Ask an Expert : Cooking

  • Rice Cooker?

  • I am thinking about purchasing a rice cooker, but not sure what to look for in purchasing one? Can I go the less expensive route, or should I spend a little extra for a higher quality cooker?

    Does anyone out there have one? Can it be used for more than rice such as quinoa or barley?

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  • Hi Julie,

    I asked around, and from what I understand, there are several things to consider when purchasing a rice cooker. They come in a variety of sizes, so choose one that works for your situation, whether you are cooking regularly for 1, 2 or 10 people. Many rice cookers also double as vegetable steamers and slow cookers. I’ve seen recipes for apple cake, paella and couscous cereal – all prepared in a rice cooker. Most models come with a recipe book, which will introduce you to the possibilities and the basics regarding proper settings. Look for models with a non-stick surface for easy cleaning and a clear glass lid for monitoring progress. Basic models simply have an on/off button while more expensive models have bells and whistles such as “keep-warm” feature for up to 12 hours and timers that allow you to program a start time. The safest models include fuse protectors and indicator lights alerting you to progress.

    Hope this helps!

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