The Best Budget Rice Cookers
Rice cookers may not be the typical definition of an essential kitchen gadget, but to many rice lovers out there it turns the otherwise basic job of cooking rice into a pleasant, fun and most importantly tastier experience. The best rice cookers come in various shapes and sizes all fine-tuned to appeal to a particular demography of rice enthusiasts. In this article, we consider the category of Rice cookers which were designed to be pocket-friendly – the budget Rice cookers.
What differentiates a budget rice cooker from a regular cooker?
The price for rice cookers can vary quite significantly, and the reason for the discrepancy in price, at least in most instances is dependent on the feature set (or capability) of the differ rice cooker models. All rice cookers by default come with a bowl and a heat source which perform the traditional job of bringing your rice to boil, some, however, possess extra features that tweak a few settings in between bringing your rice to boil. High-end cookers possess modifications that allow them to tweak the temperature settings intermittently. Others have embedded in them smart chips to make your cooking all the more ‘smarter’ – you can decide to program your rice cooker to begin cooking hours after you’ve left your house and then have it preserve your meal in that tasty fresh from the pot state for another 6 hours.
Budget cookers, on the other hand, shave most of these gimmicky features, and in their place, you have a set basic set of features whose one job is to prepare fluffy and tasty rice – no extra perk or gimmick. So, flamboyant features aside what exactly should you expect from a budget cooker?
A convenient size
A rice cooker is practically useless if it cannot cook enough rice to extinguish your appetite, and despite the ‘budget’ tag an affordable rice cooker that’s worth its mettle should be big enough to handle your rice cooking needs. The capacity of a rice cooker is measured in cups. A cup by Japanese standards (the country where most rice cookers originate from) is 240ml. For a single user or small family of no more than three persons, a 3-cup rice cooker will do just fine. Any more persons and you should be looking at a higher capacity cooker say 6 or even 8 cups.
Basic cook settings
Not the high-end cook modes like GABA rice or top of line tweaks likes fuzzy logic but the necessary rice cooking tweaks that make the process a tad bit easier. Things like a delay timer, warm mode or if the manufacturer is ambitious sautéing should come bundled with the average budget cooker. Also, the inclusion of a non-stick pan is a plus, although very few budget cookers come with this as an option.
A durable Build
Buying a budget cooker means you’re tight on funds which invariably means you won’t have enough cash to get another cooker if the new one capitulates. With this in mind, make sure to look out for budget cookers with a more than solid build. Taking note of build quality is especially important because this is one area most manufacturers cut corners to limit production costs.
A versatile cooker is a rice cooker that can handle more than just cooking rice; it can cook stews and broths, steam vegetables and sometimes can be used for deep frying. In the past, this feature was something we had come to associate with pricier models. Today, however, with the increased competition in the market, it’s something you can find in a budget cooker provided you search diligently.
The four points above summarize the major things you should seek out from a budget rice cooker, and while it might be difficult to find one that ticks all the boxes, it’s not impossible. All you need to do is to perform a thorough research. And luckily for you guys, we here at Rice Up Your Life have done just that!
Generally, a budget rice cooker should cost between $25 and $60, depending on the brand and capacity. Here are our top picks for anyone on a budget.
Best Budget Picks
Panasonic SR-3NA Automatic Rice Cooker
|view pricesfull reviews||Panasonic|
Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Rice Cooker
|view pricesfull reviews||Zojirushi|
Hamilton Beach Rice & Hot Cereal Cooker
|view pricesfull reviews||Hamilton Beach|
Aroma Professional 8-Cup Digital Cooker
|view pricesfull reviews||Aroma|
Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker
|view pricesfull reviews||Tiger|