How to Use Microwave Rice Cookers

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Microwave rice cookers came on the scene a few years ago, and now these inexpensive pots are giving electric rice cookers major competition. They produce steamed, fluffy rice with little risk of scorching. The devices also can be used to steam vegetables and reheat cooked rice. Specially-designed lids on microwave rice cookers allow excess pressure to escape while holding most of the water and steam in the pot.

Things You'll Need

  • A microwave rice cooker
  • 1 cup long or short-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water plus water for rinsing rice

How to Prepare Rice in a Microwave Rice Cooker

Wash rice cooker in warm soapy water, rinse well and pat dry. Measure 1 cup white rice. Pour into the bowl of the rice cooker. Using a running tap or kitchen sprayer, fill the bowl half-full of water and stir the raw rice with a spoon to rinse. Drain off the rinse water, being careful not to pour out the rice.

Add clean water to the bowl. Place the inner lid over the rice, followed by the outer lid. (On some cookers, these two pieces attach to one another.) Flip the side latches over the cover tabs. Put the cooker in the microwave and cook at 100-percent power for 12-15 minutes, depending on your microwave.

Carefully remove cooker from microwave. (There might be some boil-over on the floor of the oven, which can be wiped up with a paper towel.) Let cooker stand for five minutes. Open the top carefully and fluff up the rice with a wooden spoon or rice paddle. One cup raw white rice equals three cups lightly-packed cooked rice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most microwave rice cookers are best suited for cooking under three cups of raw rice. Larger batches result in spillover and unevenly cooked rice.
  • Don't drown your rice. Pour equal amounts of water and rice in the cooker, then add 1/2 to 1 cup additional water, depending on the amount of rice used. For two cups of raw white rice, add two and 3/4 cups water.
  • Unsalted homemade broth can be used in place of water for rice. Salted canned broth will result in dry rice. It's best to add seasonings and butter after the rice has cooked.
  • One teaspoon white vinegar, added to the rice cooking water, will give you fluffier white rice.
  • Brown rice can be cooked in microwave rice cookers, but different varieties require widely different amounts of water and cooking times. Try cooking 1 cup long grain brown rice in 2 1/2 cups water for 30 minutes on 100-percent power. Based on your preferences and results, vary the cooking time.
  • Once cooked rice has cooled, refrigerate promptly. To reheat, add a tablespoon or two of water to the rice and microwave, covered, for 1 minute.
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