By Elsie, Contributing Writer
This post is part of the Kitchen Tools of the Trade series.
I like to keep a simple, well-curated kitchen equipped only with champion tools that I will use frequently or will make a task more efficient. My husband and I live in an apartment, so often space is another consideration.
When we received a large rice cooker as a wedding present, I wasn’t sure if we would get enough use out of it to make it practical. However, I have several rice-loving friends who rave about their rice cookers, so I gave the appliance a chance.
Thank goodness! We use that thing almost more than our crockpot! We like it so much, in fact, that rice has gone from an occasional side dish in our menus to a staple! A generous helping of hot-cooked rice is a delicious way to stretch a cut of expensive grass-fed beef.
Our taste for rice has also broadened as we’ve tried Arborio for risottos, “sticky” rice for homemade sushi, and aromatic Jasmine and Basmati for stir-fries and meat accompaniments.
What I love about my rice cooker:
- It produces perfect rice, every time
- It doesn’t make a mess and cleans up easily
- There’s plenty of room to make a large batch
- You can cook a lot more than just rice in it!
Cooks who could benefit from owning a rice cooker would be:
- Those who eat a lot of rice!
- Those who have large families or like to entertain
- Those who love the ease of microwave rice but want a cheaper option
- Those who don’t enjoy cleaning rice-encrusted saucepans
If you decide to invest in a rice cooker, I recommend getting a larger size than you think you’ll need. An ample cooker will ensure your rice never overflows and you can make enough for a crowd.
As far as brands go, we love our Aroma and it’s a good price, plus it comes with a steamer basket for cooking veggies. My friend from Japan loves her Zojirushi. A Vitaclay (reviewed here at The Nourishing Gourmet) also looks like a good option.
Favorite Recipes with Rice
Crockpot Beef Curry over Rice @ Richly Rooted
Crockpot Chicken Adobo @ Stacy Makes Cents
Fried Rice @ Richly Rooted
Fried Rice @ Your Thriving Family
Gallo Pinto @ The Humbled Homemaker
Rice Pudding @ Jaimie Ramsey
Sausage and Veggie Stretch @ Your Thriving Family
Spanish Rice @ The Elliott Homestead
Stuffed Yellow Squash @ Richly Rooted
Do you think a rice cooker is an important appliance for a real food kitchen?
Images by Richly Rooted