Rice cookers are a handy kitchen appliance with numerous benefits. They not only save our time but also cooks perfect rice consistently. Some rice cookers have upgraded features that let them operate the cooking process themselves, adjusting the temperature, and timing according to our needs. They can cook any type of rice in a short time.
Due to their multipurpose use and ease of operations, they are deemed as a must-have item for kitchen. There are many other perks of having a rice cooker which you may not find in any other fancy kitchenware. But are rice cookers worth buying or are they just fancy appliances which might be too expensive to afford? Read this article to decide for yourself.
What is a Rice Cooker?
A rice cooker is a very simple cookware which does what its name suggests- cooks rice, but in an efficient way. Rice cookers are automated cooking appliances which boils or steam rice using a heat source. Unlike conventional cooking tools, these are smart and adjustable. It is possible to set various inputs for making rice in a rice cooker. By setting temperature or pressure functions, you can cook rice without the constant overseeing.
Modern rice cookers have sensors and advanced control measures. They can have different types and multipurpose uses as well. The thermostats and insulations make them safe to use. The entire user experience of rice cookers is easy to get accustomed to and currently they are very popular all over the world.
Rice Cooker Evolution: Then and Now
Rice cookers we see now have changed radically over the years with the advent of technology. In 1955, Japanese brand Toshiba made the first rice cooker. Previously, rice cookers were made simply for cooking rice in a constant temperature. Now, modern rice cookers know how to cook rice without any supervision and adjust settings automatically. The use of microchips in a rice cooker has revolutionized the technology. The only operation needed is a press of a button to cook rice. Energy efficiency has been a big concern for earlier rice cookers, but now with the latest upgraded version, rice cookers can utilize most of the heat duty.
Benefits of Having a Rice Cooker (1400)
There are numerous benefits of rice cookers over conventional kitchen appliances. Here are a few advantages reinstating why rice cookers are worth buying.
The best thing about cooking rice in a rice cooker is the consistent quality of rice. It is impossible for a person to cook the same quality rice every time and as humans we are bound to make a mistake. Maybe you forgot to add sufficient water or may be the gas was in high heat; sometimes blunders happen. If you are picky about these things, a rice cooker will serve you right. Rice cookers are just machines, doing best at what they do- cooking rice. So, are rice cookers worth buying? They are, if you want to eat perfectly cooked rice every day.
Sometimes people do not prefer a rice cooker as they presume that they only cook one thing- rice. While it is true that rice cookers are designed to cook rice, but modern rice cookers have so many new functions that you can cook many dishes which require steaming or boiling. Some rice cookers come with a steamer or a basket, so if you want to use your rice cooker for making some dumplings or steaming vegetables, you absolutely can. In fact, it is possible to even make a delicious cake in the cooker. This versatility of rice cookers is one of the most attractive features.
User-friendly and Simple
Modern rice cookers are very easy to use. Even the computerized ones have simple interface. The manuals that come with the rice cookers explain the functions elaborately. The rice and water ratios are also given in the manuals. Every rice cooker is designed for a designated ratio of rice and water. Also, smart cookers have buttons for each mode. For instance, if you want the water to simmer only, there is a simmering option button in the rice cooker. Japanese rice cookers also have a LCD display which shows how much time is remaining or what temperature is inside the cooker, so you do not need to open the lid and check every time.
No Burning Mishaps
Let’s face it, we all probably burnt rice at least once or twice. The biggest disadvantage of cooking rice on stove is the chance of burning it sometimes. If unchecked, the temperature inside the water can exceed 100 o C. The water will turn to steam and the rice will begin to burn. With a rice cooker, there is no chance of burning a rice. When temperature goes over 100 o C, the thermostat of the rice cooker activates and stops the heating duty. This built-in feature allows you to safely cook rice without making basic mistakes like this.
Cooks Any Rice
Rice cookers are able to cook any type of rice, whether it is jasmine rice or Indian basmati rice, you can cook any type without much hassle. Nowadays people prefer eating brown rice as it has superior nutritional value. Brown rice takes too long to cook in a pot over gas or induction burners. Rice cookers, on the other hand, are able to cook brown rice in 30-40 minutes only. Some rice cookers have a button for brown rice so that you don’t have to set the temperature or adjust any settings. It can handle any type of rice and optimize accordingly.
Modern rice cookers are extremely flexible to use due to their automation. Especially rice cookers made in Japan are very high-tech. Computer microchips such as fuzzy logic was applied to these rice cookers. As a result, they can do a lot of advanced stuffs. Some rice cookers can adjust the temperature by themselves to keep the cooking time same. So, if you happen to add a little more water than required, the rice cooker will readjust its parameter and end up cooking the rice just as smoothly. They have different buttons for different modes and operations. The size and shape is also very compact. Some rice cookers come with an app. Going through the app, you can find recipes that can be cooked using the rice cooker. Some even show you when you have to do a maintenance of the cooker. The displays show everything you need to know for cooking rice. Even though they are pricier, these features make them worth spending money on. If you ask us why are rice cookers worth buying, we would say it is because of these cool features added to make them efficient.
The Settings Are Programmable
Many rice cookers come with a delay timer option. Using this feature, you can delay the cooking time according to your own need. Usually, in rice cookers you will find 15-hour programmable delay timer. This is a really convenient feature, because you can put the rice inside the cooker and soak overnight. Then you can adjust the time so that the cooker will start cooking near your meal time. The digital setting can be adjusted to cater to your own needs.
No More Stressing About Measurements
While cooking in the rice cooker, you don’t need to worry about how much water to put with your rice as the manuals mention this ratio. Some rice cookers come with measuring cup for rice and water. If you screw up with the water amount, you don’t have to worry, as smart cookers can adjust the temperature and cook in selected time. In contrast, traditional rice cooking on stove can be difficult for some as the ratio of rice and water can be different. You may end up with mushy or uncooked rice. If you are someone who thinks this guesswork is too stressful, rice cookers are worth buying for yourself.
Rice cookers generally use electricity, although you can find gas rice cookers too. The cooker which employ induction heating method are the most energy efficient, as heat loss is much less. The insulation also helps in recovering the heat. The aluminium rice bowl dissipated the heat across the cooking medium. New rice cookers have stainless steel and Teflon coatings. Since the conditions of cooking can be adjusted, it is possible to save more energy in electric rice cookers than in other types. Pre-soaking and pressure cooking are also energy saving techniques in a rice cooker.
Cooking in general can be very time consuming. Rice is no exception either. On stove tops or microwaves, it takes a longer time to cook. The main hassle is to monitor time to time whether the rice has cooked completely or not. With a rice cooker, you don’t have to worry about supervision. The cooker itself has logic functions employed or timer set to cook without any manipulation from outside. If you are working nine to five and cannot be bothered to spend too much time in the kitchen, consider a rice cooker worth buying for.
Rice cookers come in different power ratings, sizes, shapes, and features. This variety of rice cookers made them popular worldwide. There are cookers which are microcomputers; automating most actions and requiring no interruption. Rice cookers now come in lunch box sizes too, great for making meal for single portioning. Modern rice cookers are very compact and resilient and lasts for a long time. If you consider the price range, some rice cookers costs only $20-$30, whereas some may cost up to $400. Some are only for cooking rice and are simple in functions and some maybe flexible to cook more than just rice. So, rice cookers vary in many areas. You just have to find the one that suits your needs.
Your Trusted Cook
In Japan, rice cookers are considered the best companion for cooking. If you are insecure about cooking and find that you need a helping hand, rice cookers are there. This is reiterating all the reasons mentioned above, but rice cookers are extremely versatile, flexible, and hassle-free. Cooking is easy with a rice cooker. You can make most steamed recipe in a rice cooker. In many countries where rice is staple food, rice cookers are used to make breakfast and lunch. It is your trusted assistant cook, doing the hard part of cooking by monitoring itself.
Cleaning Up is No More a Chore
Cleaning up after cooking is perhaps the one thing most people hate. Rice cookers are worth buying in this case, as the only thing you have to wash or rinse is the bowl. There is no need to stir the rice and mess up more spoons or other utensils. The parts of the rice cooker can be removed and attached when needed according to the manual’s instructions.
Rice Cooker Vs Stove Top Vs Pressure Cooker
Rice can be cooked using either of these three options. Rice and pressure cookers both use steam to cook rice, but pressure cookers work by increasing the boiling point of water by creating a high pressure atmosphere. Rice cookers, on the other hand, controls temperature through its heating elements. Pressure cookers have the benefit of cooking quicker than rice cookers. However, more than often you will end up with mushy rice because in high pressure rice can overcook.
Many people cook rice in a pot over the stove top. This is the least costly method, just a simple pot with water and rice to boil over and cook. If rice cookers are digital and modern solution, stove top cooking is an analogue cooking method, but still works fine. If you do not require any fancy control measures, stove top cooking is just enough. Rice cookers are much more efficient and takes less work to get the job done.
What to Look for While Buying a Rice Cooker?
There are so many options in the market when it comes to buying a rice cooker. Here are a few things to remember while buying one.
- Check the heating duty and power capacity of the cooker and whether that is viable with your electric points at home.
- If you are looking for durability and better heating dissipation, stainless steel bowls can be a better option than aluminium bowls.
- If you are opting for buying a high-end rice cooker, check what are the functions available and if they can be changed manually.
- A rice cooker with display setting is convenient. If budget is not an issue, look for ones with a LCD display. These rice cookers are worth buying.
- Check for warranty time and try to buy rice cookers with at least two-year warranty time. Some rice cookers come with spare electronic parts; these are handy tools to keep.
What is a Good Rice Cooker to Buy?
There are many options available and many brands deemed as trusted manufacturer of high-quality rice cookers. The brand Aroma has been making high quality rice cookers and has been rated by many for making the best rice cookers.
For smart and computerized ones, most rice cookers of this sort tend to be manufactured by Japanese brands. Zojirushi, Midea, Tiger, and Panasonic makes the best smart and automated rice cookers which are sold all over the world. These rice cookers can be pricey but they are very compact, operates with no hassle or lag and lasts for a very long time.
Some brands such as Prep Solutions make rice cookers with many spare parts, such as microwavable utensils and steamer baskets. Some have superior safety features and great finishing. So, it varies in different categories. These brands are the popular bunch among the rice cooker manufacturers.
The Verdict: Are Rice Cookers Worth Buying?
Rice cookers have way too many advantages as a cookware. It is versatile, flexible, and operates under minimum supervision. With our life being increasingly hectic, a companion like a rice cooker is greatly needed. You don’t have to be a rice freak or need to have rice as your staple food to fathom the benefits of cooking in a rice cooker. The latest designs are being upgraded every year and new features are being added to make our life simpler. You can make any steamed recipe using one, not just rice. It is surely a handy tool to keep in your kitchen and save some time and work. So, if you ask are rice cookers worth buying, then the answer is a big yes. They are worthy of keeping stacked in the kitchen.
Rice cookers are the minimalist way of cooking. It has a variety and are extremely easy to operate. If you are wondering whether rice cookers are worth buying, think about all the benefits of it and how they can help you. This article aims to discuss about ample advantages of using a rice cooker and how it transforms your way of living a productive life.