It's easy to make perfect rice every time when you use a rice cooker, which is a specially-made appliance solely created for cooking rice. A rice cooker ensures that you never overcook or undercook your rice, and these handy appliances can double as cookers and steamers for vegetables, beans and even meat, but choosing the right rice cooker depends on several factors.Cooker Brands
As with many kitchen appliances, there are multiple well-known brands that manufacture rice cookers. Some of these companies include Breville, Panasonic, Tefal, Tiger and Sunbeam. Choosing a brand may ultimately depend on your budget, as well as on the types of features each brand offers.Cooker Materials
Cookers are made from various materials, and choosing one comes down to personal preference. You may see ceramic cookers, stainless steel appliances and aluminium rice cookers. Ceramic cookers are typically non-stick, which makes serving rice as well as cleaning the cooker easy. Stainless steel options are durable and long-lasting, but they may not offer non-stick benefits unless they're treated with a specific coating.Cooker Features
The biggest difference between the various rice cookers comes down to features. There are simple cookers that offer a basic cooking experience, as well as cookers that offer multiple features. Some features that may be important to you include a cooker with a removable bowl, which makes cleanup a breeze; a cooker with a variety of options and settings, such as controls for white and brown rice and a steaming option for vegetables; and a feature that keeps rice warm until you're ready to serve it. There are also cookers that allow you to prepare more than one dish at once, such as vegetables and rice at the same time. These are even multi-functional cookers that make cooking even more convenient.Cooker Capacity and Power
Choose a rice cooker based on how much rice you need to cook. Cookers range in capacity from small, three-cup options to large 10-cup capacities and multiple sizes in between those. You'll see a wattage number on each cooker, such as 500W, 800W or 1000W, and this denotes the power of the cooker. Thus, a rice cooker with a higher wattage may be more powerful and cook faster, but it also uses more electricity and may cost more.