The modern rice cooker offers lots of features and functions, it really is far more than a simple appliance that cooks rice.
Because of the wide variety of models available, be sure to read some online rice cooker reviews before you buy. It is far too easy to jump in and purchase the first appliance you see. Ensure the model that has caught your eye offers you all of the features and functions you require. Another common problem people find is that after receiving their new appliance, they find it is too big. Ensure that you have room for the appliance on your counter top, and also somewhere to store it after use.
A key point to remember is because a model is seen as ‘entry level’, it does not mean it cannot do its job properly. Some of the most basic appliances offer functions such as a browning/sauté option and a yogurt making facility.
Basic rice cookers
As you would imagine, the basic rice cookers are the cheaper ones. They are generally made from plastic and offer a quick and simple way of cooking rice. Some more expensive ‘entry level’ models can also be used to cook soups, stews and chilli. Some offer a steam option and come equipped with a steaming basket or rack, you can use them to steam vegetables, some meats and even sweets such as puddings.
Basic rice cookers will cook your rice and automatically keep it warm once it’s cooked. It is important to bear in mind that if you are using the steam option, you will have to manually monitor the appliance. The auto keep warm function will not work with the steaming modes.
Multifunction rice cookers
Although more expensive than the more basic models, you certainly get more features. Most digital models have delayed start timers, alarms, clocks and programmable timers with LCD screens.
With the help of the timer you can prepare all of your ingredients in the morning, set the timer and have a well balanced, scrumptious meal waiting for you when you get home.
Using the steam option, you can steam vegetables, meat and fish, all of which provide a healthy, fresh and affordable home cooked meal. Special cooking settings make cooking soups and stews as easy as the push of a button.
The most popular models these days are multifunctional and fuzzy logic rice cookers. These have become widely available in department stores and electrical retailers and are now sold at a competitive price,
Rice cookers come in various shapes and sizes. They come in both oval and round designs. Choose a model that best fits your lifestyle. If you’re single, the smaller the better, no need for a family-sized model that will take up a fair sized space on the counter top. You will also find yourself wasting a lot of food. If you have a family or plan on hosting parties, there are lots of models to choose from.
Choosing the Best Pot
The cooking pots also vary. Some have chemically treated, nonstick surfaces to make cleaning easy. Aluminum is also a popular option. Most cookers come with a more natural clay or steel pot.
Programming and Settings
The more advanced options have fairly in depth timers, they allow you to delay cooking times and set them to turn on when you need them to. They also have many different cooking features. These are usually very simple to select, just touch a button, select the rice you are cooking, and the rice cooker will do the rest.
What is a Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker?
The most of the expensive, multifunction rice cookers use a microprocessor and something called ‘fuzzy logic’ technology. These cookers have presets to perfectly cook just about any type of rice you can name. The cooker automatically adjusts the heat throughout cooking, depending on the type of rice. Giving you perfect results, every time!
When you take into consideration the amount of features and functions a humble rice cooker has these days, it could quite easily confuse you. All you need to do is assess your needs. How big do you need the cooker to be? Will you use a lot of features and functions? How much do you want to spend? If you answer these simple questions, you will be on the right path to selecting the correct appliance for you.