There is a small appliance that is growing in popularity in America. This small appliance is the rice cooker. This little appliance can do much more than just cook rice. It is at home both in the kitchen and in the dormitory room.
Of course, best rice cookers make perfect rice, but they can also be used for cooking hot cereals, deserts, stews and soups. They can also steam vegetables to perfection, even while cooking rice.
The best rice cookers are made in Japan. There are other models that may be less expensive from other countries, but you will enjoy using the Japanese rice cookers the most.
Rice cookers come in many sizes from the small three to five cup cookers to the giant fourteen plus cup cookers. Choose a rice cooker that corresponds to the amount of rice you normally cook. They work best when used to cook rice at capacity.
Remember that a Japanese cup is only six ounces. Most Americans are more used to an eight ounce cup. To adjust recipes, remember that rice cooker cups are approximately three fourths of an American cup.
Most Japanese households favor the mid-sized rice cookers.
A non-stick cooking pan in the rice cooker makes cleanup very easy. Rice cooker manufacturers use a high quality non-stick surface that works perfectly with rice. Be sure that you only use the plastic rice paddle to remove food from the pot.
There are several types of rice cookers available. Choose the one that meets your needs and budget.
The least expensive models of rice cookers simply turn off when the water has been absorbed into the rice. These cookers are still very versatile and do a great job when cooking rice.
The next step up in rice cookers will keep the rice warm when cooking is finished. They do not have a true off position, so be sure that you unplug the cooker when finished. You will need to buy at this level or above to get a rice cooker with a non-stick pan.
Some of the more expensive rice cookers have fuzzy logic. This means that they have differing settings for soup or brown rice. Some of these machines even allow you to choose the texture of your finished rice.
The newest and most expensive rice cookers offer induction heating. Rice comes out perfect each time as they can compensate for variations in measurements.
If you enjoy steamed vegetables with your rice, be sure that the rice cooker you choose has a steamer basket. You can steam vegetables as the rice cooks. For extra flavor in your rice add a couple of bullion cubes to the cooking water.
Do not forget that a rice cooker is perfect for a college student who is living in the dorm. They can cook their own meals in a small rice cooker and avoid the expense of the college cafeteria as well as all the unhealthy fast food. Be sure that they are stocked up on rice, canned soups and top ramen for quick meals.