Are you one of those home cooks who prefer simplicity cooking? No large blenders, salad spinners, multifunctional electrical knives, or other sophisticated kitchen appliances? Well, I’m not exactly one of those home cooks. I love to cook, and every tool that can make my cooking easier (and faster) – is welcome in my kitchen. If you cook rice regularly (every other day), then the convenience that a rice cooker provides is priceless. Today I’ll be listing a few practical reasons why I love using my rice cooker, and why I think you should too. After you read our tips and reasons and decide to upgrade your kitchen appliances, you can go deeper and read some of the best rice cooker reviews to pick your new baby cooking tool.
The Benefits of Using a Rice Cooker
- Simplicity is Beauty: Rice cookers simplify my cooking. They have the unique ability to automatically cook rice to perfection, and consistently, neither undercooking nor overcooking it.
- No more sticky rice. Rice cookers cook your rice in a way that separates every grain from the others. This eliminates the dreadful situation of getting sticky rice. No one likes sticky rice.
- Keep it warm: Rice cookers have a cool ‘Keep-warm’ feature that allows us to keep the cooked rice warm for up to 12 hours or more, depending on the model.
- Steam your Veggies: Believe it or not, but I’ve been using a rice cooker not only for rice. Most rice cookers these days have settings and features for steaming vegetables, meat, fish, or even for cooking soups and stews. That’s a great benefit in my opinion.
- Easy to clean: I don’t like the cleaning part of any cooking adventure. When I used to cook rice on the stovetop, there were more than a few times when it burned onto the bottom of my pot, making it a nightmare to clean. This doesn’t happen with a rice cooker. Another good thing is, that most of the components of a rice cooker are safe to put in the dishwasher. There are however some exceptions, so be sure to ask about this at the store.
How does a Rice Cooker work?
The first electric rice cooker was introduced in Japan in 1955. It became a popular kitchen appliance very soon after, first in Japan and later throughout Asia, where rice is the no. 1 staple food. So how does it work? A rice cooker does its ‘magic’ by measuring the internal temperature of the cooker as the rice steams and the water boils away. All that is done automatically without your need to check, stir, or do anything for that matter.
How to make Rice in a Rice Cooker?
Easy. You just need to measure the correct amount of rice that you wish to cook and add the necessary amount of water or broth (each cooker will have specific instructions for that, but usually the water needs to cover the rice by an inch or so). Some cookers even come with a measuring cup for how much rice you need and lines on the inside of the bowl to indicate how much water exactly you need to add. You can then add a little butter or oil if you want (optional), put the cover, and click the “Cook” button. As soon as the rice cooker’s cycle is complete, your delicious rice is ready to be eaten.
How long does it take to cook?
This depends on a few factors, mainly the type of rice and the amount you put in. The beauty of using a rice cooker is that it’s all automatic. You don’t need to look at your watch or put a timer. There’s no need for any manual intervention, as the cooker stops automatically when the rice is perfectly cooked.
What can you cook in it?
Aside from cooking any type of rice, be it white, brown, or wild rice – you can cook more stuff with your rice cooker. As I mentioned earlier, most rice cookers come with features that make it possible to steam veggies, fish, chicken, and more. You can also cook different types of grains and lentils as well. You can even use it to cook your oatmeal for breakfast!
The only downside I see in buying a rice cooker is if you don’t really eat that much rice. If you’ll use it only once in a blue moon, then it’s a waste of kitchen space and money. However, if you’re like me and eat rice with almost every possible dish – then it’s probably the best kitchen appliance you can add to your arsenal.
NYSF Rice Tip: Looking for the best places in NYC to eat rice? Read this post.