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Getting a rice cooker is a smart move, but it also helps if you know how to use a rice cooker. As you will see, they are actually quite easy to use. There are different types, and the type you get will play a big part in how it is used.
If you have ever tried cooking rice on the top of the stove, then you will be pleased with how much easier rice cookers are. Here are the basic steps for using one and getting a great finished product.
1. Read the owners guide. Yes, you need to do this before you do anything else. Every rice cooker is a little bit different, and the manufacturer will give you the best tips for using your particular model. You may need to alter the directions slightly if you are using a variety of rice not covered in the guide. Now you are reading to start cooking your rice.
2. Measure the rice and put it into the cooking chamber (this may or may not be removable; depending on the model). Many cookers come with a measuring scoop, but how much rice it holds will vary. Do not assume it is the equivalent of one cup. You can use the included scoop when following any recipes included with your rice cooker, but you should use standard measuring utensils when following any other recipes.
3. Rinse or soak the rice. This step may be optional and depends on what type of rice you are using, as well as personal preference.
4. Measure and add the water to the rice cooker. The type of rice you are using will play the biggest role in determining how much water you use. If you are not sure, then a 1:1 ratio of water to rice is a good place to start. You can always adjust it next time if it seems a little off. Other than that, your owners guide should contain information on how much water should be used.
5. Put the lid on the cooker and set it (return the removable cooking chamber if you took it out during the previous steps). You should consult the owners guide to see how to set your cooker. You should not take the lid off at any time while cooking the rice, as this can affect the quality of the rice after it is done cooking. Once its done, you may want to let it sit for a few minutes before removing it from the cooker.
That is really all there is to it: Add the rice, add the water, push a button or two and youre done! Well, almost done. The last step is actually the bestyou get to eat the light and fluffy rice that was cooked to perfection.