Did you know that approximately 3.5 billion people globally depend on rice for an estimated 20% of their daily calorie needs?
According to Statistica, global rice consumption in the 2018/19 crop year was a massive 486.62 million metric tons. This is an increase of more than 45 million metric tons compared to the previous decade.
How to use an oster rice cooker? Why is it necessary?
Well, if the stats are anything to go by, then we can safely conclude that rice is among the most consumed foods in the world.
While that is the case, cooking rice is a tricky affair for many. The main challenge will always be in measuring the amount of water required and controlling the heat requirements.
If you’ve found yourself in such a quagmire, then you’ll require an Oster Rice Cooker. This guide offers useful tips on how to use an oster rice cooker and get unmatched results.
What is an Oster Rice Cooker?
An Oster Rice Cooker is a rice cooking appliance that automates the process of cooking your rice. This way, it saves you the hassle of manually regulating heat and determining the amount of water needed.
The cooker comes with its measuring cup, which ensures that you only cook within the acceptable capacity limits. Also, the existence of these cups enables you to measure the exact water required to cook the specific volume of rice.
If you have a big family, then you should go for the high-capacity Oster 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker. If you do not require to cook large volumes of rice, then the 6-cup oster rice cooker will be adequate.
How to Use an Oster Rice Cooker
What You Will Need
- Measuring Cup (preferably one that comes with the rice cooker)
If you’re new to automated rice cooking and you’re wondering how to use an oster rice cooker, then you shouldn’t worry any longer.
Using an oster rice cooker is a straightforward process that you’ll complete without a hassle. Even better, the manufacturer includes a highly comprehensive user’s guide for your reference.
Since the guide may contain overly detailed processes, we’ve simplified the entire process into easy-to-follow steps. They include:
- Rice Measuring
Measure the amount of rice that you need to cook. Always ensure that you do not exceed the recommended capacity since that would destroy the pot.
If you’re wondering on how to know the raw rice you need, then you should always consider this theory:
1 cup of raw rice = 2 cups of cooked rice
Once you determine the amount of rice required, you should move on to the preparation phase.
- Rice Preparation
This is a crucial step that determines the scrumptiousness of your delicacy. Always ensure that you wash your rice and rinse it severally using clean, cold water.
This step is essential since it helps in eliminating excess starch, which would otherwise make the rice stick together making it difficult to cook.
If you adequately wash your rice, you can be sure that you’ll not experience boiling over situations that would otherwise turn your cooking escapades into a nightmare.
- Determine the Water to Rice Ratio
The amount of water that you need to complete the cooking process successfully determines the type of rice you’re cooking. As a rule of thumb, you should use:
- 1.5 cups of water per 1 cup of white rice
- 2 cups of water per 1 cup of brown or long grain rice
The long grain and brown rice are relatively water-resistant and will thus require more water to cook entirely.
- Place Your Rice in Your Oster Rice Cooker
Once you’re through with water measuring, you should place it in the cooker and let it soak for approximately 5 minutes. This enhances the cooking process and guarantees fluffier rice.
- Close the Lid and Start Cooking
Once you plug in your cooker, you will see a red light display which indicates that the rice has started cooking.
The cooker is pretty fast and you can be sure that you’ll have your meal ready within 15 minutes.
Once ready, the red light will orange. This shows you that the rice is ready but will stay warm until you switch the cooker off.
If you want to enjoy soft rice, you can let it sit in the cooker for another 15 minutes to absorb extra moisture.
How to Use an Oster Rice Cooker – Steaming Vegetables
Besides using your oster rice cooker for rice cooking, you can use it for steaming your favorite vegetables, proteins, and corn.
When well-used, you can be sure that you’ll preserve the nutrients, color, and the original taste of all your vegetables.
To use an oster rice cooker to steam your vegetables, you should use the upper tray following these steps:
- Fill your oster cooker’s inner pot with the right amount of water (approximately 1/3 cupful of water for every 10 ounces of corn, peas, broccoli, and other vegetables). If cooking spinach, you will require 1/3 cupful of water for 5 ounces. The same amount of water is required for 8 ounces of cauliflower and carrots.
- Once through with water measuring, you should place the inner pot into your oster rice cooker while ensuring that it touches the heating plate.
- Cut your vegetables and place them into the steaming tray.
- Play the tray on top of the inner pot and ensure that you cover it entirely using a lid
- Connect your oster rice cooker to your power source and turn it on.
- Let your vegetables steam for 30-40 minutes. When the water has dissolved completely, the heater will turn orange signaling the keep warm status.
- Disconnect the cooker and unplug it. You should then remove the vegetables and serve
How to Clean and Maintain an Oster Rice Cooker
Now that you’ve learned how to use an oster rice cooker, you should also understand the basic maintenance practices.
If you fail to care for this appliance, you can be sure that its longevity and functionality will be compromised.
Here are some of the most useful cleaning tips you should consider:
- Always Clean It Immediately after Use. Cleaning your oster rice cooker after use prevents stains and debris. Additionally, it guarantees ease of cleaning thus eliminating the urge to use abrasive cleaning materials.
- Let it Cool. While cleaning the cooker immediately after cooking is right, you should give it approximately 5 minutes to cool.
- Unplug Your Cooker After Use. When you’re through with the cooking process, always ensure that you unplug the cooker from your heat source. This guarantees safety.
- Never Use Scouring Pads. If you want to avoid scratches on your oster rice cooker, you should only use soft and non-abrasive cleaning materials.
- Avoid Dipping Heating Elements into Water. This is one of the surest ways of ensuring that you maintain top-notch functionality and longevity.
Read more about the best rice cookers here
How to Use an Oster Rice Cooker – The Bottom Line
If you’ve been wondering how to use an oster rice cooker effectively, then this guide will help you resolve your worries.
While oster rice cooking is known for rice cooking, only a few know that it can be used to steam vegetables. It offers a high-nutritional method of cooking your veggies, which guarantees the retention of nutrients and super delicious meals.
This article offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to use an oster rice cooker for both rice cooking and vegetable steaming.
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.