Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Quality Rice Cooker - It's the Simple Things That Matter

It's an old standby cliche, but like all cliches, it exists for a reason; "You get what you pay for." This couldn't be more true than when talking about rice cookers. Rice is such a simple staple, and a rice cooker is so seemingly simple as far as appliances go, that it's easy to understand why people are often reluctant to spend more than the bare minimum necessary when buying one. However, before making this critical mistake, ask around a little. If you have friends that have rice cookers, ask them how they like them. And then ask them how much they paid for it. Chances are pretty good that the people that are ecstatic about the rice they were able to cook shelled out a little bit more cash up front. And the people who are completely unimpressed... and probably rarely, if ever, even using a rice cooker... they went with a bargain-basement model.

If you love rices much as I do, or even if you aren't total rights act, but have decided to adopt some healthier eating into your lifestyle (or maybe you just want to save money and eat at home more often), then you will yourself to take a close look at what kind of rice cooker you're going to buy. Below we'll look at a few of the things to look for in a good rice cooker; the kind that you'll be excited about using it will get your money's worth (more than your money's worth), from it.
One of the secrets to cooking really good rice is to let it soak for a while before putting it on the heat. Higher-end rice cookers will have built-in timers that allow you to add the rice and water at one point in time, even if the actual cooking process is set to start for several, or even many hours later. Once the cooking has begun, it's important that your appliance is designed to be able to monitor the temperature carefully and make necessary adjustments along the way. Otherwise, you're likely to get burnt, crispy rice all over the bottom of your pan. Not only is this no fun for eating, it makes cleaning up that much more difficult.
Another advantage to higher-end rice cookers is the fact that they have various settings capable of making adjustments based on the type of rice you want to cook. This means you can cook white rice, brown rice, wild rice or even risotto or beans. Additionally, you can make adjustments to have your rice consistently come out more wet, drier or even as a type of porridge. No matter how you like it, you can count on the same consistent outcome every time. Heck, you can even use it as a slow cooker to cook delicious soups and stews.
You might also want to look for additional add-ons such as a steamer basket so that you can simultaneously cook steamed vegetables while cooking your rice. In fact, some people will even cook fish and/or chicken in this way. Not only do all your flavor is a beautifully intertwined, but you also have less in the way of dishes to clean up. A double winner!
But again, all these wonderful ways of being able to prepare your food and get it to come out in such a way that you enjoy eating it is very much dependent upon having a quality Rice cooker. The supercheap versions are nothing more than a combination of an electric heating plate in a toaster oven. It's no wonder that people with that kind of rice cooker are completely underwhelmed.
Do yourself a favor and look into getting one of the best rice cookers on the market; a Zojirushi rice cooker. Read more about it at

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