A Rice Cooker is an electric kitchen appliance used to steam rice the traditional way, only easier. Not so many people, especially in America, know about rice cookers because they don’t really add rice in their daily consumption of meals. But ever since my family developed a love for Asia Food like Makis and Kimbobs, I was compelled to buy our very own rice cooker. Before preparing the mentioned dishes, I am going to need perfectly steamed rice. And without a rice cooker, I won’t be able to achieve this.
Honestly, I had no idea what to ask for when I was looking for something that could cook rice. I was convinced that I should look for a traditional steamer to get the traditional Asian taste. Of course, I didn’t find any except in traditional oriental shops. When I walked around some more, I found a small rice cooker that definitely wanted to come home with me.
How Do Rice Cookers Work?
The rice cooker has a removable bowl. That’s where you will measure uncooked rice and wash it. If you put 2 cups of rice, you will need to put 2 cups of water as well. This proportion may vary depending on how soft you want your rice to be. After measuring your rice, you will simply need to put the removable bowl in the cooker which has a heater and a thermostat. You are going to have to push down on the “Cook” setting so that the spring under the thermostat so that it has good thermal contact with the bowl. Eventually, you will notice that the water is being absorbed by the rice as it slowly gets the cook. The best thing about rice cookers is that it does not burn your food because once it detects that your rice is perfectly steamed, it automatically changes the “cook” setting to “warm”.
Benefits of Using a Rice Cooker
When I bought my rice cooker, a lot of people asked me why I bought such. Do I really need it? Are rice cookers extremely important in the kitchen for mothers like me? And what benefits do they really bring? I have asked myself the same before even buying one so I have consolidated a list of benefits. According to Cookermag Editors, rice cookers have 5 important benefits!
Never Burns Rice – you literally do not have to check on it from time to time. Once the rice is cooked, like what was mentioned above, the “cook” setting automatically turns into “warm”. Even if you leave it on overnight, nothing bad is going to happen unlike with other kitchen appliances. It’s just going to keep your rice warm enough so that people can eat it when they’re ready.
Easy Measurements – when you buy a rice cooker, you will notice that there are lines inside the rice bowl. That’s where you are going to see how much water you are going to use. It’s very easy to understand. I’m lucky because the rice cooker I bought includes a free standard measuring cup which makes it even easier to measure rice and water without any waste.
Uniform Cooking – during my research, I discovered that rice is very difficult to harvest. Every grain of rice counts. That’s why it’s extremely important that you don’t waste even just a single grain of it. If you use a regular cooking pan, you will most likely burn the rice at the bottom even if you cook it in slow heat. But if you use a rice cooker, it assures you that you cook the rice evenly.
Different Types of Rice Cookers
Basically, there are 3 different kinds of rice cookers.
On/Off Cookers – this kind of rice cooker shuts off automatically. This is ideal for those who will do something else with their rice except to eat it as it is. If you are into eating fried rice for breakfast, then you should use an on/off rice cooker so you can just cook the rice before going to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, your rice will be cold and ready for frying.
Cook and Keep Warm Cookers – this kind of rice cooker is great when you want to eat your rice right away with a viand or a different dish. This is they kind of rice cooker that I bought because it is more versatile than the first one.
Rice Cooker with Steamer – some rice cookers features a steamer where you can steam different kinds of food like fish, dumplings or even buttered vegetables. It makes cooking a lot easier!
If you really want to experiment with new dishes, then I strongly suggest you get a rice cooker. I definitely do not regret getting mine.