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Which is the better choice, a rice cooker or a pressure cooker? To answer this question, you first need to know two things.
- The differences between the two cookers
- The type of food that each cooker is capable of cooking well
Differences in Rices Cooker and Pressure Cookers
A rice cooker has an inner pot, an outer pot, and a lid. Of course, there are other features, and some may and may not include things like temperature sensors and other fancy components.
A pressure cooker has similar features to those of a rice cooker. The only main difference is that a pressure cooker has safety features. These include an interlock lid and safety valves. The lid acts as a safety lock. It cannot open when the pressure inside the cooker is higher than the atmospheric pressure and thus preventing injury.
Type of food
When it comes to the type of food you can cook using a rice cooker or a pressure cooker, both cookers can cook rice well. Pressure cookers can cook rice faster and better than rice cookers.
There are some limitations with rice cookers when it comes to what you can cook with them compared to pressure cookers. Rice cookers are ideal for cooking foods such as hard-boiled eggs, steamed veggies, steamed fish, porridge and grains. But for foods like pot roast, stew, soup and stock, a pressure cooker would be the ideal choice if you want great results.
Types of rice of cookers
The standard types of rice cookers include:
- On/off rice cooker
The on/off rice cooker is simple, cheap, flexible and efficient. When you put it on, the rice cooker automatically switches off once the rice is cooked. This is the most basic rice cooker and it’s also the cheapest. You can get a good on/off rice cooker for a mere $20. But, these types of rice cookers are ideal for cooking rice, but not much of anything else.
This rice cooker has a keep-warm function. So once the rice is cooked, it lowers the heat and maintains a warm temperature. The only way to switch it off is to disconnect it.
Keep warm rice cookers are quite flexible and some of them come equipped with some good features, such as a steamer basket. They retail for about $70, but you can get a good one for less than that.
- Fuzzy logic rice cooker
Even the name can tell you that this is no ordinary rice cooker. The fuzzy logic rice cooker is quite sophisticated and it comes with some fantastic features, such as settings for porridge, soup, sushi rice, brown rice, and even rice texture.
This rice cooker is amazing, but it also quite costly. The cheapest model retails for about $170. So, if you have deep pockets, this is the rice cooker to buy.
- Induction heating rice cooker
The induction heating rice cooker is the king of all rice cookers. With induction heating, the temperature-sensors are more accurate; therefore, you can get evenly well-cooked rice. These rice cookers can cook any type of rice and deliver the exact type of rice texture you desire.
Nevertheless, they do not come cheap. The least you can pay for a brand new induction heating rice cooker is about $200.
In short, with a little bit of research, you can determine which rice cooker to buy. There are many options. Japanese rice cookers, for example, are very popular because they are high-quality. This does not come as a surprise because the Japanese love rice and often have it for breakfast. It is their love for rice that has inspired the creation of some of the best rice cookers in the world.
- Energy efficient
- Easy to use and clean
- Some have a keep-warm function
- Hard to clean
- Not a good option for cooking brown rice
- It can be hard to determine what size of cooker to buy
- Most rice cookers other than the multi-function ones are just good for cooking rice and nothing else
Types of Pressure cooker
There are three types of pressure cookers and they are categorized according to generations.
- First-generation pressure cookers
These are the oldest types of pressure cookers. They function with a weight-modified valve, which regulates the cooker’s pressure by releasing the pressure. They are not very popular because the valve makes a rattling sound whenever it releases steam to adjust the pressure levels. So some people consider them loud.
- Second generation pressure cookers
These types of pressure cookers function with a spring-loaded valve, which is not in view but is instead integrated within the cooker’s proprietary mechanism. They also have more than two pressure settings.
Some second-generation pressure cookers do not release steam during the cooking process. Instead, they use an indicator to show where the pressure has reached. Pressure is released once the lid has been removed. Others operate with a dial, which is used to regulate the pressure. These types of release stream during the cooking process.
- Third generation/electric pressure cookers
Electric pressure cookers are equipped with an electric heat source that regulates the pressure inside the cooker. Some electric pressure cookers also come with timing features. Some have mechanical timers, other digital controllers and others have smart programming.
Some are multi-functional. That is they can function as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, warmer and steamer.
- Fast and efficient
- Energy saving
- Equipped with settings to indicate when cooking is done
- Less chances of getting burned by steam
- It can cook more than one type of food
- You need to know how to operate it properly to avoid accidents or injury
- Food can become overcooked
As you can see, pressure cookers have more advantages than rice cookers. Although, pressure cookers are more expensive than rice cookers.
When you are deciding whether to buy a pressure cooker or a rice cooker, ask yourself these questions.
- What type of foods do I want to cook using the cooker?
- What is my budget?
- What features I am looking for?
- Do I have enough space to fit the size of the cooker I can afford?
These questions act as a guide to help you make an informed decision on whether to buy a pressure cooker or rice cooker. Remember, that if you decide to buy a pressure cooker, you have to determine the type of pressure cooker you want. Same with the rice cooker.
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