When it comes to choosing your kitchen appliances, selecting the proper tool can become a very confusing job. Some appliances can compensate each other just fine with some minor differences from one another. Most of the time, while choosing the right cooking tool, the biggest dilemma works between the rice cooker vs slow cooker. Both of them have almost the same application in your kitchen with some minor distinguishable differences.
The small differences can put you on a never-ending argument, especially if you don't know what to look for. Both of them will serve your purposes just fine in maximum cases and make it even harder to love one above another. However, if you know the main differences between them and know how they differ in technology, you can decide what to go with. Stick to the article to decide if you're getting a slow cooker or a rice cooker.
- Rice cooker vs slow cooker: What is the Difference?
- Which should you choose Between a Slow Cooker and Rice Cooker?
Rice cooker vs slow cooker: What is the Difference?
Choosing between rice cooker vs slow cooker can be a daunting job because both of them serve the same purpose. However, they don't use the same process to serve you their purpose, which I'll talk about here for helping you decide:
How they work
The main difference between rice cooker vs slow cooker is their working process as I'm describing below:
The rice cooker works with high heat, making the food inside get cooked and keeps the food that way until served. When you power up a rice cooker, the machine will heat up the bowl inside pretty quickly. The heat will rise to the boiling point and start to boil the water inside at 212° F (100° C), and it won't go above that level. As the mix is mostly water and other ingredients, the water starts to cook the ingredients until the food is ready to eat.
Unlike the rice cooker's rapid heating technology, the slow cooker has a working process as the name suggests its job. It will take it real slow to heat up the food and cook it up to the boiling point. You can set a timer for as long as 12 hours to cook the food inside the slow cooker. Their working process is mainly trapping the heat inside and slowly cooking the food. Because of the trapped heating process, you shouldn't open the lid of a slow cooker as the heat may escape and start the process all over again.
The Difference in heat Settings
The heat settings in both of these appliances are not the same, and they work in different heating mechanisms such as:
When you place the food inside a rice cooker and hit the start button, it will start heating the bowl inside. It keeps heating until it reaches the boiling point at 100° celsius when the water in the food heats up, it absorbs food. The water will start to steam, and the rice will start to cook on that heat level with the steam. Once the cooker senses the rice's change as it cooks up, the machine will stop heating and start to keep the food warm.
Unlike the heat settings of a rice cooker, the slow cooker works with a different heating level. When you start the machine and start to heat up, the heat level is variable with the slow cooker. You can set the machine at low heat for a longer cooking period or a higher heat for relatively quicker, but slower than a rice cooker. The best option is to go between 200° F to 300° F for a good cooking experience. Never go below 140° F as it can help the food build up bacteria, which isn't healthy.
Difference In Size
The Difference in size comparison between rice cookers and slow cookers can vary in a wide range.
The size variation of rice cooker uses the term with cup sizes, and it differs between 2 to 20 cups versions. The rule of thumb here is, you'll cook double the amount of cup size you're getting, where a cup will 180 ML. If you get a 4-cup rice cooker, you'll get about 8 cups of cooked rice, but the amount may vary depending on the rice quality.
On the other hand, a slow cooker will come in quarts sizes and weight between 1 to 8 quarts. The rule here is, if you get a 1 to 3 quart of the size, it will cook enough food for 2 people. If you need to go for family size, it will require you to go for 4 to 5 quarts for 3 or 4 people and 6 to 8 quarts for more.
Difference In Cooking Time
The Key Difference between the rice cooker and the slow cooker is the cooking period they take.
Cooking with a rice cooker will take the lowest period between them from 20 minutes to 50 minutes. Most modern rice cookers will allow you to adjust the timer you can use to set up the timer and the heat level. It allows you to put the food inside, do some work, and get the food ready quickly.
The timer setting in a slow cooker will depend on how much food you're cooking inside the machine. The time for the food may take anywhere between 2 hours to 10 hours to cook completely. You can also increase or decrease the timer, depending on your buffer time. It's a great option if you have to leave for a long time after putting the food inside the cooker.
What Foods Should You Cook In A Slow Cooker And A Rice Cooker?
There are very little differences in the cookable foods in these cookers, here are some of them:
The rice is a cooker is a perfect option for cooking rice as the name suggests the application. However, you can also cook some other things if you want to, such as steamed fish or vegetables, boiling eggs, chicken, roast, quinoa, oatmeal, Risotto, and soups and stews.
A slow cooker is a perfect option if you have to cook all kinds of foods that you would make in a pan or pot. Some of the common foods you would make in a slow cooker are pot roast, stew, soup, curry, macaroni cheese, potatoes, chili, enchiladas, meatballs, and some other stuff as well.
Pros and Cons (A Slow Cooker And A Rice Cooker)
Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of both the rice cookers and slow cookers you should know:
The main advantage of using a rice cooker is the quick and headache-free cooking experience. You can leave the cooker into cooking mode and forget about paying attention to it because it will keep the food warm after cooking it. However, the disadvantage of using the rice cooker is the limitation of cookable dishes.
The main advantage of using a slow cooker is the hands-free cooking capability and the ease of cooking. All you will do is, mix in the ingredients, put on the timer, and relax or go to work. The disadvantage of using a slow cooker is the same thing as the advantage; longer cooking time. It may take too long to cook in the slow cooker that it might seem too slow for you.
Which should you choose Between a Slow Cooker and Rice Cooker?
Choosing between the rice cooker or the slow cooker can be a confusing job unless you know what facilities you need. If you are a busy person with a tight schedule for cooking and have a short period for cooking, go for a rice cooker. It will cook rice or other food within a short period or longer with an adjustable timer.
However, if you're planning to cook for an extended period, or go for the office, leaving the food inside, get a slow cooker. It will take a long period to cook and can cook a lot of dishes inside.
Selecting between a rice cooker vs slow cooker will become much easier if you know how they both work. Both of them serve their purposes in their distinct way and have separate processes. Making food with the automatic processes of the rice cooker or slow cooker makes cooking easier.
Especially if you're a job holder or a student who struggles with cooking, the automatic features can help you make it easier. If you live alone, make food, and waste a lot, a rice cooker or a slow cooker can be the solution. Cooking the food, keeping it warm, or measuring the food before cooking, all are easier with them.