For which reasons should I use a dedicated rice cooker, instead of cooking rice in a pot?
Yes there are benefits! This is one of my most used pieces of kitchen equipments. Here is a list of benefits for a quality rice cooker:
- Never burns rice
- No guess measurements for all kinds of rice
- Scheduled cooking
- Keep warm settings
- Uniform cooking
When I cook rice on my stove, even at the lowest of heats, I get a thin layer of rice that has overcooked stuck to the bottom of the pot.
For the record I have the Zojirushi 5-1/2 cup induction rice cooker. Best thing ever.
A dedicated rice cooker works by measuring the internal temperature as the rice steams and water boils away.
In my mind the greatest benefit is that different types of rice that have different cooking times will be cooked correctly in a rice cooker. Another benefit is that you can start the rice early and the cooker will keep it warm after it's done cooking so it doesn't require babysitting.
The biggest down side is that it takes up a lot of space for one task. If you don't make rice all the time or if you are already good at making rice in a pot then you probably don't need to waste the space.
We make rice all the time but my wife is good at making it in a pot. When our rice cooker broke we didn't replace it.
It helps you cook large quantities of rice. Whenever I need to make four or more cups of rice I use the rice cooker. I find it difficult to get it right on the stovetop.
The one benefit that everyone has missed is that the rice cooker leaves a very thin layer of rice in the bottom which is coveted by every golden retriever in the country. Our dogs love our rice cooker!
Every important benefit has already been said.
I cannot live without it anymore. I find it perfect expecially for brown rices.
...and you can always use your rice cooker for a lot of different uses...
Check this article, it gave me a lot of inspiration: repurposing rice cooker.
(Rice cooker also saved my life when the gas cylinder one day magically became empty, leaving me without a stove for two days)
Maybe I cook my pot rice the wrong way because contrary to everyone else, I never have issues with burnt burnt rice or rice not fully cooked. Maybe I use more water than everyone else? Or maybe it's because I use organic brown rice (mostly sprouted). By the way sprouted rice only takes about 20 minutes to cook in a pot.
Rule #1 is to use bottled water because if you wouldn't drink it, then don't eat it.
Rule #2 is to use quality shiny metal pots and not the black lined ones, as the black stuff slowly wears off into your food.