It’s the one kitchen gadget anyone should have space for: the rice cooker.
Versatile, convenient, but above all foolproof, the rice cooker is your ticket to fluffy, warm, perfectly-cooked rice – provided you know how to use it.
So let’s dig in and find out how it works and whether it offers the best rice cooking experience for your money.
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How To Cook Rice In The Aroma Rice Cooker
If you’re used to cooking rice on the stovetop, using a rice cooker takes a little getting used to. But once you have the routine down, you’ll wonder how you ever used to cook it the old-fashioned way.
The first step is to unbox the Aroma rice cooker. Once you’ve done that, give the inner cooking pot, the steam tray, the measuring cup, and the spatula a good wash in warm, soapy water. Put the inner cooking pot back in the rice cooker. Now you’re ready to start!
Let’s start by cooking – you guessed it – white rice. (You can use the cooker for a lot more than that, but let’s start with the basics.). Later you can try recipes like my classic turmeric rice or carrot rice.
- Measure out as many measuring cups of rice as you want. You can cook between 2 and 8 measuring cups of rice at a time. Just fill the measuring cup and dump it into the inner cooking pot. (It’s called a measuring cup for a reason. Get into the habit of using it – it’s not the same size as a regular US cup. In fact, it’s a three-quarter cup.)
- Fill water to the appropriate fill line. Let’s say you want four measuring cups of rice – that’ll make around eight measuring cups full once it’s cooked to fluffy perfection. Once your uncooked rice is in the inner pot, just fill up to – you guessed it again! – line 4.
- Turn on and configure the rice cooker. Is your rice cooker plugged into an electrical outlet? If not, do that. Tap the Power button. Then tap the MENU button until White Rice is selected. (Note: you’ll see a Quick Rice option as well. As the name suggests, this can half the cooking time, but the rice won’t come out quite as fluffy and perfect. If you have an Aroma rice cooker, and want to know how to cook rice, stick with the tried and true longer cooking time unless you’re super in a hurry.)
- Make sure the lid is on tight, and start cooking! Yes, it really is that simple. In fact, there’s no other step except making sure the lid is placed on top of the rice. It’s a flip lid – just press it down until it clicks closed. The cooking starts automatically once you’ve selected your preferred mode – Quick Rice, White Rice, or Brown Rice. For our four measuring cups’ worth, this should take around forty minutes. When the sensor detects there’s 12 minutes of cooking left, the display will change to a handy countdown function – ideal if you’re putting other dishes on the table.
- When the rice is ready, just serve! When the timer runs out, a beep will sound and your rice is ready. (Don’t worry if you’re not ready for your rice: the Keep Warm function kicks in automatically and keeps the rice at a perfect serving temperature.) Take off the lid, being careful to avoid steam. Give the rice a good stir with the spatula provided, in order to distribute any remaining moisture. Then, plate it up and dig in!
It couldn’t be easier, and there’s no need to top up with extra water. No need to carefully check it every few minutes. No wonder the rice cooker is so popular. (Just remember: there’s a different setting for brown rice, which takes longer.) And with the steaming basket and saute functions, there’s a lot more you can do besides.
Aroma Rice Cooker Review
But does the Aroma stand up to the competition? How does it perform? How versatile is it really?
First of all, let’s start with the obvious: rice. The convenience can’t be beaten: although the regular White Rice and Brown Rice settings take longer than the stovetop, they are absolutely foolproof. As long as you measure carefully, the rice really does turn out perfectly each and every time. That frees you up to do other things without worrying about the water level.
For a busy mom running around after kids, or the kitchen perfectionist cooking five other things, this is a real lifesaver. The Quick Rice option is a great bonus, too: many manual rice cookers don’t have this, so if time is of the essence, the Aroma rice cooker offers what you need.
Don’t forget about the other functions. There’s a steam basket included in the box – if you want to steam some broccoli with your rice, just check the manual to see how much time you should allow.
Leafy green vegetables need just a few minutes at the end of rice cooking; if you want to steam meat or fish, you should budget a lot longer, and a food thermometer would be a great investment. Again, the Aroma rice cooker manual is full of great information to help you serve the healthiest of meals in a flash.
There’s also a trademarked Sauté-And-Simmer setting, for cooking more than just rice. You can use the cooker to make stew – brown some protein with the sauté setting, then add the gravy and other ingredients to simmer.
Coupled with the Delay function, and the automatic Keep Warm feature, it’s possible to prepare for dinner first thing in the morning. Most people don’t use this feature but if you don’t have a slow cooker – well, you do now! And with a very small footprint – it’s less than a foot long and a foot wide – you’ll be surprised at the capacity and how much it can cook with ease.
No Aroma rice cooker review would be complete without acknowledging some potential issues. Customer satisfaction with the cooker is generally very high – once you know how the Aroma rice cooker works and how to cook rice, few things can go wrong. But some users report steam leaking from the lid. Once it’s securely fastened, this shouldn’t happen, but the product comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, just in case.
Whether you use it for just rice, or try all of the advanced features, the Aroma rice cooker is user-friendly. After using it a couple of times, you won’t ever want to go back to the stovetop. Highly recommended!