Many appliances are similar in the way they cook food and operate, so it is no surprise that many have discovered that rice cookers are similar to Crock Pots and so wondering if they can use a rice cooker as a Crock Pot too.
Yes you can use your rice cooker as a Crock Pot, as they essentially cook the same way by using steam circulating within the pot to cook the food. Be aware that rice cookers cook on higher heat with faster results compared to the slow and steady function of a Crock Pot.
In this article, I am going to talk about what the differences between Crock Pots and rice cookers are, if rice cookers can be used as Crock Pot and how to use them.
What is a Crock-Pot?
The crockpot is the brand’s name (trademark owned by Sunbeam) that manufactures a range of slow cookers that are pretty popular in many countries.
The crockpot has been around for decades, and it is usually known as the original slow cooker. Crockpots are countertop electrical appliances that cook food over low temperature for an extended period.
The crockpot heats food for close to eight hours, ideal for giving you hot meals whenever you need them.
Crockpots use a lower temperature than other cooking methods such as baking, frying, and boiling to simmer food. They are a perfect fit for individuals who love the hands-off approach in preparing their meals.
The use of crock pots was made famous in the 1940s when many American women began using the appliance to prepare dishes. It gained traction among working-class women who could start dinner cooking in the morning before going to work and preparing the meal in the evening when they get home.
How Does A Crock Pot Work?
The crockpot has three main components: the base(which contains the cooking element), the lid, and a vessel. The bottom of the crockpot comes with handles, a temperature knob, and feet that keep it raised off the surface of your counter.
The crockpot has a liner melded onto the inside of the crockpot’s base. The electrical workings fits between the liner and the bottom, and it holds the heater bands that conduct heat around the base of the crockpot.
The bands generate heat transferred to the cooking vessel and rises across the bottom and up the sides, thereby allowing food to cook uniformly. In preventing the crockpot from overheating, there is a tiny gap between the liner and the base’s outer wrap for airflow.
The cooking vessel holds the cooked food, while the lid helps the crockpot reach the appropriate cooking temperatures. Rather than cooking at specific temperatures, you can set your crockpot temperature at either a high or low-temperature level. The crockpot produces more or less heat based on the temperature level setting.
Benefits of Slow-Cooked Meals
- The long cooking time allows for better distribution of flavors for many recipes.
- Tough meats such as less lean beef, roast, chuck steaks tenderize during slow cooking due to the long cooking process.
- Slow cooking requires lower temperatures that prevent food from scorching or sticking to the bottom of pans or oven.
- Slow-cooked meals are very healthy.
One of the most beneficial ways of cooking meat is by slow cooking.
The slow, moist heat gently cooks meat without generating any harmful compounds.
What Are The Similarities Between A Rice Cooker And A Crock Pot
A lot of people often get confused between a rice cooker and a crockpot. Though they have striking features that differentiate them, rice cookers and crockpots still share some similarities. Let us look at some similarities between them.
1. They both operate on the exact mechanism
Crockpots and rice cookers are essential kitchen appliances with a simple mechanism. Crocks pots get low heat from their bottom, thereby simmering the food.
Rice cookers work on a similar mechanism, only that its design bring the ingredients to a rapid boil which allows the intense steam to deliver the perfect rice you would love.
2. They share the same “set it and walk” feature.
Crockpots and rice cookers are a kitchen delight for many because of their ease of use. They both require you to place your ingredients inside the pot, set the appliance, and walk away.
While crockpots can cook meals for hours, the rice cooker does the same in lesser time and switches to warm mode once the food cooks. In the end, both appliances deliver nicely cooked hot and fresh meals.
3. They both use steam
Crockpots and rice cookers use steam for cooking food. Crockpots have a compact shape and closed lid that allows for moisture to build up and recirculate inside the pot, slowly cooking your food.
4. They both look similar in appearance
On the outside, crockpots and rice pots have a similar appearance and outlook.
Can You Use A Rice Cooker As A Crockpot?
The answer is Yes! You can use your rice cooker as a crockpot.
To conveniently use your rice cooker as a crockpot, you would need to apply some extra effort to get it right. You must understand the main distinct features between rice cookers and crock pots.
- Provides higher heat that quickly brings content to boil.
- It has a keep warm feature
- The crockpots use low and even heat over a long period ( 6-10 hours).
- Keep warm features
How To Use a Rice Cooker As A Crockpot
Unlike a crockpot, using your rice cooker to slow cook is not as simple as setting your appliance and walk away. However, you can use your rice cooker as a crockpot by following these simple steps in preparing your meals.
Follow these instructions for preparing your slow-cooked meal with a rice cooker.
- Saute your onion, vegetable, garlic, and meat before adding them to the cooker.
- Add other ingredients
- Add liquid to the ingredients
- Cover then turn your rice cooker to the cook mode.
- Turn your cooker to the keep warm mode once your notice the liquid has started to boil.
- Leave it on the warm setting for an hour, then repeat the process.
What You Should Know About Using Your Rice Cooker As A Crockpot
The rice cooker and crockpot work by using similar principles. Crockpots cook food over a long period via moist heat and also traps the flavors in the pot. These days, rice cookers come with slow cook settings, making them much easier to use for slow cooking.
Using your rice cooker to slow cook requires some effort and a bit of mathematical skill to achieve a perfect slow-cooked meal. You would have to bring your mathematics sense to play by figuring out how many times you would need to repeat the process before getting a well-cooked slow meal.
It takes about 6-8 hours to get the perfect slow meal with crockpots. You must bear this in mind while replacing your crockpot with a rice cooker.
What Other Things Can I Cook With My Rice Cooker?
Aside from giving you that matchless rice meal, rice cookers cooks other food items including;
- Meat: With the correct temperature and monitoring, you can use your rice cooker for cooking meat to your desired taste.
- Steamed potatoes
- Lentils and quinoa
- Steamed salmon
- Steamed vegetables
You can use even the most basic rice cookers with just the typical cook and warm modes to slow cook. The most important thing is getting the timing and setting right. Remember, it would take a bit of mastery and experimenting to get your rice cookers to deliver a tasty slow meal.