• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Anyone do anything interesting with a rice cooker?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Rorschach

Guest
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
7,021
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Devon
I travel fairly regularly around the UK, almost always staying in budget hotels.

When travelling we do enjoy finding interesting food locally but we are always on a fairly tight budget and sometimes depending on location you are limited for options.
So quite often we will pick up some things and eat in the hotel room. It's quite nice to relax with a few beers or glass of wine and not have to venture outside, especially in the winter months. We've been doing this for years now but we have started to get a bit bored with the kind of things you are limited to having when eating in a hotel room and it's almost always cold. So we are looking at easy ways to do a little bit of hotel room cooking.
At the moment what seems to be the best option for something safe, easy and compact is a rice cooker. We have taken it away and used it to cook rice of course, but we are looking to expand what we cook in it.

We are experimenting at home, last week I made a lovely meal of rice with diced vegetables and while it was cooking in the bottom of the pot I used the steamer insert to cook a couple of pieces of salmon. It was delicious and very easy.
I have also successfully reheated one of those packets of flavoured microwave rice in it as well as warmed up some soup. I have heard you can cook pasta in them but have not tried this yet, also going to try steaming some chicken with rice.

Would love to hear any other ideas people have. I have read some recipes online and seen a few youtube videos but nothing beats real world experiences and conversation.
 

sunnybob

wysiwyg
Joined
11 Oct 2014
Messages
8,399
Reaction score
164
Location
cyprus
Cant advise on the cooking but you need to be very aware of the risks of cooking in hotels. ANY malfunction resulting in damage to the room or building from your appliance will be totally your responsibilty. And your personal insurance (if you have any) will not be valid.
If the room has a fire alarm (it should) you could well set that off, causing a full evacuation.
That could end up to be the meal that broke the bank. :shock:
 

Rorschach

Guest
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
7,021
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Devon
sunnybob":e681agu0 said:
Cant advise on the cooking but you need to be very aware of the risks of cooking in hotels. ANY malfunction resulting in damage to the room or building from your appliance will be totally your responsibilty. And your personal insurance (if you have any) will not be valid.
If the room has a fire alarm (it should) you could well set that off, causing a full evacuation.
That could end up to be the meal that broke the bank. :shock:
Yep, very true and good advice. I would imagine though the same applies to any electrical device you bring into your room such as phone chargers, hair dryers etc.
FWIW I always take an extension cord and run the cooker in the bathroom, ideally sat in the bath or shower if I can, so the extractor fan takes away the steam and any mess is easily cleared up. A shower cap over the fire alarm is not a bad idea either though these days fire alarms are not sensitive to steam, otherwise the kettle in the room would be a big problem.
 

sunnybob

wysiwyg
Joined
11 Oct 2014
Messages
8,399
Reaction score
164
Location
cyprus
Wait.....
You run an extension cord INTO THE BATHROOM??????????????????????
And COOK WITH IT???????????????????

Forget insurance policies, we''re now into the realm of court appearances and prison sentences .
 

Trainee neophyte

[Known Putin apologist ]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,811
Reaction score
690
Location
Greece
Rorschach":l6im3uty said:
sunnybob":l6im3uty said:
Cant advise on the cooking but you need to be very aware of the risks of cooking in hotels. ANY malfunction resulting in damage to the room or building from your appliance will be totally your responsibilty. And your personal insurance (if you have any) will not be valid.
If the room has a fire alarm (it should) you could well set that off, causing a full evacuation.
That could end up to be the meal that broke the bank. :shock:
Yep, very true and good advice. I would imagine though the same applies to any electrical device you bring into your room such as phone chargers, hair dryers etc.
FWIW I always take an extension cord and run the cooker in the bathroom, ideally sat in the bath or shower if I can, so the extractor fan takes away the steam and any mess is easily cleared up. A shower cap over the fire alarm is not a bad idea either though these days fire alarms are not sensitive to steam, otherwise the kettle in the room would be a big problem.
I like the cut of your jib, sir! Rules are for the little people!

Cooking in a bathroom will always be a positive - gives the immune system a good workout if nothing else, and in these current times of tribulation, that can only be a good thing.

Now, your rice steamer, as long as it doesn't run out of steam, can cook all sorts of good stuff. Spotted dick, jam roly poly, bread, vegitables and other assorted vitamins etc. Stew would be up there, and ratatouille - anything that slow cooks. You could even set it up in the morning, go out for a few hours and come back to a lovely slow-cooked lunch waiting for you on the lavatory seat. Marvelous!

Steamed bread, and steamed puddings would be my choice, but then I love stodge. You could poach eggs, fish, meat(?!) Containment of the item being steamed would be the issue.

You can also cook food by using the heat from your car - I think Top Gear covered this. Won't work on a Tesla, but then progress isn't always progress.
 

Rorschach

Guest
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
7,021
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Devon
sunnybob":3nws6cyw said:
Wait.....
You run an extension cord INTO THE BATHROOM??????????????????????
And COOK WITH IT???????????????????

Forget insurance policies, we''re now into the realm of court appearances and prison sentences .
:lol: :lol: :lol:

At least I hope you are joking?
 

John Brown

Social media influenza
Joined
25 Sep 2008
Messages
2,130
Reaction score
334
Location
Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire
"You can also cook food by using the heat from your car - I think Top Gear covered this."

I have cooked bacon wrapped in foil on the exhaust manifold of an Opel Ascona.
Never watched Top Gear, I think the idea is as old as the Internal Combustion Engine.

There was a fad, back in the 70s, IIRC, for cooking fish(I think) in sealed bags in the dishwasher. Can't see the point in that myself.
 

Sheffield Tony

Ghost of the disenchanted
Joined
2 Aug 2012
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
89
Location
Bedfordshire
Rorschach":wz4uzmal said:
At least I hope you are joking?
I hope you are joking, at least about the shower cap and the smoke detector. I know it may be unlikely, but can you imagine if detection of a fire your activities caused was delayed by you having interfered with the fire alarm ? I think you'd struggle to find sympathy.
 

Rorschach

Guest
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
7,021
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Devon
Sheffield Tony":2vd7jd8v said:
Rorschach":2vd7jd8v said:
At least I hope you are joking?
I hope you are joking, at least about the shower cap and the smoke detector. I know it may be unlikely, but can you imagine if detection of a fire your activities caused was delayed by you having interfered with the fire alarm ? I think you'd struggle to find sympathy.
Well since I would only producing steam it is a non-issue anyway but I'm not an silly person, I am not going to leave something unattended and a smoke detector covered up.

I think posting this here was mistake, I thought the members of this forum were sensible resourceful people not cotton wool wrapped worriers.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,588
Reaction score
819
Location
Tunbridge Wells
There are a number of examples of people being electrocuted by using appliances plugged into extension leads in bathrooms (mobile phone chargers for example). I agree with Sunny Bob that putting a 220v electrical appliance in a bath or shower is potentially a lethal accident waiting to happen.

I don't have my IET 18 wiring regs handy, but I believe it is still legal to have fixed 13 amp 3 pin sockets in bathrooms, as long as they are at least 3 metres from a shower or bath (Zone 1 risk area).

However, if an electrocution occurred as a result of use of mains appliance and extension lead used in a bath or shower, I would expect criminal prosecution to follow in short order.
..........

To answer the question, I would have thought a programmable slow cooker might be a lot more useful than a rice cooker (which is designed to gas off steam continually) along with possibly an enclosed dry fryer. The former gives access to a wide range of one pot dishes. It would also allow meals to be prepared in advance and vacuum sealed, then cooked sous vide, using the slow cooker as a water bath. This would allow rice and/or vegetables to be separated from the protein / sauce very easily.
 

Rorschach

Guest
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
7,021
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Devon
AJB Temple":2kmb0y5e said:
There are a number of examples of people being electrocuted by using appliances plugged into extension leads in bathrooms (mobile phone chargers for example). I agree with Sunny Bob that putting a 220v electrical appliance in a bath or shower is potentially a lethal accident waiting to happen.

I don't have my IET 18 wiring regs handy, but I believe it is still legal to have fixed 13 amp 3 pin sockets in bathrooms, as long as they are at least 3 metres from a shower or bath (Zone 1 risk area).

However, if an electrocution occurred as a result of use of mains appliance and extension lead used in a bath or shower, I would expect criminal prosecution to follow in short order.
..........

To answer the question, I would have thought a programmable slow cooker might be a lot more useful than a rice cooker (which is designed to gas off steam continually) along with possibly an enclosed dry fryer. The former gives access to a wide range of one pot dishes. It would also allow meals to be prepared in advance and vacuum sealed, then cooked sous vide, using the slow cooker as a water bath. This would allow rice and/or vegetables to be separated from the protein / sauce very easily.
Thank you some very interesting suggestions at the end there.

For the first part of your post though, do you think I plan on taking a bath with the thing? I had hoped it would be obvious that the bathroom would not be occupied or in use while the cooker was running.
 

Trainee neophyte

[Known Putin apologist ]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,811
Reaction score
690
Location
Greece
I admit I have made tea in the bathroom of a ferry cabin (no smoke alarm, as you point out), using a camping gaz burner, so I get where you are coming from. Not something I would advocate, but if you are on a ferry for 30 hours, and need a cup of real tea, as opposed to the European concept of tea, then needs must. It struck me as particularly unsanitary, but I was young and naïve, and I needed the tea.

We have had something like one of these for some time (worn out two of them so far), and they are certainly useful, and can cook almost anything. It's about 700watts so no more abusive than a hairdryer. You would have to smuggle it past the front desk up your jumper - someone is expecting, perhaps?
 

Sheffield Tony

Ghost of the disenchanted
Joined
2 Aug 2012
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
89
Location
Bedfordshire
Rorschach":26qkcvyk said:
I think posting this here was mistake, I thought the members of this forum were sensible resourceful people not cotton wool wrapped worriers.
No, no - it is the right thing to do. You need to hear other opinions - if you only listen to your own voice and its echoes (e.g., social media) you can come to believe any idea is reasonable - despite how bizzare a thing in might seem to the wider public.

Just go to the pub like any normal person !
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,588
Reaction score
819
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Rorschach

Nope - I am sure you wouldn't take a bath. But it is so easy to be on autopilot and someone else may turn the shower on unthinkingly, to get the hot water going.

I will give you an example of self inflicted stupidity. In my kitchen I have one of those flexible hose taps that is used for spraying off. It has a lever that adjusts it from stream to spray, and it is forever clogging with limescale. So every couple of weeks I have to take it off and descale it, leaving the bare hose. If I turn the tap on it delivers a huge blast of water akin to a fire hydrant.

Now - I know this. And it is me that has taken the tap head off. But does that stop me absentmindedly turning the tap on the fill a kettle or pan? No - every now and again I catch myself too late and am soaked.

If an accident can happen, then sooner or later it will. (homer)
 

Rorschach

Guest
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
7,021
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Devon
AJB Temple":8l9ahkp5 said:
Rorschach

Nope - I am sure you wouldn't take a bath. But it is so easy to be on autopilot and someone else may turn the shower on unthinkingly, to get the hot water going.

I will give you an example of self inflicted stupidity. In my kitchen I have one of those flexible hose taps that is used for spraying off. It has a lever that adjusts it from stream to spray, and it is forever clogging with limescale. So every couple of weeks I have to take it off and descale it, leaving the bare hose. If I turn the tap on it delivers a huge blast of water akin to a fire hydrant.

Now - I know this. And it is me that has taken the tap head off. But does that stop me absentmindedly turning the tap on the fill a kettle or pan? No - every now and again I catch myself too late and am soaked.

If an accident can happen, then sooner or later it will. (homer)
True, accidents do happen. I am absolutely certain this particular instance will not be a problem however.
 

Richard_C

Established Member
Joined
17 Oct 2019
Messages
596
Reaction score
264
Location
Cambridge
I remember a feature in a mainstream newspaper, Guardian most likely, about someone who did a range of culinary treats in hotel rooms. Warming naan breads and things in the trouser press was one, and propping the iron upside down wedged with a Gideons bible and cooking bacon and burgers was another. I wouldn't cook in my room unless it is equipped for it, though I do sometimes have a coffee and my own cereals for breakfast if I'm off early. There are mugs and teaspoons. The first time I went to the USA - 1988 - I noticed that the variety pack cereals were perforated along the face and the inner bag was designed to pull open down the middle of the same face, instant cereal bowl just add milk - water will do if its choco-pops. There was just 2 of us back then, so a quick 6 am cereal snack, 120 miles then a proper breakfast stop was a good way to travel 500 miles in a day and arrive where you wanted to be with daytime left to have fun.

In some countries its more normal to cook and be expected to cook. Some US & Canada motels have an 'efficiency' room - kettle, hotplate and microwave + small sink. Handy if you are in the middle of nowhere. NZ the same, and the Accor chain are expanding their "Suite Hotels" in Europe with similar. I get the impression that a lot of international travelers think nothing of cooking in their rooms. Back home they will be used to inexpensive 24/7 fresh small vendor street food, not here and after your 10th consecutive Dominos pizza delivery you will crave something different. It's not just about £££ for me, on a long trip you get tired of fries with everything bar food every night unless (unlike me) you can afford the top end places, so a bag of salad, smoked salmon, bread and a bottle of wine while you enjoy the view is excellent.

Rice cooker though, seems excellent idea, no splashing fat, low current, thermostatically controlled. How about kedgeree? Pop whole eggs in with the rice, shell them before you eat. Buy the fish hot smoked and throw it in at the end. Chorizo as an alternative - maybe with lentils or harricot beans, or tin of 3 bean salad. Put a bit of chorizo in at the start so the flavours permeate but add teh rest near the end so it doesn't all go chewy. I wonder if a can of tomatoes, a bit of extra water and some smallish pasta would work, perhaps with mushrooms. Smoked paprika wakes up meals like that and easy to carry a jar around. Steamed green leaves of almost any kind would work. Lots of hotels have those main switches that you need to put your room card in to make anything work. Most are nowhere near as smart as they look - just a switch down a hole. You can set your meal cooking, pop your comb or similar down the hole and take your room key off while you go have fun and the tasty treat steams gently away. Why haven't I thought of that ....

I wonder if there is anywhere to plug one in on a Ryanair 737, in the toilet perhaps, or ask if you can have an extension lead from the cockpit. :D
 

Trainee neophyte

[Known Putin apologist ]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,811
Reaction score
690
Location
Greece
Many years ago, living in a campervan and having only 2 gas rings for cooking, an emergency snack was eggs poached in a canned tomatoes, on toast. Delicious!
 

treeturner123

Established Member
Joined
12 Jan 2009
Messages
424
Reaction score
38
Location
Worcestershire
Rorschach

Take the advice and find a local place to eat and drink your beers in your room. Apart from all the dangers highlighted, don't forget someone else will be using the room tomorrow and may not like the residual smell of poached salmon etc.

I used to stay overnight a lot several years ago and always made it a rule NOT to eat in the hotel. It gave me a chance to stretch the legs walking around the town or city and gave me more of an appetite. Added to which, I found some really nice little restaurants in all sorts of places. My two favorite cities were Norwich and Ipswich. The former had a super Italian, the latter a lovely TexMex in a back street.

I also spent nearly a year going to Lowestoft (from Tewkesbury) twice a month. I knew the menus in the local eateries off by heart!! My main delight there was the local Smokery on Raglan Street. I hope it's still there!

Phil
 
Top