Kitchen Appliance Advice

Rice Cooker Buying Advice

A rice cooker is a kitchen appliance used to automate and simplify the process of cooking rice. For a simple, basic food source ?one that is the main food consumption of millions of people in the world ?rice can be a real challenge for many housewives to prepare and cook. It should not be too sticky, not too dry, not to mushy, not too hard ?in fact, it must be just right according to individual tastes. Using a cooker does not necessarily mean that your rice will cook any faster, but it is generally considered an easier way to cook rice. Rice cookers simplify the process by automatically controlling the heat and timing, while at the same time freeing up all the housewives from this cooking burden.

Rice Cooker
A home that cooks rice in a pot on the kitchen range is now very rare in most of the families. People buy raw rice at supermarket; the rice is usually cooked once a day or so, at breakfast or dinner time. The cooked rice is kept warm in the rice cooker throughout the day and eaten at mealtimes. Most old fashion rice cookers are cylindrical in shape with a diameter of around 30 centimeters and a height also of about 30 centimeters. Commercial-use rice cookers are much larger. There are also rice cookers that are somewhat rectangular in shape now on the market.

When you open the lid on the top of a rice cooker, you will find a removable cooking pot inside. This is where rice is placed for cooking. The cooking pot is usually made of stainless steel and is treated as nonstick for easier cleaning. Below the pot is a heating plate that heats the pot electrically. Washed rice and water is placed in the cooking pot, and the cooker begins to heat up when the switch is turned on. Water comes to a boil in the pressurized interior, and the rice boiled and the water evaporated during a span of about 30 minutes. The electric rice cookers also double as warmers to keep the cooked rice warm for a long time.

The early rice cookers were of simple design, heating the internal cooking pan electrically and then switching off automatically when a certain internal temperature was reached. Rice cookers with timer functions later appeared making it possible for people to prepare rice before going to bed and then eat freshly cooked rice the next morning. Rice cookers equipped with micro computer chips that enable the optimum cooking of the rice according to the type and style of rice being cooked also appeared. Induction Heating rice cookers that use induction heating technology to heat the whole inner cooking pan at a hot temperature have also become popular in recent years. Cooking rice at a hot temperature using IH technology results in tasty rice, and about half of the rice cookers sold on the market now are the IH type.

It would not be an overstatement to say that the electric rice cooker is an indispensable item in our households, but they have today evolved into a multi-purpose cooking appliance. A recent fad is to use of rice cookers for cooking other types of food. By placing meat, vegetables, water and other ingredients in the cooking pan and pressing the switch, the rice cooker will automatically simmer the content until tender. Stews and soups can be made with the rice cooker too. You can bake cakes if you use wheat and other ingredients, and there are even some electric rice cookers that allow you to bake bread. Such use of the electric rice cooker is proving popular because stewed dishes, etc. can be easily and safely cooked even while you are away from home. Some manufacturers are making electric rice cookers that have functions for making yoghurt or tofu.

Buying Tips:
Pick a glass lid rice cooker, so you can see what’s happening inside the cooker when you are cooking food. A rice cooker that has a lid with a hole in it will help to release the cooking steam. Otherwise it comes out at the edges of the lid and gets very hard to clean. Choose those rice cookers with a removable cord for easy storage. A steamer tray is needed if you want to steam vegetables and other types of food. Buy a nonstick rice cooker and you will save a lot of time and energy. Check the measuring line and measuring cups that come with the rice cooker. Make sure they are working fine with your choice.

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