The thing that makes a rice cooker stupendous is that you can simply fill it, switch it on, and walk away. It will maintain its internal temperature very effectively, leading to perfectly cooked rice every time! So can you cook pasta in a rice cooker?
You certainly can! A rice cooker is, at the base of it all, a simple appliance that is designed to have a contained atmosphere that reaches internal temperatures high enough to boil water – thereby cooking rice. It is also suitable to cook pasta as it uses the same technology.
Cooking pasta in a rice cooker is, largely, the same as using a rice cooker for rice. You simply add in the pasta of your choice, followed by water, and then allow it to cook.
Having such a hands-free appliance in your kitchen can hugely reduce the amount of time that you might otherwise spend slaving away over your stovetop, allowing you to more easily make delicious pasta dishes.
There is a little something that’s worth bearing in mind, though: rice cookers aren’t designed to hold as much water as you’re going to be adding to it. As the water boils around dried pasta, starches from the pasta will leach into the water, leading to a bubbling which becomes a foam with time.
When you’re cooking on a stovetop, you can easily prevent this by regularly stirring the pasta. This stirring motion will collapse the integrity of the bubbles, meaning that your pan won’t boil over.
When using a rice cooker, the entire appeal is that you don’t have to be stood over it, stirring the whole time that it’s cooking. Therefore, you’d be forgiven for trying to find another way to prevent the foaming. The way to do this is to add oil to the pan.
You don’t need much oil, but due to the fact that water and oil won’t natively mix, the oil will sit on top of the water in the pan, and the bubbles won’t be able to travel up to the surface and pop – which is what you want to avoid.
So, to sum up, to avoid foaming in your rice cooker, you can simply add a dash of olive oil to the mixture, and the pasta will cook very cleanly indeed.
Cooking pasta in a rice cooker really is a wonderful way to do it. It’s much less effort than using a pan, and it doesn’t heat up your kitchen at all – wonderful in the summer.
If you’ve got a rice cooker in your kitchen, give it a go! There’ll be no need to fill and boil a pan of water, and no need to drain it either. The draining process is a lot of people’s least favorite part of making pasta – it’s tricky, heavy, and honestly a little bit dangerous! For that reason, cutting the draining process out of pasta making is seen as very beneficial.
Which Is Better: In A Pan Or Rice Cooker?
Well, there’s no real way to say which is better, they each have their own perks.
When cooking pasta in a pan, you have the added versatility, the ability to check it easily, and flexibility with the texture.
The versatility of cooking pasta in a pan is something that cannot be understated. It means that you can good spaghetti just as easily as lasagne sheets, and just as easily as fusilli – they’re all simple and straightforward, as all you need is a large pot of boiling water.
Furthermore, you don’t have to cook dry pasta, you can also cook fresh pasta, which can be delightful in its own right.
The ability to check in on your pasta is an underrated benefit of cooking pasta in a pot. Depending upon the sauce you’re making, you might want to start or stop the cooking process sooner or later.
For example, you might want to quickly cook and drain the pasta, allowing it to continue to cook in its own residual heat while you whip up an easy sauce.
A lot of chefs value the ability to have almost microscopic control over every aspect of the cooking process, and this control is afforded to you much more readily by a pan than a rice cooker.
Finally, the flexibility that cooking with a pan gives you is a wonderful benefit. When I was a little kid, my parents always used to overcook pasta that we had for dinner.
At the time I didn’t know anything different, but right now I look back on those memories fondly. When I’m making a comfort food dish like macaroni cheese, I do sometimes overcook the pasta just a little bit. It brings back memories, and quite frankly it tastes great!
When you’re using a rice cooker to make pasta, however, the pasta will be cooked to the same consistency every time – this can get a bit repetitive over time.
When you’re using a rice cooker to make pasta, the main benefits are the hands-off nature of the cooking process and the ease of the process.
The hands-off nature of the cooking process is definitely what attracts most people to cooking with a rice cooker. There’s something very satisfying about closing the appliance, and walking away, knowing that your food will be perfectly cooked!
Plus, this hands-off approach to making pasta means that you will be able to focus more completely on the process of making the sauce for your pasta – this is really great for a lot of home cooks, who often might find themselves distracted in the kitchen. Therefore, the entire process cuts out a lot of fuss.
The ease of the process of making pasta with a rice cooker is really spectacular. Making pasta is already fairly easy, but using a rice cooker can make the process much more accessible too.
For people who may struggle to handle large quantities of water, both while cool and boiling, making pasta in a rice cooker could be a great way to go!
You won’t have to hold a large pot of water, dragging it back from your sink to your stovetop, and you won’t have to drain a large pot of boiling water either. Instead, simply fill the rice cooker, and wait a few minutes.
How To Make Pasta In A Rice Cooker?
Making pasta in a rice cooker is, essentially, the same as making rice in a rice cooker.
Let’s say you’re planning to make some fusilli, or another similarly small pasta that would be ideal for a quick dinner. Firstly add roughly a cup of dry pasta to the main body of your rice cooker. Bear in mind that dry pasta doubles in size when it is cooked.
Once the pasta is within the rice cooker, simply cover it with water. A good amount of water to go for is enough to fill roughly an eighth to a quarter of an inch above the pasta. This amount of water will, of course, vary depending upon how soft you’d like your pasta to be.
If you like your pasta to be very al dente, then simply covering the pasta with water will be enough.
Next, add in some salt. You’ll need to go easy, however, because a rice cooker cooks through evaporation. This means that salty water could affect the flavor of your pasta over time, though not if you’re sensible with the amount of salt that you put in.
As we discussed before, you’ll need to add in rough a teaspoon of oil to prevent foam from forming and boiling over in your rice cooker. Once everything is in, simply close the lid and set to cook!
During the cooking process, it would be wise to open the lid once or twice and stir your pasta, though this isn’t really necessary – just make sure that you properly stir the pasta before you serve it to ensure that it is properly separated.
Another handy tip to bear in mind is to avoid the keep warm mode that your rice cooker might have. That keep warm mode will continue to heat the bowl that the pasta is sat in, and could begin to brown the bottom pieces of pasta if given the chance. To avoid that, make sure to switch the cooker off as soon as the timer has elapsed – that way your pasta will be perfect every time!