15 uses for your rice cooker besides making rice (2022)

The rice cooker is one of the most tragically overlooked kitchen appliances known to mankind. In an era when home cooks are focusing on kitchen instruments with multiple obvious uses, like woks, slow cookers and food processors, the rice cooker seems to be shunned for its name alone.

That's not fair.

Rice cookers, despite their name, are powerful multitaskers. Don't believe us? Try these rice cooker recipes that don't involve rice. We're sure you'll be convinced.

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Rice Cooker Cake

15 uses for your rice cooker besides making rice (1)

Spoon University

This might be the easiest cake recipe you'll ever find. You stir a mixture of flour, sugar, milk and eggs together in a bowl (I personally add a dash of vanilla extract, but that's just me); pour the batter in your rice cooker; and press a button. That's it. A half-hour or so later, you have a cake that is moist and perfect every time. There's no excuse not to try this one. You can follow along with the full recipe here.

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Rice Cooker Cheesy Polenta

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AllRecipes

Perfect for a luxurious Sunday brunch, this rice cooker polenta recipe is creamy, rich and luscious, featuring a blend of cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. The recipe recommends cooking chopped onions and garlic in the rice cooker for 15 minutes before preparing the polenta itself, in order to soften them and allow them to melt into the polenta, deepening the flavors. Follow along with the full recipe here.

3 of 15

Rice Cooker Bread

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(Video) 14 Rice Cooker Recipes Without Rice!

Serious Eats

This recipe comes from a somewhat unlikely source — a popular Japanese cartoon show called "Yakitate!! Japan." The show is an over-the-top cooking program that focuses on bread-baking, and one of the episodes contains two-minute step-by-step instructions on how to make a light, fluffy round of bread in your rice cooker in just a few hours. Written instructions can be found on wikiHow.

15 uses for your rice cooker besides making rice (4)

Just Bento

Just Bento has this wonderful recipe for a frittata that is perfect for home cooks for whom kitchen space might be sparse. Because of the way the rice cooker, well, cooks, this veggie frittata won't have crusty brown edges but will instead be light, moist and fluffy the whole way through. Simply stir the eggs, vegetables and spices together in the rice cooker; push the button; and when the cycle finishes, you'll be rewarded handsomely. Step-by-step instructions can be found here!

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Rice Cooker Kimchi

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Aroma

For this recipe, the rice cooker is used as a kind of pickling jar to create a flavorful and tart kimchi. Sure, this takes some time to ferment (24 hours in the rice cooker, to be exact), but you don't even have to turn it on! After the day passes, simply transfer the cabbage mix to an airtight jar and let it sit for a few more days to complete the fermentation process. Recipe can be found here..

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Rice Cooker Chili

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Kitchen Ability

(Video) Simple Rice Cooker Recipes That Are Awesome

If you have a rice cooker but not a slow cooker, it might surprise you to know that the rice cooker is equally capable of making a game-day chili. Really, the rice cooker works with any chili recipe (yes, even your famous chocolate chipotle beer chili), whether you're dealing with steak, ground beef, turkey or even vegetables. This specific recipe, courtesy of kitchenability.com, however, is a classic chicken chili, and there are step-by-step instructions there that you can follow along with.

7 of 15

Beer-Braised Baby Back Ribs

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Bob Chamberlin for Getty Images

Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not joking. You can, very easily, make tender and juicy beer-braised ribs in your own little rice cooker. After browning the ribs on the hot cooking surface, simply add beer, stock and your favorite barbecue sauce. In an hour, you'll be rewarded with the easiest rack of barbecued ribs you're ever likely to make. Follow along with the full recipe at Food.com.

15 uses for your rice cooker besides making rice (8)

Aroma Housewares

It just so happens that a rice cooker is the perfect vessel for making one of the most delicious and elegant desserts you're liable to cook. Luckily, it's also one of the easiest. Simply put your pears in the rice cooker, and using the steaming function, allow them to poach in the poaching liquid of your choice. This recipe, via Aroma Housewares, is for port-poached pears, but it can be modified for different poaching liquids (and even fruits)! Follow along here.

9 of 15

Rice Cooker Oatmeal

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The Kitchn

Since rice cookers are built to make rice, it might not be a surprise to learn that they're equally capable while preparing other grains or even cereals. The Kitchn has a simple, foolproof recipe for set-and-forget oatmeal that can be found here.

(Video) How to use a RICE COOKER | Oats, Pasta, Potatoes, Veg, Lentils

10 of 15

Rice Cooker Quinoa

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Mom Advice

Speaking of grains and cereals, your rice cooker is a perfect vessel for cooking quinoa as well. Simply throw your quinoa into the rice cooker with a liquid of your choice (personally, I love cooking quinoa in a mix of chicken broth, lemon juice and pickle juice) at a ratio of one part quinoa to two parts liquid, and then press the start button. In 15 minutes, you'll have a protein-packed and gluten-free delight perfect for use in salads, side dishes or simply for eating on its own. Step-by-step quinoa prep instructions can be found on momadvice.com.

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Rice Cooker Pasta

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Food.com

The great thing about cooking pasta in the rice cooker is that it's a one-pot affair. The rice cooker allows you to cook the meat, the pasta and the sauce in the same pan, causing the flavors to meld together and stick to the pasta itself. As an added bonus, you only need to wash one pot! Follow along with the simple recipe here, but feel free to add your own twists to it, adding and removing ingredients as you see fit.

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Rice Cooker Epic Pancakes

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Rocket News

The word "epic" gets thrown around a lot these days, but in this case, it's warranted. Look at that thing. The recipe is simple; all that's necessary is making pancake batter according to the box recipe and pouring it into the rice cooker. You can even add chocolate chips, berries, bananas or any of your other favorite pancake ingredients to take your epic pancake to the next level. Take a look at the full recipe here.

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Rice Cooker Steamed Cupcakes

15 uses for your rice cooker besides making rice (13)

Aroma Housewares

If you live somewhere with a finicky oven, next time you make cupcakes, consider using your rice cooker. On the steam setting, you can actually bake up some deliciously moist steamed cupcakes using boxed cake mix. All you have to do is set your cupcake mold in the steam tray of your rice cooker and bake according to the on-box instructions. Full instructions can be found at Aroma Housewares.

(Video) Old-fashioned rice cookers are extremely clever

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Easy Rice Cooker Roast Pork

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japanese-kitchen.net

Yes, you can cook an entire pork roast in your rice cooker. Much like cooking in the oven (or the slow cooker), the key is applying consistent heat. This recipe, via Japanese-kitchen.net, adds Chinese flavors by coating the pork in a mixture of hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sugar, though you can improvise your sauce as you see fit. Full instructions can be found here.

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Rice Cooker Shepherd's Pie

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loft48

This recipe takes a little more effort than most of the others, but it's well worth it for a one-pot shepherd's pie. Sure, your guests might not believe you when you tell them that the tiny little rice cooker over on your counter prepared these hearty, delicious little ramekins full of beefy goodness, but that's their problem, not yours. You can follow along with the full recipe over at Loft48.

Sam Greszes is unlockable by beating the game on Very Hard difficulty without losing a life. You must then defeat him to unlock him for Arcade and Versus modes. You can follow him on Twitter @samgreszeseses, and check out his podcast with David Rappoccio here. He also hosts weekly twitch streams at twitch.tv/robotsfightingdinosaurs.

FAQs

What can a rice cooker be used for other than rice? ›

Rice cookers can cook more than just rice. The appliance can be used to make meals, like ribs, chili, or pizza. Rice cookers can also be used to cook other grains, like barley or quinoa. You can also prepare breakfasts like oatmeal or pancakes in a rice cooker.

How else can you use a rice cooker? ›

Your rice cooker has hidden talents―it can make breakfast, poach fruit, even turn out risotto.
  1. Make a hot breakfast. ...
  2. Steam vegetables. ...
  3. Make risotto without stirring. ...
  4. Slow-cook soups, beans, or stews. ...
  5. Poach fruit.
10 Aug 2004

What are the benefits of rice cookers? ›

List of the Pros of a Rice Cooker
  • It cooks the rice for you automatically. ...
  • It keeps your rice warm. ...
  • It is easy to clean. ...
  • The bottom rice can burn if you're not careful. ...
  • It uses non-stick technologies. ...
  • It may not turn off.
24 Jul 2020

Can you cook eggs in a rice cooker? ›

Set your timer when everything is cold and you put the eggs in the rice cooker and turn the rice cooker on. 20 minutes for hard-cooked eggs. 13-15 minutes for soft-cooked eggs (depending on how soft or runny you like them). These times are based on my rice cooker.

Can pasta be made in a rice cooker? ›

Cooking pasta in a rice cooker is easy. No draining required. First make sure your rice cooker can handle the amount of COOKED pasta–remembering that it doubles in volume when cooked. Mostly I make about 1 cup dry, 2 cups cooked in my rice cooker.

Can you cook meat in a rice cooker? ›

Yes, you can cook strips of meat or poultry in a rice cooker. You can steam them using a tray while cooking rice, or you can cook them directly on the rice cooker as you would with a slow cooker. Put your seasoned meat into the rice cooker. Turn the rice cooker on and set it to a normal cooking cycle.

Can you boil potatoes in a rice cooker? ›

Peel 4 potatoes and place them in your rice cooker with 5 cups of water. Use the Steam preset on your multi-functional rice cooker and set the timer for 45 minutes. And that's it!

What can I add to my rice cooker? ›

Broth and Your Favorite Vegetables

And last but not least, flavor your rice with chicken or vegetable broth and a mix of your favorite veggies. Add rice, broth and about 1-2 cups of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, celery, onions, and carrots, and stir.

Can you cook vegetables in a rice cooker? ›

Steaming in Your Rice Cooker

Cooking white rice in a rice cooker usually takes around 35 minutes, but vegetables will steam-cook in a much shorter time—roughly from five to 15 minutes depending on the vegetables. To perfectly time both of your meal's sides, add your vegetables part-way through the rice cooking cycle.

Can you put sauce in a rice cooker? ›

Step 5: Start the Rice Cooker

While cooking the rice, add whatever sauce you like into your bag of meat. You can add salt, sesame oil, soy sauce or even chopped onion.

Can you put soy sauce in rice cooker? ›

In the rice cooker pot, add the rice, soy sauces, sugar (if using), sesame oil, veg. oyster sauce, and water. Mix well. Add your vegetables and protein over the rice.

Can I put a raw egg in my rice? ›

Its name translates to “egg rice,” and that's basically what it is – a raw egg mixed into piping hot rice. Don't be scared – the hot rice cooks the egg as you stir it in. The result is Japanese comfort food at its best – the most creamy, delicious bowl of rice you've ever had.

Is buying a rice cooker worth it? ›

Rice cookers vastly simplify the process of preparing rice.

There's no need to peek under the lid to make sure your heat isn't too high or low, or worry about babysitting a pot to keep the rice at the bottom from burning. It'll even keep your rice warm for hours after it's done cooking.

What are the features of rice cooker? ›

Features
  • Capacity. The cup measures the size of the rice cooker and they range from 3 to 10 cups. ...
  • Automatic Shut-Off. All rice cookers have an automatic shut off. ...
  • Steaming Trays. Some rice cookers offer steaming trays. ...
  • Cleaning. When it comes to cleaning you should choose a model with a non-stick pan.
13 Mar 2019

Is a rice cooker better than microwave? ›

Energy saving

The microwave rice cooker processes food and cooks much faster. This saves a lot of energy, unlike an ordinary stove that takes time to reach a specific temperature. It can also save you time. The conventional way of cooking rice can sometimes take a long time.

Can you cook raw chicken in rice cooker? ›

Add just enough water to barely cover the chicken and stir. Close the lid of the cooker, set the cooker for the regular rice setting, and press the start button. When steam begins coming out of the top of the cooker (after about 20 minutes), set the cooker's timer for 10 minutes.

Can you fry in a rice cooker? ›

If you have a standard rice cooker, you can't use it to deep fry foods, since the temperature does not get hot enough, but you can use it to gently stir-fry vegetables alone or as part of a tasty rice dish.

Does rice cooker boil water? ›

A rice cooker is a piece of kitchen equipment that cooks many varieties of rice and grains. They work by boiling water, which is then absorbed into the rice until it becomes tender.

Can you put aluminum foil in rice cooker? ›

Yes, you can use tin foil in the rice cooker as shown in the images. What kind of plate do I use? You can use any plate that fits into the rice cooker.

Can you put raw chicken in rice cooker with rice? ›

Heat your rice cooker and spray the pot with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil. Then place chicken in the bottom of the rice cooker along with all other ingredients except for honey! Let cook until done about 15 minutes on a high setting. If using frozen meat then thaw before cooking.

Can you cook hotdogs in a rice cooker? ›

Steamed Hot Dogs using the Oster Rice Cooker / Steamer - YouTube

How do you boil milk in a rice cooker? ›

how to boil MILK in electric rice cooker - YouTube

How do you make baked potatoes in a rice cooker? ›

To "bake" potatoes in your rice cooker, choose russets or other starchy potatoes. Keep their size as uniform as possible, so they'll bake evenly. Pierce the potatoes and arrange them in the bottom of your rice cooker, then close the lid. Press the On button, and allow the cycle to complete.

Can you use a rice cooker to keep soup warm? ›

Reheat Soup: Leftover soup from yesterday's takeout? Heat it up in the rice cooker with the lid open, then close and switch to "keep warm" so your seconds will stay nice and hot.

Should you put oil in rice cooker? ›

Similar to it's use in cooking both chickpea pasta and regular pasta, olive oil is a useful ingredient when preparing your rice. Not only will a teaspoon of nice olive oil add a wonderfully bright and earthy aroma to an otherwise plain grain, but it will also help keep your rice from becoming too sticky.

Can you put garlic in a rice cooker? ›

Directions. Place rice, water, sesame oil, chicken bouillon, olive oil, green onion, garlic and ginger in a rice cooker.

Can I put spices in my rice cooker? ›

Can I Make This in a Rice Maker? Yes, just add the seasonings (garlic powder, thyme, crushed red pepper, and salt) to the rice maker along with the rice and water, then use the rice maker as you normally would.

Can you put carrots in a rice cooker? ›

Yep – that's really all there is to it! Your rice cooker will cook the grains perfectly and ensure they are infused with the heady essence of your carrots, onions and stock.

Can I cook broccoli in a rice cooker? ›

Pour 2 cups of water into rice cooker pot. Rinse florets in running water and place in steam basket. Place basket in rice cooker and close lid. Using the STEAM COOK feature, steam broccoli for 3 minutes.

Can you cook dumplings in a rice cooker? ›

Place the dumplings (in a single layer) in your rice cooker basket and close the lid. Steam the dumplings for about 30 minutes on the STEAM COOK setting until the pork is fully cooked. Serve these dumplings with a delicious homemade dipping sauce or with your favorite chili or hoisin sauce.

Can you bake a potato in a rice cooker? ›

To "bake" potatoes in your rice cooker, choose russets or other starchy potatoes. Keep their size as uniform as possible, so they'll bake evenly. Pierce the potatoes and arrange them in the bottom of your rice cooker, then close the lid. Press the On button, and allow the cycle to complete.

Can you use a rice cooker as a food warmer? ›

We discovered that reheating leftovers (which we always seem to have) works amazingly well in our rice cooker. We've done meat, potatoes, rice, veggies. Just put in a little water with the food and it turns out piping hot and not dried out.. Great little tip!

How do you use a rice cooker as a steamer? ›

How To Use A Rice Cooker As A Steamer
  1. If you are steaming solo, simply add water to the rice cooker inner pot and turn it on, once it begins boiling, place the meat or veggies you want to steam into the steamer tray and put it on top of the inner pot. ...
  2. Another steaming option is to cook it along with the rice.

What dishes can be made in electric cooker? ›

Here are a few examples with which you might be convinced to buy rice cooker or use your existing one more often.
  • Vegetable Frittata. Fresh vegetables and eggs are the main ingredients for this recipe. ...
  • Chocolate cake. ...
  • Banana bread. ...
  • Pasta with fresh vegetables.
21 Oct 2020

Can I make fries in a rice cooker? ›

If you have a standard rice cooker, you can't use it to deep fry foods, since the temperature does not get hot enough, but you can use it to gently stir-fry vegetables alone or as part of a tasty rice dish.

How do you boil milk in a rice cooker? ›

how to boil MILK in electric rice cooker - YouTube

Can you use a rice cooker to keep soup warm? ›

Reheat Soup: Leftover soup from yesterday's takeout? Heat it up in the rice cooker with the lid open, then close and switch to "keep warm" so your seconds will stay nice and hot.

Is it OK to leave rice in the rice cooker overnight? ›

Storing rice in the rice cooker for several hours is completely safe, but keep it for a maximum of ten to 12 hours. What is this? However, leaving rice for that time is safe only if the keep-warm function keeps the rice at a temperature higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is it okay to leave rice cooker plugged in? ›

The answer is 11 to 12 hours. This is considered the maximum amount of time you can safely leave rice inside a rice cooker to keep warm. Any longer than this, then you should expect to find micro growths of mold and bacteria formulating on the top of your rice. Throw it out immediately.

Can you leave your rice cooker on all day? ›

You can safely leave your rice cooker on warm when used for a short period of time. The “keep warm” feature keeps the rice at a safe temperature for several hours, so you can walk away for a while without burning it. However, if you leave it too long, it can lead to overcooked rice and other issues.

Can I put frozen vegetables in rice cooker? ›

If you're using frozen vegetables, there's no need to thaw them first. Just add them to the rice cooker and increase the cooking time by a few minutes. If you want to add some flavor to your steamed vegetables, try adding herbs or spices to the water before cooking.

Can you cook broccoli in a rice cooker? ›

Pour 2 cups of water into rice cooker pot. Rinse florets in running water and place in steam basket. Place basket in rice cooker and close lid. Using the STEAM COOK feature, steam broccoli for 3 minutes.

Can you cook dumplings in a rice cooker? ›

Place the dumplings (in a single layer) in your rice cooker basket and close the lid. Steam the dumplings for about 30 minutes on the STEAM COOK setting until the pork is fully cooked. Serve these dumplings with a delicious homemade dipping sauce or with your favorite chili or hoisin sauce.

Can you make popcorn in a rice cooker? ›

Just add oil (as you normally would) into the rice. cooker, toss the popcorn kernels, and click cook on. the rice cooker.

Can you cook raw chicken in rice cooker? ›

Add just enough water to barely cover the chicken and stir. Close the lid of the cooker, set the cooker for the regular rice setting, and press the start button. When steam begins coming out of the top of the cooker (after about 20 minutes), set the cooker's timer for 10 minutes.

Is a rice cooker worth it? ›

Rice cookers are worth it if you want a really simple way to cook perfect rice without the hard work of boiling water, constantly stirring or needing to clean a pot. Rice cookers are easy to use, they clean easily and will cook a range of different types of rice to perfection.

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