Whereas the UK consumption of rice is lower than a tenth of that in Asia, it’s undoubtedly rising on us. If latest surveys of our take-away habits are to be believed, it’s Chinese language and Indian meals we flip to extra usually than another. That is mirrored at house, too, with many people having no less than one rice-based dish in our household favourites.
In spite of everything, who doesn’t love a hen tikka masala, Thai pink curry or candy and bitter hen on occasion? However cooking rice is a little bit of an artwork – regardless of what some cooks say. Getting fluffy, completely cooked grains is hard when utilizing the standard pan technique. In consequence, many people are turning to rice cookers. However how do you select the one which’s best for you, and that are the very best?
Greatest rice cookers
1. Bambo rice cooker, Yum Asia – greatest for induction rice cooking
This rice cooker actually appears the half and cooks it too. That includes an induction heating factor and fuzzy logic it’s designed to supply good rice each time, whichever sort you want and no matter approach you need to prepare dinner it.
It options seven rice programmes, white lengthy and quick grain, brown rice, Yumami (to provide a sweeter style) GABA brown (which releases extra gamma-aminobutyric acid to make the rice more healthy) crust (for Persian Tahdig-style rice) and a quick-cook mode for white rice solely.
You can even use it to steam, prepare dinner porridge, bake truffles and sluggish prepare dinner, too. The very first thing we seen on getting it out of the field is how enticing it’s, with a rose-gold exterior, neat, curved form and white, easy-to-navigate, pressure-sensitive contact LED show.
The sturdy Joubu bowl is ceramic lined and has carry handles, permitting for simple transportation to the desk as soon as the cooking course of is finished. It’s greater than enticing sufficient to depart on the desk, too. Each the quick-cook and the conventional prepare dinner mode gave us scrumptious long-grain basmati rice and though brown rice takes simply over an hour, it produced among the finest outcomes we skilled.
As soon as the rice is finished, the machine beeps and robotically switches to the keep-warm mode, which is nice when you’ve been distracted by the youngsters. For a cooker of this high quality, it’s a very good value, with a particular supply operating after we examined to cut back the fee by an extra £20.
Splendid House’s ranking: 5 out of 5
Purchase now: Bambo rice cooker, £179.99, Yum Asia
2. Sage by Heston Blumenthal Risotto Plus Cooker – greatest for no-fuss rice and creamy risotto
Stir-free risotto? No matter subsequent? This machine guarantees to completely prepare dinner the Italian staple. And that’s with out standing over it pouring in ladle after ladle of scorching inventory. It no one-trick pony. We used it to prepare dinner each basmati and American long-grain rice. Each had been fabulously fluffy with little sticking to the underside of the pan.
We ready simply two cups every time however it could accommodate as much as 10, producing round 20 parts. That is lots for a celebration or huge household gathering. There’s a ‘maintain heat’ operate, too, guaranteeing the final particular person to the pot has rice as heat as the primary. It additionally cooks grains and porridge, steams and sluggish cooks, too.
A searing operate signifies that there’s no want for an additional pan both, slicing down on washing up and making it an actual one-stop-pot. When you don’t precisely throw every thing within the pot and simply stroll away, we discovered making ready the risotto was fairly simple. Beginning with the searing operate to melt the onions and garlic, you add the rice and prepare dinner for a couple of minutes. Then the wine went in and was stirred till it evaporated. As soon as that was achieved, we added the inventory, stirred and hit the ‘risotto’ and ‘begin’ buttons.
Then we walked away. There’s a helpful 30-minute ‘maintain heat’ operate, which was helpful as we obtained distracted and virtually forgot we had been cooking. It’s pretty expensive. Nonetheless, contemplate the addition of the sluggish cooker operate and one-pot searing and cooking. This all makes it a sensible choice if you would like greater than only a easy rice cooker.
Splendid House’s ranking: 4.5 out of 5
Purchase now: Sage by Heston Risotto Cooker, £77.99, Amazon
3. Argos Cookworks 1.5L rice cooker – greatest for white rice
For those who’re simply after a easy ‘does what it says on the packaging’ rice cooker then this nice worth mannequin is a stable selection. With only a prepare dinner and maintain heat swap to interrupt up the cool black exterior, it additionally has toes to lift it up from the worksurface plus helpful carrying handles.
Crucially, when you’re a fan of fancy rice then this one isn’t for you because it solely cooks white rice, however it does prepare dinner it very properly and was one of many simples to make use of with the very best outcomes.
The least quantity of dry weight rice you may prepare dinner on this machine is 2 cups, which is about 4-6 parts, making it an important selection for household dinners. If there are simply two of you, then you may freeze the remaining rice as soon as it’s cooled.
The ensuing rice is fluffy and pretty properly sepaprated. We used basmati and quick grain and each got here out properly, though each did type a really skinny crust – as do a number of the costlier heat-from-below rice cookers – however it was simple to interrupt up and stir in to the remainder of the rice.
Splendid House’s ranking: 3.5 out of 5
Purchase now:Cookworks 1.5L Rice Cooker, £22.99, Argos
4. Tefal CY505E40 All-in-one Strain Cooker/Multi Cooker – greatest for quick rice
For some time strain cookers had been out of favour, with their fixed risk of a steam explosion. As a substitute, we moved on, favouring the microwave for quick cooking. Nicely, now they’re again and way more user-friendly than earlier than.
Whereas this pressure-cum-rice cooker featured a lot of bells and whistles and regarded a little bit sophisticated at first, it really coped brilliantly with every thing we tried in it. You do have to do some necessary prep first, together with checking all security valves and seals. However the directions had been simple to comply with and as soon as it got here as much as temperature it cooked rice in double-quick time. Actually, it was one of many quickest on check, even for pretty huge quantities of rice – it could prepare dinner as much as 20 parts in a single go. White basmati rice was prepared in 9 minutes and brown in 15.
It has 25 programmes, together with baking, frying strain cooking and steaming plus a maintain heat button does precisely what it says. It additionally comes with a steaming basket, trivet and recipe e-book that includes dishes as different beef curry, apple and yoghurt cake and risotto.
Splendid House’s ranking: 4 out of 5
Purchase now:Tefal CY505E40 All-in-One Electrical Strain/Multi Cooker, £74.99, Amazon
5. Rice cooker, Clas Ohlson – greatest price range rice cooker
Whereas it’s not essentially the most enticing rice cooker we used, it definitely is a good all-rounder, producing each small (1 portion) and enormous (upwards of 8) with ease and never a lot variation in outcomes. It’s additionally a very good value, too, so nice for singles or giant households at a value that received’t break the price range.
After a fast wash and wipe down it was able to go and one of many easiest we examined with an on-off, plus prepare dinner and maintain heat button. It cooked a single portion of rice in simply 14 minutes and the keep-warm operate meant we may depart it till we had been prepared with out having to fret if it could overcook, though this works higher on larger quantities reasonably than small.
For those who’re cooking extra cups of rice, you then’ll want so as to add sufficient water to cowl, though the directions acknowledged to make use of the directions on the rice packet, we used our tried and trusted double the quantity of water to rice technique, which produced fluffy, properly cooked grains every time.
Brown rice will want extra water in fact, and we did need to experiment a little bit to get this one proper however obtained there after a few goes. There’s additionally a steamer basket for cooking greens.
Splendid House’s ranking: 3.5 out of 5
Purchase now: Rice cooker, £22.99, Clas Ohlson
6. Decide Household rice cooker – greatest worth for cooking for large numbers
Though it’s referred to as a rice cooker, this additionally has a facility for steaming, and it could prepare dinner a easy risotto, too. You may’t prepare dinner lower than three cups of rice so it’s most likely not a sensible choice for these on their very own. Except you’ve freezer area for Tupperware-filled cooked rice. It’s, nevertheless, good for households or dinner events. It would put together as much as 1200g of raw rice, which gives, on common 18-20 parts.
The directions are fairly fundamental it doesn’t, as an illustration, say what number of parts the minimal quantity of three cups equals. We discovered going by 60-90g of raw rice per person who three cups (450g) was greater than sufficient for 4 to 5. It cooks all types of rice, together with wild rice. Though that ought to be cooked as a combination with basmati, as by itself it requires an excessive amount of water.
Lengthy grain rice did get a little bit little bit of a crusty backside however we didn’t thoughts that. The risotto was a contact on the dry facet at first however we added a little bit extra liquid the second time round and that helped. The ‘maintain heat’ operate switches on robotically when the machine senses the rice has completed cooking. Aside from if you’re cooking risotto, which ought to be eaten immediately. This operates for as much as 6 hours.
Some machines give off a little bit water when opened (that’s simply the condensed steam from the lid). Subsequently we discovered the condensation collector on this cooker was a helpful addition. You simply want to recollect to empty it if you’ve completed cooking. As with lots of the others, it’s not dishwasher secure. Nonetheless, its unfussy design and non-stick inside means it’s a breeze to maintain clear.
Splendid House’s ranking: 4 out of 5
Purchase now: Decide Household rice cooker, £34.95, Amazon
7. Lakeland Mini multicooker – greatest for area saving
This neat little machine is nice for individuals who need the operate of a multi-cooker however simply in a smaller bundle. After all, its measurement means it’s not nice for cooking party-size quantities of rice or sluggish cooking for bigger households. However it’s an important kitchen addition for and small households. The directions for rice cooking are a little bit complicated. They are saying it is best to prepare dinner rice within the quantity of water acknowledged on the packet. However most packets don’t advocate an precise quantity.
That mentioned, we used the standard one cup of rice to at least one cup of water technique and that produced good outcomes for each basmati and lengthy grain rice. Brown rice wants extra water – a couple of cup and a half to each cup of rice. We did need to attempt it a few occasions to get it proper. There’s a ‘maintain heat’ operate however the producers advocate not conserving that on for greater than 4 hours.
It additionally has a fast prepare dinner operate for rice, which produces the identical leads to rather less time. There’s a sluggish prepare dinner operate for casseroles and programmes for porridge, quinoa, cake (ready-made combine) and yoghurt. We reckon you can change a good few home equipment with simply this one compact machine.
Splendid House’s Score: 4 out of 5
Purchase now: Lakeland Mini Multicooker, £49.99, Amazon
8. Joseph Joseph M-Delicacies Microwave rice cooker – greatest microwave rice cooker
As you’d count on from Joseph Joseph merchandise, the M-Cusine microwave cooker is superbly designed with no extraneous elements. Even the rice paddle cleverly acts to lock the lid into place guaranteeing you’re not more likely to lose it. It’s additionally modern sufficient to go on the desk as a serving pot. This protects on the washing up which is at all times a deal with.
Cooking occasions are depending on how highly effective your microwave is. We used the rules based mostly on an 800w microwave and it produced each basmati and lengthy grain rice to a very good commonplace. It cooks porridge oats, too. We cherished the truth that you can prepare dinner portion sizes from one as much as six. Nonetheless, we felt they had been a little bit on the small facet for our huge appetites, so would advocate cooking an additional portion simply to be secure.
There’s no fanciness with this machine, it does what it says on the pot. However if you would like one thing that does the job and is sufficiently small to retailer in a cabinet if you’re not utilizing it, that is good. In contrast to the electrical machines, it’s all dishwasher secure, too.
Splendid House’s ranking: 3.5 out of 5.
Purchase now: Joseph Joseph M-Delicacies Microwave rice cooker, £20, John Lewis
9. Sakura Yum-EN15 by YumAsia rice cooker – greatest for skilled restaurant-style outcomes
There’s nothing we don’t like about this incredible rice cooker – other than, maybe, the value. That mentioned, it’s a hard-working, multi-functional machine. There are modes for steaming, sluggish cooking, cake baking, porridge and yoghurt making. We’d be keen to surrender our sluggish cooker and steamer to seek out room for it on the worktop.
Designed by specialists Yum Asia, it’s modelled on excessive finish Japanese designs, a few of which promote for as a lot as £350. However it sells at a way more accessible value level. Delightfully egg-shaped, the blue mild touch-button management panel is straightforward to learn and use and it has fuzzy logic. This robotically adjusts the seven-phase cooking course of relying on the contents and cooking circumstances.
Having to press the beginning button for 2 seconds is a pleasant contact, guaranteeing it’s by no means knocked on by mistake. We tried long-grain American, basmati and brown rice in each the common and quick prepare dinner settings. We discovered there was little distinction within the high quality of the rice. It produced fluffy separate grains, simply within the time it took to prepare dinner. This was round 30 minutes on common and 20 on quick.
We additionally experimented with the crust operate. The crusty bits on the backside of a rice pot are a lot prized in Asian cooking. Though at an hour and a half it took fairly some time, it was undoubtedly value ready for. There’s a sub-menu for cooking particular sorts of rice for extra refined outcomes and even a preset operate. This lets you set a timer as much as 24 hours sooner or later, though if the pot accommodates perishable meals that lengthy isn’t really useful.
Splendid House’s ranking: 5 out of 5
Purchase now: Sakura Micom Fuzzy Logic Ceramic Yum-EN15 rice cooker by YumAsia, £119
10. Russell Hobbs rice cooker and steamer – greatest easy-to-use rice maker
By far the least sophisticated of the electrical fashions we examined, this rice cooker and steamer carried out properly. If all you need is a machine that cooks rice and steams then that is good worth for cash. We did have a couple of points with the American lengthy grain forming a reasonably thick crusty layer on the underside of the inside pan at first. As soon as we adjusted the quantity of water although, this improved.
We additionally seen that the standard was higher after we cooked larger parts. Subsequently we wouldn’t essentially advocate this one for producing smaller quantities. A horny metal outer casing signifies that it appears good on the worktop. The glass lid is a pleasant contact so you may see at a look what’s happening inside.
Watch out, although, because the vent releases numerous steam throughout cooking so by no means take the lid off with out assistance from an oven glove or tea towel. With mainly two settings – cooking and ‘maintain heat’ – it’s definitely not fancy however it does the job. It means that you can prepare dinner rice or steam veg with out having to observe over it to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
For steaming, we added extra water than essential to the bowl beneath the steamer then manually turned it off as soon as the meals was cooked. Nonetheless, over time we may simply have labored out the correct quantity of water wanted to get good consequence. That might imply that after the water had boiled away the cooker would swap to the maintain heat operate as for rice.
Splendid House’s ranking: 3.5 out of 5
Purchase now: Russell Hobbs Stainless Metal 1.8l rice cooker, £45.99, Amazon
11. Tefal MultiCook Superior 45 in 1 RK812142 5 Litre Multi Cooker – greatest for further features
It’s not referred to as the 45 in 1 for nothing. There are such a lot of cooking features on this machine, it could appear pointless to have another small home equipment in any respect! Tefal do have a wonderfully acceptable easy rice cooker of their repertoire. So when you simply need to prepare dinner rice then that’s a very good various and it’s a 3rd of the value.
Nonetheless, the 45 in 1 may also prepare dinner, in no explicit order, child meals, porridge, yoghurt, pasta, stews, cream cheese and deserts. And it could show dough.
Sure, rice is simply one of many many cooking strategies the 45 in 1 performs. However don’t assume that it is a jack-of-all-trades and grasp of none. The LED management panel was simple to learn and the instruction booklet clear. Though, with so many features, there’s a lot to digest.
The fat-bottomed inside bowl was gently curved – which helped to forestall our rice sticking to the underside. It was additionally good for crusty rice, producing a lovely formed patty when it was turned out. We appreciated the ‘delay begin’ button and it additionally has a DIY operate. This lets you change automated cooking occasions. Outcomes had been as we’d count on from a machine of this calibre. Although, at over 45 minutes for 2 cups of long-grain rice, cooking time was longer than with the opposite machines.
Splendid House’s ranking: 4.5 out of 5
Purchase now: Tefal MultiCook Superior 45 in 1 RK812142 5 Litre Multi Cooker, £91.69, Grooves Land
What ought to I do know earlier than shopping for a rice cooker?
The most effective rice cookers will assist to take the guesswork out of cooking all types of rice, grains and a few even pasta, too. A lot less complicated than always watching a pan, a rice cooker will take the pressure. Typically talking, all it’s a must to do is add the really useful quantity of rice or grains and water to the pot and press the ‘begin’ button. And voila, good rice.Basically, you’re steaming the rice reasonably than boiling it on the hob, which regularly produces higher outcomes. Get to know your machine so you may put together rice to your style – be that smooth and sticky or mild, separate grains with a little bit of a chew.
How a lot ought to I spend on a rice cooker?
A easy microwave rice cooker with rice paddle can value as little as £8 however cheaper fashions are sometimes not that fairly. These received’t be capable of carry out the additional features included within the extra subtle electrical machines.
Electrical rice cookers will be purchased for upwards of £20. However when you’re after one thing thats provides rice and way more, costs can rise to an eye-watering £300.
For those who’re cooking for only one or two, then the previous may be extra helpful. Countertop machines are typically made to prepare dinner no less than two parts, with some larger fashions producing as much as 10 parts.
What options ought to I search for?
Fundamental microwave fashions and the much less fancy electrical cookers will put together rice and normally have a steamer operate. If that’s all you’re after, all properly and good. However if you would like your equipment to ‘earn its place on the worktop’ then we predict it must have a little bit extra about it. Electrical rice cookers encompass a detachable metallic or ceramic non-stick bowl that matches inside the primary machine. This pot sits on a heating factor that heats the water from beneath when the cooking course of begins.
Cheaper rice cookers flip off this factor as soon as it detects that boiling level has been maintained for a set interval. Dearer fashions may have a lot of ‘fuzzy-logic’ settings. These robotically alter the cooking time and temperature relying on the contents.
Common and quick prepare dinner programmes will permit you to prepare dinner rice at your tempo. Ones with count-down shows will let you understand how lengthy your rice has to prepare dinner. Maintain heat features are helpful if you wish to return for seconds otherwise you’re a household consuming at completely different occasions.
Can I prepare dinner the rest in a rice cooker?
Even the best of microwave rice cookers will prepare dinner grains comparable to quinoa and generally pasta in addition to rice. In electrical fashions, look out for further cooking settings. These could embrace ones for specialist rice, together with risotto, brown and wild, porridge, pasta, yoghurt and even cake! Rice cookers which might be basically multi-cookers may have all this. Plus ‘sluggish’ and ‘quick’ prepare dinner features.
Some fashions we tried produce rice that has a crunchy, crispy backside. No, we didn’t burn it, it’s a much-loved dish in lots of elements of the world. Referred to as Tahdig in Persain cooking, socarrat in Spain and nurungji in Korea. This was, for us, a brand new style and texture sensation, and one we’ll be making an attempt once more.
Will my rice cooker velocity up the cooking course of?
Probably not, no. Microwave cookers and a few much less feature-led fashions provides you with well-cooked rice in about the identical time as pan cooking. Some fancier fashions would possibly even take a little bit longer. It is because they’ve separate levels to ship the rice on the optimum texture. The fantastic thing about these machines is just not essentially the velocity of the cooking. It’s extra the truth that you may stroll away, secure within the data that the machine is doing the arduous be just right for you.
Can I put a rice cooker within the dishwasher?
All elements of microwave cookers are dishwasher secure. Nonetheless, as a result of nature of the non-stick on metallic or ceramic inners, most electrical variations are really useful to be washed by hand. Merely wipe over the outside with a moist material to eliminate residual steam and water. Wash detachable elements in heat soapy water. Some plastic steamer attachments and ladles will be popped into the dishwasher however test directions to make certain.