Why You Should Start Making Oatmeal In A Rice Cooker

The history of cooking bears a litany of devices designed to improve convenience. From the lure of the slogan "set it and forget it" to gadgets that promise to produce meals in seconds, the inevitable churn of progress has introduced one new labor- or time-saving implement after another. Sometimes, though, the trick to a simpler preparation is already in your kitchen. You just haven't been using it that way yet.

World History mentions some of the earliest introductions of simple cooking conveniences in the mid-19th century, including the can opener, the pop-up toaster, and aluminum foil. According to Atlas Obscura, the first electric rice cookers were built on that lineage in the 1920s. The best rice cookers of 2022 continue the legacy by making it easy to have a bowl of ready-to-eat rice to pair with any fungi, legumes, proteins, sauces, or vegetables you like.

It turns out, though, that rice isn't the only thing that the device can simplify. It's practical for preparing another grain as well.

Oats can be cooked in a rice cooker just like rice

Oatmeal is one of the things you make in a rice cooker, and according to Kitchn, there are reasons you should be doing exactly that. If you just think about it for a second, it seems obvious. As St. Charles Trading points out, both oats and rice are among the world's most common grains. The process of preparing both is simple, using hot water to make the individual grains soft and sticky.

Kitchn notes that a rice cooker isn't a time saver for preparing oatmeal as compared to other preparation methods like boiling your oatmeal on a stovetop. Instead, the convenience play in this hack is all about the amount of effort you need to put into your oatmeal. They say you can essentially put your oats in with the correct amount of water and then leave the rice cooker to do the rest. Instead of having to tend your oatmeal as it cooks with a watchful eye, you can take care of other matters as the cooker does its thing.

That doesn't mean it's a mindless operation, though. As The Windup Space notes, steel-cut oats are ideal for this method of preparation. Additionally, Well Plated explains how the water-to-oats ratio is paramount regardless of how you prepare them. However, there is some allowance for taste in there, they add. Once you have your ideal thickness identified, though, you can let the rice cooker do all the work.