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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Rice Cooker for Oatmeal



Looking for a rice cooker that will cook oatmeal? You’re in the RIGHT place. If you’re in a hurry, this is my favorite cooker at Amazon, and it’ll do quinoa, oatmeal, sushi rice, and more…

my rice cooker

Choosing new appliances for your kitchen can get pretty overwhelming.

Sometimes it’s tricky deciding whether or not you need, or can fit, another appliance on your kitchen countertop.

Bread making machines, blenders, and microwaves are all very space-consuming.

Can you justify another? If so, a rice cooker is a worthy contender for a spot on your countertop.

Rice Cooker? For Oatmeal?

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, Silver Black

View on Amazon

At first, a rice cooker might seem like an unnecessary addition to your collection. Yes, rice can be easily cooked on the stove, but rice from a rice cooker is definitely superior to boiled rice. Not just that, but rice cookers are quite dynamic. If you’re looking for better rice and better oatmeal – yes, oatmeal! – a rice cooker is for you.

Cooking oatmeal in a rice cooker is a very easy process. When your water or milk comes to a boil, a sensor switches the cooker off so you don’t have to worry about over or under cooking your oatmeal. More expensive rice cookers will have a “porridge” setting, and will even note when the liquid is fully absorbed into the grain to adjust the cooking process accordingly.

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Rice Cooker versus Slow Cooker

While some recipes may suggest using a slow cooker for oatmeal, rice cookers are better for a number of reasons. First, slow cookers are usually quite large. Not only does this take up space, but it also means you’ll need to cook quite a lot of oatmeal to make sure it cooks well. Who cooks more oatmeal than what they plan to eat in the immediate future? No one.

And if you do want to cook jasmine rice in a rice cooker, I’ve got you covered.

Second, oatmeal often forms a crust at the bottom of a slow cooker, which requires some stiff cleaning when all you want to do is dig into your oatmeal. A smaller, easy-to-clean rice cooker doesn’t pose such a problem.

Delicious oatmeal, brought to you by a rice cooker.
Delicious oatmeal, brought to you by a rice cooker.

Cooking in Your Cooker

At first, a trial and error phase might be necessary when cooking oatmeal in a rice cooker. You’ll probably need to mess around with the amount of water or milk in order to find the consistency you’re looking for.

A good place to start is with a cup of oats and 1 ¾ cups of water or milk. An equal measure of milk and water is also very nice. Add a pinch of salt for some extra flavor. Close the cooker and switch it to the porridge setting. This setting cooks at a lower temperature than rice and for a longer time. And that’s it! Your cooker will let you know with a “ding!” when the oatmeal is ready.

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Why MUJI is Right for You

Generally, rice cookers are big and awkward, like most kitchen appliances. However, the clever Naoto Fukasawa, working exclusively for MUJI, has designed the perfect sized rice cooker for the modern kitchen, along with a whole line of minimalist kitchen appliances, including a toaster and kettle.

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Its small and convenient size allows for smaller portions, without impacting the quality of the food being cooked.

The sleek, minimalist rice cooker will fit into even the most overflowing kitchen countertop. Due to its small size, it is ideal for oatmeal-making as well. You’ll have the perfect single-sized portion for your breakfast.

The Zojirushi is user-friendly – doesn’t overwhelm you with options you’ll never use. Its simplicity allows it to fit into a kitchen of just about any design. It’s like the iPod of kitchen appliances.

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As if you needed more reasons to get this in your kitchen, it has an interior measurement scale so you needn’t mess around with separate measuring cups. It also comes with a convenient, built-in spoon rest, making this design really stand out.

One thing that’s really cool about the Zojirushi rice cooker is the 7 cooking settings that it has and is explained in the user manual under the title “How to cook various types of rice” including oatmeal. It tells you the water level, the setting on the machine and different advice for white rice, pre-rinsed rice, brown rice, sprouted brown rice, curry, seasoned rice, rice and beans, and our main character today, Oatmeal.

As mentioned before, Zojirushi products are simple, minimalistic and just right for your home.

Its 3-cup size makes it perfect to fit in any countertop or any place of your kitchen.

  • Length 12.9″
  • Height 9.4″
  • Diameter 7.9″
  • Weighs 6 LBS

Another important aspect to mention is that Zojirushi rice cooker fits up to 3 cups of uncooked rice, enough for at least a 6 people meal!

Frequently Asked Questions

If my rice cooker doesn’t have that oatmeal setting, how do I know when my oatmeal is ready?

This porridge setting is designed for cooking rice porridge, but it can also be used for cooking steel-cut oats (if you are able to find the right balance between oats and water). Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t cook oatmeal on a normal rice cooker, it may take some trial-and-error but it still works perfectly. When your machine beeps you’ll know it’s ready. If you see that it is too sticky or too dry, change the amount of water or milk the next time! Good luck!.

How do I clean this rice cooker? Is it dishwasher safe?

The user manual doesn’t say anything about a dishwasher so I wouldn’t recommend using one. It says to clean the inner pot and spoon with water, soap and a sponge, being careful not to “deform” them. For the outer lid and the heating element just wiping with a clean cloth will be enough. Never use polishing powder, scourer, benzene or thinner to clean your cooker because it can harm the pieces, and always clean everything after every time you use it, this way it will last longer.

Is there a way to “program” the cooker for when I need it to start? Like a timer?

Yes, it does! It has a timer so you can set the hour you want the rice or oatmeal to start cooking. You must be sure that the current time on the cooker is correct and you must already have the rice and water inside the pot and the lid closed for it to work perfectly (I don’t recommend leaving the rice more than 12 hours soaking on water). An amazing feature of this Zojirushi rice cooker is that it has a memory for the last time you set the timer so The previous timer time is already in memory. If every morning you want your oatmeal by 8:00 am you don’t have to set it from scratch, just press the Timer button and then the Cook Start button (for canceling this setting just press the Keep Warm/Off Button)

Old appliances, new tricks!

Check out my other reviews like what the best large capacity slow cooker is and others for more ideas on how to use your appliances in new cool and interesting ways.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Julie Magro, Tracy Benjamin

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Bryce Heitman

Bryce is not a real professor, but he's real nerdy in the kitchen. He's been barbecuing, chopping, and generally blazing food for many decades. He thinks there's definitely a better spatula or utensil out there that hasn't been invented yet.

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