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One of the most useful small appliances that you will ever buy is a rice cooker. A rice cooker can do much more than cook rice and is useful in both the kitchen and the dorm room. Rice cookers can cook rice of course, but they can also cook other hot cereals, steam vegetables, cook deserts and even cook stews and soups. While not all rice cookers can do all of these tasks, many are able to do most of them. Most people that use rice cookers swear by the ones that are made in Japan. While less expensive brands are available from other countries, the Japanese make the best machines by far. You will find rice cookers range in size from a three cups to ten cups. Buy the size that is closest to the amount of rice you normally cook. While larger cookers will cook smaller amounts, they work best at full capacity, but not over filled. Additionally, you need to know that a Japanese cup is six ounces as compared to the American cup size of eight ounces. Be sure that you adjust recipes by remembering that the cups from the rice cooker are only three quarters of an American cup. In Japan, the favorite size of rice cooker is the five-cup one. One feature that you will find very important for easy cleanup is the non-stick pan. This is a very high quality non-stick coating and rice literally slides out of the pan. A quick rinse and you are ready to cook the next batch. There are three basic types of rice cookers, the on/off models, the keep warm models and the fuzzy logic models. On/off models cook the rice and then turn off automatically. There may not be an indicator light but these inexpensive models are very versatile and do a great job at cooking rice. Keep warm models cook the rice and then after it is done maintain the rice so that it is warm when you are ready to use it. Just be sure that you unplug the rice cooker when you are finished with it since there is no off position. The most expensive rice cookers offer fuzzy logic. They have different settings for soup, brown rice, texture of rice and some even offer the setting for sushi rice.


Some of the newest models of rice cookers offer induction heating. They make perfect rice every time and compensate for variations in water or rice measurements and for different types of rice. If you want a rice cooker that is also a steamer, be sure to look for the plastic steamer tray. This tray allows you to make perfectly steamed vegetables very quickly. If you have a college student who will be living in a dorm room a small (three to four cup) rice cooker is the perfect gift. It allows the student to have rice, steam vegetables and warm soups. It is a great way for the student to have healthy meals and avoid eating only fast food.

John McKeen, A chef and a Chinese restaurant owner who love to cook. Check out his rice cooker reviews blog, to read more about his rice cooker guides and best rice cooker recommendation at his blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_McKeen

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How to Choose a Rice Cooker