Rice Cooker Vs. Stove Top: Is a Rice Cooker Worth It?
For Asian food lovers, rice is a must-have dish in every meal. This fluffy, tasty, and healthy food is a staple in most Asian diets. But cooking it to perfection is not as easy as it may seem.
Though it does not require much, those who are not well-versed in the art of cooking rice can often burn it or undercook it. For ages, there has been a debate on whether it is better to use a rice cooker to cook rice instead of cooking it on a stove top.
A rice cooker, after all, takes all the hassle out of cooking and automates the process so that you can enjoy your food without any fear of burning it. But Is it better to cook rice in a rice cooker or stove top?
Are you losing out on anything by going with a rice cooker instead of cooking it manually on a stove top? In Asian households, at least, most people tend to use a stovetop instead of using a rice cooker. So, what exactly is the secret to making the perfect rice?
These are the questions we aim to answer in this article. In this showdown of rice cooker vs stove top, we will try to compare these two means of cooking and help you figure out which method is the better one.
Cooking Rice On A Stove Top
Cooking rice on a stove top might take some knowledge and know-how, but it is easy enough to master after a couple of attempts. Here is a simple breakdown of the recipe and steps to preparing the perfect white rice on a stove top.
- Measure out the correct amount of rice using a measuring cup and take it in a bowl. You want to rinse the rice in the bowl thoroughly to wash off any excess starch or chemicals from the grains.
- Ideally, you want to keep rinsing until the water in the bowl turns completely clear.
- Take your clean rice on a large pot and add a sufficient amount of water. For white rice, you want to add two cups of water for each cup of rice.
- Place the pot on the stove and start heating. You want to heat the pot until the water inside starts boiling. At that stage, you can add a pinch of salt.
- Now you want to bring down the heat and let it simmer while covering the pot with a tight lid.
- At this point, the water inside the pot starts to get absorbed and steam is produced inside. You do not need to do anything else for the time being. After about 15 to 20 minutes your rice should be done cooking.
- After enough time has passed, turn the heat off, and let the pot rest with the lid covered. Waiting for about 10 minutes before opening the lid will make the rice fluffier.
Voila, your rice should now be ready to serve.
Advantages Of Cooking Rice On A Stove Top
- You do not need to buy a separate device to cook rice. If you have a kitchen, then it already has a stove in it.
- Even though it might seem hard at first, cooking rice on a stove top is really not that hard to master. After a couple of practices, you will get the hang of it.
- You do not need to waste any kitchen counter space if you only use your stovetop to cook rice
Disadvantages Of Cooking Rice On A Stove Top
- You need to monitor the pot as the water is boiling. Otherwise, your rice can get burnt quite easily.
- You also need to stir the rice a couple of times so that the bottom part does not get burned.
- Cooking brown rice or other types of rice can be a bit more difficult on a stove top.
Cooking Rice In A Rice Cooker
When you are using a rice cooker; a lot of the steps are automated. This can make the process a lot easier on your part, especially if you do not have time to check the pot. Here are the steps to cooking the perfect rice in a rice cooker.
- The first step is to clean the rice by rinsing in a large bowl. Follow the same steps that we mentioned above.
- Then transfer the clean rice to the inner pot of the cooker and add the right amounts of water. Typically, you need to add a little less water to the cooker. For each cup of white rice, one and a half cups of water should suffice.
- Then close the lid of the cooker, and turn it on after plugging it in. If yours is a simple on and off style cooker, you can just flip the switch and it will start cooking. For digital units, select the white rice preset option.
- Your job is pretty much done. All you have to do is wait until the cooker LED switches to warm. Then after a couple of minutes, you can serve the rice.
Advantages Of Cooking Rice In A Rice Cooker
- The rice comes out perfectly cooked anytime you use a rice cooker. You do not need to be afraid of burning the rice as long as your device does not malfunction.
- It is the most hassle-free method of cooking rice. Your only responsibility is adding the right amount of water. The device will take care of the rest.
- Since you do not need to constantly monitor the pot, you can work on other dishes while the cooker works on your rice. Once the cooker finishes cooking, it will switch to a keep warm mode to keep your rice ready to serve.
- With a programmable rice cooker, you will be able to cook almost any type of rice with it. Even a manual rice cooker sometimes comes with a steamer tray that lets you steam veggies or meat while your rice is cooking.
- Some models also come with a delay timer setting that lets you preplan and schedule your meal. So, you can put the right ratio of rice and water in the cooker and set up the timer. The cooker will automatically start cooking at that time.
Disadvantages Of Cooking Rice In A Rice Cooker
- Rice cookers can be quite bulky and take a bit of space from your kitchen counter. For a small kitchen, the extra space they take might be a problem
- Though there are many inexpensive options out there, typically, a rice cooker can cost you a lot of money.
- After cooking your rice in a rice cooker, you need to clean it up too. If the cooker is not dishwasher-friendly, this means more work on your hands.
Is It Better To Cook Rice In A Rice Cooker Or Stove Top?
Too much heat will cause rice to boil and spill over. If you’re cooking rice, you don’t want to make a mess every time. Rice cookers can be switched on and left to cook while you do other things, whereas stoves should never be left unattended.
In addition to cooking rice, the rice cooker can steam vegetables and cook lentils. Since we live in a fast-paced world, it is certainly better to cook rice in a rice cooker rather than using a stove top.
It is likely that you will receive good value for your money if you choose to purchase a rice cooker.
Both white and brown rice can be cooked efficiently using this device. Brown rice requires a longer cooking time than white rice, so the cooker acknowledges the temperature as well.
With some rice cooker models, you can steam fish and vegetables for a healthier meal. Soups and stews can also be made with rice cookers. Other grains besides rice can also be cooked, such as barley, oats, and pilaf.
Even though a rice cooker is an extra investment, we will recommend buying one if you want a truly hassle-free cooking experience. For those who regularly take rice in their diets, a rice cooker is a lifesaver without a doubt.
It also opens up a lot of possibilities to expand your culinary arts. A rice cooker is heaven-sent for those who eat rice three times a day, which is common in many cultures around the world.
We hope our article on rice cooker vs stove top could help you figure out whether getting this device is worth it for you.