If you’re in a pinch and you don’t have a slow cooker, you’re in luck! As it turns out, there are plenty of other kitchen utensils that you can use to replace a slow cooker. However, some homeowners are trying to use rice cookers in place of a slow cooker. Are they having success, or is it leaving the food undercooked?
You can use a rice cooker as a slow cooker to make a wide variety of food. To do so, you’ll have to adjust the rice cooker between the ‘warm’ and ‘high heat’ settings repeatedly. This process will ensure that the food stays above the recommended cooking range without removing the moisture from it.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about using a rice cooker as a slow cooker:
- A simple step-by-step process to do it correctly.
- Different kinds of food that can be cooked in a rice cooker.
- Avoidable mistakes that many beginners tend to make.
How to Use a Rice Cooker as a Slow Cooker
Whether you don’t own a slow cooker or you want to make smaller portions, a rice cooker is almost always a viable option. In fact, there are dozens of delicious meals that you can make with it.
Here’s how to use a rice cooker instead of a slow cooker to make your food:
- Place all of your ingredients in the rice cooker. You can add meat, fruit, vegetables, spices, and all sorts of other stuff. Remember that there has to be moisture in the rice cooker to avoid burning. Too much liquid will remove the flavor, but keep in mind that the vast majority of the moisture evaporates from the cooker.
- Set the rice cooker to boil as you normally would. If your rice cooker only comes with one setting, then turn it to that. The goal is to start the food off as you normally would. Allow it to cook for 20 to 30 minutes or however long your cooker usually takes to rise to a boil.
- Once the food starts to simmer, turn the rice cooker down to the ‘Low’ or ‘Warm’ setting. This option will retain most of the heat as long as you don’t open the lid. Make sure that it continues to stay warm and simmer every few minutes. It’s going to stay on this step for quite some time.
- Leave the rice cooker on warm or low for about 45 to 60 minutes, checking on it to ensure that the food isn’t drying out or boiling over. You’ll also need to raise it to the highest setting every 15 minutes or so for a few minutes to maintain the high interior temperature. Think of this process as being very similar to cooking on a stovetop.
- After about an hour, open the lid and check the temperature of the food. You should also take this time to check the consistency to ensure that everything is thoroughly cooked. If it’s not up to your standards, then continue the same method as mentioned in the previous step; Otherwise, you’re good to go!
Making meals in a rice cooker is fairly easy. Now that you know the process, you’ll be able to experiment and see which meals work best. Keep in mind that most rice cookers only have enough space for two to three people to eat.
If you want to learn about a handful of different meals you can make in a rice cooker, read on.
What Foods Can You Put in a Rice Cooker?
Rice cookers are much more than their name seems to indicate. Sure, they cook rice wonderfully, but they’re capable of making all sorts of meals. If you’re in the mood for delicious food in an hour or so, then this will be the perfect section for you.
Try these quick and simple recipes the next time you want to use your rice cooker:
- Pancakes are always an option. Did you know that you don’t need a stove to make pancakes? You can use your rice cooker instead! Toss the batter inside and let it sit until it’s thoroughly cooked. The pancakes will even typically be much thicker and fluffier.
- Chili is another perfect rice cooker meal. Place all of the ingredients in the cooker, including black beans, ground beef, roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, and whatever seasonings you prefer. Cumin, pepper, and paprika are often used in most chili recipes. Leave it for about 20 to 30 minutes, ensuring that it doesn’t boil over.
- Make boiled eggs in your rice cooker. That’s right; You don’t have to go the traditional route. Add water about halfway (or to the fill line) in your rice cooker alongside about eight eggs or so. Turn on the cooker and let it simmer until the clicker pops itself to the warm setting. Remove the eggs, place them in ice-cold water, and you’ll have boiled eggs!
- Enjoy a nice hot soup. Soup is one of the most common recipes for rice cookers. Perhaps the best recipes would be to cook the rice halfway, add a couple of cans of cream of mushroom soup, then restart the rice cooker’s timer. When it’s all done, add a cooked chicken breast on top and enjoy.
- Mashed potatoes are as good as they get in a rice cooker. Add two or three potatoes to cover the bottom of the cooker, then add a few cloves of garlic. Toss in your favorite seasons and veggies and let it cook for the full duration (20 to 45min). Make sure you poke several holes in the potatoes, so they don’t explode.
As with all styles of cooking, it’s easy to assume that things might go wrong. Have no fear! Below, you’ll find a handful of common issues and how you can prevent them from happening.
Overcooked, dry food isn’t uncommon
If you’re tired of baking your food to the bottom of your rice cooker, then something’s got to change. The most common reason for this issue is that there’s no enough moisture in the pot. Add a bit more water to keep your food hydrated.
Undercooked food is an issue as well
The cause of undercooked, stale food is often due to either too many ingredients added to the cooker or too much moisture. As you can see, the only downside of using a rice cooker as a slow cooker is that they’re very demanding when it comes to ingredient ratios.
Never walk away for too long
The main difference between cooking in a slow cooker and a rice cooker is that a slow cooker can be left alone for several hours. However, a rice cooker should be tended to at least once every 15 to 20 minutes when you’re trying new recipes.
After you’ve read this article, there’s no reason that you can’t use a rice cooker to make your favorite slow cooker meals. As long as you get the ingredient ratio correct and follow the aforementioned step-by-step process, you’ll be all set with delicious meals for years to come.
Here’s a quick rundown of the post:
- Rice cookers can make chili, macaroni, pancakes, and many other foods.
- Make sure you adjust the temperature from high to low or warm once it boils.
- Too much or too little moisture can cause texture issues with your food.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.