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Let’s be honest here; our kitchen counters would probably all be full if we were to lay out every appliance. While we love the smell of freshly-baked bread, that bread maker does take up a fair amount of space.
And then don’t we all have a few impulse purchases glaring reproachfully at us when we open the cupboard? Yes, cupcake maker, we’ve seen you watching us.
That’s why the idea of adding yet another appliance to a groaning countertop might not go down well with a lot of people. But give us a chance to explain – we’re not talking about a highly specialized item you will only use once in a blue moon.
A rice maker can cook your rice and oatmeal, lentils, quinoa and several other grains done to perfection. Some models allow you to steam food, so it is a lot more helpful than you might think at first. That means it could very well deserve a spot on your counter.
In this review, we are going to work things a little differently. We found that none of the other models we tried did quite as well as the Zojirushi when it came to cooking oatmeal. So, we’ve kept this review simple with just two models. You’ll quickly pick up where we are going here.
Our Best Pick
|1 year limited||Mid-high||3 cups uncooked rice||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|#2. Hamilton |
|1 year limited||Reasonable||7 cups uncooked rice||Yes||No||Yes|
Why Use a Rice Cooker for Oatmeal?
First of all, why use a rice cooker at all? Cooking rice is not easy for everyone. A rice cooker gets it done right every time, with minimal fuss and cleanup needed. No pots bubbling over, no running to check if the rice is cooked and no chance of singing the rice either.
Oatmeal requires a very similar cooking process to rice. The advantage of a good rice cooker is that it contains sensor technology that can tell if the milk has started to boil. It can then reduce the temperature to a simmer for the perfect results every time.
It’s just easier to get it right with a rice cooker and a lot harder to make mistakes.
Can’t I just use a slow cooker? Yes, you could. The advantage of rice cookers, though, is that they are normally as large and cumbersome. You might end up having to make huge quantities, and that’s not great when it comes to oatmeal.
The Best Rice Cookers For You!
#1. Zojirushi NL-BAC05SB
Now, it is important to check the dimensions of any rice cooker, but normally speaking, they are reasonably compact.
If you have a smaller kitchen, the Zojirushi is going to fit the bill perfectly. It is compact and has a maximum capacity of three cups of uncooked rice.
So, it isn’t the biggest model out there, but how many portions will you need in a single sitting? There should be enough to create a good-sized portion that will be enough for most average families or up to six people.
What makes this model even more attractive to us is that you can easily cook a smaller portion of food, without worrying about it burning. So whether it is a case of oatmeal for one or for four, this machine will work for you.
This model is user-friendly. The programing options and settings are quick to learn and useful. There aren’t a bunch of settings that no one would ever use.
What we like most about this model, though, is the built-in measurements. You can see exactly how much of any ingredient added without needing a measuring cup. This makes clean up even easier.
Another useful feature is that it has somewhere for you to store your spoon if you need one.
You aren’t going to have to do much guesswork here. There are seven different settings and a comprehensive owner manual to teach you how to use them. They also include a section on cooking oatmeal.
Check out how to cook a diverse range of grains – from your standard white rice to sprouted rice and a lot more besides.
#2. Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker
Cost-wise, the previous model is on the more expensive side. If you cannot swing that model on your budget, this is a good replacement option.
It comes in at a much lower price point but still has a range of features that make it worth getting.
This is also the better option if you need to cook larger amounts of food. The capacity of this model is more than double the previous one at seven cups of uncooked rice.
It does not offer as many of the features that the previous model does, but it does have simple, useful features. You can cook a range of different grains and also make use of the food warming setting. Unlike the previous model, it also has a simmer setting that might be useful .
From a purely aesthetic function, this is not bad-looking. It is finished in dull stainless steel, so it will go with many kinds of décor. This option does require more space on the counter, so do also keep that in mind.
When it comes to cooking oatmeal, there really is no reason to battle with making it on the stove. You can give your family and yourself the nutritious breakfast that you deserve without having to watch the pot all the time.
A rice cooker with time function, like the two above, can be put to work when you get up. You then get to go off and get ready, while breakfast bubbles away.