Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Rice Cooker

Rice cookers make it easy to measure out and prepare rice and other side dishes.

rice cookers
Modern rice cookers are able to tackle more than task in the kitchen.Aroma Housewares

Whether you are preparing tender short-grain Japanese rice for sushi, long-grain Jasmine for fried rice with vegetables, or any other grain such as couscous, risotto, or barley, a professional rice steamer makes the job easier. Just measure out the grain, add water or broth, and then concentrate on preparing the rest of your meal while the steamer does the prep work. Here are three key features in selecting a rice cooker.

Volume

Aroma Housewares Digital Cool-Touch Rice Grain Cooker
A small cup of rice can go a long way after it’s cooked.Aroma Housewares

Most meals that incorporate rice call for only a cup or two of uncooked grain. A steamer that can produce 2 to 10 cups of finished rice is plenty for just about any dish.

Non-Stick Pan

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
Rice cookers with non-stick coatings are easier to clean.Zojirushi

Rice is notoriously sticky, making traditional stovetop methods a pain to clean. A rice cooker with a non-stick pan makes clean-up a breeze. Just be sure to use a plastic or wooden utensil when fluffing and serving rice so as not to mar the non-stick surface. Better yet, look for a cooker sold with the appropriate utensils.

Multi-Purpose Settings

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
A rice cooker that does more than just cook rice is a terrific asset in any kitchen.Instant Pot

A pressure cooker with multiple settings can also be used as a rice steamer. These versatile devices save counter space and cut costs on appliances. A multi-setting pressure cooker with a steaming tray above the rice pan lets you steam vegetables while the rice is cooking below.

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