Best Rice Cooker At The Moment
Not in the mood for takeout? No worries, mate! A top-notch rice cooker can whip up perfect rice faster than your local joint can say “delivery.” To gather the 411, we consulted with six culinary maestros, including a renowned cookbook author, a skilled recipe developer, and a bunch of kitchen wizards from London’s most posh eateries.
We also did some serious digging in online communities and sifted through user reviews on top UK retail sites like John Lewis and Currys to weigh the pros and cons of brands like Zojirushi, Lakeland, and Reishunger. Teaming up with our mates at The UK Strategist, we’ve got the lowdown on the best rice cookers for you.
Whether you’re after a compact model for a cozy meal or a powerhouse to feed a small army, rice cookers come in all shapes and sizes. A three-cup model is spot-on for solo dining or a dinner for two, while a five- or six-cup cooker can handle a party of four. If you’re the host with the most, go big with a larger capacity, but keep in mind, it’ll need more kitchen real estate.
The Big Players in the UK Rice Cooker Scene
Rice cookers, aka rice steamers or rice pots, are the real MVPs in the kitchen for crafting delectable rice with minimal fuss. Here’s the lowdown on the crème de la crème rice cooker brands in the UK:
Bag a Winner with Zojirushi
Zojirushi, a revered Japanese brand, has left its mark on the UK market with its top-tier rice cookers. These culinary wonders are celebrated for their unwavering ability to whip up perfectly cooked rice every time.
Fitted with advanced fuzzy logic technology, Zojirushi cookers adapt their cooking time and temperature based on the rice variety, guaranteeing fluffy and scrumptious rice with each batch. They come in various sizes and styles, from compact wonders to versatile units that moonlight as steamers, slow cookers, and porridge makers. While a bit of a hidden gem in the UK, Zojirushi’s rep for precision and reliability has garnered a devout following.
Panasonic – Unbelievable Discounts, Unbelievable Rice
Panasonic, a global juggernaut in electronics and appliances, shines bright in the UK with its rice cookers. These culinary wizards are renowned for their reliability and user-friendly operation. They typically offer an array of cooking settings to cater to various rice types, from white and brown rice to fragrant jasmine and aromatic basmati.
Panasonic rice cookers also come equipped with a keep-warm function, ensuring your rice stays toasty and ready for a grand feast. Many models feature a robust non-stick inner pot for easy maintenance. With brand recognition and quality, Panasonic’s rice cookers are a go-to choice for households across the UK.
Russell Hobbs – Affordable Excellence for Your Kitchen
Russell Hobbs, a household name in the UK, specializes in kitchen appliances and brings forth a range of wallet-friendly options for British consumers. These culinary artisans design appliances with simplicity and ease of use in mind, making them perfect for everyday rice preparation.
Russell Hobbs rice cookers typically feature a keep-warm function and a non-stick inner pot for effortless upkeep. While not as feature-rich as some competitors, Russell Hobbs rice cookers offer reliable and budget-conscious solutions for rice cooking in UK kitchens.
Aroma Housewares – Limited Time Deals, Unlimited Taste
Aroma Housewares, a brand specializing in kitchen appliances, including rice cookers, has made its mark in the UK market. These culinary marvels are renowned for their affordability and versatility. They come in a wide range of sizes, from small 3-cup units to mighty 20-cup monsters. Aroma rice cookers often feature straightforward one-touch operation and include a keep-warm function, ensuring your rice stays toasty until it’s time to dig in. Some models even offer additional features like sautéing and steaming, making them the Swiss army knife of the kitchen.
The ABCs of Rice Cooker Varieties
Digital Delight: Digital Rice Cooker
A digital rice cooker, as the name suggests, allows you to set and forget. With digital precision, you can pre-set your desired temperature and cooking time. It performs all the tasks of a traditional rice cooker but goes the extra mile by measuring the pot’s temperature and adjusting the cooking time according to the rice variety. A symphony of culinary technology at your service.
Back to Basics: Basic Cooker
A basic cooker is all about simplicity. It consists of a pot and a heating element that takes care of business, cooking rice and bringing water to a boil. No bells and whistles here, just intuitive design and pure functionality.
Hot on the Scene: Induction Heat Cooker
Bid adieu to traditional boiling water. The induction heat cooker employs a magnetic coil to work its magic. This technology ensures consistently cooked rice, every single time. It’s the future of rice cooking.
Must-Have Features of Your Rice Cooker
- Custom Cooking: Rice cookers offer an array of settings for various rice types, including white, brown, sushi, and more. Some advanced models even cater to specific rice varieties like jasmine or basmati.
- Sizes to Suit: Rice cookers come in various sizes, from petite 3-cup units for individuals or couples to mighty 10-cup or larger models for larger households or gatherings.
- Keep It Warm: Most rice cookers feature a keep-warm function that kicks in automatically after cooking. This feature ensures your rice stays warm and ready for indulgence without drying out.
- Delay & Savor: Some rice cookers offer a delay start feature, allowing you to schedule when your rice begins cooking. It’s a game-changer for having a freshly cooked meal ready when you desire.
- Non-Stick Brilliance: The inner pot of a rice cooker is coated with a non-stick surface, preventing rice from clinging and simplifying the cleanup process.
- Steam Magic: Many rice cookers come with a steamer tray or basket, enabling you to steam veggies, seafood, or proteins while your rice cooks. It’s a hassle-free way to craft a complete meal with a single appliance.
Perks of Having a Rice Cooker
- Consistency is Key: Rice cookers ensure a uniform and perfectly cooked outcome every time, putting an end to the guesswork of overcooking or undercooking.
- Time-Saver Extraordinaire: Rice cookers are incredibly user-friendly. Add rice and water, select the appropriate setting, and let the appliance do the heavy lifting. This frees up your time for other culinary exploits.
- Versatility Unleashed: Some rice cookers go beyond rice. With a steamer tray, you can whip up an array of dishes, including steamed veggies, dumplings, and even desserts. It’s culinary flexibility at its finest.
- Eco-Friendly Efficiency: Rice cookers are champions of energy efficiency, consuming minimal power during the cooking process and helping you save on electricity costs.
Rice Cooker Safety Tips
- Steady Placement: Position the rice cooker on a stable, flat surface, well clear of the edge of countertops or tables to avoid accidental tipping.
- Breathe Easy: Ensure that the cooker’s vents are free from obstruction, as they release steam during cooking. Keep it away from flammable materials like curtains.
- Lid Duty: Always keep the rice cooker lid sealed during cooking. Opening it prematurely can disrupt the cooking process and release scalding steam.
- Handle with Care: Exercise caution when opening the rice cooker post-cooking, as hot steam may escape. Open the lid away from your face and body to avoid burns.
- Cleaning Protocol: Unplug the rice cooker and allow it to cool before cleaning. Give the inner pot and other removable components a good wash after each use to prevent food buildup and maintain hygiene.
- No Overflow: Avoid overfilling the rice cooker, as excessive water can lead to spillage and a messy kitchen situation.
- Electrical Vigilance: Check the power cord for any damage and ensure it’s away from hot surfaces. Avoid overloading electrical outlets for a safer cooking experience.