Skip buying a rice cooker and save the time necessary for watching a pot on the stove by cooking your rice in your Crock-Pot, or slow cooker, as they are commonly called. Although some types of rice hold up better than others to the long, slow-cooking method, using your slow cooker lets you set it and forget it, making it simple to cook a delicious side dish or even a luxurious risotto.
Simple Crock-Pot Rice
Add rice and cooking liquid to the slow cooker. The cooking liquid can be water, broth or a combination of the two. Although the ratio of rice to liquid can vary depending on the type of rice you're making, the general rule is to use 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of uncooked rice. Optionally, add in minced herbs or aromatics, such as scallions, shallots or garlic, to infuse the rice with additional flavor while it cooks.
Stir approximately 1 to 3 teaspoons of butter or oil into the mixture. Adding a small amount of fat helps lubricate the grains of rice and prevents the grains from becoming overly sticky or gummy.
Cover the slow cooker and cook the rice on high for approximately 2 hours, or on low for 4 to 5 hours. You'll know that it's fully cooked once the rice absorbs all of the liquid and is tender.
Pour cooking liquid such as broth, water, wine or a combination of liquids into a pot. Place the pot over medium heat to warm the contents. Use approximately 3 or 3 1/2 times as much liquid as the amount of rice you will be cooking.
Melt butter or oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Saute aromatics, such as chopped green onions, shallots and/or garlic. Cook the vegetables until they are soft.
Add a starchy rice such as arborio rice to the pan. Stir the mixture to coat it in butter and mix the herbs and vegetables, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour the rice and vegetable mixture into the slow cooker, along with the warmed cooking liquid.
Cover the slow cooker and cook it on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the liquid is completely absorbed.
Stir in a couple of tablespoons of butter and some chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley or oregano. Other optional add-ins include toasted nuts, cooked meats, cooked fish or wilted greens like spinach or kale.
Add some grated cheese such as Parmesan or Romano. Stir the mixture and serve it while it's hot.