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Category: Rice Cooker Tips

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.

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!

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!

Common Mistakes When Cooking Rice

Rice could seem like one of the easiest foods in the world to cook, and it is if you’re eating minute rice. However, this rice is not nearly as good as the many other options that you have at your disposal. While others require a bit more effort, they are completely worth it. Below are some common mistakes people make when cooking rice. If you make sure to avoid these then you are guaranteed to have a great batch of delicious tasting rice every time.

  1. Following Directions – This may seem counterintuitive but it actually isn’t always a good idea to follow the directions on the packaging. For whatever reason, the instructions are usually wrong no matter how reputable the company is. A good general rule of thumb to follow is ½ cup of rice for every cup of water. It’s hard to strike the perfect balance and may take some practice. If you don’t add enough water then the rice won’t cook all the way and will probably be burn to the bottom. If you use too much water then you’re going to have some incredibly soggy rice on your hands.
  2. All Rice is Not the Same – The differences between brown and white in cooking properties is fairly significant. When cooking brown rice it’s important to use at least ¼ cup more of water per cup of rice if not a ½ cup.
  3. The More Steam the Better – Maybe you’re in a hurry to eat because the rest of the meal is cooked and ready to go or you’re simply just starving! However, it’s important to give the rice an additional 10 to 15 minutes to rest after it is done cooking. The steam will ensure it tastes extra perfect. Waiting those extra few minutes will make a big difference.
  4. Never Ever Stir – This is a huge rule to follow. Rice should always be fluffed but absolutely never stirred. The stirring action will activate the starch in rice and turn it very gloppy. The only time you should stir your rice is if you are making a risotto which is intended to be creamy.
  5. Salt All the Way – Rice is similar to pasta in this sense that it really needs some salt. It can be a fairly bland food and even just half of a teaspoon of salt will make a big difference. Be careful not to add too much though. You can always salt it to taste later on so just a little bit while cooking will do the trick.
  6. Nice and Low – The temperature should never be very high when cooking rice. Bring the water up to a boil to start but then once you are cooking the rice it should be over a low heat. If the rice is cooked to quickly then the water evaporates leaving the rice undercooked. Rice requires a bit of extra time and patience but is fully worth it.