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Fri Jan 1, 2016, 01:45 AM

I got a rice steamer for Christmas

Not something I would have ever bought for myself since I have some pans with tight fitting lids that make perfectly good rice with very little trouble. The box says it works as a slow cooker but I already have one with three different size bowls that handles everything I need for slow cooking - and it sits idle most of the time since I don't often slow cook.

The one thing the rice steamer shows on the box that I might could use is as a steamer. Any tips for what works well for steaming - other than rice?

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply I got a rice steamer for Christmas (Original post)
csziggy Jan 2016 OP
Rebkeh Jan 2016 #1
csziggy Jan 2016 #4
kentauros Jan 2016 #2
csziggy Jan 2016 #3
kentauros Jan 2016 #5
csziggy Jan 2016 #6
kentauros Jan 2016 #7
Warpy Jan 2016 #9
csziggy Jan 2016 #10
Warpy Jan 2016 #12
csziggy Jan 2016 #13
Warpy Jan 2016 #14
csziggy Jan 2016 #15
Warpy Jan 2016 #16
csziggy Jan 2016 #17
Person 2713 Jan 2016 #8
csziggy Jan 2016 #11
rusty quoin Jan 2016 #18
csziggy Jan 2016 #19
Sentath Jan 2016 #20
csziggy Jan 2016 #21

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 01:54 AM

1. I use mine often

for rice but also to steam hard vegetables like carrots. I recently saw online that you can steam eggs for hard "boiled" eggs, I tried it though I was skeptical. It works well in a pinch, the eggs will be a little overdone but if you're in a rush - it's a go.

I've seen recipes and such on Pinterest so give that a search.

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Response to Rebkeh (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 02:04 AM

4. Can you cook pasta in one?

I don't cook pasta often since I hate draining the water from the stuff. I've thought about buying a "basket" to fit in my pot so I could just lift the pasta out of the water but never bothered. If I could cook it in a rice steamer I would have a use for the thing!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 01:55 AM

2. Tamales, asparagus, other fresh veggies.

Chinese steam buns, dumplings, even just heating corn tortillas for tacos, if it's not too much trouble to use it for only a minute or so.

Hope that helps and Happy New Year

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Response to kentauros (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 02:01 AM

3. I like crisp tortillas but maybe my husband would use it for his

He likes soft tortillas so while I am crisping mine in the toaster oven he heats his in the microwave. When we eat tortillas I just make a meat filling and various things to top them with and we each prep out tortillas the way we like them.

The picture on the box shows fish and asparagus being steamed. That might work for me. I really didn't need another cooking device. If I don't find it useful I might give it away.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 02:18 AM

5. I have a vegetable steamer that can do rice,

but I find it easier and faster to cook the rice in a pan on the stove. The steamer is great for frozen tamales and Chinese dumplings. Of course, there's also steamed puddings, which I've never tried.

One major reason I've never wanted a rice steamer is that it's just me here, and unless it can steam as little as one cup of dry rice, I'd never use it to capacity, unless I was entertaining. If you ever do that kind of thing, it might be worth keeping.

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Response to kentauros (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 02:28 AM

6. Yeah - I'm wondering if it's worth keeping

I hate taking up my kitchen space for something I wouldn't use. I seldom use the slow cooker - I mostly keep it to cook pork for pulled pork (season a Boston butt roast, put in the cooker with sliced onion, pour a bottle of beer over it and cook until done then shred).

I don't entertain and with just the two of us we don't cook a lot of stuff unless it freezes well.

My good pots work great for rice - one cup rice (usually brown, black or a Lundberg blend), two cups water or broth, turn to 5 on the burner. In five minutes when the water has come to a boil I turn it down to 2.5 and set the timer for 45 minutes. That makes enough rice for several meals and I can always cut it in half and use the smallest pot.

I found this list of possible recipes but most of them would work in a pan on the stove top or in the slow cooker without a lot of hassle - less hassle than another device!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 02:32 AM

7. Well, the least you can do is to try it out anyway.

If the results are better than stovetop, then it might be worth keeping. If not, I'm sure a donation center will love it, too

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Response to csziggy (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 04:32 AM

9. I never used a rice steamer until I got a computer

Now I find I incinerate as much as I cook properly, so rice cooker it is. I used a series of cheap Rivals, replacing them every year or two when they'd conk out.

I just upgraded to a small Kuchen and I have to say I'm completely impressed, the "warm" function keeps rice at the perfect temperature without cooking it any more. I've always eaten a lot of rice, now I'm eating even more of the stuff.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 10:37 AM

10. One of my most essential kitchen devices is my timer

A little square battery powered one that I can carry with me. No matter what I am cooking - even making coffee or bread - I can set the timer, go off to work on the computer or on my needlework and the timer will let me know when the cooking is done or it is time for the next step. I use it to keep track of cooking for as short as five minutes or as long as several hours. Having a timer that is small enough to fit in my pocket or to prop up on my desk has saved a lot of food from being ruined!

As for keeping rice warm, my pots with the very tight lids hold heat for hours. As I mentioned in another message I put the rice and water in the pot, set the timer for five minutes - which is just long enough to get the water to a boil - then turn the heat down and set the timer for 45 minutes. Once the rice is done I can turn the burner off and if I leave the pot closed the rice will stay at serving temperature for at least an hour, usually longer.

We eat brown rice, Chinese black rice (which I get at Costco) and the Lundberg rice blends. About once a year I make risotto with Arborio rice, the only white rice I use - but I would never make that in a steamer!

I guess I will have to try out the rice cooker. I might decide that steaming is a great way to cook some things.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 05:29 PM

12. That doesn't work for me

Maybe if they made one that shrieked "FIRE!" instead of giving timid little beeps, it would.

When I am concentrating on tracking something down, little gets through.

ETA: http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/surprising-things-you-can-make-in-a-rice-cooker#.xhlVEgzZz

https://www.zojirushi.com/app/recipe/rice-cookers

Asia's way ahead of us, there are a lot of recipe books there for rice cooker food.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 05:51 PM

13. The timer I have is pretty loud - I can hear it across the house

But I know what you mean - sometimes it takes an aggressive noise to get through to me.

I'll look through the recipes but so far many of the ones I have looked at would be more trouble than just using one of my pans or a skillet.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 06:04 PM

14. I have the feeling a lot of them were developed for kids in crappy rooms

with no real cooking facilities. After all, I discovered stir frying in the mid 60s in the popcorn popper we were allowed to keep in the rooms at school. Toast on an iron was far less satisfactory.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 07:09 PM

15. In college I cooked for two years with a toaster oven and an electric skillet

My iron made great grilled cheese sandwiches - wrap the sandwich in buttered aluminum foil, turn the iron to the cotton setting, put the iron on the sandwich until it smells toasty, flip it over and repeat. Now I do the same thing in a flat bottom frying pan using my bacon press as a weight. Beats a panini press for convenience!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 09:41 PM

16. We coluldn't have those. Iron and corn popper were it

but that was in the dark ages, the 60s.

My poor man's panini press was 2 preheated cast iron skillets, the sandwich between them.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 10:22 PM

17. This was not in the dorm - I rented rooms off campus

$75 for a room with a shared bath and another $50 to rent a fridge for the summer of 1973. I almost never ate out and cooked for myself every meal. After that summer I rented a room in houses with other girls. Most of the time the fridge worked but often the stove didn't so my toaster oven and electric skillet came in handy. Usually I paid about $50 a month to share a three bedroom house with two other girls. My name was never on the leases - one of the other girls had that honor.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 03:17 AM

8. Unless you eat a lot of rice or don't have an insert for steaming in another pot , I would give it

away . If you live somewhere warm it is nice to take it out of the house and cook rice or steam while keeping the kitchen cool . I am assuming it is electric
IMO those two reasons are the only justification for adding it but others may give good suggestions
on why it is a keeper

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Response to Person 2713 (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 1, 2016, 10:44 AM

11. If it's too warm to cook in the kitchen here, there will be bugs

Or serious humidity both of which I have problems with. I live in Florida where we've just now dropped below the 80s for daytime temperatures. I'm hoping for a frost this week to kill off some of the bugs that have been tormenting me and the horses.

I do like some of my small appliances that let me avoid heating up the large appliances. But my electric cooktop doesn't heat up the kitchen much so that wouldn't be a reason to move to a rice cooker.

I'm 50/50 on whether or not to keep the thing. I guess I better read the box and the instructions to see if those will tempt me to try it. I'd just as soon leave it in the box so I can re-gift it. If I use it, it be donated to some group.

As much as anything I have a resistance to yet another device. Hmm - maybe it would make a nice gift to a young friend who is going off to college next fall. When I lived in the dorm I cooked a lot of meals with an electric skillet and an iron (with aluminum foil you can make a great grilled cheese sandwich with an iron). A steamer could be just the thing for her to cook inexpensive, healthy meals!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 01:10 AM

18. Re gift ?

My college age son has one. He taught me to use it. I still have difficulty with it. He's happy with it.

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Response to rusty quoin (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 02:03 AM

19. That's what I'm thinking

A young friend of mine is off to college in the fall - been accepted into a pre-med program! She loves to cook and if I give her the rice cooker now she can learn what works best for her in it before she heads off to school.

I've looked at a lot of recipes for it - every single one can be made on the stove top or in my slow cooker, especially if I get a steam rack that can be used either place. But I don't know if I need to steam anything.

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Response to Sentath (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 04:05 PM

21. I've regifted the rice cooker

I kept looking at recipes and decided that even if I want to cook any of them I can do it with regular pots and pans or use my slow cooker. I just don't need another device!

The young woman who got it is going off to college next fall. She loves to cook so she can experiment with it over the months before she leaves and take it with her for a versatile cooking device. She was very happy with the idea and is looking forward to testing it out.

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