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Rice cooker or steamer? 45 minutes to impulse buy my next kitchen gadget!

(11 Posts)
Quintanimo Mon 17-Aug-15 16:15:10

I am kitchen gadget queen - due to not wanting to handle boiling water/hot pans with baby-wearing and toddler snaking around my ankles.

I have two slowcookers and an actifry. Rice and veggies are generally cooked in freezer-to-microwave pouches - but I think maybe a gadget would be a more civilized solution.

DD1 sadly said 'we never ear broccoli any more'! I want my child to eat broccoli tomorrow! it is essential to my self-esteem as a parent!

Should I buy
A) a steamer (£20 ish) and use that to also cook rice (I'm dubious it'd work. I sometimes cook slowcooker rice - and its a bit hit& miss)
B) A rice cooker (£20 ish) - and occasionally experiment with cooking veg in it (is that possible?). I know Indian friends of mine wouldn't be without their rice cooker - so I guess a single-function gadget does that job really well..?
C) both of the above
D) Tefal Multicooker (£55) which claims to do both functions - but I distrust multifunction devices - and the bowl capacity looks a bit weedy for my hungry family.

Help please!

fuzzywuzzy Mon 17-Aug-15 16:17:10

I have a Tefal combination rice cooker/steamer/slow cooker

I luffs it.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 17-Aug-15 16:18:35

I've had mine for yeeeeeears I do mainly use it to cook rice, however also cook porridge in it (it has a porridge cook function). And have used the slow cooking function too.

I couldn't live without it.

SacredHeart Mon 17-Aug-15 16:18:37

I love my rice cooker - I got it from my local Chinese supermarket do it was very cheap and cooks loads of rice.

It is so much better for making fluffy rice and sticky or sushi rice and I've never had a single problem with it. I've never used an electric steamer (I have one for the microwave that I steam veg and used to cook rice in - that was good.

I guess it depends how much rice you have. I eat rice most work days.

PausingFlatly Mon 17-Aug-15 16:19:01

a) Buy the steamer, which is a good thing anyway
and
b) learn to cook rice by the absorption method. No hot water moved around: you start with cold and it all ends up in the rice.

Quintanimo Mon 17-Aug-15 16:28:44

Pausing - I do use the absorption method for rice.

Fry a cup of rice in a kob of butter. Add salt. Add 1.5 cups of boiling water. Cover with tight fitting lid and turn down heat to lowest setting. Don't touch for 15mins.

Is there a way to do this with cold water and without the frying?

It's also more than just the heat. DD is still feeding a lot (esp in the evenings) - plus the pressure of supervising DC - means that it's a great stress reducer to have a robo-chef in charge of making sure dinner is cooked correctly and house is not incinerated due to unattended pans.

I even put my oven on a self-switching off timer - so that I can safely ignore it until it is convenient to serve!

Quintanimo Mon 17-Aug-15 16:34:24

sacred I'm finding it hard to understand how idiot proof the rice cookers are, Do they have different settings for different rice types - or are you supposed to know the cooking times?

We eat rice about 2/3 times a week - so not masses - but I can see us subbing some pasta meals for rice.

I googled for tefal reviews, and one of the videos showed it cooking pasta. I'm dubious that that is possible - and the Spanish commentary by a chef wearing a tefal branded jacket didn't entirely convince me.

fuzzy is it a good rice cooker? The porridge function is tempting. however - the steamer capacity looks weeny.... And it costs more than a rice cooker and a steamer bought separately...

SacredHeart Mon 17-Aug-15 16:50:42

My Chinese cooker has a cup measure you add 1 part rice to 2 part cold water and switch it on.

It clicks from cook to warm (when it's ready - don't ask me) and you leave it for 5 minutes and serve.

Like I said I have no clue how it works, it just does! grin

fuzzywuzzy Mon 17-Aug-15 17:03:27

Quint the rice cooker function is excellent. Before I used to only be able to cook tilda basmati rice (cooking on hob the conventional way), any other rice id need to figure out just how starchy it was etc, and the first few batches would come out mushy till I got the hang of it.

The Tefal rice cooker function is always bang on.

If you get it but the new model it's bigger.

I also have the Jamie Oliver Tefal pressure cooker which I use for steaming veg.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 17-Aug-15 17:04:49

The Tefal rice cooker all in one thingy also goes from cooking mode to keep warm once cooking is done.

PausingFlatly Mon 17-Aug-15 17:13:48

Sorry, just realised my first post sounded a bit arsey. Didn't mean to.

This is a C&P from 'tinternet, so I can't vouch for quantities but you can tweak till it works for you. My solid plate cooker is really unresponsive, so I turn it off completely after about 7 mins - the residual heat does it from there.

Measure the dry rice in a jug.
Wash and rinse the rice really well, until the water is clear.
Drain.
Place in a saucepan with double the amount of water and a little salt and stir once. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat all the way down and cover the pan tightly with a lid.
Cook on the lowest heat possible for 10-15 mins without uncovering the pan.
Use a fork to fluff up the cooked rice.

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