Technology has had a huge impact on many areas of our modern lives. In fact one could argue that there is no part of modern man’s daily life that hasn’t been affected by technological advances. Unless you have chosen to live as a forest monk, or are in a pocket of “primitive” society in a South American jungle, your home has a kitchen stocked with strange and wondrous devices to help you make delicious and nutritious meals. One of the devices that has evolved greatly in the past decades is the rice cooker. The best rice cookers (reviews here) now have many functions that make them far more than just rice cookers now. The latest new function introduced recently by Aroma is “sauté then simmer”.
Rice cookers are super-easy to use. The basic rice-cooking function is to add water and rice, press the “on” button and wait for the cooker to do its thing. The cooker senses the change in moisture content and heat that indicates that the rice is cooked and automatically shuts off.
• Some cookers — in fact, most nowadays — have the option to switch to keeping the rice warm rather than completely shutting off.
• Another common feature is a brown rice setting that has just a slightly different temperature but is just as automatic a setting as the regular white rice setting.
• The porridge setting you find on many cookers is set to a slightly lower temperature as well and takes a little longer than it would if you did it the regular way on the stove top. The result? No crust of oatmeal on the bottom!
• Delay timers are another common feature of high-quality rice cookers. If you use a porridge setting with the delay timer setting you can have hot oatmeal or other porridge waiting for you at the appointed time in the morning.
• Common programs on many include settings for white rice – harder or softer, sushi rice, sweet rice, brown rice, and rinse-free rice.
Some cookers come with a cake setting. If you try banana bread in a rice cooker you won’t get a golden brown crust on top but you will on the bottom. It’s easy to bake brownies or pound cake and it takes much less energy than would be used in a conventional oven. Check out the following cake recipe:
2 C. flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C milk
1. Put flour, eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk while gradually adding the milk.
2. Pour the mixture into the rice cooker and turn the rice cooker on. Depending on the cooker you may need to turn it on two or three times to get the cake fully baked. You won’t need to turn it on again if you have a more advanced rice cooker with the “cake” function.
See? It’s incredibly easy. An added bonus of most rice cookers is that they have nonstick inner pans that make it unnecessary to grease your baking pan as well as a fairly low baking temperature to aid in keeping your kitchen cool.