Rice preparation is deceptively simple: After measuring, rinsing, adding water, simmering, and steaming for less than a quarter of an hour, the dish is complete. And yet, whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or believe yourself an expert, the end result is frequently disappointing. Sometimes the grains become mushy, sometimes they become hard in the middle, and all too often they stick to the bottom of the pot (at my family, this is the result of letting the grains soak overnight, which is never a pleasant experience).
Enter rice cookers, which save the day for many. They are essentially a specialised form of electric cooker, similar to a slow cooker or pressure cooker, except they excel at cooking rice to perfection. They might be relatively simple, with just two settings for “cook” and “keep warm,” or they can be fairly sophisticated, with presets for several varieties of rice (brown, long grain, sushi, etc.) as well as congee, porridge, and even pressure-cooking (which is, yes, one way in which all those electric cooking tools can overlap). Bring a little bit of South Korea to your kitchen with these great rice cooker recommendations;
Yum Asia Panda Mini Rice Cooker
This tiny rice cooker is suitable for those with limited kitchen space or couples who do not want a large appliance. It can cook white rice, long-grain rice, sushi rice, porridge, and other types of rice with ease for 1 to 3 individuals (0.63 litres). The design and timing feature are praised by reviewers, and the rice is cooked to perfection without leaving a sticky residue.
• It is small and takes up little room;
• It can be used to prepare a variety of foods
• It does not leave rice sticky to the bowl.
• Smart looking and trendy
• Small capacity
ZOJIRUSHI Rice Cooker NS-TSQ10
Zojirushi is hardly a household name in the United Kingdom, but its rice cookers have a devoted following in Japan, southeast Asia, and the United States. At first look, the exorbitant price of the NS-TSQ10 appears unjustifiably excessive; nonetheless, we were incredibly impressed by nearly every feature of this rice cooker.
The NS-TSQ10 holds 990g of rice, which should be sufficient for all except the largest family gatherings and dinner parties. This appliance is visually appealing because to its dark grey and metallic colour scheme, and its foldable carry handle makes it easy to transport when necessary. The options on the on-screen menu were presented in a rectangle rather than a list, which appeared weird at first, but we were soon able to navigate this unusual menu structure with ease using the control panel buttons.
• Top end brand in rice cookers
Aroma House 4-Cup Professional Rice Cooker
With over 6,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it’s no surprise that the Aroma House 4-Cup Professional Rice Cooker is the best all-around rice cooker on our list. With nine various settings, including steam, sauté, and simmer, this fascinating gadget demonstrates that rice cookers are capable of so much more than simply preparing the ideal dish of rice. In addition, it lowers cooking time by providing a quick rice option and permits simultaneous steaming. It also includes a 15-hour delay timer for convenient cooking on the fly.
• Top rated on Amazon
• Well priced
• Unable to cater for larger families
Ym Asia Bamboo Rice Cooker
The Bamboo’s quality of construction, appealing design, and flavorful, fluffy rice are commensurate with its pricing. The ‘GABA’ setting is meant to germinate brown rice, while the ‘Yumami’ setting for white rice employs stepped temperatures to release sugars for a sweeter flavour. Non-rice programmes include slow cooking, producing oatmeal, steaming, and baking a cake.
• Simplistic settings
Cuckoo Automatic Rice Cooker CR-0331
This specialised gadget receives great marks for its straightforward functionality. We evaluated the three-cup model, but the Cuckoo also comes in a six-cup size. Each variant is tiny and has a small footprint. Although there is just one rice-cooking software, we had success with white, brown, and short-grain rice.
• Simplistic settings
• Colourful design
• One dimensional
How To Choose The Best Rice Cooker
There are a number of considerations to make while purchasing a rice cooker:
Before looking at what’s available, determine the size you require to guide your selection. Before purchasing a rice cooker, consider the available space in your kitchen. A 500ml cooker may create up to two servings, whilst the largest cooker tested (6 litres) can produce up to eight servings.
Glass or airtight lid?
A glass lid is typically found on less expensive and simpler variants. This allows you to observe the rice cooking, which is not possible with sealed models. Due to the forceful nature of rice cooking, however, the lids tend to spit out water and steam at the borders, which can be hazardous.
Typically, sealed lids are only found on more costly rice cookers and multi-cookers, making them safer and far less dirty.
A couple of these devices feature vegetable steaming and porridge functions in addition to the rice-cooking capability. Rice cookers with a single function should have instructions for cooking several varieties of rice, a measuring cup for rice and water, and a rice paddle. If you frequently prepare rice and have the space to store a machine, this choice may be for you.
Multiple cooking operations, such as steaming, slow cooking, and pressure cooking, are combined in a multi-cooker, which can save a great deal of space. Multi-cookers are more expensive than rice cookers, but offer greater versatility. With multiple functions in a single machine, it may initially appear hard, but this usually becomes simpler with use. However, if the multi-cooker is frequently used to prepare strong-flavored items such as curries and stews, or for air- or deep-frying, the rice’s flavour will eventually be compromised. Therefore, rice purists may choose a cooker with a single function.
What else can be cooked in a rice cooker?
To maximise the adaptability of your rice cooker, investigate its other applications, such as boiling alternative grains like quinoa, bulgur, and farro, steaming eggs and proteins, and preparing soup.
- Frittatas: You can absolutely prepare soft, airy eggs and cheese in the rice cooker’s saucepan. Mix in any leftover cooked vegetables or protein.
- For rice cookers equipped with steamer baskets or steamer trays, add a piece of fish on top of the rice to cook gently at the same time. The flavour of the fish will be amplified by marinating, and the rice will also be enlivened.
- Oatmeal, polenta, grits, and rice porridge cook without stirring in a rice cooker in the time it takes to take a shower and get dressed for work. Some models even include timers so you can prepare the ingredients the night before and wake up to a delicious meal.
- Soup: Using a rice cooker to prepare and reheat soup and stew makes dinner simple and quick. Simply sauté the vegetables, add the liquids, programme the machine, and let the dish simmer.
- Apple sauce: Simply cut the fruit, add a bit of juice and sugar (if necessary), and close the lid to prepare apple or other fruit sauces in small quantities. A hand blender will eliminate any lumps.
The Yum Asia Panda Rice Cooker is my choice due to its versatility and performance. It comes with a detachable measuring cup which has various measurements which include liters, cups, pints, and ounces. The design is sleek and compact and it cooks rice excellently, every time. Let us know if you’ve had a great experience with a cooker.