Basic rice cooker models usually offer only one setting for white rice, which is fine if that is the type of rice you like to cook. It's also a good way to save on the purchase of a rice cooker. But rice cookers may also have handy brown rice settings and an automatic keep warm function when the rice is cooked. Some models have more cooking functions such as steam, sauté or slow cook which makes it a very handy appliance.
Cooking rice with an electric rice cooker is a time saver with long grain white rice usually being done in about 35 minutes or so. But if you like brown rice, that's where a rice cooker really shines; it shaves a lot more cooking time compared to stovetop cooking. Since models will vary as to power and design, confirm rice cooking times with the product manual.
Many rice cookers have a steaming function, which adds another level of versatility to an already convenient appliance. Rice cookers are surprisingly affordable with most models selling for less $60. They also make a very nice gift item.
The main benefit of a rice cooker is removing the guesswork associated with cooking rice, but it also tends to the cooking so you don't have to and delivers perfect rice. Read Rice Cooker 101 for handy tips on how to buy and care for a rice cooker.
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Read Rice Cooker Reviews
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