I am in love with my rice cooker. I have a Cuisinart model, and I love it so much I rebought the same one (though in a smaller size) when we moved back to Canada from the UK. It has a steamer basket on top, and I often make rice and vegetables at the same time, whilst making teriyaki salmon on the hob (stovetop).
But rice cookers are not just for rice. You can make polenta, or my current favourite, porridge. I’m sure people who read through instruction booklets with their small appliances know this already, but it was news to me!
I’m not fond of quick oats, I find them gluey and strange once cooked up. I suffered through them for ages, thinking I would have to stand at the hob and stir a pot of real oats for an hour if I wanted porridge any other way.
When we bought our rice cooker again here in Canada, I actually sat down and read the instructions. They mentioned making oatmeal in it and I thought – of course! Now I buy big bags of large flake oats and keep them in an easy pour container for a quick breakfast. What I love about this method is the porridge tastes so much more like proper oats, and everyone gets to control their own consistency. The absolute best part? Not having to stand there and stir. I literally dump the oats and water in and walk away. There’s no danger of burning, and the keep warm function on the rice cooker means I can take my time making everyone’s add-ins. Love it.
Every rice cooker is different, so I encourage you to read the instruction booklet for yours (if you can find it…). Here are the basic steps I use for mine. I use the measuring cup that came with my rice cooker, which is approximately 150ml in volume.
Rice Cooker Porridge
2 rice cooker cup measures of large flake oats
2 rice cooker cup measures of water
Milk, cream, almond milk, soy milk – your choice
Jam, fruit, maple syrup, nuts – your choice
- Add the large flake oats, then pour over the water. Stir gently so the oats are evenly wet. Close the lid and turn on rice cooker.
- When rice cooker signals the porridge is ready, get your add-ins and bowls ready. The porridge is quite solid when it first comes out of the rice cooker – don’t panic. Split up the porridge into the bowls, then add a small amount of milk to soften it. It will rapidly absorb the liquid and loosen up to a more traditional porridge consistency. I find if you try and adjust the water in the rice cooker to get this consistency at the beginning, it will turn gelatinous and horrible. Also, this way each person can control their porridge consistency.
- Some of our favourite add-ins at our house include:
- A spoonful of good raspberry jam
- Sliced bananas, maple syrup and sliced almonds
- Overnight apple butter
- Cubed apple, raisins, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Special Christmas edition: eggnog!