Electronic rice cookers are versatile, user friendly, economic and take up a very small area of your kitchen. These modestly priced appliances are also frequently ignored as being unnecessary. Is this a fair appraisal? What are some of the virtues and benefits of owning a rice cooker?
The newer generation of rice cookers are now referred to as rice cookers-steamers. It is the rice cookers ability to work as a fully functional steamer that most often gets over looked. Does a steamer add much in the way of versatility to your kitchen? Well, consider having one appliance that cooks soups and stews, vegetables, boiled eggs, shrimp, chicken and much more. And, of course, it does cook rice perfectly every time.
These steamers most frequently come with digitally controlled timers that are extremely easy to use. With this feature it is absolutely possible to load up the meal before hand and have it ready when you are ready for it. When the food is cooked, the cooker-steamer will automatically go to the keep warm mode until you turn it off.
The method these cooker-steamers use to cook the food is, as the name implies, steam. Steam cooking has for a long time been the preferred way of preparing a wide variety of dishes. Cooking with these steamers is a gentle method of rapidly preparing healthy, fat free meals. How this works is that the food being cooked is suspended in a basket above and separate from the cooking water. This will help prevent many of the foods nutrients and flavors from being leached into the water during cooking process. The steam inside of the cooker will remain at a constant 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the steam will not vary unless it is put under pressure. That technique is pressure cooking and is entirely different from the steaming method that has been described.
Cooking with a electronic rice cooker steamer is a reliably fast way to prepare healthy, fat free meals. Most rice and vegetable dishes will be cooked in a short time: rice in about 20 minutes, vegetables about 10 minutes, fish and chicken pieces, depending on their size a little longer. Clean up with these appliances is a simple affair. There are not going to be any baked on or greasy crusted pans to soak and scrub.
Is a electronic rice cooker steamer a must have appliance for you? The answer to that will depend upon your cooking style and the type of meals that you choose to prepare. However you decide, the modest rice cooker does have more to offer then its ability to just cook rice.