Salton Rice Cooker Review

Salton rice cookerAfter looking at a range of new and modern rice cookers the past few weeks, it is time to look at a more classic design – the Salton Rice Cooker. This three cup cooker was released all the way back in 2003, so it is quite old in comparison to some of the machines we have recently tested. Older doesn’t necessarily mean worse though, but can it keep up with the younger models? Have a look at our review below to get all the details.

Product Features:
Salton is a fairly well known brand around the USA, and they have been making decent home and kitchen appliances for a few decades now. In the early 2000’s they began to release a newer range of rice cookers, and the Salton RA3A 3-Cup cooker is one of the more popular models. It may be a bit on the small side when it comes to cooking capacity, but it should be ok for couples or single folks.
Lets start off by taking a closer look at the model itself. Looking at the design of the unit, it is a creamy white color with black trimmings. The design has not aged well at all, especially when it is competing against sleek modern stainless steel units. The only switch on this unit as at the front, and the cooking light is a red led on the front. There are two stay cool handles on the side, and also one on top of the lid. The lid is made out of glass, and feels like quite a snug fit when you pop it on the unit. Unlike its newer counterparts, this one does not have a nonstick coated pot, but rather a stainless steel one.  The entire unit measures roughly 9.5″ in diameter, so is small enough to fit on any counter top. Included with the model is a measuring cup and a serving spatula which can be seen in the picture above. With a recommended retail price of $29.99, it is fairly in line with what most 3 cup cooker costs at the moment. But the real question is how does it perform compared to a modern rice cooker? Lets have a look at that below.

The first and most obvious thing we noticed before we started testing the unit is that it lacks a keep warm function. Compared to modern units which have delay cooking timers, and a keep warm function for up to 24 hours, this model seems rather outdated. So essentially you will need to serve the rice soon after it has finished cooking, which can be seen as a bit of a disadvantage.
To begin with we started by testing the machine with two cups of brown rice. After around 20 minutes we had a look and it seemed like it was done. The rice itself was well cooked, and the cooking time was fairly standard for this amount of rice. However there was a bit of rice stuck to the bottom, which is to be expected due to the lack of nonstick coating. After soaking the cooking pot in water for around 10 minutes, we gave it a quick wipe and went on to round two of the testing.  We decided some quinoa rice would be a good means of testing this unit, so we added a cup of this with the appropriate amount of water. 20 minutes later we came back to check on the progress, and again we were quite please with the finished results. The rice was fully cooked through, and tasted very good. Again we had the small issues of some rice being stuck to the bottom, but after a bit of soaking for a few minutes it soon wiped clean. We tested the machine a bit more, all with similar results so it seems like it does a decent job of cooking the rice.

So this leaves us with a bit of an awkward verdict. The Salton rice cooker certainly does a decent job of cooking rice, even compared to some of the more modern units. However the lack of features leaves it lagging far behind its modern day cousins, so for that reason alone we would recommend that you look for a more modern choice that will likely make your life a little easier. We have no doubt that we would have given this a four star review had we taken a look at it 10 years ago, but unfortunately there are now newer and more functional rice cookers on the market. The lack of a keep warm function alone makes it seem very old by comparison, and having used this feature so much we know how much of a difference a small feature like that can really make. For the retail price of $29.99 you can get a somewhat more fully featured modern day cooker, so this is what we would do given the choice. Hopefully Salton will look at releasing a range of newer and exciting rice cookers in the future. We would certainly like to see how they perform in comparison to the competing products.

Pros:

  • Fair price
  • Cooks rice well
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Lacks quite outdated
  • No keep warm function
  • No delay timer

Summary: A few years ago the Salton would have been a very good choice for a budget rice cooker. However there are now newer and more functional rice cookers on the market for the same price, which leaves the Salton as a poor current choice.   We would recommend you shop around a bit more in search of a modern day alternative or check out our reviews section for some better choices, otherwise you can find the Salton cooker currently on sale on Amazon over here.

Our Rating: 2.5-stars


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