An electric rice cooker may not seem like it, but it’s a must-have appliance for anyone who enjoys a hefty bowl of high-quality rice. A rice cooker cuts the cooking time dramatically, makes sure your rice comes out perfectly, and even functions as its own serving dish.
However, using a rice cooker can be a little complicated if you haven’t used electrical kitchen appliances before. That’s okay, though. We’re going to give you a complete rundown of the basic steps used to operate just about any standard rice cooker.
Let’s get started.
An electric rice cooker is extremely safe to use, but there are a few precautions you need to take to prevent accidents from occurring.
Don’t plug your rice cooker in right next to the sink, and don’t keep containers of liquid near it. Even with waterproofing features, it’s best not to risk knocking your rice cooker into the sink or dumping a pitcher of water onto it. This is especially true if your rice cooker doesn’t have waterproof features because getting its internal parts wet can ruin it, and if it’s plugged in, it can start an electrical fire.
Instead, give the rice cooker plenty of space on the counter, and don’t place it too close to the edge to prevent accidentally knocking it to the floor.
Use Detachable Cords:
Detachable cords aren’t 100% necessary, but they’re nice to have. A good detachable cord will allow your rice cooker to easily disconnect from the wall if you slide it off the counter or into the sink. Also, remember to always disconnect the detachable cord before transferring the rice cooker. This will make it much easier to carry, and it’ll keep the cord from getting caught on something and causing an accident.
Monitor the Rice Cooker:
Even if your rice cooker has a warming function and automatic shutoff, you need to check on it from time to time if you have it plugged in. These safety features are reliable, but all electronics can fail. With rice cookers, if the automatic shutoff or another safety feature fails, and you’re not monitoring it, you can start a house fire.
Preparing the Rice Cooker:
Before you use your rice cooker for the first time, it’s important to wash it thoroughly. The instructions for doing this without ruining your rice cooker will differ depending on which one you buy. So, follow the cleaning instructions provided in your user manual.
You have to wash the unit, or at least its basin, to remove any leftover oil protectants or contaminants left in the rice cooker from manufacturing and shipping. You don’t want rice with a side of oil or an assembly line worker’s handprints.
Measure Your Rice:
The size of your rice cooker will limit you during this step. So, keep that in mind and don’t measure more than your rice cooker can handle.
You can use any type of rice you choose in a rice cooker. It can be brown rice, white rice, long-grain, Jasmine, or anything else you like. Your rice cooker is designed to cook it to perfection almost automatically.
To determine how much raw rice you need to create your desired cooked amount, read the measurements listed on your rice packaging.
Rice is a natural product, and while rice companies typically clean the rice thoroughly and sift out contaminants, you still need to wash your rice.
To do this, simply place it in a bowl, run some water over it, and then strain the bowl. Keep an eye out for any pebbles or other foreign objects that might have been left behind during the harvesting process.
Once your rice is washed, you can add it to your rice cooker’s basin and move on to the next step.
You need water to cook rice. How much you’ll need is determined by the amount of rice you’re cooking. So, make sure to read the rice’s packaging to figure out how much water you’ll need to add to properly cook the rice.
Once you know how much you need to add, measure the exact amount with a measuring cup and pour it into the rice cooker’s basin. It should come up over the rice by about the same depth as one fingertip if you measured it correctly.
Replace the Lid:
This lid has to be on to cook your rice correctly. It traps in steam and heat. Some rice cookers won’t even turn on if you don’t place the lid properly.
Turn On the Rice Cooker:
Now that everything is in the rice cooker and the lid is on, you just have to toggle a switch. Your rice cooker will say boil or cook in the proper setting. Both do the same thing. Turn the switch to boil or cook, and the rest is a waiting game.
Listen for the Timer:
Most rice cookers have built-in timers that will ding or turn a light on whenever your rice is fully cooked. A lot of them automatically shut off and switch to warming mode. Just keep an eye on the unit and check it from time to time to see if the cooking process has finished. Once it has, you’re ready to eat some of the best rice you’ve ever tasted.
Your rice is cooked, and it is time to enjoy it. If you have a detachable cord, we recommend detaching it and carrying the rice cooker to your dinner table or another eating area. It serves as a big bowl for everyone to get the rice out of at will, and it’s just a lot easier than trying to scoop everything out into a separate dish or make several trips back to the kitchen.
You can make any type of rice in a rice cooker, and you can even add small additions such as vegetables, seasonings, and small, fast-cooking meats. Get creative with it.
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