Whether you're cooking a simple batch of jasmine rice for breakfast or an elaborate dinner for a group of friends, rice cookers are an excellent choice. These appliances automatically turn off after the rice is cooked, and many models include a warming feature. Today we'll be looking at the best rice cookers you can buy here in New Zealand.
They're versatile enough to accommodate several different types of rice, so you can use one for one type of rice and another for another. Depending on the brand of rice cooker, you can use different cooking methods for each type.
What is a rice cooker?
A rice cooker is a handy kitchen appliance that can cook rice in a variety of ways. While rice is typically cooked in pots or pans, the appliance is designed to automatically cook rice in an even and consistent manner. The basic models consist of a cooking pot with a temperature gauge, a snug lid, sturdy handles, and a control panel. Some models are versatile enough to be used as a steamer or a complete meal.
To prepare rice using a rice cooker, first put some water into the pot. It will take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to cook rice. The rice cooker will then switch to the 'keep warm' setting, which will allow the rice to keep its temperature for up to fifteen minutes.
This resting time will allow the excess moisture to evaporate and the rice to absorb water completely. Once the rice is cooked, you can fluff the rice with a fork or spoon and serve it with seasonings.
Best Rice Cookers NZ
1. Breville The Set & Serve Rice Cooker
Breville The Set & Serve Rice Cooker LRC210WHT is a kitchen appliance for cooking rice. This product can cook up to 8 cups of rice at any one time. Included in this machine is a detachable rice bowl with a water level gauge.
Additionally, there is a non-stick steaming tray that is used in conjunction with the rice bowl. The lid of this rice cooker is constructed out of a strong glass material and has holes which act as steam vents.
The body of this model is structured out of metal. The cord that comes with this product is detachable, providing the option to set the rice cooker down at the dinner table.
A purchase of this rice cooker is inclusive of a measuring cup in addition to a rice spoon.
This kitchen appliance functions at 500 Watts. There are two light indicators that show when the rice is cooking and when the rice is warm and ready to serve.
To operate this appliance, there is a lever under the indicators that needs to be pushed down. 8 cups of rice cooked in this model is enough for up to 16 servings.
This rice cooker is available in an opaque white colour.
2. Breville The Smart Rice Box
Breville The Smart Rice Box LRC480WHT is a rice cooker with a capacity to cook 10 cups of rice at once. The non-stick rice bowl is made up of an anodized ceramic material that is both PFOA and PTFE free.
This rice cooker is suitable for cooking a variety of rice with settings for white rice, sushi rice and brown rice. There are different optimal temperatures that this product automatically sets to during the various stages of cooking rice.
The ‘Keep Warm’ feature is automatic as well. There are also additional options for steam, porridge, cake and soup. There is an LED panel at the front of this appliance that displays the cooking options and timers.
10 cups of rice cooked in this product is sufficient for 25 servings. A purchase of this kitchen appliance comes with a serving spoon, rice spoon, measuring bowl and a 100% BPA free steaming tray.
The power cord that is also included can be removed from the product, allowing this machine to be placed anywhere. To cook rice, simply press one of the pre-set cooking buttons and wait.
This product operates at 750 Watts and has a clean white finish.
3. Sunbeam Everyday 3 Cup Rice Cooker
The Sunbeam Everyday 3 Cup Rice Cooker ERC100 is a product suitable for serving 2-3 people. This compact kitchen appliance can cook up to 3 cups of white rice at any one time.
The non-stick rice bowl is detachable from the body of the product and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The lid that comes with this product is also dishwasher friendly.
The main body of the rice cooker has two handles at the sides to lift the product. Additional accessories that come packaged with this model include a steamer tray which gives the option of cooking race and vegetables at the same time.
The steamer tray is also equipped with two side handles. The power cord is also removable.
This product works optimally at 350 Watts and is simple to use. On the front of this rice cooker are two light indicators which display when the rice is cooking and when the rice is warm.
To cook rice, simply press down on the bar below the light indicators. This rice cooker is designed to cook white rice but it is not a recommended machine to prepare brown rice in. This product has a matte grey finish.
4. Russell Hobbs Express Chef Rice Cooker
The Russell Hobbs Express Chef Digital Multi Rice Cooker RHPC1000B is an all-in-one kitchen appliance, suitable for heavy-duty cooking of both sweet and savory meals.
The settings on this model include 4 non-pressure functions in addition to 7 pressure cooking settings. The cooking options for this product include soup, pudding, curry, sauté, white rice, brown rice, risotto and steam.
There are 3 degrees of pressure cooking available. These options can be controlled through the digital panel, equipped with LED lights that also showcases timer options.
The mechanism of this product includes a locking lid for safety purposes. There is also an option to create a delayed start to make cooking preparations.
The cooking bowl has a maximum capacity of 6 litres and can be detached from the body of this model.
Additional accessories that come with product include a rice spoon, measuring cup, soup ladle and a trivet, to protect surfaces from heat damage.
All the accessories can be cleaned in the dishwasher. This kitchen appliance operates at 1000 Watts. To cook food in this machine, simply select a cooking option on the display panel.
This rice cooker is available in a black and stainless-steel finish and comes with a 24-month manufacturer’s warranty.
5. Living & Co Rice Cooker 7 Cup
The Living & Co Rice Cooker by The Warehouse group is a 7 Cup beginner-friendly kitchen appliance for cooking rice. This product has a maximum capacity to hold and cook 7 cups of rice, making it suitable for a small group of people.
The rice bowl has a capacity of 2.5 litres and is made out of a non-stick material. The lid that comes with this product is constructed out of tempered glass with holes for steam to rise out.
On the main body of this product are two side handles that make it easy to move this product from one place to the next. There are feet at the bottom of the rice cooker to prevent heat damage on surfaces.
Inclusive with a purchase of this appliance is a measuring cup and serving spoon which can be cleaned by hand.
This model works best at a power of 450 Watts to 536 Watts. There are two light indicators which show when the rice is cooking and when the rice is warm.
To commence the cooking process, there is a level under the light indicators that needs to be pushed.
This rice cooker is available in an opaque white finish with a black rim surrounding the lid.
How to use a rice cooker?
You may be wondering how to use a rice cooker. You're probably tempted to open the lid and stir the rice every few minutes. While you're doing this, you're actually lowering the temperature of your rice and risk making it mushy. It's best to follow the instructions for your specific rice cooker.
Read on to discover more tips for cooking with a rice cooker. Once you know how to use a rice cooker, you'll be well on your way to enjoying delicious and healthy rice dishes.
Before using your rice cooker, you should rinse your rice thoroughly. This will give the rice a fluffier texture and more distinct grains. If you have a multi-cooker or fuzzy logic cooker, you can select different programs for different types of rice.
Once the rice has been cooked, you can serve it to your family. If you'd prefer a steamy meal, you can use a warmer to keep it warm after it has finished cooking.
How to make sticky rice in a rice cooker?
If you want to know how to make sticky rice in a rice cooker, then you have to understand the basic steps for the preparation. Sticky rice is a type of glutinous rice and it is shorter than long-grain white rice. To make sticky rice, you should use Jasmine, Brown Basmati, or White Basmati rice.
It takes 25 minutes to cook on the stove and about 20 minutes in a rice cooker. To cook sticky rice properly, you need to make sure to follow the instructions on your rice cooker.
The first step in the preparation of sticky rice is to soak the rice. This step ensures that the rice grains cook evenly and the texture will be much better than without soaking. You can use a rice cooker with a special "sticky rice" setting, or you can use the regular white rice setting. Then, close the lid of the cooker and let it cook until all liquid is absorbed. The cooking time for sticky rice is approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
How to cook quinoa in a rice cooker?
There are many recipes that call for quinoa, but not all of them call for the same amount of liquid. When cooking quinoa in a rice cooker, you should use two parts water to one part quinoa.
You can also add another liquid to the mixture, such as vegetable broth or chicken broth. Once you've cooked the quinoa, rinse it thoroughly using a fine-mesh strainer before putting it into the cooker.
Many rice cookers don't have multiple settings, so be sure to read the manual first. When cooking quinoa in a rice cooker, you should use the same ratio as you would when cooking it on a stove. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, add the water, and then stir in the kosher salt.
Your rice cooker should start cooking automatically, taking anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes. To fluff the cooked quinoa, you can use a fork or rice paddle. Once you've finished cooking quinoa, make sure it's warm, because quinoa may need to absorb the moisture.
How much do rice cookers cost?
Our research found that rice cookers cost anywhere from $30 to $300. The cheap ones came from brands such as The Warehouse and Kmart. These are definitely more than capable of making basic rice, but will struggle with more complex recipes such as sticky rice, quinoa etc. You definitely don't need to spend a fortune either, many of the most popular rice cookers are around $100.
What are your thoughts on the best rice cookers? Do you have any other comments, please let us know in the comments section below.