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I have a package of frozen precooked Italian meatballs. I got a can of tomato sauce. I would like to cook the meatballs in a tomato sauce. I don't have a pot right now. I only have a 4-cup rice cooker with tow modes: 'cook' and 'warm'. How can I use it? For how long?

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Put them in your wok you are making your stir fry in? –  TFD May 15 '11 at 21:11
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Umm.. salsa (presuming by 'salsa' you mean roughly chopped tomatoes, onions etc with spices, usually used with tacos/nachos/Mexican food) and tomato sauce are not interchangeable ingredients. –  daniel May 15 '11 at 22:01
    
@daniel: They are not anywhere near the same, but I imagine you could have a very spicy meatballs in salsa as a relatively similar alternative. –  Orbling May 15 '11 at 23:27
    
@daniel My bad! I meant a can of tomato sauce (translation issues). –  user5331 May 16 '11 at 2:16

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What's the unit's usual cycle time for white rice? 20-30 min? That should get the sauce boiling, and the meatballs hot (70°C, plus) all the way through. I'd not trust a rice-cooker's 'warm' setting to eliminate bacteria in even pre-cooked meat.

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The cooking cycle is about 20 minutes. But would it be sufficient to thicken the sauce & get flavor in the meatballs? –  user5331 May 16 '11 at 2:18
    
@M.S. As long as you're willing to check on it now and then, I expect you could just try it and find out how long it takes. I'd be more concerned about what you're eating this with - are you trying to boil pasta in your rice cooker too? –  Jefromi May 16 '11 at 2:43
    
No. For this one I'm just trying to make Italian meatballs with tomato sauce. –  user5331 May 16 '11 at 2:54
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I would make the meatballs quite small, say golf-ball size, to improve the chances of them being cooked through. As for sauce thickening, if you can leave the lid open and still have the cooker function I'd do it, unless it has some kind of extractor, otherwise all the water will stay in there and the sauce will never reduce. –  ElendilTheTall May 16 '11 at 8:19
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The heat output of different rice cookers varies enough that you'll have to experiment and see if 20 minutes is long enough to thicken the sauce. If not, put the meatballs through another cycle (or 1/2). That should be safe as it takes some effort to burn things in a rice cooker with a properly functioning temp. sensor. –  Wayfaring Stranger May 16 '11 at 14:22

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