Yes, I probably know what you’re thinking. Can rice cooker cook meat? Well, although it’s named rice cooker, this appliance can be used to cook a variety of meals. You can cook oatmeal, boiled eggs, make cheesecake, and even prepare meat with it!
Surprised? Well, don’t be! Today, we’ll talk about the rice cooker itself and how you can use this amazing appliance for cooking meat! I humbly request you stick to us to the very end.
How Does a Rice Cooker Work?
A rice cooker is a kitchen appliance that can make the user’s life a lot easier. How? When you use a normal stovetop pressure cooker for cooking rice, you need to stay alert all the time. When do you need to open the lid? When should you put it back again? And when should you stop cooking? All of these questions will be in your head, and you’ll have to check on it constantly to make sure nothing is going wrong.
The very aim of a rice cooker is to eliminate all of these hassles. A rice cooker is automated, which means that you won’t have to do anything once you’ve put the ingredients in and have pushed the start button.
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Every rice cooker comes with a manual that suggests how much water you need to put into it for a specific amount of rice. Once you’ve put that in, you need to press the start button. Once you’re there, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. The rice cooker will maintain the heat, and it will also cook the rice for the perfect amount of time.
The rice cooker boils the water provided and turns it into steam. The rice cooker keeps cooking the rice, and it determines whether the rice has been cooked or not through some weight measuring sensors placed inside the appliance. Once the weight of the rice reaches a favorable point, the cooker releases the steam and goes off into a warming mode.
The usage of rice cookers has grown exponentially over time, and currently, there aren’t many homes that don’t have a rice cooker. Although it’s being used a lot, most people don’t know that they can cook a lot of other meals easily with it. In fact, there are people who think that you can’t use a rice cooker for cooking other things because it’s dedicated to cooking rice only, which is definitely not true.
Can Rice Cooker Cook Meat?
There are a lot of different ways of cooking meat with a rice cooker. Here, we’ll be mentioning a few! If you want to find out which method is the best one for you, we highly recommend you try those out. Otherwise, you may not be able to determine that.
It must be mentioned that you need a steam rack to cook steamed meat with your rice cooker. Even the most standard rice cookers that cost around $50 come with a steam rack nowadays. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every rice cooker will come with one. Even if you didn’t get a steam rack with your rice cooker, you could always buy one from Amazon at a very affordable rate! However, you should make sure that the steam rack matches the size of your rice cooker.
Once you have a steam rack and a rice cooker in your hands, you can start this process. At first, you need to fill around 625ml water in the rice cooker before you start. After that, you need to place the meat on the steam rack. Make sure you season the meat adequately before starting the process.
As we’ve said before, a rice cooker operates sensing the weight of the water, which means the rice cooker will keep on cooking until the entire water gets evaporated. This may lead to overcooking. So, you should set a manual timer to avoid this.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to land a perfectly steamed meat for the very first time you’re cooking this. However, that shouldn’t keep you from trying. The more you practice this, the better you will become at this. At some point, you’ll realize the perfect timer setup for each type of meat, and you won’t have to rely on anything else then.
When you are new to this, we highly recommend you to be alert all the time. You should open the lid of the rice cooker and check whether the meat is cooked or not. This will help you get a better result out of your rice cooker.
It’s important that you use a steam rack. If you place the meat directly in the rice cooker, the seasoning will get dissolved in the water at first, and when the water evaporates, it will spread all across the rice cooker. Then again, the lower part of the meat will touch the floor of the rice cooker, and it’ll get burned.
Then again, if you’re a big fan of fish, you can cook steamed fish in the same method mentioned above! The only change you need to make is the water amount. In this case, you need to add 500ml water only. As you can see, a rice cooker offers great versatility when it comes to steamed meat or fish.
Cook Meat and Rice Together:
Did you know that you can cook rice and meat together in your rice cooker? It’s an amazing recipe if you’re in a hurry but still need some protein and carb in your meal. In fact, doing this is very easy!
The only manual thing you need to do is season the meat. Once you have that, you need to put the rice grains at the bottom of the cooker and then put the seasoned meat on the top. Then again, you need to add adequate water to the rice cooker so that it can cook the rice and meat.
How does this work? The water gets evaporated, and a lot of steam is produced. The steam moisturizes and cooks both the rice and the meat thoroughly. After a short time, you’ll get rice and meat cooked together!
It’s important to note that you need to put the rice first and then put the meat on top of the rice. Unless you put the meat on top, there’s a chance that the meat may touch the floor of the rice cooker, in which case it will get burned.
If you have these in check, you will face no problem in cooking rice and meat together in a rice cooker!
Can Rice Cooker Cook Meat Stew?
Yes, you can cook meat stew with your rice cooker as well! Once the rice cooker is heated adequately, you can sauté the meat, and then you can add the sauce or the liquid as per necessity. You must use the ‘Cook’ function of your rice cooker to do this.
However, it’s must be mentioned that this recipe works best with a slow cooker, but it can be done with a rice cooker as well. You can still manipulate your rice cooker to perform as a slow cooker.
To do this, you need to understand the differences between the two first. A slow cooker cooks a meal over a long period of time by keeping it at a favorable temperature. On the other hand, a rice cooker tries to boil all the water inside it by keeping the temperature at boiling point. Once all the water turns into steam, the rice cooker stops cooking and switches to the ‘Warm’ mode.
The goal is to stop the rice cooker from going into the ‘warm’ mode, in which case it will function more or less like a slow cooker. To do this, you need to stay alert. When the rice cooker switches to the ‘warm’ mode, you need to add more water and adequate sauce or liquid to it so that the rice cooker starts cooking again.
However, there’s a complication to this. As we’ve said, the rice cooker tends to reach a boiling point. This is why the cooker will be very hot when you turn it switches to the ‘Warm’ mode. So, we recommend you wait a bit for the rice cooker to cool off. If you wait for 10 to 15 minutes, that will be ample. Once the rice cooker cools off for a bit, you can add more liquid or water to it, and then it can start cooking again.
Full disclosure, even if you pull this off, there will be a difference between the results acquired from a rice cooker and a slow cooker. This happens because the temperature in the rice cooker won’t be stable, but it will have a roller coaster ride. On the other hand, the temperature in the slow cooker tends to be stable.
So, you may not have the exact result, but you will definitely have a great meal!
Should You Wash the Meat Before Putting It into the Rice Cooker?
Now, we’ve seen a lot of confusion amongst our readers about this. While most people ask us, “Can rice cooker cook meat?” There are many who ask whether you need to wash the meat before putting it into the rice cooker or not. This is quite a legit question, as the meat looks very slimy if it’s not washed properly.
Now, you’ll find two groups of people out there with two different answers. There’s this group who’ll tell you that you need to wash the meat before putting it into the rice cooker. The logic behind this is that the meat not only looks slimy, but it hosts a lot of germs and bacteria as well. This seems gross to these people, and they’ll advise you to wash the meat.
On the other hand, there’s this group who’ll tell you the exact opposite. This group of people won’t wash the meat as they think that the rice cooker is enough to destroy the microbes on the meat, and washing will only get the microbes on your kitchen counter and sink.
Now, which one of these groups is right? Well, none of them!
As you can see, you need at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill viruses and bacteria from an object. Any regular rice cooker will apply more temperature than this on your meat, so it’s safe to say that it won’t matter if you washed your meat or not.
Then again, if you rinse off your meat on the kitchen countertop, there’s almost no chance that the microbes will nest on that counter. This is almost absurd, and you don’t have to worry about this.
So, at the end of the day, it’s up to your preference. If you want to rinse the meat before putting it into the rice cooker, you can do that. If you want to take the other way, you’re free to do that as well!
How to Get the Right Rice Cooker for Cooking Meat?
Now, it must be mentioned that all rice cookers might not be able to cook meat and provide the same result. If you want to buy a rice cooker that you’ll be using for cooking meat extensively, you better pick one that suits your need.
Now, we’ll be talking about some factors that you need to keep an eye out for if you want to cook meat in your rice cooker. Plus, we should mention that these factors aren’t applicable if you’re looking for the best rice cooker. Rather, we’ll be talking about the features that’ll help you cook meat in your rice cooker. So, let’s get started!
If you want to cook meat in your rice cooker, you want it to be big. We won’t recommend a rice cooker that will take up the entire space on your kitchen countertop, but you should get the biggest you can afford to keep and buy.
This wouldn’t have been necessary if you were buying a rice cooker for regular purposes, but when it comes to cooking meat, size can play a crucial role. If you get a rice cooker that’s small in size, there will be a lot of instances where you’ll find that the chicken doesn’t fit inside the rice cooker, and it can get very frustrating. So, we highly recommend you get the best size you can afford.
Can rice cooker cook meat? Only if you have a steam rack!
Although most rice cookers do, there are some rice cookers that don’t come with a steam rack. You can’t cook meat if you don’t have a steam rack. Setting off to cook meat in your rice cooker without a steam rack is equal to burning the meat.
So, if you’re going to buy a rice cooker anytime soon, we highly recommend you buy one that comes with a steam rack. Even if it costs a bit more, you should opt for that. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying more if you get one from Amazon.
Then again, there will be a lot of problems when you decide to get a steam rack from Amazon. First and foremost, the steam rack has to match the exact size of your rice cooker. In some cases, it has been found that the steam rack didn’t fit the rice cooker even when it matched the size perfectly.
So, you better opt for a rice cooker that comes with a steam rack.
Although this isn’t a major function, it can make your life a lot easier. The delay button allows the user to delay the time at which the cooking will start. For example, it takes a rice cooker for around 50 minutes to cook meat. However, if you need it after 100 minutes, you can season the meat and put everything in place, and then you can dial the timer to 50 minutes.
If you do this, the cooking will start after 50 minutes, and you’ll be able to able to get the meat completely prepared for you after 100 minutes in total! As you can see, this isn’t a must for you, but it’s helpful.
Finally, you need to check if your rice cooker is programmable or not. If it’s not programmable, you won’t have a lot of options to personalize the cooking process. With a programmable rice cooker, you’ll even be able to slow cook the meat, which will give you a much better result.
Can rice cooker cook meat? As you can see, it definitely can. In fact, you can cook meat even with the cheapest rice cooker out there only if you have a steam rack. Then again, if you have an advanced rice cooker that’s programmable, you’ll be able to slow cook the meat to get the best result possible.
If you want to cook meat with your rice cooker, you can select any one of the mentioned recipes, and you can get started! You shouldn’t expect great meals from the beginning, but if you keep at it, you’ll be able to cook amazing dishes through these methods!
Check out more of our favorite rice cookers below!