Rice cookers are amazing appliances and can turn out perfectly cooked rice. But what else can these devices do? Let’s find out if you can also cook meat in a rice cooker.
Can you cook meat in a rice cooker? You can cook meat in a rice cooker, including beef, chicken, and fish. You can also steam vegetables and you can even make desserts such as cheesecake and chocolate cake.
Can I cook raw meat in a rice cooker?
First, let’s understand what a rice cooker is. Despite its name, it is not a one-purpose appliance.
A rice cooker is basically a small steamer. This means it can cook many things, as long as you are okay with them being cooked a particular way.
You can cook raw meat in a rice cooker but you should adhere to certain precautions. First, the raw meat should be cooked to a particular internal temperature, depending on the type.
Using a meat thermometer is the best way to achieve these results. You can then better control the doneness of your meat so it doesn’t become overcooked and chewy or undercooked and unsafe.
How to cook meat in a rice cooker
Meat and rice
Everyone is busy these days so if you can find simple methods to use your time more efficiently, everyone wins. Being able to cook your meat and rice together in a rice cooker will help you get dinner on the table a lot faster.
To do so, measure out your rice and water and add them to the cooker. Then, place your raw meat on top.
It’s best to season your meat at this step. Not only will it make the meat taste better but the juices and flavors will be absorbed by the rice, which will make it more flavorful.
When adding the meat, make sure the pieces aren’t too thick. The goal is to have both the meat and the rice cooked at the same time, so thinner meat will cook faster and be ready easier.
You might have to try out a few different types of cuts of meat in order to get the best results. You may also notice that the meat makes the rice stick to the sides of the cooker. If that is the case, add more water at the beginning or marinade your meat ahead of time so it retains more moisture.
Chicken and rice
Similar to how you would cook meat and rice, for chicken, start with your rice and water in the cooker. Then, place half of the whole chicken on top.
Chicken doesn’t need as much seasoning as beef does but you should still add salt, pepper, and any other spices you would like.
Unlike beef, chicken has to be cooked thoroughly to be edible. Cut into the thickest part of the chicken to ascertain if it is cooked thoroughly before serving it.
Veggies and rice
Using a rice cooker can easily elevate your boring vegetable. This is because you can use broth instead of water to cook the rice and vegetables together, making everything taste better.
For this method, start by cooking your rice in the appliance. When it is almost done, you can attach a steamer rack, which should come with your purchase.
Then, place your assorted vegetables, cut up, into the steamer rack. You can adjust the cooking time of your vegetables according to how cooked you want them to be. However, the goal is to have both the vegetables and the rice done at the same time.
One-pot cooking is a marvel. You can prep everything ahead, put it together, and simply walk away as it cooks.
To create a stew in a rice cooker, start with all the ingredients you need. You can basically cook any kind of stew, so choose your favorites.
Cut anything up, such as vegetables and meat, and place them in the cooker. Then, add your seasonings and water to cover. If you want to turn your stew into a soup, simply add more water or stock.
All you need to do is turn the rice cooker on and let it be. Check on it later and if the ingredients need to cook more, you can add more water to prevent evaporation and allow it to simmer longer.
A healthy option for using a rice cooker is steamed fish. For this, you will need to ensure you have a steamer rack for your cooker.
Start by pouring at least two cups of water into the pot. You need this to create a good cook on the fish and to prevent it from drying out.
Season your fish to your liking and then put it on the steamer. With most fish, you can control the doneness, so check periodically to see how it is cooking and adjust the time accordingly.
Can you cook other foods in a rice cooker?
Amazingly, you can cook a lot of things in a rice cooker, including desserts. This includes such favorites as chocolate cake.
To make chocolate cake, mix all your ingredients together. Make sure your rice cooker is nice and clean and then oil it to prevent sticking.
Add the batter and set your rice cooker to a slow cook setting. The timing will vary depending on how thick your cake is but expect it to need at least 30 or 40 minutes to cook.
Use a toothpick to see if your cake needs longer to bake. Press the toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, your cake is done.
What can you not cook in a rice cooker?
Honestly, there isn’t much that you can’t cook in a rice cooker. Foods to avoid include fancier dishes that require searing and larger roasts as they will need more space.
Despite its name, you can cook more than just rice in a rice cooker. From fish to stew and even to chocolate cake, there are some creative ways to use this small appliance.