Modern technologies are fantastic. We don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen unable to leave, afraid of spoiling dinner or lunch for the family. Our automated kitchen assistants help us make food preparation easy. But keeping single-purpose appliances like a rice cooker clutters the kitchen. So, the question is: can we use it for something else? Let’s find out.
A rice cooker is an outstanding appliance. In Asian countries, where rice is the basic food product, like bread for the Europeans, having a rice cooker is essential. But for people who cook rice once or twice a week, it means the improper use of the kitchen space. A rice cooker occupies a substantial amount of space, and not everyone has an enormous kitchen.
So, a logical question arises: Can you use a rice cooker to cook other things? We want to be practical and make the best use of our resources.
So, we are going to share our findings with you. We’ll tell you what potential we discovered for a rice cooker outside of cooking rice. You’ll be surprised. We were.
What do we know about a rice cooker?
As the name hints, a rice cooker is an appliance used to cook rice. But what’s so special about it? It’s the technological process. It’s ideal for preparing perfect rice.
First, it brings the water with rice to a boil, then the heat is reduced, and the rice continues to steam until ready. And this is the best way to cook rice. After the rice is ready, the rice cooker will keep it warm. It has this special feature.
Actually, the first rice cookers were made thousands of years ago, but of course, they have changed a bit since then and have become automated.
But as we mentioned at the beginning of the article, not everyone cooks rice every day. We want to eat ideally prepared rice, but we don’t want to clutter our kitchen with multiple single-purpose appliances. Can we use it to cook other dishes as well?
Yes, we can.
Let’s look at another kitchen appliance, which has lately become very popular — a slow cooker.
A slow cooker
Slow cookers came into our lives much later than rice cookers. In the 20th century. The basic principle here is to cook food using relatively low temperatures compared to traditional methods of cooking like frying or boiling.
You probably heard the name Crock Pot used instead of s slow cooker. Don’t get confused. That’s the same appliance. A Crock Pot is the name of the brand.
Timing is the key here. The cooking process lasts for hours, resulting in exceptionally soft and succulent ingredients. For certain dishes, it works wonderfully.
Slow cookers became very popular when more and more women started working and couldn’t spend half of the day in the kitchen. You can load the food into the slow cooker in the morning and leave for work. In the evening, coming home, you find a delicious meal waiting for you and your family. Very convenient.
As you see, we have two great kitchen assistants. And the best thing here is that we can get the perks of both, having just one of them in our kitchen.
Can a rice cooker or a slow cooker multitask?
We can use a rice cooker as a slow cooker.
There’s a nuance here. The newer models of rice cookers have a slow cook feature, so it’s a no-brainer. But some of the basic models don’t. Here you’ll need to do a little trick that we’ll teach you and achieve the same results.
A rice cooker as a multi-purpose appliance
Slow cookers make fantastic stews. Let’s see how we can do the same in our rice cooker.
First, we’ll brown the onion, garlic, a splash of soy sauce, other spices, meat, and vegetables.
We can do it in a rice cooker if we use the “cook” function.
Then we add enough liquid and close the lid. After the water starts boiling, we switch to the “keep warm” mode and leave the rice cooker for about an hour. That’s when the slow cooking process starts.
After an hour, we switch the rice cooker to “cook” again and repeat the same steps.
And do it until the stew is ready, and you get the desired taste. It can take a couple of tries to find the perfect cooking time, but it won’t be difficult at all.
You won’t be able to leave the rice cooker for hours, but you can enjoy a slow-cooked meal.
Now you know how it works and can start experimenting with your rice cooker.
And you have a lot of possibilities here.
What can we cook with a rice cooker?
You have a wide choice of main or side dishes to make in your rice cooker. Of course, you can use slow cooker recipes.
Of course, various rice dishes like chicken curry, pilaf, Thai-style rice (many different kinds), Jambalaya, and Pongal with white, red, or brown rice.
Other dishes as well: soups, steamed vegetables, steamed potatoes, or fish.
You can even cook oatmeal or other breakfast dishes: frittata or scrambled eggs.
Even desserts like lemon cake, for example.
Innovations in the world of rice cookers
As we all know, demand and offer go hand in hand. The result — is a new generation of rice cookers with additional features. They use fuzzy logic or micro-chip technology and induction heat and provide more possibilities than just cooking rice.
We’d like to show you one of such advanced models, the Aroma rice cooker. It’s not only a rice cooker but also a steamer with a slow-cooking option.
Aroma rice cooker
Nowadays, food steamers are an essential part of our kitchenware. We want to eat a healthy and balanced diet. So, the appliance combining the functions of a rice cooker with the steaming feature is a significant advantage.
An interesting fact is that the Aroma rice cooker can make the food-making faster if you are in a hurry or slower when you want to make use of a slow cook method. Isn’t it great?
Let’s look at some of its features.
The Aroma rice cooker is user-friendly. Four preset functions and an automatic “keep warm” feature make cooking food easy and enjoyable.
It has a built-in steam function which allows the second dish, like meat or chicken, to be cooked with the rice.
It has a delay timer which can be set for up to 15 hours, and you’ll be served a dish, warm and fresh.
This rice cooker is actually a multifunctional device combining the features of a steamer, a slow cooker, and obviously a rice cooker. Exactly what is needed for our hectic and busy life.
It can cook up to 4 cups of rice (uncooked) or other foods.
Sensor logic technology used in the Aroma rice cooker is basically a microcomputer that optimizes the cooking temperature.
If you are in a hurry, you can use a program that cuts rice cooking time by 50% and does not leave the family hungry.
With the Aroma rice cooker comes: a steam tray, a Bonded Granite inner pot with a non-stick coating, a rice measuring cup, and a serving spatula.
All the accessories and the pot are easily cleaned after use.
Size and weight
The Aroma rice cooker has the following dimensions: 8.6″ D x 9.3″ W x 8.5″ H
Aroma rice cooker weighs only 4.2 lb, which makes it easily moved.
The cost of this rice cooker is reasonable and affordable. It starts from around USD25 for the basic model and can vary depending on the configuration.
Rice cookers and slow cookers are both great appliances, helping us save time in the kitchen and make delicious and healthy food. You can have both, or you can have one and let it multitask.
A rice cooker used as a slow cooker is a great idea. The variety of dishes that you can cook grows exponentially. If you have a basic model of a rice cooker, you’ll need to make a little effort, but with some practice, you’ll be able to use your rice cooker to the maximum of its capacity.
If you have a newer model with a slow cook option, you won’t even have to make any effort. The rice cooker will do the job.
Whichever model you choose, be creative and enjoy your perfect slow-cooked meal.
Frequently asked questions
Is a rice cooker the same as a slow cooker?
A rice cooker is basically a food steamer. The main principle of its work is to bring the water to a boil and then let the rice steam on low heat. A slow cooker has a different work mode. It retains a stable, relatively low temperature to slow cook the food. A slow cooker uses a lower heat setting than traditional methods like frying or boiling.
So, the main difference is in the time of cooking and the temperature. The heat in the rice cooker is much higher and the preparation — is much faster.
In our article above, we shared how you can use a rice cooker as a slow cooker. Read it and find out.
Can a rice cooker act as a slow cooker?
You can use a rice cooker as a slow cooker. If you have a newer model of a rice cooker, they usually have a slow cook function. Otherwise, do the following:
- Use the “cook” mode until the water is boiling
- Switch to the “keep warm” setting
- Leave it to cook for an hour
- Switch to the “cook” mode again until the dish is boiling
- Switch to the “keep warm” setting
- Repeat as many times as needed for the dish to be ready.
Can you slow-cook beef in a rice cooker?
Yes, you can cook meat in a rice cooker. For example, you can slow-cook wonderful beef stew.
After you bring the ingredients to boil, switch the rice cooker to the “keep warm” setting and leave it for an hour (that’s when the slow cooking begins).
Then come back, switch the rice cooker to the “cook” mode, bring the dish to boil, and switch to the “keep warm” mode again.
Then repeat the steps until the beef is ready.
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