Foter

How To Choose A Rice Cooker And Food Steamer

|

Rice cookers and food steamers are popular because they offer a healthy and convenient way to cook. Steam-cooking preserves the original nutrients and retains colors, fibers, and other natural elements of foods. Rice cookers and food steamers are also energy-saving since they cook fast and well with the help of multiple heat-supply knobs.

With so many benefits, there are many varieties, designs, and features of these mainstream cooking appliances available in the market. From this multitude of choices, which one is right for you? Find out in this informative article that covers the latest types and features, and why would they be your ideal choice of a rice cooker and food steamer.

For your convenience and to save time, we have divided this article into two categories - rice cookers and food steamers.

RICE COOKERS

Check out any restaurant menu or home-cooked recipes, and you would come across infinite rice varieties. This is because rice blends with all types of culinary cultures, it makes a healthy diet, and it is a staple of various regional diets.

What Features Should a Good Rice Cooker Have?

There would be very many rice cookers in the market. Don't get confused, read below to find out the types of rice cookers and their features, and make an informed decision.

Digital

It's the age of digital transformation. So, transform your rice-cooking with this type. Its main features are:

Many upscale smart rice cookers also offer multiple menus - soups, cakes, porridge… you can use it for many types of cooking.

You will want a digital rice cooker if you are super-busy, yet you want precision rice-cooking. For example, you can program this cooker while going to work, so when you return home, fresh, warm, and just-rightly cooked rice would be ready. Digital cookers are also good for people who want a single appliance for multiple uses. They come at a good price, though.

Digital Multi-Function Rice Cooker
Professional Cooked Digital Rice Cooker
Slow Cooker Digital Rice Cooker
White Digital Rice Cooker
Multi-Function Food Prep Digital Rice Cooker
Stainless Brown Digital Rice Cooker

Removable inner compartment

There are two main problems with conventional rice cookers. They are single-piece cookers, so their cleaning is a major bother every time you cook in them.

Additionally, you have to take great care not to wet or damage its control panel, or else it will invite major electronic repair or replacement. Worse, you may have to buy a new one if the damage is major. A rice cooker with a removable inner bowl solves these problems.

The bonus benefit is, the cooking bowl will also double up as a serving bowl. So you don't have to wash two bowls. Choose this one if you want great rice at lesser pain, and of course, lesser risk of damaging it.

Portable

For these and many more options, a portable rick cooker is you best solution. You can get many options of functions, cooking capacity, designs, and portability, so carrying these light-weight cookers will not be a problem. Just cook your type of rice and eat, wherever you are. Rice cookers are truly anytime-anywhere solutions.

White Portable Rice Cooker
Simply Stainless Portable Rice Cooker
Black Portable Mini Rice Cooker
White and Grey Portable Rice Cooker
Portable Automatic Rice Cooker
Gold Portable Mini Rice Cooker

Microwave-friendly

This one is, in fact, a multi-tasking cooker. Although meant for rice-cooking, you could also utilize it for other microwave recipes. Thus, this affordable rice cooker is also cost-effective.

However, do look for these two features in the microwave-friendly rice cooker check out:

Microwave rice cookers are for you if you are looking for affordability, multi-purpose usage, and ease of cooking. Provided, the above two safeguards are present in the model.

Non-stick

There are three pain-points with ordinary rice cookers with sticky inner walls and bottom:

By choosing a non-stick rice cooker, you will avoid all these shortcomings. You will cook-and-clean in a breeze, and savor the perfectly cooked rice like a delicacy. You will also save on time and energy because heat transmission in these cookers is rapid.

Before you choose a non-stick rice cooker, be very sure that the non-stick coating does NOT contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). It is an out-of-use carcinogenic substance and should be avoided.

Also avoid cheap models, since their coating will wear off in a short time.

You can choose non-stick rice cookers if you want faster, bother-free cooking while retaining its taste and nutrition.

Pot Style Non-Stick Rice Cooker
Pressure Non-Stick Rice Cooker
White Non-Stick Cup Rice Cooker
Black and Gold Non-Stick Rice Cooker
Non-Stick Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Non Stick Black Rice Cooker

Dishwasher-friendly

An amazing thing about rice recipes is that they can be savored for dinner as well as breakfast. However, both dinner and breakfast times are the busiest of hours for working people. This is especially true for couples, live-in partners, and nuclear families.

The dishwasher-friendly rick cooker is designed with the convenience of these people in mind. You can put it in the dishwasher, and it will take care of the safe, hygienic cleaning of this rice cooker.

Buy one if you are a busy-body, or if you love rice but hare cleaning rice cookers. 

Induction

Domestic electrical supply has found many innovative uses, and one of them is cooking. Rather than using natural or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), you can use induction plates and stoves to cook. They get their name from the principle of induction heating, which occurs when electricity is firstly used to heat a copper coil. Its heat is then transferred to the ferromagnetic cooking top and then, to the cooking pot or cooker.

The benefits of induction rice cooker are:

The induction rice cooker can be your primary rice cooker or a spare one, just in case your digital or other types of rice cooker conks off. You can even carry it with you on your road trips and use it as a plug-and-cook rice pot.

So, that's all about rice cookers. Before we go to the food steamer section, a word on rice cooker designs and varieties. Since the category is very popular, there are enough brands, designs, and varieties to confuse you. In a line, you will be spoilt for choices. However, remain focused on your preferences and requirements. Don't make an impulsive purchase. This appliance has to serve your purpose and also last long.

Brown-Black Induction Rice Cooker
 3-Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker
Red Induction Pressure Rice Cooker
Induction Multi-Functional Digital Glass Steamer
Small Induction Electric Rice Cooker
Double Induction Digital Rice Cooker

FOOD STEAMERS

Food steamers are the basic variants of rice cookers. While you can cook, bake, and cake in rice cookers, you can only cook in food steamers. That said, you have the freedom of steaming rice, veggies, and even meat in them.

What Are the Benefits of Food Steamers?

What Type of Food Steamer Should You Choose?

Electric vs. Gas

If you are looking for a food steamer, firstly decide whether you want a gas or electric variant, based on your preferred energy source. If you are buying the steamer exclusively for kitchen use, go for a gas-based model. But if you want to use it in the kitchen as well as for outdoor use such as camping and road trips, select an electric steamer.

Also, please keep in mind that energy mode is not the only smart criterion for selection between these two types. Consider the overall performance, features, maintenance and upkeep, and durability criteria before selecting between electric or gas steamer.

Now, let's check out the main types of steamers.

Pressure Steamers

These appliances work on the same principle of pressure-cooking, whereby steam trapped inside a locked cooking vessel creates high condensing temperature and pressure, and thus cooks food in the vessel.

Benefits of a pressure steamer are:

The downside of pressure steamers is that you will know the results only after the vessel is depressurized.

Pressure steamers will suit your needs if you typically cook for a family of four or more, or if you frequently need to cook larger quantities for guests.

Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker
Bucket Electric Pressure Cooker
5 Pieces Pressure Cooker-Set
Orange Electric Pressure Cooker
Small Metal Pro Pressure Cooker Steamer
Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Steamer

Pressure-free steamers

This is a counter-innovation to pressure steamers that allows you to cook at atmospheric air pressure. This appliance has two compartments - boiler and cooking zone. The boiler releases steam in the cooking zone where food to be cooked is placed in a single or multiple pots or trays. Consistent release of steam cooks the food through heat convection. Benefits of pressure-free cooking are:

Pressure-free steamers are mostly meant for families and institutional cooking, not for singles or couples. Combine the above features and choose or don't choose this type, depending on what type of domestic setup you live in.

Also note, pressure-free steamers are less efficient at higher altitudes and lower temperatures since steam loses its "steam." You wouldn't want one if you are living in the Alps! Or, Alaska.

Pressure-free with steam circulation

This model is an improvised pressure-free steamer. It has the added feature of a fan that throws steam in the cooking zone in a regulated manner. Hence, cooking is uniform. The rest remains the same.

Important checkpoints

Before you make your final choice of food steamer, do check for these points:

Rice cookers and food steamers prepare healthy food that is good in taste and nutrition and good for health. You will get less-fat, calorie-free, and oil-free food from these appliances, which tastes naturally delicious. Choose the one you need or choose both for increased versatility.