our son, came home from college one weekend asking how to cook in his dorm
room. He had just moved from a 4-person room to a 2-person room for the summer
session. The two other roommates took their microwave and refrigerator with
them when they went home for the summer. He had recently decided to change
his food habits, searching for a more healthy diet. I suggested we go shopping
to discover what might work for him.
new diet consists of rice, vegetables and fish, so he wanted to look at rice
cookers. I tried to steer him to a more normal kind of electric hot pot, although
I’ve used a rice cooker for years and love it. I thought you only cooked
rice in a rice cooker. He showed me a rice cooker
box and it mentioned cooking soups and stews. "Hmmm. This may work,"
The solution is a rice cooker.
more I thought about it, the more sense it made. If he could cook foods other
than rice, what a safe appliance it would be for a dorm! A rice
cooker turns itself down to "warm" and not burn the
food if he gets distracted.
all he wanted to use his rice cooker for was rice
and ramen noodles. The more I thought about it, the more I visualized one
pot meals like I had created for Y2K Kitchen.
got home and threw some spaghetti, spaghetti sauce and water in my rice
cooker and turned it on. I had to keep adding water, but it
finally cooked and tasted quite
good. The spaghetti had absorbed the flavor of the sauce and remained al dente.
It's all one-step.
was simple. I just threw all of the raw ingredients together in the rice
cooker. I didn’t have to cook the spaghetti, then risk
scalding myself while dumping the spaghetti water down the sink, cook the
sauce, then decide whether to mix them together or serve them separately.
The best part is that I dirtied only one pan. I love cooking and I hate pan
spaghetti stuck to the pan. So I bought another rice cooker.
This one has a non-stick pan. What a difference! I was on a roll.
Who needs rice cookers?
What can I cook in a rice cooker?
anything! For the last 6 weeks, whatever we’ve eaten has been cooked
in the rice cooker. I’d like to change the
name from "rice cooker" to "Everything
is a partial list of food I cooked in my rice cooker:
Why do I use a rice cooker instead of a pot
on the stove?
a rice cooker is simple, cheap, and convenient.
A rice cooker is an electric pot that is designed
to boil water fast, then automatically turn down the heat when the rice is
cooked to avoid burning the rice. It has two settings: 1) cook like mad, and
2) keep food warm forever. Because rice cookers
are designed to never burn rice, I discovered a rice cooker
never burns anything!
best part is that they are safe for unattended cooking. If the phone rings,
I feel safe just walking away from my cooking for a minute. I know that the
rice cooker will not burn the food or start a fire
because it automatically and instantly reduces the heat before the food burns
and then holds the food at a nice warm 140 degrees until I come back and switch
it back to cook.
Like many great discoveries, mine was almost an accident motivated by a problem.
discovered a simple, safe way to cook that is also fast, cheap, convenient,
and delicious. Rice cookers are cheap. You can buy
them almost anywhere.
rice cooker turns itself from "cook" to
"warm" when the liquid in the pot has been absorbed. Food will not
catch on fire if I forget to watch the stove.
The heat stays in the rice cooker. It doesn’t
heat the kitchen.
I don’t need to dump boiling water in the sink and risk scalding myself.
For many recipes, I just dump the ingredients in the pot, turn it on and go
do something else.
Most recipes cook quickly -- in a half hour or less.
Vegetables stay crunchy and healthful.
The rice cooker is almost as fast as the microwave
and safer because the food is always cooked all the way through, with no raw
or cold spots.
so happy with my rice cooker ideas that I want to
share them with you! rice cooker cooking is the
ideal way to cook simple, delicious meals in an ever-busy world. rice
cookers provide a safe way for both new and experienced cooks
to cook without creating a huge mess and without burning food.
© 2000 Sally Strackbein. Sally Strackbein is a speaker and author. To find out more about her programs and services, visit www.SallysKitchen.com or call (703) 262-0361. Her article, above, is used by permission.
Click here to see great rice cookers at Pleasant Hill Grain!