Most people use their rice cookers to cook rice, and perhaps other grains, but rice cookers are handy for many other kinds of cooking too, from stewing to steaming.

Several hounds love using the porridge setting on their rice cookers for steel-cut oats. Others use their cookers to steam vegetables and make stews and chili. chowser uses hers to prepare potatoes for mashing. “It holds them at a perfect temperature without overcooking so all you have to do is mash when ready,” she says.

Hounds highly recommend The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook: 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker. “The nonrecipe beginning is definitely worth taking the time to read,” says PattiCakes, “even though it’s pretty long. Then armed with all of that info, you have the confidence to try anything!” The cookbook has plenty of information on steaming vegetables and dumplings and cooking a variety of grains.

ipsedixit recommends this PDF recipe booklet from Panasonic, which covers everything from braised pork shoulder to bouillabaisse.

Discuss: Other possible uses for rice cooker?

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