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Can You Cook Meat in a Rice Cooker?

Can you cook meat in a rice cooker?

Anyone can make use of rice cookers to cook meat dishes.

It is important to determine the correct portion of the meat and then select the cooker’s proper setting.

Apart from cooking delicious steamed meats, it is possible to produce a surprisingly wide range of cooked meats with a rice cooker.

Nowadays, several advanced rice cookers come with a range of options that will help cooks create outstanding meat dishes without major issues.

Can you cook meat in a rice cooker?

It is possible to cook meat in a rice cooker. Rice cookers can cook parboiled, boiled, and steamed meat. Rice cookers can also cook stewed meat, for example, curries and simple casseroles. It is even possible to cook slow-cooked pork and fall-off ribs with programmable rice cookers. Finally, rice cookers can cook an extensive array of rice-and-meat dishes.

Can You Cook Meat in a Rice Cooker?
Can You Cook Meat in a Rice Cooker?

Using a rice cooker to cook steamed meat

It’s important to mention that the user will require a steam rack to cook steamed food in the rice cooker.

Even the most basic rice cookers, those priced in the $50-dollar range, for instance, include steam racks nowadays.

However, this doesn’t mean that all rice cookers come with one.

If no steam rack is on hand for use with the rice cooker, it is always possible to purchase one on Amazon or at Walmart at a reasonable price.

You can cook meat in a rice cooker
You can cook meat in a rice cooker

However, ensure that the rack purchased is of the correct dimensions of the rice cooker.

Once a steam rack is available, it is time to begin this process.

First, fill the rice cooker with about 21 fl. oz. (about two-and-a-half cups).

Next, place the meat onto the rack, ready for steaming. Be sure to liberally spice the meat before starting the cooker.

I’ve already mentioned that rice cookers operate by sensing how much water weighs (and if I haven’t, well, I’m saying it now).

This means that the rice cooker will continue to cook until all the water has evaporated.

This could lead to overcooking. Therefore, it is recommended to set a timer in your kitchen to prevent this.

You can steam meat in a rice cooker
You can steam meat in a rice cooker

Cooking meat in a rice cooker–getting it wrong

Most cooks will probably fail to get perfectly steamed meat the first time they try cooking like this.

Hopefully, this won’t deter them from working through the various problems they’re bound to face and pushing through to become absolute masters of the art.

The more cooks work on this, the more proficient they’ll become adept at it.

In time, cooks will be able to set the ideal timer for every kind of meat, and they’ll no longer have to trust blind luck.

For those unfamiliar with this style of cooking, I strongly advise exercising constant care and attention.

Open the rice cooker’s lid from time to time to verify that the cooking process is going according to plan. This allows the cook to get the best results.

It is essential to utilize steam racks.

If the cook puts the meat directly into the rice cooker, the seasoning dissolves in the water first.

When the liquid evaporates, the herbs and spices will spread evenly throughout the rice cooker.

It is important to be careful, though, because, in the end, the meat at the bottom of the rice cooker may touch the cooker’s floor scorch.

Using a rice cooker to steam fish and other seafood

Passionate seafood lovers can steam fish the same way.

The only modification needed is to decrease the amount of water put into the rice cooker at the beginning.

When steaming fish or other seafood, add only 16 fl. oz. (two cups) of water.

As it turns out, rice cookers are a great choice for cooking steamed fish.

Fish can also be steamed in the rice cooker as long as you use less water compared to what you would use for meat
Fish can also be steamed in the rice cooker as long as you use less water compared to what you would use for meat

Using a rice cooker to stew meat

Note that a slow cooker is the better option for stewing meat.

When cooks are forced to use a rice cooker to stew meat, they must keep in mind that the trick here is to make the rice cooker function like a slow cooker.

First, it is essential to be aware of the distinctions between slow and rice cookers.

A slow cooker cooks meals over a prolonged period of time by maintaining its contents at a suitable, well-regulated temperature.

However, a rice cooker aims to maintain its water at the boiling point until all that water has evaporated.

When the water is turned to steam, the cooker ceases to cook and shifts to a ‘Warm’ setting.

Rice cookers are suited to cook rice-and-meat dishes
Rice cookers are suited to cook rice-and-meat dishes

How to get a rice cooker to mimic the action of a slow cooker

The aim is to prevent the rice cooker from entering the Warm mode.

When this is achieved, the rice cooker functions similarly to an ordinary slow cooker.

To achieve this, the cook must be vigilant. If the rice cooker enters into ‘Warm’ mode, it will be necessary to add more water or other liquid or sauce to ensure that the rice cooker starts cooking once more, which can easily result in over-hydrated meat.

There’s an additional complication to this. The rice cooker is prone to reach boiling point, meaning the rice cooker will be extremely hot when it goes into its ‘Warm’ mode.

I recommend waiting a few minutes until the cooker has had time to cool down a little.

Cooks should wait patiently for about 10 to 15 minutes. When the rice cooker has cooled down a bit, add more water and start cooking once again.

Even if the cook manages to pull off this delicate feat, there will still be some differences in the results obtained between using a rice cooker vs. using a slow cooker.

This is because the temperature of the rice cooker isn’t stable, but yoyos up and down. Compared to that, the temperature inside a slow cooker remains steady.

Despite the difference in results, it is still entirely possible to enjoy a delicious dinner.

Using a rice cooker to cook rice and meat together

Combining meat and rice in a rice cooker can be an excellent recipe when cooking in a hurry. Happily, this recipe is relatively straightforward.

The main thing the cook must do is spice the meat. After this, place the rice grains at the bottom of the cooker, and put the seasoned meat on top.

Next, add enough water to the rice cooker to cook the rice and meat.

It is important to remember to put the rice into the rice cooker first, before the meat.

Failure to adhere to this sequence runs the danger of having the meat burn because it comes into contact with the bottom of the rice cooker.

Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Cook Meat in a Rice Cooker

Can I use meat broth for cooking rice in a rice cooker instead of water?

There is absolutely no problem with using meat, chicken, fish, or bone broth to cook rice in a rice cooker. In fact, if you are adventurous enough to give it a shot, I think you’ll be flabbergasted by the results. Here’s a secret: using broth to cook rice in a rice cooker is a fantastic way to give the rice extra flavor.

What is the biggest ‘gotcha’ when using a rice cooker for cooking meat?

The biggest gotcha when using a rice cooker for cooking meat is cutting the pieces of meat into pieces that are too large. Think about it. Rice cookers are designed to cook small grains of rice, then here you come, dumping huge lumps of meat into it. To avoid this gotcha, cut the meat into small pieces, or even consider using ground meat.

Afterword: Can you cook meat in a rice cooker?

As discussed in this article, it is definitely possible to cook meat in a rice cooker, and even cheap rice cookers will work if a steam rack is available.

Expensive, advanced programmable rice cookers can slow cook meat for fantastic results.

However, the best results come from searching out and using recipes made specifically for cooking meat in a rice cooker.