Should You Add Oil To Your Rice Cooker? Hear From An Expert

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Oil pouring from the bottle to the rice cooker with a text "Add oil to rice cooker"

Rice is a staple food in many countries, and everyone has preferred cooking methods. Some people like to use oil, while others don’t. Should you add oil to your rice cooker? 

You can add oil to your rice cooker, but it isn’t necessary. Rice cookers are designed to cook rice perfectly with just water. However, you can add oil if you’re used to cooking rice with oil or prefer the texture of rice with oil. 

Can I Cook Rice With Oil In A Rice Cooker?

Yes, you can cook your rice with oil in your rice cooker. Adding oil to your rice can make it less sticky once cooked, and infuse it with different flavors. One negative, however, is that oil loads your rice with extra calories. Consuming too many calories may lead to health problems like diabetes or obesity. 

Do You Need To Put Oil In A Rice Cooker?

Rice cooks perfectly in your rice cooker without oil. I only add oil to my cooker when making a recipe like my Garlic Butter Rice. Otherwise, I cook my rice with only water or stock. 

Rice cooker pots are coated in Teflon, which makes them non-stick, so you don’t need to put oil in a rice cooker. I’ve often cooked rice in my rice cooker and never had an issue with sticking rice grains. I’ve even left cooked grains in my pot overnight and scraped them out the next day without a problem. 

How Much Oil Should I Add to My Rice Cooker?

If you prefer the taste and texture of rice with oil, keep on! Cook your rice the way you like it! Add 1-2 teaspoons of oil for every cup of rice. Butter is my favorite oily fat to add to rice because I love the creamy, light texture it adds.

My second favorite is coconut oil because I enjoy the slightly sweet, nutty taste it gives my rice. Coconut oil has high levels of saturated fat, which may raise cholesterol levels, so I use it in moderation. 

What Type of Oil Should I Add To My Rice Cooker?

Each type of oil has almost the same number of calories per tablespoon. Butter and coconut oil are higher in fat than other oils but tend to be less processed. Add the oil you enjoy using in your kitchen; there’s no wrong answer! 

Try different types of oils for different tastes:

  • Avocado oil brings a smooth, nutty, grassy flavor.
  • Butter tastes creamy and slightly sweet.
  • Canola oil adds a mild flavor.
  • Coconut oil adds a sweet vanilla flavor.
  • Grapeseed oil has a mild flavor.
  • Olive oil brings a peppery, buttery taste.
  • Vegetable oil has a mild flavor.

Should I Add Oil To Rice After Cooking?

Adding oil to your rice after cooking may give it an unpleasant taste or an oily texture, so I wouldn’t recommend it. All you need to have fluffy, soft rice is to fluff it with a fork about five minutes after cooking. If you prefer to add oil to your cooked rice, try ghee. This clarified butter adds a nutty, roasted flavor to your cooked rice. 

Pouring olive oil from a bottle.

How To Add Flavor To Your Rice Without Adding Oil

There are many ways to add flavor to your rice without adding oil. Add herbs, spices, or other flavors when you cook your rice. Try these ideas:

  • Add seasonings
  • Add 1 teaspoon salt
  • Swap broth for water
  • Swap brewed tea for water
  • Substitute ¼ of the water for rice wine vinegar

These ideas add flavor to your rice without dramatically increasing the number of calories or altering the texture.

Colorful herbs and spices for cooking on a dark backdrop.

How To Cook The Best Pot of Rice In Your Rice Cooker

Cooking the best pot of rice starts with correctly measuring your rice. Fill the rice cooker cup overfull, then level it off with a knife. Next, rinse your rice to remove excess starch. Your rice cooker is less likely to boil over if your rice has less starch.

Steamy rice cooker on wood by the window, hands scoop.

Add rice to your pot once you’ve prepared your rice as directed above. Most rice cookers call for 1 cup of rice to 1 ⅓ cups of water or broth. Add oil, salt, or other seasonings and stir to combine. Press the appropriate setting and let your cooker work! 

Once your rice is done, let it sit on the “keep warm” setting for five minutes. Then, open the lid and fluff your rice with a fork. Add any extra seasonings you desire and serve!

Final Thoughts

Oil adds unnecessary calories to your rice. Rice cookers cook perfect rice without any added oil. If you want extra flavor, add seasonings or broth to your rice rather than oil. If you prefer rice with oil, add 1-2 tablespoons per cup before cooking it.

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