A rice cooker is a very versatile and useful kitchen appliance. However, choosing the right one is never easy. Even for people who regularly cook and eat rice, selecting a rice cooker that suits their style and needs can be quite confusing. A majority of rice cookers, particularly the well-known brands, will last for a long time. This underlines the importance of choosing the right one. Below is a guide to choosing the right rice cooker.
One factor to consider is the right size of a rice cooker. Most rice cookers are available in three main sizes. While some may have slightly bigger or smaller capacity, they are divided into size capacities of 3, 5 and 10 cups. When buying as rice cooker made by Japanese manufacturers, it is worth bearing in mind that a Japanese cup is 200ml while an American cup is 240ml. A 3 cups rice cooker has a maximum capacity of cooking 3 cups of uncooked rice, which is an equivalent of 6 cups of steamed rice. On average, this is ideal for a family of between 4 and 5 members in one meal.
A 5 cup rice cooker has a maximum capacity of cooking 5 cups of rice, which equals to 10 steamed rice cups. This cooker is ideal for those with smaller families and who consume rice more than one meal per day. This is because the owner will only need to prepare rice once a day. In addition, most modern rice cookers have a warmer feature that will keep the rice warm for several hours. A 10 cups rice cooker can cook up to ten cups of rice, which is an equivalent of 20 steamed cups. This cooker is ideal for those whose main ingredient for daily meals is rice. It is also recommended for those who regularly host parties whereby rice is on the menu list. It is worth bearing in mind that owning a larger cooker does not mean one has to cook to its maximum capacity all the time. It is possible to cook a half or a third of the capacity with similar results.
The rice cooker’s features is another factor to consider. Most cookers on the market today come with quite advanced features of cooking rice. Many of them will ease the process of preparing different types of rice such as brown rice, sushi rice, risotto and so on. Cookers can be categorized into three main groups: basic, semi-advanced and advanced features.
For those who just prepare white steamed rice for their meal, then a basic feature cooker is recommended. This type of cooker is easy to use, usually involving just a single click and cook. Also, it is usually cheaper and simpler in design. A semi-advanced rice cooker utilizes a microcomputer to provide more advanced features for use. Most of these cookers have an LCD display for the user to navigate the functions, but are more expensive when compared to the basic ones. An advanced feature rice cooker utilizes the latest technology available. Among these new technologies are the induction heating and rice texture features.