Rice cookers are divided into different categories, from sauce pans used for cooking rice, to pots for risotto and paella, rice steamers and gas and electrical appliances. Rice cookers for home use typically use plug-in-the-wall electricity. In commercial or industrial use, it varies between gas and electric rice cookers known as “rice boilers”, that operate on an automatic cooking cycle from start to finish, from washing and removing the outer layers of the grain to steaming and cooking the rice.
Rice is a grain known for being fickle if not monitored constantly while it is cooking. Using an electric rice cooker eliminates much of the guesswork, time, and effort needed to make a fluffy pot of rice. Kitchen rice cookers offer several benefits.
As mentioned, they take care of the timing, so all that needs to be done is measure and add the proper amounts of rice and water. On a separate note, some of the more versatile rice cookers will cook oatmeal, quinoa, and steam vegetables. In addition, since rice cookers plug into an outlet above the countertop, the gas or electric cooking range will not take up space on the stovetop usually dedicated to a pot of rice.
While a rice cooker will not cook the rice any faster, the person responsible for the rice only has to measure correctly and set the timer, freeing up time and energy for other endeavors, culinary or otherwise.
It is acceptable to forget about the rice, as most rice cookers are insulated to keep rice hot, or are equipped with a feature that regulates the temperature of the rice. Once the cooking time is complete, most rice cookers enable this feature to keep the rice at an optimal temperature for serving such that it does not burn nor does it get cold and clumpy.
On average, household kitchen rice cooker cook times fluctuate, buy anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour is the norm for a pot of fluffy, well-cooked rice. It takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour for most electric rice cookers to complete cooking. The time it takes to cook rice hinges on how much rice you need as well as the wattage and electricity the cooker requires.
Like most things, rice cookers on the higher end of the price scale offer more options, like steaming vegetables, while less expensive models provide the basic rice cooking.
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