Couscous is a great addition to many meals and an amazing salad base. It’s quick to prepare and takes on flavors extremely well. It’s not particularly difficult to make, but it can be a little finicky on the stovetop, and you may need to babysit it toward the end. I think we’ve all forgotten to set a timer and have come back to dry couscous burnt onto the bottom of the pot.
One of the simplest and most reliable ways to cook couscous is in your rice cooker. Rice cookers are often overlooked for their versatility. Not only do they make perfect rice every time, but you can cook any number of grains and pastas in them as well. You can even make cake in your rice cooker! You’ll never have to scrape dry, burnt couscous off the bottom of your pot again.
Why the Rice Cooker?
Making couscous in your rice cooker not only ensures you get a perfect batch every time, but it means you can simply set it and forget it. It will only take about 10 minutes to prepare, and although it’s best to fluff with a fork right away, you can leave it on the “keep warm” setting in your rice cooker for up to an hour.
You don’t have to set a timer or check up on it to make sure it’s cooked properly. With your couscous taken care of on the counter, you now have your stovetop—and your mind—free for the other components of your meal.
How To Make Couscous in the Rice Cooker
Simply add equal parts liquid—water or stock—and couscous, along with a couple dollops of butter or oil and a pinch of salt, into the rice cooker. If using pearl couscous, increase your liquid to 1 1/4 cup for every cup of couscous.
Set the rice cooker to the white rice setting, which will cook the couscous for about five minutes. Let your couscous rest in the steam for an additional five minutes, and then fluff with a fork.
You can leave it on the “keep warm” setting for up to an hour. If you don’t get to fluffing it until then, you might end up with a slightly stickier batch, but it will still be great.
Flavoring Your Rice Cooker Couscous
Couscous is fairy bland on its own, but it absorbs flavor extremely well, which is why stock is a great choice for extra flavor. You can also add herbs and other ingredients to jazz up your couscous. Vegetables, seeds, and nuts can be browned in the rice cooker and then couscous and liquid can be added for cooking. For fruits and fresh herbs, add them when you fluff the couscous and leave for another five minutes to soften and incorporate them into the dish.
Couscous is extremely versatile, and so is your rice cooker. Why not get the most out of this under-utilized kitchen appliance and use it to make the simplest and tastiest version of couscous?