(Photo by roboppy)
You can cook perfect rice every time!
One of the hardest things to cook to perfection is rice. It often turns out to be sticky, soggy, or mushy. It is difficult to tell if there too much or not enough water in the pot or if the rice should be cooked longer or less.
Cooking rice can be perplexing, unless you are using an electric rice cooker. A rice cooker is a small electric kitchen appliance that cooks rice automatically. It is so easy to use, you just add the rice and water, set the timer, and walk away.
An electric rice cooker produces perfectly cooked fluffy rice every time.
Prepare the Rice for Cooking
Depending on the type of rice used, it may need washing before cooking. This rule normally applies to natural rice that is not processed or precooked, like brown rice. To wash rice, measure the amount rice needed while it is dry.
The easiest way to wash rice is to place it in a fine mesh strainer and run water over it. If no mesh strainer is available, place a bowl in the sink and fill using a medium stream of tap water.
As the bowl is filling, stir in the rice. Turn off the tap and tilt the bowl and slowly pour out the water. Hold a hand under the pouring water to catch any escaping rice. Rinse the rice until the water becomes clear.
Filling the Rice Cooker
The ratio of water to rice is normally 2 ½ cups of water to 2 cups of rice. Most automatic rice cooker have marks indicating how much water and rice to add to the cooker. Different types of rice may require more water.
For instance, long grain brown rice needs 2 ¼ cups of water for each cup of rice. Check the cooking instruction on the label of the rice package. When in doubt, just use the 2 ½ cups water to 2 cups of rice measurements.
How to Use a Rice Cooker
Most automatic rice cookers have a removable pot that inserts into the cooker. Add the water, rice, a dash of salt, a tablespoon of oil, and any necessary spices. Place the removable pot inside the cooker unit.
Note: If there is not internal pot, the ingredients are added directly inside the rice cooker. Place the lid tightly on the rice cooker, plug the cooker into an electric socket, and set the timer according to cooking instructions on the package of rice.
Newer models of automatic rice cookers have a warmer feature that keep the cooked rice warm. Note: The process of cooking rice relies on steam, so never lift the lid to peek inside the cooker during the cooking process.
Here’s a video instruction of how to cook rice perfectly in a rice cooker:
A video on how to cook fried rice using a rice cooker: