Cooking rice looks so easy. After all, all you need is some grains and water to cook it in a vessel. But little that you know, the secret to cooking perfect rice every time is by adding the right amount of water according to the type of rice whether it be a vessel or a rice cooker. And if you’ve just bought yourself a new rice cooker or got a gift, then you might be curious about how to cook rice in the cooker. And this article will defiantly guide you on how to cook rice in a rice cooker along with the appliance basics.
What is a rice cooker?
Before we jump into the rice-making process, it is good to know a little about the appliance. A rice cooker is a small countertop appliance designed to cook rice. They basically boil water to cook grains until they become soft.
These automatic machines do not require constant attention that is a must while you cook rice on a stovetop. You can simply add in the right amount of grains, water, and set the cooking function. The appliance will start cooking grains and will stop automatically once the cycle is over. Thus, no need to worry about overcooking or undercooking with a rice cooker as long as the measurements are right.
How Does it Work?
Just like cooking grains, the working mechanism of rice cookers is extremely easy to understand. All the cookers have one thing in common that is inner pot. This inner pot can be made of either aluminum, stainless steel, or nonstick. Behind the inner pot are an electric heating element and a thermostat.
The thermostat is responsible for controlling and maintaining the temperature of the inner cooking pot. Once you fill the inner pot with grains, water and turn on the machine, the thermostat comes into action. It heats the inner vessel to the already set temperature to cook fluffy rice. Normally, the thermostat is set at boiling temperature, i.e., 100°C/212°F.
Once all the water inside the container is absorbed, the temperature inside rises above the preset level. And thus, the thermostat trips. This ends the cooking cycle. Then, either your electric cooker turns off or shifts automatically to keep warm mode to keep the grains at a perfect serving temperature.
Some high-end rice cookers like Zojirushi features fuzzy logic that is a more advanced way of setting time and temperature. Fuzzy logic is a smart program that changes temperature and cooking time according to the quantity. Fuzzy logic rice cookers are by far the best to make fluffy grains every time.
How do I cook 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker? – Step-By-Step Guide
Cooking rice is easy but seems a bit too much if you’re using the rice cooker for the first time. And mostly, people start small like cooking a cup or 2 cups of rice. So below is the step-by-step guide on how to cook 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker.
- 2 cups of rice(long, short, or medium grain)
- 2 cups water
- Tap water to rinse
- Rinse the white rice 2-3 times with tap water to remove the starchy coating. Use your hands to move the grains gently for good rising.
- For best results, use the measuring cups that come along the appliance.
- Now measure 2 cups of grains and level it with a butter knife. Add it to the cooking pot and use the same cup to measure water. Add 2 cups of purified water to the pot and close the lid.
- Normally, small rice cookers offer only a single setting, to turn on the machine. So here, no extra effort is needed. Simply push down the lever or press the ‘cook’ button to start the cooking cycle.
- High-end models like Zojirushi or Aroma rice cooker offer different modes such as ‘white’, ‘brown’, ‘porridge’, etc. Here, you can select the specific program according to the grains.
- Once the cooking cycle is one, let the electric countertop cooker do its magic while you prepare other dishes.
- The machine will stop automatically on completion of a cycle and either turn off or shift to keep warm mode.
- Wait for 5 minutes before opening the lid to let the steam escape.
- Now fluff the grains gently with the rice paddle and serve hot.
How much rice and water do I put in a rice cooker?
The only thing you need to take care of for cooking fluffy rice is to water is to rice ratio. And 1:1 is the general water to rice ratio in an electric cooker. Therefore, it means you will need 1 cup of water for each cup of grain.
While this ratio works for most short and mid-grain white rice, you might need to increase or decrease water level according to the grains. Also, some people prefer to eat a bit of overdone grain that blends with curries. So the ratio also hugely depends on your personal preference.
However, you can need to increase water quantity while cooking brown rice. The water-to-brown rice ratio for medium and long grains is 2-1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of brown rice. And you’ll need 2 cups of water to cook 1 cup of short-grain brown rice.
Do you need to soak rice before cooking in a rice cooker?
Soaking rice before cooking is a good choice as it helps fluff the grain more as well as cuts down cooking time by almost 20%. But always keep a habit to wash the grain before soaking to remove the excessive starchy coating. In addition to removing starch, good rinsing of grains also removes the odd smell and impurities.
Soak grains for not more than 30 minutes in a bowl before adding to the countertop rice cooker. Do not soak rice too long or overnight as it might cause the grains to ferment. Also, the grains will get too mushy and will not cook properly.
However, it is a good idea to check the packaging before soaking or washing the rice. Some rice brands provide grains enriched with vitamins and minerals that might dissolve on washing or soaking.
How long does it take to cook rice in a rice cooker
The amount of time for rice to cook in an electric rice cooker depends on various factors. It hugely depends on the type of grain and the cooker. But you do not need to worry about the electric cooker model as they are designed to turn off automatically as soon as all the water is soaked up.
It typically takes around 25-35 minutes for a rice cooker to cook 3 cups of white rice. Besides, it takes 60 minutes to cook 3 cups of brown rice in the same pot.
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Rice is a staple food in many countries and if you are a huge rice fan then it is a must to buy an electric countertop rice cooker. They are extremely easy to use and have a small footprint that stores conveniently inside the kitchen cabinet after use. They are great for everyday kitchen use. I hope you’ve learned a bit more about rice cookers and are ready to cook fluffy grains. Happy dining!