If you recently bought your rice cooker, you might be wondering how to use it to get the most delicious rice. The rice-to-water ratio dynamics can be overwhelming, and you may even end up giving up on using your rice cooker.
If you’re reached that point, then you shouldn’t worry. This article offers an all-inclusive guide on how to cook rice in a rice cooker.
By the end of it, you will be mesmerized by how easy it is to use your rice cooker. Read on to get all the tips that you need to cook your rice like a pro.
Why Use a Rice Cooker to Cook Rice
A rice cooker is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances you can ever have. It allows you to cook any rice, including Basmati, Jasmine, and brown rice.
When you learn the tricks of using the appliance, you will forget the pain of having overcooked or undercooked rice at your disposal. The absolute level of cooking that rice cookers offer will amaze you. Below are some of the benefits of using a rice cooker for cooking your rice:
Once you learn how to measure water when cooking your rice, you will always get consistent results. This way, you’ll eliminate the chances of having undercooked or overcooked rice.
Additionally, you will keep your grains separate, thus enjoy a more delicious rice meal.
Ease of Measuring Water
Rice cookers come with a measuring cup and lines that indicate the maximum level of water to use when cooking different types of rice.
This way, you will always be sure that the amount of water you add to the cooker is enough to cook the rice to completion.
Using rice cookers to cook your rice simplify your cooking process. You will no longer be required to set the cooking time manually. Instead, you will use the LCD control panel to set the time and the temperature without a hassle.
It doesn’t matter whether you are cooking white, brown, basmati, oatmeal, polenta, or any other type of cereals; this appliance will come in handy.
Rice cookers are versatile. Some models come with settings that allow you to steam vegetables, cook fish, and prepare soups & stews.
Additionally, they come in different sizes, thus enabling you to select the one that will serve your needs best.
Keep Warm Feature
Rice cookers have a keep-warm option that allows you to keep your rice warm even after cooking. You can keep the rice warm for up to 12 hours, depending on the model.
How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker
Rice cookers have a straightforward working rationale. You’ll be required to add rice and water into the cooking pot and program it according to your needs.
Once you set the right time and temperature, you will plug it in and press the start button. The entire cooking process is automated. Once it starts cooking, it will cook to the end and alert you using a Wi-Fi system, Bluetooth, or an Alarm system that your rice is ready.
Even better, it will automatically switch off when the rice is ready ( based on time settings). This way, you eliminate the chance of burning, which gives you the freedom to continue with other chores as the cooking continues.
To prevent splattering, we recommend that you rinse the rice effectively before cooking it. You should also ensure that you follow the capacity guidelines (do not exceed the MAX water level).
Alternatively, you can add a little fat, oil, or butter into the cooking pot. The addition will work great to mitigate the splattering problem.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker
Measure the Rice
Measuring the rice is the most crucial step of using your rice cooker. It would be best if you used the rice cooker’s measuring cup to measure the exact amount of rice you want to cook.
Additionally, you should leave enough space for rice expansion. Different rice types expand differently, with brown rice expanding the most (up to 4 times the original volume).
Rinse Your Rice (Optional)
If you love rinsing your rice, then this is the best time to do so. Many cooks prefer rinsing the rice to remove herbicides, pesticides, or any other contaminant that may be present.
If your rice grains are broken, rinsing is necessary to remove excess starch that may lead to the rice clumping as it cooks.
To rinse your rice effectively, you should use a clear bowl/ colander to ensure that you rinse until the water is no longer milky.
Measure the Water
This is the most critical stage of rice cooking. The amount of water you use will determine whether you’ll get undercooked or overcooked rice. As such, you must get the rice to water ratio right.
The water you add depends on the type of rice you’re cooking. Here is an estimation of water requirements based on rice types:
|Type of Rice||Water Requirements (One Cup equals 240 ml)|
|White, long grain||1 3/4 cups Per 1 Cup of Rice|
|White, medium grain||1 1/2 cups Per 1 Cup of Rice|
|White, short grain||1 1/4 cups Per 1 Cup of Rice|
|Brown, long grain||2 1/4 cups Per 1 Cup of Rice|
|Parboiled rice||2 cups Per 1 Cup of Rice|
|Basmati or Jasmine||No more than 1 1/2 cups|
Cooking brown rice in a rice cooker requires the most water, while cooking Jasmine/basmati rice requires the least.
It would also be best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If a given rice brand requires that you use 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then you should try it out. After all, you can adjust the quantities in the future to meet your cooking needs.
Soak the Rice (Optional)
Soaking the rice for 30 minutes makes it soft and reduces the cooking time. However, this may reduce the water requirements for your rice.
It is best if you use the same water that you will use to cook. This way, the water that the rice will absorb will be accounted for in the initial rice to water ratio consideration.
At this stage, you can also add your flavors. If you need to include herbs, then you should add them before you start cooking. Some of the flavoring you can use include salt, butter oil, bay leaf, and cardamom seeds.
Ready for Cooking
Before you start your rice cooker, ensure that no rice grains are sticking above the water level. Avoid stirring the rice in any way.
When you’re sure that you’re ready, you should set your rice cooker. Ensure that you set the time and the temperature accurately.
Different cookers will have varying settings. You should ensure that you understand the operational basics of your cooker. If it looks complicated, you can always turn to the user’s manual for tips.
If your cooker’s cooking pot is removable, place it back to the cooker and close the lid.
Start the Rice Cooker
When everything is set, you should press the on button/plugin in the cooker. Ensure that the lid is closed and wait for the rice to cook. Never lift the lid at any point during the cooking process. It will slow the cooking process, and you may burn your hands!
When the rice is ready, the rice cooker will automatically switch off. In case the water is over before the elapse of the set time, the cooker will turn off automatically when all the water vaporizes, and the temperature gets to 212 degrees F.
Your rice is ready to serve!
Water to Rice Ratio in a Rice Cooker – Summary
Rice to water ratio depends entirely on the type of rice you are cooking. The ratio of 1:1 may be ideal for most rice if you like crunchy rice. If you want to cook entirely and become fluffy, you should use 1 ½ or 1 ¾ cups of water for a cup of rice.
When cooking brown rice in a rice cooker, you will need more water. Ideally, you should use 2 cups/ 2 ¼ cups of water for every cup of rice.
On the other hand, cooking Basmati and Jasmine rice in a rice cooker requires less water. In that case, the 1:1 ratio will be enough.
Read a guide on how to use how to use Oster rice cooker here
How to Make Fluffy Rice in a Rice Cooker
Fluffy rice is palatable and tastes excellent. If you’re wondering how to make your rice fluffy, then worry no more. It’s a pretty simple thing.
All you need is to let your rice sit undisturbed in the rice cooker after the cooking is complete. Ensure that you do not remove the lid and leave it for approximately 10 minutes.
Within this time, the rice will absorb the excess water and firm up. After cooling, you can use your rice paddle to fluff the rice further.
Why is My Rice Becoming Sticky
Rice becomes sticky due to two primary reasons:
- Too Much Water. Always use the right rice to water ratio to avoid such disappointments.
- Too Much Starch. Always rinse your rice to remove excess starch.
What Else to Cook in a Rice Cooker
Most rice cookers are nonstick and highly versatile. Besides rice, you can cook many other food items, including:
- Oatmeal and other cereals
- Steaming vegetables
- Slow cook soup, stew, and beans
- Making risotto
- Poaching fruits
This versatility is undoubtedly one of the reasons you should get a rice cooker. It will offer convenience and unmatched usability.
How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker -The Bottom Line
Buying a rice cooker is the best decision I ever made. It has made cooking rice a blissful experience. Even better, I use the cooker to prepare my cereals and steam vegetables!
Rice cooker is undoubtedly a must-have appliance. However, it will be useless to have it if you do not know the basics of using it.
If you’re planning to buy one, I implore you to read this comprehensive guide on cooking rice in a rice cooker. It will help you to reap optimal benefits from the appliance.
How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker – FAQS
What is the ratio of rice to water in a rice cooker?
1:1 is ideal for many rice types, primarily Basmati and Jasmine. However, it depends on the type of rice you’re cooking and the moisture level you desire on your cooked rice. If you are brown rice, you will need 2 cups of water for every brown rice cup. If you want moist and fluffy rice, you will need 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups of water per rice cup.
How do I cook 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker?
Rinse the rice and add it to the cooker’s pot. Add approximately 3 cups and let it cook until it is ready. The cooker will automatically turn off when the cooking is complete.
Must I rinse my rice when cooking?
Rinsing the rice is optional. It depends on your preferences. However, it is essential to rinse if you’re not sure of the source. This way, you will remove contaminants and herbicides, thus ensuring that your rice meal is healthy.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.