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How to Shop for the Best Rice Cooker

At some point, most of us probably tried to cook rice manually. But when we think that we got it all covered, we realized that we’ve forgotten the rice that is on the stove. Let’s be honest, dealing with an unpleasant smell in the kitchen, and cleaning a layer of burnt rice on the bottom of the pan is not exactly an easy task.

Rice is an excellent addition to your meals, and it is straightforward to make, but it is also easy to mess up. If you’re the type of person who eats rice frequently or you just want to make sure that it’s always cooked the right way when you make it, then a rice cooker is the way to go. It is a handy appliance that automatically turns off when the rice is done cooking. Plus, it also keeps your rice warm until it’s ready to serve.

Buying a rice cooker can be a little bit complicated. That’s why we put this guide together to help you score the best and the perfect rice cooker that will fit your needs.

Type of Rice Cookers

Conventional Rice Cookers

This type of rice cooker is the one that is likely to satisfy most customers because they are often essential. Some brands and models of conventional rice cookers are so simple that they only have one button to get you started. You just have to add your ingredients, press the button, then wait until the rice is cooked. However, you can still find conventional rice cookers that offer more settings than that. But in general, you can expect most conventional rice cookers to be straightforward and minimal.

Conventional rice cookers are not just easy to use, they are also quite affordable. You can buy a basic conventional rice cooker for as low as ten dollars each and the sophisticated ones for around 100 dollars.

Smart Rice Cookers

Living up to its name, the smart rice cookers have this technology where they can sense what you need to cook your rice perfectly. This means even if you put too much rice or too much water in it, you will still end up with a perfectly cooked rice.

If you always cooks rice or you’re just particular about how the rice is cooked, then you should opt for a smart rice cooker. However, this technology comes with a high price tag. Smart rice cookers costs around 100 dollars and up. Aside from costing a lot more than conventional rice cookers, smart rice cookers are also quite challenging to figure out. This is because they come with several buttons and settings. Plus, they cook rice slower than conventional rice cookers.

Combo Rice Cooker

This type of rice cooker offers you more options rather than just cooking rice. One of the most common combinations that you can see in the market is a rice cooker with a steamer. But you can also find some rice cookers that can also be crock pots, slow cookers, and pressure cookers. If you’re looking for a new kitchen appliance that offers multiple functions and doesn’t take a lot of space in your kitchen counter, then the combo rice cooker is the right one for you.

Things You Should Consider When Buying a Rice Cooker

Now that you know the different types of rice cookers, your next step is to understand what you want most in a rice cooker. And here are the most essential factors that you should keep in mind when you’re buying a rice cooker.

Types of Uses

It’s essential to have some idea of what you plan to use your rice cooker for. For example, you just need it for cooking white rice, then you can get the most basic model. If you want it to be multi-purpose like steaming vegetables or cooking several types of rice and grains, then you will need a more adaptable model. You must think through what you want your rice cooker to do for you so you can get a clearer picture of which settings or features to look for.

Durability

Some consumers are perfectly okay with the cheapest option because they know that the rice cooker might likely need to be replaced sometime soon. However, most consumers want to own a rice cooker that can last. Apparently, most expensive brands (especially smart rice cookers), have a reputation for making rice cookers that will not last the test of time. Surprisingly, most mid-range brands and those simple rice cookers are usually the more durable ones. The only way to know if a rice cooker will last the test of time is to see the reviews of other customers.

Size

Most rice cookers displays the number of cups that you can cook in their box. You’ll see sizes ranging for three to twenty cups. Typically, the sizes that are displayed are not the number of cooked rice in cups but the amount of uncooked rice that you can fit. For example, a 3-cup rice cooker can accommodate one cup of uncooked rice and two cups of water. The amount of rice you can cook is one of the most important things that you should consider, especially if you’re always preparing for several people.

Price

If you’re the type of person who cooks rice every once in a while, then maybe a $12-$20 rice cooker will suit your needs. But if you cook rice several times a week and consider it as a part of your daily meals, we suggest that you should opt for a more beautiful and slightly more expensive rice cooker.

Popular Rice Cooker Brands

To ensure that you will purchase a well-made rice cooker that will last for a long time, they suggest that you should opt for a reliable brand. That’s why to give you an idea on which brands fit the bill, we listed down the most popular rice cooker brands.

Aroma

Aroma is a company that makes a wide range of rice cookers that usually comes with other functions such as steaming and slow cooking. Several customer reviews said that Aroma rice cookers make rice just right and that they also work great as a slow cooker. However, some customers noted that some of their models did not last very long.

Cuisinart  

Cuisinart has several rice cooker models that received mixed reviews from its customers. A handful of customer reviews talked about how they loved the quality of Cuisinart rice cookers and how they perfectly cook rice. However, some customers complained about how the rice cookers overflow during use and leave a mess on their countertop.

Hamilton Beach

This brand offers a few different models of rice cookers that most of their customers are happy with. They said that the rice cooker and steamer makes rice well and that their rice cookers are easy to use, easy to clean, and comes with a great price. However, some customers said that their units took some time in cooking rice and that their models are not as big as it said on the box.

Zojirushi

Zojirushi is a Japanese appliance maker that sells high-end rice cookers that often have perfect customer reviews. While the price of their rice cookers may be quite expensive, you can make sure that you always get quality rice from their cookers. Their customers also said that their models are easy to clean, easy to use, and perfect for a lot of different rice and grains.

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