What to expect of a commercial rice cooker?
What you want from a good quality commercial rice cooker is a durable, long-lasting product that can handle long working hours and big loads of rice at one time.
You want a large pot that has a large capacity. Electric cookers are usually classified as commercial cookers since they can handle the heat levels better to ensure its even. There are less chances of the rice being uneven or even burnt. The automatic features will promise you more time to divert your attention somewhere else while the rice is cooking.
A commercial rice cooker should be expected to make rice at restaurant standard. Light and fluffy, or dense and textured. The technique you use to cook your rice will determine these factors but the cooker will ensure your rice is made on time and with consistency.
How to use a rice cooker in a restaurant
The whole purpose of a rice cooker is to make cooking rice hassle free for you. Rather than standing over the rice on the stove, you can leave the cooker to monitor, cook, and warm the rice while you do something else in the kitchen. It’s this kind of convenience that restaurants look for, and it is for this reason commercial rice cookers are relied on. On your part, all you need to do is add rice and water, and let the cooker do its job.
The price range for a commercial rice cooker starts from around the $100 mark. You can find most commercial rice cookers ranging between $100 and $200.
It is possible to find some rice cookers that go over $200. These cookers will have an immense reliance on automated controls. While you can find automatic features on a $100 cooker, but it’s highly unlikely that this cooker will be entirely automated.
Features to consider while buying the best commercial rice cooker
Finding a good cooker isn’t a very hard task, it becomes a little more complicated when you have to consider more commercial purposes, however. It has to be able to handle bigger jobs and longer hours of work, which makes it a heavier duty appliance than a regular rice cooker.
Naturally, the brand can help you make a better decision. The first trick is to figure out which brands are better-known and trustworthy. Listed are some brands that make quality rice cookers;
- Hamilton Beach
- Instant Pot
There are plenty more you can select from. The best tactic to figure out whether the brand is worth investing in is to search up the brand and read some customer and professional reviews.
Commercial rice cookers naturally offer a larger volume than standard varieties. Most will start with a 20-cup volume with the largest going up to 55 or so cups. The Tiger JNO-A36U-XB and the Zojirushi NYC-36 can both handle a 20-cup volume while the Aroma ARC-1024E and the Paloma PR-10DSS can work with larger volumes of 48 and 55 cups respectively.
Keep in mind, measuring cups made specially for rice are not the same as standard measuring cup sizes. It’s better to get a rice with its own measuring cups or find a cooker that has the measurements printed inside of the rice bowl. Using any other measuring cups will ruin your portions.
There are two common materials you will come across when you are looking at a cooker. There are stainless steel models which are more durable and have better thermal regulation. To replace stainless steel, you have the variants aluminum, copper, ceramic, diamond powder coating, and pure carbon. These all have different heat conductivity ranges and can make the taste of the rice vary as well.
There are also plastic microwavable models which won’t be as strong and durable as a stainless-steel option. Regardless of the material however, there should be a nonstick coating over the rice bowl. This will not only make your cleaning easier, but it will prevent rice from sticking to the bowl.
Electric or gas
Authenticity is the key selling point for gas cookers. They tend to create a more rich, genuine taste in the rice which is favored specially in sushi. A gas cooker will cook much faster since its source of heat is direct fire. There is a great amount of maintenance when using a gas stovetop however. The pipes and burners should be consistently cleaned to make sure there is no blockage.
The Paloma PR-10DSS is an excellent option to consider if you want to invest in a gas cooker.
An electric cooker is an easy to use machine which heats the entire inner pot. It’s an environmentally friendly choice which creates less heat and is easier to manage. There is less chance of burning the rice in comparison to a gas cooker. Electric cookers can control the heat better which makes it better for businesses. They are also portable which allows them to be taken on the go.
For many people, getting a multi-purpose cooker is a priority. Space or convenience may be an issue for you, so getting two appliances rolled into one is a great deal. The most common combination is having a steamer and a slow-cooker compressed into one unit.
There are also automated or one-push operations. This helps make the cooker easier to understand and use. Digital controls will offer a greater variety of settings. There will be a wider selection of cooking styles and heats. This will naturally raise the price of the cooker.
One of the best advantages of owning a rice cooker is that it doesn’t require your constant attention. The cooker already has a set timer to cook your rice. If you aren’t going to eat the rice right away, or you are still preparing the rest of your meal, the rice cooker will keep your rice warm. It won’t over-cook the rice, but keep it at the right temperature until you’re ready to take it out. Some models will automatically turn on the keep-warm setting while on others you have to turn it on yourself.
Although a rice cooker won’t be the most expensive appliance you come across, it is still a kitchen appliance. You don’t want to have your cooker ruin within the first few months you have it. Always purchase kitchen appliances that have a guarantee on them. This ensures that your purchase is backed with a guarantee from the producer that it works, otherwise you either get repairs, a refund, or a return.
How to maintain a commercial rice cooker
To make your rice cooker last longer, maintain it at its peak condition and always keep an eye on how safely you are using it.
- Whether it is to wash the cooker or to store, always make sure you have properly unplugged the cooker from the outlet. You also want to ensure the cooker is cool before you touch it otherwise, you could burn your skin.
- The best way to clean the cooker is to use lukewarm water and a dishwasher. Stray away from detergents since they can discolor the pot. Any harsh abrasives will remove the non-stick coating, so avoid using these as well.
- You want to make sure the pot is entirely dry before you use it again. If it is still wet, there is a chance of steam bubbling off the sides of the cooker, discoloring and removing the non-stick coating.
- Be sure to clean the heating plate and the outer side of the pot with a damp cloth. Food particles can become an issue, but it’s best not to get any detergent on the hot plate.