How to Cook Wild Rice in Rice Cooker? Everything You Need to Know

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Wild rice, with its nutty flavor and chewy texture, is not only a delicious alternative to regular rice but also a nutritional powerhouse. Cooking wild rice to perfection can be a daunting task, but with the right technique and equipment, such as a rice cooker, it becomes a simple and convenient process. In this guide, we will delve into everything you need to know about cooking wild rice in a rice cooker, from selecting the best wild rice to mastering the cooking process.


Understanding Wild Rice

Before delving into the cooking process, it’s essential to understand what wild rice is. Unlike white or brown rice, wild rice is not actually rice but rather the seed of a species of aquatic grass. It is native to North America and has been a staple food for indigenous communities for centuries. Wild rice is rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and essential nutrients like manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium, making it a highly nutritious addition to any diet.

Selecting the Right Wild Rice

When purchasing wild rice, it’s crucial to choose high-quality, authentic wild rice for the best flavor and texture. Look for wild rice that is dark brown to black in color, indicating that it is fully matured. Avoid rice labeled as “wild rice blend,” as it often contains a mixture of other grains and lacks the distinctive flavor and texture of pure wild rice.

Preparing Wild Rice for Cooking

Before cooking wild rice in a rice cooker, it’s essential to rinse it thoroughly under cold water to remove any debris and excess starch. This step helps prevent the rice from becoming overly sticky during cooking. Some people also prefer to soak wild rice for a few hours or overnight to reduce cooking time, although this is optional.

Ratio of Water to Wild Rice

The ratio of water to wild rice is crucial for achieving perfect results. Unlike white rice, which typically requires a 1:2 ratio of rice to water, wild rice needs more water to cook properly. A general rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 of wild rice to water when cooking in a rice cooker. However, the exact ratio may vary depending on the specific type of wild rice and personal preferences.

Seasoning and Flavoring Options

Wild rice has a robust, nutty flavor that pairs well with a variety of seasonings and flavorings. Before cooking, consider adding aromatics such as onions, garlic, or herbs like thyme or rosemary to enhance the flavor of the rice. You can also use broth instead of water for added depth of flavor. Experiment with different seasonings and flavorings to create unique and delicious wild rice dishes.

Cooking Wild Rice in a Rice Cooker

Now that you’ve prepared your wild rice and selected your seasonings, it’s time to cook it in a rice cooker. Follow these simple steps for perfect results every time:

  1. Add the rinsed and drained wild rice to the rice cooker.
  2. Add the appropriate amount of water or broth according to the desired ratio.
  3. If desired, add any seasonings or flavorings to the rice cooker.
  4. Close the rice cooker lid and select the appropriate setting for cooking wild rice.
  5. Allow the rice cooker to complete the cooking cycle, typically around 45-60 minutes, depending on the specific model and quantity of rice.
  6. Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the rice to rest in the rice cooker for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
  7. Serve the cooked wild rice hot as a side dish or incorporate it into your favorite recipes.


Why Use A Rice Cooker For Wild Rice?

  1. Consistent Results: Rice cookers are designed to cook rice evenly and consistently. This is particularly beneficial for wild rice, which can have varying cooking times depending on its quality and variety. A rice cooker ensures that each grain of wild rice is cooked to perfection, resulting in a uniform texture and taste.
  2. Hands-Free Cooking: Once you add the wild rice and water to the rice cooker and press the button to start, you can leave it unattended until the cooking cycle is complete. This hands-free approach allows you to focus on preparing other parts of your meal without worrying about constantly checking or stirring the rice.
  3. Effortless Operation: Rice cookers are incredibly easy to use, even for those with limited cooking experience. Most models feature simple controls and settings, making it easy to select the appropriate cooking time and temperature for wild rice. Once the rice is cooked, many rice cookers automatically switch to a “keep warm” mode to maintain the optimal temperature until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Versatility: While rice cookers are specifically designed for cooking rice, many models can also handle other grains, such as quinoa, barley, and even some types of lentils. This versatility makes a rice cooker a valuable addition to any kitchen, especially if you frequently cook a variety of grains or need to prepare meals for individuals with dietary restrictions.
  5. Time and Energy Efficiency: Rice cookers are designed to cook rice efficiently, using minimal energy and time compared to stovetop methods. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re cooking for a large group or need to prepare multiple dishes simultaneously. Additionally, rice cookers typically produce less heat and steam than traditional stovetop cooking methods, helping to keep your kitchen cooler and more comfortable.

Overall, using a rice cooker for wild rice offers convenience, reliability, and consistent results, making it an excellent investment for anyone who enjoys incorporating this nutritious grain into their meals on a regular basis. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or a crowd, a rice cooker simplifies the process and ensures that your wild rice turns out perfectly every time.


Nutritional Value of Wild Rice

Wild rice is not only delicious but also highly nutritious. It is an excellent source of fiber, providing around 3 grams per cooked cup. It is also rich in protein, containing approximately 6.5 grams per cup, making it a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets. Additionally, wild rice is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and B vitamins, which are important for overall health and well-being.



Proper storage is essential for maintaining the quality and freshness of wild rice. Store uncooked wild rice in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Cooked wild rice should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3-5 days. You can also freeze cooked wild rice in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag for longer-term storage, up to 6 months. When reheating frozen wild rice, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it in the microwave or on the stovetop.



Cooking wild rice in a rice cooker is a simple and convenient way to enjoy this nutritious and flavorful grain. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can master the art of cooking wild rice to perfection every time. Experiment with different seasonings and flavorings to create delicious wild rice dishes that will impress family and friends alike. So, next time you’re craving a hearty and wholesome meal, reach for your rice cooker and whip up a batch of delicious wild rice.


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