Buying a rice cooker

Nothing beats a rice cooker, also called a rice steamer, when it comes to making rice. This type of appliance prepares rice with steam and will be most appreciated by true fans.

A rice cooker will be useful if...

  • Rice is on your menu more than once a week.
  • There are four or more people in your family.
  • You always lack cooking space when you have guests.
  • You have trouble preparing the perfect rice.
  • You make sushi at home.

Rice cookers (or rice steamers) were found only in Asian restaurants at one time. They are becoming increasingly popular with food lovers. This type of appliance guarantees perfect rice every time and grains of rice that don’t stick regardless of the type of rice you use (basmati, jasmine, golden, etc.).

Operating the appliance

Measure the desired amount of rice with the cup provided, rinse the rice in cold water and add water until the indicated line. All that’s left to do is press the button to turn it on. To get perfect rice, it is important to respect the amount of water to add. Do not stir the rice while it is cooking; it takes around 15 to 20 minutes. The appliance has a sensor that reacts when a certain temperature is reached and automatically switches to “keep warm.” This function, offered on the three models tested, was very practical when it came to cooking rice in advance.

Those who like making sushi at home will appreciate this feature that keeps the rice moist and warm throughout the preparation. However, don’t let rice sit in the cooker for more than six hours. It may turn yellow or dry out, especially if only a small amount is being kept warm.

Recommendations: what to buy?

We like the Tiger brand, only available in Chinatown, for its precision and ease of use. The calibrated measurements produce the perfect rice and keep it warm all day without losing its flavour. It’s the least attractive of the test models but it is the brand that all Asian families own. It is important to choose a model that makes portions that match your needs. The larger appliances have difficulty cooking small portions for only two or three people.

The T-Fal brand, cheaper and easier to find, does a good job and works like a charm. The Krups rice cooker makes good rice very quickly. Only downside: when you adjust the cooker’s mode to “keep warm”, the rice forms a hard crust at the bottom of the cooker. So rice made from this appliance should be eaten quickly. Its price is also quite high.