Can You Use a Rice Cooker to Steam Vegetables?

If you’re wondering whether you can use your rice cooker to steam vegetables, you’re in the right place. Electric rice cookers can trap steam inside the cooking pot, so it can be used to steam vegetables. Using a rice cooker to steam vegetables is not only convenient, but also helps retain the nutrients in the vegetables. The even steam distribution ensures that each piece is cooked to perfection.

Can You Buy a Rice Cooker with a Vegetable Steamer?

Yes, you can buy a rice cooker with a vegetable steamer. This type of appliance is designed to cook rice and steam vegetables simultaneously, offering a convenient and efficient way to prepare healthy meals. Look for models that include both a cooking pot for rice and a steam plate for vegetables. Make sure to check the capacity of the steaming tray to ensure it meets your cooking needs.

You probably have two choices when it comes to buying an electric rice cooker with a vegetable steamer tray. You can purchase a rice cooker with either a plastic or a stainless steel steamer basket. Although, I think there are also rice cookers that have aluminum steamers. Anyway, you can read my review of rice cookers with vegetable steamers for more information.

How to Steam Vegetables in a Rice Cooker

To properly use an electric rice cooker as a vegetable steamer, first, add water to the inner cooking pot. Place the steaming basket on top of the cooking pot and fill it with the vegetables. Close the lid securely and press the cook button, or select the Steam setting on the control panel. As soon as the rice cooker switches to the warmer mode, carefully open the lid and check the vegetables for doneness. Serve the steamed vegetables immediately for a healthy and convenient meal option.

In brief, here are some general instructions for steaming vegetables in an electric rice cooker:

  • Preparation: wash and chop your vegetables into uniform pieces for even cooking.
  • Adding water: place water in the rice cooker pot according to the cooker’s instructions.
  • Inserting vegetables: place the vegetables in a steamer basket or on top of the rice in the pot.
  • Turning it on: start the rice cooker and let the steam do its magic.
  • Checking for doneness: check the vegetables periodically for your desired level of doneness.
Generally, it seems like most vegetables should be done steaming in about 20 minutes.

How Long to Steam Vegetables in a Rice Cooker?

Generally, you can steam vegetables in a rice cooker for approximately 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the type and size of the vegetables. For example, broccoli or green beans should be fully steamed after only 15 minutes. In contrast, root vegetables such as carrots might need to be steamed for up to 25 minutes.

Remember to cut the vegetables into uniform sizes for even cooking. Add water to the cooker, place the vegetables in the steaming basket, and start the steaming function. Check for doneness by piercing the vegetables with a fork. Adjust the steaming time as needed to achieve your desired level of tenderness.


In conclusion, a rice cooker can be a versatile tool in the kitchen, allowing you to not only cook rice but also steam vegetables with ease. Next time you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to prepare your veggies, consider using your trusty rice cooker.

Image by ImagesBG from Pixabay.