In the old days, rice cookers are straightforward, electric-powered pots. Today, rice cookers are more diverse and complex which makes them more efficient to use even when cooking other dishes.
6 Factors to look for when buying a rice cooker
Alongside advancements in technology, manufacturers have added more features to improve the basic functions of a rice cooker. The question is, how would you know which of these new brands and models are the best choice? To help you decide, we will list down some of the factors that you need to look for when buying a rice cooker.
1. Size and capacity
Consider the size of your family to choose a rice cooker of suitable capacity. Rice cookers come in standard 3-cup, 5-cup, or 10-cup sizes. A small family with 1 – 3 people should get a 3-cup capacity cooker, while a 4 – 6 person household should buy a 5-cup rice cooker. It is not ideal to use a rice cooker bigger than what you need as it uses more energy than necessary.
2. Types of uses
For a typical rice cooker, all you have to do is add rice and water, then let the appliance do the rest. On the other hand, a multifunctional rice cooker lets you prepare all sorts of recipes besides rice, such as slow-cooked soups or steamed vegetables.
Choose the right type of rice cooker for your family’s needs by checking its features and versatility before purchase.
3. Quality and durability
Above all, you need to make sure that your rice cooker can withstand the test of time. Find the best quality rice cooker in Singapore by reading the label to understand what materials are used. Aluminium and stainless steel cooking pots are known for their durability, while ceramic ones are sought after for their natural non-stick properties.
In addition, read online reviews to find out trusted rice cooker brands. Harvey Norman Singapore retails leading brands such as Philips, Tefal, Hitachi and more.
4. Accessories and design
Rice cookers often come with a spatula to scoop the rice when it’s cooked and a measuring cup for the uncooked rice. Another essential factor that you need to consider is the design. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, compact rice cookers are designed to save space. Some stylish models come with touch-sensors that also improve the ease of operation.
5. Easy maintenance
All rice cookers come with detachable inner pots, and some rice cookers have detachable lids to make washing easier. Even rice cookers that have non-detachable lids can be easily cleaned by simply using a cloth or sponge to wipe off any dirt and grime.
Choose a rice cooker with a non-stick inner pot to further simplify the cleaning process. Aluminum pots are commonly coated with Teflon that prevents rice from sticking, making the pot easier to wash after every use. Ceramic pots also clean easily and are completely safe, providing an alternative non-stick option.
At minimal cost, you can afford to get a standard rice cooker that offers the basic functions of cooking rice and keeping it warm.
However, a high-end rice cooker is highly versatile, allowing you to whip up a variety of fragrant dishes and saving you a lot of time in the kitchen. It is certainly a worthwhile investment for your household, should you plan to make use of its many functions.
Different types of rice cookers
Now that you already know the different factors you need to check before buying a rice cooker, it’s time to choose which type fits your needs. Here are the different types of rice cookers:
- Conventional Rice Cookers – Conventional rice cookers offer two basic functions: cook and keep warm. These rice cookers are very affordable due to their simple features.
- Enhanced Rice Cookers – Enhanced rice cookers let you cook a variety of grains such as barley or quinoa. They also come with a timer allowing you to pre-set the cooking time, so you can prepare your lunch or dinner in advance.
- Low Carb Rice Cookers – If you are looking for a rice cooker that will reduce the sugar content of white rice, this is for you. It drains the unhealthy starch into the starch collector located on the underside of the rice cooker.
- Induction Rice Cookers – One of the most advanced rice cookers in the market, these types let you cook dishes such as braised baby back ribs, soups, and even fluffy pancakes.
- Multifunctional Rice Cookers – These come with many menu functions and features for cooking versatility including steaming and baking. The pre-programmed menus include sushi rice, porridge, and even risotto.
Why is it important to pick the right rice cooker?
Rice is a huge part of our everyday meals. It is one of the reasons why owning a rice cooker is a necessity. Choosing the perfect rice cooker contributes to the overall outcome of your dishes. If you want to make sure that you will always have the best dining experience with your loved ones, pick the perfect rice cooker.
If you are looking for inspiration, you can always check out Harvey Norman. They have a wide range of selections of the best rice cookers in Singapore.