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Automatic Rice Cooker Choosing Guide

rice-cooker-250x250Benefits of Using an Electric Rice Cooker
An automatic rice cooker has been a popular choice for homemakers over stovetop cooking when cooking rice for many reasons. But one of the main reasons why many opt for this type of rice cooker is its performance and features.  An automatic rice cooker makes the task faster and easier. With even heating, even without stirring, rice comes out ideal in taste, aroma and texture.

But the biggest advantage to using this appliance is that it saves time. Cooking grains usually takes a long time to cook. But with the electric rice cooker, after preparing it on the rice pan, you may push the button and leave it cooking. You need to keep coming back to the stove and stir or check if the rice is cooked right.

With today’s rice cooker, you may do other tasks in the kitchen. You need not even worry if you added too much or too little water or rice as it compensates by calculating the perfect balance of temperature and time.

If you like cooking different types of rice, you may choose a rice cooker that adjusts automatically to the texture and type of grains that you are cooking.

Since we now know the good things we can get from having our very own automatic rice cookers, let us see how it works.

How it Works
Have you ever wondered how a rice cooker magically makes perfectly cooked rice? It uses the science that works behind boiling water to determine when rice is done cooking. When water reaches its boiling point at 100 degrees Celsius, it cannot be any hotter and temperature will not rise further. But when water has evaporated into steam, the environment inside the pot will start to rise above 100 degrees Celsius that signals the rice cooker to lift the rice pan off the heating surface by shutting off the cooking mechanism of the appliance.

The “cook” light usually turns off when rice is fully cooked or ready to serve. To get that perfectly cooked rice grains, you have to know how to cook it with an electric cooker. See below for steps on how to use one.
Cooking rice using an electric rice cooker is very easy. Just follow the steps below:

Determine the amount of rice your rice cooker can handle. Follow as instructed in the manual’s instructions. If say, you have a 5-cup rice cooker, do not go beyond 5 cups.
Do a measurement of the rice and follow the manual as to how many cups of water are needed for the rice. There is a trick to this: use your index finger into the pan till it touches the surface of the rice. With a measuring cup, put water until water level meets your index finger’s first joint.
Put the rice pan inside the rice cooker.
Put the lid on your rice cooker as containing the steam would better cook your rice.
Plug the electric rice cooker. Be careful. Make sure that your hands are dry.
There are rice cookers that turn on instantly once plugged. If it does not work that way, switch or press the “cook” button to start the cooking process.
Expect it to come to a slow boil while building up steam inside.
When your rice is cooked, it will automatically turn off or set on “warm” mode.

Tips to Remember Before Buying an Automatic Rice Cooker

How Much Is It?
Determine the amount that you can allot for this appliance. Try not to buy the cheapest ones but have limited features or buy that expensive unit for that extra bell or whistle if the added feature is not that needed or not that necessary. Your rice, even with a budget-priced rice cooker, will be done just right.

How Much Can It Take?
Determine the need for a rice cooker. How many people are you cooking rice for? What size is good for your need? Maybe a small rice cooker will do or do you need a larger one for a bigger purpose? Rice cookers function best when you use them at their projected capacity.

Is It High Maintenance?
Cleaning this appliance should not give you a hard time. Does it have stainless steel or aluminum pots that are removable for easy cleaning? Choose the material that makes cooking and cleaning easy for you. The non-stick pans usually make it a breeze to cook and clean pans after use.

Check if your automatic rice cooker includes a timer or settings for warming and cooking different grains or rice. See if you can use the same appliance for different uses as steamers or pots for beef stews and other soups. This could save you space in the kitchen as you don’t need to buy big pans and pots for other dishes.

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