In this review we are going to be looking at one of the most popular rice cookers currently on the market – the. This is a small to medium sized rice cooker, and is very reasonably priced at under $30. With a number of exciting features included, does it manage to do everything it says on the box? Lets have a look at that below.
Aroma housewares has been around for over 30 years, and the company has a deep rooted history in the manufacture of a variety of kitchen appliances such as hot plates, food steamers, ice cream makers and many others. Their range of rice cookers has expanded in recent years, and today we are going to look at their Aroma ARC-914SBD 4-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Steamer. This particular digital rice cooker can make up to 8 cups of cooked rice, so it isn’t quite large enough to cater to a whole family. The design of this model is modern and stylish, and it has a stainless steel exterior with black trim on the bottom and lid. The machine itself isn’t too big, and will comfortably fit on any kitchen counter without taking up much space at all. The entire machine is cool to the touch when in use, which is a nice touch for such an economical rice cooker. The digital interface is fairly straightforward to use, and it includes settings for delaying the cooking, steaming the food, keeping it warm and it has buttons for white and brown rice. The delay timer can be set for up to 15 hours, which is quite handy for anyone who likes to come home to a freshly cooked batch of rice. Cooking rice is not the only function of this machine however, as it can also steam meat and vegetables, or you could use it to make stews or soups. To steam food, you use the included plastic tray which fits into the top of the machine.
The cooking pot has a nonstick interior, which should make cleaning a breeze. There are measuring levels on the inside of the cooking pot, so there is no need to have to fiddle around with measurements to get the right amount of rice & water. Lastly you also receive a cup and spoon with this set. There is a hook on the side of the machine to hang the spoon on, but it does look a little awkward and out of place. Now lets have a look at home the machine performs.
Since there are specific settings for white and brown rice, we decided that those two would be the best place to start. Our first test was two cups of white rice and after putting in our correct quantities of water and rice, we left the machine to do its magic. After around 10 minutes we had a look at how things were going, and noticed that the timer was now counting down the minutes until the rice was done. This minute timer seems to kick in at around the 12 minute to go mark, which can be quite handy if you are preparing other foods at the same time. After around twenty minutes, the machine made a very few audible beeps to signal that the rice was finished cooking. When the cooking is done, it will automatically switch over to the “Keep “warm” function. After this first batch was done, we gave the rice a quick taste test to see how it had turned out. The white rice was nice and fluffy, and there was no sign of any burnt rice at the bottom. So far so good! A quick rinse of soapy water got the cooking pot clean, and we decided to try another batch of white rice. This time we tested 4 cups of rice to see how well the Keep Warm functionality works, and to test if the larger quantity of water and rice would results in any water spillage out of the top of the unit. The rice was done after about 25 minutes, and we had a look to see if there was any mess to clean up. The good news is that there was next to none, with only a few small drops of water run down the side of the machine. We left the rice for another 90 minutes to see if the Keep Warm would manage to keep the rice in good condition, or start to burn it. Once the 90 minutes were up, we headed back to the kitchen to see how well our rice had been kept warm. Again we were quite pleased with the results, as the rice was still in good shape with no signs of the rice burning or drying out. The rice still tasted as fresh and light as the first batch we made, so the Keep Warm mode definitely does a good job.
Next up we decided to test some brown rice. Again we began with two cups of rice to see how it handled a medium sized batch. Another test we decided to do at the same time was to steam some vegetables to see how well the steaming tray functions. As expected, the brown rice did take slightly longer to cook, but the manual does mention this as brown rice is cooked at a lower temperature. Once we got to the 12 minute countdown time, we popped in our steamer tray which contained some broccoli and corn. Soon after that we were greeted by the beeps on the machine signalling our rice had finished cooking. First impressions of the brown rice were good, and it was quite tasty and fluffy. The rice was as close to perfect as could be, and we were very impressed with the results. None had stuck to the bottom, and the rice was well cooked from the top of the pot to the bottom. The broccoli was soft and tasty, and the corn had also been cooked very well. Overall we were very impressed with this, and the fact that you can use the steamer at the same time is a great extra feature. After scooping out the rice we gave the cooking pot steamer tray a quick rinse in the sink, and this was fairly simple to do.
It seems like Aroma has a winner on their hands with the ARC-914SBD 4-Cup Rice cooker. Our results were certain very impressive, and the ability to cook rice and steam food at the same time saves quite a bit of time and energy. The model was easy to clean, and very straightforward to operate. With a retail price of $29.99, you really can go wrong with this rice cooker.
- Very affordable
- Looks great, and doesn’t take up much space
- Excellent results
- Can cook and steam at the same time
- Easy to clean
- Capacity is a little small
We were quite impressed with the Aroma rice cooker. It cooked rice very well, and steams food to perfection. With a retail price of under $30, it is definitely a winner. You can check the current price of this model on Amazon . If you find the capacity is a bit on the small side, you could always check out the larger 10 cup model which only costs a few dollars more.