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What Kind of Rice to Buy

Rice is quickly becoming a staple in many people’s diets. It’s healthy and easy to make and to top it all off, it’s cheap! However, many people stick to just one kind of rice when really there are many different kinds out there to choose from. Here are some of the best ones to choose from!

White rice – This is normally a long-grain rice and it separates easily when it is cooked. All of its outer layers are removed so it leaves behind a shiny white surface.

Brown rice – This is the same as white rice except they leave behind the bran later which give it its brown color and nutty flavor. This layer also gives it much higher nutritional value as it is high in fiber and B vitamins.

GABA Brown rice – This is the latest type of rice to become popular with the healthy crowd. It is sprouted brown rice that contains natural occurring gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid in brown rice believed to have health giving properties such as lowering blood pressure, improving kidney function and relieving stress.

Jasmine rice – Particularly popular in Thailand, jasmine rice is another long-grain that is also known as “fragrant rice’ because of its nutty flavor. It tastes excellent in curries and is much stickier than other kinds therefore clumping together more easily.

Basmati rice – A long-grained rice with a very strong aroma and flavor. It used to only be grown in India but it is now grown in some parts of the United States including California and Texas.

Brown Basmati rice – This is another form of basmati that has not been stripped of its bran layer. Many will favor this version as it has a higher nutritional content.

Wehani rice – This is a honey-red colored rice that was developed from a type of basmati seed. As with many other types of basmati rice, it has a nutty flavor.

Himalayan Red rice – Imported from India, this rice has a red kernel with an incredibly strong nutty flavor which can really change the flavor of an entire recipe.

Short grain brown rice – This rice is short and plump to the point of almost being round. It sticks together very well when it is cooked making it ideal for sushi making.

Sushi rice – As the name suggests, it is the ideal rice for sushi. It sticks together when it is cooked and loses its shape so that it completely molds together. It is often known as sticky rice.

Arborio rice – This is an Italian rice that is usually used to make risotto. It is a very short grain with a high starch content so once it is cooked it comes out creamy and smooth.

Carnaroli rice – This is similar to Arborio rice the only difference being that it is brown.
Bhutanese Red rice – It’s a great rice because it cooks relatively quickly for a whole grain rice and keeps its red color even after it is done cooking. In Bhutan it is commonly eaten with mushrooms and chili peppers.

Colusari red rice – This was developed in Maryland originally but it is now grown in California as well. Once it is cooked it turn s a beautiful red color.

Volcano rice – This rice is incredibly unique as it is grown in volcanic soils that are rich in magnesium, manganese and zinc.

Best Accessories for Making Rice Perfectly

Cooking rice can be a tricky business. It’s all too easy to cook it too much or not enough or end up with a very burned pot at the end of the day. There are several tools you can use to make the process much easier and make sure you end up with a great batch of every time. Here are our recommended utensils for cooking rice.

 

Wash n Drain

A new fancy tool on the market will make cooking rice easier than ever. Two of the most important steps are rinsing and draining your rice well. This tool has a rubber tip that fills with water and you can then use it to wash your rice. The middle area of it is actually used a strainer that is designed in such a way that you never lose any grains of rice.

 

Large bowl with a Lid

This will be even better if it has a plastic tight fitting lid. Soaking the rice is an important step before you being cooking so having a nice big bowl for the rice to absorb the water in is handy. Since the rice has to soak for about 30 minutes it is nice if it comes with a lid to cover it just to make sure no foreign objects are contaminating the rice while you let it sit. Note that if you buy a highly optioned rice cooker like a Zojirushi then you don’t have to do this as the rice cooker with soak the rice for you. See my buying guide to rice cookers here.

 

Large Plastic Spoon or Fork

This will be used at multiple points while cooking. Rice needs to be evenly distributed under the water and a spoon or fork will help you to achieve that. It’s also important so that you can use it to properly fluff your rice when it is ready to be served. You should ALWAYS use a fork to fluff cooked rice, never a spoon.

 

Measuring Cup

This may be one of the most important utensils needed in cooking rice. So much of making a great batch of rice relies on using the correct water to rice ratio. This varies greatly between the different types of rice, especially brown and white and rice, and may take some research and practice to figure out the best measurements. Rice is definitely not something you ever want to measure out just by guessing or approximations. If you’re cooking with a rice cooker, then you should use the measuring cup provided with the rice cooker unless you’re cooking less than half the specified capacity of the rice cooker. This is to prevent overflow.

 

Oven Mitts

Things can get hot while you’re cooking your rice and nothing will ruin the meal more than having a nasty burn. Make sure to have oven mitts you can use to handle the hot pots and lids and protect yourself. If your rice cooker has a glass lid this is essential. You can also use the oven mitts to lift your rice cooker’s inner pot and place it straight on the table to serve from.

How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker

Are you a first time user of a rice cooker? You’re going to love it! Rice cookers are an awesome addition to your kitchen arsenal. They make cooking rice much easier and cooking meals in general more fun. Read on to learn the 10 steps to cook rice in your new rice cooker.

Step 1: Measure the Rice
The firs thing to do it measure the rice with a cup and then put it into your cooking pot. Some rice cookers will come with their own measuring cup or scoop but it’s just as easy to use your own if it doesn’t.

Step 2: Rinse
It’s a good idea to rinse your rice before cooking. It’s not uncommon for there to be traces of pesticides, herbicides or other contaminants that are better left out of your meal. All you need to do to rinse the rise is pour drinking water over it or hold it under the faucet.

Step 3: Measure the Water
The majority of rice cookers recommend using cold water but make sure to double check what your specific rice cooker requires. On the inside of your rice cooker you will most likely find graduated marks so that you can determine how much water should be added.

Step 4: Soaking
This step isn’t necessary but it’s a very easy and good idea. By soaking the rice ahead of time this can shorten the length of time needed to cook the rice and it can also make the rice a bit stickier. This should be done at room temperature and for about 30 minutes. A good rice cooker will do the soaking for you! Read my rice cooker reviews to see some of these models.

Step 5: Add Flavor
This is another optional step but will enhance the taste of your rice. Any sort of seasoning you want to use should be added to the water before you start cooking the rice so that it will absorb better during cooking. Even just a little bit of salt can make a big difference.

Step 6: Full Coverage
Once you add the rice to the water it’s important to make sure the rice is fully submerged. Any wooden or plastic utensil can be used to move the rice grains around evenly.

Step 7: Cook
Set your rice cooker to the appropriate temperature and settings based on your specific rice cooker and how much rice you are cooking. It is important during this time not to lift the lid so that it can cook correctly. Your rice cooker will automatically turn off when it is done.

Step 8: Rest Time
Another important step is to let the rice sit for anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes after it is done cooking. It’s not necessary but it will make it so that less rice sticks to the bottom of the pot.

Step 9: Fluff and Serve
Always fluff your rice with a fork. You’ve followed all the steps correctly so now you should be ready to enjoy your perfectly cooked rice!

How to Clean Rice Cookers

Rice cookers are one of the best additions you can make to your kitchen equipment arsenal. They can be used to cook a variety of different foods, even more than you would imagine! However they can be costly and so you want to make sure that you are caring for them appropriately. Part of this care means cleaning your rice cooker regularly, preferably after each use. It’s important that you’re cleaning your rice cooker the right way so here are some great guidelines to follow!

Most importantly, safety first! Always make sure that you wait until the rice cooker has returned back to a cool temperature before cleaning it. If it is still hot it could not only damage the rice cooker but could also lead to some burns that would be less than fun.

After it has cooled, empty all rice or any other food out of the inner pot. Then you can take the inner pot out and soak it in hot soapy water. As you’re washing this it is also a good time to wash any other utensils you used in the process such as measuring cups and spatulas. Scrub these well then rinse off and set aside to dry.

Some rice cookers have an unattached lid. If so, it can also be washed along with the inner pot and utensils in the hot soapy water. However if it is attached, you will want to use a sponge. Once again taking warm and soapy water you can use the sponge to clean the lid and then rinse it off with cool water. Take a towel afterwards to wipe it dry.

The main pot needs to be left out to air dry for at least 30 minutes. This will help to avoid any sort of water damage that could otherwise occur so this is a very important step.

A damp cloth can usually be used to wipe down the exterior of the pot as well as the top of the lid. However, sometimes tougher stains may occur. For those it will be good to use spray glass or surface cleaner first on a paper towel and then apply it to the stain. It is important not to use these products directly on your rice cooker as to avoid any of these chemicals from getting on the inside of the spot.

Burnt grains of rice or other hardened food can also be tricky to get off of the rice cooker hot plate. A good idea is to use a bit of sandpaper to rub these off. That way the surface of the plate will be smooth and it can contact the inner pot evenly so that everything heats evenly. Never scrape this plate with anything sharp that could cause scratches.

Follow these simple steps to make sure your rice cooker is working well at all times and to keep it in good condition so that you can use it for many years to come!

How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker

Quinoa is such a useful food to have in your pantry. It’s healthy and contains a complete profile of amino acids. It’s actually a seed, not a grain, so provides fantastic energy. The benefits of quinoa are vast!

Quinoa is rich in protein, iron, fiber, lysine, magnesium and vitamin B2.

You can use quinoa as a healthy, higher protein substitute for rice or as a gluten-free substitute for cous cous. Quinoa is a great addition to your salads as well as thrown into vegetable soups. You can also treat it similar to oats and make a porridge with it.

Here’s How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2.5 cups water

Method:

  • Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under running water, rinsing thoroughly.
  • Use the white rice setting.
  • Don’t leave your quinoa in the rice cooker on warm mode. Remove your quinoa immediately to prevent a mushy texture.
  • You can also experiment by cooking your quinoa with a vegetable or chicken stock cube to add extra flavour. I like these ones because they’re low sodium and vegan.

 

Rice Cooker Size Guide

Picking the right size rice cooker is an important step in your purchase. It can be confusing to know which will be the best for your needs and also hard to know what you’re getting as the advertising can be tricky. There are a few basic rules to follow and some tips to know to make sure you buy the best rice cooker for you!

It’s important to first understand what companies mean when they are advertising their rice cookers. For example, they will usually describe the rice cooker as being a 7-cup model or perhaps 10-cup model. Your first thought might be that this means you will get 7 or 10 cups of cooked rice from this rice cooker. However, that is incorrect. When companies advertise their rice cookers they list the amount of uncooked rice that it is capable of cooking. Of course it depends on what type of rice you use, but generally this means you will end up with double that amount of rice once it is cooked. This is a general rule of thumb but some companies may advertise based on the amount of cooked rice it can make so also make sure to double check that before purchasing.

Now that we understand that difference, it’s time to pick the right rice cooker for your lifestyle! You may think why not just get the biggest rice cooker out there, just in case. That way you would have limitless options as to how much rice you can make. However, this isn’t a good idea. The larger models don’t always have the capability of making smaller portions of rice so if the norm for you is only cooking for one or two people then you are much better off purchasing a 5-cup model. Below is a chart to help you pick out the best rice cooker based on how many people you are normally cooking for.

 

Number of People Number of Cups
1-2 people 5
Family 7
Large Family 10
Small Event 20
Catering 30

 

Following these simple guidelines and this chart will ensure you pick the best rice cooker for your life. If you’re someone who on a day-to-day basis is normally cooking for one or two people but throws the regular dinner party, there’s nothing that says you can’t buy two rice cookers of different sizes to make sure you are always prepared!

How to Make Rice Perfectly Every Time

Making the perfect batch of rice is a tricky process. The most sure fire way to do this is by using a rice cooker. It’s usually much easier and takes a lot less thought but we don’t always have access to a rice cooker. Therefore it’s a good idea to know how to make rice perfectly every time all on your own! Here are the basic steps for making a perfect batch of rice.

Step 1: Rinse and Soak

Rinsing your rice is an important step not only to ensure that it comes out well but also for health and safety reasons. There are some mills outside of the U.S. that use talc as a milling aid so rinsing it helps to ensure that all of this is off f your rice before consuming it. It also helps to get rid of any loose starch so that the rice isn’t so sticky.

Whether or not you soak your rice depends on how old it is. If you’re using older rice then it is a good idea to soak it for about 30 minutes so that the grain won’t break so easily. After soaking it’s important to make sure you drain it well.

Step 2: Simple Methods

The more complicated a process you choose for cooking your rice, the higher chance there is that something will go wrong. The absorption method is one of the simplest and one you should definitely try. As a general rule you should use 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups of water per cup of long-grain rice whereas brown rice needs a bit more water and short-grain will need less.

The way the absorption method works is that the rice is cooked in a certain amount of water so that by the time it is cooked, all the water will be absorbed and any trapped steam will finish off the cooking. The more water you use, the softer and stickier the rice will be.

Step 3: Time to Rest!

This method should only take about 12 minutes and then the liquid should be absorbed. However, if you serve the rice immediately then you will find that the top layer is drier and fluffier than the bottom which might be more moist. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 30 minutes. The longer you let it sit, the more evenly distributed the moisture will be.

Step 4: Enjoy

After following these steps you are sure to have an excellent batch of rice waiting for you and your friends or family to enjoy!

Best Zojirushi Rice Cooker Reviews

Best Japanese Rice Cooker

Best Small Rice Cooker 2016

Love rice but live alone or as a couple? Then you need a small rice cooker! One to three cups of rice is about the perfect amount if you’re cooking for one or two people. We have looked at the many options available to give you a detailed list of the best small rice cookers. As with other small rice cooker reviews, this review will consider the construction, design, features, and size. Check out our list to see which is the best small rice cooker for you.

Why purchase a rice cooker?

If you enjoy rice that is fluffy, long and well-cooked, then it may be time you changed from using ordinary pans to a rice cooker. Cooking rice in a pan requires constant attention and even then, one is bound to make rice that is either overcooked or undercooked, and you will be left with a troublesome mess to clean after that. A rice cooker yields better, consistent results so you can enjoy a perfect meal every single time. With varied settings,  takes the guesswork out of cooking this versatile meal.

 

Best Small Rice Cookers at a Glance (Comparison Table)

ModelMax Capacity
(cooked)
FeaturesPriceRating

Black and Decker RC503
3 cups
Auto keep warmCheck Prices3.8 / 5

Oster CKSTRCMS65
6 cupsAuto keep warmCheck Prices4.2 / 5

Livart Rice Cooker
1 cupAuto keep warmCheck Prices4.4 / 5

Panasonic SR-3NA
3 cupsNo auto keep warmCheck Prices4.5 / 5

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA
6 cupsAuto keep warm
Retractable power cord
Additional settings for sushi rice, porridge, brown rice and quick cooking
Check Prices4.6 / 5

Tiger JAY-A55U-CU
6 cupsAuto keep warm
Additional settings for quick cooking, brown rice, porridge & germinated brown rice
Check Prices4.7 / 5

Reviews of the Top-Rated Small Rice Cookers

 

 

Black and Decker RC503

This Black and Decker small rice cooker is a wonderful automatic machine that sets to warm after cooking is complete. Its non-stick removable bowl allows for effortless serving of rice and easy cleaning. When purchasing the machine, you will get a measuring cup as well which makes it simpler to gauge the amount of rice needed as the cooker can make 1 to 3 cups of cooked rice. The upside to this amazing cooker is that it also has a steaming basket allowing one to steam foods such as fish and vegetables besides making rice. That is not all; you can also make stews, soups, and oatmeal with the small electric rice cooker.

Price: Click there to find the latest price on the Black and Decker RC503

 

 

Oster CKSTRCMS65

This is one of the best rice cookers from Oster. It makes 3 cups of uncooked rice into the fluffiest, tastiest rice every single time. With indicator lights and an automatic keep-warm function, this small rice cooker will make your meal fast and keep it warm for you. The removable non-stick pot allows you to scoop out rice quickly once it is ready. Included in the set are a measuring cup, steaming basket, and ladle. You can use the steamer to cook other foods thus giving you versatility in your kitchen. The downside to the machine is that you have to use its measuring cup which is much smaller than the standard cup thus makes about 2 cups of uncooked rice rather than the three cups stated by the company.

Price: Click there to find the latest price on the Oster CKSTRCMS65

 

 

Livart Rice Cooker

Our top pick for best rice cooker for one person!

If you are searching for a tiny rice maker, think Livart. This very small rice cooker 1 cup is perfect for making rice for one or two people. This 110-volt cooker is just as efficient as other bigger cookers and with an automatic switch, it will stop itself.. The Livart rice cooker small is a great bargain as it is inexpensive, fast, and convenient. The downside to this rice maker is its design which uninventive. It, however, certainly compensates for its lack of design by making the fluffiest rice and keeping it warm for you.

Price: Click there to find the latest price on the Livart Rice Cooker

 

 

Panasonic SR-3NA

Need a small rice cooker 2 cup-size for your home? This Panasonic small rice cooker fits 1.5 cups of rice to make 3 cups of cooked rice. With the press of a button, you will have perfectly cooked rice using this automatic machine. It is ideal for varied meals but cautions against making brown rice with it. The 200-watt machine is made of non-stick aluminum coating which makes it easy for one to clean the small rice maker.

Price: Click there to find the latest price on the Panasonic SR-3NA

 

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA

Our top pick for best small rice cooker with the most features!

Zojirushi prides itself as the king of the rice cookers’ industry. It makes it to this list with Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA. This rice maker will make you the fluffiest rice using the latest technology known as Fuzzy Logic. Fuzzy logic emulates the human mind to make smart decisions such as correcting temperatures and time. It has a superior cooking pan with lines to allow the precise measuring of ingredients. Zojirushi is your best bargain if you are searching for a rice cooker that does more than just cook rice. This small rice steamer has varied cooking functions which include sushi, brown, porridge, white/mixed and quick cooking. You can make every rice using this small Zojirushi rice cooker.

Price: Click there to find the latest price on the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA

 

 

Tiger JAY-A55U-CU

A small stainless steel rice cooker is a must-have in a modern kitchen. This electric rice cooker, small enough to make three cups of rice, has two preset cooking timers that allow you to adjust your cooking time. It uses the micom technology which is programmed with menu functions and setting to make you delicious and moist rice every single time. Once you have put in your rice and set the timer, the smart cooker activates the cooking process using a sensor in the inner pan. Just a press of a button and the cooker will do the rest. The electric cooker may be small, but it has superior finishes such as the far-infrared coating and scratch-resistant pan to ensure you get perfect rice every single time and durability.

Price: Click there to find the latest price on the Tiger JAY-A55U-CU

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