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How to Use a Rice Cooker

How to Use a Rice Cooker

Last updated on 3/25/2022

Cooking rice in a rice cooker is the easiest way to prepare large quantities of rice at once. Many restaurants choose commercial rice cookers because they're no fuss. You simply add the rice, add the water, and wait! While using a rice cooker is simple, there are some additional steps you can take to save time on cleanup and ensure that you get rice that is perfectly cooked.

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Rice Cooker Video

Check out our rice cooker video to learn how to make rice the easy way.

What Is a Rice Cooker?

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. Rice cookers are automatic, which frees up your employees to work on other tasks while the rice cooks. You also don't have to worry about a rice cooker boiling over or scorching.

Should You Rinse Rice?

Yes, if you want to make the fluffiest rice with the best texture, you should rinse the grains first.

Rinsing rice removes excess starch, which gives your rice grains a consistent texture and prevents the rice cooker from boiling over. It also helps to remove dirt or pesticides that may left on the grain from the manufacturing process.

Rinsing rice is a good practice in general, but check the packaging on your rice first. Some rice is enriched with vitamins and minerals, which will dissolve if the rice is washed.

How Much Water for 1 Cup of Rice?

The water to rice ratio represents the perfect amount of water needed to cook 1 cup of rice. A one to one ratio, or one cup of water per one cup of rice, is expressed as 1:1. Each type of rice has its own water to rice ratio. Check the manual for your rice cooker to find the recommended rice to water ratio for your machine. Also refer to the rice package instructions for the optimal quantity of water for that particular type of grain.

Rice Cooker Ratio

emperors select rice cooker

These are general guidelines for 1 cup of dry, unrinsed grains:

  • Long grain white rice - 1:1.75 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 3/4 cups water)
  • Medium grain white rice - 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 1/2 cups water)
  • Short grain white rice - 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 1/2 cups water)
  • Long grain brown rice - 1:2.25 ratio (1 cup rice + 2 1/4 cups water)
  • Parboiled rice - 1:2 ratio (1 cup rice + 2 cups water)
  • Basmati or Jasmine rice - 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 1/2 cups water)
  • Quinoa - 1:2 ratio (1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water)

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How Long Does a Rice Cooker Take?

Typically, cooking a large quantity of rice in a rice cooker takes between 25 and 35 minutes. Different types of rice require different quantities of water and cook times. Fortunately, a rice cooker is able to gauge when the rice is finished cooking and turns off automatically.

How to Cook Rice in Rice Cooker Without Sticking?

There are a couple steps you can take to prevent rice from sticking to your rice cooker. First, rinse the rice with cool water to remove some of the starch before adding it to the pot. Coat the rice cooker pan with a little oil or add it directly to the rice and water mixture. Another alternative is to use a rice cooker napkin. This resuable cloth is designed to sit inside your rice cooker while it's cooking. When the rice is ready, simply lift out the rice cloth and no sticky rice will be left behind.

Rice Cooker Directions

Follow our step-by-step instructions to use a rice cooker like a pro!

  • white rice being poured into a metal bowl1.

    Measure the correct amount of rice and place it in a bowl.

  • white rice being washed in a metal bowl2.

    Optional: Rinse the rice until the water turns clear.

  • white rice being poured into a rice cooker with a rice napkin3.

    Transfer the rice from the bowl to the inner pan of your rice cooker. You can also use a reusable rice napkin to make your cleanup afterwards easier.

  • water being added to a rice cooker4.

    Add water to the rice cooker pan using the right water to rice ratio.

  • rice cooker bowl being added into rice cooker5.

    Place the pan inside your rice cooker and close the top. You can also add any spices, oil, or butter at this step.

  • powering on a rice cooker6.

    Plug in your rice cooker and turn the cooker on. Most cookers have a light on the front that indicates when the unit is on.

  • rice cooker in use7.

    When your rice has finished cooking, the cooker will notify you by turning off the light, flipping the switch up, or making a sound. After your rice has finished cooking, let it rest for at least 15 minutes in the "keep warm" mode before serving. This will let any excess moisture evaporate and allow your rice to fully absorb the water.

  • finished cooked rice in a rice cooker being fluffed with a rice paddle8.

    Use plastic serving utensils or rice paddles to serve your rice.

Using a rice cooker is quick and convenient, especially when making large quantities of rice, which makes them ideal appliances for food service establishments. Additionally, learning about rinsing your rice and the proper ratio of rice to water can help ensure that you're serving the fluffiest and best rice possible to your guests.

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