While in Asia the rice cooker has been the kitchen helper for years, most Dutch people know little about the benefits of a rice cooker. Do you cook your rice in a pan on the fire and does it burn regularly? Then the rice cooker is a very good asset. But what else are the benefits of a rice cooker? 8 reasons to get a rice cooker at home.
8 benefits of a rice cooker
I’m a big fan of a rice cooker; it’s practical, consistent and safe. But did you know that you can cook more dishes than just rice? A rice cooker is not nearly as versatile as a multicooker, but you can still do more with it than most people think.
#1 advantage: You don’t have to stand by it
Did you forget an errand or get a little busy with the kids? No worries, the rice cooker automatically switches to the keep-warm function when the rice is cooked. So you don’t have to constantly stand by it, something that is a big disadvantage when you cook the rice in a pan.
You plug it in, fill it with rice and water, press the on button and then you have nothing to worry about.
#2 advantage: the warming function
With the warming function, the rice stays at temperature. This allows you to serve the rice even at a later time. After the rice is cooked, the rice cooker automatically jumps to the keep warm function. You can leave the rice cooker on for about a day. If you leave the rice longer in the rice cooker to the keep warm function then the rice will dry out.
#3 advantage: very easy operation
You can hardly go wrong with a rice cooker. The controls consist of two buttons: the boil and warm setting. So a rice cooker is easy for anyone to understand. This is different with kitchen appliances with many options and features such as a multicooker.
#4 advantage: never burnt rice again
Are you one of those people who regularly lets the rice burn? This is a waste of rice and not really safe. With a rice cooker this will never happen to you again, because the rice cooker automatically switches to the keep-warm mode when the rice is cooked.
#5 advantage: (always) perfectly cooked rice!
The rice cooker makes it easy to cook rice to perfection, provided you get the ratio of water to rice right. But at least the rice cooker won’t fault it. For perfectly cooked rice, we recommend 1.5 cups of water and 1 cup of rice for white rice. For brown rice, you need 2 cups of water (1 cup = 225 ml). Keep in mind that about half a cup of water remains after washing the rice.
#6 advantage: very easy cleaning
Thanks to the non-stick coating in the inner pan, a rice cooker is very easy to clean. You manually rinse this under the tap after use. It varies per inner pan whether you can also put it in the dishwasher.
TIP: buy a rice cooker with a removable inner pan – it’s much easier to clean.
#7 advantage: rice cooker is more versatile than you think
As I mentioned in the intro, you can do more with a rice cooker than just cook rice. For example, you can use the heat function as a kind of slow cook function, cooking the ingredients slowly. You can also use it to prepare complete rice dishes. Each rice cooker comes with a steaming basket in which you can cook vegetables or poultry.
Surely the biggest advantage we found was that you can use the rice cooker for a plate of oatmeal in the morning. Need more inspiration?
#8 advantage: a rice cooker is cheap to buy
For just a few dollars you can get a rice cooker. And the good news is that they (often) have a long lifespan. For example, my rice cooker cost less than 25 euros!
Things to consider
- Another kitchen appliance in your home that takes up space.
- A rice cooker is not nearly as versatile as a multicooker, which takes up just as much space.
My conclusion: to buy or not to buy a rice cooker?
A rice cooker is very handy and definitely an asset if you often prepare rice dishes. Even if you only use it once a week – a rice cooker is just very handy because you don’t have to stand around and the results are (always) consistent, provided you get the proportions right.
Are you in the kitchen a lot and apply different cooking techniques such as slow cooking, steaming and pressure cooking? Then I would rather go for a multicooker to avoid having multiple kitchen appliances in the kitchen.
Also read: the best rice cookers of 2021