My rice steamer is one of my favorite convenience tools in the kitchen so I tried Zatarain’s Rice in it one evening and this is what happened.
I’ve mentioned before how much I love my rice steamer. I use it for any and every recipe that calls for rice. It works for white rice, brown rice, Spanish rice, long grain rice, and any other type of rice I put in there. The rice maker 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. What happens if you cook Zatarain’s in the rice steamer?
We typically only eat brown rice. 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 a side dish to go with our main course.
Luckily, you don’t need anything crazy to make this. A good rice cooker is the one that works for you. I am not making large amounts of rice, so this small Oster brand is an excellent choice for my family. And if you follow these simple steps you have a great way to have rice ready to go with any delicious meal.
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 stove top.
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?
For best results, you’ll want to measure the amount of rice in the box and use that to know how much water to add. For example, in my rice steamer, there’s a line for water. For every cup of rice you add to the steamer, you fill to a certain line with water.
Zatarain’s in the Rice Steamer Step by Step
- 1 box Zatarain’s rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp butter
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 mix from the box of Zatarain’s and measured it to see how much was in there. That way I would know the right amount of water to add. Each box may be different, so I plan to measure every time I make a box like this.
In the rice steamer I have, the water-to-rice ratio is one-to-one. For every cup of dry rice I add, I also need one cup of water.
Add the amount of butter suggested in the instructions on the box. This was my 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. Then I 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. It seemed to be handling the Zatarain’s rice without a problem. The machine was working properly, as far as I could tell. It was steaming up as it does for regular brown 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. Just know that cooking times will vary based on the machine you have.
Use a plastic spoon or rice paddle to gently stir the rice. Remember, the edges of the inner pot are hot so use pot holders when handling it. Make sure all of the seasonings and butter are distributed.
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 Zatarain’s in the rice steamer versus microwave ovens. The advantage of 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.
Since it worked with Zatairain’s brand, I would think it would work with any box rices. The only thing I wouldn’t try is dirty rice since it usually includes bell peppers, diced onion, meat, and more than just the rice and seasonings.
Now that I know this works well in the rice steamer, I want to try it in the instant pot. I’ve only used that to cook rice at high pressure a few times, but haven’t used it for a box of rice yet.
Originally Published On: May 8, 2018
Last Updated On: July 20, 2023
Zatarain’s in the Rice Steamer
- 1 box Zatarain's Rice
- 2 tbsp butter
- Measure the contents of the box of rice then pour into the rice steamer
- Add the appropriate amount of water for the measured rice
- Add the butter then turn the rice steamer on
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
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