A rice cooker is a kitchen appliance that helps make rice cooking an easy and simple task. It has different parts namely the heat source, cooking bowl, and the thermostat. It is the thermostat that controls the heat and measures the temperature of the cooking bowl. There are various types and brands of rice cooker. The complex ones consist of several sensors and are multipurpose.
Using a rice cooker is a no-brainer. This kitchen equipment is very simple to use that you don’t need instructions. A rice cooker helps cook rice correctly, which improves its taste significantly. It avoids burnt rice. With the use of rice cooker, even a child can cook perfectly cooked rice.
How to use a rice cooker?
Modern rice cooker has a non-stick pan. Hence, you don’t need a bowl to prepare the rice. When it comes to rice preparation, you have to follow these steps:
Step 1 Measure the cup of rice you put in a rice cooker. Rice cookers come with their own cup and a recommended maximum amount of cup of rice per cooking. American model rice cookers have bigger cups than that of the Japanese brand rice cooker.
Step 2 If you want to remove the excess starch agent off the rice, then you have to rinse the rice. Doing so will also help get rid of impurities. The rice will also taste better. To rinse the rice, just pour tap water into the bowl and stir the rice using your hands. Do this at least three times or until the water becomes less cloudy.
Step 3 The most important part of cooking rice is determining the water to rice ratio. Some rice cookers instruct you to put two cups of water for every cup of rice. Some recommend one cup of water to every cup of rice. To be sure, always read the user’s manual. Ideally, the more water you put in the rice the moister the rice can get. If you don’t like too moist rice, then you have to put less water.
Step 4 Once you come up with the right rice to water ratio, your rice is all set. Prepare the cooking bowl, close the lid, and plug the switch, and press the cook button. Normally, it will take around 15 minutes to 20 minutes for the rice to be completely cooked. Once the rice is cooked, the switch pops back up. Wait about a minute or two before opening the lid to start enjoying deliciously cooked rice.
What to keep in mind when cooking rice using a rice cooker?
+ The more water you put in the rice, the more time it requires to cook the rice. Rice cooker works by boiling the rice and at the same time monitoring its temperature.
+ The quality of rice has something to do with the cooking outcome. If the rice you are using is dry, then you need to add more water.
+ If you are cooking basmati or jasmine rice, there is no need for rinsing. Jasmine rice is fragrant rice and rinsing it could wash down the subtle flavor of the rice. The same thing for the basmati rice.
+ After cooking the rice, do no open the lid of the rice cooker. Let the rice rest for a few minutes after cooking. This is to give ample time for the cooking process and allow the rice to cook through.
+ If you want to keep the rice warm and moist, then you have to keep the rice cooker plugged in. It will keep the rice fresh and tasty too.
+ Avoid using metal utensils when serving the rice. Rice cookers usually have a non-stick surface and it can be scratched easily if you are going to use metal utensils such as spoons and forks. A rice cooker does come with a plastic ladle, and you have to use it every time you serve rice.
+ When it comes to cleaning the rice cooker, you can just leave the cooker on and open the lit a bit. If the rice sticks in the bowl of the rice cooker, the best way to remove it is to put the bowl back in the rice cooker, plug the cooker, and set in the warming mode with lid of the cooker open for a few minutes. What happens is the heat and air dry out the rice residue making it easy for you to get rid of the remaining rice. After a few minutes, you can remove the rice residue using your bare hands.
+ Make it a habit to clean your rice cooker periodically. After every use, the removable bowl is cleaned either by hands or by dishwasher. The removable bowl of rice cooker is dishwasher safe. However, it is a must to clean the rest of the rice cooker periodically. If not, then it could be a perfect breeding ground for mold spores and other contaminants. Most rice cookers have removable lid, which you need to keep clean at all times. If the lid is attached to the cooker itself, then you need to wipe the surface every time you cook your food.
+ Before cleaning the rice cooker, make sure that you unplug it from the electrical source.
+ Place the rice cooker in a flat and stable surface.
+ When the rice is freshly cooked, and you are about to serve the rice, make sure that you keep your hands and face away from the cooker when you open the lid. This is to get rid of steam burns.
+ Always check the power cord of the rice cooker. If you notice any breaks, then do not use it. Have the broken cable replaced by a professional technician.
A rice cooker is one of the important kitchen equipment, especially in the modern household where everybody has a busy lifestyle. Through the use of the rice cooker, one can perfectly cook rice without consuming a lot of time. If you want to maximize the benefits of rice cooker, then you need to know the proper way to use it and what you should do to keep it in top. We hope that this article helps you with that.