Thursday, July 2, 2015

Small Rival Rice Cooker Review

This small Rival rice cooker with steamer basket is the perfect size for our small family. Here's my review.

What's red, resembles a donation kettle at Christmas-time, and cooks rice without muss or fuss? It's one of my favorite kitchen appliances, the RC61, 6-cup small Rival rice cooker and steamer, the perfect rice cooker for a family of two or three.


What To Love About a Rice Cooker

You'll love the steamer basket that comes with this handy 6-cup rice cooker.

I've owned this cute kitchen appliance for five years now and use it faithfully and frequently. In fact, since I got it I haven't prepared rice any other way. It's great for any kind of rice that I've tried (my favorites are jasmine and good-for-you brown rice) and makes plenty for our family of two plus a couple servings more, up to six cups total.




Two things I especially love about this rice cooker:


1. It has a steamer basket (as shown in the picture above). I'll often add fresh broccoli, green beans, or asparagus while the rice cooks, preparing two parts of the meal in the same space as one, just a little taller!


2. It's so easy to clean! The pot part of the cooker has a non-stick finish and requires little more than a good soapy swish and rinse after the meal's over.
Rival RC61 Small Rice Cooker - Red


Tips for Using a Small Rice Cooker



Rice cooker instructions can be confusing. With that in mind, here are two more things to know before you buy:


1. Measuring the rice and the water. Don't confuse the rice measuring cup that comes with the cooker with a regular, 1-cup measuring cup. When the included instructions and cookbook refer to "cups," they always mean the rice cup, which actually holds less than a measured cup. The first time you use the rice pot, use 1 rice-cup of rice and add liquid (I like to mix chicken broth and water) to the "1" mark on the inside of the pot. Cook as directed (i.e. put on the lid, plug it in, and move the selector to "Cook") and you'll see how much cooked rice you'll get. Usually, that amount will be enough for a side dish of rice for two people.


2. Will this size be big enough? If you usually cook for more than two or three people, it's likely that you'll want to choose the next size up. However, I'm surprised how inexpensive these convenient gadgets are, so having one small (like this) and one large-capacity version on hand isn't a bad idea at all since they really take up very little storage space. When we have the extended family present, a large rice cooker would occasionally come in very handy.

Another benefit of this appliance (that I'd almost call a requirement in anyone's kitchen) is the price. At around $2, it's super-affordable and makes a very nice wedding or shower gift. While you’re at it, pick up or order two, one for the gift recipient and one for yourself.


Where to Buy the Rival RC61 Rice Cooker



Can you tell I like my little red Rival rice cooker? If you and your family enjoy healthy meals that include rice, I think you'll like it, too. Here’s the link to find the Rival RC61 on eBay and here it is at Amazon.com.

P.S. Here's a tasty tip. Use your rice cooker to make rice pilaf. Simply add chopped, sauteed vegetables (celery, onions, carrots) to the rice and water/chicken stock before cooking for an easy, flavorful, dressed-up side dish.

Rice pilaf made in my small Rival rice cooker makes an easy but special side dish.
Rice pilaf made in my small Rival rice cooker
makes an easy but special side dish.
-- Susan Deppner


Food photos property of the author




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

11 comments:

  1. This looks great! I like the feature that you can steam veggies at the same time.

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    1. I do too, Mary Beth. Using the steamer really reduces the "cooking footprint" with having just that one appliance going instead of two or using a burner on the stove. Glad you like the cooker!

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  2. How very cool! I had no idea you could steam vegetables at the same time you cook your rice! I have heard others recommend a rice cooker before, but I have never invested in one, simply because I couldn't see the benefit just to cook rice. However, you said two things that have changed my mind. One, it steams other veggies at the same time it cooks the rice and two, the clean-up information. I do get rather tired of scrubbing pans and rice always leaves my regular (non-Teflon) pan pretty dirty.

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    1. I definitely agree! Both excellent reasons to have a rice cooker like this one, Cynthia. I don't like scrubbing pans either, so the non-stick surface was a definite plus for me, as well as the steamer. I never thought I'd have a rice cooker either, but as I mention above, I don't know what I'd do without it now!

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    2. I definitely agree! Both excellent reasons to have a rice cooker like this one, Cynthia. I don't like scrubbing pans either, so the non-stick surface was a definite plus for me, as well as the steamer. I never thought I'd have a rice cooker either, but as I mention above, I don't know what I'd do without it now!

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  3. That's such a neat idea. And thanks for mentioning about the size of the rice cup. I have often used my rice cup as a measuring cup, so I'll be checking it to see if it actually holds a cup or not. I have a different brand, but it does look a bit small, haha.

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    1. That rice cup situation can be confusing, Cheryl. I don't know why it never occurred to me to check how much the rice cup holds, but I just did and it's 6 ounces, so 2 ounces short of a measuring cup's cup. :) Now I'm curious about how much your rice cup actually holds!

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  4. I've seen a rice cooker in action (and have eaten the finished product) several times. My son is married to a Korean lady and she uses hers almost daily. She uses rice she gets from an Asian store in Kansas City, as it's the type of rice she is used to. The rice dish is always outstanding and the rice cooker makes the preparation (and clean-up) so easy! I don't have one, but after spending ten days with my 'kids' in KC last month (and the fact that I love rice and eat it several times a week) I think it's time I got one for myself! Thanks for this great review!

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    1. My pleasure, Elf! I'm certainly happy that I have mine and it sounds like you'd really use a rice cooker. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!

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  5. We have one, but I always forget to use it! I'll have to get ours out and check out the recipe book as well - thanks for the tips and suggestions here, I'll certainly keep the one about measuring 1 cup in mind - great review

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  6. This sounds very handy -- especially with the steamer basket.

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