Rice cookers vs pressure cookers, have you ever found yourself wondering which one you should get? Here’s a clear comparison to help you decide.

Modern life gets increasingly complicated by the day, which leaves us with little to no time to prepare our meals. Luckily, there are several household appliances like rice cookers and pressure cookers at our disposal, to help us tackle the task swiftly.

Although they both have things working for and against them, and might seem similar at first, they’re actually very different, and provide exclusive benefits. Which one is best for you? Well, that depends on your lifestyle and eating habits.

Rice Cooker besides Pressure Cooker
The main difference between rice cookers and pressure cookers is versatility, as pressure cookers can be used to prepare several recipes. 

Some people will tell you that buying a rice cooker is a waste of money, while others will argue that it’s the best investment they’ve made in their lives. It’s all subjective.

I know how hard it can be to decide between these appliances, especially if you’re on a budget. This is why I’ve prepared the list below to explore in excruciating detail the pros and cons each one has to offer, and how they might fit your daily needs.

All set? Let’s dig in!

Rice Cooker Pros

#1 Convenience

This is probably one of the most convincing arguments for getting a rice cooker. While some pressure cookers today already have certain countermeasures and sensors integrated, they’re still not as user-independent as the former.

As soon as you put rice and water in a rice cooker, you can safely walk away from it with confidence that your food will neither burn, no require your attention for several hours, which is not the case for pressure cookers.

If you’re extremely busy during the day and want an appliance that won’t need you to function, a rice cooker has got your back!

#2 Thermal Sensors

Yet another point in favor of rice cookers. Thanks to these components, you won’t ever have to worry about your rice burning, as it will measure and regulate the temperature inside the appliance to guarantee an adequate process.

Some digital pressure cookers have them too, the problem is that they are very sensitive to altitude, so there’s a chance that a dish that cooks perfectly at sea level, will undercook or overcook if used in different atmospheric conditions.

Your pressure cooker’s thermal sensor can regulate its temperature, but it can’t foresee this.

#3 Moisture Detection

You’ll never taste dry rice from a rice cooker

As you know, rice is ready when all the water used to cook it has been both absorbed by it and evaporated. Rice cookers are specifically designed to reduce their temperature when they detect that their internal moisture has nearly run out.

This not only prevents dry rice, but also burning and overheating.

Pressure cookers do not have this component, as they’re designed to cook several meals, not just those that require near total fluid evaporation. This means that, as opposed to rice cookers, they will need constant supervision.

#4 Warm Mode

Your food can stay warm for hours

Rice cookers can keep your rice warm for hours after the cooking process is done. Once the appliance has reached an optimal level of moisture and internal temperature, it switches to “warm mode”, and can stay that way for hours.

Rice Cooker Cons:

#1 Single purpose

This is where pressure cookers take the cake. A rice cooker is wonderful for cooking rice and letting you go about your business, but that’s about it. Pressure cookers, on the other hand, are extremely versatile and can prepare a wide variety of dishes.

Rice cookers can prepare other foods too, but they won’t be as good as the rice.

#2 Longer Cook Times

Rice cookers sure take their time!

The time it takes for your meal to be ready is yet another advantage pressure cookers have over rice cookers.

The latter relies on steam and heat to cook your rice, while the former uses the pressure inside it to expedite the process. If you’re constantly in a hurry and in need of quick food, a rice cooker might not be right for you.

How Much Does a Good Rice Cooker Go For?

Find a rice cooker that suits your needs

The answer to this question varies greatly depending on what you’re looking for. If you just want a basic rice cooker with no extra features, you can get it for about $50.

That being said, if you’re already going to spend some money on this appliance, I would advise getting one in the $100-$120 range, as it will have many features and programming options that will allow you to cook more than just rice.

Pressure Cooker Pros:

#1 Fast Cook Times

Just as I mentioned earlier, pressure cookers are king when it comes to preparing a meal quickly. Time-consuming legumes like raw beans can be soft and ready to go in less than 40 minutes. Try to do that with a rice cooker!

If you’re not very patient and like to eat shortly after you’ve turned the stove top on, this is definitely the appliance for you.

Pressure cooker beeing used to cook
By utilizing steam and surrounding pressure to heat the internal environment, pressure cookers cook food faster than most methods.

#2 Flavor Retention

Do not sacrifice the flavor

Pressure cookers are not only great at cooking your food quickly, but also wonderful at making sure that it’s still packed with flavor and rich textures once it’s done.

The reason behind this is the cooking process. By using steam and high amounts of pressure, this appliance is able to preserve virtually all the nutrients and tasty juices inside your meals.

Sure, rice cookers are great, but can they do that? Not unless it’s rice.

#3 Safety

If you grew up hearing the same stories I did, there was probably a time when you were terrified of pressure cookers. Oh, how we were lied to!

It turns out, these kitchen appliances are not only not dangerous, but even safer than most regular pots and pans. Why? The sealing mechanism.

Thanks to the airtight seal generated when the pressure cooker operates, it’s nearly impossible for it to expel any of it’s boiling-hot contents. This not only eliminates any danger of accidents, but also keeps your stove top clean.

#4 Efficient Energy Preservation

Is there anything pressure cookers can’t do?

On top of preserving your food’s flavor and keeping you safe from boiling fluids, these appliances are also great at harnessing the energy inside them and using it to expedite the cooking process.

The key to this efficiency is the way the pressure cooker recirculates the hot air and the built-up pressure within it. This translates into less cooking time required, and thus, cheaper gas bills every month.

#5 Versatility

Last, but not least, is the versatility this appliance boasts.

As opposed to rice cookers, pressure cookers can easily handle all sorts of vegetables, meats, legumes and grains. They are universal.

When talking about price-versatility, a pressure cooker will definitely give you the best value for your money.

Pressure Cooker Cons:

#1 You Can’t Check Your Food

One thing pressure cookers will demand of you is commitment. Once you start cooking something, you won’t be able to check how it’s going until it’s done.

This level of uncertainty might be okay when you’re watching your favorite series, but when it comes to cooking, you always want to know what the state of your food is.

Imagine turning your pressure cooker off only to find your stew needed another 20 minutes! At best, you’ll have to restart the process.

This defeats the purpose of using this appliance, right?

#2 It Demands Supervision

As opposed to rice cookers, which you can safely leave unattended, pressure cookers require your constant attention.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t take a quick 5-minute bathroom break, but thinking about getting other chores done around the house is out of the question. When using a pressure cooker, you’re exchanging some independence for quicker cooking times.

You can’t win them all.

#3 Altitude Can Play Against You

Adjust your pressure cooker’s recipes accordingly

That’s right, depending on where you’re using your pressure cooker, your food might need more or less time to cook. For that, you have physics to blame.

The atmospheric pressure where you reside can play a key role in how your pressure cooker works. For example, if you live at sea level, the pressure will be higher, and vice versa if you live high up on a mountain.

Believe it or not, this can affect your pressure cooker and change the way it operates. A problem you will never have with a rice cooker.

How Much Does a Good Pressure Cooker Go For?

You can find them in all shapes and sizes. If you do a quick Google search, you’re going to get results for pressure cookers starting at $80 and going all the way up to $500 and beyond!

If you don’t usually cook large dishes or stews, a $100-$150 pressure cooker will do the job just fine.

Can a Pressure Cooker Cook Rice?

In short, yes, but you’ll have to constantly supervise it, and it will probably take a lot of trial and error before you master the right process.

As wonderful as pressure cookers are, there’s no beating a rice cooker when it comes to cooking rice.

Conclusion

Deciding between a rice cooker and a pressure cooker can be challenging. They both offer incredible features that can make your life easier.

When analyzing the pros and cons each one has to offer, it’s very important that you keep in mind what your lifestyle looks like, and the problems you’re looking to solve on a daily basis.

If you ask me, I would only lean towards a rice cooker if you are a devoted rice lover and eat it more than 3 times a week, as it dramatically reduces your options when it comes to cooking other foods.

That being said, maybe you don’t have to choose. If your budget allows for it, you can try and get them both for different occasions. This way, you can have an appliance that does not demand your attention, and another one that does, but prepares a wide variety of delicious meals. The best of both worlds.

In the end, the best option for you will be that which simplifies your life.

Thank you very much for reading, I hope I helped you in making this decision. If you learned something new today, why stop here? Check out our other wonderful resources below!

Happy cooking.