Sure it's easy to pour some water into a pot and then throw in some rice when the water comes to a boil and 20 minutes later ... rice. However, for better looking and tasting steamed rice that will stay warm, use a rice cooker. The biggest problem cooks have with rice cookers is that they don't use them enough to remember where the directions are. You might consider using an Oster rice cooker more often by using it to cook vegetables as well as rice.
Preparing the Rice
Measure the amount of raw rice you wish to use, and put it into the inner pot. You can count on 1 cup of raw rice making 2 cups of cooked rice. Add 1½ cups of water for each cup of raw rice, but different kinds of rice require different amounts of water. Soft, long-grain rice, the oriental variety, requires twice as much water as raw rice. Basmati rice needs 1½ cups of water per cup of rice, and brown rice requires 2 cups plus 2 tbsp. of water for each cup of raw rice. If you desire stickier rice, use a little more water, and use a little less for fluffier steamed rice.
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Starting the Cooker
Place the inner pot inside the heating body, the main part of the Oster rice cooker. Close and lock the lid. Plug the cord into an electrical outlet and press the cooking switch to on. The red cooking light will come on if the unit is properly plugged in and locked.
Keeping the Rice Warm
When the rice is finished, the red cooking indicator light will automatically change to yellow to indicate that the rice is being kept warm. If the rice starts to cool down, the red indicator will light when the heating element comes on. It will warm the rice until it reaches the proper temperature.
Tips for Better Steamed Rice
Don't attempt to open the cooker until the cooking cycle is complete. Allow the rice to rest for several minutes before opening the cooker. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. For softer rice, allow the rice to soak in the inner pot for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking.
Using the Steamer Tray
Use the steamer tray to prepare steamed vegetables. Steaming will preserve the nutrients in vegetables and help maintain their bright color. Peel and cut the vegetables into small pieces and place them into the steamer tray. Fill the inner pot with 1/3 cup of water for 10 oz. of green beans, broccoli, corn, peas or mixed vegetables. Eight ounces of sliced carrots or cauliflower and 5 oz. of spinach also require 1/3 cup of water. Except for corn, which requires 40 minutes and spinach that takes 30 to 40 minutes, all of the other above mentioned vegetables cook in about 30 to 35 minutes.
Cleaning the Rice Cooker
Unplug the cooker before cleaning. Never put the heating body into water or use scouring pads or other abrasive cleaners on the cooker. The inner pot and steamer can be washed in the upper rack of a dishwasher. Wipe the exterior with a damp sponge and dry thoroughly.