Especially for families on a budget, rice is an excellent ingredient that makes a great meal starter or stands on its own. Using rice as a base is even a great way to turn leftovers into an exciting new meal. This is why we think that every family should have a rice cooker in their kitchen. In addition to cooking perfect rice at the touch of a button, many rice cookers also serve other purposes in the kitchen, including steaming and slow cooking.
Rice cooker devotees swear by the machine’s ability to cook light and fluffy rice every time without requiring constant monitoring like cooking rice on a stovetop. When shopping for a rice cooker, it’s important first to consider your needs and who you will be cooking for. Buying a rice cooker that is too large is a waste of money and space and buying one that is too small leaves you without enough rice to eat. Today we’ll help you find the perfect rice cooker for you and your family.
Guide to Picking Out a Rice Cooker (Under $50/$100)
In the section above, we have considered ten of the best rice cookers under $50/$100. This list has narrowed down the choices you have and make it easier for you to select the right rice cooker. Now, we realize that you might not fancy any of the cookers on our list. We also know that you might want to go out and make your own choice. Before you head out, though, you must understand the factors to consider when choosing a rice cooker.
To help you, we have created this buyer’s guide. First, let us consider the different types of rice cookers on the market.
Types of Rice Cookers
The rice cooker comes in different types. However, there are four main types of rice cookers. These are:
- Standard rice cookers
- Multi-function rice cookers
- Improved rice cooker
- Induction heat rice cooker
Let’s consider each of these types.
Standard Rice Cooker
As the name implies, this is the typical rice cooker on the market. It is quite common and is easily the best-selling type of rice cooker.
It is simple to operate as it doesn’t come with plenty of functions. Simply add the rice, water, and turn the appliance ON. Once the rice is ready, the standard rice cooker will switch from ON to the ‘Keeping Warm’ mode.
Improved Rice Cookers
These rice cookers are a minor upgrade from the standard rice cooker. It allows you to do some additional stuff like cooking different types of rice, comes with a steam feature, digital timer, and some others.
Multi-Function Rice Cookers
The multi-function rice cooker allows you to cook your rice using a wide variety of settings. Furthermore, it uses advanced technology that improves the speed, heat, and other functions of the rice cooker. These cookers usually come with settings like the reheat function and extended warming.
Induction Rice Cookers
The induction rice cooker is the latest and most powerful type of rice cooker on the market. It comes with really advanced technology. As a result, your rice achieves a high level of cooking consistency all around. It also cooks the rice quicker than other types of cookers and comes with several digital and control settings.
By knowing the different types of rice cookers on the market, it will be easier for you to choose the right one for you.
Now, here are some of the essential factors that may affect your choice of rice cooker.
Factors to Consider
The speed at which the rice cooker prepares the rice depends on different factors. These include the manufacturer, the heating mechanism, and the model of the rice cooker.
If you love quick meals or don’t have the time or patience to wait for rice to be ready, you ought to consider buying a model that cooks food quickly.
However, if you want to take your time cooking, you can always choose a rice cooker that comes with a delay timer.
In most cases, rice cookers are compact and do not take up plenty of space in the kitchen (although there are some large models). If you have a small kitchen, though, you might want to consider choosing a rice cooker that comes with multi-functionality.
These cookers can serve as steamers and slow cookers. By using them for several other functions, you will cut costs and have more space in your kitchen.
Ease of Use
Regardless of the type of rice cooker you buy, you should always look out for ease of use. The simplest rice cookers offer one-touch operation, while the more advanced models will come with displays and digital controls. Nevertheless, whether it’s a simple cooker or a complicated one, rice cookers should not be a hassle to operate.
Affordable, basic models usually come with a single button and are the easiest to use.
Advanced rice cookers are doing more complicated stuff, so it is only normal that they are more difficult to operate than the regular models.
Ease of Cleaning
For most rice cookers, they are already easier to clean than your regular pots. If you worry about cleaning and the time and effort expended in such a process, you should look for a rice cooker whose inner pot has a non-stick coating. That way, you will not have to worry about scraping the bottom of the pot whenever you cook.
Some folks are content with a simple rice cooker that does all the basic stuff and comes at a very affordable price point. If you do not cook rice often, only cook white rice, and just care about the ease of cooking, you should consider more inexpensive models (in the $12-$20 range).
However, if you cook rice often and cook a wide variety of rice, you might want to opt for slightly more expensive models. These models might come at a higher cost, but they provide better cooking performance and last longer than your cheaper models.
As pointed out earlier, cheap models will not last as long as the more expensive models. If you are going for the more affordable option, the chances are high that you will have to replace the cooker a few years after buying it.
The expensive brands have a reputation for creating cookers that will last for a long time. If you don’t have plenty of money to spend on rice cookers, you can look at the ten cookers we reviewed. These fall into the mid-range and offer a nice balance of performance and durability.
One of the best ways to know how durable your rice cooker is is by considering reviews from other people who have used the product.
Many modern rice cookers come with additional features that make cooking even more enjoyable and produce a better quality of cooked rice. Some of these other features include a steaming basket for steaming meat, fish, and vegetables.
There is also The Fuzzy Logic function that adjusts the cooking temperature and speed based on the type of rice you are cooking or the quantity of food in the pot.
Cooking rice can be an arduous process that involves constant monitoring. However, by using a rice cooker, this process is simplified and more effortless. Use the review and the buyer’s guide in this article to select the best rice cooker under $50/$100.