The Ultimate Rice Cooker Buying Guide
Are you a big fan of rice? Do you and your family eat it regularly? Maybe you eat it every day? If so, then chances are you would definitely benefit from a rice cooker. But, with so many models available, each of them with a host of features, how do you choose the right one for your needs? Well, thankfully, at Rice Cooker Junkie, we have done all of the heavy lifting and reviewed the best rice cookers on the market.
But, one of the first points to address – what is a rice cooker?
Well, as you might imagine, a rice cooker is simply a small appliance that is used to prepare rice in a fast and convenient way. It consists of a thermostat, a bowl that is designed especially for cooking rice and, of course, a heat source.
However, that only covers the basics because today’s modern rice cookers also come with a host of time saving features such as computerized displays, touch controls, advanced times and even fuzzy logic.
When it comes to the actual cooking process, there are also some steps that need to be explained. First of all, you simply add the amount of the rice that you want to cook along with the appropriate amount of water into the cooking bowl. But, keep in mind that the more water you add, the longer it will take the cook to complete.
During the cooking process, the mixture will heat at the appliance’s preset level. At the end of the process, you will notice that the water you added will be gone. From this point on, there are some rice cookers that will continue to keep the cooked rice at a warm temperature – but without burning it – and others that will simply switch off.
The Best Selling Brands On The Market
The number of available rice cookers on the market most probably extends into thousands; we certainly haven’t tried to count them all, but there are a lot. However, most of these appliances are made by relatively few manufacturers and may even be the same devices just re-branded. And, of course, not all brands are created equal.
Some of the most popular brands out there at the moment are Zojirushi, Krups, Oyama, Panasonic, Sanyo, Aroma, Miracle Exclusives and Cuisinart although there are many others that are good, depending on your requirements and how much you have to invest.
Types of rice cookers
In its simplest form, the traditional rice cooker is just a vessel in which you prepare the rice but, there are some exotic types of rice cookers that you probably did not even know existed.
For example, Micom rice cookers are ones that have a range of smart features controlled by microchip that will set the time and the right temperature. As well as cooking all the types of rice you are , pretty much guaranteed perfect results every time.
IH+ Micom rice cookers are those which feature heat induction. This type of cooker is special because it heats the rice using a process of induction. The cool thing about induction cookers is that they deliver almost perfect results as they provide a more distributed heat rather than traditional cookers which heat the bottom of the bowl. Of course, This means they are less prone to sticky or burnt rice.
The pressure + IH + Micom rice cookers are those that combine all the features in one powerful package. They will cook your rice at a faster speed and will provide a softer texture that will look and taste great.
How many people are you cooking for?
Most rice cookers on the market come with a traditional system of measurement i.e. cups. Most range from 1 to 10 cups of uncooked rice although industrial cookers can handle many more.
You probably just want to buy one for cooking for yourself, or the family and, for this purpose, the best options are the 3, 5 or 10-cup rice cookers although 10 cup cookers are really only for larger families or 6 or more.
Cleaning and usage process
Using a rice cooker is pretty simple. The part that gives people some difficulty is learning to understand how to use the menu systems. Of course, almost every manufacturer provides a comprehensive manual with instructions for beginners so, if you are willing to invest the time reading it, then things should work out fine.
As far as cleaning is concerned, most modern rice cookers have an easy cleaning process thanks to specialist coatings or even self-cleaning functions. Normally, you only have to soak the cooking bowl and brush the remaining of rice then rinse under water.
No matter how big your family is there are rice cookers available to suit your needs. As far as price is concerned, most rice cookers range from 20$ to 400$. Of course, if you are investing a couple of hundred buck in a kitchen appliance then you really should do your homework and read some rice cooker reviews first.