Many people who are avoiding gluten for particular conditions, or just to feel better, are opting to purchase rice steamers to help replace the pasta and bread they no longer eat. These cookers range in price from $30 to $230, and they are not limited to cooking only rice. Similar to, but different from, slow cookers, rice cookers also make delicious puddings, pilafs, couscous, polentas, steel-cut Irish oatmeal, grits, beans, soups, chili, grains and cereals.
Basically, a rice cooker is a water/substance game. Once the rice and water are accurately measured, the rice pot will turn itself off or down to low for finishing after water is asorbed. Occasionally geographical locations or extreme weather conditions require an adjustment to measurements.
Here is a handy rice glossary thanks to Riceland.com. All rice cookers come with a necessary booklet with measurments, times and usually some recipes. A generous additional source of rice cooker recipes is Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann’s Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. It is 350-pages of dim sums, tamales, hominies, desserts and very many rice dishes.
A rule of thumb is to rinse imported rice before cooking. Domestic rice can be used straight from the package.
Many rice cookers contain a steam basket which allows you to steam fresh vegetables or fish up, above the rice as it cooks. Then, it is a simple matter of tossing these items with a quick Asian sauce mixture for a quick meal.
Some of the plainest rice cookers allow aromatics or rice itself to be sautéed inside the cooker for added flavor before the liquid is added.
It is important to read all the directions with your new rice pot. Most rice pots provide an under-sized measuring cup which is meant to measure the dry rice or other grains. The liquid is then intended to be measured with a standard eight-ounce measuring cup.
Different rice grain lengths will be addressed in your cooking manual, as each has different steam absorption capabilities, and families have varying preferences how they like their rice.
Once a rice cooking cycle has started, the lid of the cooker should not be removed until cooked and rested a short period of time.
Below are foodsites with rice cooker recipes.