The beginning of the story of my rice cooker happened quite by accident. I was at a town fair in New Hampshire where they had set up a yard-sale table to raise money. I went over to browse and saw a darling little crock pot. It was the perfect size for my camper and apparently it had never been used. It also had a removable liner that would make it easier to clean. It was only a couple of dollars so I brought it home.
My Oster Rice Cooker
I had never used a rice cooker before. This is one small appliance I wish I had bought a long time ago.
I didn't use it for many months. Moving across country took all my energy. I finally made it and got settled, but things were still in chaos. There simply isn't much room in a camper and I’m still not organized, but I’m getting there.
. My neighbor told me that she was using her crock pot to cook dried beans. I had bags and bags of dried beans. It was simply too hot in the Texas summer to cook in the camper. A crock pot sounded like the answer. I took out the little pot to try it out. I put the beans in and left it overnight. My neighbor said hers would be done by the next morning. Mine were not. After many more hours of cooking, they were barely edible. So much for cooking beans.
One day I was online looking at bread recipes. I read that crock pots make excellent bread bakers. They don’t mix it for you, but they reported that they bake bread perfectly. I had to try it. I made dough and put it on a piece of foil in the pot like the directions said to do. After a day of cooking, I still had a lump of raw dough.
This crock pot doesn't have a dial like most of them do. It has a switch that seemed to go from high to low. I noticed that it was shutting itself down to low when it got hot. Something was strange about this crock pot.
I went online to see if I could find a user manual. The pot didn’t come with any or even with the box. Maybe I was doing something wrong. After a bit of searching, I discovered my problem. It wasn’t a crock pot at all. It was an Oster rice cooker.
I found directions for using a rice cooker. I also had a lot of rice but didn't like to heat up the camper with cooking it either. I also have a habit of not paying attention to my cooking. I tend to let it boil over. I washed the rice, added water and turned it on high. After about 15 minutes, more or less, the switch clicked off to warm. I had a pot of perfectly cooked rice.
The rice cooker not only has a removable liner, but it is non-stick making it easy to clean. I’m glad I found the directions because I would have scratched it up with metal utensils. I switched to non-metal and it has been fine.
The original rice cooker would have come with a steamer that sits inside the pot and keeps vegetables above the rice. Mine was missing this part, but I did experiment with setting some vegetables just on top of the rice and they cooked fine.
Although I still would like a crock pot, I’ve been happily cooking perfect rice for myself and for my dogs too. The camper stays cool and I don’t lave to watch the pot to make sure it doesn't boil over. I love my Oster rice cooker. It may not be the fanciest one on the market but it suits me fine. Maybe I should have looked closer at the little labels on the bottom of the thing, but then I might not have bought it. I'm glad I did.
Can You Really Cook on the Dashboard of Your Car?