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What Is the Best Rice Cooker?
Rice is a very healthy and versatile ingredient as you can use it to prepare various meals. Prepare fried rice, rice soup, or add it to other meals for flavor. There are plenty of recipes to prepare this grain. But, some find it difficult to handle it. If you are one of them, then you need a rice cooker.
This utensil makes preparing rice a piece of cake. No sticking, no hassle, just enjoying your time in your kitchen preparing your favorite rice meals. It’s as great as it seems. But, if you don’t know much about this product or which one to choose, this article will help you with that. Here, we provide you with all the things you need to know about the rice cooker, how to choose the right one for you, as well as the top 10 rice cookers on the market.
Let’s keep reading!
Comparison of the Best Rice Machines in 2021Invalid table id.
- 7-IN-1 APPLIANCES: electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food
- QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING with 11 Smart Touch customizable programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more on autopilot. Power: 700W, Power Supply: 120V-60Hz
- COOK FAST OR COOK SLOW with pressure cooking up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cooking for traditional grandma-approved recipes
- QUICK AND EASY CLEAN-UP with finger-print resistant, stainless-steel sides and dishwasher-safe lid, inner pot, and accessories
- 10+ PROVEN SAFETY FEATURES including overheat protection and safe-locking lid
- Built with the latest 3rd generation microprocessor technology, up to 240 minutes pressure-cooking up to 24 hours delay start, automatic keep Warm up to 10 hours, 3 temperatures in sauté & slow cook
- Instant Pot Lux 3 quart replaces 6 Appliances in 1
- Accessories include, stainless steel steam rack without handles, rice paddle, Soup Spoon, measuring cup, recipe booklet (English) manual and time table
- Power supply: 120V – 60Hz. Dimensions: 11.50 x 10.51 x 10.51 inches
- Item Shape: Round
- Perfectly prepares 2 to 6 cups of any variety of cooked rice
- Steams meat and vegetables while rice cooks below
- Simple, one-touch operation with automatic Keep-Warm
- Great for soups, jambalaya, chili and so much more!
- Easy-to-use single switch control
- See-through glass lid with stay cool knob
- Stay cool handles for easy transport
- Durable nonstick inner cooking pan
- Every Zojirushi rice cooker comes with a plastic measuring cup. This cup has a capacity of 6-ounces, or about 3/4 of a U.S. measuring cup. The capacity of the rice cooker is counted in these 6-ounce cups of uncooked short grain white rice. One 6-ounce cup of raw rice makes about 2 to 3, 6-ounce cups of cooked rice
- COATING FREE INNER POT: The food-grade 304 stainless steel cooking pot is durable and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
- ONE-TOUCH: Pour in up to 3 cups of uncooked rice, add water, and push down the lever to start. The one-touch, automated design is fool-proof. Just set it and forget it!
- AUTOMATIC COOKING: This smart rice cooker detects when your rice is ready, so you don't even have to set a timer. Then, it automatically switches modes to keep your rice warm!
- COMPACT SIZE: This powerful rice cooker is a must-have kitchen tool in a small package. The 6-cup capacity is perfect for rice, omelets, soups, oatmeal, pasta, and more.
- COMPLETE SET: We include a bonus rice spatula and measuring cup, which are BPA-free. Plus, the spatula can be held in the handle for easy storage.
- Syncro-cooking function "tacook" makes it possible to cook main dish and rice at the same time
- One push operation. Dimensions (inches) : W 10.6 x D 13.9 x H 8.4
- 4 cooking menu settings (Synchrony-cooking/Plain rice/Brown rice/Slow cooking)
- Easy to clean non-stick coating inner pan.Electric Rating: cook 672W
- Includes Non-stick spatula, Cooking plate, Measuring cup and Cookbook for using "Synchrony-cooking" function
- For large families, 6+ people. Item dimensions are 14.88 x 13.90 x 10.39 in inches
- Instant Pot Ultra electric pressure cooker is the next generation in kitchen appliances. A central dial with a simple turn and press provides added precision in program selection and adjustment
- New features: Altitude adjustment, cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button. The Ultra button provides custom programming. The new features include sterilize, cake and egg programs
- Replaces 10 common kitchen Appliances pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, sauté/searing, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer
- Developed with the latest 3rd generation technology with an embedded microprocessor. The microprocessor monitors the pressure and temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration. Power supply: 120V – 60Hz, power supply cord length: 35 inches
- Make more than rice: Make rice, whole grains, hot cereal, steamed vegetables and much more
- Healthy, one pot meals: Steam seafood or veggies while rice cooks below
- Pre-programmed settings: Cook and steam food at the touch of a button
- 2 to 8 cup capacity: Makes between 2 to 8 cups of cooked rice or whole grains
- 2 in 1 basket: Includes rice rinser/steam basket
- Keep-warm function up to 12 hours
- Non-stick inner pan
- Retractable power cord
- Spatula and rice measuring cup includes
- Removable and washable steam vent
- 700-watt 3-cup rice cooker and warmer with Induction Heating technology. Note - Capacity is measured in the approx. 6 oz. / 180mL rice measuring cup, using raw short grain white rice. Other grains may vary.
- Menu settings include: white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free and quick cooking. Electrical Rating- 120 volts / 700 watts
- Accessories include rice spatula, spatula holder and rice measuring cups;Detachable and washable stainless steel inner lid
- Capacity*: Up to 3 cups / 0.54 liter.Capacity is measured in the approx. 6 oz. / 180mL rice measuring cup, using raw short grain white rice. Other grains may vary
- Thick, spherical inner cooking pan; carrying handle; detachable cord; wash by hand. Dimensions (W x D x H) : 9.12 x 11.87 x 7.5 inches
What Is a Rice Cooker?
Undoubtedly, cooking rice requires a lot of attention. It’s because you need to ensure that the rice is cooked in optimal conditions and there are no incidents like rice stuck to the pan. Of course, there are many tips for cooking rice, but the best option is a rice cooker as it simplifies the whole cooking process.
But, what exactly is a rice cooker?
A rice cooker is an appliance that cooks rice automatically by releasing the steam coming from the heated water. It’s made of two superimposed trays. The water is inserted in the lower tray and the rice in the upper one.
Another thing that makes this apparatus so useful is that it controls the heat and the cooking time. Hence, you only need to add the ingredients, press the power button, and choose the type of program you want – steam, rice, oatmeal, quick cook, soup, or brown rice. The cooker takes care of the rest.
How Does a Rice Cooker Work?
The operation of a rice cooker is very simple. You add rice and water and turn on the machine. Once being turned on, it will start heating up to just below 100ºC to prevent the water from boiling. When the cooking is complete, some of the water will be evaporated and the rest will be absorbed by the rice. Then, you can choose whether you will keep the device on “keep warm” mode or will simply turn it off.
How to Use an Electric Rice Cooker?
Rice machines are fairly simple to use. But, if you’ve never had one before, you may not be sure how to use it. Don’t worry as we provide you with all the steps on how to use this apparatus below. Therefore, to use this apparatus properly, you should follow these steps:
- First, open the rice cooker and remove the two trays.
- Fill the inner container (metal tray) with cold water. You should add as much water as needed for the amount and type of rice. Just follow the recommendations indicated on the rice packaging to add the proper amount of water. Then, add salt.
- Add the rice in the steam basket (steamer tray).
- Close the appliance and choose the desired program to start cooking. That’s it!
Benefits of Rice Making Machines
The main advantage of cooking rice in a rice cooker is the convenience of cooking. You just have to add the ingredients to the apparatus and let it do the rest. Another benefit is that it saves you plenty of time. No more waiting fand checking if the rice is being cooked as the machine does that automatically. You can finally do something else in the meantime, like preparing a salad or rest a bit. However, the most important benefits of an electric rice cooker are the following:
- The rice is cooked equally, regardless of whether the grains are located at the bottom of the tray or on its surface.
- These electrical appliances can keep rice warm for a long time, up to 24 hours, thus preventing food poisoning caused the bacteria Bacillus Cereus.
- They are inexpensive and come in a great variety of models on the market. For instance, you can find cookers at different ranges, several floors (not only for preparing rice), of various capacities, and colors. Therefore, you can choose the model that best suits your needs and style. Of course, there are expensive models too, but most of them are quite cheap and very useful.
- These appliances are easy to use as they are designed to focus on their function. Hence, you will immediately see that the dry rice marker and the water line. So, fill one of the trays with rice up to the marker, fill the other tray with water up to the line, and turn the machine on.
- Due to being small, these devices are very easy to transport. They don’t weigh much and can be easily transferred inside the packing box, so you can take them with you when you need it.
- These appliances are very easy to clean since they are removable. Maintaining their hygiene is very simple, so you can’t use it as an excuse for not buying one.
- They come with multiple floors, which allows you to cook different foods, e.g. rice, vegetables, potatoes, fish, etc. at the same time.
How to Choose a Rice Cooker?
Do you want to buy a rice cooker, but do not know which one to choose? Choosing the model that best suits your tastes and needs can be a real quest if you don’t know what to look in for. To help you out with that, here are some tips:
- Removable non-stick inner steaming pot – The inner steaming pot should be removable and with a non-stick coating for easy cleaning and washing.
- Proper capacity – The capacity of the rice cooker depends on the number of people you are cooking for. For instance, a capacity of 0.26 gallons is enough for 4 to 5 people. But, if you live alone or with your partner, you will need a model with less capacity. Choosing the right capacity is essential because you want to prepare the exact amount of rice for your family without having to turn on the rice cooker twice.
- “Keep Warm” feature – Here’s another aspect you should consider when choosing an electric rice cooker. In this way, you’ll be able to leave the rice ready while you finish other tasks. It can also keep other dishes warm while you or your guests prepare for dining. The rice cooker can keep the interior warm, at around 70ºC, for up to almost 5 hours. This means you can prepare the food in advance and have it still warm when you get back from wherever you have been.
- Adjustable cooking – Most rice machines can have their power and cooking adjusted. You can adjust them throughout the process of cooking. Although this feature isn’t essential, it’s adjustable.
- Water level indicator – Some models of rice-cooking machines have a water level indicator. This makes them easy to use and makes sure you added the proper amount.
What Should You Consider Before Buying a Rice Cooker?
Rice cookers have become a necessity as they allow you to prepare the perfect rice with ease. In that way, it facilitates your cooking and allows you to do other choirs while the rice is being cooked. But, in order to experience the benefits of this appliance, you need to choose the right one for you. To do that, you should consider these things:
One of the essential aspects you should take into account is the quality of the product. It’s because it determines how good and functional the product is. Namely, low-quality models have only basic features and are made of poor-quality materials. On the other hand, high-quality models come with plenty of features, which allow you to use the product to the max.
Usually, the price reflects the quality of the product. Although you can find many quality products on sale or promotion, you should always avoid the cheapest ones. Instead, go for those with a higher price as, although they will cost you more, they will be worth it. It’s because high-quality models are long-lasting, thus paying-off your investment.
But, how much do these products cost?
These products are quite affordable, so you can find good models between $35 and $70. Of course, there are more sophisticated models at a higher price.
When it comes to the power, rice cookers don’t have to be very powerful to deliver optimal results. In fact, powerful models have higher energy consumption. Therefore, you should take a good look at how much watts a specific model has and what’s its energy efficiency. The power and energy efficiency determine the cost of using this product.
When looking for a rice cooker, make sure it has great features that suit your needs. One of them is an automatic turn off when the cooking process is finished. This feature prevents the rice from being burnt. Another very useful feature is having water and a rice meter.
One of the most important aspects you should look at when choosing a rice cooking machine is to be coated with non-stick materials on the bottom and the walls of the container. This will prevent the sticking of the rice as well as its burning during the cooking process or while keeping it hot.
The size of the cooker is related to its capacity. Namely, the larger the rice cooker is, the greater capacity it has. To make sure you choose the right-size model for you, you have to consider the space you have on and in the kitchen counters as well as the size of your family. It’s because when you cook, it must fit the countertop and when you’re done, it must fit the inside of the counter. In terms of the family size, if you cook for two people, you don’t need a large cooker but a small one. On the other hand, if you cook for a larger family, you should buy a cooker that is big, yet it fits the available space in the kitchen.
Did you know that rice cooking machines can be versatile? Indeed, many models are. Namely, they can perform various functions, including cooking, heating, and steaming. They can also come in one piece or with a removable cooking casserole you can take out and wash it very easily. However, you should keep in mind that the versatility of the cooker, along with the type of material it’s made of, determine the price of the cooker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered all the important things you should know about rice cookers, we can take a look at the most common questions. They’ll help you answer your questions or find even more about this product. So, let’s check them out!
Is a Rice Cooker Used to Make Sushi?
The short answer is YES, you can use a rice cooker to make sushi. In fact, many people buy them just for this purpose. It’s because it allows you to control the way your sushi looks, in terms of whether it will be more sticky or not. This depends on the amount of water you add and the preparation time.
What Is the Usual Capacity of These Rice-Making Machines?
Most models have a capacity of around 0.5 gallons. However, they can range from very small cookers of 0.15 gallons to very large cookers of 2.4 gallons. Hence, you can choose how much capacity your cooker has based on your needs.
Is It Easy to Clean?
All rice cookers are coated with non-stick material, so you shouldn’t have any issues cleaning them. However, manufacturers recommend washing rice well before cooking so that it doesn’t release much starch and sticks less. This will not only prevent you from consuming a lot of starches but will also make the cleaning much easier.
Do All Rice Cookers Have a Japanese Origin?
Most rice cookers have a Japanese origin but there are also many international brands that manufacture these devices. Some of the best-known brands are Russell Hobbs and Philips. This gives you more options to choose from, not only in terms of models but also in the country of origin.
Is It Better to Boil the Rice in a Pot or in a Rice Cooker?
Although you can boil the rice in a regular pot, a rice cooker makes the process much easier. These machines have very helpful features, like the automatic turn-off feature, which help you keep your dish in optimal condition. Their features also allow you to make the most of them and enjoy cooking rice like never before. They also make sure you add the right amount of water and rice, according to the recipe and your needs. Plus, by not boiling the water, they provide you with a completely different dish at the end.
Why Buy a Rice Cooker?
Rice is a very versatile ingredient as it can be used to prepare different dishes. Plus, it’s used in many side dishes. Since most of us eat it often, it’s very useful to have a device that cooks the rice instead of you. Rice cookers not only replace you in cooking but also allow you to do other tasks instead of waiting for the rice to be cooked. Moreover, this device supports your healthy eating as it allows you to easily prepare many different nutritious meals, such as vegetable rice, broccoli, peas, zucchini, or white rice with or without peas. Apart from rice, you can also use it for steaming quinoa, bulgur, couscous, saccharine wheat seeds, vegetables, potatoes, and fish.
How to Take Care of My Rice Cooker?
By taking proper care of your rice cooker, you extend its life. It also ensures it’s in optimal condition and works properly, as no one wants junk in their kitchen. If you’re not sure of how to take care of your cooker, here are some tips to help you with that:
- Always read the instructions for use: Most people often overlook this part but it’s important to read the manual, otherwise, it may have some consequences on your cooker’s operation.
- Use the pot only to cook rice: Many people use their cooker to boil pasta, atole, and other foods, no matter if their device has that function or not. This can damage its function and shorten its shelf lie. Therefore, if your cooker is designed to cook only rice, you should use it only for that and nothing more. And, if it is a versatile model, you can use it to prepare other, supported, foods. For example, if your cooker has the function of a steamer, you can use it to steam veggies.
- Don’t use the rice cooker without its lid: The cooker’s lid has a specific function in cooking and steam regulation. That’s why you should always close it with its lid when preparing food. Also, you should always check that the steam release hole is completely free.
- Never use any type of metal spoon to stir the rice: Spoons made of metal can damage the non-stick surface. That’s why you should use plastic or wooden cutlery.
- Check the outlet where you plug your pot: Always make sure that the outlet is in optimal condition to prevent any incident. Also, you should unplug your pot when not in use to extend its shelf life, prevent incidents, and save energy.
- Take care of the interior of your appliance: Don’t use metal cutlery when preparing food in the pot. Also, you shouldn’t scratch it with a wire sponge when you clean it. Moreover, you should make sure you place it well so that it doesn’t fall from the countertop. And, never wash the rice in the pot, rather in a separate container.
- When cleaning your rice cooker: Make sure the pot is unplugged when you want to clean it. Then, sanitize the outside with a soft, damp cloth. If the non-stick surface isn’t removable, apply water with mild soap and let it act. This will helps you to remove any food residue. It’s also advisable not to use metal sponges as they will damage the pot.
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