What is a Rice Cooker?
A dedicated rice cooker is a small kitchen appliance that cooks rice. They are sometimes refered to as rice steamers but here we will refer to them as rice cookers. The most popular type is the electric version but gas powered rice cookers are available.
Why get a Rice Cooker?
Like most peoople you have may have trouble cooking rice in a saucepan that comes out perfect every time. If you want to be guaranteed perfectly cooked rice then a rice cooker is for you. I’m sure you’ve experienced over cooked rice that is dry and congelied together or rice that has been cooked in too much water and is still wet when it arrives on your plate and looks like slop! Even if you can cook rice to perfection in a saucepan it can make a lot of mess with rice often stuck to the saucepan and the fact that the saucepan needs constant watching can take your attention of the rest of the things you are cooking. With a rice cooker you just add the rice and water and leave it to do the rest of the work!
Most rice cookers on this website have a warming feature that will keep the rice warm until it is ready to serve. This is great as it means you don’t have to worry about getting the timings of your dishes correct as your main course doesn’t have to ready at the same time your rice is. Also, if you don’t plan to eat all the rice at the same time you can keep some of it warm for later on. Modern rice cookers can keep rice warm safely for up to 24 hours avoiding the dangers of food poisoning which are so common with improper treatment of rice.
Microwave Rice Cookers
The most popular rice cookers are stand alone kitchen appliances that serve one purpose: to cook rice. But you can also get combined cookers that look like a regular rice cooker but also funtion as a slow cooker, a
pasta cooker or a steamer. These tend to cost more but save you space and the need to buy lots of different appliances. Microwave rice cookers are also available. These devices are designed to cook rice in your microwave by streaming it. A microwave rice cooker is made up of three parts that contain the water and the rice and an area to let the steam travel from one part to the other (inset pic with link to amazon). Depending on the type of rice a microwave rice cooker can do its job in about 8 to 15 minutes. The microwave boils the water of which the steam travels up to the container holding the rice to cook it by steaming. Microwave rice cookers are cheaper than an electric rice cooker but do require more attention and have a higher chance of the cooking process going wrong and leaving you with under or overcooked rice.
If you are still unsure if a rice cooker will work have a read of this statistic: in 2005 85 million rice cookers were produced!
Read our rice cooker reviews:
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