As the name implies, a rice cooker is a kitchen tool that is used to cook rice and similar grains. It has an external pot and an inner pan where the rice to be cooked is placed. Although one can cook rice in a regular pot, it is better to do so in a rice cooker especially when cooking in large quantities.
Rice cookers cook automatically and all one has to do is to set a timer and when the rice is perfectly boiled, it turns itself off. This gives one the ability to focus on other kitchen activities without worrying that they might overcook the rice.
There are different types of rice cookers:
1. Automatic Cooker
This rice cooker prepares rice and automatically shuts itself off.
It is most people’s preferred model. It is easy to use and has a non-stick container or a steamer.
2. Warmer Rice Cooker
In this rice cooker, after the rice is cooked, the cooker diminishes the warmth to a certain level to keep the rice warm.
You need to unplug the rice cooker and shut it off.
Features of a Rice Cooker
There are certain features of a rice cooker that makes it stand out from other kitchen equipment.
- Non-stick feature:
A rice cooker comes in a non-stick pan which makes it very easy to clean after use.
- Measuring cups:
A rice cooker comes with a measuring cup that can be used to take precise measurements of the amount of rice to be cooked.
Cooking excess rice would overwhelm the cooker and can spill over.
- Steaming Basket:
Some brands of rice cookers come with a steaming basket that can be used to steam rice or other food items such as potatoes, vegetables, etc.
Can You Add Butter and Salt to a Rice Cooker?
Yes, you can add butter and salt to a rice cooker. It is not a strange thing to do and it does not pose any danger to the appliance.
All it does is add more flavour to your rice and gives it a distinct taste. Also, one can add other spices to rice while using the cooker, not just butter and salt.
What Effect Will it Have?
The salt and butter if added would not affect the cooker itself. Rice cookers are built to handle that sort of content. The salt will dissolve into the rice and the butter would melt and mix with the rice.
Since most rice cookers are non-stick, any butter residue would be easily cleaned off when washing the appliance. Salt and butter help make the rice taste and have a better appearance, so they are encouraged to be used.
Will it Damage the Rice Cooker?
Adding salt, butter or other ingredients to your food will not damage your rice cooker if done properly.
Care should be taken when adding the ingredients because a neat rice cooker will last longer compared to one which constantly suffers food spills as some of these spilled food items might find their way into the essential parts of the cooker and damage something.
For additional guidance, consult the operating manual of any rice cooker you buy to know the specific kind of food that should not be allowed near the cooker.
The manual would also tell you what to do in case there is food spillage.
What to Know Before Adding Butter and Salt to A Rice Cooker?
Before adding butter and salt to a rice cooker, one has to know the right way to operate the appliance in the first place. Also, adding the right amount of ingredients is important because putting an excess of anything can cause overflow and let the contents of the cooker flow into unwanted places.
As a guide, here is a guide on how to cook rice while adding salt and butter.
1. Know the right measurement.
Most rice cookers are classified by their sizes, so one would need to cook an amount of rice that corresponds with the size of the rice cooker available. Also, one needs to only add the exact quantity of water needed for the rice to be perfectly done.
This amount of water listed below is a good guide to follow while cooking.
- Long grain white rice – 1 ¾ cups
- Medium grain white rice – 1 ½ cups
- Short grain white rice – 1 ½ cups
- Long grain brown rice – 2 ¼ cups
- Parboiled rice – 2 cups
- Basmati or Jasmine rice – 1 ½ cups
- Quinoa – 2 cups
2. Wash your Rice.
Though this step is optional, most people since the common types of rice have a lot of starch content and have been exposed to certain chemicals during processing.
Unless otherwise stated, it is advisable to wash your rice before placing it in a rice cooker to prevent sogginess or health complications. Parboiling the rice before putting it in the cooker is a good way to get rid of the excess starch.
3. Add the salt and butter
After washing or parboiling, heat the butter in the inner pan. When it melts, add the required amount of water, salt, necessary spices, and all the rice that is to be cooked. Make sure everything is tidy and that you wipe all drops of water around the rice cooker.
Plug your rice cooker into a wall socket and check if the LED indicator is turned on after which you can set your timer and let your rice cook. When the timer reaches zero, do not immediately open the lid of the rice cooker. Leave it in the rice cooker to absorb the remaining steam and water for a while.
Adding salt and butter to rice in a rice cooker is not strange. It helps improve the taste of the food. However, they have to be added in moderation to not ruin the taste of the rice.
Rice cookers were made to withstand salt and butter, but one should be careful not to add excess water because that can make the content of the cooker overflow and come in contact with the internal components of the appliance which might damage it.