Are you buying a rice cooker for the first time? Are you confused about all the choices available online and would like to know more about rice cookers in general before making a purchase?
If you answered “yes!” to any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve prepared a brief yet useful buying guide just for you. Use this guide to select the best rice cooker based on its uses and features.
#1, Big or Small?
Modern rice cookers come in a variety of sizes from high-capacity ones that are often used in diners and restaurants to smaller, “cute” rice cookers that can only cook one or two cups of uncooked grains at a time.
The capacity of the rice cooker that you’re going to purchase should match your needs.
If the rice cooker is too small, you may end up cooking rice twice in a row just to produce your required servings for one meal. If the rice cooker is too big, your new appliance will consume more power per use than an adequately-sized one even if you’re cooking only a small quantity of rice each time.
#2, Rice Cooker Features
There are two kinds of rice cookers in the market: conventional models and advanced rice cookers with fuzzy logic circuits.
Conventional rice cookers utilize a variety of temperature-sensitive mechanical triggers to cook rice properly.
Conventional rice cookers have been around for decades and established brands are actually adequate for cooking white rice, which is the most common variety sought after by rice lovers around the world.
However, if you’re planning to cook specialty rice varieties such as brown rice, black rice or even Japanese sushi rice, you will probably need a “smart rice cooker” or a rice cooker that has been equipped with a fuzzy logic circuit.
Fuzzy logic technology was applied to rice cookers to make these appliances more customizable and programmable. Rice cookers with this technology are also capable of making automatic adjustments as the rice cooks.
Another advantage of using “smart rice cookers” is you can actually select a cooking mode for the type of rice that you are planning to steam. The control system of a smart rice cooker is similar to the control system of a washing machine. The only difference is that instead of a wash-rinse cycle, rice cookers use a different series of actions: pre-soak, cook, steam and keep warm.
The duration of each cooking phase is essential for cooking specialty rice varieties. For example, if you’re planning to cook brown rice, the uncooked grains need to be soaked for a longer period of time before the direct heat is applied to the bottom of the pan.
The steaming period for brown rice is also different; if too much heat is applied for a prolonged period of time, the brown rice dries out and becomes less palatable to the consumer when it’s time to eat. Admittedly, smart cookers are more expensive than conventional cookers but they make up for it by providing a much better user experience, overall.