In the world of cooking, there are quick dishes that can be prepared in a few minutes while others need to be prepared slowly for a long time. Those provoke different sensations of taste and texture in the palate of the diners, and some of them simply need to be cooked in this way.
It is known that the use of the instant pot has become popular thanks to the short time they need for preparing dishes such as rice, pasta, noodles, and other foods. But this appliance has a counterpart that does just the opposite: the crockpot or slow cooker.
A pot inside another pot.
The slow cooker or Crockpot is a cooking appliance that has two containers: the outer container, or casing, which is made of metal and an inner removable bowl made of ceramic material that includes a lid. This device was invented in the ’50s, and curiously it is not very well-known in Europe. However, it’s very common in a large number of homes in the United States.
How does a slow cooker work?
The outer casing is plugged in and receives electric power into a series of resistors that heat the interior, i.e.: the removable ceramic bowl located inside and where the food is placed to be cooked. The slow cooking process makes the food reach temperatures of up to 212°F.
Slow cooker modes: basic and special
Slow cookers have several working modes that can be set through a rotary manual control, or via a digital panel in recent models. The two basic modes are HIGH and LOW. Both heat the food up to the preset temperature in shorter or longer times depending upon the selected mode .
Other functions are KEEP WARM and AUTO modes. The first one is used to keep the food at a certain temperature to prevent it from cooling down, while the second mode works in HIGH for one hour and gradually reduces the heat applied to LOW while food is cooking.
Is it recommended to cook rice in slow cookers?
Some dishes such as legumes, meats and stews cook very well when prepared in a slow cooker, however, cooking rice in a slow cooker is a not-so-good idea due to the fact that rice needs a great deal of heat for cooking.
However, using the slow cooker is a very good choice if you want to cook rice puddings. There are many slow cooker rice pudding recipes and below you’ll see one of them in 5 easy steps.
Slow cooker rice pudding.
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1 oz. of butter
- 3 cups of milk.
- 4.5 oz. of short-grain size rice.
- 1 cinnamon stick.
- Peel of an orange.
- 3.5 oz. of sugar.
How to prepare
- Put the butter in the slow cooker bowl to grease the inner surface. Pour the milk, the orange peel, and the vanilla stick into the slow cooker’s bowl, cover and cook in high mode for 1 hour.
- Add the rice, stir the mixture, cover the bowl with its lid and cook in high mode for 1 more hour.
- Stir the rice for 1 minute, add sugar and keep on stirring for a while. Cover with the lid again and cook for another 1 hour, now in low mode, or until the rice gets loose and fluffy.
- Remove the lid, stir the mixture again for 1 minute, and pour more milk in case the rice is too dry.
- Serve in small bowls (warm or cold) and sprinkle cinnamon powder on them or add caramelized sugar or syrup on top.
Tips and tricks
- One advantage of using a slow cooker to make rice pudding is that the rice will be well puffed and you will get a smooth and creamy meal.
- Many people prefer making rice pudding in a slow cooker instead of using the oven: when baked, this dessert gets a denser texture and skimmed milk forms on the top, which gives it a rather ugly look.
- Slow cooker rice pudding should be made with short wide-grain rice that can withstand slow cooking. Another good type that can be used for this recipe is Arborio rice. It is not recommended to use long grain rice types for this recipe, since they tend to break during cooking and would give the rice pudding a heavier texture in the end.