Everything You Need To Know About Using The Rice Cooker

You may know how to use it but there are some cooking tricks you may not know.

IMAGE Courtesy of Tefal

Any Asian resident will tell you that rice is the most important food in their diet. We love our rice! We eat it for practically every meal of the day, even as a snack or for merienda and there are many ways to cook rice.  

There are also other rice variants other than the usual white fluffy rice. There is brown rice, red rice, black rice, and even comes in varying degrees of stickiness when glutinous or malagkit rice has been cooked. However way you love your rice, there is one appliance that can cook it without fail: the rice cooker. 

The rice cooker is the ultimate cooking tool when it comes to cooking rice. You can definitely cook rice on the stove in a pot but cooking it in a rice cooker is the ultimate no-fail way of cooking rice

If you think you know how to cook rice in it, here's a quick guide on how you can do that perfectly:

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How well do you know your types of rice?
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

1 Choose your rice. 

Whether you love the fluffy white rice or prefer the nuttier brown or red rice, the kind of rice you choose determines your taste and preference. 

2 Measure the rice. 

After choosing your rice, measure it out. Just note that since rice puffs up when cooked in water, the volume of uncooked rice grains you measure will double, even triple in volume. That means, 1 cup of rice will create as much as 3 cups of rice!  

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This is how much water to add to rice when cooking rice without a measuring cup.
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

3 Measure the water. 

The rice measurement determines the amount of water you need to cook the rice. Need help on how to do that exactly? You can turn to the package directions to learn exactly how much rice to water you need but for those who are doing this without any measurement, use your hand. This works even if you aren't using a rice cooker to cook your rice.  

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Photo by Majoy Siason

4 Cook the rice. 

With the rice and water measurements done, you're ready to cook it. Put on the lid, press the button, and let the rice cooker do the rest of the work. All you have to do is wait for the button to pop up.   

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Every grain is fluffy!
Photo by Courtesy of Tefal

5 Let it steam. 

It's at this step where many new cooks using rice cookers go wrong. They lift off the lid as soon as the rice cooker button pops and, see a residue of water, and immediately believe they did something wrong. You didn't. As most experienced rice cooker users know, you need to let any remaining water in the rice continue to steam out. What you will find if you dig in immediately is a very wet rice. If you replace the lid and give it another 5 minutes, you'll find perfectly cooked and fluffy rice. 

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Photo by Karishma Etong

6 You can cook other dishes in the rice cooker.

Did you know that there are other kinds of food you can cook in the rice cooker? Better believe it because it's true! There are attachments to the rice cooker that rarely used! Here are three recipes you can cook in the rice cooker that you probably didn't know you could: 

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You need to try this Cuban pasta.
Photo by Miguel Nacianceno
  1. 1. One-Pot Pasta Recipes 

    1. What you can do in the rice cooker is exactly the same if you were cooking a one-pot pasta recipe. You can basically dump all the ingredients into the rice cooker, turn it on, and then leave it to cook, sometimes two or three more times, before it's ready to eat, like this easy Pasta Cubano recipe
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Photo by Aldwin Aspillera
  1. 2. One-Pot Chicken and Rice Recipes 

    1. Also known as Hainanese Chicken Rice, this version of the recipe using the rice cooker proves that while you can cook rice in your rice cooker, you can definitely get creative when it comes to adding flavor to it. Add an entire chicken in there for the best flavor! 
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The rice cooker can be the most useful cooking appliance in your kitchen! You just need to know to use it to cook the most perfect steamed rice or a dish or an entire meal that is actually easier to cook than if you did it on the stove. Make your next meal in this common kitchen appliance, and you could be more encouraged to do more than just cook rice in it. 

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