Rice cooking is one of the basic kitchen tasks in the kitchen yet still many debates on which is better between rice cooker vs. stove top. Find out who wins in this culinary showdown.
Rice Cooker vs Stove Top
Cooking rice is not exactly difficult per se. In fact, it’s one of the easiest and most convenient foods to make. There are two basic ways to cook rice – the stove top method and through the use of rice cooker.
The stove-top method has been pretty much the basic and standard way. There are several reasons why a lot of people still prefer stove-top.
It’s uncomplicated and very practical. You don’t need to spend extra time for another appliance which will also require extra space on the kitchen counter.
On the other hand, there’s a rice cooker which does the job of cooking rice flawlessly each time. Rice cooker offers a much simpler way of cooking rice wherein you can just set it and forget it and then come back later to a perfectly cooked rice.
Rice Cooking Made Easier than Ever!
Rice cooker isn’t only foolproof when it comes to cooking rice, it also frees you up from the need to constantly check your rice. You can use that time to do other things instead.
What’s more? Rice cookers nowadays are becoming even better and more innovative. Some models are using micom technology which allows it to adjust the cooking time and temperature depending on the type and the amount of rice that you want to cook.
Another technology that makes these devices more efficient in doing its job is the induction heating technology. With an induction heating capacity, the rice cooker has more accurate capabilities of sensing temperature.
This allows them to make intricate temperature adjustments efficiently so you can always expect evenly cooked food and perfect rice each time.
Doing More with Rice Cookers
A rice cooker is not a single task kitchen appliance as one may easily think based from its name. From rice cooker to ‘everything’ cooker, a rice cooker is actually a highly versatile kitchen appliance.
Depending on the features your rice cooker has, you can do more than just cook rice using this device. From brown rice to GABA rice and glutinous rice, rice cooker lets you cook tough rice varieties conveniently.
Aside from rice you can cook various other grains including kamut, pilaf, oats and barley. Some rice cooker models now come with steaming settings so you can enjoy healthy steamed fish and vegetables. It is also handy when cooking soups and stews.
Other examples of dishes you can cook with this type of device are mac and cheese, roasted pork, risotto and jambalaya. You can even make heavenly desserts such as chocolate cake, rice pudding, and poached fruit.
Rice Cooker vs. Stove Top, The Rice Cooking Showdown
Both rice cooker and the stove top method offer viable ways for cooking rice. Let’s check out which one is actually more advantageous by taking a look at the pros and cons of each method.
The Pros and Cons of Using Rice Cooker
- You can get perfectly cooked rice every single time.
- Easy to use and hassle-free rice cooking. All you need to do is add water to the rice, turn on the rice cooker and it will do the rest of the job.
- Cooking rice with a rice cooker allows you to multitask as you don’t need to keep an eye on the rice while it’s cooking. The rice cooker will automatically switch off or change to ‘keep warm’ mode once the rice is cooked.
- Programmable rice cookers allow you to cook various types of rice and grains easily.
- Some rice cookers come with a ‘keep warm’ function that keeps your rice warm for up to 12 hours.
- Other rice cookers have delay timers which let you prepare your rice during the night and the rice cooker will cook the rice the next morning so you can enjoy your rice warm and nice for breakfast.
- Takes up space in your shelf or kitchen counter.
- Rice cooker can cost you up to several hundred of dollars depending on its brand and added features.
- Sometimes steam venting from the rice cooker condenses around the lid and end up with a messy spill over the kitchen counter.
- More items to clean up as you’ll have to clean not just the pot itself but also the lid and the outer surface of the rice cooker itself.
The Pros and Cons of Using Stove Top
- Allows you to cook the same rice without the need to spend some extra time.
- Simple, no-fuss and straightforward rice cooking.
- Save on kitchen counter and storage space.
- You need to pay attention to the rice you’re cooking otherwise you may get a burnt rice.
- You may need to stir the rice occasionally so it won’t burn on the bottom.
- Cooking tougher rice types such as brown rice is more difficult using the stovetop method.
The Top 3 Best Rice Cookers
So, why do you need to spend more for a rice cooker when you can just cook rice on a stovetop? The answer is pretty straightforward – because it’s much easier and more importantly, it’s foolproof.
If you are a rice lover like me, a rice cooker can easily be your kitchen staple. And, here are the top 3 rice cookers available in the market now:
1. Zojirushi NP-HCC XH Rice Cooker
When it comes to rice cookers, the Japanese brand Zojirushi is considered the Cadillac. Albeit expensive, highly dependable and durable Zojirushi rice cookers offer cutting-edge technology with multiple functions that lets you do more with your rice cooker.
The Zojirushi NP-HCC XH Rice Cooker uses Induction Heating technology for a more precise and uniform cooking temperature resulting in very tasty rice with the perfect texture each time.
- Multiple rice cooking menu settings including White, Mixed, Jasmine, Sushi, Sweet, Brown and GABA Brown rice and Porridge
- Keep Warm function for up to 12 hours
- Inner pot is made of magnetic material with a nonstick coating
- Delay Timer
2. Zojirushi NP-NVC Rice Cooker
With its Induction Heating technology feature, Zojirushi NP-NVC Rice Cooker cooks the perfectly tasting rice every time. This rice cooker also uses Artificial Intelligence and pressure cooking so you can expect outstanding rice that’s softer, flavor-rich and easier to digest.
Fully programmable and with easy to read LCD Zojirushi NP-NVC, comes with multiple settings allowing you to cook different types of rice and grains.
- Advanced Fuzzy Logic Technology
- Automatic Keep Warm and Reheating Cycle
- Delay Timer
- Rice Cooking Settings include White, Umami, Mixed, Sushi, Brown, GABA brown, Porridge, Rinse-free and Quick Cooking
3. Zojirushi NS-TSC Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NS-TSC uses MICOM technology to deliver flawless rice every time. It allows you to cook few types of rice including white, sushi, sweet and brown rice and even lets you bake cake.
This rice cooker also comes with a steamer so you can enjoy healthy steamed recipes. Zojirushi NS-TSC is made from stainless steel material for effortless cleaning and comes with retractable power cord for easy storage.
- Automatic Keep Warm, Extended Keep Warm and Reheating Cycle Functions
- Steam Menu Setting
- Delay Timer
- Quick Cooking Menu Setting
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Like some people I had hesitations when I first decided to buy a rice cooker. But once I made up my mind and discovered the many benefits of the rice cooker, there’s no looking back. Right now my rice cooker is my most versatile kitchen partner.
However, if you find rice cookers expensive and waste of counter space, plus you don’t cook rice or other grains regularly then cooking rice on a stove top may practically work for you. Ultimately, the question of whether or not buying a rice cooker is necessary is, like so many other things, a matter of priorities.
How about you, have you tried cooking rice using both methods? Which method worked best for you? Do you know of other surprising recipes that can be made using a rice cooker? Go ahead and share it with us on your comment below.