Rice Cooker vs Pressure Cooker: What are the Differences?

Rice is a staple food item in almost every Indian household. Even globally, most people rely on rice to get their daily intake of carbohydrates. Now, even though we all eat rice, we have very different ways of cooking it. Some of us use traditional methods and some of us rely on technology to cook our rice. But, there is no denying the fact that rice cookers and pressure cookers are the most popular kitchen items for cooking rice.

Rice cookers and pressure cookers are the most common items in almost every kitchen. They are useful, versatile, and make your work in the kitchen easier. But, have you ever wondered what the differences between rice cooker and pressure cooker? Well, both of them are essentially cookers and even look alike. But, they serve very different purposes. They have the same objective but different functionalities.

In this article, we have outlined the major differences between these two household items so that you can decide which one suits you better.

Differences in Functionality

These two popular kitchen items might look the same but don’t let looks fool you. They are extremely different from each other in terms of functionality. Sure, they both use steam to cook food but, the similarities end here. Their inner build and way of cooking food are extremely different from one another.

Rice cooker: Rice cookers usually come with an outer pot, inner pot, lid, steaming basket, and some other additional accessories. The rice is cooked in the inner pot and the outer pot acts as a protective layer. It has an external heating source like a heating coil or pad.

Prestige PRWO Delight Electric Rice Cooker

When the rice is placed in the cooker and the power is turned on, the electricity activates the heating source. The heating source then heats up the liquid present in the rice and vaporizes it. In this process, the liquid becomes hot and is easily absorbed by the rice. Rice after absorbing this liquid softens up and can be eaten easily.

Pressure cooker: Pressure cookers on the other hand come with a main body and a lid. This lid can be locked or sealed and it has a rubber lining around it that prevents steam from escaping. When food is added to cooker and the lid is sealed, the cooker starts creating pressure inside the chamber. Since this pressure has no room to escape, it stays inside the cooker and softens the food, and eventually cooks it.

Some advanced models come with a pressure sensor as well to help you check the pressure in the cooker at any given time. This is one of the most effective and fast ways of cooking food as it uses both heat and pressure to cook food perfectly.


When it comes to the matter of versatility, the rice cooker stands nowhere in comparison to the pressure cooker. As the name suggests, rice cookers can cook rice and only rice. Unless you buy a multi-utility cooker, there are probably no other dishes that you can prepare in a rice-cooker alone.

Pressure cookers on the other hand are very different. They are extremely versatile. They can be used to cook anything from rice, pulses, meat, vegetables, stews, soups, and a whole host of other dishes. They are extremely useful in the kitchen and soften hard food items in no time. So, if you are looking for an appliance that can do all in one, then pressure cookers can be your best friend.

Size and capacity:

Size is a huge factor to consider especially if you have a smaller kitchen. But thankfully, both of these items come in sizes and capacities that are suitable for all. Rice cookers can have a capacity as small as 0.5 litres and go as high as 10 litres. They are meant to suit all requirements. Pressure cookers usually range from 1-5 litres. Now depending on your needs and family requirements, you can choose a model that works for you.

Power consumption:

Now when it comes to power consumption, the rice cooker consumes around 1800 watts of power if you use it for 2 hours in a day. Electric pressure cookers on the other hand use around 850 – 1200 watts of energy depending on your brand. But pressure cookers are versatile and they also come in stovetop models. If you choose a stovetop pressure cooker, you don’t need to worry about power consumption at all.

Cost efficiency:

Pressure cookers are probably the more cost-efficient option of the two appliances. They range from Rs.2000 to Rs. 8000 depending on capacity and brand. But the best part is that the cost is a one-time investment as the cooker will last you for ages without any troubles. Plus, you don’t need to buy any additional accessories.

Rice cookers also range from Rs.2000 to Rs.8000 for the regular model. But considering the fact that the regular models can cook only rice and nothing else, this cost seems a little on the higher side. If you want multi-utility rice cookers that can cook other dishes then, you must be prepared to shell out a lot more cash.

Rice cooker or Pressure cooker: Which one should you choose?

Well, from the above factors it is clear to us that pressure cooker has an ultimate edge over rice cookers for its functionality and versatility. And, if you are looking for a kitchen item that serves all your cooking needs then you should opt for pressure cookers.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something that cooks rice in particular then you can go for rice cookers. Rice cookers and specifically meant for the purpose of cooking rice and they do it very well.

If your budget and storage space allows it, it is better to have both these items in your kitchen. Most Indian households use both of these appliances. This gives you more options and flexibility. Having both these items at your disposal will help you multitask better. You can cook rice in one and probably dal in the other.

So, here are a few major differences between rice cooker and pressure cooker. We hope that this article will help you make the right choice will purchasing these items.

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