Are you wondering how to cook millet in a rice cooker? Well, let me just say, it is so easy! The beauty of rice cookers is you set them and walk away. There is no babysitting needed and they are incredibly simple to use. This is true with cooking millet as well. Continue reading for all the information you will need to get started.
For a more in-depth article on hulled millet, check this one out.
What is millet?
Millet is a type of cereal grain that is in the grass family Poaceae. It is a small round grain that you have probably seen in birdseed before. It is considered an ancient grain.
While it has been largely consumed in Asia and Africa, we are now realizing its health benefits as a gluten-free whole grain here in the West.
Proso millet is also being grown in the United States, whereas before it was mostly grown in Asian and African countries- largely India and Nigeria. This little powerhouse seed is resilient in harsh environments.
Pearl millet is the most widely used for human consumption. Here is an article from Healthline about the health benefits of millet.
It has a slightly nutty flavor that many people love.
Where to buy millet?
I can find a limited variety of millet at my local grocery stores. Bob's red mill has nice millet that is easy to find.
You can find a wider variety of millet at natural food stores or even on Amazon. Depending on where you live, you might have more access than my small town offers.
Liquid- Water or you can use both for adding extra flavor to the millet.
Salt- It doesn't take much, but the salt will really enhance the flavor of the millet. If you are using broth, be sure to check the salt content. If it is salty enough, you won't even need to add any extra.
How to make millet in the rice cooker
Just to note, be sure to give the millet a good rinse before cooking. This will help combat the bitter taste we find sometimes in millet.
My favorite ratio for millet is 1 cup of millet to 1 ½ cups of water or broth. The broth will add a lot of flavors and I use it more often than water.
Cooking millet in the rice cooker is so easy! Pour millet, the liquid, and salt into the rice cooker.
Mine is a very simple rice cooker, with minimal settings. I set it for white rice, and let it go. It takes about 20 minutes and the millet is done.
Fluff the cooked millet with a fork and it is ready to serve.
Soaking millet vs not soaking
I have heard so much about soaking vs not soaking millet, but I personally have never noticed a difference whether I am cooking it on the cooktop or the rice cooker as I am showing in this post.
The reason some people like to soak is to break down the phytic acid and also to reduce cooking time. I personally don't soak, but you can decide for yourself.
Types of millet
There are many varieties of millet on the market. The most commonly found are Pearl millet, Proso millet, kodo millet, Finger millet, little millet, Foxtail millet, barnyard millet, Sorghum millet, and Buckwheat millet.
While the Proso or foxtail millet most of us know from common grocery stores is round and yellow, millet comes in a variety of colors and shapes. These other types are harder to find, especially in my area.
Here is a great multi-pack from Amazon of different types of millet.
How to use millet
One of my favorite ways to use millet is as a substitute for rice in grain bowls. You can also add a tablespoon or 2 to your favorite salad recipe. I love adding it to a strawberry spinach salad as it adds interest and additional health benefits.
It can also be added to soups and casseroles as well.
Anywhere you commonly use rice or quinoa, you can use millet instead. It makes a very healthy side dish.
You can also make millet porridge with breakfast also. You can also use millet flour in baked goods, like this Millet cake from Yummy Tummy.
Millet flakes are also an option, like these millet flake granola bars.
What happens if you don't soak millet?
Nothing. Some people insist on it, but it really isn't necessary for cooking millet and getting great results. Do not stress if you didn't soak it.
Why is my millet mushy?
This is where the water ratio and cooking time are so important. Too much water and the millet will easily become too mushy.
The same thing can happen when you let the millet cook for too long.
How do you get the bitter taste out of millet?
Some millet varieties are more bitter. This bitter taste can also be a personal thing. Some whole grains that are not bitter to me, are to other people. Keep both these things in mind.
The biggest help for reducing bitterness in millet is to rinse it really well in cool water. This will remove the bitter-tasting coating called saponin.
I put the millet in a fine mesh strainer and rinse for 2-3 minutes.
What is the ratio of water to millet?
My favorite ratio is 1 cup of millet and 1 ½ cups of liquid. I have seen many recipes that use a 1:2 ratio, but I always find my millet is too mushy with the liquid amounts. The only exception is if I cook it on the cooktop on a little higher heat.
I will note though, I have only used Proso, pearl, and foxtail millet. Maybe other varieties require more liquid?
Does millet give you gas?
To start off, let me just say that almost any new whole grain you are introducing yourself to could possibly give you gas. This is particularly true for people who have very low fiber intake.
While this is true for many people, it is not always true for everyone. I personally do not experience any gas when I consume it and neither does my family.
How To Cook Millet In A Rice Cooker
- 1 cup hulled millet
- 1 ½ cups cold water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Rinse the millet well in a fine mesh strainer for several minutes under cold water.
- Add the millet, water, and salt to the rice cooker.
- Set for the white rice setting.
- Let it cook, then fluff it with a fork. It will be a bit sticky but don't stress. You can easily break it apart by gently fluffing it with a fork.