I hear quite often about people who say they can't cook rice to the desired texture. Learn how to use your rice cooker and why it works so well. A rice cooker is a special appliance that cooks rice to perfection every time.
A rice cooker works by bringing the liquid to a boil very quickly. This happens because the cooker environment is sealed, reducing the air pressure over the liquid, so the liquid boils faster. Then, a temperature sensor monitors the heat inside the cooker. When it starts to rise above 212 degrees F (the boiling point of water), that means that the rice has absorbed all the liquid, and it switches to a 'warm' setting.
It's important to read the instruction manual that came with your rice cooker and follow instructions to the letter. These instructions were developed by the company so you get good results every time.
Please remember that different types of rice have different textures. Short grain rice, such as Arborio rice and sticky rice in Asian cuisines has a lot of starch called amylopectin which is highly branched and tends to stick together, so that rice will always be sticker and less fluffy. Long grain rice should be fluffy and not stick together because it has more amylose, a starch molecule that is long and straight, so it doesn't get tangled together when the rice cooks. Medium grain rice should be fluffy but with a slightly stickier texture, since it has about the same amounts of amylose and amylopectin.
Choose the rice you use for a recipe based on the finished texture you want.
- 1 cups rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Follow the instructions that come with your rice cooker. For most cookers, combine 1-1/2 to 2 cups of liquid with 1 cup of rice; this will yield about 3 cups rice, or enough for 6 (1/2 cup) servings. Turn the rice cooker on and let it cook according to the instructions.
The smaller amount is for separate, drier grains of rice. The larger amount results in rice that is stickier. Most rice cookers can keep the cooked rice warm for hours without burning.