Top & Best Rice cooker: How to choose the best of 2021?
A rice cooker can be a great ally in everyday life. Although it has not gained much popularity yet, this domestic utensil is gaining more and more space.
Now imagine being able to guarantee perfect rice with every meal. No need to monitor the pan or worry about whether it will burn or not. Ensuring that it always stays loose, in the perfect spot.
In this complete buying guide you will know how to choose the perfect model for you.
First, the most important
- Despite its name, the electric rice cooker can be used in the preparation of various types of food such as rice, vegetables, legumes, meats, soups, sauces, stews, among others.
- It has many advantages and one of them is the practicality for preparing the perfect rice on a daily basis.
- It varies a lot in capacity and potential, as well as price.
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Best rice cookers: Our favorites
Do not be fooled by the name: rice cookers are not only used to prepare this dish. They can also help you make many other recipes. Just choose the right model and, in the list below, we have listed some of the best on the market.
A real “hand on the wheel” in the kitchen. So we can sum up the rice cooker, which is nowhere near used only to cook the food that bears the name. If you are thinking of buying one of these, we will help you and explain, in detail, everything that a rice cooker can do.
Keep reading our Buying Guide, but be careful: you are likely to live a love affair at first reading.
What is a rice cooker and what are the advantages of having one at home?
A rice cooker is much more than the name suggests. With it, you can prepare everything from very simple recipes like loose rice to stews with full-bodied sauce.
This domestic utensil is still not very common in houses, but it has been gaining more and more followers for being versatile and very practical in everyday life.
It is not today that people have been looking for ways to save time in the kitchen, without losing of course the taste of food. This is an excellent way to save more time at home.
It is a pan that does not need to go to the fire, it is enough that you put the ingredients in it, plug the appliance into the socket, press a button and you’re done.
Your food will be cooked without you having to stir or monitor it in order not to burn.
hat way while the pan does everything for you, you can go on doing other activities at the same time. It is also an option for those people who are not very fond of cooking, but in any case need to prepare their own meal or even the family.
Or for those who do not have much skill in the kitchen. Just follow the recipes and measures and you can’t miss the point of rice or other foods. And if you’re the type of cook who burns food, you definitely need to be part of your routine.
These pans have an automatic shutdown system when they are ready, and often still go to the heating function, ensuring that the food is warm until the moment of the meal.
Now if you love to cook and are already an expert in the kitchen, there are many different recipes that can be made in these versatile pans.
Check out this pudding recipe in a rice cooker in one of the mentioned models made in a home video by the Babi Channel:
And the models that come with the tray are even more advantageous. While you cook the rice, you can use the steam to cook the vegetables at the same time, for example.
Another important point is that it does not cause a mess in the kitchen and this is another way to save time. You do not need to get a lot of cooking utensils and pans dirty.
A rice cooker is very easy to clean. Just wipe the outside with a damp cloth. The internal part is removable and also non-stick. This means that the food does not stick together and is very easy to wash.
It can also be a key piece for preparing family meals for Sunday lunch, for example. Using it for cooking rice frees up more space on the stove for preparing other foods.
And some of these pans can be taken directly to the table, as the electrical cable can be detached.
Another advantage of this product is that electricity consumption ends up being cheaper than gas.
A disadvantage is that if the food stays in heating mode for a long time, it can end up drying out.
Finally, another disadvantage is the case of a power outage. Obviously the product will stop working since it depends on electricity and this can disrupt your meal.
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of a rice cooker in the table below:
How does the cooking process work in this pan?
First, let’s emphasize that the rice cooker basically consists of a container that serves for thermal insulation (that is, the main pan that is plugged in) and a non-stick bowl that is inside this container where food is placed and a lid.
When it is on, the process consists of transferring the heat produced into the pan. This temperature is monitored by the thermostat at the bottom of the main container.
When the water placed inside boils, the pan does not heat up anymore and the rice absorbs all that water. The temperature starts to rise again and the pan turns off when it perceives this rise.
Electric rice cooker or microwave?
When you start searching for the ideal rice cooker, you may find some model compatible with the microwave.
These models are not in our selection because they have many disadvantages compared to the electric rice cooker. This creates more inconvenience when it comes to preparing food.
They can be very functional, but compared to electric ones they don’t have many advantages. So it is worth comparing the uses of the electric rice cooker and microwave.
Even though it is not yet a product so common in the daily use of Brazilian families, these pans are becoming more and more accessible. With only R $ 100 it is possible to buy a small rice cooker. The models with less capacity and power are usually in this value range.
The options that occupy the first positions in our ranking, vary between R $ 130 and R $ 170. They are excellent brands and cookware of great quality, with high capacity and potential.
There are also more expensive models. High technology and differentiated functions justify the price of this product. Pans like this can vary between R $ 250 and R $ 350.
Where to buy?
The supply of these pots in physical stores is growing, although you may have difficulty finding them in some smaller cities.
You may be able to find it in specific home goods stores in your city, or even in well-known department stores.
The biggest offer of models and also the best prices you get through online shopping. There are many stores that offer this product over the internet. That way you can buy the product without leaving your home. We can highlight Amazon.
Purchase criteria: Factors to compare and choose the best rice cooker
All the pans mentioned in the list above have an excellent performance in the preparation of rice. Some have more detailed functions than others, as you can see.
In order for you to buy the right rice cooker, which will meet your expectations and needs, it is necessary to take some factors into consideration. That way you won’t have any unpleasant surprises on a daily basis after purchase.
Each individual has different opinions and needs. So we decided to make your choice easier by listing these factors in the following paragraphs for you to make this reflection yourself: “Which rice cooker is perfect for me?”
In summary, the criteria are:
- Capacity and potential
- Cooking time
- Removable power cable
- Design and color
- Glass cover
- Functions and identifier panel
Capacity and potential
The capacity of this type of pan can vary widely. Some cook only three cups, others can cook up to 10.
Potentiality is directly linked to the cooking capacity of the rice cooker. 1.8-liter pots, which equals 10 cups of raw rice, have 700 w of power.
350 w pans can cook about three cups at a time. In this case it is important that you reflect: do you want your pan for everyday use? To use when receiving friends? How many people do you cook for?
These questions answer your need. If it’s just for the daily use of the members of the house, a small pot will do. If you think about the ease of hitting the rice spot when you receive friends and family, it is worth investing in a bigger and more powerful model.
An electric rice cooker reduces the cooking time of rice on the stove by about 10 minutes. If in traditional mode you take 30 minutes, most pans will cook in up to 20 minutes, but this can vary according to the brand and potency of the pot.
The brands do not specify the cooking time because the amount of rice and the type of rice also change this process.
The time savings are not in the speed of cooking. It is actually related to the fact that you can do other activities while your rice cooks without you having to monitor.
Removable power cable
Pay attention to whether or not the appliance’s power cord is removable. Do you believe that this is important for your day to day?
It can be an interesting factor because the removable handles end up being more practical, as it is possible to take the pot itself to the table, without having to change the refractory to serve the food. In addition to being more practical, it ensures that the rice stays warm all the time.
Design and ease of cleaning
The latest models are being developed to make the kitchen even more modern and charming.
The colors vary between white, black, red and silver. The external materials are usually plastic or steel, pay attention if this point is important to you.
Many people like to keep all appliances on the same line. And stainless steel has been the trend in recent years.
Most pans have a simple and rounded design, and this greatly facilitates the external cleaning process. A damp cloth resolves sanitation quickly. Not to mention that they have the removable and non-stick bowl, which can be easily washed with neutral detergent.
Pay attention to the inside of the lid, some can be a little more difficult to clean. For those looking for practicality it can be an important detail. It is worth remembering that it is important to always unplug the appliance from the outlet to clean it.
Are you that kind of person who likes to spy on food while cooking? So be sure to buy a rice cooker with a glass lid.
Opening the pan all the time can disrupt the cooking of the food and ruin your recipe. It must be closed, especially in the first 10 minutes to keep the heat in the pan.
Many models have a lid made entirely of plastic, so pay attention to this factor when looking at the description if you prefer a glass lid.
Functions and identifier panel
Most models have two functions, cooking and heating. This is enough if you are looking for a rice cooker for basic recipes.
The panels of these simpler pans usually have two identification lights for these functions, showing what stage the process of preparing this food is.
While cooking he should have this light that is usually red on. When the rice is ready, the rice cooker turns off and the heating light is on. Very simple to view.
There are also more complete models that offer more cooking functions. These pans are ideal for those who also like to prepare foods that require slower cooking, such as soups, as this is an extra function that is not usually found in common models.
In this case, the panels are usually LED and also have buttons where it is possible to activate all these functions in a very practical way through a menu.