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I would like to buy either a rice cooker or a slow cooker, not both. Which can make a good risotto?

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  1. Hm... I'm curious to hear answers about this as well. As far as I know, neither should be able to make a good risotto, as you need to stir it throughout the cooking process. But I'd love to be told otherwise!

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    1. Neither will make good risotto.

      While many people think constant stirring is necessary for risotto that is only the case if you did not sauté the rice over medium-high heat until translucent. And then stirring is a catch 22, too much and you get gummy not creamy risotto. The fact is either method you choose, constant stirring or sautéing the rice till translucent cannot be done in those two appliances.

      Now you can par-cook the Rice (imo – yuck) and then finish it in the machines, but why, you can finish it on the stovetop in 10 minutes. The best is to cook risotto to order on the stove-top and with proper technique you will have a beautiful creamy and delicious dish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RetiredChef

        I just recently purchased a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker. It makes fantastic risotto. Maybe this would meet your needs.

      2. Actually, a fuzzy logic rice cooker will bake a very decent risotto.

        The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook has many recipes, I suggest you check it out.

        1. Thank you all for your responses.

          1. I'd have to agree with RetiredChef on this one: Authentic risotto is simply meant to be made on the stovetop. Once you've done it a couple times, it's super easy and quick to make. I used to be so intimidated by it.

            For some great instructions, I would point to Locatelli's "Made in Italy" for an in-depth tutorial on the art of true Italian risotto.

            1. I've never heard of either being used for risotto. What *will* make a decent--not great; don't flame me <g>--risotto is your microwave oven. I've been using Barbara Kafka's recipe for microwave risotto, in Microwave Gourmet, for years and years, now. Although it's not the real thing, it's a good pinch hitter when I'm too busy with other foods to stand over the pot and stir.

              In the microwave, you heat onions in olive oil for 2 minutes, then stir in rice. Heat/stir for two more minutes. Add broth, salt, whatever liquids... Ignore for nine minutes. Stir. Do nothing again for nine more minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese if you want it, and serve!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beckyleach

                Try Kafka recipes for soft polenta and farrato as well, also work excellently

              2. you can either saute the rice in another pan or in the rice cooker(add oil and rice to the rice cooker and turn it on). Then add stock I'd suggest a 1:1 ratio of water or stock to rice adjust for your rice cooker. Run a regular cycle. The rissoto should be very toothy. Spread it on a sheetpan and cool in the fridge. will keep for 4-7 days. When you want risotto saute some veg or what ever you want in your risotto deglaze with white wine, add par cooked risotto and stock and stir. At this point you're trying to dislodge starch from the risotto to thicken it to a perfect consistency. it takes about 4 minutes to make risotto from parcooked risotto. I'll put my parcooked risotto up against anyones stand at the stove for an hour risotto any day of the week.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Loki

                  Risoto is cooked in about 20 minutes not an hour. LOL

                  1. re: JayL

                    Ok I'll concede that an hour would probably be on the longer end up cooking time for risotto, but 20 minutes? I'm sure under optimal conditions you can add the liquids to a risotto in 20 minutes, but if you account for sauteing your onions, and sauteing your rice you're looking at 40 minutes. None the less like I said I'll put by par-cooked and finished risotto up against anyone's stand at the stove for 40 minutes risotto.


                2. What I found out from experience, baking your rice in a glass dish covered in foil can make an amazing risotto, I have even done this with brown rice, where it is extremely difficult to do in traditional cooking matter.

                  1. Risotto is traditionally made in a saute pan on the stove top. No need to stir continuously, just make sure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom.

                    1. FYI, you can make a very nice risotto in a microwave. In a glass bowl, zap chopped onion and garlic and some olive oil for a minute (or two, depending on your microwave) until soft. Add rice and stir to coat. Zap for another minute. Add chicken stock (about two cups). Zap for about 8-10 minutes, until absorbed. Add some more chicken stock (about two cups). Zap another 8-10 minutes. If liquid still not absorbed, zap 3 minutes at a time until it is. Sprinkle fresh parmesan and mix.

                      1. IMO if it's not made on the stove and stirred and worked it's not risotto.

                        1. This thread makes me recall two related issues, which I'd be happy to hear others address:

                          1. Spanish paella-style rice (Valenciana/Bomba) is rather like the short-grain rice (Arborio/Carnaroli) used in Italian stirred risotto preparations; but my experience is that you cannot accomplish the risotto-style creaminess with a non-stirred approach, as in paella. But:

                          2. I think I heard somewhere that there is a pressure-cooker or sealed-and-baked approach to risotto that's supposed to work pretty well.


                          1. I agree with neither. Why buy something you don't need if your goal is risotto? I use my le creuset dutch oven usually or another large pot.

                            Paella is also made on top of the stove for those who mentioned it. I would just make sure I had an appropriate sizee and use that.

                            I don't really see the point of the rice cooker but some people swear by them.

                            I have a slow cooker but I only use it about once a year. Usually for BBQ of some kind.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: melpy

                              Well I think the point wouldn't be buying something that you don't need to make risotto when you already have that tool in the kitchen. I have a nice fuzzy logic rice cooker because I eat a lot of rice. How many asian households have you been in that doesn't have a rice cooker with rice in it 24/7. On the other hand a slow-cooker is quite common as well and doesn't require additional purchasing.

                              I find that it's interesting that so many people don't think that rice is rice unless it's cooked with you standing in front of the stove(well risotto is italian for rice isn't it). Yes I understand that the techniques used to get to the end point are different. What I want to know is can you tell me what qualities you have in a traditional risotto that you can't achieve with a rice cooker or even a stove top par-cooked risotto.

                              I have never had a problem achieving a creamy, al dente, risotto,that was perfectly cooked with either of the specific methods.


                              1. re: Loki

                                I have an Asian rice cooker and use it often. With my (cheap) rice cooker, I am able to produce quite dry and fluffy rice (depending on preference). This is what you want in Asian cooking, so it can absorb all the other flavours and it's use is only as a side dish. Asian rice - such as Thai jasmin rice - should always be washed thoroughly before cooking so it will lose all starch, which may lead to sticking.

                                The Italian style of cooking risotto is quite different. Here, the dish is a dish on its own. Not really a main course, but one dish on its own nevertheless. Risotto rice should never be washed beforehand, the point being that you want the rice to 'stick' together.

                                Also, risotto is often made with other ingredients, be it vegetables or fish. The point of using a saute pan on the stove top is to saute both the rice and the ingredients, so all can impart their flavour on the final dish. This is an important step for creating a flavourful risotto, and one which is hard to do in a rice cooker as you will not be able to saute. The reason for stirring often is that you want the quite thick Italian rice to become tender all over without becoming mushy. On the stove top you have complete control over the tenderness of the rice, unlike a rice cooker.

                                All in all, the use of either a rice cooker or a pan will depend on how you will want to eat your risotto. If you want traditional Italian risotto you will want to have complete control and use a saute pan. If you'd like your risotto as a side dish and not be too fussy about the end result, you may just as well use another technique such as a rice cooker.

                                1. re: damiano

                                  Like I said in my previous post about using a rice cooker my method get's you to a par cooked risotto. Let's say a 80% finished risotto that you can have in the refrigerator and finish as a risotto in about 4 minutes in a saute pan.

                                  Par cooked risotto is used in most restaurants including Micheline starred restaurants.


                                  1. re: Loki

                                    I didn't read anything about the OP wanting to keep par cooked rice in the fridge, did I miss something?

                                    Also, I'm curious since I don't own one, if you are making risotto and you want to sautee the rice in the fat to give it that nutty flavor, can you do that with a rice cooker?

                            2. Lora Brody shared a slow-cooker recipe for risotto in Slow Cooker Cooking. We've made it a couple times. It is comforting dish and nice if you want to sit and talk instead of cook and talk before a meal. I don't think some people would call it risotto, but it is an easy creamy dish.