Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ruminations on a Rice Cooker

I think rice cookers are stupid.  Perhaps this statement is too edgy for a simple cooking blog, but I'm going to get crazy here and stir up a little controversy.  It's good to go out on a limb every once in awhile.

I fully expect the hate mail to come rolling in.  Well, actually,  I only have 14 (wonderful) followers, so maybe that hate mail will be a trickle.  In any event, I know a lot of people with rice cookers and they are desperately--rabidly--loyal to the devices.  It's almost as if their rice cookers dispense parenting advice and pain killers.   They simply can't live without them, and I don't get it.  They take up too much space in the kitchen, and at the end of the day all they make is RICE.  I grant you that a rice cooker will make perfect rice everytime, but do you know how EASY that is to do anyway?  It's like a having a machine that can  pour milk on a bowl of cereal.  It's just dumb.

I can make perfect rice everytime too, and with nothing more than a cheap Farberware saucepan.  Here's how:

1.  Combine two parts water to one part uncooked white rice.  (That is 2 cups water, one cup rice; or 4 cups water, 2 cups rice).

2.  Cover the pot.

3. Place on medium high heat.

4.  Come back in 15 minutes and check on it.  This is apparently the step that stumps the rice cooker brigade.

5.  Once the water is gone, your rice is ready.  You can tell that the water is gone because holes or tunnels of rice will develop throughout the pot, which will leave a clear view to the bottom of the pan.  If there isn't any water there--you're done.  You can also take the blade of a butter knife and gently move aside the rice to peak at the bottom of the pan.  Again, when the water is gone,  it's been absorbed by the rice, and you're good.

Tunnels of Rice, sans Rice Cooker
 6.  Turn off the heat.  Cover the pot.  The rice will stay hot for a good 30 minutes. 

It's now ready for anything.  Salt it, butter it, sauce it, or stir fry it.  It's just RICE, and for God's sake, it doesn't need it's own appliance.


  1. But, a rice cooker is so simple!

    As Ron Popeil put it, 'set it and forget it'


  2. I am obsessed with perfectly cooked rice (or pasta, or anything along those lines) and even with my low level of cooking skill (and oh it is low) I also find rice cookers stupid. Well said! Here here!