Can You Cook Meat in a Rice Cooker? (And Fry it Too?)

It takes about 30 minutes to cook perfect-tasting rice in a rice cooker, which is why it’s a must-have appliance in every home kitchen. While the most obvious use for a rice cooker is to cook rice and other grains, it’s actually a very versatile appliance.

Users are constantly experimenting with their rice cookers and looking to cook new foods. Meat is one of those foods that people want to cook quickly with the aid of a rice cooker. This leads many people to wonder, “can I cook meat in my rice cooker?”

The rice cooker is an electronic cooking appliance that cooks rice perfectly. It comprises a body, an interior cooking pan, an electric heating plate, a thermal sensory device, and other buttons. As pressure increases, the safety valve opens, aiding the output of excess steam, sometimes facilitated by the rattling of the pot’s lid.

It’s believed that the rice cooker could make several other dishes, which is true. A range of these includes; porridges, stir-fries, and a ton more you won’t believe. Ensure to read through as we explore juicy details on the rice cookers. See you there! 

This post will explain whether you can cook meat in your rice cooker, how to do it, and how long to cook it for.

Can You Cook Raw Meat in a Rice Cooker?

Yes, you can cook raw meat in the rice cooker if you let it cook for long enough. In fact, you can cook any fresh or frozen meat in the rice cooker as long as you don’t mind the taste of steam-cooked meat.

The meat cooked with a rice cooker won’t be fried or grilled, and the flavors, colors, and textures take a bit of getting used to.

Meat can be cooked in a rice cooker because it is essentially a steamer. Soft, thin meats like chicken and fish are ideal for cooking in a rice cooker. However, it’s important that meat is well-cooked to avoid illnesses like food poisoning.

Beef and other thicker meats can be braised, but you’ll need water or some other water-based liquid for the process (i.e., broth or stock).

Cooking the meat in a rice cooker is an option, but you can also add your favorite seasonings.

Add all of the herbs and seasonings to the meat before putting it in the rice cooker.

Just be sure to repeat the cooking cycle if the meat hasn’t finished cooking. In the end, a rice cooker can make just about anything edible.

A little experimentation with the meat chunk sizes is required. After they’ve finished cooking, check to see if they’re done and at the right temperature.

As a last resort, continue cooking the meat and chopping it into smaller pieces the next time around. The rice cooker is also excellent for cooking stew with smaller bite-sized pieces of pork and beef in a juicy broth.

Can You Fry The Meat in a Rice Cooker?

No. The rice cooker is designed to take water to its boiling point (212 F or 100 C). Deep frying only happens around 360 F (180 C). With the standard rice cooker, it’s impossible to deep fry foods since the temperature isn’t high enough, but a gentle stir-fry for veggies and a tasty rice dish is always welcome.

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It is not possible to deep fry food in a standard rice cooker, and therefore you can’t fry meat in the rice cooker since it’s a steamer, not a fryer.

The problem is that the rice cooker’s temperature is not hot enough to fry meat or other foods. Keep in mind that the rice cooker steams the food and doesn’t fry it with oil.

An air-fryer is the better option to fry meat over the rice cooker.

Can You Cook Rice And Meat Together?

Yes, it’s safe to cook rice and meat together as long as you cook the meat for long enough to ensure it’s properly cooked through.

In fact, combining meat and rice can help you cook a one-pot meal quickly. You can even cook meat, vegetables, and rice simultaneously.

When cooking rice and meat together, you need to add sufficient water and/or broth. Place the rice on the bottom and the meat on top.

The secret to cooking great meat and rice recipes at once is to use plenty of liquid and to always place the rice on the bottom and your meats on top to ensure they are well cooked-through and take in the moisture.

Handy Tips: Before cooking, ensure to slice thicker or bigger parts of the meat into thinner slices to cook evenly.

What is the Best Meat To Cook in a Rice Cooker?

Chicken and fish are the best types of meat to cook in your rice cooker because they cook pretty fast.

Soft, lean meats like chicken breast, chicken thighs, and fish cook the fastest, and the flesh stays nice and juicy without drying out.

Whitefish like cod and mackerel fillets cook well in the rice cooker, as do fattier fish like salmon.

Adding raw chicken to the rice is an excellent way to cook these two foods together, so you have a simple one-pot meal.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Meat in a Rice Cooker?

The answer depends on what type of meat you are cooking. It’s recommended that you cook chicken or fish which is lighter meat.

Chicken breast, for example, takes approximately 20 minutes to cook when it’s steamed in the rice cooker. Beef steak will usually take more than 30 minutes.

Meat thermometers are essential while steaming to ensure that the meats you’re cooking reach a safe cooking temperature and internal temperature. Beef and pork must be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62 degrees Celsius) and poultry to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.5 degrees Celsius).

However, the kinds of meat vary and the interests of individuals. The more you use your rice cooker for this purpose, the better you discover the time frame it takes to cook your meat perfectly.

Handy Tips: To avoid overcooked meat, you may have to set the timer yourself, as the rice cooker will only turn off by default when all the water is vaporized, not when your meat is cooked.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Beef in a Rice Cooker?

It depends on the beef cut. The easiest way to cook beef in the rice cooker is to cook ground (minced) beef.

All you have to do is add a small amount of cooking oil and wait for the rice cooker to heat up. Once warm add grounds beef and cook it for about 10-15 minutes and stir occasionally.

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For a steak, and thicker cuts of beef, you must cook them for at least 30-45 minutes to ensure they are well cooked-through.

Handy Tips: Place the beef in a Ziploc bag —marinated or not— and expel the air in it. Lay the bag in a rice cooker with about 80-85°C heated water and set the cooker at “keep warm” for 45 minutes.

Can You Steam Meat in a Rice Cooker?

Yes. Interestingly, all types of meat, including seafood’s like lobster, crab legs, shrimp, and a lot more. Steamed foods have been proven a more healthy way to cook foods, and thankfully the rice cooker could also help get that done efficiently.

Meat and fish could take 3-10 minutes to steam-cook, depending on the thickness and size of the food. In comparison, chicken takes about 7-10 minutes to steam-cook. Because steaming occurs at 212°F/100°C and proper poaching at 140°F-170°F, it takes lesser time to steam than it would poach.

Handy Tips: Go from thicker slices of meat to thinner ones to be faster.

Can I Use My Rice Cooker as a Slow Cooker?

A rice cooker can also be used as a slow cooker for pork, chicken and other meat dishes.

Since it uses moist heat for a prolonged period of time to cook food, the rice cooker is similar to the slow cooker in principle (another versatile set-and-forget meal-making appliance).

Using a rice cooker as a slow cooker is possible. However, the process isn’t set it and forget it because the rice cooker has predefined settings and doesn’t cook for many hours at once.

The experience of cooking with a rice cooker is different from cooking in a slow cooker because it necessitates a little extra effort, including some basic math.

To be clear, unlike a slow cooker, you can’t just set and forget about your rice cooker for 6-8 hours.

You must first cook the rice, then keep it warm for about an hour before serving. It should then be repeated for at least six hours, which is how long it takes to cook food in a slow cooker.

This is where your math skills are put to the test.

For your slow-cooked meal, you will need to figure out how many times this process needs to be repeated.

Can You Steam Frozen Vegetables in a Rice Cooker?

Yes, it’s possible to steam frozen vegetables in your rice cooker. Since the rice cooker runs through a steaming mechanism, it will steam the vegetables just like it does the rice. However, for the best results, you need to use a steamer basket that fits inside the rice cooker.

Even if your rice cooker doesn’t come with a steaming basket, you can buy a collapsible stainless steel steaming basket that will fit any size rice cooker, no matter how small or large the inside space.

As soon as the pot is filled with water, place the basket of vegetables inside, then close the lid. A steam button may be included in your rice cooker. The vegetables will begin to cook as soon as the water reaches boiling point.

Cooking time may need to be experimented with. The length of time you steam the vegetables will depend on their size and texture, as well as your preference for crispness or softness, just like when you steam vegetables the traditional way.

However, the total cooking time might be shorter because vegetables aren’t as tough as rice. They can get overcooked easily and end up mushy.

Alternatively, you can use the rice cooker to steam the frozen broccoli and other quick-cooking vegetables for only a few minutes to avoid making them soft and mushy.

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The best practice is to steam smaller veggies that are diced or sliced and add them to the rice cooker that way.

You can even cook the vegetables at the same time as the rice. Therefore, you end up with a tasty, steamed rice and vegetable dish. You can even add various herbs and spices to make the dish flavorful.

Some vegetables like broccoli cook very quickly, so add them to the rice when it’s nearly done cooking.

You can also use your rice cooker to gently stir-fry vegetables on their own or as part of a delicious rice dish.

How To Steam Meat in a Rice Cooker?

To steam your meat or fish, you need a steam rack that fits into the basin of your rice cooker. This is important to prevent the meat from touching the rice cooker’s base to avoid burning or malfunctioning.

To steam your meat in a rice cooker, here are a few steps:

1. Pour in the recommended water to be used: 500ml or 2cups for fish and 625ml or 2½cups of water for chicken, beef, or pork.

2. Place the seasoned meat on the steam rack and the steam rack in the rice cooker pot where the water has been placed.

3. Set the timer to your desired time frame; you could also set the alarm and a five-minute reminder. This would help keep you alert.

4. Turn on the rice cooker and wait. This is very important. Not turning the rice cooker alone and waiting consciously, so you don’t get it burnt.

Boiling will only make it edible enough for you to consume. However, it won’t give you the same outcome that a steamer would.

To ensure the meat cooks appropriately (unique to you), you can set the timer to a lesser time, and when it goes off, check to see If the meat is done. Then depending on the texture of the meat, you set the timer again to a time frame best suitable to you. This helps you monitor the food and also prevents overcooking.

A fairly cut meat or fish will steam within 3-10 minutes, and chicken, 7-10 minutes.

What Else Can You Cook in a Rice Cooker?

A Rice cooker can be used for a lot more aside from cooking rice. The electrical appliance can be used to make meals like pizza, boiled eggs, steamed veggies, porridges, chili, ribs, and even breakfasts like oatmeal,  pancakes, hot cereals, and many more.

The rice cooker can also prepare risotto without stirring, slow-cook soups, beans, poach fruits, or stews.

Other fun dishes you could cook in the rice cooker includes; tofu, mac and cheese, dumplings, pomegranate and quinoa salad, cheesy jalapeno bread, black bean chili, risotto and shrimp, steel cut oat, a variety of cakes, banana bread, cinnamon apples,

Dijon chicken with mushrooms, wheat berry salad, stir-fried cabbage, caramel sauce, popcorn, corn beef veggies frittata, Japanese anime bread, and so many others.

Conclusion

It’s possible to use your rice cooker as a multi-purpose kitchen appliance, so it’s not reserved for rice only. It can cook meat, steam vegetables, and help you create flavorful dishes.

The best part about owning a rice cooker is that when you get tired of the same rice recipe, you can cook raw meat like chicken, pork, beef, and fish and make it tasty but also healthy since steaming is much healthier than frying food.

So, if you want to use your rice cooker for cooking meat, be sure to check the cooking times and repeat the cooking cycle if needed.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)