Rice Cookers vs Pressure Cookers: Full Comparison

A lot of people often get confused between rice cookers and pressure cookers. That’s because they aren’t sure if there’s any difference between the two. However, both these cookers have features that differentiate them from each other. Both rice cookers and pressure cookers are very similar in terms of look and used to cook rice. However, they are still very different in terms of features. For those who don’t know a lot about cookers, pressure cooker cooks rice in considerably lesser time as compared to rice cooker. Once we get to know all the differences, your thoughts regarding rice cookers may change as well. 

Read on to the main differences between the two kitchen appliances:

Rice Cookers Vs Pressure Cookers

Before we list down the differences, let’s first consider the things that make rice cooker and pressure cooker similar. They have a lot in similar due to which many people get confused between the two. But it should be remembered that despite their similar look, both rice cooker and pressure cooker have different purposes to serve. People with small kitchen and limited space may find it very difficult to decide which one to go for. 

So here’s everything you need to know about both the cookers before you make a choice:

Key Differences between Pressure Cookers and Rice Cookers

Pressure cookers and rice cookers have various features that distinguish them from each other. We have listed them down one by one. Although both the cookers use steam to cook, there’s no other similarity in terms of functions between the two. 

Rice cookers need an external heating source like a heating pad or coil to function. The appliance includes a top lid and some of its models also come with extra parts like steaming basket and tofu maker. 

This heating source in the rice cooker is used to cook the rice with liquid. Because of this external heat, the liquid evaporates and converts into steam. During the cooking process, the rice absorbs the liquid and turn soft. As soon as you remove the lid of the rice cooker, you’ll see that the liquid has been completely absorbed and the rice is properly cooked. 

Pressure cooker, on the other hand, operates in a different way. This cooker has a top lid that can be fixed and sealed. The lid of the pressure cooker consists of a rubber lining which stops the steam from escaping from the cooker. It also has a pressure sensor which signals about the pressure inside the cooker. Moreover, the cooking process of a pressure cooker is much more effective as compared to a rice cooker. 

Rice cookers are usually used for cooking rice and a few other dishes. There are various models of rice cookers available in the market that vary slightly in terms of the number of functions they offer. However, the single function for which rice cooker is primarily used for is just cooking rice, though its multi-functional models can be used to cook fish, meat, vegetables, and boil eggs etc. Cooking these meals take more time in these cookers as compared to pressure cookers, therefore they are not the best appliance for making such dishes. 

As compared to rice cookers, pressure cookers work great when it comes to cooking large quantities of meat. If you want to make dishes like stew or roast, a pressure cooker is the best option you’ve got. There are multi-purpose pressure cooker models available out there that can also be used as slow cookers for cooking rice. Thus, a pressure cooker can help you cook many dishes conveniently. And if you already have a pressure cooker in your kitchen, you’d know that you don’t need to purchase a rice cooker separately as pressure cooker can do its job. 

Which Cooker is Best for Cooking Rice?

It’s quite obvious that a rice cooker would work best for cooking rice as it’s primarily made for this purpose. However, before you make a choice, let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of both rice cookers and pressure cookers


Rice cookers are the best cooking appliance when it comes to cooking various types of rice. Rice have several types when we consider grain, flavor, and aroma. These cookers allow the users to cook all types of rice in the most efficient way. It has an automatic shut off feature that makes the cooking process easier for the users. Also, this feature helps save considerable amounts of energy during cooking, making the rice cooker an energy efficient device. 

A pressure cooker, on the other hand, cooks food quickly and doesn’t require large quantities of liquid in the cooking process. A major benefit of using a pressure cooker is that is destroys all the microorganisms in the food, so you can heat healthy and clean food. It happens as the temperature inside the cooker increases above the standard boiling point of water. 

It’s clear from this that pressure cooker can be used as a sterilizer. It can help you sterilize kitchen tools, cans, bottles, etc. With its sealing lid feature, this cooker preserve the food flavors, so you don’t have to add a lot of seasonings and flavorings to make your meals tasty. Pressure cookers are best suited for people who live at high altitude where food takes a lot of time to cook because of the cool weather. 


If you’re planning to buy a rice cooker, then don’t look for a single-pressure cooker. It’s because a single-function device will only cook rice. It may cook dishes like vegetables, fish, and small portions of meat, but it’s going to take a long time. Rice cookers don’t come with sealing lid feature and thus the temperature only raises till the boiling point of water. So a rice cooker cannot be used for sterilizing tools or for tenderizing large portions of meat.

Rice Cooker or a Multi-Purpose Pressure Cooker – which one to buy?

Which cooker you want to purchase entirely depends on your requirements. Before you choose a cooker, check what kind of features and functions it offers, and then compare them to the features you’re looking for in a cooker. Check if the cooker can make the dishes you want it to make. It is perfectly fine to own a rice cooker if rice are frequently cooked in your home. 

Stove-top Pressure Cooker or Electric Pressure Cooker – Which one is the Best?

Basically, electric pressure cookers or instant pot cookers can cook anything and everything with a push of a button. However, stove-top cookers require less maintenance and are less costly. They are also highly flexible. So if you’re tight on budget, then stove-top pressure cooker is your best option. Otherwise instant pot is the leading cooking appliance when it comes to easy, tasty, and quick cooking. 


The important thing to keep in mind while purchasing a cooker is how frequently it will be used in your kitchen. Your decision should not be based on which cooker is better than the other because both of them are great appliances that come with several functions to offer. 

If you frequently cook rice and don’t mind if the food takes some time to be cooked, a rice cooker will be a suitable option for you. Since this cooker is especially made for rice cooking, it makes rice in the most efficient way.  Pressure cooker, on the other hand, speeds up the cooking process and can be used to cook all kinds of dishes. So if you want to cook the different types of dishes and want your food ready in lesser time, then a pressure cooker will be a great purchase.

5 thoughts on “Rice Cookers vs Pressure Cookers: Full Comparison”

  1. Thanks for this detailed comparison! There’s a lot I didn’t before. Everyone in our home loves eating rice so I cook them really often. But I still think that pressure cooker would be a better option as it lets you cook a variety of dishes.


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