Sharing such a simple recipe for how to make perfect rice using, gasp, a rice cooker feels wrong somehow, but I just can’t keep discoveries like this to myself. For a long time, I didn’t like rice very much. It was always so dry and bland. While this might help with cutting back on carbs, it really limited side dishes and even main dishes.
How to cook rice in a rice cooker
After learning to add a lot (really a lot) of salt and olive oil to my pasta water, I tried a similar technique with grains. It was a delicious success! Add to that a quick rinse of the grain in warm water and I’m making perfect rice every single time. I’m evening enjoying it on its own.
I could have easily titled this post “how to make the best quinoa (or brown rice) in a rice cooker” because the technique is just as foolproof. And a quick side note, I usually combine rice and quinoa for our dinners. I love the combo in a protein-filled side and love the way it tastes.
My rice cooker is nothing fancy and obviously not new. My sister bought it for me when I was in college. One of the legs is slightly melted and the on/off switch isn’t actually in one piece any more. Nevertheless we enjoy delicious rice on the regular.
When we did our wedding registry, I planned to ask for a new one, but all I found were big, expensive, over-the-top versions. Now that I know the secret to how to make the best rice, I have no desire or need for all that jazz. So until then, my slightly hindered 3-cup rice cooker will be one of my most used kitchen appliances. And we’ll have perfect rice every time!
Brown Rice + Quinoa
This foolproof method for deliciously moist rice is the same one I use for white rice, brown rice, and quinoa. Most often, I do a combination of brown rice and quinoa. My husband doesn’t like straight quinoa, but I like added that extra bit of protein to our whole grain mix.
The typical rice ratio is 2:1 (water:rice) just like on the stove. I find that the pre-rinsing along with a few extra tablespoons of water is really what it needs. And I can’t emphasize the addition of olive oil and salt. Don’t let your rice just be a side, let its flavor capture your taste buds along with the rest of your meal!
We love making a big batch of rice to enjoy with grilled or roasted veggies and a protein. Then I often like to mix leftover rice into something like this one pot mexican casserole!
BEST RICE IN RICE COOKER
If you love rice at restaurants but never at home, this recipe is for you. Rice cookers are a great secret to making the perfect rice, but it's the other steps that make it perfect every time. You can use the same rinsing technique and the addition of olive oil and salt for stovetop rice as well. This technique hasn't failed me yet and we eat quite a bit of rice!
- 1 cup rice or quinoa
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Add rice or quinoa to rice cooker bowl. Cover with lukewarm water. Shake rice/quinoa around in water with fingers. Pour off most of the water. Repeat 2-3 times until water is less opaque.
- Add water, olive oil, and salt. Place in rice cooker and turn on.
- Let cook until done.