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How does a rice cooker work and why do I need one?

Author Damien Wilde
Posted On 20th April 2018

The rice cooker is an unknown entity for many caterers, they tend to overlook the convenience of perfect fluffy rice because ‘real’ pros cook rice ‘properly’ – and to perfection – every time.

But why go to all that effort, if you can make rice quickly, easily and without needing constant attention? It all seems baffling!

Now a rice cooker in the context that we are referring to means one that does all of the work.

Yes, there are traditional pans that are favoured for making rice in the Oriental or West Asian styles that we are accustomed to. But we’re not here to talk about those.

We specifically mean the electric rice cookers that, in some ways, resemble a bread maker.

What does a rice cooker look like?

A usually metal or plastic drum with a lid that seals the rice cooker whilst in operation, the machine regulates the internal temperature for rice that flawless every single time.

Some models allow for finer controls that simply an on or off switch, with a warming mode keeping rice safe for serving at all times.

This is a bit of a lifesaver in the commercial sector, as traditionally, cooking rice means you need to give the entire process plenty of attention.

Staff don’t need to keep an eagle-eyed watch on proceedings, meaning they are free to carry out other more important tasks.

All you need to do is measure out your water and then add your rice – with the various rice types needed varying amounts of water – turn on and leave it to it.

Often your rice cooker will beep or notify you when the cooking cycle is complete and will keep your rice ready for serving for several hours (model dependent).

Capacities vary and some models are even capable of making pasta – making these units a versatile piece of kit that can be used for a range of kit.

Ideal for a wealth of businesses that have a focus on cuisine that utilises rice, this piece of an equipment that could potentially play a prominent role in your professional kitchen.

The best part is that they are seriously affordable.