If you thought your rice cooker was just made to cook rice, think again. You probably didn’t know that this common kitchen appliance has the ability to make all sorts of foods, as long as you’re willing to give it a chance. Here are some surprising things you can make in a rice cooker.
We’ve got everything from breads, to soups, to ribs and even pasta. All these things with just one appliance.
Boiling eggs can be a hassle at times. But, they’re one of the healthiest ways to enjoy this healthy food. Using a pot of water is usually the way to go. But, there are other options as well.
Two really cool options to using a pot of boiling water for your eggs are your pressure cooker and rice cooker.
Yes, they both work!
Not many people know that you can cook eggs in them. And, in either method, the eggs will be easier to peel. That’s sometimes a hassle with pot boiled eggs.
It’s worth noting that your rice cooker technically steams the eggs. They come out just like hard boiled eggs. Plus, you can control them, so they come out soft, medium or hard depending on your liking.
Besides hard-boiled eggs, you can also make frittatas. This is probably a better choice if you want to be able to add more ingredients to your eggs.
The difference between making your frittatas on a pan and your rice cooker comes down to the veggies. With the rice cooker, you’ll need to cook the veggies beforehand. If you don’t have time, just microwave them.
While this adds an extra step, it also gives you more control on the veggies. You get to choose different veggies and don’t have to worry about them cooking the same time as the eggs. Similarly, you can add other ingredients that don’t usually come with frittatas.
Your rice cooker can make potatoes many ways. It basically steams them. And, from there it’s up to you what you do with them.
Our kids enjoy mashed potatoes, so that’s what we make most.
Of course, there are different ways you can prepare them. There’s boiling then mashing which doesn’t really give you a great consistency. Baking takes a whole lot of time and you do want to pierce the skin before doing so, or else.
Don’t tell me about microwaving them. Those don’t come out good at all.
With a rice cooker, you don’t have to wait as long. And, there’s no need to monitor for time. The best part is they come out soft and consistent. This make them easy to mash or get through a ricer, whichever way your prefer.
In addition to rice, you can also cook different types of grains with your rice cooker. Of course, you can always opt for brown rice which is a healthier option to white rice. If you do so, all you need to do is adjust the amount of water.
For a healthier option, try quinoa. This is a lower carb grain that offers more fiber and protein than rice. It has also been shown to be better for regulating blood sugar.
Most grains, including quinoa work with a combination of 2 cups of water for every cup of grains.
If you want to add flavor, try chicken stock or add herbs to the water to induce flavor.
Besides ribs, you can also make roast pork in your rice cooker. This takes a bit more work since you need to turn the pork over midway through cooking. So, it’s important to have a rice cooker that lets you open or take off the lid as needed.
For those who don’t like to have to watch and stir oatmeal in the morning, try your rice cooker. Depending on the type of oatmeal you use, pot cooking times can vary from 3 minutes up to 30 minutes. The less refined your oats are the longer they take. But, they’re also healthier that way.
So, if you’re going with steel cut or groats, be prepared for longer pot cooking times.
To solve having to wait alongside your stove, your rice cooker lets you make oatmeal without all the waiting. It also eliminates the messy boil overs that can happen, especially when you put a lid on your pot.
Ribs are probably the last thing you ever thought your rice cooker can make. But, they do work. And, unlike grilled or pan cooked ribs which can come out tough, these get very tender.
Rice cooker ribs are essentially steamed. So, they come out more moist and are more likely to fall off the bone. This makes them easier to eat.
To add flavor, you’ll want to use marinate.
This process can be used for other cuts of meat as well include beef, chicken and fish. You do need to adjust a bit depending on how delicate the protein is.
Yogurt is one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. That is, if you’re not lactose intolerant. But, for most of us, it means having to buy store bought yogurt.
Problem is, unless you choose wisely, and go for the plain flavors, you’re likely to end up with a sugar bomb.
To solve that problem, why not make yogurt at home.
Like eggs and cake, you can make yogurt at home with your crockpot or rice cooker. They let you make sure you get the right consistency and warm the milk up to the right temperature.
Besides rice, your cooker can also make homemade bread. Here, you can let your creativity run wild. Start with regular white bread. And, once you know how it works, you can experiment with your favorite flavors and ingredients.
With your basic rice cooker bread recipe, you can adjust it to make banana or sweet breads. You can also change them up with other ingredients, say pumpkin during the holidays.
Pasta lovers probably don’t realize that they can make their favorite dishes in a rice cooker. Our kids favorite is Mac and Cheese, which can be easily done in a rice cooker.
The best part about using this appliance over a stove is that you don’t need to keep watching it to see if it’s done. Your rice cooker takes care of that for you.
Of course, it’s not limited to mac and cheese. You can make regular pasta or ones with meat sauce. You can also add ingredients like meatballs if you wish.
Plus, casseroles also work too.
Steamed vegetables are a healthy side dish to go with any meal. They’re easy to make in your rice cooker because the appliance is designed to steam things anyway.
For this, we like the rice cookers that come with a tray on top where you can place protein or veggies. This lets you cook the rice along with the entire meal at the same time.
If you don’t have that, you can always use a tray inside the cooker’s pot to hold the vegetables. Then, just add water underneath to boil.