Features to consider while choosing a small rice cooker
To help you find a product that perfectly matches your needs, think about the features you want. This way you can buy one rice cooker and not have to worry about buyer’s remorse at a later date.
The capacity of a rice cooker is perhaps the most important feature to consider. While this article is focused on small rice cookers, there is still a bit of variety when it comes to capacity. For instance, the cute but tiny Dash DRCM200GBRD04 only has a capacity of two cups of cooked rice. On the other end of the spectrum, the Tiger JBV-A10U-W has a much larger capacity of eleven cups of cooked rice.
The biggest thing to remember about capacity is that it will include both cooked and uncooked portions. Rice usually doubles in size, so the cooked capacity will be double the uncooked capacity.
If you are set on a specific rice cooker but feel that it is either too small or too big for your needs, take a quick look at what else the manufacturer has to offer. There are a lot of units that come in multiple sizes. The Zojirushi NHS-06, for example, comes in a three-cup, six-cup, and 10-cup capacity. More choice is always a good thing and sometimes the answer to your dilemma is right next door.
Rice cookers are appliances that are built to make your life easier. As well as making it easy to cook rice, you can also cook a lot of different foods in a rice cooker. Because easy is the keyword here, many rice cookers include pre-programmed settings. So, if you want to cook oatmeal, simply look for the oatmeal program and select it. The rice cooker will adjust its temperature and time for this food.
Each rice cooker on our list is very different when it comes to programs. For example, some have no programs. Others, like the Panasonic SR-DF101, has programs for white rice, brown rice, porridge, and steam.
A really beneficial program is one that allows for steamed food. Some units, such as the Panasonic SR-DF101, will have a steamer insert to place vegetables or even fish. In fact, this induction model is definitely one of the best small rice cooker steamers.
If you know that you want to use your rice cooker for other cooking options, be sure to look for a product that has programs available. While you can still use any rice cooker for different foods, having built-in programs will make everything so much easier.
If you’re looking for a small rice cooker you either need to just feed a few people, have limited counter space, or both. Chance are if there are just two people in your house, you have a smaller place such as a townhouse or condo. As a result, both counter space and kitchen storage space will be limited.
Understand the dimensions of each small rice cooker before you purchase one to avoid any space dilemmas in the future.
Each rice cooker on our list has very different shapes and dimensions. Some are wider, some are taller. The average dimensions are 13 x 10 x 7 inches, but again, all vary. The most important thing you can do is decide both where you will store your rice cooker when not in use, and where you will place it when in use. Then, use these measurements to narrow down your search. It might take a bit of effort, but you’ll be so glad that you took this extra step.
Some people are technically inclined. Others aren’t. No matter if you like to tinker, having a warranty is essential with any electrical appliance. Most rice cookers come with a one-year warranty. This isn’t amazing, but it will get you through the first year as you navigate any potential kinks. The first year is when any manufacturer defects will crop up, so having the warranty is needed.
However, if you are worried about your new purchase, you might want to look into the Cuisinart CRC-400. This product comes with an impressive three-year warranty. Cuisinart is a well-known brand for a reason. It has solid manufacturing, so it’s no wonder the company stands behind its product with such a long warranty.
When it comes to rice cookers, there are a number of extra features to be found. Most now come with non-stick pots. Nobody likes to scrape dried rice out of a pot, so this feature is a real time-saver. Glass lids that are see-through let you keep an eye on your rice without letting any of the precious heat out. The more you can see your food, the better you can cook it to the right consistency.
Some rice cookers will have accessories included in your purchase. The Tiger JBV-A10U-W and the Dash DRCM200GBRD04, for example, both come with spatulas. Another handy accessory is a cookbook. Because most rice cookers can actually be used to prepare multiple types of food, a cookbook will give you plenty of inspiration.
How to use a rice cooker
So, you’ve purchased your favorite rice cooker. It’s arrived, and you can’t wait to use it. But just what exactly is the best way to go about? To start, be sure to read your user instructions. Each rice cooker is different, so even if you’ve previously used a rice cooker, your new one may be a bit different.
Understanding rice to water ratios is of the utmost importance. The general rule is two cups of water for one cup of rice. However, not everyone likes the same kind of rice. If you prefer stickier rice, you might want to decrease the amount of water. Alternately, you can cook your rice for a longer amount of time than is prescribed.
Time is also important. Brown rice can take almost twice as long as white rice. If you soak rice beforehand, that can also impact the cooking time. Pay attention to the guidelines for your rice cooker. Some might have programs available, so you can simply select a setting. This is helpful, but again, you will want to monitor your food the first time you use a pre-programmed setting.
If this is seeming all too confusing, don’t panic. Food will always be subjective, no matter what tool you are using to cook it. It will only take one or two rounds to figure out what works best for you. After that, it’s all smooth sailing and yummy food.
Once you’ve cooked the food in your rice cooker be aware of any extra features your appliance has. Most rice cookers will switch to a warming function once the food has been cooked. This allows you to finish the rest of your meal preparation and not have to worry about instantly removing the rice from the cooker. Just don’t let the rice sit too long on the warming mode and it can slowly start to dry out.
Once you’ve finished with cooking, it’s time for cleanup. Most rice cookers have non-stick coating. Simple scrape out any leftover rice with a spatula. Then, place the bowl insert in the sink and wash it with dish soap.