I have 10 rice cookers. I use 4 of them, the most recent acquisitions, every day. Well, I don’t use all 4 every day, but I use at least one or two. I want to share what I learned with you in this review.
Rice cooker capacity is counted in “cups” of uncooked rice. The cup isn’t really a cup, though. It’s about 3/4 cup. Even the cup capacity listed on the package isn’t a reliable judge of the size of the rice cooker pan. The capacity is shown in 3/4 cups uncooked and (cooked) rice.
All of the rice cookers I have came with a measuring “cup” and a little paddle like spoon for serving rice.
There are 2 difference kinds of rice cookers. The original rice cooker isn’t smart. It cooks like mad and shuts down to warm when your rice is done. The newer, or “smart” rice cookers have different settings and behave differently depending on which setting you choose.
If you cook small quantities of rice in a large rice cooker, you’ll probably get very brown, crunchy rice, even if it’s white rice. All of the rice cookers will produce a bit of brown crunchy on the bottom layer if the rice is left too long. I don’t find this a big deal. I like it. I always cook too much rice. It rarely goes to waste. The fuzzy logic or smart rice cookers don’t produce the crunchy layer unless you cook a very small amount of rice in a very big rice cooker.
Glass lid – so you can see what’s happening (for cooking brown rice, the rice cookers with lids that latch are better)
Lid with a hole in it – for steam to escape (otherwise it comes out at the edges of the lid and is messier)
Removable cord – for easy storage
Steamer tray – for steaming veggies and other foods (you will really want one, but you can make do with a separate fold up one from the grocery store). Most come with steamer trays now.
Non-stick pan – don’t get one without it
Measuring lines – lines on the inside of the rice cooker pan that tell let you add water without using a measuring cup. You still have to use the “cup” to measure the rice.
You can probably purchase these rice cookers at a store near you. If you want to buy them online.
ARC-2000 Aroma ARC-2000 Rice Cooker / Food Steamer ** 10 cup (20 cup). Aroma has finally added the one missing functionality that I’ve missed in rice cookers. The ARC-2000 has a slow cook setting. This incredible appliance does everything a high end rice cooker is supposed to do and more. I’ve cooked everything I can think of in this rice cooker. My latest was red beans and rice. What I love is that I use the “steam” setting to brown the sausage and onions. Then I add the beans, still using the “steam” setting. When the mixture comes to a boil, I then use the slow cook setting to simmer. Oh joy! This is what I’ve been waiting for. Buy this one! I recently saw this rice cooker in someone’s cart in Costco or you can buy it from Amazon.
ARC-727-1NG Rice CookerAroma ARC-727 Rice Cooker**: 7 cup (14 cups), 500 watts, $29.99. I like this smaller rice cooker. It doesn’t take up as much counter space as some of my other rice cookers. It does a great job on white rice, and steams veggies beautifully. It has a glass lid and the cord is attached.