It’s so easy to lean into the convenience of those little cups or packets of rice from Woolies and just microwave your way to a hearty, healthy meal. Whether it’s a delicious lentil curry or to pair with a grilled salmon for dinner, it’s done in 40 seconds, it’s the perfect serving size for someone who lives alone or in a couple, and it’s yummy. It feels almost too good to be true, and that’s because it is.
Aside from having major wastage issues thanks to all the plastic, it’s coated in, when I finally realised how much they go for in comparison to those big, bulk and astonishingly cheap bags of long grain or arborio, I shudder at how much money I was literally throwing away from buying those mini servings for a whole $3.50.
But does convenience trump the cost? In the past, I probably would have said yes, but that was before I learned the ease with which a rice cooker can change your life. For those of you who have been living in convenience land with me for too long — and haven’t had the awakening that a rice cooker gives you yet — all you have to do is measure up a few cups (depending on how many you’re cooking for), chuck some water in and let it cook until the timer goes off. Sounds like a dream, right?
Now, I anticipate that your next question is probably which one you should buy. That’s a tough one because each cooker offers very different things, including capacity, modes, timers, colours (for the kitchen aesthetic y’know), and so much more.
One of our top contenders right now, though, is Panasonic’s new SR-HL151KST 1.5L Induction Heat Rice Cooker. Labelled your new kitchen hero, this godsend will deliver perfectly cooked, fluffy rice every single time.
Whether you’re a newbie to the rice cooker game or a seasoned professional just looking to upgrade, this cooker offers 11 handy menu settings including Healthy Low Sugar Rice, Enhanced Taste, White rice, Quick/Quinoa, Long-grain Rice, Brown Rice, Multigrain, Congee/Soup, Cake, Reheat and Steam.
It’s also got a neat Binchotan Charcoal coated inner pot that’s known for its excellent thermal conductivity and heat retention. The non-stick inner coating makes daily cleaning easy, too. So, if you always end up being the designated dishwasher — thank us later.
For all my full-time workers, parents and anyone else who lives in a super busy household, there’s even a 24-hour preset timer function so that rice can begin cooking at a certain time (say 7.30am before you leave for work) and will then be ready by the time everyone arrives home. Don’t worry, the rice is also conveniently kept warm in the rice cooker for up to five hours after. Alternatively, if you’ll be any later, you can just pop on the reheat function and Bob’s your uncle.
Convinced? The Panasonic SR-HL151KST 1.5L Induction Heat Rice Cooker is available now at Bing Lee for $449 (which is worth every penny of the savings you’ll make from investing in bulk rice bags over your lifetime as opposed to those mini rice cups).
Want to see what other rice cookers are on offer to compare your options? Head here. Alternatively, we’ve also collated a bunch of recipes for some of the other more niche and surprising dishes you can cook in a rice cooker aside from, well, rice. You’re welcome!
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