How do you choose the best rice cooker? What functions and characteristics should the rice cooker have according to your needs? Read our guide and choose informed.
Why buy a rice cooker?
When cooking, always make sure to start the rice cooking process in time so that it is ready at the same time as the other dishes.
You boil it and then turn your attention to the other dishes you have on the fire, when, at some point, you realize you forgot about rice. Now you have an unpleasant smell that fills your kitchen and a thick layer of burnt rice on the bottom of a pan that will be very difficult to clean.
Or maybe you managed not to burn the rice this time , but it didn't turn out the way you like – it's either too crispy or too soft . Or maybe while you were paying attention to the other dishes, the water in which the rice was boiling caught fire and made a lot of mess on the counter and on the stove .
If you cook frequently at home, chances are you have encountered at least one of the situations described above, if not all. Rice is an excellent garnish for a wide variety of cooked foods. In theory, it is easy to do, but in practice, it is very easy to damage or burn it.
Here appears in the landscape the electric appliance for boiling rice (or the electric pot for rice , as it is also called). For anyone who cooks rice regularly, or simply wants a portion of perfectly cooked rice from time to time, a rice cooker is very useful .
It will turn off automatically when the rice is cooked properly, and you won't have to worry about it burning if you're not careful. Most of the time, the best device for cooking rice will keep it warm after cooking, as it is ready to serve even if the other dishes take longer than you planned.
In addition, many electric rice cookers offer programs for different types of rice . If you usually cook brown rice and you want to try a jasmine rice, for example, all you have to do is choose the right program for the rice cooker, without unsuccessful attempts .
However, choosing the best rice cooker is a little more complicated. That's why I wrote this guide that will help you find the right electric rice cooker for you.
Types of rice cookers
Conventional rice cookers
Conventional rice cookers will meet the needs of most consumers. They offer basic functions. Some are so simple that they only have one on / off button – add the ingredients, press the button and your rice will be cooked properly. Some models of rice machines offer several functions, but they are also minimal and easy to understand.
Conventional rice cookers usually have a good price. They are designed to be easy to use and most of the time they cook rice fast . They certainly offer superior comfort in cooking rice in a pot or pan and are suitable for most consumers.
|Good price||It does not offer options for multiple types of rice|
|Very easy to use||I don't always cook my chosen rice perfectly|
|They come in a multitude of models||They do not have the advanced features that some want|
|I cook rice fast|
Smart rice cookers
Smart rice cookers offer a "logical fuzzy logic" technology that provides the perfect conditions for cooking rice . This means that if you somehow confuse the amounts of ingredients you put into cooking, you still have a good chance of getting the perfect rice . For example, if you cook rice on a hot day, the appliance will automatically adjust the cooking temperature to accommodate the environment.
For those who cook rice frequently or who are very picky about the end result, smart rice cookers have a reputation for delivering superior results over any other method of cooking. As a result, they are offered at a higher price than other simpler models. Usually the price for such a smart device starts from a few hundred lei.
In addition to the high cost, smart rice electric appliances are even more complicated to use. The more complicated models that usually offer the best results are usually difficult for new users to understand. In addition, they cook the rice slower than conventional rice cookers, but can be programmed to cook the rice in time and keep it warm for a long time until it is served.
|I cook the perfect rice||They are more expensive|
|Useful for a wide variety of recipes||I cook the rice more slowly|
|They can be complicated to use|
Multifunctional rice cookers
Many rice cookers offer several options in addition to rice cooking . The most common combination is with a steam cooker , but you can find rice cookers that also work as a multicooker or slow cooker, as well as certain pressure cookers .
In many kitchens, space is a precious treasure, and sometimes an appliance that offers multiple functions is welcome from this point of view.
|It offers various functions at the same price||They are more complicated|
|I can cook a variety of foods||They will not cook rice as well as smart rice cookers|
|Save precious space in the kitchen|
The best rice cooker: what to look for
Now that we have an idea about the variety of appliances available on the market , the next step is to identify your personal needs in order to choose the right rice cooker for you. Below you will find the main criteria for choosing the perfect rice cooker .
Capacity and size
Most electric rice cookers will list the capacity by the volume in liters of the inner container or by the number of cups that can cook it. You will find models with sizes from 0.4 liters to a few liters, or between 3 and 20 cups of rice.
The dimensions indicated on the product do not indicate the number of cups of rice, but the total volume of ingredients that the appliance can cook at maximum capacity.
For example, if you buy a rice cooker with a capacity of 3 cups, it means that you will be able to cook 1 cup of rice together with two cups of water at once. Don't forget that rice increases its volume considerably by cooking.
The volume of rice you can cook is an important factor, especially for large families or those who cook frequently for a large number of people.
You should also consider the space you have available in the kitchen. Usually rice cookers are not extremely bulky , but if you already have a lot of appliances competing for countertop space, be sure to choose a model that fits.
Most people will be satisfied with a simple and functional rice cooker that does not cost much. If you cook rice only from time to time, use only white rice and you are only interested in making the cooking process easier, then a rice cooker from the lower price range (100-200 lei) will be more than enough.
For those who cook rice several times a week, who consider it an important part of daily meals, and who want to cook different varieties on a regular basis, then choosing a more expensive model may justify the price. This way you will have the guarantee of a perfectly cooked rice every time without stressing with the perfect dosage of the ingredients, regardless of the type of rice chosen or the quantity.
Most buyers will want a middle ground between the two extremes. You probably want more options from a rice cooker that can work as a multicooker. Or maybe you want to pay a higher price for a brand famous for durability .
If you want a middle ground solution, then the documentation on the brands and functions available for those models might be worth it in the long run.
How to use
It is good to have an idea in advance why you want to use the rice cooker . If you use it only for cooking rice, then you can choose almost any model on the market. Instead, if you want to use the chosen appliance for steamed vegetables, for cooking various types of rice, or even use it as a pressure cooker or slow cooker , then you will need a more versatile model .
You will find examples of multiple uses of rice cookers in customer reviews on the pages of online stores. Some models come with recipe books with which you will form an idea about the different ways of using the appliance.
Think carefully about what you want from your rice cooker . This way you will have a clear idea about the functions and features you are looking for.
Some consumers will be satisfied with the cheapest option available , even if this means that you will have to include the chosen device more frequently. Most consumers will instead look for a rice cooker that will last for years.
The most expensive brands (which also offer smart appliances) usually have a reputation for making appliances that are durable over time , but some of the mid-range appliances also offer good durability over time.
The only way you can find out the durability of a rice cooker is the opinions of other customers who already have and use that model. If a certain model of rice cooker usually breaks down in the first year of use, be sure to find an opinion from someone who indicates this.
Ease of use
The main reason why someone decides to buy a rice cooker is its ability to simplify cooking . If this is your main goal, then you will definitely find an electric rice cooker that is easy and simple to use.
Usually, the simpler the device, the easier it will be to use. This means that cheap one-button models will be the easiest to use, but even models that offer a few extra features will not be much harder to understand and use.
Intelligent rice cookers require a period of learning and accommodation. What they do is more complicated, even if they generally adapt on their own they will need a period of learning to set them in the desired way.
All rice cookers have a major advantage over a regular pan: they are very easy to clean. You won't have to bother scraping the burnt rice from the bottom of the pot or cleaning the stove if the rice catches fire.
Most models of rice cookers are equipped with non-stick containers that make cleaning a child's play.
If you have not yet decided to buy a rice cooker , think only of the last time you had to scrape the burnt rice from the bottom of the pan.
The rice cookers are cheap, easy to use and always offer you a tasty and properly cooked rice. And in addition, you will never have to clean the burnt rice from the bottom of the pot or your favorite pans.
The best rice cooker: recommendations
Taking into account the above criteria and recommendations, we present below some models of rice cookers that offer an excellent quality / price ratio.
1. Taurus Rice Chef rice cooker, 700 W, 1.8 l pot
Steam cooker for rice & vegetables with keeping warm.
Tank capacity 1.8 l (7 bowls of rice), detachable with non- stick surface .
On / Off button ,
Accessories: steamer, rice measure, pallet, glass lid,
Keep warm function.
See details and price
2. Rice kettle and 2in1 steam cooker, Beper 90.550
Stainless steel housing – Power 400W.
Non-stick inner shell – The outer shell is cold to the touch.
Hot storage function – Aluminum vaporizer.
Accessories: graduated container and mixing paddle.
The appliance switches off if it runs out of water.
On / off button – Easy to clean.
Thermal insulation handle – LED operation.
See details and price
3. Klarstein Osaka rice pot 1.5
Rice pot with a power of 500 W.
1.5 liters – equivalent to about 8 cups of rice.
Automatically finished cooking once the rice is cooked.
Keep warm function.
Cooking dish with a non-stick base surface.
One control button – Safety switch.
Protection against empty operation.
See details and price
4. Taurus Rice Chef Compact 300 W rice cooker, 0.6 l pot
Steam cooker for rice & vegetables with keeping warm,
Vessel capacity 0.6 l (3 bowls of rice), detachable with non- stick surface .
Accessories: steamer, measure for rice, pallet, glass lid.
Keep warm function. Healthy Cook!
See details and price
5. ECG RZ 11 rice cooker
Input power 400 W.
Bowl capacity: 1 liter / 700 g of rice.
Detachable cooking vessel with non-stick surface – Glass lid.
Automatically maintains the temperature after the end of the cooking process (up to 5 hours).
Indicator light to maintain the temperature.
Cooking light – Safety switch.
See details and price