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I searched the forum and didn't find anything about a steamer so here it goes.
I have a rice steamer that is evidently the basic design of most steamers, 'cause it's like all the rest I have found... it has no on/off switch, you have to pull the plug, it burns rice on the bottom (but it doesn't stick, I'll give it credit for that), it requires a minimum 2 cups of uncooked rice, it goes into warm mode after cooking but won't shut off, it warms forever. I will admit it is pretty cool that it can tell when the rice is done, it just waits too long to stop cooking.
I'm cooking for one person so I don't need to cook a lot of rice. There must be some kind of appliance that can steam a cup of rice and has a basket above for steaming vegies/meat that is really convenient.
I use a heavy pot with a lid and I can control the amount of water and amount of rice to exactly what I want. I also have a little steamer basket insert, that can be found at any grocery store that works wonderfully for steaming veggies. Just put water to just under the steamer basket turn on the stove and wait till it steams than put in the veggies till desired doneness. And there is an easy clean up. The price is right. I dont know about actual appliences though. Hope this helps.
shazamda, A small saucepan with a close fitting lid is all you'll need for cooking rice using the absorption method. For one person you'll need only about 1/2 cup or 1 cup of dry rice. Use double the volume of cold water (use the same cup as the water in measuring out the water) . Bring the rice and the cold water to the boil. Allow it to reach a very rapid rolling boil. Put on the lid and turn the heat down immediately to the lowest setting. Cook for ten minutes. (It may still boil over for a few seconds - ignore it.) To check whether the rice is cooked perfectly, lift the lid at the ten minute mark and note whether there are little vent holes on the surface of the rice. If there are, turn off the heat. Leave the lid off for a few minutes and then lightly fork the rice to fluff it up without breaking or mashing the grains. You'll wonder why you ever bothered with a rice steamer! eh
I have a seamer with a timer on it. It does a good job with rice and veggies but a simple sauce pan with a heavy tri clad bottom and a glass lid works best for me the seamer is another gadet I don't use. the sauce pan was a little spendy but well worth the money. I like to make extra rice and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for a quick snack heated in a spelt tortilla or for soups.
You can also cook rice as you would pasta. For me it comes out perfect everytime.
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I have a Black and Decker veggie/rice steamer, which I only use for making rice, which has a built-in timer (a nice feature). Instead of using the plastic insert that comes with it for the rice, I put a ceramic bowl inside instead (plastic touching food = ). Currently, I use a big soup pot, with a inner steamer rack and a ceramic bowl on top of the stove. When steaming rice in this manner, you use a lot less water than in the traditional stovetop method: a 1:1 ratio of rice to water works the best in my experience.
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