rice steamer is a self-contained electrical appliance, used primarily
for cooking rice. There are also microwave, gas, and open flame
The preparation of rice has traditionally been a tricky cooking
process that requires accurate timing, and errors can result in
inedible undercooked or burnt rice. Rice cookers aim to avoid these
problems by automatically controlling the heat and timing in the
preparation of the rice, while at the same time freeing up a heating
element on the range. Although the rice cooker does not necessarily
speed the cooking process, the cook's involvement in cooking rice
with a rice cooker is significantly reduced and simplified.
Typically, a rice cooker contains an insulated outer container containing
a heating element, into which is fitted a non-stick or teflon-coated
inner removable bowl, which often has graduations marked in cups
of rice (white). Whereas less expensive and older models use simple
electronics and mechanical and thermal sensors, high-end rice cookers
use microchips to control the cooking process and often incorporate
a timer which can be used to set the desired "ready time".
Many rice cookers can keep rice warm safely for up to 24 hours.
This helps to avoid the dangers of food poisoning due to Bacillus
cereus. Rice cookers, when purchased, normally include a small "cup"
measure and a plastic paddle for serving the cooked rice.
Restaurants that serve a lot of rice, particularly those specializing
in Asian cuisine, often use industrial size rice cookers that quickly
and cheaply produce large quantities of cooked rice. A rice cooker
is a standard appliance in kitchens around the world, especially
in Asian countries.
Small, basic rice cookers can be purchased in the US at discount
retailers often for as low as $10-$15, and units with large capacity
and different selectable electronically-controlled cooking cycles
can cost over $100..