Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Small Appliances: The Rice Cooker

For a distracted person, cooking rice is a process which is fraught with pitfalls. There are at least three times in the (admittedly straightforward) process when I am likely to forget what I am doing:

1. When I have put my water on to boil.
2. When I have put my rice in the boiling water and am waiting for it to come back to a boil so I can turn down the heat.
3. When the rice is done.

The beauty of the rice cooker is that you put everything in, and walk away. The rice will wait for *you*, instead of you waiting for it. My cooker holds rice warm and edible for up to 12 hours, so conceivably I could put my rice, water, and salt in after lunch to use for dinner. I have also found that it makes wonderful rice pilaf if I start it on the stove and then transfer it to the cooker.

Verdict: a one-trick pony that performs so admirably, it's worth the cupboard space. Mine was $30, made by Oster. I've tried cheaper but they tend to die young.

3 comments:

Langhaven said...

Having 3 Asian children and trying to maintain some vestiges of their culture, I purchased a really big rice cooker and haven't regretted it a bit! My sister in law (Korean) taught me that to measure the exact amount of water for perfect rice, lay your spread out hand over the rice (like you are patting it down) and fill the pan with water until the level comes up to about an inch above your knuckles. This has worked really well for me!

Enjoy your rice cooker! Pam

Lisa (Froggyhead) said...

Nice review. I have thought of getting one but wasn't sure. Now I will look a little harder at them.

I recently bought a rice steamer. I have used it for lots of things but, so far, not for steaming rice.

Elizabeth said...

apparently rice cookers can also be used for cooking oatmeal, especially steel cut oats! i haven't tried this yet though.

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