Can You Use a Rice Cooker as a Steamer?

Cooking rice in a rice cooker is quick and easy, but if you have a model with the right features and steaming trays you can also use it to steam vegetables and other food.

This handy feature allows you to cook rice in your rice cooker’s steam basket, steaming tender, flavorful vegetables simultaneously with your rice. It saves time and makes it easier to store the dishes.

What type of rice cooker do you need to steam vegetables?

If you want to steam vegetables in a rice cooker, you’ll need one that has a steaming basket or insert. These baskets are usually made of metal or bamboo and fit snugly into the pot. Some rice cookers come with a steaming tray that sits on top of the rice as it cooks.

The size of the rice cooker doesn’t matter too much, as long as it’s big enough to fit the steaming basket. If you plan on steaming large quantities of vegetables, though, you might want to get a larger model or a steam oven.

To use the rice cooker as a steamer, add water to the pot according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the vegetables in the steaming basket or insert, then put the basket into the pot. Cover the pot and turn it on - most models have a “steam” setting.

Let the vegetable steam until they’re cooked to your liking. Depending on what you’re cooking and how much food is in the pot, this could take anywhere from five to 30 minutes.

Vegetables you can steam in a rice cooker and how long it takes

Different vegetables have different cooking times, so it’s important to know how long each type of vegetable takes to steam. Here’s a helpful guide:

  • Asparagus: 3-5 minutes
  • Broccoli: 3-5 minutes
  • Carrots: 5-7 minutes
  • Cauliflower: 3-5 minutes
  • Green beans: 5-7 minutes
  • Mushrooms: 3-5 minutes
  • Peas: 3-5 minutes
  • Zucchini: 5-7 minutes

Remember, the key to perfectly steamed vegetables is not to overcook them. Vegetables should be cooked just until tender, but still crisp.

Benefits of steaming vegetables in a rice cooker

Using a rice cooker for cooking rice has already many advantages. If you use your rice cooker for steaming vegetables there are even more benefits to it.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it is a very convenient way to cook vegetables. You can simply put the rice cooker on the counter, add your vegetables, and set the timer. The rice cooker will do the rest.

Another benefit of steaming vegetables in a rice cooker is that it is a very healthy way to cook them. Steaming preserves more of the nutrients in vegetables than other methods of cooking, such as boiling or frying.

Finally, steaming vegetables in a rice cooker is a very quick and easy way to cook them. You can have perfectly cooked veggies in just minutes with little effort on your part.

Author: Scott Sanders


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