Things to consider before buying a stainless steel rice cooker
Stainless steel rice cookers are non-reactive and preserve the taste, aroma and flavor of your food, as well as the nutritional value. Furthermore, a stainless steel interior makes up for an easy cleaning process. However, before you jump right off to buying the best stainless steel rice cooker, you must take a few factors into consideration, which we have highlighted below for your ease.
Rice cookers are available with various capacities, with the measurement done by the number of cups a cooker makes. Keep in mind that cups can be measured for both cooked and uncooked rice as well. So, make sure you check it when buying your cooker. For example, the Tatung TAC-11KN(UL) cooker can cook up to 11 cups of uncooked rice, which is equivalent to 22 cups of cooked rice.
If the capacity is specified in quarts, simply multiply this number by 4 to find out how much cooked rice you can get.
Before making your purchase, you should consider your family size and how many cups you usually make for a single meal.
If you have a large family and cook rice frequently, then it’s best to opt for a model like the Instant Pot DUO60
, which can make up to 12 cups of rice at a time.
Most people just don’t buy rice cookers to cook rice specifically. The advent of multi-purpose products in this day and age have led many brands to integrate multi-cooking programs in their rice cookers. This means that you can now cook numerous dishes with just one appliance that occupies minimal counter space, rather than waste money and space on different things like cooking pots, steamers, and pressure cookers. For instance, the GoWISE USA GW22620 rice cooker can not only make rice, but has 12 pre-set programs for cooking dishes with meat, poultry, vegetables, and even slow-cooked desserts. Again, each program allows for a hassle-free cooking experience, since the cooker has an automated cooking timer set, alongside self-adjusting temperatures for each dish-type. Most rice cookers now also have a warm mode to allow you to enjoy your dish even several hours later, which is extremely convenient.
Ease of use
Let’s be honest – nobody has time these days to sit down and go through complicated manuals with complex program settings. Therefore, you should always consider how easy the appliance is to use before buying your cooker. Some stainless steel rice cookers have simple, one-touch controls. All you need to do is pour the rice, water and other flavoring ingredients, press the start button, and voila! The cooker will execute the rest of the cooking to a tee and automatically switch off once everything is done.
Some rice cookers even have digital controls with LED screens, indicating automatic keep-warm operations, steaming, stewing, and more. And if you want to go a step ahead, you can buy one that has a 24-hour delayed cooking time option, such as the Instant DUO pot, and let go of all your worries while you do other tasks.
The dimensions of a rice cooker are measured in terms of its length, width and height. Modern stainless steel cookers don’t take much of kitchen space but still can make a decent amount of rice per load. If you are looking for the most compact unit out there, consider the Aroma ARC-753SG. It has a capacity of 6 cups of cooked rice, which can be more than enough for a small family. Such small units are conveniently portable as well and are easier to use and maintain.
When buying a rice cooker, you should always check for a brand warranty. Many brands offer a warranty for at least a year.
A longer warranty period usually shows how much confidence the manufacturer has in the product.
For further details, just go ahead and check the description of the product or visit the brand’s official page. Remember – this is a long-term investment and a good rice cooker with warranty and after-sales service will provide you with good value for money.
Rice cookers can be extremely versatile appliances, with multiple accessories available as well. Most quality brands offer measuring cups and rice scooping spatulas alongside the cooker, for more value addition for consumers. Models like the GoWISE USA GW22620 even provide cookbooks as add-ons for beginners and advanced chefs, with proper guidelines for various dishes such as stews, pie-fillings, porridge, chili gravy, and even noodles and pasta.
Most rice cookers also have steaming trays as well, in case you want to opt for healthy options such as steamed vegetables, fish, dumplings and more.
While some rice cookers give free accessories such as racks, trays and spoons, others simply offer these extras at a higher price. So, it’s important to note what exactly you’re paying for before making your purchase, especially if you’re placing an order online.
This is perhaps the most important consideration when buying any product. Similarly, the price will be a key make or break for you when you’re buying a rice cooker. There are so many brands out there, offering cookers starting at $20 and going up to $400 models. Obviously, the price also depends on the capacity, number of programs and add-ons
On average, you can expect the price of a good quality rice cooker to be between $80 – $120. Here, we have the Instant Pot DUO60, which boasts multiple programs, 24-hour delayed cooking start and automatic pressure and temperature adjustments.
If you want to get something sturdier and simpler, the Tatung TAC-11KN(UL) cooker has four different cooking modes, a keep-warm function, a steaming tray and incredibly durable construction, due to which it costs $140.
However, if you’re on a budget and looking for rice cookers that can make small portions, fret not. You can go for cookers such as the Elite Gourmet ERC-2020, which cost as little as 35 dollars apiece.