Modern technology has afforded us a somewhat endless range of items geared toward making out lives easier. Indeed, almost every variety of food now has a specially designed preparation tool in order to make the process as simple as possible. In this instance we are looking at rice cookers which are, as the name may well suggest, items of kitchen or catering hardware specifically developed for the cooking of rice.
While such an item may seem something of an unnecessary or rather extravagant alternative to conventional rice cooking methods, they have become an integral and standard feature of millions of homes and industry environments across the world where they are held with a rather high level of reverence.
Although the term seems to suggest just a single entity for the job of cooking rice, there are in fact a wide variety of implements available in the way of pots, pans, steamers, containers designed for microwave use and self-contained appliances powered by gas or electric. The vast majority of rice cookers found in homes for private use these days tend to be the electric rice cookers, which are both incredibly easy to use and very affordable.
Commercial and industrial kitchens on the other hand are much more likely to favor large electric or gas cookers in the form of huge scale “rice boilers” and also fully automated options which handle every stage of the cooking process from initially washing the rice to finalizing and completing the cooking and preparation process. Although these appliances in such large-scale and technologically advanced forms are a truly modern creation, the concept of dedicated “rc” dates as far back at 1250 BC in the form of basic, ceramic examples.
The process of cooking rice has long been a process which demands a certain level of care and attention in order to ensure rice is properly cooked without the resulting product being too hard or soft. Automatic rice cookers have afforded the chef and home-cook alike a whole new world of convenience by controlling both temperature and timing with little to no input from the person using the device. Furthermore, as the units are usually freestanding as self-contained, they do not utilise a stove burner, freeing up resources for other use.
Despite what many people may think, the use of a specially designated rice cooker does not necessarily speed up the cooking process, but rather provide an exceptional level of convenience requiring little more than the correct measurements of rice and water adding, followed by the press of a button. Subsequently, the machine takes over and requires no further attention whatsoever to produce perfect results.
Safety is an issue the modern rice cooker also covers reassuringly well, usually by featuring an insulated casing and external walls which remain cool to the touch regardless of the current stage of cooking. As such, the best rice cookers are able to maintain a temperature which can keep cooked rice warm for an extended period without emitting a great deal of heat or potentially posing a burn hazard.