How to Choose the Best Rice Cooker
Choosing the best rice cooker for your particular needs is never easy because of the numerous factors that you must consider. Understanding how you should prioritize these considerations can narrow down your options, and this will help you determine the best rice cooker for you.
- Size of the Rice Cooker
This should be at the top of your list since the size of your rice cooker is determined by the number of people that you usually cook for. Here are some options that you must study to pinpoint the size of the rice cooker that’s most suitable for your particular needs:
- 3-cup rice cookers are ideal for a family of four to five people. This can hold up to 3 cups of raw rice, which converts to roughly around 6 cups of steamed rice.
- 5-cup rice cookers are the most commonly sold size of rice cookers. This rice cooker can feed up to 7 people in one meal. It can hold 5 cups of raw rice, which converts to around 10 cups of cooked rice.
- 10-cup rice cookers can serve 20 cups of cooked rice, which can feed around 15 people for a single meal
Rice Cooker Features
The latest models of rice cookers give you more than just the basic functionalities that you can get from a rice cooker. Some of these rice cookers include settings that allow you to set the type of rice you are cooking, so the rice cooker can execute a specific cooking standard for that particular type of rice. Other added features include steaming features, rice texture features and the like.
These features are only useful to some, so unless these things can really make your life a lot better, you are better off with a basic rice cooker. Here are the different features of these basic types of rice cookers:
- Basic Features – These rice cookers are usually the “one-click-and-go” types. No complications, no added techie stuff, just the basic functions that you need in cooking steamed rice.
- Semi-Advanced Features – These rice cookers usually have an LCD display monitor that you can use to change its settings, or to navigate other functionalities. The most useful feature usually included in these rice cookers is the non-stick pan and melody signal technology.
The non-stick pan feature can save you a lot of cleaning time. The melody signal feature allows you to monitor your cooking, even from a reasonable distance.
- Advanced Features – These rice cookers usually include all the features of a basic and semi-advanced rice cooker, plus other features that can’t be found in the two types of rice cookers above. The most popular feature of this rice cooker is its ability to use induction heating technology to heat and cook rice. Some users of this Induction heating rice cooker say that the rice tastes better and is fluffier due to the induction heating process. Nevertheless, the change is so minimal that it usually does not justify the hefty sum of money you need to pay for this type of product.
Your Rice Cooker Budget
Your budget will be a defining factor when choosing the best rice cooker for your needs. If you have a limited budget, the best way to go would be to choose a basic and traditional type of rice cooker. If you have money to spare and want to actually try more functional equipment for cooking rice, you may try rice cookers with semi-advanced features. If you’re feeling a bit experimental and would like to match all the hi-tech gadgets you have at home, you can try rice cookers with advanced features.
Remember, rice cookers with added features are usually more expensive than those with just the basic functions. Also, keep in mind that a rice cooker with numerous features doesn’t necessarily equate to a more useful product for your particular needs. The usefulness of a product depends on your lifestyle and cooking practices, and not on the available features it can offer.
Make sure the oil is hot before frying foods. Although they’re not the healthiest option, fried foods sure do taste good. The key to perfect frying is to get the oil hot before you put the food in. (Not so hot that it is smoking though – be careful!) If you don’t get the oil hot, your food will absorb too much oil and taste greasy. To test whether the oil is hot enough for frying, throw in a drop of water or even a small piece of what you’re cooking. If it bubbles rapidly then you know it’s ready.