You might think that rice cookers and slow cookers are the same, but they aren’t. While they do look similar, and have the same “switch on and leave” features, they’re quite a lot different. But which is right for you? Some kitchens have both, but you might not be able to afford to do this. Or you might not have the space. Either way, you probably want to know what one you should go for, so you’re in the right place if that’s the case. In this article, we’re going to look at the key differences between rice cookers and slow cookers, as well as drilling down on the answer to the question, ” What Should I Get – Rice Cooker or Slow Cooker?”. let’s get started…
What is a rice cooker?
A rice cooker does exactly what you might think. It cooks rice. Rice can be tricky to get right when you try and boil it yourself, especially when there are so many different types. How do you know how much water to use, how long to soak, how long to leave standing for, what temperature to go for? These are all things that take a lot of experience. But with a rice cooker, everything is taken care of for you.
You can simply add the desired amount of rice to the cooker, set the settings correctly and leave it to do the work for you. It’ll alert you when the rice is cooked perfectly so you can enjoy.
What are the benefits of a rice cooker?
The main benefit of a rice cooker is that it cooks rice easily without you needing to do much. That means you can prepare the rest of the meal without getting distracted trying to get cooked rice to arrive at the same time. Rice cookers will also keep cooked rice warm which makes things more convenient if you need a bit more time to prepare the rest of your meal or want to wait a bit before you eat it.
They’re also easy to clean and maintain, as well as store. Another benefit is that they’re much cheaper than you might think.
What are the drawbacks of a rice cooker?
While rice cookers can be a great addition to your kitchen, they do have a few drawbacks. Firstly, rice can stick to the bottom sometimes and this could burn if you’re not careful. Make sure you clean out your rice cooker regularly and don’t leave any stuck to the bottom. Also, because most rice cookers have nonstick bases, you have to be careful when scraping rice off the bottom. The wrong implements could damage the non-stick layer. Some cheaper rice cookers don’t turn off when plugged in, so you’ll have to remember to unplug it. This is important as well.
What is a slow cooker?
A slow cooker is a similar sized pot to a rice cooker, but it’s not the same. While you can cook rice in them sometimes, they aren’t built specifically for that and won’t give you the absolute best results like a rice cooker should. However, they’re great for a lot more than that. Slow cookers are good for long, slow-cooked meals featuring all sorts of ingredients. They’re good for stews and casseroles, as well as many other types of dishes.
What are the benefits of a slow cooker?
The main benefit of a slow cooker is that you can put a meal on and leave it to cook for hours. The cooker will regulate the temperature and take care of things so that you can cook tasty meals that need a long time for the flavors to come out. While you can do this with a regular saucepan, it isn’t as easy or effective.
These slow cookers are much more energy efficient than alternatives, saving you money on energy in the process. Leaving an oven or saucepan on for a while can be expensive. They’re also a bit safer than leaving something on the hob when you’re not around, you should never do that. But you should still be careful with a slow cooker and check back regularly.
Slow cookers will also prevent smells getting around your kitchen. It’s also impossible to burn something in a slow cooker. They can create tender food with relative ease.
What are the drawbacks of a slow cooker?
There are a couple of disadvantages associated with slow cookers. Firstly, you need to put a lot of preparation and planning into using one. That’s a lot of chopping and other food prep. They’re obviously called slow cookers for a reason, so if you’re looking for quick results, they might not be for you. Some nutrients in the food can also be lost during the cooking process, and bean toxins can be created. You may also notice uneven results as different vegetables cook for different durations and at different temperatures.
Which type of cooker is right for you?
Now you know the difference between rice cookers and slow cookers, as well as their benefits and drawbacks, you can make a slightly more informed decision on which one is right for you. If you like to cook rice more often and prefer quicker results, then a rice cooker is the right choice. For stews and casseroles, go for the slow cooker. If you can afford it and have the space, get both.
Slow cookers will generally have different heat settings and slightly more functionality. A rice cooker doesn’t need these settings and will just cook the rice til it is done. You can get different size slow cookers and rice cookers, depending on how much you want to spend and how much space you’ve got in your kitchen.
Hopefully, you now know a bit more about both types of cookers so you can decide which one you want. You can cook a bit more than just rice in rice cookers, but maybe not as much as you can in a slow cooker. But they are still much faster. If you want quick rice, go for the rice cooker.