Hello everyone! Until now, you have learned a lot of information about rice cookers including some amazing rice cooker recipes. So today, we are specifically going to learn what are the advantages of using a rice cooker along with its evolution and the latest technologies.
Evolution of Rice Cookers
Rice is one of the most popular grains in the world. It thrives mostly in Asia with majority in China, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia. Before the 19th century, Japanese cook rice in a device known as Kamado.
Kamado was a kind of stove made with heavy iron pot. Cooking rice in Kamado was not easy. It was during the post-war era that the Japanese began to experiment with electricity, using it for cooking.
In 1955, the first electric rice cooker, known as jidō suihanki was introduced by Toshiba Corporation. Yoshitada Minami was the name of the person who invented the very first practical rice cooker.
Rice cookers became so popular in Japan during the 1960s. The very first rice cookers with keep warm function were sold out immediately.
Until today, the rice cooker evolution continues as the experts behind this technology are still searching for better and smarter ways of cooking.
Slow Cooker vs Rice Cooker
Many people ask questions such as which one is better – a rice cooker or a slow cooker? Should I cook by using a rice cooker or a slow cooker? It is a heated debate so I thought I should discuss it.
The truth is – you cannot compare a rice cooker with a slow cooker. Both of them are different types of appliances that perform different functions.
Comparing them is just like comparing apples to oranges. Rice cookers are designed for efficiency and speed and on the other hand, slow cookers are designed to gradually cook your meal by using a slow heat.
Rice cookers can cook rice and other forms of grains quickly. The cooking time of a rice cooker is less than just a few hours while slow cookers can cook stews, chickens, appetizers, and roasts from 2 up to 10 hours.
Advantages of Rice Cookers
A rice cooker simplifies cooking. It doesn’t matter what kind of rice you cook – it will always be cooked to perfection. Some of the advantages of using a rice cooker are:
- It is not just for cooking rice. You can cook cereals such as oatmeal for breakfast, you can steam veggies in it, and you can also cook small servings of fish and chicken in it.
- Rice cookers cook rice to perfection which means every grain of rice will be separated from other grains.
- Does not overcook or under-cook the rice.
- It is a user-friendly appliance and its programmable settings are suitable to cook different types of grains like barley and lentils.
- They come in different shapes and sizes.
- It cooks rice uniformly. On a stove top, even if the heat is very low, still you will get a thin layer of overcooked rice at the bottom of the pot. But, it never happens when you cook rice in a rice cooker.
Disadvantages of Rice Cookers
Despite so many advantages, a rice cooker also has few disadvantages that are discussed below:
- If you use the “keep warm” feature of a rice cooker for a long time, the rice might get dried out.
- Rice cookers can take your counter space because they need to be plugged into a socket. Therefore, you will always have to place them near the socket.
Modern Rice Cookers
The latest rice cooker technology has not only changed the usage but it has also the cooking process.
Micom (micro computerized) rice cookers are installed with computer chips and thermal sensors that allow a rice cooker to adjust the temperature as well as cooking time.
They are convenient and easy to use. Induction heating and micom rice cookers use the concept of induction heating while cooking rice.
Instead of heating rice from the bottom, the whole pan is used to evenly distribute the heat in order to cook the perfect rice. A rice cooker with a pressurized system increases the cooking temperature.
Eating rice is more fun and preparing it is more convenient as well.
Top 3 Rice Cookers
Now that you know a lot about using a rice cooker, you might be thinking of buying one. This can be a tough decision because there are a lot of different types of rice cookers available in the market. In order to make this decision easier for you, I have picked top 3 rice cookers:
Zojirushi NP-HCC XH Rice Cooker
This rice cooker is one of the best appliances available in the market. You can cook many different types of rice in this rice cooker.
The quality of materials used in the making of this rice cooker is premium. If you are interested in the quality of your rice – this will be the best option for you.
Zojirushi NP-NVC Rice Cooker
This rice cooker comes with a lot of great features and modern technologies. The inner pan of Zojirushi NP-NVC Rice Cooker is designed in such a way that it will not only cook your rice to perfection but the taste will also be great!
Apart from rice, you can also cook many other types of foods in this rice cooker. However, due to the latest technologies used in it, this rice cooker is a bit expensive.
Tiger Corporation JBV-A Rice Cooker
If you are looking for an affordable rice cooker that is durable and reliable then this will be the best option for you.
This rice cooker is a product of a Japanese company – Tiger corporation.
It is best for cooking white and brown rice as well as other foods such as pasta, stews and so on.
Putting it Altogether
In this article you learned how invaluable rice cooker is nowadays. It has greatly made our lives better because of its many advantages.
In the end, I talked about some of the best rice cookers that are available in the market. However, my favorite is Zojirushi NP-HCC XH Rice Cooker.
Not only because it cooks amazing rice but it is also perfect for any type of rice even the brown rice. No matter whether you want to cook basmati rice or jasmine rice – this is the perfect solution to your problem. So, what are you thinking? Let us know in the comments below. Cheers!