Are you planning to purchase a cooker but cannot decide which one will be suitable enough?
Whether you enjoy it or not, cooking is an essential skill that everybody should know to sustain themselves. Depending on your house help or online food delivery services cannot always prove fruitful, and in such a scenario, your cooking skills come to your rescue.
A cooker is one of the most basic cooking appliances that people use to boil vegetables, rice, meat, and cereals. However, due to the gradual advancement in cooking techniques, the basic cooker has gone through several stages of development and emerged in different variations.
Various types of cookers are available in the market for fulfilling the demand for different cooking purposes. Rice cooker, pressure cooker, and slow cooker are some of the most common types of cookers used in daily cooking.
Though these three cookers may appear similar, they have subtle similarities in their applications, working principles, and other aspects of usage. So, while buying the right kind of cooker for your kitchen, you should know the use, cost, function, and working methods of every model to compare rice cooker vs pressure cooker vs slow cooker.
What does a Rice Cooker do?
Boiling water is the primary function that a rice cooker performs. The boiled water is then absorbed by the rice, which gradually becomes tender. Usually, rice cookers function automatically once you switch them on. Therefore, you can do your other kitchen or household tasks while keeping your rice cooker in the oven until the rice gets cooked properly.
When To Get A Rice Cooker?
If you want to cook rice or other types of grains more easily, then this automated rice cooker would be of your help. The best rice cookers in India are energy-efficient, user-friendly and designed to cook rice for regular needs.
What does a Pressure Cooker do?
A pressure cooker is a sealed container that can boil grains and other food items under high-pressure steam. When the cooking process is over, the pressure is reduced to the outside atmospheric pressure to open the vessel conveniently.
When To Get A Pressure Cooker?
In case you are in a hurry and want to cook your food items or grains within a brief time while maintaining their flavors, then a pressure cooker will be the most useful equipment you will need in your kitchen. The best pressure cookers in India are durable, easy to use, and efficient for cooking.
What does a Slow Cooker do?
The slow-cooker cooks food items at a lower temperature and takes more cooking time than usual. Slow cookers function completely in the opposite principle of pressure cookers.
When To Get A Slow Cooker?
Due to the cooking procedure at a low temperature, the slow cooker helps make the solid pieces of meat softer. Food items like stews, soups, casserole, and pot meals are rich in flavor, and they can be cooked appropriately with the help of slow cookers. In case you are busy with other household chores or office work, you can add all the ingredients together into the slow cooker and let your meal get cooked slowly.
Rice Cooker vs. Slow Cooker vs. Pressure Cooker
Due to their different functions, rice cooker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker have some integral differences based on their working methods, application, maintenance, price, convenience, safety, power requirement, etc., that you should be aware of before selecting the ideal cooker for your kitchen.
1. Operational Differences
Rice cookers use electrical energy as the internal energy of the cooking equipment so that the cooking time for rice can be reduced. A basic rice cooker structure includes a temperature limiter, thermal plate, current limiting resistor, socket, light, lever switch, and other important parts.
Different stages through which the rice gets cooked are – sitting in water, boiling, steaming, and resting. In simple rice cookers, the heating plate transfers the heat to the cooking pan for warming up the contents such as rice and water. Being made of highly conductive metals such as copper or aluminum, the cooking pan transfers the heat faster.
The next functional steps of a rice cook are easy enough to understand. 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit temperature is needed to boil water. Once the water starts boiling stably, its temperature does not increase. The temperature will remain the same until water exists in the cooker.
As soon as the water gets absorbed by the rice, you will observe the temperature rising. This change is perceived by the rice cooker and goes on a cycle of warming. It is the moment when the cooker will finish cooking the rice and then enter the resting phase.
The working method of a pressure cooker is no rocket science. The entire cooking process depends on steam pressure. A sealed container produces a lot of pressure due to the high amount of steam inside it which speeds up the cooking procedure.
The sealed container of the pressure cooker features a valve that keeps the internal pressure in check. As soon as the pot's temperature goes up, superheated steam is produced by the inside liquid, and it gradually increases the pot's pressure.
Due to the formed high pressure, there are two types of impact. In liquid-based food like soup, stew, or steamed vegetables, the cooking temperature is restricted to the boiling point of water (100 degrees Celsius or 212 F).
However, with the help of steam's pressure, the temperature can increase up to 250 F, which stimulates the fast cooking of the food. The liquid and moisture are also absorbed into the food quite rapidly because of the high pressure, which expedites the cooking process and makes solid food items like meat softer.
Slow cookers are a very convenient device for cooking meals in an automatically set timer, where the time required for cooking the meal ranges from 2 hours to 8 hours.
The mechanism on which these slow cookers work is similar to a stovetop pot, as the base of these slow cookers heat up and spreads the heat within the pots evenly to distribute the required amount of heat to the food being cooked.
These programmable slow cookers are such that you can set the temperature at high or low and then set a timer for cooking, after which the slow cooker begins its works and gets your meal ready accordingly. This is why slow cookers are best for making one-pot meals compared to pressure cookers or rice cookers.
The lid of the slow cookers is used to cover the pot and seal it, which promotes even distribution of heat and good cooking. A striking feature of this slow cooker is that once the meal is cooked, the warming mechanism springs into action, which consequently helps maintain the warmth within the cooker and keeps your food warm for longer periods.
2. Different Applications
Obviously, the best function of a rice cooker is for boiling rice, which turns out perfectly. Going beyond what the name suggests, rice cookers are not merely used for rice cooking; rather, rice cookers are used for multiple other purposes like preparing hot cereals quickly, cooking vegetables, tofu, chicken breast, fish fillets, and even shrimp.
However, rice cookers can also be used for steaming purposes. For certain vegetables, chicken, fish or even dumplings, rice cookers work wonderfully. An amazing feature of rice cookers is that they can easily prepare one-pot meals without requiring mixing or stirring the ingredients within.
You can also use a rice cooker efficiently for making stews, soups, or beans by adding a sufficient quantity of water and the required spices and herbs along with every other ingredient.
Pressure cookers work wonderfully for cooking several food items. The multiple purposes that a pressure cooker serves include boiling food, braising them, and even simmering the food. This covers a lot of food items which can be cooked very easily.
Some of the dishes which can be conveniently cooked by using pressure cookers include stews, stocks, and soups. You can also use a pressure cooker to cook many vegetables like carrots, beans, and beetroots. It can also be applied for the pressure cooking of whole grains, dried beans, polenta, risotto, and many more such items.
Furthermore, unlike rice cookers, braising of items such as meat, chicken, and so on can be carried out very conveniently with the help of pressure cookers. The best electric pressure cookers in India come with automated option for cooking various dishes. They are easy to use and maintain.
Slow cookers are amazing electrical devices that function wonderfully in cooking multiple dishes very easily. This is because the mechanism used by slow cookers is such that it distributes heat evenly to the food being cooked, and this gives slow and complete cooking.
Although we generally use slow cooker for cooking rice or one-pot meals, there are many other purposes that a slow cooker serves, which include boiling, baking, and even frying. Thus, slow cookers can also be used for making stews, stocks, soups, and casseroles too but their applications are limited when compared to a pressure cooker.
3. Health and Safety
Rice cookers are electronic types of equipment and thus need to be brought by a reputed dealer so that you do not have to face the consequences later on. To use the rice cookers safely, make sure to read the user manual and follow the instructions given.
It would be best to take some safety measures when using rice cookers: pour water into the rice cooker with utmost care. Do not spill the water as the power cord and socket needs to be dry. The area in which you are using the rice cooker must be away from any hindrance like curtains. The cooker's body will also be hot when in use, so make sure not to touch it with bare hands.
Pressure cookers are among the most convenient kitchen equipment but require the user to be extremely careful when using them. The foremost precaution that you must take when using a pressure cooker is to keep children away from them.
It is important to use the pressure cooker correctly and for the cooking purpose according to what is mentioned in the user manual. Activities like frying or steaming are not recommended in a pressure cooker. Moreover, ensuring that the pressure cooker's valve is functioning properly is extremely important to avoid any mishaps.
Slow cookers are electronic kitchen equipment that is safe to use and can be left unattended for a couple of hours. However, one must make sure that they have set the correct temperature and timer so that the food being cooked turns out properly.
The food cooked in a slow cooker is generally cooked for long hours, making the food extremely safe for being consumed and promoting good health. Slow cookers are safer than pressure cookers or rice cookers. However, when using a slow cooker, one must follow the instructions given in the manual so that one does not land in trouble later on.
4. Service and Maintenance
Firstly, following the instructions given in the user manual is essential for the maintenance of rice cookers. When cleaning the rice cooker, make sure first to unplug it and then use soap solution or detergent with warm water to clean the rice cooker. Clean the interiors after every use.
After washing the cooker, make sure to let it dry completely. It is recommended that it clean the rice cooker's exterior with a damp cloth to avoid any damage.
Pressure cookers must be cleaned after every use. For proper cleaning of the pressure cooker, detach all the parts of the pressure cooker: the lid, gasket, pot, and valve, and then wash them thoroughly with dishwasher detergent. Do not be harsh on the gasket.
In case the food is stuck on the base of the pressure cooker, you can soak it with warm water and then wash it with a dishwasher detergent. Finally, completely dry the different parts of the pressure cooker before reassembling it. Pressure cookers need more maintenance compared to rice cookers or slow cookers.
Following the instructions given in the user manual is important for maintaining a slow cooker. Before cleaning it, make sure to unplug the slow cooker and remove the interior bowl for cleaning. This interior owl can be washed with soap water or dishwasher detergent.
The exterior of the slow cooker must be cleaned with a damp cloth with the soap solution. Drying the interior bowl before attaching it to the body is recommended.
Rice Cooker: The cost of a rice cooker ranges from a minimum of ₹1000 to over ₹3000.
Pressure Cooker: The cost of a pressure cooker ranges from a minimum of ₹500 to ₹7000.
Slow Cooker: The cost of a slow cooker is around ₹3000 to ₹7000.
6. Ease Of Use
A rice cooker is very simple to understand and use. Although there are several variations to rice cookers, the cooking procedure is very simple. Following the instructions in the manual will help you in having a mess-free cooking experience.
When using a pressure cooker, you know that your food will be cooked very quickly and conveniently. With just a little attention, you will be able to cook any dish super quickly and without any difficulties.
Slow cookers promote one of the most convenient forms of cooking as you can adjust the temperature and timer and then sit back and relax until the food is cooked. Unlike rice cooker or pressure cooker, using a slow cooker is super easy and does not require your constant attention.
7. Power Requirement
Rice Cooker: In general, a 1.8L rice cooker requires 550 watts of power for cooking.
Pressure Cooker: The ordinary pressure cookers do not work on electricity. A 3L electric pressure cooker consumes an average of 700 to 800 watts per hour.
Slow Cooker: Slow cooker consumes very little power. A typical 3.5L slow cooker consumes around 200 watts of power.
Comparison of Rice Cooker vs. Pressure Cooker Vs. Slow Cooker
|Point Of Difference||Rice Cooker||Pressure Cooker||Slow Cooker|
|Energy Source||Electricity||Electricity or LPG/PNG||Electricity|
|Application||Used for Cooking Rice Faster.||Used for Cooking Food Items (Meat, Rice, Vegetable) Faster.||Used for slow cooking recipes like casseroles, slew, soup, etc.|
|Safety||It is safe to use for cooking rice.||It is safe to cook on a pressure cooker while you are at home.||Slow cookers with a locking lid and longer timer are safe to use.|
|Maintenance||Easy to Maintain||Takes More Effort to Maintain.||Takes time to clean.|
|Cost||Costlier Than Pressure and Slow Cooker.||Costlier Than Slow Cooker.||Cheapest Among All.|
|Ease of Use||Convenient to use for cooking rice.||Convenient to use while you are in a hurry.||Convenient to use when you are away from home while cooking.|
|Power Requirement||The power consumption rate is the highest.||The power consumption rate is the high.||The power consumption rate is very low.|
Rice cookers, pressure cookers, and slow cookers are kitchen equipment used for cooking a variety of items. All this kitchen equipment are extremely helpful in making our experience in the kitchen an easy one. This kitchen equipment can be used very conveniently and is simple to handle and maintain too.
Moreover, these equipment are also great time savers and the best in their field of service. Comparing the three will give room for some key differences; however, it does not make any of them less than the other.
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