Can a Rice Cooker Be Used as a Slow Cooker?

Have you ever wondered if your trusty rice cooker can do more than just cook fluffy rice? Can a rice cooker also be used as a slow cooker? Let’s dive into the world of kitchen appliances and explore whether a rice cooker can double as a slow cooker.

Understanding the Functionality: Rice Cooker vs. Slow Cooker

Rice cookers and slow cookers serve different purposes in the kitchen. While a rice cooker is designed to cook rice by bringing it to a boil and then cooking the rice until the water is absorbed, a slow cooker uses low heat over a longer period to tenderize meats and develop rich flavors in stews and soups. Therefore, a rice cooker does not provide the same functionality as a slow cooker. Keep that in mind as we continue looking at whether a rice cooker can cook food slowly.

Can a Rice Cooker Mimic a Slow Cooker?

In theory, a rice cooker can be used as a slow cooker, but there are some key differences to consider. Conventional rice cookers typically have a single heat setting, which may not be ideal for slow cooking recipes that require varying temperatures.

A rice cooker’s lack of a lower and higher heat setting could make it difficult to get the exact temperature that you need for slow-cooking food dishes. Then again, you might try switching between the cooking and the warmer modes of a conventional rice cooker to mimic the high heat and low heat settings that you usually find on a slow cooker.

Most rice cookers have a Keep Warm function that might be used for slow-cooking. By using the warmer mode function, you can let your meal simmer and cook very slowly. While the outcome might be a bit different from a traditional slow cooker, you could potentially use a rice cooker to make various stews.

Thus, it might be possible that a rice cooker can double as a slow cooker for making meals, if you do not have a slow cooker in your kitchen at the moment. Even though a rice cooker will need a bit more attention than a regular slow cooker, it might still give you tender, tasty dishes. You should be able to make a range of foods in a rice cooker, like stews, soups, and rice pudding. However, it will require a lot of experimentation until you get the recipe just right.

Tips for Using a Rice Cooker as a Slow Cooker

If you’re determined to use your rice cooker as a slow cooker, here are some tips to help you achieve better results:

  • Many rice cookers come equipped with a “keep warm” function that can be utilized for slow cooking purposes to let your food gently simmer and cook slowly.
  • Use recipes that require constant low heat for an extended period.
  • Monitor the cooking progress and adjust the settings as needed.
  • Consider investing in a rice cooker with multiple heat settings for more versatile cooking options.
  • If you are serious about using a rice cooker for slow-cooking food, then buy one which has a “slow cook” menu option.
The unit used in the video above is the Tiger JKT series induction heating rice cooker, which has a slow cook menu option.

Which Rice Cookers have a Slow Cook Function?

Fortunately for us, there are a handful of electric rice cooker models on the market today that has a menu option for slow-cooking food. Thus, you do not really have to experiment with the warmer mode of a rice cooker. Just make sure that you get a rice cooker model that already has a menu setting for slow-cooking food.

For example, the COSORI CRC-R501-KUS rice cooker (read my review here) has a slow cook function that maintains a constant temperature of 212°F. Although it doesn’t have traditional high and low settings, it is still versatile enough to slow cook a variety of meals. You can use the Sauté mode to brown meat or sauté ingredients before switching to the slow cook mode for preparing other dishes that require long cooking times. The sauté function and gentle simmer of the slow cook mode make this rice cooker excellent for creating delicious slow-cooked meals.

If you want something shinier, then the Tiger JKT-S series induction heating rice cookers will cook your food slowly for you. This model has a slow cook menu setting that brings the heat up to almost boiling point before reducing the temperature, so the food can simmer. You may set the desired cooking time from 5 minutes up to 180 minutes. You may read my Tiger JKT-S review right here.

However, the Tiger JKT-S is not the only Tiger rice cooker that has a slow cook menu option. Both the Tiger JAX-T microcomputer rice cookers and the Tiger JBV-A microcomputer rice cookers also have a slow cook menu setting.

If you want something that is more affordable, then consider getting the Aroma ARC-150SB digital rice cooker. It can prepare a maximum of 20 cups of cooked rice, but it also has a setting for slow-cooking food. Click here to read my Aroma ARC-150SB review.

Conclusion

While a rice cooker can potentially be used as a slow cooker with some adjustments, it may not provide the same results as a dedicated slow cooker. You will have to be willing to experiment with different recipes and techniques to make the most out of your electric rice cooker.

To conclude, using a rice cooker as a slow cooker might be good enough for a few meals, but you should probably buy a real slow cooker when you are going to be slow-cooking meals very often. Otherwise, just buy a fuzzy logic rice cooker with a slow-cooking menu option to avoid having to use the “keep warm” mode to try and cook food slowly.

Image by Jonathan Valencia from Pixabay.