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Your Position: Home - Home & Garden - Do you really need a rice cooker?

Do you really need a rice cooker?

Birthdays are a time of reflection for me. As I approach my 62nd birthday, I am reflecting on how my life is different since I am now in my 60s. One thing that has made my life better over the last two years – having a rice cooker. For years, 60 of them to be exact, I thought I didn’t need a rice cooker. I had a stove and a pot, I also had an instant pot. Both are inferior ways to cook rice. After a couple of times of wet soggy rice, I decided that maybe I was being stubborn about this rice cooker thing. Perhaps I should give it a try.

I talked with several people who were knowledgeable about rice cookers. You can spend $20 or almost a thousand dollars so I was overwhelmed with the possibilities. I opted for the Zojirushi rice cooker. It was available at a local kitchen store and, while not cheap, was not one of the super high-priced models. I also knew they would take it back if, after a couple of times, I was not happy.

Following the simple directions provided I cooked perfect brown rice, perfect short grain white rice, perfect brown jasmine rice, and perfect brown basmati rice. You get the picture, all rice comes out perfect. You don’t have to watch it, adjust the temperature, or wonder if your stove eye is too high or too low. It even sings you a song when it is done and can keep it warm for up to 4 hours. I have since branched out and cooked coconut rice using coconut milk for some of the water. It also was perfect. If rice is even a semi regular part of our diet, do not hesitate to get a rice cooker. You don’t have to get a high-end model or the brand I chose for it to provide you the benefits of perfect every time rice.

Just don’t wait until you are 60!

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Is it worth it for things besides rice? Really depends on what you cook. It definitely can be worth it for the steaming. If you're inclined to cook rice with a bit of steamed something frequently, it's much easier than cooking rice in a pot and separately steaming things.

As for rice, I don't think it's just convenience for rice. While you can certainly make good rice in a pot, I think it takes a bit of care to get it as good as a rice cooker will, especially short/medium-grain rice, to the point that often it'll be a bit off - a bit stuck on the bottom, or not quite the right moisture level left. And as Jolenealaska mentioned, it can keep the rice warm for you; good luck with that on the stove.

In the end I think it really comes down to what kind of food you cook, and how often. If you're eating every meal with rice, the convenience alone is worth it. (Of course, if you eat every meal with rice, there's a good chance you already have a rice cooker and have never known any other way to cook rice.) If you just cook rice occasionally, you're not too excited about steamed vegetables, and your kitchen space is limited, maybe not.

Do you really need a rice cooker?

Why would I buy a rice cooker?

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