Rice Cooker or Rice Steamer is a pot, or a kitchen vessel, for rice preparation. Mostly, rice cookers are electric and can easily cook rice evenly. Rice cooker automatically regulates the temperature and time to ensure even cooking every time.
History of Rice Cooker
The history of Rice Cooker dates back to the 20th century, where the Japanese Imperial Army approved a kitchen Van with an ancient rice cooker. The rice cooker was made of wood, shaped in a rectangular box having two electrodes stuck to the opposite sides. To cook rice, the water was poured into the box with rice and current was passed in it, which triggered the water to boil. When the rice cooked, the lessening of water increased the resistance and created a warm state. Due to high risk of electrocution, it was not suitable for home cooking.
Mitsubishi Electric, of Japan created first electric rice cooker in 1945, which was commercially available for home use. The cooker was made of aluminum with a heating coil inside. It did not have automatic monitoring facility and required continuous monitoring by the cook. Initially, rice cookers only had the functionality of heating the water to cook rice and turning off the heater, when temperature went up to the maximum point. This technology produced half cooked or uncooked rice most of the times.
Yoshitada Minami, however, invented first electronic rice cooker having triple chambers, where the rice is put into the rice pot and water in the adjacent vessel. The water in the adjacent pot heated up to increase the temperature of the rice pot, leading the rice to cook in a safer way.
In 1980s, Rice cookers with induction heating were introduced in the market to produce better tasting rice.
China, in 1990 produced cost effective electrical rice cookers with less functions and started exporting them to various countries.
In 2006, an expensive rice cooker was produced by Mitsubishi Electronic which had a inner cooking bowl made of carbon to produce more heat.
Rice Cooker Types and Uses
Cool-Touch Rice Cookers: The cool touch rice cookers have hinged lids that ensure to keep the steam and moisture in place. These cookers are easy to handle and carry to any place. Some of the cool touch rice cookers have digital controls having delay timers and special functions to cook sushi rice, brown rice or functions to cook rice slow.
Pot-Style Rice Cookers: These cookers are economical and provide easy cooking. They have an inner removable pot , made of non-stick, steel or aluminum. Most of these cookers also include steam trays to steam vegetables, beans, fish, or chicken at the same time. Their functions include keeping warm, and automatic switch off.
How to Buy a Rice Cooker
- A rice cooker should not be very expensive.
- It should have the features of automatic off and a function to keep warm.
- It should be easy to handle and carry
Popular Brands of Rice Cookers
- Morphie Richards