizes the food of all the germs and microorganisms that might remain in other conventional cooking pots.
5. Requires Less Liquid
Pressure cookers require less liquid to cook food.
As there is a rubber lining, the steam cannot escape, so water consumption is less.
Also, unlike rice cookers, pressure cookers don’t make the food absorb the water (that’s why the water is still present after the food cooks).
6. Preserves Vitamins
Conventional boiling eliminates all the nutrients in your food.
However, pressure cooking is better as it ensures the nutrients remain undamaged.
7. Easy Cleaning
Pressure cookers are easier to clean as they are metallic pots resistant to scrubbing and regular washing.
Electric ones are now available but can be somewhat tricky to clean.
Which One Is Better?
There is no clear-cut answer to that, as it depends upon your preferences and needs.
If you are looking for an all-in-one solution, a pressure cooker is an ideal option.
It can cook almost anything, and since the pressure is strong enough to destroy microorganisms, it is also perfect for sterilizing.
A rice cooker is ideal for cooking rice of all kinds.
They have inbuilt features for different cooking styles of rice, so they are a no-fail means when you want the perfect bowl of rice.
Related Reading: Best Rice Cooker For Sticky Rice – Click Here To Read.
Rice Cooker vs Pressure Cooker – FAQs
Is a pressure cooker better than a rice cooker?
Rice cookers are better for making rice; however, pressure cookers are preferable if you want more versatility.
Is a pressure cooker fast?
Of course, as a pressure cooker uses both steam and pressure, it is faster than a rice cooker.
Which nutrients can pressure cookers damage?
Heat-sensitive nutrients like Vitamin C, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids can get damaged during pressure cooking.
Is an electric pressure cooker better than a stovetop one?
A stovetop pressure cooker is faster and more versatile than an electric one.
Although electric ones ensure instant and precise cooking, they are significantly slower than stovetop ones.
Is a rice cooker ac or dc?
Rice cookers operate on AC.
Therefore, you must ensure a sufficient power supply before putting the machine into operation.
How much water should you put in a rice cooker?
Generally, the ratio of water in rice cookers is 1:1. It means with 1 cup of rice, you need 1 cup of water.
What kinds of rice does a rice cooker make?
Rice cookers are dedicated rice cooking devices.
So, they can quickly cook long-grain, short-grain, white, brown, jasmine, and basmati rice.
Related Reading: Best Rice Cooker For Sushi – Click Here To Learn.
The Bottom Line
Pressure cookers and rice cookers are handy gadgets in today’s kitchens.
However, knowing the differences between them ensures a practical purchase.
A pressure cooker is a traditional metallic pot that captures steam and uses to cook food.
Electric pressure cookers are also available but are slower than stovetop ones.
Rice cookers are ideal for premium rice and other lighter foods.
The final purchase depends upon your needs; therefore, there is no sole winner of the rice cooker vs pressure cooker marathon.