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4 Smart Rice Cooker Uses

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It’s been said many times before, but a rice cooker is one of life’s greatest inventions, indeed. We all know it makes the process of cooking all types of grains easier, but thanks to advancement in technology, it’s become more than possible to cook food other than rice in your standard digital rice cooker. 

Nowadays, there’s no shortage of recipes and things you can make in a rice cooker. The recipes available range from desserts like chocolate cake, to a hearty breakfast like pancakes, all the way to dinner.

So don’t underestimate that appliance in your kitchen countertop, no matter how utilitarian or primitive it may appear. This humble device has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. Find out all the best uses of a rice cooker in this guide!

Is it Worth Getting a Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is among the list of household products you’d be remiss not to purchase. Although some people prefer to cook rice in a large pan over a stove, the simple functionality of a rice cooker is so irresistible that you’re practically doing yourself a disservice by not getting one. Apart from the world of recipes you can recreate in a single bowl, this device, especially if a good one, can make any daunting kitchen task an easy thing to accomplish.

Plus, where else can you find a machine that can make cake recipes, whole grain quinoa, broth recipes, and even steam vegetables? You can try out recipes for a full course, recipes for side dishes, and even recipes for dessert.

What Are Rice Cookers Used For? - Smart Ways to Use Your Rice Cooker

We all know that a rice cooker is primarily used to cook rice of different varieties. Before better technology arrived, the way to cook rice was traditionally through stovetop cooking which required the manual adjustment of heat throughout the cycle. Now, almost everything about the rice cooking process is fully automated. The warming setting is triggered automatically once the rice is cooked: all you have to do is pop in the grains and water, then wait.

But if you’re using your rice cooker just to cook rice, then you’re missing out on a wonderful kitchen experience. Some smart ways you can use a rice cooker are:

1. Meal Prepping

Have you ever found your advanced 20-cup cooker to be a little over-qualified for the day-to-day rice recipes you’re creating? Why not try cooking food for the entire week? Meal prepping is part of the appeal of a large-capacity cooker, and it’s one of the things that most smaller households use it for.

2. Steaming Vegetables in the Steamer Basket

Steamed veggies can be a great side dish to spice up your everyday dishes. Paired with a chicken broth rice or a mongolian bowl, and you’ve just turned your home into a 5-star resto!

3. Poaching Fruit

Did you know a fruit-based drink is something you can make in a rice cooker? A recipe for poached pomegranate pears calls for the use of these appliances to poach the fruit, allowing for a unique twist. The pears are cooked for an hour and are then required to rest for another hour in the poaching liquid. While a little long to prepare, it’s definitely a sophisticated concoction we should all try once in a while!

4. Baking

Can Rice Cooker Be Used for Baking?

You might have seen the cake/bread option in advanced models. Among the many wonders of today’s technology is the ability to bake in a rice cooker: whether it’s some of your favorite banana bread recipes or pancakes, you can easily create a dessert without need for an oven at all. 

What Can I Make in a Rice Cooker? - Rice Cooker Recipes

Rice cookers have been a blessing for nights when we refuse to engage in any sort of kitchen activity that would result in unnecessary clutter. And since most cooking eventually ends up in clutter, single-pot recipes are practically heaven-sent. Apart from the usual eggs and quinoa we can create in this machine, you can actually create full meals in just a single rice cooker.

To prove just how versatile we can get with a single rice cooker, we’ve created a day’s worth of meals, both rice-based and without rice, that you can try out. Here are some no-fuss recipes to recreate!

Breakfast: Rice Cooker Oatmeal Recipe

For many of us, it’s no secret that rice cookers can be used to create a variety of breakfast recipes. Oatmeal is an example of a quick and simple yet fiber-rich recipe. What’s more, it can be personalized by switching up the type of oats, fruits, nuts, and toppings added.

But even though using a rice cooker to create oatmeal doesn’t necessarily make the process quicker, it does remove much of the monitoring involved with traditionally cooking oat-based food. Plus, the prep time doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes at all, and uses ingredients mostly found in our pantries.

For a foolproof recipe, we recommend adding cinnamon, brown sugar, and water or milk with steel-cut oats. It doesn’t really matter if your rice cooker has no programmed digital function specifically for oatmeal; this is among those recipes that works just as well for single-touch devices. For a sweeter flavor, you can add maple syrup, chopped apples, or dried fruits and nuts.

Lunch: Cheese and Vegetable Frittata Recipe

A cheese and vegetable frittata is among the best ways to use something as versatile as these rice cooker products. It’s also much less laborious than traditional baked vegetables frittata recipes, albeit creating a less browned and crusty product. However, anyone is bound to enjoy this fluffy take on one of the most beloved and hearty recipes.

This easy recipe has the following ingredients:

VEGETABLES:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 peeled and julienned potato
  • 1 zucchini
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

EGG MIXTURE:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

The kitchen tools needed for this recipe are a rice cooker, stove, spatula, and fork. To create this recipe, simply chop up the vegetables as finely as you can and set aside. Line your rice cooker bowl with olive oil. 

Add the egg mixture into the bowl, including the two tablespoons of cheese, salt, pepper, and olive oil, then carefully beat the egg while making sure not to scratch the surface of the pan. Mix in the vegetables. Put the bowl in the cooker and switch it on. Wait until the cooker stops automatically, and you’re done!

Dinner: Coconut Milk & Cilantro Rice with Chicken Recipe

We’ve shown you the full recipe for Coconut Milk and Cilantro Rice with Chicken, but as a quick summary, you can create a unique single-bowl meal in your cooker with coconut and a few spices. In fact, there are plenty of crock-pot-style dishes you can try out, from jambalaya to mediterranean shrimp. What makes each dish special is their adaptability: you can add some ground chicken with beef, red pepper, vegetables — anything your heart desires.

Want to look at other rice-based recipes? We have got you covered. Check out our site for all the recipes we’ve shared: we have anything from restaurant-quality recipes to no-fuss, lazy-day recipes.

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Hui Yin

Hui Yin moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to the USA 🇺🇸 when she was just 8 years old. Now in her late 20's she enjoys writing and taking long walks in the park to burn off the copious amounts of rice she eats for dinner.

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