Purchasing a Rice Cooker: Get the Right Kind for Your Needs!
Types of Rice Cookers
With rice being one of the staple diets in the country, the best way to cook it is to steam the rice. And though most people prefer boiling the rice, the problem is when you drain the water after the rice is boiled, a lot of its nutrients get washed away as well. A rice cooker in that sense makes it easier to cook and eat the rice along with its essential nutrients.
There are different types of rice cookers ranging from the standard kind, which is inexpensive and simple to operate, to an improved version, which comes with some add on features, to the standard version like cooking different varieties of rice, digital timer, additional heat warming functionality and steam feature.
Then, there’s the multifunctional rice cooker which uses an advanced control technology, comes with a digital display & delay settings, extended warming, reheat, etc. There’s also the Induction Heat rice cooker, one of the most expensive one of the lot, as it makes rice better comparatively and comes with digital and multifunctional control options.
Buying Guide: Consider These Tips Before Buying A Rice Cooker
When you are ready to buy a rice cooker, be aware that there are essential factors to be considered before making your purchase. For instance, you need to be mindful of the cooker’s capacity. The more members in your family, the higher the capacity you’d require. 1 kg raw rice is apt for a family of 4-6 members and you can look for a rice cooker that befits this or a lower capacity. Always check the pot and opt for a removable one as it becomes easier to clean it and also makes it easy to serve. Also opt for a non-stick model so it is less cumbersome when cleaning.
It is wise to review the cooker’s features, some of the most common being a detachable cord, warm and reheat functions, texture settings and more. Purchase a model which is dishwasher safe, it is important that you consider the ease of cleanliness as it would help you maintain the rice cooker’s hygiene level. You’d also look for a model with a glass lid, as it makes monitoring the cooking process easier for you without slowing it down.
Next, consider the accessories with the rice cooker. A typical rice cooker comes with a steamer, measuring cup, a spatula or serving spoon. Most rice cookers come with a warranty of 1-2 years or a possible warranty of 5 years on the heating element. And finally, the price of the cooker must suit your budget and quality you have in mind.
Cooking and Safety Measures to Keep in Mind
While cooking rice in a rice cooker, there are certain precautions you must follow, such as taking care of the level of water. The cooker shouldn’t be over or under filled. It is best to refer to the instructions booklet to know the exact measure of water you really require. While cleaning the cooker, ensure that no electrical part is exposed to water, as any damage on account of water exposure may not only ruin the product but would not be covered under warranty as well.
Always disconnect the rice cooker before cleaning it to avoid getting electrocuted, and do not touch the hot plate to avoid getting burns. Use the rice cooker only for its intended purpose and don’t experiment with it. Rice cookers usually get really hot and may reach combustible temperatures as well. In that respect, it is best to keep the cooker away from flammable items. Always keep the instructions booklet handy, as it can help you make the best use of the rice cooker, as well as help prevent any accident.
Best Rice Cooker in India - 1 Litre
Pigeon Smart Rice Cooker
Designed with absolute flexibility and convenience, the Pigeon Smart Rice Cooker can help cook an entire menu and is conventionally equipped with cool touch handles, a stainless steel lid, an aluminium pot and steam vents to cook your favorite rice dishes, along with an auto-off feature that keeps the food warm for 4-5 hours.
Pigeon Smart Rice Cooker comes with a heating plate that spreads heat uniformly to the pots for efficient cooking in less time and its stainless steel lid is equipped with steam vents that allow the steam to escape to prevent lathering or overflow of rice. With a capacity to cook for 3-4 people at a time, the Pigeon Smart Rice Cooker can also be used to cook porridge, soup, and vegetable stew. Priced at Rs.1,645 at Amazon, Pigeon Smart Rice Cooker is apt for 1 liter capacity and comes with a 2 years’ warranty on the heating plate.
Usha Automatic Rice Cooker
The new 3710, 1 liter and 500W Usha Automatic Rice Cooker is fast, easy and apt for healthy cooking. Equipped to prepare 500g of rice in one go, its multi-cooker functionality steams, boils, bakes, warms and cooks at the press of just one button. Its inbuilt thermostat and heating plate make the cooked food taste perfect each time, while its 2 stage thermal safety mechanism silently guards the food from being overcooked.
Usha Automatic Rice Cooker simplifies the cooking process with consistent and astonishing versatility and comes with a safe handle for ease of carrying. The Usha Automatic Rice Cooker has a 2 years’ manufacturer warranty and includes additional features like dry boil protection, tempered glass lid, micro-switch, anodized aluminum cooking bowl and detachable cord. Usha Automatic Rice Cooker is priced at Rs.1,799 and can be bought from Tata Cliq.
Panasonic Electric Rice Cooker
Priced at Rs.1,547 at Shoponn, the Panasonic Electric Rice Cooker is a compact and energy efficient cooker that can help you create an assortment of rice delicacies. The SR-WA10 GE9 model cooks rice quickly, whilst retaining the essential nutrients and its anodized aluminum cooking pan absorbs heat faster, saving the cooking time. Given its compact size, the Panasonic Electric Rice Cooker can be placed conveniently on the kitchen top or over the counter and features an auto power option, which allows the cooker to switch off on its own once the rice is cooked. Weighing 2 kgs, Panasonic Electric Rice Cooker, model SR-WA10 GE9 is convenient and safe for use.
Bajaj RCX Rice Cooker DUO
Having a capacity of up to 1.8l and including an auto-cooking and keep warm function, Bajaj RCX Rice Cooker DUO comes with a thermal fuse for extra safety, is made of ABS material and includes a stainless steel lid. Equipped with a cooking bowl, trivet and spatula, Bajaj RCX Rice Cooker DUO also includes a measuring cup and an extra cooking bowl. Its stainless steel lid keeps the heat from escaping during the cooking and post-cooking, while its inbuilt keep-warm function keeps the rice fresh, warm and moist for a long. The Bajaj RCX Rice Cooker DUO is priced at Rs.2,099 at Reliance Digital and comes with a 2-year warranty.
Butterfly Wave Multi Cooker
The Butterfly Wave Multi Cooker can warm water, make tea instantly and also aid you in preparing noodles, pasta, boiling eggs and of course cook rice in a matter of minutes. Equipped with attractive features like auto-cut off and ergonomically designed handles with attractive finish, lightweight and compact built, the Butterfly Wave Multi Cooker comes with enhanced safety features.
The concealed elements in the Butterfly Wave Multi-Cooker makes it easier for you to clean the cooker, avoiding corrosion. Its swivel base allows you to plug the cooker in any direction, with the desired jug handle position. The contact point sources power only when the kettle is placed on it. The Butterfly Wave Multi-Cooker comes with a smartly designed handle with a strong yet easy grip. The Butterfly Wave Multi-Cooker is priced at Rs.1,199 at India Cliq for a 1.2l capacity.
Prestige Delight PRWO
The 1 liter Prestige Delight PRWO is ergonomically designed with cool touch handles and a detachable cord for easy portability. With a robust built and high-quality stainless steel lid with a steam vent, Prestige Delight PRWO cooker seals the flavours and essential nutrients to make each meal tastier than the rest. With a control switch that auto shifts the appliance to ‘warm’ feature once the rice is cooked, this mode ensures the rice remains moist and warm for up to 4 hours. Priced at Rs.1,695 at Flipkart, the Prestige Delight PRWO cooker comes with a detachable cord and the entire appliance takes minimal space.
Philips HL1662 00 Electric Rice Cooker
The Philips HL1662 00 Electric Rice Cooker comes with an inbuilt auto warm function which allows the cooking mode to automatically shift to the warm mode once the rice is cooked, keeping it warm and moist for nearly 4 hours. With a starch separating plate included, the plate ensures each grain is well cooked and gives you the optimum taste and texture of open pan-cooked rice. With a warranty of 2 years, the Philips HL1662 00 Electric Rice Cooker is apt for 1-litre capacity and weighs 1.75kg, priced at Rs. 2,395 Flipkart. The Philips HL1662 00 Electric Rice Cooker also includes a measuring cup, ladle and a power cord.
KENT Personal Rice Cooker
Priced at Rs.2,050 at Shoponn, the Kent Personal Rice cooker is apt for those who live independently or are on the move to enjoy home cooked rice or biryani without too many complications! With an advanced induction heating mechanism, the KENT personal rice cooker ensures your rice is cooked evenly each time.
Equipped with a cooker, inner pan, extra container, a measuring cup and user guide, KENT personal rice cooker is easy to use, clean and store with a 1 liter capacity. Its features include a delayed cooking function, and all you need to do is set the timer and the cooker will initiate its steaming process automatically. With a year’s warranty KENT personal rice cooker’s total power consumption is just 180W.
Brayden Rizo Rice Cooker
Brayden Rizo Rice Cooker with its 1.8liter capacity is ideal for cooking for a big family. Equipped with a durable anodized aluminum pan to cook and keep the rice warm, Brayden Rizo Rice Cooker can cook fluffy tender rice in a matter of minutes and with its auto-shut off feature, there’s no danger of overcooking the rice! Its aluminum coated pan is resilient for years of continued heat, making it a competitive model in the realm of rice cookers. Priced at Rs.1,199 at Harkin, Brayden Rizo Rice Cooker can not only cook the usual white, brown, yellow, long or short grain rice, but also quickly stir up oatmeal, soups and stews, quinoa and pasta for you.
Borosil BRC18LDSS11 Rice Cooker
Borosil BRC18LDSS11 Electric Rice cooker and steamer comes with a 15 hour pre-set timer with a keep warm function that retains the rice’s essential nutrients and keep it fresh for 12 hours. Its large non-stick pot makes for cooking 4-20 cups of rice and is equipped with a dish-washing, easy to clean non-stick inner pro. With a 1.8l capacity, Borosil BRC18LDSS11 Electric Rice cooker and steamer has a spill over prevention vent and comes with a steam tray, serving spatula, and a measuring cup as well, in addition to a detachable power cord. With a year’s warranty, Borosil BRC18LDSS11 Electric Rice cooker and steamer is priced at Rs.3,543 at Amazon.
Bonus Tips: Rice Cooker Vs Pressure Cooker: Which is Better?
Most people prefer being cautious and choosy when selecting appliances for cooking, as the end result makes all the difference! While some prefer a rice cooker, others find a pressure cooker more convenient. Even though both appliances provide more or less the same output, their distinctiveness lies in the variety of food cooked and the type of cooking involved. Here are some basic differences between the two which would make it easier for you to decide which one’s apt for you.
- Function – A pressure cooker includes a rubber lining lid which traps the steam to lock and seal the lid and during the cooking process it upholds the pressure level inside the vessel, while a rice cooker is equipped with a thermostat and has a heating power inside its cooking pot, which enables heating the liquid and rice, steaming it and then resulting in cooked rice. The pressure cooker also has a pressure sensor that indicates about the pressure inside the cooker, thus makes cooking more effective in a pressure cooker as opposed to cooking in a rice cooker.
- Cooking – A rice cooker is best for cooking rice and a limited number of related dishes and also potentially for meat stews or soups that require slow cooking. While, pressure cookers are best used for tenderizing large chunks of meats, cooking veggies like whole corn or squash quickly and for slow cooking, as well. Comparatively, pressure cooker is better for cooking large quantities of meat or stews and roasts.
- Benefits – Rice cookers are best when used for cooking just rice in an efficient and optimum manner. This makes for energy saving as well. A pressure cooker on the other hand not only cooks food quickly, but also requires less liquid during cooking. It also destroys all the microorganisms in the food and its sealed lid features preserves the food flavours well. Pressure cooking is ideal for those living at high altitudes where food takes longer to cook owing to weather conditions.
So if you cook rice frequently and don’t really mind the time taken to cook it, then a rice cooker would be an ideal choice. However, having a pressure cooker will not only speed up your cooking process but also help you stir up all kinds of dishes in lesser time.
Leaving the Cooker On After the Rice Has Been Cooked!
You can just put your rice in the cooker and head out to work, as most rice cookers either switch off after the rice is cooked or it switches to keep warm mode. But the steam in the rice is trapped until you open the lid. This can seriously damage the quality of the cooked rice greatly. It is always advisable to cook rice just before serving when you are around to supervise the procedure. Also, it can sometimes malfunction and let the rice burn completely.