Rice cookers are worth it if you want a really simple way to cook perfect rice without the hard work of boiling water, constantly stirring or needing to clean a pot. Rice cookers are easy to use, they clean easily and will cook a range of different types of rice to perfection.
This article will explore the benefits of rice cookers and why you might want to bring one into your home to make your life easier.
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Rice cookers will help you to cook rice like a a PRO
Why a rice cooker is worth the cost
I have been using a rice cooker for over 10 years and I would never cook without one now. Here are my favorite things about rice cookers to help you decide if they are the right choice for you.
Rice cookers cook rice perfectly
Cooking rice on the stove was always the way I would go but I would always undercook or overcook the rice. I would need to add more water, take some out and it never seemed to cook without sticking together.
Rice cookers just take the guess work out of it so for the easiest option for perfect rice, you can throw in the rice, twice as much water and it will cook to perfection.
Rice cookers know when the rice is finished cooking, check out my previous article here on how rice cookers know when rice is done for more on this.
A simple mechanism will detect when the water is absorbed, the pan heats up and the rice will gently steam on the ‘keep warm’ setting. You can even leave the rice in the pan on the keep warm setting without doing anything.
Even a low cost rice cooker will cook rice well. Mine was only around $40 (purchased around 10 years ago) and it has always cooked rice well. It is basic and does not have many options but will work well for a good quality, long grain rice.
This calculator will show you an estimate of how much energy your slow cooker will use and how much it costs to run. This calculation is based on the average cost of energy in the USA.
Easy to clean
Rice cookers are so easy to clean and those with a non-stick coating will allow the rice to slide off. The inside aluminum pan just comes out, you can tip out any excess rice and just wash the pan in warm soapy water.
Check the instructions on your rice cooker as some are sensitive to the type of dish soap you use. This quick clean method is simple, easy and always gets the pot clean. You can then dry it with a tea towel and you are ready to go.
You don’t have to stir
The best things about a rice cooker is that they don’t need you. Once you put the rice and water in and turn them on, they will happily simmer away cooking the rice to perfection and fluffing it up perfectly. The grains will separate, the rice will boil then stem and be ready in 10-15 minutes.
You don’t even need to turn the rice cooker off straight away when it is done. My rice cooker will click onto ‘keep warm’ mode and keep the rice at a hot, safe temperature ready for when the rest of my meal is ready.
Keep the lid on and the steam will keep the rice soft and fluffy and delicious.
Should I buy an expensive rice cooker?
There are many rice cookers on the market that range from small 3 cup rice cookers all the way up to large 10 cup rice cookers.
The functions, material and size varies and so does the price. You might be wondering if it is worth paying more for a rice cooker and that depends on what you want to do.
Here are the benefits of a high quality rice cooker so you can decide what is right for you.
Benefits of a high quality rice cooker
If you are trying to decide on whether or not to choose a high quality rice cooker then here are some things to consider.
1. Cook different rice grain types perfectly
For those who like to swap around the type of rice they use a rice cooker with more functions will help you to cook this rice perfectly.
A simple rice cooker works for me because I always use the same basmati rice. I even use the same brand.
But basmati rice does not go with everything. It is a very fragrant rice so for more subtle dishes it can take over. You may want to go for a healthy brown rice, or even a short grain risotto style rice.
High quality rice cookers will be able to handle the different rice types and even have buttons that you press for that specific rice type.
2. They are made of good quality stainless steel
The quality of the steel and components that go into a high quality rice cooker will always surpass a cheaper model. Good quality stainless steel will resist rust, the electrical components will be of high quality and they will come with better warranties.
For the longest lasting appliance that will last well and look great on your bench, choose a high quality rice cooker that will keep going for a long time.
3. A whole lot more than a rice cooker
If you are looking for a multifunction machine that will have a range of functions and will cook more than just rice an Instapot or equivalent multifunction cooker might be the right choice for you.
Combining the functions of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, pan and rice cooker and even a yoghurt maker these pots can perfectly cook rice one day and then slow cook a casserole the next.
Multifunction cookers are worth it if you love slow cooked meals, like rice and don’t like the hassle of browning meat and vegetables in one pan and transferring to your crock pot.
If you are planning to buy a pressure cooker and a rice cooker, this might be the right choice instead.
Is a rice cooker worth it? | Summary
Rice cooker are worth it if you cook a lot of rice, have room in your cupboard and want perfect rice every time with little effort. Rice cooker are quick, efficient and easy to clean.
A good quality rice cooker can last for many years but a mid-range one might be where you start to get a taste of the benefits of the life of a ‘rice cooker owner’.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.