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How To Steam Eggs In A Rice Cooker

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Rice cookers are nifty devices that can easily cook rice without the need for human intervention. They eliminate any chance of error and work by typically using induction heating to boil water and cook rice.

There are many versions of rice cookers and all of them can cook more than just rice! 

If you think about it, rice cookers are just water heating devices that use sensors and some physics in an extremely precise and controlled manner – which means that you can also steam eggs in them! 

How to steam eggs in a rice cooker? The best method for steaming eggs in a rice cooker is to just add 1-2 cups of water and let the eggs boil in the rice cooker. Another method involves adding a damp paper towel.

Read below to learn more about how rice cookers work, how you can cook eggs in them, and the best cooking time for eggs!

How To Use Rice Cookers

Rice cookers have been around since the late 70s but took off as a necessary invention for common households in the 90s. 

Toshiba was one of the first companies to offer commercial rice cookers that made use of the double-boil technique but since then, rice cookers have become way smarter and more efficient!

Modern rice cookers are equipped with precise temperature sensors and electronic controls that may also use “fuzzy logic.”

These smart cookers use live information from the sensors to calculate how the rice cooks within the chamber while other, simpler models may be more straightforward. 

For example, a simple rice cooker with just a “warm” and “cook” switch works by heating water via electrical induction and using magnetism to control the cooking process. 

Rice requires an exact ratio to be cooked perfectly. For example, you usually need two cups of water for every one cup of rice. When you have this ratio figured out, the rice cooker does its job pretty well.

However, in the case of eggs, things can get a bit complicated. 

See, rice cookers “stop” the cooking process when the rice has finished cooking as per the sensors but in the case of eggs, you may need to keep a few things in mind: 

First, let’s take a look at how rice cookers cook rice. There are two things that you need to understand: 

  • Rice cookers depend on the input from the sensors to heat water and steam rice. 
  • Rice cookers exploit a property of water where, water will never (under typical circumstances) exceed its boiling point, which is set at 212F at sea level.

This is a basic law of physics that is known as “latent heat of vaporization” which defines that a liquid can not get hotter than its boiling point and that any extra energy will just make it evaporate faster but will keep the temperature the same. 

Why are we explaining this concept? Well, it turns out that rice cookers are aware of this law as well!

See, while water doesn’t keep going up in temperature, once it has evaporated, the rice will get hotter – and this is when the rice cooker sensors will detect the higher ambient temperature and turn off the cooking process and start steaming.

Using Rice Cookers For Multiple Purposes

So how would you use a rice-specific cooker to cook eggs? You use it as a simple water boiler.

There are many ways to cook eggs in a rice cooker. The first method involves adding a steamer basket to the rice cooker and then allowing the eggs to cook for about 15-20 minutes (we’ll discuss the steps below).

We explained how temperature matters more in cooking rice in the cooker, however, when it comes to steaming eggs, you might have to apply a manual touch! 

Since there is no rice cooking in the cooker, in some cases, the sensors will not be able to detect the increase in temperature, especially if you use a steamer basket – which means that the cooker will keep boiling the water until you manually stop it.

Sure, there are rice cookers with multiple options and fail-safes, and we will discuss the steps for both manual and smart rice cookers below, but it is important to keep in mind that rice cookers must always be operated under supervision.

Think of them as more of a multi-cooking accessory that uses electricity to heat water and cook stuff ranging from potatoes, eggs, vegetables, and more. 

In many cases, manufacturers may add additional features to help customers get the most out of the rice cooker too!

Multi-cookers are quite popular and have been the need of the hour, especially nowadays where people value one-stop solutions rather than buying several different appliances for cooking purposes. 

How To Steam Eggs In A Rice Cooker

The first step to steam eggs is to check the type of rice cooker you own.

Most people know exactly how smart their appliance is since you might have spent time researching before making a purchase decision.

But if you just picked up a typical rice cooker from the shelf, then an easy way to determine its type is to look at its controls.

The rice cooker could either have a simple “Warm/Cook” switch, or, multiple cooking options with presets.

If you have the former where the rice cooker simply “cooks” or keeps the rice “warm” then you need to follow the following steps to cook eggs:

Steps For Simple Rice Cookers

  1. Add two cups of water to the rice basket.
  2. If you have an accompanying steamer basket then add it on top of the rice basket.  Now add up to 6 or more eggs depending on the size of the rice cooker. Do not overcrowd or pile up the eggs. Just fit in as many as you can comfortably fit. 
  3. Put the lid on, turn on the rice cooker and set it to “cook.” Let the water come to a boil and follow your preferred time from the following list:
    • Hardboiled eggs – 18-20 minutes
    • Soft boiled eggs – 13-15 minutes
    • Half boiled eggs – 10 minutes
  4. Once the cooking time has elapsed, simply turn off the rice cooker, take out the eggs, and put them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further. That’s it! 
  5. (Optional) If you don’t have a steamer basket, then we suggest that you either add water and boil the eggs in the rice cooker or add 3-4 thick paper towels by first dampening them in water and then setting them at the base of the basket. Put the eggs on top and cook until done.
Simple Rice Cooker Steamed Eggs

Simple Rice Cooker Steamed Eggs

This recipe is for simple rice cookers and produces perfectly steamed eggs.

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Add two cups of water to the rice basket.
  2. If you have an accompanying steamer basket then add it on top of the rice basket.  Now add up to 6 or more eggs depending on the size of the rice cooker. Do not overcrowd or pile up the eggs. Just fit in as many as you can comfortably fit. 
  3. Put the lid on, turn on the rice cooker and set it to “cook." Let the water come to a boil and follow your preferred time from the following list: hardboiled eggs - 18-20 minutes; soft boiled eggs - 13-15 minutes; half boiled eggs - 10 minutes.
  4. Once the cooking time has elapsed, simply turn off the rice cooker, take out the eggs, and put them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further. That’s it!
  5. (Optional) If you don’t have a steamer basket then we suggest that you either add water and boil the eggs in the rice cooker or add 3-4 thick paper towels by first dampening them in water and then setting them at the base of the basket. Put the eggs on top and cook until done.

Steps For Smart Rice Cookers

  1. Check and see if your rice cooker has a preset for cooking eggs. If not, then just add 1-2 cups of water to the rice cooker.
  2. Add the eggs to a steamer basket. If you don’t have the steamer basket then just add enough water to the rice container to submerge the eggs.
  3. Set the rice cooker to its highest default setting and let it run for the intended time.
  4. Take the eggs out of the rice cooker and place them in an ice bath.
Smart Rice Cooker Steamed Eggs

Smart Rice Cooker Steamed Eggs

This recipe is for smart rice cookers and produces perfect eggs every time!

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Check and see if your rice cooker has a preset for cooking eggs. If not, then just add 1-2 cups of water to the rice cooker.
  2. Add the eggs to a steamer basket. If you don’t have the steamer basket then just add enough water to the rice container to submerge the eggs.
  3. Set the rice cooker to its highest default setting and let it run for the intended time.
  4. Take the eggs out of the rice cooker and place them in an ice bath.

Cooking Times For Eggs In Rice Cookers

Every rice cooker is different and heats water differently. 

Remember, we already discussed how rice cookers heat water and how water will not exceed its boiling point. However, the thing with rice cookers is that they come in several power output varieties.

Some can be as low as 250-300W while others can be as powerful as 800-1000W. This power difference will make a huge impact on how quickly the appliance brings the water to a boil and steams the eggs. 

Typically, larger power outputs are more common with bigger rice cookers but you can also find smaller designs with up to 900W – which means that they will generate more heat via steam and will help lower the cooking time.

On average, this is how long it should take to cook eggs in rice cookers:

Doneness-levelTime
Hardboiled eggs18-20 minutes
Soft boiled eggs13-15 minutes*
Half boiled eggs10 minutes

*Depending on how runny you want them.

Keep in mind that you can adjust the cooking time for your specific appliance as needed but on average you should aim to cook the eggs for at least 18-20 minutes for a perfectly cooked hardboiled egg. 

Related Questions

Rice cookers can be used in several ways but are popularly used to cook eggs too, especially if you are on the go and need a portable solution to make a quick breakfast. 

Now that you know how to use them properly, here are some related questions regarding rice cookers and eggs:

Can you cook eggs in a ramekin?

Yes, steaming eggs using a ramekin is another great way for making eggs in rice cookers. All you need to do is add one to two cups of water to the rice basket or just enough to cover the ramekin at the midway point. 

Then either crack an egg in the ramekin or put in the egg whole and cook as per the intended time. If you cracked the egg into the ramekin then we suggest that you also add seasonings before cooking it. 

Can you fry an egg in a rice cooker?

Yes, you can fry an egg in the rice cooker but we wouldn’t advise doing so as it may create a lot of mess! 

But if you want to cook an egg in an emergency then simply spray the rice basket with cooking oil and crack in the eggs. 

Set the rice cooker to the “cook” setting and fry the eggs until done. You may have to quickly remove the eggs from the basket to prevent them from cooking further due to ambient or residual heat. 

Up Next: How To Make Couscous In A Rice Cooker

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