A rice cooker is a wonderful kitchen appliance that can take care of every food item you need to cook fast. This appliance uses steam to cook its contents. It is a beautiful looking appliance that can bring charm and convenience to any kitchen. A rice cooker has a heat source, a cooking bowl in which the food item is placed, and a thermostat that controls the temperature inside.
To cook rice in a rice cooker, you have to simply pour water into the pot, place the bowl, and switch on the heat. This machine produces perfectly cooked, fluffy rice, every time. It has a long history. The British Museum is home to one of the oldest rice cookers known to man. It dates back to 1250 BC.
Traditionally rice cookers used to fire or a stovetop for heat but now you will find designs that use electricity as their heat source. As already mentioned, some modern rice cookers also have thermostats, sensors, and other components. Electric rice cookers come from Japan. Today, they are made across the globe by some of the most popular electronic brands.
Can You Cook Raw Meat in A Rice Cooker?
Yes, you can cook raw meat in a rice cooker. This device is a steamer that can cook anything placed inside it using very high temperatures created by boiling water converted to steam. Originally, rice cookers were used only for cooking rice but over time, they have become multipurpose kitchen devices that can cook several food items, including meat.
Several brands make rice cookers with multiple pots that are ideal for different food items. The multiple plots give you the freedom you need to cook everything right from rice to meat. A rice cooker can cook any type of meat. If it is a bigger model, it can easily accommodate an entire chicken with its fillings.
How to Cook Raw Meat in a Rice Cooker?
There are several ways of cooking meat in the rice cooker. You can cook it with rice by placing it on top of the rice before you close the lid. Or you can cook it alone with its seasonings. To cook meat, the first step is to clean it. Next, you can marinate it if you want. Once your meat is ready to go in, place it on the steaming rack and let it cook.
You can also place the meat in the bowl that comes with rice cookers and steam it to perfection. Your meat can go into the rice cookers in your preferred size. You can chop it into small cubes if your recipe demands so or you can place an entire block and let it cook. Do remember that small, individual pieces cook faster than a block. Also, the size of your meat block depends on the capacity of your rice cooker.
As already, mentioned, you can cook your meat with other things such as rice, vegetables, and other food items based on your recipe and requirement.
5 Ways of Using a Rice Cooker to Multitask in the Kitchen
As has been already discussed, a rice cooker is capable of doing a lot more than just cooking rice. It can handle meats and can also poach fruits. Here are five different ways you can use your rice cooker.
- Prepare Breakfast
Your rice cooker can help you make a delicious hot breakfast every morning. You can prepare your oatmeal or your hot cereals. Just add some milk to your cereal, in the case of oatmeal, add water, top up with nuts, fruits, or herbs, and let the cooker do its job. The only thing you have to be careful about is to add less water/milk than stovetop cooking because the rice cooker steams the food inside it and it may ruin your breakfast just like that if you mess up the measurements.
- Poach your Fruits
A rice cooker is a perfect appliance to make healthy desserts. It lets you poach your fruits in a juice, wine, or applesauce. Once the process is done, you have to simply take out the fruit pieces and add them to your dessert. The liquid leftover in the rice cooker is also delicious and can be put to good use. You can also use a rice cooker to prepare delicious fruit sauces.
- Steam Vegetables
A rice cooker can steam vegetables to perfection. And not just vegetables it can steam tofu, shrimp, fish fillets, chicken breasts, and more with ease. You just need the steamer rack that comes as an attachment with modern rice cookers.
- Prepare Risotto and Porridge
You can use the different settings on your rice cooker to prepare delicious food such as porridge and risotto. Even if you have a simple rice cooker, you can play with its power to prepare delightful delicacies.
- Cook Soups and Stews
A rice cooker is a perfect appliance to prepare long-simmered dishes such as soups. You can try delicious options such as vegetable soups with herbs, chicken soup, and split-pea soup with beef browned on the stove.
A rice cooker is quick and easy to cook rice and meat. It fastens the process and reduces cook time to almost half as compared to other methods. You can cook all types of meat in your rice cooker. The only consideration is the size of the pieces. Your meat has to fit in the bowl that comes with the rice cooker. Choose your rice cooker according to its capacity, electricity/energy consumption, and your budget. There are several options in every price and capacity segment.
Is It Healthy To Cook In A Rice Cooker?
Yes, it is healthy to cook rice in a rice cooker. The pressure-cooking system raises the temperature to 100oC inside the cooker which is enough to reduce the concentration of aflatoxins to safe levels. So, a rice cooker makes your rice delicious, digestible, and safe. It does the same with other food items and helps you hasten the process.
How Long Does It Take To Cook One Cup Of Rice In A Rice Cooker?
The amount of time your cooker takes to cook a cup of rice depends on the cooker. However, the average time taken to cook a cup of rice is between 13 minutes for short-grain rice, 25 minutes for parboiled rice, and 40 minutes for whole grain rice. It takes almost 50 minutes to cook brown rice.
What Are The Different Types Of Rice Cookers?
Rice cookers commonly come in two types: stovetop pressure cookers and electric rice cookers. Both of them are available in different sizes. This decides how much rice you can cook in your rice cooker.
How Do I Choose A Rice Cooker?
The size of your rice cooker depends on the amount of rice/meat you need to cook regularly and your budget. If you cook for 1-2 people regularly, you can invest in a 3-cup rice cooker. In case you have a bigger family, a 5 cup rice cooker will be more suitable for you. There is also an option of a 10 cup rice cooker in case you need to cook a large amount of food.