You’ve probably heard the saying “you get what you pay for”. Sometimes this is true, such as when you’re buying a car, and sometimes you can get a really good deal without accepting low quality. How do cheap rice cookers fair, though? Are they worth your time? Will a cheap rice cooker short out after your first batch of rice? You might be surprised by the answer.
Why You Can Spend Less on Rice Cookers:
With electronics, you usually don’t want to spend the bare minimum, because they tend to fail quickly or perform poorly. However, the technology behind rice cookers is so commonplace and easy to manufacture that some of the top brands can release their products cheaply; without cutting corners on quality.
Instead of focusing on the price of the unit, it’s best to set a budget you can afford, and then look at the key features of all your options. That’s where you can tell what type of quality you’re getting at a low price.
What to Look for in a Cheap Rice Cooker:
In the sub-2000-Rupee range, you shouldn’t expect to find massive rice cookers with all the bells and whistles. If a particular model offers pressure cooking, tons of safety features, a lot of accessories, and other deals that seem to be too good to be true, it probably isn’t very high-quality.
Instead, look for the basics. By offering the core features, and not much more, manufacturers can lower their costs while pouring as much of the manufacturing cost as possible into ensuring those core features function properly.
These core features include:
Reasonable Rice Capacity:
You’re not getting a massive rice cooker for cheap unless something is wrong with it. Keep your expectations reasonable, and look for options that are within the 1 to 3-liter size range. This is enough for multiple servings, but not so large that the manufacturer has to cut corners to keep the price down.
Don’t try to buy options with multiple cooking capabilities such as pressure cooking or steaming. When you’re looking at cheap, but high-quality models, the unit should be focused on cooking rice.
A cooking mode is a must since it’s what makes the rice cooker work in the first place, but a warming mode is sometimes left out of cheaper models.
A warming mode is the one “non-essential” feature we absolutely recommend looking for.
Whenever you’re using electronics, a sudden fire is a very real concern. Because you’ll be moving your rice cooker around and using it near water sources such as the sink, we recommend buying a unit that has a couple of key safety features. They don’t increase manufacturing prices that much, and they’re necessary to prevent a simple dinner from turning into a house fire.
Waterproofing: Electricity and water don’t mix well. Make sure your rice cooker has built-in waterproofing such as rubber seals around the unit’s seams. This will prevent an accidental spill from turning into a house fire or electrical shock.
Automatic Shutoff: If you’re using your rice cooker to make rice for the entire day, accidentally leaving it on and overheating it is a real possibility. An automatic shutoff will turn the rice cooker off at the perfect time for the best rice, and if it has a warming mode, it’ll switch the unit to that to safely keep the unit cool but the rice warm enough to eat.
Detachable Cord: This is optional, but it is nice to have. You will likely want to move your rice cooker around to make eating easier, and the cord will get in the way if it’s not detachable. However, it’s also a slight safety risk. If you knock your rice cooker off the counter, it can dangle from the outlet and damage your electrical wiring. It’s a lot cheaper to replace a rice cooker that disconnects and possibly breaks.
To help you find an inexpensive model that you know you can rely on, we’ve included three options we personally recommend.
Prestige PRWO 1.0 Red Colour Rice Cooker
This is a small, 1500/- Rupee rice cooker that is more than enough for one or two people, and it has a few nice touches you usually don’t see in this price range.
For starters, while the capacity is only 1-liter, it has a warming function, automatic shutoff, detachable cord, and a pleasing aesthetic that will look good in any kitchen. However, it also has cool-touch handles that make moving it around a breeze.
Bajaj Majesty RCX 1 Mini 0.4-Litre Multifunction Rice Cooker (White)
The Bajaj Majesty RCX 1 is what we would consider the perfect entry-level rice cooker. It only has a 0.4-liter capacity, so it won’t be a great family option, but it’s perfect for solo users in dorm rooms or small apartments.
It has a transparent lid for easy viewing, an automatic shutoff, and even a little storage tray to hold your utensils. You don’t get much, but it only costs 1300 Rupees, and it will serve you reliably for quite some time.
Butterfly Wave Electric Rice Cooker (1.8 L) – Gold
At 1600 Rupees, the Butterfly Wave is the most “expensive” rice cooker on this list, and it has a lot to offer. With nearly 2 liters of basin capacity, an automatic shutoff, and sturdy anti-slip feet, it’s a safe, reasonably-sized rice cooker that can feed a family. It also has a warming feature if you want to cook rice for the entire day.
As you can see, getting a great rice cooker for cheap isn’t just possible; it’s easy. Pick one from our list for an option you can trust, or apply our guidelines while looking for your own. The choice is yours.
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