Choosing a Rice Cooker for a Dorm, Hotel Room, RV or Camper
Step 1: Get the right Rice Cooker
The humble rice cooker may well be one of the most cost effective investments than can be made in the academic career of any college student. They're versatile, durable, compact, easy to use and, because of their fully enclosed heat sources, permitted under nearly every dorm's fire safety rules, even those where a curling iron isn't.
Versatility is the key when choosing a rice cooker for any small living space, but especially for a dorm room or a hotel room. Keep these important points in mind when making your selection:
Pot-Style versus Cool-Touch
Choose a unit with a simple, lift away lid over one with a hinged lid that must remain closed during cooking. Not only do the “pot style” rice cookers tend to be less expensive, they offer more cooking options and are easier to use than their slick looking competition. Plus, fewer mechanical pieces with the potential to fail means the pot style rice cooker may prove to be more durable in a dorm room setting.
Get one that comes with a steamer basket. It only costs a little more but brings a lot of bang for those three bucks. The steamer basket allows for far more cooking options than the rice cooker alone. Steam fish, eggs or vegetables on their own, or make a whole meal at once by loading rice and water in the cooking bowl, meat and vegetables in the steamer basket, and push the Cook button. Almost easier than getting take-out.
Inner Cooking Bowl:
Find the right balance between size and shape. Larger capacity units often have inner cooking bowls with flat bottoms, shaped more like a sauce pan for the stove top. This makes cooking things like omelets and pancakes very easy, but they are not designed for cooking just one or two servings of rice at a time. When planning on cooking for one, choose a unit with a “2 Cup” and up cooking capacity, which means that you can make as little as 2 cups (volume after cooking) of rice, and with the most flat bottomed cooking bowl you can find.