Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker Review
Today we are going to be having a look at a decent sized rice cooker – the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker. Hamilton Beach make a variety of different rice cooker models, and this one seems like the most popular choice out of them all. But can it live up to the hype? Read on below to find out more.
Hamilton Beach was founded as a company over 100 years ago, and in that time they have produced a large range of home and kitchen appliances. In recent years they have begun releasing a series of rice cookers to help supply the demand for this wonderful machines. The one we are going to look at today is called the Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Deluxe Rice Cooker, which is quite a mouthful to say! This is a 4-20 cup rice cooker, and comes with a very modest $49.99 price tag which is a lot of bang for your buck. Does the cheap price mean inferior performance? We’ll check the performance in a bit, but first lets take a look at the unit itself, and discuss some of the other features and specifications it comes with.
The design of the unit itself is quite modern and sleek. The bulk of the exterior is made out of stainless steel, with the top and bottom coming in black. We prefer a black design, as white tends to show the dust and dirt quite easily after a while. The cooking pot has a nonstick coating, and most of the included parts can be used in the dishwasher (although we would warn against putting the cooking pot in the dishwasher as this could wear away the nonstick coating after a while). A water measuring line is clearly visible in the cooking pot, helping you to easily put in the required amount of water. Also included is a plastic steaming tray although it does feel somewhat cheap, almost as if it was an afterthought after the rice cooker had been designed. A measuring cup and two utensils are also packaged with the model which is a nice little touch. They aren’t particularly fancy, but they do the job well enough.
On the front are six buttons, allowing you to make a range of different dishes and the switch the unit on and off. This is a somewhat more comprehensive control panel than some of the the other cookers we have tested so far, but that doesn’t mean it is difficult to operate. The buttons are all very easy to understand, and each respective one will light up when it is in use.
Now lets have a look to see how it performs. With presets for white rice, and whole grain, these seemed like two obvious choices to test out. Both of these kinds of rice came out very nicely. The rice was fluffy and consistent in texture, and it tasted great. The keep warm function seems to work well enough, although we aren’t entirely sure how long the timer is on this machine. When it is done cooking, it has a very audible beep to let you know when the rice is done. This is a nice touch, however if you leave it cooking overnight, then it might startle you awake if your bedroom is near the kitchen! We didn’t test the steamer inset too much, but it does seem to steam frozen vegetables quite nicely. The steamer insert is fairly shallow, so trying to steam bigger items like broccoli might be an issue.
Brown rice also came out very nicely in our tests, although it did take a bit longer which is to be expected which brings us to our main problem with this model – the cooking time is much longer than competing products. As an example, we tried cooking a cup of white rice which should take in the range of 15-20 minutes. In this machine it takes around 40 minutes, which is virtually double what we would expect. We thought we may have had a faulty unit, but it seems that other people have the same problem. It seems that the warming element may be a bit underpowered, as the water only seems to boil 30 minutes after it has been switched on. If you cook large quantities of rice, then you may be used to the wait, but waiting 40+ minutes for one cup of rice can get a little tedious. If you are happy to wait this length of time while the rice is cooking, then this isn’t really an issue. But if you have owned other rice cookers before, then this may seem like an obvious flaw. The rice we cooked did come out very nicely, so we can’t fault the machine too much.
Cleanup was fairly simple, and the nonstick coating allowed us to get the cooking pot clean and shiny in no time. As mentioned earlier, it can be used in the dishwasher, but there is no real need for this as cleaning it will only take you a minute or two. The dimensions of this unit are roughly 12″ x 12″ x 12.3″, so it is small enough to fit on any size kitchen cabinet. Overall we found the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker very easy to operate, and equally easy to clean. The cooking times may be lengthy, but if you aren’t in a rush to get your daily dose of rice, this machine should suit you just fine. With a recommended retail pricetag of $49,99 and a one year warranty, this is a affordable large capacity rice cooker for any home.
- Looks great
- Large cooking capacity
- Several presets for different kinds of meals
- Low price
- Easy to clean
- Takes a long time to cook rice
Summary: The Hamilton cooker comes with a number of presets for different foods, and can cook up to 20 cups of rice. It performed well in our tests, although the cooking times were quite slow. It has a very reasonable $49.99 price, so if you don’t mind waiting for your rice you should be quite happy with this model. We would have liked to have given this a 4 star review, but unfortunately the slow cooking times meant we had to mark it down to 3.5. As usual, Amazon have this model on special at the time of writing. You can click here to check if it is still on special.