How to Use a Rice Cooker | Helpful Rice Cooker Instructions & Directions

Using a rice cooker

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Using a rice cooker involves the following steps – adding rice to the inner cooking pot, rinsing the rice to remove any excess starch, placing the inner bowl inside the rice cooker body, closing the lid, selecting the correct setting, and pressing start.

Rice cookers are small kitchen appliances built to automatically cook rice. However, as we will see, rice cookers have several other convenient uses.

If you would like to learn more about how to work a rice cooker, refer to our detailed rice cooker use guide below.

1. Add Rice To The Cook Pot

Begin by determining how many cups of rice you wish to cook. On average, a ½ cup of rice will produce a single serving assuming the rice is being used as a side dish. Once you’ve determined how much rice to cook, measure out the amount using a measuring cup.

2. Rinse Rice

The next step calls for rinsing the rice. To do this, simply run the rice under cold water while agitating the mixture by swirling the cook pot around for 5 – 15 seconds.

There are three main reasons why we rinse rice:

  • Cleaning: From the rice patty to the processing plant, rice goes through many stages before it reaches your kitchen. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you give the rice a good clean before ingesting it.
  • Rehydration: Bagged rice is always slightly dehydrated and giving a quick rinse can help kick-start the rehydration process.
  • Removing Excess Starch: If you’ve ever looked at the bottom of an empty rice bag, you’ve probably seen a bunch of white powder/residue. This stuff is excess starch, which rice grains become coated in it during the processing and packaging phase.

3. Add Water

Now that you’ve rinsed the rice, it’s time to add water. The amount of water required will vary depending on how many cups of rice you’re cooking and the type of rice. For standard medium-grain white rice, add 1.5 cups of water for every cup of rice. For other types of rice, refer below.

  • Long Grain White Rice: 1.75 cups of water per cup of rice
  • Short Grain White Rice: 1.50 cups of water per cup of rice
  • Long Grain Brown Rice: 2.25 cups of water per cup of rice
  • Parboiled Rice: 2 cups of water per cup of rice
  • Basmati/Jasmine Rice: 1.5 cups of water per cup of rice
  • Quinoa: 2 cups of water per cup of rice

4. Select Setting

Some rice cookers let you choose between brown and white rice. If your rice cooker comes with this option, choose the appropriate setting.

If you wish to add any spices, oil, or salt, this would be the stage to do so. If nothing else, you should add a pinch or two of salt. Doing so will stop the rice from taking on too much water and turning soggy or bloated.

5. Close Lid And Press Start

At this point, all that’s left to do is close the lid and press start. Most rice cookers will take roughly 20 minutes to finish cooking, and once down, the appliance will go into a ‘keep warm’ mode.

Leaving the rice cooker on ‘keep warm’ for too long can cause the rice at the bottom of the cooking bowl to become hard and difficult to remove from the bowl. 

What Should I Know Before Using A Rice Cooker

What is a rice cooker? A rice cooker is a small kitchen appliance that’s used to easily and efficiently cook rice. That said, rice cookers can be used for other purposes and are often tasked with baking, steaming, and doubling as a hot pot.

The average rice cooker comes with a capacity of 6 quartz/6.5 liters and measures 13.5” x 12” x 12.5”. Most models come equipped with 1000 watts and 120 volts.

All rice cookers are designed to operate with water. Trying to use a rice cooker without adding rice will not produce good results and may even result in a fire hazard. On average, rice cookers reach around 212 degrees F (100 C).

Some units come as all-in-one multi-cookers that have a rice cooking setting. Although similar, these are two different types of appliances.

What Are The stages Of Using A Rice Cooker

Using a rice cooker can be broken down into the following stages:

  1. Measuring out the desired cups of rice
  2. Rinsing the rice
  3. Place the rice into the inner cooking bowl
  4. Closing the lid and pressing start.

Does The Rice Cooker Type Affect The Usage Stages?

No, the rice cooker type does not affect the usage stages. However, some of the best rice cookers come with brown and white rice settings. In this case, the only added step is selecting the applicable option.

Multi-cookers also come with a rice setting. Luckily, the usage stages for cooking rice with a multi-cooker are the same. The only difference is you have to select the rice setting. 

use a rice cooker

Is Using A Rice Cooker For Rice Better Than Using A Slow Cooker

No, using a rice cooker for rice isn’t better than using a slow cooker. In fact, both appliances produce rice the exact same way and neither is superior to the other.

When it comes to the question of rice cooker vs. slow cooker, the slow cooker wins simply because it’s more versatile and can cook a larger variety of foods. For example, some slow cookers can be used to make yogurt, steam vegetables, slow cooks soups/stews, and bake.

What’s more, not all rice cookers come with fuzzy logic. Almost all slow cookers are equipped with this feature. In case you’re unaware, fuzzy logic uses sensors to finely adjust the temperature during the cooking process. While most higher-end rice cookers come with fuzzy logic, many of the lower end models don’t.

Is Using A Rice Cooker For Rice Better Than Using A Pot

Yes, using a rice cooker for rice is better than using a pot. With a pot or pan, there’s always the chance you may burn or overcook the rice. Moreover, cooking rice by hand requires you to be present for the whole process.

By contrast, rice cookers can be left to their own devices once you’ve filled it when rice, water, and pressed start. Finally, rice cookers have a ‘keep warm’ function – something that’s next to impossible to recreate with a pot or pan.

Is A Basic Rice Cooker Better Than An Induction Rice Cooker For Rice

No, a basic rice cooker is not better than an induction rice cooker for making rice. That said, both options work perfectly fine for cooking rice, and in most cases, the difference will be undetectable.

Still, it’s worth going over the differences between these two types of rice cookers. Regular rice cookers use electricity to produce heat. This heat is produced by a heating element located at the bottom of the cooking bowl.

Induction rice cookers use electric current and a magnetic field to generate heat. The primary advantage of induction cookers is heat becomes more evenly distributed throughout the rice, which can produce a more consistent cook.

How To Use A Rice Cooker For Other Uses Besides Cooking Rice

As mentioned above, rice cookers can be used for several purposes besides cooking rice. To learn more about the different uses of rice cookers, refer to the following sections.

How To Use A Rice Cooker As A Vegetable Steamer

To use a rice cooker as a vegetable steamer, follow these steps:

  1. Fill rice cookers ⅓ of the way full with water
  2. Keep lid off/open and place a steaming rack across the opening
  3. Place vegetables on top of the rack
  4. Turn rice cooker on

Some rice cookers won’t turn on unless the lid is closed. If this is the case with your rice cooker, then it can’t be used as a vegetable steamer.

How To Use A Rice Cooker As An Oatmeal Cooker

To use a rice cooker to make oatmeal, follow these steps:

  1. Place one cup of quick cook oats, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of milk, and a pinch of salt into the rice cooker. Honey and sugar can also be added if you like
  2. Close the lid and press start
  3. Let cook for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved

How To Use A Rice Cooker As A Soup Cooker

To use a rice cooker as a soup maker, follow these steps:

  1. Add 2-4 cups of water to the rice maker
  2. Add all soup ingredients
  3. Close lid and press start

When making soup in a rice maker, you may have to restart the appliance from time to time. Most rice cookers will only go for 20 minutes at a time, which isn’t long enough to cook most soups.

using a rice cooker


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