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For most of my life, I cooked rice in a pot on the stovetop. Little did I know that rice cookers could’ve made my life 1,000 times easier all along. Once I got on the rice cooker bandwagon, I realized how tricky it can be to find the perfect one. And when I moved into my relatively small New York City apartment, I couldn’t get the big, bulky rice rooker I was used to using.
Thank goodness my roommate had a model she said was practically made for our kitchen. When she told me it was tiny and could only make one to two cups of rice, I was honestly really, really skeptical. Its appearance did not convince me that it’d actually be able to do its job well and stand the test of time. But I learned my lesson—you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and the same goes for something as simple as rice cookers.
Dash’s Mini Rice Cooker has been such a godsend for our apartment. In fact, it’s probably one of my most-used appliances in all of my living quarters. I put it to use at least four times a week, and it’s saved us so much space, time and energy.
Its miniature 8.5-inch width makes it easy to use on the kitchen counter and then stow away in a cabinet without taking up much space. Plus, it does all the work for you—you don’t have to incessantly check on it like you might do if you were cooking rice in a pot.
I kept waiting to find a flaw, thinking I’d soon have to buy a different model, but I honestly couldn’t find one (and still can’t). It’s held up way better than I expected it to and it makes the fluffiest rice with the click of a single button. Did I forget to mention it only costs $25? Perhaps the best part is that you don’t have to splurge at all just to get some yummy rice, and it’s also the perfect gift for the foodie in your life.
Now, let’s get to the specs of this cooking lifesaver. According to the brand, you can fill the appliance with up to two cups of rice. After going through a little trial and error, I’ve concluded that one and a half cups works best for me. Two cups had water bubbling over and the lid about to topple over. Still, the one and a half cups usually makes enough rice for two to even sometimes three servings, depending on what I’m cooking that day.
It’s the ideal portion size for meal prepping in New York City, since NYC fridges are built different (a.k.a. small).
Plus, the machine is super easy to use and to clean. There’s only one button so you really can’t screw it up. The switch goes from the default warming mode to cooking mode. And while some of my past rice cookers have been quite a challenge to clean, Dash’s model has never caused me trouble. It has a nonstick coating that makes it dishwasher-safe, though I always hand wash it with soap.
The brand says it cooks rice in less than 20 minutes, which I’d say is spot-on. It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes for two hearty servings of rice. The appliance makes a faint clicking noise when the rice is done and then automatically switches from the cook mode to the warm mode. I don’t always hear the click, so I’d recommend setting a timer or staying nearby.
Not to mention, the rice cooker also comes with a mixing paddle and a measuring cup to ensure that you’re making the tastiest, fluffiest rice. It’s really hard to mess up cooking rice thanks to this mini kitchen appliance. And the fact that it’s kept up with all the rice-making we’ve done over the past few months just shows me that it’s a lot stronger than it looks.
I’m certainly not the only person who’s obsessed with this tiny rice cooker. Over 20,000 Amazon shoppers have given it a perfect five-star rating. “This is super easy to use and clean,” wrote one reviewer. “The rice has come out just right every time and it is a breeze to clean. You just set it and… forget it. I used to stress about cooking rice in the past because it can go wrong quickly, now I don’t have to worry anymore. Love this little cooker.”
What’s more, you can create dishes other than just rice. If you’re a beginner in the kitchen, starting out with this rice cooker is the perfect first step. And if you’re a bit more experienced, try making oatmeal, quinoa, pasta, stew or soup with it.
“This is probably one of the best things I bought in 2021. Easy to use, perfect size. It makes cooking less daunting (as my family would love to tell y’all I can burn water),” wrote another shopper.
Either way, you’re getting so much bang for your buck by getting this $25 mini rice cooker that works the same, if not better, than a bigger and pricier model. Endless bowls of fluffy rice for just $25 is a total win-win situation.