In countries where rice is the staple food pattern, rice cooker is one of the standard kitchen appliances. A rice cooker in the kitchen makes cooking rice easier. This device is available in both electric, microwave, gas, and fire variants. With some types of rice cooker, the rice hangs over boiling water, and it will be cooked by the steam rising.
The aim is to avoid much of the flavor and nutritional value of the rice goes into the cooking water. For other types, it is done using the supplied measuring cup that measures amount of rice in the rice cooker. Pour water according to the scale on the inner (3 cups of rice, fill the pan with 3 cups of water), then place the lid on the rice cooker and press the switch “cook” or “cooking”. The rice cooker will now bring the water to the boil. When the rice is cooked, the rice cooker automatically switches to the warming mode.
Some advantages of cooking rice with a rice cooker are:
• The rice will get a more airy structure when it is prepared by means of a rice cooker.
• In addition to quick cooking, the rice cooker can cook all types of rice: whole (long) granules, broken (short) grains, white or unpolished, loose or sticky rice.
• You save a pit on the stove, this allows you to simultaneously prepare multiple dishes which you can also quickly finished cooking.
In any case, you have a good result, so never over cooked or too wet rice.
The electric rice cooker
The rice cooker is part of the standard kitchen equipment in countries where rice is the staple food. The most common embodiment is the electric rice cooker. This type consists of two main parts: the removable bowl where the rice is put in and water is removed by a tube with the heating element and the thermostat.
It is an ideal tool for cooking all types of rice. You wash the rice, do it with the right amount of water in the rice cooker and turn it on. The great thing is, as soon as the rice is cooked, the device automatically switches to the warming mode or turn off. You do not have to watch the rice, you need not worry that the rice is sticking. Do not pour boiling water and keep an extra zing to your stove on. Moreover, the rice cooker can do more than just cook rice. I sometimes cooked pasta in my rice cooker when I only had one burner.
What to look for when you want to buy the best rice cooker? Aside from your personal preferences for colors and models, there are only two things you need to decide on:
First, how many people you want to make rice for? A small rice cooker for three measuring cups (uncooked) rice is enough for two or three people. A regular size (five to eight measuring cups) which can be used for two to six people, is useful for a family. Fill the cooker no more than the maximum quantity of rice (note the bar lines the wall of the bowl), because then it can happen that the rice is not cooked properly.
The second question is, what type of rice cooker you want? Electric rice cookers are roughly divided into two types: the on / off rice cookers and fuzzy logic rice cookers.
- The on / off rice cookers have one button and all you have to do to cook your rice is pushing that button. Once the rice is done, the device automatically switches to the warming mode or turn it off. Sometimes there is also a timer. This type is the most budget friendly and you can get all kinds of rice with cooking. You can also use it to steam with fish, meat or vegetables.
- The fuzzy logic rice cooker provides much more functionality: you can do with soups, stews and congee (rice pudding). It’s great to have all these additional features, but consider whether you really need it, because they does not come with a nice price tag.
Rice cookers are supplied with a measuring cup, ladle and sometimes a separate steam basket. A few final tips for a possible purchase: please note that there is an indicator light so it is easy to see in one glance what the device is doing. And please note that the bowl has a non-stick frying pan (I mean certainly not a Teflon coating or the like), so that cleaning is much easier.
If you regularly eat rice and you have the space for it, then a rice cooker a good investment for your kitchen. For a few bucks you already have an excellent device that will give years of enjoyment!