A smart multifunction rice cooker is a type of appliance that automates the process of cooking rice and allows you to use it for a variety of other foods.
The machine can pressure cook, sear/saute, steam or slow cook different types of rice, vegetables and meat. It can also be used to make porridge, cakes and more.
Some models are more advanced than others, with features such as “fuzzy logic” that adjusts the amount of water for optimal cooking and customized settings for various types of rice. These can increase the price of a rice cooker, but they are a smart investment in your kitchen and a foolproof way to cook perfect rice every time.
The best rice cookers are microcomputerized and feature presets for different kinds of rice and cook times. They also have audible indicators that let you know when the rice is done.
Most of these machines also have a Keep Warm function to keep the cooked rice warm, but some, such as the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy and Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer, offer extra features like a delayed start or a pressure release mode. These can be handy if you’re trying to avoid food poisoning, or just want to enjoy leftover rice for another meal.
There are many different models on the market, and they can vary in price quite a bit. The more expensive ones, such as the Hamilton Beach, are usually made by companies with more experience in producing high-quality rice cookers.
These models have more functions, such as multiple programmable settings and automatic switches that activate when the pot is hot or cool enough to shut off. Some also have a touchscreen display that lets you change the cooking time or temperature by using your finger.
Some even include a keep-warm mode that automatically turns on and keeps the cooked rice at 140 degrees Fahrenheit to inhibit bacterial growth. This feature can be especially handy for people who like to keep a bowl of hot, ready-to-eat rice on their counter at all times, or for kids who love to grab a spoonful while watching TV in the evening.
If you’re looking for a basic rice cooker that does it all, the Cuisinart CR-0655F is an excellent choice. It earns an Excellent score in our testing and was the fastest of the models we tested, taking half the time to cook rice as other models.
It’s a good pick if you’re a beginner or just need a simple machine that will save you time and money. It’s not as sophisticated as some other models, but it makes a perfectly tender, chewy bowl of rice that is easy to eat right away.
A smart rice cooker is a must-have if you enjoy experimenting with cooking different kinds of rice or want a device that can help you prepare other foods. They can be a little more expensive than other rice cookers, but they’re worth the investment for a wide range of people.