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[ Our #1 Choice ]
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|Russell Hobbs 19750||1.8 Litres|
|Hamilton Beach Digital Rice Cooker||4.75 Litres|
|Tefal Cooltouch Rice Cooker||1.8 Litres|
|0.8L Auto Rice Cooker||0.8 Litres|
|Elgento 500W Rice Cooker||1.5 Litres|
There are some foods that are so versatile they can be used in hundreds of different ways: rice is one, and you’ve probably cooked it for a variety of meals. But why rice, and who first thought of cooking it for food? To begin with, rice is a seed of a type of grass, so is easy to grow. It is in fact the most widely eaten foodstuff for a lot of people, especially those on the Asian continent where it is grown in vast quantities. Bar sugarcane and maize, rice is the most grown agricultural product in the world, so there you are!
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Another fact: rice is responsible for more than 20% of the calories we humans consume across the world. It’s a very versatile food, and there are various varieties. The thing about rice as a crop is that it can be grown anywhere there is high rainfall and suitable climate, and rice farming employs many thousands of people across the world. This is further reason why it is a welcome crop – and food – especially in poorer parts of the world. So, we love rice, but what are we talking about today? Rice cookers, which make life a lot easier than you might believe at first!
You might think a rice cooker is a needless expense; of course, you can cook rice in a pan, and some of it comes as boil in the bag! But these inexpensive devices are not just for rice, and can be used for many other foods, too. The one problem with rice is keeping it warm – perhaps for a family member who is late for dinner – and the rice cooker does away with that problem. Once cooker, your rice can be kept warm for as long as you want. So, let’s talk about how they work, and what they do, before we get on with our rice cooker reviews.
Table of Contents
- Best Rice Cookers UK
- How It Works
- Important Features to Consider
- Let’s Wrap It Up!
Best Rice Cookers UK
Our first choice is from one of the giants of the kitchen appliance world – Russell Hobbs. Did you know that this Manchester-based company has been in the business of producing kitchen and household implements for 60 years? You probably have something made by them in the home, so ubiquitous are their products. They are good quality, too, as evidenced by this excellent rice steamer. It’s finished in a nice stainless steel with a glass lid, and is designed for easy cleaning and ease of use.
This one provides a handy 700W of power, so is more than capable of doing its job, and has the handy keep warm feature. It’s a 1.5L capacity cooker so you can easily cook up to 10 cups of rice, and it comes with a spatula, a measuring cup and a tray for cooking other items such as fish or vegetables. All in all, it’s a very nice addition to the kitchen, and will come in handy on a regular basis. You can get one of these for under £20, so it’s also good value.
Rice is one of those foods that you might have to force the kids to eat, but you can find some great recipes online that might convince them! This rice cooker might also help; it’s a very clever device indeed, and does somewhat more than it says on the tin. For a start, it’s programmable: you can set it to begin cooking as much as 15hours in advance, so it’s perfect for if you are out at work, and want the rice ready for when you come in.
Furthermore, it will cook and then automatically switch to the keep-warm function, so you can serve instantly and keep serving for longer. You get a massive 4.75L capacity, and an extra tray for cooking veg and other items, plus it’s a stylish if somewhat functional design, and clearly of a high quality. We like it, but you really have to want one of these to pay almost £50 for it.
Another giant of the kitchen world, Tefal has been in the business of making quality products for many years, and this great rice cooker is no exception. It’s a typical design that comes with all the attributes of other models, and includes automatic cooking and auto keep-warm for added convenience. You get 1.8litres of capacity, for a claimed 20 cups of rice which is more than enough for a large family, and dishwasher-safe parts including the removable bowl.
The bowl is, like most of these, a non-stick design so you get that added convenience, and it has two functions that you can select so you can manually ask it to keep your rice warm. Finished in discreet black with a glass bowl, it will stand neatly in any kitchen and become a much-used item, and at less than £30 it is certainly decent value.
Now, we are usually wary of unbranded products, but the fact is they often turn out to be identical to a branded model. This one seems not to be, and while it is a decent enough rice cooker, to be on our list of best rice cookers it has its drawbacks. The good parts: it will cost you little more than a tenner; it has the required keep-warm function; it has indicators to tell you when it is cooking and when it has switched to warming, and it is compact.
The bad parts: it only features 0.8litres of capacity, so while handy for a small family or a couple, will struggle to cook for a bigger family; it looks – and feels cheap, but when it is priced so low, we can forgive that. You get the usual non-stick removable bowl, plus a spatula and measuring cup, and a toughened glass lid, so everything you need for cooking rice. Would we buy it? At the price, it has to be considered, but we get the feeling there are better options out there.
The main positives about rice cookers are the ability to keep the rice warm once cooked – this one, from Elgento, has that function – and that they do not require the use of a hob. They simply plug into the mains, and cook your rice using a heating element. This gives them added convenience, and also means you can cook a rice dish off the hob. This model comes with 1.5l capacity, which is sufficient for a family meal, and is finished in neat white with a glass lid.
The cool touch handles are a nice safety feature, and the inner pot is washable and non-stick for added usefulness, while the item comes with all the accessories, including a measuring cup, serving spoon and a two year warranty. Is there anything we don’t like? Well, to be fair, this one is perfectly good but we feel that some of the other on the list offer that extra something that it lacks, but at just £20 or thereabouts, it is certainly worth looking at.
It’s easy to be fooled by names sometimes: goods branded as ‘Professional’ often turn out not to be! In fact, SQ Professional is the brand name – not one we are familiar with – but it’s fair to warn you that this one is by no means a professional-standard steamer. It is, however, perfectly good for a small family or a couple, as it has only 0.8L of capacity, which is around half that of most of these. However, that does make it a compact item, so that could be a plus.
It only offers 350W of power, which is again on the low side, but promises to be energy efficient, and you get the usual safety handles and glass lid. It is very easy to use, has the automatic switch from cooking to keep-warm with LED indicator lights, and is nicely finished in stainless steel. You also get the measuring cup and serving scoop, so it’s a ready to use package. At £20 it is fair value, but there are 1.5L capacity models for the same price.
So far, all the models we have reviewed have looked very similar; this one is slightly different, in not being circular and having a solid locking lid rather than a glass one. It’s a modern-looking device, and would look good in any kitchen. You get 1.4l cooking capacity, so it’s perfect for the family meal, and a 540W heating elements that is perfectly capable, and it comes with all the usual functions including the handy auto keep-warm that is essential for one of these.
This is a very neat device that offers ease of use and convenience in one, and comes with the usual indicator lights so you know when your rice is ready to serve. The bowl is the usual non-stick and fully washable one, and you also get the requisite accessories including the measuring cup and spoon. All in all, it’s a nice device, and at plenty less than £20 is also good value, so have a closer look.
We’re cheating a little with this one as, strictly, it’s not a rice cooker: it does cook rice, but it’s a pressure cooker, albeit a clever one. Pressure cookers are handy to have around, but they can be problematic – not to mention annoying – but this one does everything for you, and is very effective at it. You can use it a rice cooker, a slow cooker, for browning or saute, as a steamer, or for many more functions. It is fully programmable with a range of different pre-set options, and is a high quality appliance in every way.
You get a choice of three pressures, it switches to automatic keep-warm mode when it has finished cooking, and it comes with the usual inner washable stainless-steel pot, a steaming rack, a recipe book and a set of times for cooking different food. The best thing is it is highly energy-efficient, and there is very little heat loss or steam emission, ad practically no noise. It is, then, a very clever and effective device, and would come in for plenty of use. The price? Well, you won’t get much change from £100 for one of these, but it could be a good investment if cook lots and often.
Guess what – this one is the same as number seven, but is black and white! It comes with a solid locking lid, and a handy push-button opening function. It’s a modern-looking device, and would look good in any kitchen. You get 1.8L cooking capacity, so it’s perfect for the family meal, and heating elements that is perfectly capable, and it comes with all the usual functions including the handy auto keep-warm that is essential for one of these.
This is a very neat device that offers ease of use and convenience in one, and comes with the usual indicator lights so you know when your rice is ready to serve. The bowl is the usual non-stick and fully washable one, and you also get the requisite accessories including the measuring cup and spoon. All in all, it’s a nice device, and at less than £27 is also good value, so have a closer look, especially if you want black and not white!
We close our list with another typical model, and a good quality one too. Weking has a range of kitchen and household goods and is a regarded brand, so you can’t go wrong there. This one has a clever lid system that prevents droplets of water, so cooks the rice better than some of the others – or so they claim. It is an easy to use device and comes with the usual LED lights, and also the auto cooking and keep-warm functions, so you get everything you need from this if the best rice cooker is what you need.
However, we have a couple of concerns: while this is a quality device, and one that offers all the required functions, it is only a 1-litre capacity model, so may struggle to cook enough for a family. You get a steaming rack, spoon and measuring cup in the package – as well as an instruction manual – so it is a ready to go package. The major problem, from our point of view, is the price: at just under £35 it is not particularly expensive, but there are others on the list with bigger capacity and similar features for notably less than that.
That’s the ten best rice cookers reviewed for you, and we hope we have helped give you an idea of why you want one of these. Before we go on to sum things up, let’s have a quick reminder of the important features to look for when choosing a rice cooker.
How It Works
How do you like your rice? I like mine with a Chinese dish or a curry, nice and fluffy and tasty. Indeed, you can get many different types of rice, each with its own flavour and texture, and whether you prefer It plain or otherwise is up to you. Whatever the choice, rice is bound to feature in your diet somewhere, as it does with most of the world’s population. It’s quick, cheap and versatile, and with a rice cooker you can produce it to perfection.
The rice cooker – why do you need one? Well, let’s have a look at what it is first. In fact, it’s a steamer, so you get to produce your rice – as well as other food such as vegetables and fish – in the healthiest fashion possible. It’s the best way to cook rice as it gets the rice cooked perfectly, and you then have the option of keeping it warm and ready to serve for as long as you want. Not convinced you need one yet?
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Consider this: they are cheap, easy to wash and energy-efficient, and will turn out rice that is absolutely perfect, fluffy and ready every time, plus they allow you to cook a good amount of rice so are great for dinner parties as well as the evening meal. If you’re still not sure you need one, then this review should convince you that a rice cooker is as essential as your pasta dish, so why not read on and learn about the top 10 rice cookers available now – here we go!
Important Features to Consider
If we have managed to convince you that you need a rice cooker, we’re happy! These really are very useful devices – remember, they don’t just cook rice but can also be used for steaming veg and fish – and they are not expensive. Before we sum up, here’s a quick look at the features to consider:
Size – you need a decent capacity if you are to get the best out of your rice cooker, and 1.5L seems to be the norm. Any less, and you may end up wishing you had bought a bigger one!
Features – you want one that offers the keep-warm function when it has finished cooking, preferably one that switches across automatically as most of these do.
Power – the higher the power, the quicker you will heat your rice cooker, but there is also energy-efficiency to take account of, so read carefully when checking the specifications of each of these.
Accessories – you want value for money, so make sure your choice comes with the full accessory pack including the serving spoon and measuring cup – or more if it’s there!
Price – we were surprised by the difference in price of comparable models, so make sure you have a budget set and you get the best and most capable model for the money.
That’s the most important features you need to consider when choosing one of these rice cookers, and we hope we have given you all the information you need, so all that remains is to wrap things up!
Let’s Wrap It Up!
So, we come to the end of another review, and it’s a difficult one to sum up because pretty much all of these do the same thing! We can dismiss number 8 unless you really need a silent pressure cooker for £100, and that leaves nine. Using our above recommendations as to what you need in a rice cooker, there are a few that fit the bill; for the record, we like number 1, the Russell Hobbs model, as it has a decent capacity, ample power, comes with all the features you need and is a great price, but the choice is yours, so have another read, and enjoy your rice to the full!