How to Use Your Rice Cooker

Rice Cooker
The Spruce
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings (serves 6)
Ratings (90)

A rice cooker can be a very handy kitchen gadget, especially if you like to make (or eat) a lot of rice. It works by bringing the liquid in the rice recipe to a boil very quickly. Because the rice cooker environment is sealed, it reduces the air pressure over the liquid so it boils faster. A temperature sensor within the machine monitors the heat inside the cooker; when it starts to rise above 212 F (the boiling point of water), that means that the rice has absorbed all the liquid and it automatically switches to a warm setting.

It's important to read the instruction manual that comes with your rice cooker and follow instructions to the letter. These instructions were developed by the company for your specific rice maker. Doing so will ensure you get good results every time.

Different types of rice have different textures and will result in different outcomes when they are prepared in the rice cooker. Short grain rice, such as Arborio rice and sticky rice in Asian cuisines, has a lot of starch (also called amylopectin). This starch is highly branched and tends to stick together so that rice will always be stickier and less fluffy than other varieties. Long grain rice should be fluffy and not stick together because it has more amylose, a starch molecule that is long and straight. The molecule doesn't get tangled together with other molecules 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. 

Based on the finished texture you prefer, choose the right rice for your eating preferences. When following the rice cooker instructions, make sure you prepare the rice as dictated by your specific variety. Some different types of rice may have different instructions. You will also need to measure the rice accurately; most rice cookers will come with their own measuring cups.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cups rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

How to Make It

  1. Follow the instructions that come with your rice cooker and the type of rice you are preparing.
  2. For most rice 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.
  3. Turn the rice cooker on and let it cook according to the instructions.
  4. Most rice cookers can keep the cooked rice warm for hours without burning. Check to see if your rice cooker has a specific warming setting or if it will activate automatically.

    Once you prepare your rice, there are endless ways to eat it. Serve it plain, alongside the main dish, or use the cooked rice as an ingredient in another recipe. 

    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 116
    Total Fat 0 g
    Saturated Fat 0 g
    Unsaturated Fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg
    Sodium 196 mg
    Carbohydrates 26 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Protein 2 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)