Rice may seem nice and simple when it’s served up, but it can be a nightmare to cook right first time. It’s so easy to over-boil or under-cook even plain white rice! That’s why rice cookers have become popular staples of modern kitchens.
Best Rice Cooker (October 2021)
Perfect at cooking spicy, aromatic or even plain rice dishes, these handy implements are helping to enhance kitchen efficiency for millions of people all over the world.
Best Runner-Up: A Great Alternative
Rice Cookers: A Buyer’s Guide For 2021
New to the idea of a rice cooker? In this guide, we will take you through everything you need to know. What’s more, we will also answer some of the more burning queries people have before taking the plunge.
What Does a Rice Cooker Do?
In the habit of being painfully obvious here – they cook rice! However, they do more than just heat up your grains. They make sure to produce perfect rice dishes every time.
If you cook rice dishes regularly, you probably already know how tricky it can be to get the perfect results. Rice cookers are built to offer precision cooking for this common dish.
They also allow you to leave your rice cooking without the need to keep checking it. One of the bigger inconveniences of cooking rice traditionally is the fact that you need to keep a close eye on your pot.
Rice cookers can be set to run autonomously and require little intervention. What’s more, some will shut down when your dish is ready and will keep it warm for you until you’re ready!
What to Look for in a Rice Cooker
It may be easy to think that all rice cookers do the same thing. However, many will be able to cope with different types of rice, while others will have different cooking and preparation settings. Here are a few features and faculties you will probably need to bear in mind before you go buying your ideal model.
Volume and Size
If you only cook rice occasionally, it’s probably not worth buying a huge unit. These are very deep and can be used to cook a lot of rice at any one time. The more volume, the more useful it may be for people who cook for large groups. Smaller models, however, will generally be more affordable, and of course, easy to store away.
The whole point of a rice cooker is convenience. Therefore, you may wish to find yourself a cooker which offers the maximum support for ease of use. Some rice cookers have warming functions to keep your rice nice and hot while you’re away. Others will have automated cut-off functions to prevent rice from burning.
You’ll also likely want to find a rice cooker which only has a few buttons for you to use. The simpler the design, the better – generally. Do be aware that there are plenty of simple low-end models which may not be as capable.
Yes, rice cookers can be split up into different types. They all cook rice – this much is obvious – but it’s how they do it where things differ. For example, there are rice cookers which use internal computer technology to cook your dishes with intuition.
Otherwise, you may be interested in buying a pressure cooker, which will offer you delicious dishes super-quick. Pressure cookers can reach super-high temperatures to make sure you get dinners double-quick.
Otherwise, you might want to try an induction cooker. These are easier to control and may offer you more flexibility. This way, you may be able to get the rice you want quicker than through other types.
As with all kitchen equipment and devices, you should be looking for devices with plenty of safety features. The best rice cookers will have retractable cables and cords, and will also have shutdown functionality so that the unit doesn’t overheat. This means you will always have peace of mind, whether you are cooking simple or complex dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
While rice cookers may seem simple to buy, there are probably going to be a few questions you’d like to ask before you put your money down. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Can All Rice Cookers Handle Different Types of Grain?
Do be careful if you buy a rice cooker which is towards the cheaper end of the scale. These will often only cook very basic, long grains. If you want to cook aromatic rice or more complex blends, you may do best investing in a model which has broader capabilities. This means you may be able to cook complicated curries and risottos with ease.
How Much Should I Pay for a Rice Cooker?
If you are working to a tight budget, you will probably be happy to learn that there are some models which cost as little as £25. However, you may even pay as much as £300 for the very best on the market. If you cook rice a lot and care about convenience and functionality, you should consider investing more money in this type of device. As mentioned, lower-priced models will generally do less, overall.
Do I Really Need a Rice Cooker?
If you don’t serve rice regularly, it’s probably not going to be worth the investment, no matter how small. Therefore, we suggest taking a look at your daily food diary. If you love curries and other eastern dishes, it’s probably safe to say you’d benefit from a precise and efficient system available for less than £100.
Our kitchens and the accessories we use are becoming more efficient and convenient. Rice cookers may seem a little pointless if you’re not that into certain types of dishes; however, for the right people, these cookers can be of amazing help. Do take a look at some of the more popular rice cookers available and see what others are saying before you buy. The right rice cooker could mean all the difference for your meals – don’t be afraid to shop around!