What Are the Features to Look for in Buying a Rice Cooker?

When considering which rice cooker to buy, there are a few key features to look for.

  • Capacity is an important consideration – how much rice will you need to cook at once? Rice cookers can range in size from 3 to 10 ounces.
  • Many rice cookers come with an automatic shutoff feature – this is handy if you forget to turn the cooker off yourself.
  • Some rice cookers come with steaming trays – these can be used for cooking other food items alongside your rice.
  • Consider how easy the cooker is to clean – models with non-stick coatings and removable pots are usually easier to clean than those without.

Let’s get into the details.

What is the capacity of a typical rice cooker?

When choosing a rice cooker, one of the most important factors to consider is its capacity. Rice cookers come in a variety of sizes, from small 3-cup models to large 10-cup ones.

For a single person or a family of two, a 3-cup rice cooker should be sufficient. If you have a larger family or entertain often, you may want to opt for a 5-cup or even 10-cup model. Keep in mind, though, that getting a rice cooker that’s too big can be wasteful and even dangerous, as it uses more energy and can overheat.

How does an automatic shutoff feature work?

When you’re considering purchasing a rice cooker, one of the features you might want to look for is an automatic shutoff feature. This can be a really handy feature to have, especially if you’re someone who tends to forget about things that are cooking on the stovetop.

In a nutshell, an automatic shutoff means that the rice cooker automatically shuts off after the rice is fully cooked. Depending on your model and your settings, the rice cooker will keep your rice warm afterward.

We’ve written a quick rundown of how this type of feature works in this post.

What can you cook in a rice cooker with steaming trays?

A rice cooker is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used to cook a variety of dishes beyond just rice. With the right model and accessories, you can use your rice cooker to prepare soup, stew, pasta, cake, and even sushi.

Some models of rice cookers come with additional features that make them more versatile, such as a steamer basket or slow cooking function. If you’re looking for a more versatile rice cooker, look for one with these additional features. It essentially allows you to use your rice cooker as a steamer.

Here are some other dishes you can prepare in your rice cooker with such features:


A simple soup can be made by adding vegetables and broth to the pot along with the rice. Just set the timer and let the machine do its work.


This one-pot meal is perfect for a busy weeknight. Just add your favorite meat and vegetables to the pot along with some broth or water and let it all cook together until tender.


Believe it or not, you can cook pasta in a rice cooker! Just add the pasta and water to the pot according to the package directions. The machine will do all the work while you tend to other things.


A sponge cake can be easily prepared in a rice cooker. Just combine all of your ingredients in the pot and set it to bake. In no time at all, you’ll have a delicious cake that’s perfect for any occasion

The advantage of a rice cooker with a non-stick coating

When shopping for a rice cooker, one of the features to look for is a non-stick coating. It will definitely help you clean your rice cooker.

This coating prevents rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot, making it easier to clean. Nonstick Teflon can be scratched and release harmful chemicals, so it is important to choose a cooker with a durable non-stick coating that won’t scratch easily. E.g., ceramic is a great alternative.

Teflon can be used safely if it isn’t scratched or heated too much. However, it can still become a problem when it is exposed to temperatures above 500 degrees F.

Author: Scott Sanders


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