Rice cooker is an electrical appliance widely used to cook rice quickly. The very first rice cooker was manufactured by Toshiba in the year 1955. If rice is your staple diet and you need to cook rice frequently, then this appliance is very useful for you. However, it is important to be aware about both the advantages as well disadvantages associated with a rice cooker.
What are the advantages?
Ease of cooking- Rice cooker is an electrical appliance which cooks rice automatically. You simply need to measure the rice and the liquid and put them in the rice cooker. Thereafter, you simply need to shut the lid and turn on the rice cooker. There is absolutely no need to keep on checking on the rice because the cooker will cook the rice grain automatically and perfectly. The auto-shut off feature present in the rice cooker automatically terminates the cooking process when the rice is cooked completely. The auto-shut off feature works through sensors which detect the weight and moisture content of the rice grains and signals the circuit to shut off when the rice is cooked. Thus, you can put forget about the rice after turning on the cooker.
Versatile- Most of the rice cookers available in the market have programmable settings which enables them to cook all kind of grains such as brown rice, white rice, lentils, oatmeal, barley, etc. Apart from grains, the rice cookers can also steam vegetables, fish and other food items. They can also be used to prepare soups and stews. Thus, one appliance fulfills so many functions apart from its basic function of cooking rice.
Warming feature- Warm feature is commonly found in most of the rice cookers. This feature keeps the rice warm for long periods of time without the need to add water or reheating. Rice cooked in a saucepan needs water and reheating to make it warm. This can result in overcooked rice. A rice cooker eliminates this problem and keeps the rice warm without overcooking. A rice cooker can keep the rice warm for 20 minutes to even 12 hours depending upon its model.
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What are the disadvantages?
Counter space- Rice cooker needs to be plugged into an electrical socket. Thus, you always need to place it in proximity to the electrical socket. The unit takes up a considerable space and it can be a disadvantage if the counter space near the electrical socket is less.
Rice drying- The warm feature of the rice cooker can result in drying of the rice grains if left for a long period of time. Thus, you need to be careful to keep the rice in the cooker for as short period of time as possible.