New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

You Can Use Your CrockPot as a Rice Cooker


Day 64.

What if you need to cook a whole bunch of plain rice and don't have an available stove burner? What if you don't own a rice cooker? What if you decided to cook in your crockpot every single day for a year and were feeling rather full of stew and soup?


You could make rice. Plain, old, perfectly steamed rice. In your crockpot.


The Ingredients:
--1T butter
--1 cup white basmati rice (I'm listing this kind because that is what I used. I would imagine that any kind of white or brown rice would work, but I haven't actually tried any other out yet.)
--2 cups water
--pinch of salt


The Directions:

--rub butter on the inside of your crockpot stoneware
--put in rice
--stir in water and salt
--cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, checking every 45 minutes or so.

I cooked the above batch for 2 hours, 15 minutes and checked on it twice.


The Verdict:

Fluffy, lovely rice. I'm interested in trying this with larger quantities of rice and with different varieties.
We had this with takeout.


I needed some takeout. ;-)
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55 comments:

Canadian Saver said...

Another very imaginative way to use the crockpot. I'm very impressed!!

Doesn't basmati rice taste great? I love it :-)

Amie said...

So what happens if you guys want to go on vacation or your internet is down? How will we survive?

Question: I've been craving corn chowder. Or perhaps it's potato chowder. I had it once somewhere and it was so dang delicious. My neighbor gave me a Fix It and Forget It book to use with my crockpot...there is a recipe inside, but I wondered if you had a tried and true recipe you'd like to share? Any tips for me?

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Amie,

We are planning a few vacations this year, and will be bringing the crockpot. It might be really helpful--we usually blow a bunch of $$ eating out on vacation.

I don't think I'd make it through the day without internet though...

I made corn chowderearlier in the year. It was amazing, and one of the dishes I would make again in a hearbeat.

xox
steph

kay said...

great idea!! and i wondered if you guys ever ate takeout! glad to know.

Julie in Houston said...

Thanks for this tip! I had no idea that rice could be cooked in my slow cooker! You rock! I've got some Swedish meatballs in there right now. But I totally cheated and bought the pre packaged slow cooker meal! I'm so sorry! :)

Crockpot Lady said...

that's not cheating, Julie! there are no rules---this is an appliance to make your life easier. I'm all about the easy.
xox
steph

Amy said...

SHUT UP!!! ARKM?? my crockpot is also a Rice Cooker!!! can't wait to do this! My favorite is Jasmine..think it will work?

Trish said...

I'm so trying this one! You bust me up with your sarcasm...:)

Becka said...

I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!

THis is the best tip ever. I hate cooking rice on my stovetop. All I do is worry about it.

Nan said...

I did a brown/wild rice mix in my crockpot recently. It was great. I cooked it on "low", just to experiment. Took longer, but so fluffy and delicious!

aunt mommy said...

Question - what size crock pot did you use? I crocked up some chicken recently and tossed rice in at the last hour or two. It is a 6 quarter, and I put in 1.5 cups rice in with the chicken. A few hours later I had rice paste.

If I put in what you directed, only, into this large pot, would it not burn up/off/out?

Should I halve it and put it in my 1.5 quarter?

Should I just do meatballs and float a glass (oven save) bowl in it with water and rice to "slow steam" alongside yet separate from the meatballs?

Thanks!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Aunt Mommy. I have a 6qt oval Rival Smart Pot.

I did not put any type of insert into the crockpot for this rice.

I have had the paste before, too. I think it's because of the proportions. Rice seems to need exactly the right amount of liquid for it to cook properly. If you have 1 cup of rice, you need 2 cups of liquid, etc. It totally stinks when you're just trying to soak up the liquid at the end of a cooking cycle and you mis-eyeball the proportions.

My brain is not getting the meatball question. You have frozen meatballs and you want to cook them in the rice? If so, I'd imagine that putting them in with the proper rice proportions in the large oval would be fine.

I hope that helped some! You are more than welcome to keep asking questions here or to email me at crockpotlady AT gmail DOT com

xoxo
steph

aunt mommy said...

No, I have some fresh meat to turn into meatballs; I suppose I could do frozen as well.

I'm just thinking meat and veg, with enough water to submerge them. Also but not submerged, a separate container with the right amount of rice and water. Together, but separate.

I totally do submerge cooking, otherwise I get tough meats, right? Or burned meats? I leave the house super early and am gone nearly 12 hours - I'd like to not have the fire department calling just because I'm crocking up dinner.

Well, I am home today; I can try both ways. Submerged meatballs with a container of rice in, and my teeny crock (or even the big one!) with just rice.

Crockpot Lady said...

good morning, aunt mommy.

Is your crockpot relatively new? Does it have a glass lid? If you aren't home all day to check on your meat, all the condensation will stay in the dish, and you do not need to add very much liquid at all to tenderize the meat and have it cook properly. For a pot roast, for example, I'd put it in with only about 1/2-3/4 cup of liquid. The meat tastes the best when it cooks in it's own juices.

If your crockpot is cooking too fast, or the liquid is bubbling even on low, give Rival a call. You might need a different machine. Their on-call people are awesome.

as for cooking raw meatballs, I haven't done it. I did do turkey meatballs back in Jan, but pre-cooked them.

I hope this helped a little!
xox
steph

aunt mommy said...

Thank you. Yes, they are both new; one programmable and one not. And they cook hot.

All my lids have rubber seals and keep condensation in; might be more a consequence of not having a "warm" setting on one, and crocking the way I was taught - total submersion.

I'll give it a whirl. (I wouldn't cook my meatballs, just brown them.) I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks!

aunt mommy said...

okay - about two hours did it. Regular long grain rice, butter rub, sea salt. 1 cup rice, 2 cups water (I threw in a couple of ice cubes about 1:45 because I was worried about the water content).

1:45 it was still a tad hard, at 2:00 +20 min off it was a nice sticky fluffy texture. Nice for serving as is, or making "sticky rice" dishes.

Thanks so much!

thebabblinghousewife said...

I was getting ready to try brown rice, and see you already tried the rice thing (months ago!).

I found someone else who said 4 cups water to 1 cup brown rice for 3 hours on high. I used 2 cups rice and 8 cups water. That worked out great (yea!) using my small 4 quart one (plastic lid - it's probably 12 years old if it matters...which it appears it may)

Seriously, I was t-h-i-s close to buying a rice cooker, and now I don't have to. Yea! (again)

LCM said...

Bless you! I have checked out this site a few times and today I want all of my dinner prepared and have spent 20 minutes trying to find someone to tell me how to cook my rice in the slow cooker. You have saved me so time in a hot kitchen!

thursday said...

You know, the last thing I tried in my slow cooker was rice...and it was a disaster! After 2 hours, the rice was still crunchy. Then, all at once, it exploded into starch pie! It was absolutely hilarious, actually. So jiggly!

Ceejay said...

Well, I do have a rice cooker and I rather like the little guy. Takes only a short time, and I can't wait for that Basmati rice to get done! By the time it is done, I am there with the butter, Tone's Cajun seasoning, bowl and large spoon!
I am lucky as I love Basmati rice and it is ok to eat with the glycemic index program.

Julie said...

Looking forward to trying the rice.
Re the meatballs - I never pre-cook mine - just drop them into the sauce, make sure they are covered and cook. I usually make my own meatballs - if I buy bought ones I cook them a little longer because they are usually firmer (and so take longer to be cooked all the way through). I usually cook on low for 7-8 hours.
I think cooking the meatballs in the sauce is much nicer - you get all the flavour that way!

Joelsephus said...

I realize this doesn't involve using a crockpot, and may not produce rice that is on par with what comes out of a rice cooker or crockpot, but just throw my rice in a corningware glass bowl with a little salt and a ratio of 1 cup of water per 1/2 cup rice, and cook on high and uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. It comes out just fine for me! And it's fast!

K. said...

I got rice paste after an hour using 2c water and 1c rice :-(

anna said...

Did you ever try this using bigger quantities? How did it turn out?

Lynn said...

I am trying to make rice using my 1.5 quart crock pot. It is the brown with white insert and has low and high setting although it seems to cook fast on the high setting. Last night I tried twice to cook rice in it and both times threw out a mushy paste! I used Mahatma long grain rice, 1 cup and 2 cups water. Cooked on high for 2 hours. Rice was not hard, but also not edible! Any suggestions on how to get it to come out fluffy instead of mush?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Lyn,

oh no! It sounds like you have more moisture/humidity in your rice and in the air than I do, or that the Mahatma brand of rice isn't quite as hard as the rice that I happened to use.

You might want to try cutting back on the amount of water, or you may want to check on the rice earlier, and leave the lid off for a while if it looks like the rice is completely cooked, but lots of moisture is remaining.

I hate it when things don't work out, and I hate wasting food. Hopefully you were able to stir in some milk, sugar and cinnamon and have a rice porridge for dessert!

xoxo steph

Kendra said...

basmati rice - Worked need to figure out timing for my cooker better, just a bit on the bottom that was mush

Long grain - Bad, so very very bad!1st try = some rice crunchy and some a lump of mush, 2nd try = all mush I give up

I found stirring occationally helped.

We normally use basmati but had some long grain from a co-op we belong to, so we will try again but with white or brown basmati rice only. I will save the long grain for caseroles.

StrawberryParfait said...

Usually I cheat and make rice in the microwave, but I saw this and wanted to see if it worked...and it did beautifully!

In fact in another slow cooker I put some black beans. When the rice was done, I added in the black beans, some spinach, and pre cooked chicken. It was wonderful.

While I wouldn't leave the house with the rice cooking...for a snowed in Sunday afternoon it allowed be to do other things around the house without worrying about dinner.

Thanks!

Randall Lind said...

Is there a secret to storing rice after cooking without it drying out?

Rachel said...

@ Randall-
The better you seal it up, the less it will dry out, but it still dries out some.

I have found a a trick for reheating though! If you add a tbs or so of water before microwaving, and microwave with the lid on it re-steams and comes out soft and fluffy again.

Mavis @ The Homemakers Paradise said...

I tried this for the first time today and it worked wonderfully. I did cook more than you did...I have a large family and want to freeze some for future meals.

I used 3 cups of long grain white rice and 6 cups of water. Cooked on HIGH for about an hour and half..stirring twice and fluffing at the end. When I stirred it the last time, I brought all the rice on the bottom up to the top and vented it to cool.

BTW, my crockpot is a few years old and has a glass lid. It's a big one...not sure what size.

Andi Stansbury said...

just wondering about cooking a meal that includes rice... I''m always cooking meatballs and rice (beef meatballs, with cream of mushroom soup for a sauce, and rice. my oven just died last week and I am trying to find ways of cooing things I normally cook in the oven... generally use a combination of white and brown long grain

Anonymous said...

Made quinoa in the crock pot today--like spanish rice:)..I just had some and it was fluffy and yummy and not over cooked! sauted green onion, garlic, red pepper then added quinoa..buttered crock-1 c washed quinoa, 2 cups broth, 1/4 t salt, paprika on top, low for 3 hours. It will go great with crock pot sweet & sour chicken!

MemeGRL said...

Has anyone tried this in one of the teeny crock pots? Would that work?
Thanks for all for the tips!

Terri said...

I think it would work in a tiny crock pot, but mine seems to only have one (extra hot) setting, so maybe you'd have to stick around to watch it. But really, just go ahead and make more rice than you need--it freezes & reheats VERY easily!

I was inspired reading the comment for the quinoa above, but went with a maylasian twist instead. I just put in a batch of brown rice (1 cup rice/4cups water) with a packet of powdered coconut milk and a couple of taro/tarey leaves from the frozen section of the local asian market. Oh wow--it smells wonderful already!

TONYA DAHL said...

I made brown rice in the slow cooker and it turned out great. Very moist. I made a large batch. 4 cups of brown rice to 9 cups water. about 2 1/4 cups to 1 cup brown rice. I cooked it on high for about 4 hours. I stirred it every 1 1/2 hours. It is key to turn off the crock pot after 4 hours and let it set. It turned out great.

Chuck Bluestein said...

I bought my slow cooker today to make beans. I did a search to see if I can also make my brown basmati rice with it. I read all the comments and it looks like I can with a little luck.

But it looks like it may not be a good idea to cook the rice and beans together. Then I will just cook the rice the regular way.

cwalker said...

Such a great idea. I'm a fan of your blog and today I wanted to cook rice in the slow cooker and I googled it and your page popped up. I should've known to check here first!

MOMentum said...

Awesome. I was wondering if you could do this. I'm linking to this article from my blog at feedingfourfood.blogspot.com. Thanks for the great idea!

Shepherdess said...

Our family tried this last night! We used brown rice. We did the 1 cup rice to 2 cup water and I really don't know how long it took as we literally 'fixed and forgot'. It was about 2 to 3 hours. We used a 6 Quart Crockpot and just kept putting rice and water in there until it was 3/4 full. We also added some onion flakes, granulated garlic, kosher salt flake and diced green pepper. The evening got crazy as my Husband's schedule is never the same; so when it was 'time' for dinner everyone was still busy so I turned off the crock. At that time the water was absorbed into the rice and I was only concerned with not burning it. Nice way to cook rice during a busy day. I want to cook some ahead to have in freezer for quick stir fry nights! Thanks so much!

chandrasoleil said...

Your recipe works beautifully. I bought a 2qt. Rival at Walmart last fall and it's just the right size for rice! Thank You!

oletimey said...

I have a friend who cooked large amts of rice, then put portions in freezer in ziplocs. Easy stirfry/soup additions!! This crockpot rice cooking idea looks too needy for attention, the exact opposite of what I use that thing for.

Sam said...

I used this "guide" last week when I made stir fry.
I use a tiny little crock pot (called Mommy's TLC here), a cheap one I bought 2 years ago for less then 30 bucks at walmart, and this works out just fine. My only complain was the quality of the rice sucked- because I only had bad quality rice on hand at the time.

Cheryl said...

Looks like it's a winner. I used brown rice. I had it on for 2 1/2 hours and it's done. I have it on warm now and added some frozen broccoli. I am thinking about adding some cheese at the very end.

Cecile said...

I'm dying to try this, as well as glutinous rice! My stovetop has started playing up so I need to find alternative ways to cook rice for my kids' sushi. Do you know whether I would be able to throw 1 cup of rice into a regular ceramic/glass bowl within my slow cooker insert, and thus separating it from whatever else might be cooking inside the slow cooker insert?

Slow Cooker Lover said...

When we are on vacation we usually get a room that has a mini kitchen and a slow cooker is a perfect travel companion. Doing this saves a while bunch of money with not eating dinner out and my two little (fussy eater) girls get one "home cooked" healthy meal a day. Taking a slow clooker on vacation is a great idea.

Tony said...

I put in 4 cups of water to 1 cup of whole grain brown rice, I smeared the margarine on the bottom of the crockpot. After 4 hours on high and about 1/2 hour with the power off it came out perfect. I did fluff it up the last 30 minutes. It actually came out better than in my rice cooker. Will definitely do it again.

Sailing with bare feet said...

What if I made chicken and salsa in my crock pot. Could I cook brown rice w/ it all together in the crock pot?

Michelle said...

I tried this recipe this morning, and I am a happy camper. I have a glass cooktop, and it stays too hot to cook rice. I am so glad to have found a different way to cook rice--that actually works!! My weekly menu is forever changed.

Nana said...

Don't use Water Maid medium grain rice. I just did & it doesn't come out light & fluffy. The taste was ok, but the texture was very soft & no individual grains, all stuck together. It took 2 hrs in a small crockpot. I would try this again, but only with the basmati like the recipe calls for.

karaschaoticlife said...

Looking at the comments here it seems as if some people have adjusted the water for brown rice and some did not. Would you suggest adding extra water for brown rice (as I would on a stove) or not?

Elizabeth Stevens said...

Was just gonna try cooking basmati rice in the crock pot as my stove has died (going on about a week without stove/oven now)
Making Butter chicken in my electric skillet, but needed to figure out what to cook my rice in. I usually do it on the stove top.
Glad to have found this :)

Celeste Nunez said...

hello! i cant thank you enough for this post. im learning how to cook and figure the crockpot would make it easier, just did regular white rice and it was great! just the way you said it would :)

have an awesome day!

TR Vevia said...

I knew that slow cooker rice *must* be possible, and I will be trying this over the weekend. I like that it might produce a sticky or semi-sticky rice. My usual rice recipe is in the same proportions (with boiling water - very important!) baked covered in the regular oven at 425 for 20-25 minutes. I've not tried microwaving as some here have, so I might also give that a try. And - yeah - I'm a Basmati-lover, too :>)

Jen said...

I wonder if the Ninja would do rice similar to a rice cooker since it can initially boil like a rice cooker. Wonder what setting you would turn it to after a boil?

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