Using a Rice Cooker for Perfect Results Every Time
The beauty of rice cookers is how simple they are to use. Unlike boiling rice on the stove, it is nearly impossible for your rice to be overdone in one of these devices, when used properly. The basic concept is to automatically heat the water and rice in the appliance, which constantly checks the temperature of the contents. When the water is gone, the temperature in the rice cooker goes up, which activates a shut-off switch to prevent burning.
So, the primary key to perfect results when using a rice cooker is adding the appropriate amount of water. A general rule is one cup of water for every cup of rice. If you put in too little, your rice will come out crunchy, and if you use too much, you will end up with a pot of rice mush. For very small portions of rice, you might need to add a little more water, and if you skip the step of rinsing rice before cooking, you might need some extra as well. Take a few test runs with your rice cooker to determine the optimal amount of water for your brand and size.
A word about rinsing your rice – do it. You will remove the agent used to prevent the grains from sticking together on the shelf. While it is completely edible, its purpose is to remove moisture, so it can impact the outcome of your finished meal if permitted to remain. Another quick tip – don’t remove the rice from the rice cooker as soon as it is done. Give it ten more minutes to rest without removing the lid. In a manner similar to roasting meats, this period gives the remaining water in the rice time to be evenly distributed. If you can, leave rice you are not using right away in the rice cooker, and leave it plugged in. It will stay fresh and delicious much longer that way. As a final thought, use rubber or silicone serving utensils in your appliance, to avoid scratching the non-stick surface.