From the dawn of mankind, food has been the most important thing for survival. Water was easier to come by and although more important for our well-being, it was the food that daily lives and individual chores in the community revolved around. Over the millenniums, the things we eat evolved with us, all to the present day where technology and novelty inventions allow us to make more food than ever. Contemporary kitchen practices also allow us to support our busy lifestyles and filled up schedules since more and more solutions are oriented towards an average working person who has no time to prepare elaborate meals every day.
Considering how much we are rushing about and chasing our dreams, be it in terms of work and school or our passions and hobbies, our diets are the ones that suffer. As the saying goes, you are what you eat and we have to give our bodies what it needs for a healthy and nutrient-sufficient diet. It is hard to do so without enough time and skill for proper cooking. Therefore, modern cooking equipment that anyone can get is there to help. Among the most beloved of them are steam and slow cookers which give you the chance to prepare your favorite dishes with little to no effort.
Out of those, it could be said that the rice cooker is one of the best things available and definitely one of the devices you should absolutely invest in if you care about eating right but lack the time to put in enough effort. In the article here and now we are going to talk more about the rice cooker, more importantly, how to steam all sorts of other food in it. If you wish to learn more about rice cookers and many other kitchen appliances and equipment, make sure to visit mykitchenadvisor.com/.
What is a Rice Cooker?
A rice cooker or a rice steamer is a kitchen appliance that has actually been used for centuries. It is an old concept of using boiling steam or boiling water to cook rice. The modern variety is simple to use and very straightforward. It has a cooking bowl, a thermostat, and a heat source. Once you pour in the water and rice, it heats up to 100 °C (212 °F) and stays until all the water is absorbed by the rice. There are more complex models with other features and components, and options like warming or low-power modes. but for the purposes of simplicity and ease we will focus on average models that most households aim to get.
The first automatic rice cookers (steamers) started to appear in the 1950s with the Japanese tech giant Toshiba coming up with the initial models. The same approach and formula from 7 decades ago is still largely unchanged because there is nothing much to it that can be changed, other than electricity consumption and heat up speed. A good thing about these appliances is that although they are specifically named and made for the preparation of a single food, numerous others can also be prepared.
How to Steam Other Food
So you know all about rice, but what should you do in order to prepare other food using this appliance? You will enjoy knowing that the practice is almost the same. When it comes to vegetables, it is what most people steam. It depends what veggie you wish to steam because some are harder and more resistant to heat and boiling than others. What you should always do is wash them and peel them, especially carrots, potatoes, and squash. Of course, you should cut or dice them into smaller pieces so that they are cooked faster. Most veggies take between 5 and 15 minutes.
When it comes to meat, a lot of people are uncertain about whether or not you should steam it in a rice cooker. There is nothing wrong with steam cooking meat, just remember that it will definitely not be the same as preparing it another way like frying or grilling. If you wish to tenderize chicken, pork, beef, or even fish, the rice cooker is the best and fastest thing you can do. Like the veggies, you have to cut it and peel off the parts that are not to be eaten. It is best to dice or chop your meat if possible, but you can do whole pieces too. Meats take longer to steam than vegetables, but they do not require as high temperatures.
A neat thing about rice cookers is that you can steam different things at the same time. For example, you can do rice and meat at the same time, but you should definitely use some foil to seal the flavors and keep them from leaking and mixing into each other. There are also rice cookers with different compartments in the cooking bowl so get one of those if you plan to steam whole meals. Some have steaming bowls that go on top of the main cooking bowls. The rice can then be steamed on its own for a while before you put additional ingredients that take less time to be ready on top.
Is there anything else that you can steam other than meats and veggies? What about noodles, pasta, and other ingredients? Technically, you can do whatever as long as it can be prepared with steaming. One-dish noodles, dumplings with various fillings, and any kind of shrimp or fruits of the sea. Making spaghetti or penne is very easy and it is done exactly the same as rice. All you need is pasta and water.
Nowadays, most rice cookers are made to be used for any type of steaming and they come with instructions and tips. There are numerous models available on the market and the little differences among them are all there is to it. Once you get used to how fast it boils the water and how quickly you can have a finished meal, you can start playing with it and come up with new recipes.