Since I grew up in a home that has available rice whenever I wanted to, I still eat lots of the stuff – almost with every meal in fact! Of course, like most American homes, bread and pastries are always present at home, but it is a must for me to have rice, too. And so, at some point in the distant past when I was missing my mother’s flavorful cooking of stew and rice, I decided to buy a rice cooker of my own.
I searched the Internet and read reviews about various rice cookers. I also tried a few rice cookers before I found Tiger JNP-S18U-HU (and thats a mouthful in itself!) 10 Cup Electric Rice Cooker. But before discussing this rice cooker, let us first delve into the things that you should look for in a rice cooker.
- 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
Things to Consider When Buying a Rice Cooker
Like with other types of products, there are important factors that you have to consider if you are planning to buy a rice cooker—besides the cost that is. Shopping around is always a good idea, due to the fact that there are now literally hundreds of good rice cookers available on the market. Most of them are just cheap, but when it comes to quality and durability, you might as well just cook rice the traditional way.
And so, from the research I have made a year ago, I have found out the factors that should affect your buying decision.
- Number of Cups (ie capacity)
- Power Usage
- Value Added Features
Tip: Never just buy products, including rice cookers, based on price alone. Do not assume that cheaper products will cost you less. In the long run, you will find yourself spending more than you have actually expected.
How Many Cups?
The number of cups will be your basis in choosing a rice cooker. In the market, you will find rice cookers which have a capacity to contain cups between 1 and 20. And of course, the larger your family is, or the bigger shares that your family members eat, the larger rice cooker that you will need.
This particular model has a whopping 10 cups capacity which means its big enough to feed almost any size family. Fill it up and you will not need to cook again for lunch or dinner. Plus, if there are parties or gatherings, you will find this rice cooker quite handy as it can cook for more people.
Power and Voltage Issue
Typically, thrifty moms are always looking for ways to make the household budget stretch further – and saving power is one way to do just that Likewise, there are standards in the country that relate to the voltage usage in products. For example, in the US and Canada, most products operate with at most 120 volts or 60 Hz, while in Japan, most products operate with at most 100 volts or 50 Hz.
You will conveniently find Tiger 10 cup Electric Rice Cooker features a switchable voltage regulator which means that it will work, without any additional equipment, in most countries. It also features a handy retractable power cord which allows for less clutter and provides you with easy storage.
Design includes weight and style, and this is where Tiger rice cookers stand out. Though it is not one of the cheapest rice cookers that you will find in the market, you are sure to have a good investment in this one. Remember, ergonomics is still the key to choosing machines or equipment.
This model has an overall weight of 9.6 pounds and dimensions of 10.7 x 11.8 x 11.7 inches. It has a built-in handle which makes carrying the machine easy and safe. Plus, it has water level marks, so you won’t have to estimate the amount of water to put in. There are also light indicators to show if the stay-warm or keep-warm mode is on or if the rice is under the cooking process.
Japanese-made Vs. Chinese-made
The Tiger 10 Cup Electric Rice Cooker is made in Japan, however, not all rice cookers branded as ‘Tiger’ are Japanese products. There is also a Tiger brand coming from China. But even though they have the same brand name, they do not have the same quality and features.
In fact, reviews on the Internet reveal that the country where the rice cooker is manufactured or produced has a huge impact on the quality of the equipment. As I browse the World Wide Web, I read that rice cookers made from Japan are better than those made from China. Though most Japanese products are priced higher than Chinese products, they are proven to last longer and perform better. Additionally, several people from various countries now prefer Japanese-made rice cookers due to its advanced technology.
Value Added Features
Modern rice cookers are now also used for cooking stews and soups, making desserts and steaming vegetables. It is never just for cooking rice nowadays. But of course, these value added features also depend on the type of rice cooker that you have.
There are three types of rice cookers:
- On/Off. This is the basic among the three. In simplest sense, it cooks rice and automatically turns off when the rice is done. It does not have a light indicator, just automatically switches to the ‘off’ sign. Likewise, it does not offer non-sticky pans or steamers.
- Cook and Stay Warm. As the name itself suggests, this type of rice cooker keeps the rice warm after cooking. With this feature, you can enjoy warm and fluffy rice all day long. No need to re-heat or cook rice again. Also, you do not need to worry about the rice being overcooked and turning hard and brown. The machine has microprocessor which controls and turns down the heat once the rice has been cooked to keep it warm. But remember to unplug it because it does not automatically turns off.
- Electric Cook and Stay Warm. Tiger rice cookers fall under this category. As with the previous type of rice cooker, this type can keep rice warm. The difference is that this machine can keep rice warm for 12 hours then automatically turns off. It is also the most expensive among the three, but definitely stands as a good investment.
Amazon offers the most affordable deals on most products – and the Tiger JNP-S18U-HU is no exception. You can usually find this model for around the $150 mark but remember to check for the latest deals.
Included in this package are:
- Tiger rice cooker
- Measuring cup
- Cooking and steaming pans
- Retractable power cord