I love exploring foreign cuisines for the culture and mysticism associated with them. Besides, I get to enjoy new ways and the challenges of preparing such cuisines. One dish that has presented an enormous challenge to me – and I believe to fellow culinarians – is preparing rice. Preparing finely textured rice can be quite a challenge.
Since I discovered stainless steel rice cooker, my experience with this dish is nothing but amazing. If you are a culinarian looking for information on the best stainless steel cookers, this resource is meant for you. I wish to educate you on these wonderful kitchen appliances and later introduce you to top 5 of the best models currently on the market.
What Is Stainless Steel Rice Cooker?
It isn’t healthy assume that everyone knows what this kitchen appliance is. As the name suggests, a stainless steel rice cooker is simply an electric pan in which you can boil rice. But, this device is not specific for rice. You can cook meat, other grains, vegetables and even eggs in a stainless steel rice cooker.
The cooker prepares rice automatically. It switches from cooking to warming when the rice reaches the ideal temperature. All you need to do is add rice plus the necessary ingredients, shut the cooker and plug it into the power source. The rice cooker is so versatile. Besides cooking rice, you can use it to keep rice warm and reheat rice when necessary.
Some people will refer to this device as rice cooker with stainless steel inner pot. It differs from the usual aluminum pot with a nonstick coating in several aspects. The nonstick coating usually uses Teflon and Silverstone. Such nonstick finishes may scratch readily and may release tiny bits of inert plastic into the food when cooked and produce noxious fumes at high temperatures.
Stainless steel doesn’t react with heat or chemicals in food that contacts it. This property means this device cooks dishes that are 100 percent safe and clean with no harmful effects whatsoever. It’s the reason many cooks now prefer stainless steel rice cookers over the conventional aluminum pots with nonstick coatings.
What Defines The Best Stainless Steel Cooker?
As you ponder over the best rice cooker with a stainless steel inner pot to purchase, it is vital that you pick a device that will meet most of your culinary and kitchen needs. Here are some important considerations you must keep in mind as you hunt for rice cookers.
While electric rice cookers use the same power source – electricity – they may cook rice in either one of two ways: Thermal convection or heat induction. In thermal convection cookers, the cooking pan itself doesn’t heat up. Instead, heated air passes through the pan by the process of thermal convection effectively causing the rice to cook. The device features a thermal sensitive gadget that auto switches the cooker to the warming mode when the rice is ready.
In heat induction cookers, the device generates an electromagnetic current that causes heat to build up when it goes through the metal cooking pan. Using this method produces more consistent cooking which also happens at high temperatures. This explains the price differences between heat induction cookers and thermal convection cookers.
Size And Capacity
The size of your family is the single most important determinant of the size and capacity of the stainless steel rice cooker you need to buy. In case your family consists of fewer people then a 3-cup rice cooker will suffice. For a larger family, a 6-cup or more model will do. Another less important determinant of the ideal size of the rice cooker for you is space in your kitchen countertop. An unnecessarily bulky cooker will simply clutter your countertop yet you will underuse it.
All stainless steel rice cookers are powered by electricity. So, each unit will come with a cord to help with connection to a power source. First, you need to consider the length of the cord. Unnecessarily long cords may tangle easily and lurk around on the floor thus presenting risks of inadvertent electrocution. The best stainless steel rice cookers feature retractable or detachable cords for easy storage and handling. Furthermore, such cookers will double as serving bowls.
The external design of a rice cooker is important not only aesthetically but also functionally. The exterior should have a variety of creative features such as stay-cool handles as well as see-through glass lids to make your cooking easy. Look for a rice cooker featuring an elegant and luxurious design to accentuate your modern kitchen décor.
Use and Maintenance
Even the most basic electric stainless steel rice cookers feature single-touch operations, which makes them easy to use. High-end models will feature digital control. No matter the case, a good rice cooker should be easy to operate once you master the operator manual. In terms of cleaning, most stainless steel rice cookers are effortless to clean.
Features of Convenience
Some functions are added simply for your convenience. It is good to look for such features when deciding the best stainless steel rice cooker to buy. You will need the features especially if you are the kind that works through tight and hectic kitchen environment. For instance, rice cooker with timers that can turn the cooker on/off and let you know the remaining time until the rice is ready. Other features of convenience include auto-keep warm setting and quick-cook setting. Also, look for a rice cooker that can prepare different kinds of rice to help you eliminate guesswork when presented with such an opportunity.
Top 5 Best Stainless Steel Rice Cookers Reviews
At last, we have arrived at the most exciting part – my descriptive list of the top 5 best stainless steel rice cookers currently in the market. In fact, these are in-depth reviews of the most valuable rice cookers to give you an idea of the how to proceed with your shopping.
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
The Duo 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker from Instant Pot is industry’s number 1 bestseller for a good reason: It combines the functions of 7 common kitchen appliances. It serves as rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté, steam maker, yogurt maker and warmer. Duo prepares premium cuisines up to 70 percent faster to ease your busy lifestyle.
Its inner stainless steel cooking pot is made from healthy, food-grade 304 stainless steel thus no dangerous chemical coating. The 3-ply bottom of the cooker ensures even uniform heat distribution and the tight-fitting lid creates a fully sealed environment that traps nutrients, flavors, and aromas within the food.
The Duo’s intuitive control panel consists of 14 different smart programs including soup, meat/stew, poultry, beans/chili, sauté/simmer, multigrain, rice, steam, porridge, slow cook, keep warm, manual, yogurt and pressure cook. You simply press the right button and you are good to go.
This unit is built with the latest third-generation technology – the microprocessor- that monitors temperature, pressure, keeps time as well as adjusts heating duration and intensity. You will achieve your preferred results each time.
To guarantee your convenience, the Duo 7-in-1 comes with a number of useful accessories including rice paddle, stainless steel rack with handles, measuring cup, soupspoon, collecting cup and an easy to understand recipe book. Using these accessories will maximize the performance of your rice cooker.
- A highly versatile kitchen appliance with 7 functions in 1
- Inner stainless steel pot is made of healthy, food-grade material
- Highly automated thanks to 3rd-generation microprocessor technology
- Up to 14 different smart programs
- Package includes numerous useful accessories that boost performance
- Carefully designed to eliminate common errors that could cause harm
- The gasket tends to retain the odor of whatever has been cooked
- Needs thorough cleaning after use to get rid of the flavor of previously prepared dish
Aroma Simply Stainless 3-Cup (Uncooked) 6-Cup (Cooked) Rice Cooker
The Aroma Simply Stainless steel rice cooker features a cooker pot made of high-quality surgical-grade stainless steel. Choose this great kitchen appliance if you have a medium sized family. It can accommodate three cups of uncooked rice, which will yield up to 6 cups of cooked rice. For those who prefer brown rice, the unit can take up 2 cups and similarly yield 4 cups.
The “simply” in its name denotes the ease of operation of the rice cooker. It is fully automated meaning you will get the machine working with just a simple, one-touch press of a button. The cooker has automatic keep warm setting once the food is cooked. Unlike the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 reviewed earlier, the Aroma Simply is designed specifically for preparing all varieties of premium quality rice. However, it is also great for soups, chili, jambalaya and much more.
Although this unit is not dishwasher safe, its inner pot is easily removable for cleaning. To boost your cooking experience, the Aroma Simply comes with a measuring cup as well as a serving spatula. This unit is one of the simplest stainless steel rice cookers I have ever come across yet it delivers a performance unlike some of the more complicated brands. The white color is nice and it will match perfectly with your kitchen décor.
- Produces more than restaurant-quality cooked rice with ease
- A highly convenient appliance for cooking delicious meals
- Cooking pot is made from surgical grade 304 stainless steel
- Single touch operation and the cooking starts
- Automatically switches to keep warm mode, therefore, no monitoring
- Comes with a measuring cup and serving spatula
- Quite limited functionality
- At times, rice has the tendency to stick
- The durability of the cooker is questionable
Zojirushi NHS-10 6-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker/Steamer & Warmer
For over 90 years, Zojirushi has graced our kitchens with some of the best appliances. The NHS-10 6-Cup rice cooker testifies to the prowess of this corporation in the production of some of the best quality kitchen appliances. This capacious stainless steel cooker can accommodate 6 cups of uncooked rice, which will yield up to a dozen cups of cooked rice.
This rice cooker/steamer features an easy-to-use single switch control and see-through glass lid to allow you follow the progress of the cooking food without having to remove the lid. The lid has a stay cool knob for handling safety. Each unit comes with stainless steel tray and automatic keep warm function to ensure your rice cooks perfectly. You will also appreciate the ergonomic stay-cool handles on its outward design that allows for easy transport.
Every Zojirushi comes with its own plastic measuring cup, which has a capacity of 6 ounces. This is to provide you with a way to ensure accurate measurement of the uncooked rice for appropriate results. The stainless steel steaming tray, measuring cup, nonstick cooking pan and spatula are all removable making the rice cooker/steamer easy to clean. The removable cord means the unit is easy to stow away once you are through with cooking and cleaning the cooker. The NHS-10 is attractive and measures 9-1/4 by 9-1/4 by 9-1/4 inches, which is not too bulky to interfere with your kitchen décor.
- Easy to use single-touch control
- Automatic keep-warm maintains rice flavor fresh for hours
- Durable nonstick inner stainless steel cooking pan is safe
- Removable parts and detachable cord provides for easy cleaning and storage
- Stay cool handles and lid knob for easy and safe handling
- See-through glass is intuitive
- Rice tends to be a little brown at the bottom of the cooker
- An on/off switch could do to shorten the warming time
Hamilton Beach Rice & Hot Cereal Cooker
The Hamilton Beach is one kitchen appliance that will serve you with dedication from dawn to dusk. You can literally cook any food from breakfast to dinner with this versatile stainless steel rice cooker. You can cook hot cereals, grains, and even your preferred package rice mix without the need to set a timer or boil water. The unit features six different settings that allow you to choose from whole grain, whole rice, heat/simmer, hot cereals and steam cook.
Beach’s Delay Start feature allows you to program cooking up to eleven hours while the keep warm setting ensures your food stays warm and fresh until you are ready to serve it. The unit can hold up to 14 cups of cooked rice, which is enough for even the largest families. Even better is that you can make dinner in one cycle. For instance, you can steam poultry, seafood or vegetables in the steam bucket while the rice conveniently cooks.
You will also love the 2-in-1 rice rinser/steam basket. This allows you to rinse the rice before cooking in order to prevent clumping and therefore maintain the right flavor. Six versatile settings mean you can prepare all types of rice without having to spend any time monitoring your pot. Hamilton Beach rice/hot cereal cooker is packed with many more features responsible for the great performance.
- An extremely versatile device for various cooking applications
- Automatically shifts to keep-warm after cooking
- Great for not only rice but also oatmeal, cream of wheat cereal and grits
- Meal planning is easy with Delay Start feature
- Six-preprogrammed settings with single-touch controls
- One pot cooking is convenient and time-saving
- Some units do not come with instructional manual to help with the settings
- Can be quite hard to clean without experience
Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer
Featuring induction-heating system, the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH is truly one of the best rice cookers currently in the market. The rice cooker and warmer uses high-tech induction heating technology that heats the inner cooking pan evenly. Due to this unique heating system, the rice cooker has the ability to make accurate temperature adjustments to cook incredibly sweet rice. In fact, a triple heater (side, bottom, and lid) generates heat all around the pan for even heat distribution.
It features multi-menu cooking functions including white rice (harder, softer or regular), mixed rice, Jasmine white rice, porridge, sushi rice, porridge, brown rice, quick cooking, and GABA rice. The NP-HCC10XH has an automatic keep warm and extended keep warm helps to maintain the rice at the ideal serving temperature.
Another great feature is the removable/detachable stainless steel inner lid that is very easy to clean. Simple operation is guaranteed by the easy-to-read and uses orange LCD control panel with clock and timer. You will know that the rice is ready through an interchangeable melody and beep signal. The delay timer with two settings will allow you keep your food warm and fresh for meal planning. If you care about your kitchen décor then the clear-coated stainless steel exterior will serve your interest.
- Superior Induction Heating system guarantees even heating
- Multi-menu cooking functions provides for versatility
- Extended keep warm and automatic keep warm keeps your food ready until serving
- Detachable /removable stainless steel inner lid is easy to clean
- User-friendly orange LCD control panel with a timer and a clock
- Interchangeable beep signal and melody are great
- The Induction heating system is stellar but quite expensive for most people
- Quite bulky although the capacity is great for large families
Tips on How to Use Stainless Steel Rice Cooker
Stainless steel rice cooker eliminates most of the problems culinarians face when preparing rice. There is no need to watch rice while cooking since the appliance is usually fitted with an automatic timer that notifies you when the rice is ready. You need to know how to use stainless steel rice cooker to avoid damages to your device and minimize the chances of burnt rice. Here is how to go about it:
Step 1: Measure the Rice and Put It in the Pot
Most rice cookers are designed to cook all varieties of rice. The first step in cooking rice with a rice cooker is to measure the right amount of rice using a cup (in most cases the cup or scoop comes with the device). Use the provided manual to guide you.
Step 2: Rinse the Rice (If Necessary)
Rinsing rice will eliminate any traces of insecticides, pesticides, herbicides and other contaminants that may adduct to the rice grains. Traditional milling practices may break rice to expose starch. Such starch can cause clumping of rice. Rinsing will eliminate these problems.
To rinse, pour clean drinking water into the bowl or pot of rice or hold it under a faucet. Stir continuously as you add water until the water fully submerges the water. Rinse as long as the resultant water is cloudy or until the resultant water is clear. Enriched rice varieties should not be washed.
Step 3: Measure the Amount of Water
Use rice cooker instructions provided to know the water temperature to use. Most rice cookers use cold water. The amount of water you add depends on the variety of rice you wish to cook. Modern cookers feature calibrated marks or you will find the information on the rice packaging. After mastering the appliance, you can adjust the measurements to make the rice chewier or softer.
Step 4: Soak the Rice for 30 Minutes (Optional)
While this may not be a requirement, soaking rice for 30 minutes before will help shorten its cooking time. This is great especially if you have a busy schedule. Keep in mind that soaking will also make the rice stickier. If you must soak then use the amount of water you measured in step 3 to soak the rice at room temperature. Use the same water to cook.
Step 5: Add Flavoring (Optional)
If you have decided to use flavoring, ensure you add them to the water before you start the rice cooker to allow the rice to absorb them as it cooks. The common flavorings include salt, butter or oil, and a bay leaf/ Cardamom seeds (for Indian style rice). You can then push rice grains off the sides and under the water level using wooden or plastic utensils. If left, the rice will burn and ruin your cuisine.
Step 6: Look Out For Special Options
Modern stainless steel rice cookers feature a number of settings for white or brown rice or the ability to delay the cooking until a specified period has lapsed. It will be safe to go with basic settings to minimize any problems. The simplest cookers have on/off switches that you simply dial and the device begins to work.
Step 7: Cook the Rice
In case your rice cooker has a removable cooking pot, place the pot of water and rice into the cooker, close the lid, plug in the cooker and turn it on. The switch will produce some click or a beep to signal that the rice is ready. Most rice cookers feature keep-warm feature, which will ensure the rice remains warm until you unplug it. Do not lift the lid off because the cooking process depends on heat building within the sealed chamber of the cooker.
Step 8: Serve Your Rice
Once the rice is ready, leave it to reset for about 15 minutes before removing the lid. Some models will do it automatically. Unplug the rice cooker or remove the pot to minimize rice sticking to the pot. Once all water is gone, the rice will be ready to eat. You can use a fork or other appropriate utensil will help break up clumps and release steam and prevent the rise from overcooking.
I believe you are well informed to step out buy the best stainless steel rice cooker for your needs. As you have learned from this information-laden post, a rice cooker is an extremely important and versatile kitchen appliance. It will help eliminate all the problems associated with the cooking rice. Although we have only reviewed 5 of the best, there are hundreds of stainless steel rice cooker models that you can check out of you do not find any in our list suitable for you. By using the buying guide we provided you with, you can shortlist and make an informed choice.
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