Cooking With Cookers written by: minibhatia Cooking is an art of combining flavors and spices with a generous dose of love. It makes everyday life, delicious, in more ways than one. Nothing compares to a plate full of steaming, freshly cooked food. Food makes everything bearable. And, the right cooking equipment gives your art of cooking, the right boost of taste.
‘Kitchen’ happens to be the heart of every home. It is here that the family finds companionship, warmth and satiety value. Therefore, every kitchen deserves to be well equipped and cookers top the list of all equipments. They make cooking easier and quicker without compromising on the nutrient-content of the food being cooked. There are various types of cookers like Slow cookers, Rice cookers and Food Steamers available today. Your choice of cooker depends on the kind of food you cook more frequently. Lets explore the cookers in more detail below.
Choosing A Slow Cooker
Slow cookers can be understood as large electric counter top vessels or pots used to cook food at a very slow pace, retaining the moisture. Also referred to as ‘Crock pots’, such cookers are ideally suited to the preparation of food items like stews. Since stews require a lot of simmering, a slow cooker will come handy. Points to consider while choosing a slow cooker :
The number of family members you’re cooking for – A six quart cooker is generally good for a normal family ( 5 to 6 members). However, if you have a large family, you can opt for a bigger sized ( 8 Quart ) cooker.
The shape – Cookers come in round and oval shapes, what you like is totally up to you. Round ones cost less than the oval ones in general.
Programmable (Digital) ones or manual – Again, the choice depends on the use. Manual cookers are cheaper. Slow cookers can range from as less as $ 10 to as much as $ 300. As the cost increases, so do the features. Just a slow cooker or a multi-purpose one : A multi-functional cooker is versatile and has changeable steel inserts.
If you want to pick a slow cooker check out the reviews of the top 8 cookers.
Choosing A Rice Cooker
Rice can either be sticky and tasteless or flavorful and appealing. A good rice cooker can make all the difference. It is an investment-worthy cooking equipment in more ways than one. What’s more, rice cooker is versatile, apart from cooking rice, you can use it to steam vegetables or cook a bowl full of hot cereal. Here’s your guide to picking the best rice cooker :
Capacity – A rice cooker mostly functions on cup measures. You get cookers from a 3 cup to a 10 cup rice cooking capacity. The cookers are specially designed to work with fixed amounts of rice and water. Only pick the one that matches your need. Be careful about the brand/make of the cooker. A Japanese brand cooker will be based on the Japanese cup size of 200 ml as compared to the 240 ml of the American.
Type – There are various kinds, namely, ‘Cook and keep warm’, ‘Electronic’ and ‘Manual on/off’. Pick as per requirement.A good quality rice cooker has the potential to last you a lifetime. Choose well.
If you want to pick a rice cooker check out our 8 best rated rice cookers article.
Choosing A Food Steamer
Steam cookers or ‘Food steamers’ use the heat from steam to cook food. This is a no-oil, healthy way of cooking a number of food items like stuffed dumplings, sprouted lentils etc. The following tips may prove useful in picking a food steamer:
Type – There are many, from bamboo to silicone, stainless steel to plastic, you need to decide what material you want.
Collapsible vs Electric – A collapsible steam cooker costs much less than the electric one. Depending on your budget, you get a wide choice to pick from. An expensive steamer would be laden with extra features like ‘delayed-start’, digital time display, various compartments and the like. However, electric steamers take time to cook as the steam generation is less in comparison to pan-steaming.
Convenience – If a light-weight bamboo food steamer works for you, you need not invest in a heavy-duty steel one with inserts. Your convenience is critical to what you take.
For a detailed steamers list check out the top 5 food and vegetable steamers article.
To quote Wavy Gravy, ‘Laughter is the valve on the pressure cooker of life’. Cookers can make a world of difference to your kitchen. Besides saving time and energy, these appliances encourage you to cook like never before. Give your kitchen the benefit of cookers and make time to laugh with your family.