I’ve mentioned before how much I love my rice steamer, I use it for any and every recipe that calls for rice. It saves so much time and I don’t have to clean up the mess that cooking it in the microwave makes or use another pot to make the rice on the stovetop.
But I’ve only ever made instant brown rice in the steamer. We typically only eat brown rice, but when Justin and the boys went grocery shopping one day they came home with a few boxes of Zatarain’s Rice Sides to go with a few of our meals. I’ve mentioned before, I’m really bad at remembering side dishes to go with our meals.
Since the rice steamer has always saved us so much time, I started wondering if I could use it to make the Zatarain’s rice. The instructions on the box say to either cook it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
I decided that I would give it a go in the rice steamer and see what happens. After all, the instructions are so similar, why wouldn’t it work?
When I use the rice steamer for cooking plain rice, I measure out a specific amount and fill the bowl with water per that amount. I poured the rice from the Zatarain’s box and measured it to see how much was in there so I would know how much water to add. Each box may be different, so I plan to measure every time I make a box like this.
Before starting the steamer, I also added the amount of butter suggested in the instructions. This was the first time adding anything other than rice and water so I had no idea what to expect.
But, I went ahead and turned the rice steamer on to see what would happen while we prepared the rest of our meal. We had this box of rice with Super Simple Cilantro & Lime Fish Dinner, but there are many flavor options to do with almost any dish you are making.
I kept watch on the rice steamer as we were getting everything else cooked, and it seemed to be handling the Zatarain’s rice without a problem. The machine was working properly, as far as I could tell, and was steaming up like it does for regular plain rice. The butter didn’t look like it was causing any difference, and the rice was getting cooked.
About 25 minutes later, the button popped up to let us know that the cooking was finished and the machine was set to warm. Well, so far so good, the machine didn’t explode! Not that I was expecting that, but I wasn’t sure what it would do. Moment of truth: How does the rice taste?
I am pleased to announce that the rice was delicious! The rice had all of the flavors that cooking it on the stovetop would give, and was still the same slightly-sticky consistency.
Overall, there wasn’t much difference in the final product between cooking the rice on the stovetop versus cooking it in the rice steamer. The advantage, at least in my eyes, to using the rice steamer was not having to do anything except measure it all out at the beginning, which you would have to do on the stovetop as well.
By using the rice steamer, I was able to get the rest of dinner cooked without having to make sure to stir the rice, make sure it doesn’t burn, cover it, uncover it, or anything else. I could set the machine and let it do its job. We will be using the rice steamer for more rice sides in the future when we want something with a little more flavor than plain brown rice.