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How To Steam Vegetable In A Rice Cooker Without Basket?

Rice cookers are wonderful kitchen appliance that are commonly used in cooking rice or variety of rice. With the advent of modern technology, rice cookers can now be used to cook some side dishes like steamed vegetable. Fascinating right? You can now enjoy simple, easy, and convenient cooking.

Most rice cookers that you buy come with a steamer basket, however, there are some that do not have one. While this look problematic, there are many alternatives that can be used to make steaming possible such as using a trivet, foil, or bowls that are heat resistant.

Let us show you how to steam vegetable if you have no steaming basket, to make the most out of your rice cooker!

How Does Rice Cooker Work?

Ever wonder how magical rice cookers are? Your only involvement would be the preparation of the rice, washing it and pouring the same amount of water as that of the amount of rice in the pot, you press ON and after several minutes, you will now have a perfectly cooked rice. The rice cooker needs no adjusting as it lets you know when the cooking is done by switching itself to WARM. You’ve not to hurry since once it is cooked, the rice just sits there at a consistent temperature until you pull it out, ready to be eaten at your pleasure. Less effort and very convenient.

It is super easy and cool, the functionality of the rice cooker but while it is that easy as you look at it on the surface, everything works through the ingenious technology. Although you need only to know how to operate the rice cooker, it is best to satisfy your curiosity at what actually happens during the cooking process. Rice cookers have heating mechanism and thermostat. The thermostat detects the rice grain’s absorption of water. The process begins with the boiling of the water such that once the liquid has boiled and have been absorbed, the heating mechanism starts which triggers the thermostat which will then switch the cooker to WARM. These process takes up the successive stages of heating, boiling, absorbing, or steaming, and absorbing. The last stage is the resting, such that once it switches to WARM, it will maintain the temperature of the cooked rice until you decide to take it out anytime.

Most models of rice cookers can keep the rice warm for hours and some are possible as long as they are plugged in. While the process takes a few stages, you need not worry since as long as you know how to operate the rice cooker, you are good to go. Your only concern is the preparation of the rice or the dish you wish to cook, and you let the cooker handle the cooking while you sit and do whatever you are doing.

How to steam vegetable in a rice cooker without basket?

Gone are the days when rice cookers are only for cooking rice, it can now steam almost any vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, carrots, and green leafy vegetables. This is because of the advanced features of rice cooker which includes steaming hence it usually comes with a steamer basket.

But there are rice cookers with no steaming basket. Quit worrying, however, since there are few alternatives that you can do steam a vegetable in a rice cooker without basket. This is normally plausible in a Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel Inner Pot or Ceramic Pot.

How To Steam Vegetable In A Rice Cooker Without Basket

You can use the following alternatives and read through how:

1. Ceramic, pyrex, and bowls made from stainless steel

You should make sure that the containers – ceramic, Pyrex, and bowls made from stainless steel are heat resistant. So, how is it done? When the rice cooker switches to WARM, place the container directly on top of the cooked rice.

2. Trivet or Colander

You can use this as a makeshift stand that should fit in the rice cooker where you place the bowl, or foil sheet.The process is simple, you put 2 to 3 cups of water in the pot and then insert the trivet or colander as though it is a steamer basket. Then place the heat resistant bowl or foil sheet containing the vegetable to be steamed.

As rice cookers come with different features, some may just have a cook button, a steam option, or a timer. You can make use of these to set your preferences in steaming vegetable. Be reminded however to place a clean towel on top of the rice cooker to avoid the steam to come out especially when you are using a colander.

3. Foil

You can use aluminum foil in steaming since it has been widely used in cooking. Steaming through this is easy, you just have to make foil balls as a base inside the rice cooker.

Do this by rolling the foil into balls. After doing it, pour about a half inch of water into the pot. Atop of it, put a heat resistant plate where you will place the vegetables for steaming.

That’s it, you now have some ways to steam a vegetable even without a steamer. It’s cool right? How you can prepare both your rice and dish in one! Using this can really save much of your time.

Why Should You Use a Rice Cooker: Benefits?

As rice gets more popular around the world, rice cookers follow too. Almost everyone is searching for the best rice cooker for their rice and other dishes. Rice cookers indeed has become appliance in every household.

The following are reasons you should use a rice cooker and its benefits:

Perfect Rice

The problem with the traditional way of cooking rice using a stove is time. You have to constantly check the rice to regulate the fire when it is boiling and shut it off when it is already cooked otherwise, you’ll end up getting a burnt rice. Even when you watch over the cooking process, you are not still guaranteed to have a perfect rice as it will still result to an overcooked rice at the bottom. This is due to the unequal distribution of heat and the sue of the fire, which mainly focuses only on the bottom of the pot. it is really challenging to have a perfect rice when you are cooking manually!

Well, thanks to rice cookers you can have a perfect rice without sweating much and it is surely hassle-free! The cooking process is up to the rice cooker, you only need to prepare the raw rice and once the pot is settled on the rice cooker, it works its magic, you don’t have to watch over it or continuously monitor. What’s even wonderful is that the heat distribution of rice cooker is even which assures you of a perfect rice as there will be no layer of overcooked rice at the bottom of the pot.

Simplified and Automated Cooking

Rice Cookers definitely simplifies cooking! Whether white, jasmine, brown or any other kind of rice, for the regular rice cooker, you only need to press one-button. It eliminates the effect of human error since the rice cooker adjusts the cooking process until it is done. Thus, it makes cooking experience simple and quick!

The active intervention of a person in cooking is reduced to just preparation and all the cooking is up to the rice cooker. Even in measuring the amount of water and grain is not to be worried about with the measuring that comes with the appliance. Once it is cooked, it stops automatically and the rice comes out perfect, neither undercooked not overcooked, just perfect! This is because of the heating and thermostat component of the rice cooker that is automatically adjusted during the cooking time.

Rice is kept warm

Most models of rice cooker have a warming feature. This works once the cooking cycle finishes which allows the rice to keep warm without overcooking it while you are not able to attend to it. It is one of the best advantages that rice cookers give, maintain the rice warm even after a few hours.

This is definitely a good feature especially when you have busy schedule, and you cannot eat on time. You are guaranteed of still having warm rice unlike when you cook it on stove, it can only be warm for a few minutes. You wouldn’t a cold food for your hungry tummy.

Multipurpose/Multifunction Features

Multipurpose/multifunction rice cookers are onto next level! They became so advanced as to offer functions other than cooking rice and its different variety. It can now cook side dishes, soup and so much more.

This is a big leap in the kitchen as it reduces human effort and saves time compared to the traditional way of cooking rice and other dishes. Some models also have steamer basket or even without it steaming capabilities, such that you can steam vegetable in it! See how amazing it is? With the different types of rice cooker with different inner pots such as rice cooker with stainless steel inner pot, settings, or options not only the typical ON and Warm, additional functions, and other features, you won’t even need other kitchen appliance as it does a lot of job for you!

With the continuous innovations and technological advancements, you can expect that in years’ time rice cookers will have much to offer! Once you started using rice cooker, you won’t even have to think of going back to the traditional way of cooking. As most people now juggles through work, school, and personal matters, having a convenient and easy to use appliance such as a rice cooker is truly a life savior!

How Long Does A Rice Cooker Take to Steam Vegetables?

There are factors that you have to think about in deciding how long you should be steaming the vegetable in your rice cooker. The two main factors are the sturdiness of the vegetable and the brand of the rice cooker you are using.

Based on the experiments done by rogue chefs, typically steaming vegetables in a rice cooker take 5 to 15 minutes. Rice cookers have lessened the cooking time assuring you that you can have that steamed vegetable in the briefest time.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

We listed some FAQs for you to be guided more in steaming vegetables using your rice cooker as we expect that you will still have some things you want to know about it.

Can you steam vegetables in a rice cooker while cooking rice?

One of the most versatile multipurpose kitchen appliances is the rice cooker as you can also steam vegetables through the rice cooker. So, yes, you can steam vegetable in a rice cooker while cooking rice or even after the rice has been cooked. Steam is used by rice cookers to cook food such that when water us heated it produces steam which can absolutely cook any type of food thus allowing you to cook your rice and vegetable or other dishes at the same time.

Can you steam broccoli in rice cooker while cooking rice?

Yes, you can steam broccoli in rice cooker while cooking rice. Since you can steam vegetables or other food while cooking rice in a rice cooker, you can certainly steam that broccoli simultaneously with your rice. You can either use the steamer basket or any alternative if you do not have any steaming basket.

Can you steam potatoes in a rice cooker?

You may be surprised but you can actually steam any vegetable or food in rice cooker, that is how versatile it is. Among the food you can steam in a rice cooker are potatoes. You just peel the potatoes, add water on the pot and use the steamer or any alternative to place your potatoes. Switch ON or choose steam options, for those upgraded rice cookers and that’s it, you will have a steamed potato!

Can you steam vegetables in a rice cooker without rice?

Yes, you can steam vegetables in a rice cooker without rice, that’s a fact! If you wish to do so, instead of the washed rice, you fill the pot with 2 to 3 cups of water. Place the vegetables on the steamer basket or other alternatives if there are none. Position it above the water and cover the lid. For regular rice cooker, you just push the one-button to start steaming until you reach your desired doneness. While for those advanced type of rice cookers, it may have a menu option or separate button for steaming.


The evolution of rice cookers starting from its first release in 1955 in Japan is truly remarkable! It actually defied imagination by providing functions that make cooking amazing, simple, and fast! With the steaming function of rice cookers, everyone will totally get hooked with it. It is made possible by the additional steamer basket that are available when you buy a rice cooker but for some that do not have it, you can always improvise as long as the type of rice cooker that you have offer steaming options.


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