We found one of the best rice cookers for making fluffy, tender rice each time.
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Our Top Rice Cooker Picks
– Best General: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy 5.5 Cup Premium Rice Cooker
– Greatest for Inexperienced persons: Zojirushi 3-Cup Rice Cooker
– Finest for Small Spaces: Dash Mini Rice Cooker
– Finest Price range: Aroma Rice Cooker
– Finest for Brown Rice: Tiger Micom 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker
– Greatest Various: On the spot Pot Duo
Examined by Andy Liang for Meals Community Kitchen
Rice, a clean canvas with countless possibilities. Sounds easy sufficient till you attempt it. Just like kamado cooking, the use of metal pots on a fuel stove also requires heat management to make sure rice doesn’t burn. Usually, the method to stovetop rice is medium-high heat with the correct quantity of water, deliver to a boil and reduce to low heat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, and turn off the heat to let the remaining moisture get both absorbed or steamed off. It may be daunting to cook good rice that is fluffy, tender, and maintains individual grains. Earlier than gas ranges or electric stoves, rice was cooked in stone pots over a charcoal- or wood-fueled stove that takes up an honest amount of ground house called a kamado. Cooking food on a kamado requires skilled information of learn how to manage hearth, so your food doesn’t burn.
Now, with the invention of the electric rice cooker, the tactic of cooking rice is less complicated than ever. Just add the right amount of water and rice, and the rice cooker can do the rest of the work. All the rice cookers we tested include a warm setting that can keep your rice warm (at a meals-protected temperature) for a few hours. Another plus when utilizing a rice cooker is it clears up house on the stove to cook your entree to serve with the rice.
We need to preface that buying a rice cooker isn’t all the time about how the rice comes out primarily based on the rice and water ratio. For instance, if you want drier rice try 1/4 cup less water next time. Once you get the right ratio, the expertise of utilizing the rice cooker becomes extra important. We picked our greatest general based mostly on its multiple cooking features, environment friendly design, ease of use, and how it cooks the rice with out scorching the bottom layer. You can always modify the amount of water each time you make rice with your rice cooker until it’s perfect. Learn on for our other high rice cooker picks.
This text has been reviewed since its unique publish date for accuracy, pricing and availability. We stand by our list of prime rice cooker picks.
How to make use of a Rice Cooker
All the rice cookers that we tested have related steps on the subject of using the cooker.
Wash what you may before your first use. If it’s the first time utilizing the machine, gently wash the interior pot, a lid (if it’s not attached to the main physique), the rice spatula, steamer basket, and rice measuring cup.
Observe measurements that come with the pot. Fill the inner pot more than half-way with lukewarm water, rub some rice between your fingers to quickly do away with the surplus starch, and pour off. Measure out the amount of rice you want to cook (1 cup of the supplied measuring cup is typically 2 servings after it’s cooked) and place it into the inner pot that is faraway from the main physique. Repeat at the least 2 more occasions till the water runs clear and drain as much water as attainable. Fill the rice cooker with sufficient water to meet the corresponding water line (i.e. 1 cup supplied measuring cup to first water line or “water line 1”) or to your desired amount.
Totally different ratios will produce different textures. They may all the time say “measure by eye.”) (The hand or finger method of measuring the water stage comes from Asian families as they get passed down by the generations since our elders by no means used to measure something. The specified amount of water-to-rice can be from “trial and error” or what you’ve been taught. For example, some say enough water means the water degree “reaches your knuckles when you put your whole hand onto the floor of the rice” or “the first line of your index finger”.
Wipe the outside of the pot and check the vent before urgent begin. As soon as the rice cooker is beginning to cook, simply guantee that the vent on the lid of the machine is totally clear of anything and now you may cook your entree to serve with the proper rice. Press the necessary buttons to begin cooking the rice whether or not it is a single button or a “menu” button to cook to the right sort of rice. Place the cleaned interior pot into the main body and shut with the lid. Earlier than putting the internal pot into the principle physique of the cooker, ensure to wipe the surface of the internal pot as a result of any dirt or water or particles will interfere with the heating component.
Rice Cooker Equipment
Many rice cookers include included accessories. The usual ones are a rice paddle, steamer basket and measuring cup.
Some recipes for cooking rice would ask you to fluff the rice using a fork. Utilizing a fork in a rice cooker isn’t ultimate since many internal pots have a nonstick coating. Some paddle designs have beads which are additionally useful with stopping rice from sticking as you fluff and scoop the rice out of the internal pot. There are other paddles which can be made with wooden or silicone; it is all based on preference. Some rice cookers have an extra attachment that can hold the rice paddle either on the countertop or hooked up to the machine, so it doesn’t soiled your countertop. Should you don’t have the beads on the paddle, you’ll be able to frivolously wet the paddle earlier than fluffing the rice to stop some rice from sticking. The provided rice paddle is specifically made to fluff the rice properly with out scratching the interior pot’s nonstick coating.
Rice Measuring Cup
The rice measuring cup that’s provided with the rice cooker can be the most confusing merchandise of the equipment as a result of if you read “place 1 cup of uncooked rice into the interior pot”, it normally means one leveled scoop utilizing the measuring cup provided. The supplied measuring cup is actually 3/4 cup normal measurement, so 1 scoop utilizing the supplied measuring cup or 3/4 cup customary measurement equals “water line 1” on the inside pot for the most effective outcomes. If you employ 1 cup commonplace measurement, then water as much as line 1 on the interior pot would yield a dry rice. If you are utilizing the standard measurement, the water line wouldn’t apply to the ratio.
You should use a rice cooker for more than simply rice. It may be thought-about a “one pot meal”. All of the rice cookers that we examined included a steamer basket, which you can use to cook meals. One caveat: If you are cooking more than 3 cups of uncooked rice, you shouldn’t use the steamer basket as a result of as soon as the rice is cooked, the top of the rice will keep on with the bottom of the basket and even worse, affect how the rice cooks. My favourite method of utilizing the rice cooker is to cook some Chinese Sausage (as a facet dish) with the rice and some frozen dumplings onto the steamer basket. Saute some vegetables when the rice cooker is on the warm mode and that’s a fast meal for one or two people. Most manuals embrace recipes for a steamed facet dish you can cook along with the rice.
How to wash a Rice Cooker
As soon as your rice is cooked and all the rice has been taken out of the inside pot, now is a good time to scrub the rice cooker. Discard the starchy water and wash with heat soapy water. If you are ready, go away the rice cooker with the lid open for a few hours to air dry utterly. Insert the inside pot into the primary body and wipe the skin and lid of the main body with the same delicate towel. To scrub the rice cooker, run a tender sponge throughout the bottom of the interior pot to launch the starches with a bit of water. If you’ve scooped out all of the rice and simply wish to take pleasure in your meal, you’ll be able to go away the rice cooker to soak with an inch of water just to prevent the leftover starch throughout the inside pot from getting dry and sticking to the pot. Rinse with heat water and dry the inside and outside of the interior pot fully utilizing a smooth towel.
Picture by: Andy Liang
All 10 machines went through the same process. Some have specific water strains for specific varieties of rice or grain so we used them accordingly. We start by unpacking every little thing throughout the field, gently hand-washing the interior pot, lid (if it isn’t connected to the physique of the cooker), steamer basket, rice paddle, and rice measuring cup. Along with conserving it fair with the same method of rice and water stage, we additionally allowed the rice to relaxation for 10 minutes after the rice cooker switched to the warming function. We read every guide before beginning to see whether or not the rice cooker has a normal recipe (or ratio) for cooking white and brown rice. For this check, we decided to degree the enjoying area by measuring 1 cup (from the offered rice measuring cup, which is 3/4 cup in customary measurement) washed white rice and filling utilizing chilly water to the primary “water line” that is usually engraved inside the interior pot. Some rice cookers don’t have specific water strains for brown rice as it tends to use extra water to completely cook, so we use what the manual says about how much water so as to add to the washed brown rice.
Finest Overall: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker
This machine has all of the “bells and whistles.” It has nine cooking functions to make several types of rice and grains together with prewashed rice, which is comparatively new and doesn’t should be rinsed before cooking. The rice does take a very long time to cook (white rice took 41 minutes, and brown rice 1 hour) because of a soaking cycle, which ensures the rice can fully absorbs the water. However, this cycle produces perfectly fluffy, tender, individual grains with out the crispy rice at the underside. When you’ve finished dinner, the rice cooker is simple to wash due the nonstick coating on the inside pot; the starches which are all the time left at the underside of the inner pot will come off relatively easily. The handbook recommends not to clean the inner pot in a dishwasher because of the nonstick coating, so hand wash with warm soapy water, rinse and dry immediately earlier than storing. This rice cooker is designed with efficiency in thoughts: It has a nonstick interior pot with clear water line markings, two handles which might be on reverse sides of the interior pot to help pick up the pot and likewise prevent the inside pot from spinning round, a retractable cord for a smaller footprint when storing, a rice paddle holder that attaches to the side of the rice cooker to forestall sticky countertops, and a cheerful tune when the rice begins and finishes cooking. This rice cooker is considered large for a family machine, measuring 10 inches huge by 14 inches long by eight inches in peak. It was consistent each time.
Finest for Beginners: Zojirushi 3-Cup Rice Cooker
This rice cooker is good for inexperienced persons as a result of it has a simple design. The pot is still easy to elevate out of the physique and rice is definitely scoopable. Users merely wash and drain the rice, add enough water, press a button and the rice will begin to cook. Though it’s less complicated and extra compact than our winner, the design isn’t affected. This rice cooker comes with a steamer basket, so making a whole meal may be easy and quick. With a 9-inch diameter footprint and a 3-cup capacity, this rice cooker is right for a family of as much as six people. White and brown rice cooked quickly with 21 minutes and 38 minutes respectively. The brown rice had a skinny layer of crispy rice, but it surely wasn’t that noticeable.
Finest for Small Areas: Dash Mini Rice Cooker
The Sprint Mini Rice Cooker can be a stable possibility for novices, and it works properly for small spaces like dorms or AirBnBs. The white rice took 35 minutes, but the water stage was barely too excessive as a result of the rice was clumpy and sticky; with a lower quantity of water, it would be fluffy and tender. On the other hand, the brown rice took 55 minutes, and it was fluffy and tender with a thin layer of crispy rice in the underside. With an 8.5-inch diameter and 6.5-inch height, you possibly can have rice anywhere you go. With the tiny measurement and a 2-cup capacity, this can be a no-brainer for college college students who want to cook in their dorm or small apartment.
Greatest Finances: Aroma Rice Cooker
We found the Aroma Rice Cooker worked surprisingly properly regardless of its low value. The markings on the interior pot will be arduous to learn because of the black inside, however the plus facet is the inside pot is dishwasher protected. The cooker comes with a steamer basket, measuring cup, and rice paddle. Nevertheless, the brown rice was a bit too gentle and overcooked, with some starchy water popping out of the steam vent. It cooked the white rice rather well, producing fluffy, tender, and particular person grains of rice. Along with straightforward cooking, included accessories and value tag, this rice cooker can cook 4 cups of uncooked rice which may serve up to eight individuals. We advocate utilizing much less water when cooking brown rice to keep away from water popping out of the vent and comfortable rice.
Greatest for Brown Rice: Tiger Micom 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker
The Tiger Rice Cooker was another high pick, however was edged out by the Zojirushi because the white rice in the Tiger cooker got here out a bit drier (excellent for fried rice), there’s solely 4 cooking functions and it has the largest footprint. With the specific brown rice cooking perform, it took an hour to cook and resulted with tender and individual grains. This rice cooker has a special operate referred to as Synchro-Cooking, that are specific recipes designed to cook the entree with the rice at the same time. If you’re a brown rice lover, this cooker is for you. Tiger cooks the best brown rice by far compared to all of the opposite rice cookers we’ve examined. See the manual and Tiger’s webpage for extra recipes.
Best Various: Immediate Pot Duo
The instant Pot Duo is an effective different to rice cookers solely based on the texture of the rice. We examined the white rice and brown rice individually primarily based on the manual’s recipe, and the last two cooks used the “rice” function. We examined four different ways to cook white and brown rice collectively. The guide does have a rice-to-water ratio, but it surely doesn’t have any particular directions utilizing the “rice” cooking perform. The cook time for all of the rice is considerably quicker than all the other rice cookers’ cook time; white rice round 10 minutes with a pure release, and brown rice round 20 minutes with a pure release. (All the time include a pure launch as this is the time for the rice to absorb all of the water.) Should you plan to use the instant Pot for extra than just rice, we think it may very well be a worthwhile funding. Nevertheless, if you’re only planning on cooking rice in it, we’d recommend any of our different picks.
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