If you’re shopping around for a rice cooker, you may have come across rice cookers that are labeled with “IH”. You’re probably wondering, what in the world is IH and what does it mean in rice cookers? Well, you’ve come to the right article! We’ll be explaining what IH – or induction cooking – is and how it works in the world of rice cookers.
We know what our regular electric rice cookers are like. With electric rice cookers, the heat comes from the bottom coil, therefore heating up the inner pot via thermal conduction. While an electric rice cooker is already a great kitchen appliance in itself, induction rice cookers take making rice to a whole other step with its use of electric current and magnetic field.
First, let’s go back to how induction cookers first came to be. The very first induction heating rice cooker was created in 1988 in Japan by home appliance maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. The company had been a longtime leader when it came to the development of rice cookers. Electric rice cookers were popular back then, however, the heat applied to the rice was weaker compared to that of gas-powered products. Gas cookers were said to be much better than electric cookers. Thus, induction heating rice cookers were born in hopes of making electric cookers much better than gas cookers in terms of results.
Induction rice cookers work differently than the regular electric cookers as they make use of an electric current and magnetic fields. With an induction rice cooker, a magnetic field is used to heat the inner pan. An electric current is passed through coils around the inner cooking pan, producing that magnetic field which then produces an electric current to quickly heat up the cooking pan.
Temperature rises quickly inside an induction rice cooker, and since the heat is all around and not just coming from the bottom, rice cooks evenly compared to an electric rice cooker. Heat can also be produced from the induction heating process, as the rice cooker pot is made out of a magnetic material.
IH or Induction heating improves rice cookers in a lot of ways. An induction rice cooker has a more accurate temperature-sensing method, allowing for fine-tuned adjustments in temperature. The heat distribution area in an induction rice cooker can also encompass the inner cooking pot and not just radiate upwards from the bottom. This equal distribution results in evenly cooked food and better tasting rice. Lastly, the level of heat created in the inner pot can be changed in an instant by strengthening or weakening the magnetic field generating it.
These three elements give induction heating rice cookers huge benefits in delivering results. Additionally, in the event of a human error, an induction rice cooker can make adjustments to the time or temperature of what’s being cooked inside it.
It’s worth mentioning that due to the technology used in an induction cooker, these appliances have prices higher than the average cooker. Despite the expensive price tag, they’re an option very much worth having in the kitchen as they’re capable of making a lot of things.
The heating time of an induction rice cooker may vary depending on the brand. But generally, it only takes a couple of minutes or so for it to heat up. This is one of the benefits of having an induction rice cooker option at home. If you find that you are pressed for time, you can simply load up your rice, select the quick program or cooking method, and the IH rice cooker will get the job done in a shorter amount of time than your average electric rice cooker.
Thanks to advanced technology and precision cooking, an IH rice cooker is highly versatile, making it a great and valuable asset to have in the kitchen. Majority, if not all, of IH rice cookers come with programmable cooking functions that ensure you’ll have amazingly cooked food every time.
When it comes to rice, an IH rice cooker is capable of cooking numerous types of grains. If you’re worried about cooking different types of rice with your electrical cooker, that same worry doesn’t apply to IH rice cookers as they have certain development programs that specifically cater to any type of rice you load up in it.
Take for example, brown rice. Typically, people would use double the amount of water when cooking with brown rice in an electric rice cooker. But in an IH cooker, people can just follow the measurement guide in the pot when they add in their water and let the cooker do the rest.
Aside from white and brown grains, IH cookers can also cook mixed grains, sticky rice, and the like. Additionally, as most IH cookers are made in Japan or Korea, these cookers include rice cook functions such as sushi rice, nurungji rice, and GABA rice.
We’ve mentioned that IH cookers are highly versatile, and believe us when we say so. Due to its induction heating and high pressure technology, these cookers can make more than just rice. Almost, if not all, of IH models have a slow cook function that allows users to make stews, soups, porridge, noodles, and more. Some models can even cook meat thoroughly, or even make baby food. These multi-cook functions are what makes IH cookers handy to have in the kitchen. They can certainly become your one-pot cooker and you won’t need to have anything else.
If you’ve decided on getting an IH cooker for your household but you’re unsure which brand or model to look into, we’re here to help you out! There are a number of trusted rice cooker brands out there in the market that have their own lineup of IH cooker models. But of course, there are ones that standout from the rest.
Most of these cookers come with an inner pot that has a sturdy durable coating, able to withstand high heat and pressure. They also come with the usual rice cooker accessories such as a spatula and a measuring cup. Some of them will also have extra accessories such as a steaming basket.
One of the best brands that produces IH cookers is Zojirushi. This Japanese brand is a household name when it comes to induction heating cookers. In fact, Zojirushi is pretty much synonymous with induction and high pressure cooking. The brand has a ton of product options, people will never go wrong with any of the models they have to offer. Check out our Zojirushi reviews to find which one suits you the best.
When it comes to Korean makers, Cuchen and Cuckoo are one of the best. Their products have elegant, stand-out looks that make them seem like they’re anything but rice cookers. We have a guide on the best Cuchen and best Cuckoo rice cookers. You can take a look at them as well.
IH rice cookers may have prices that sit on the higher end of the spectrum, but they’re a worthy investment to have in the kitchen. We hope that you’ve learned a lot in this article. If you’re now considering getting an induction cooker system for your own home, you can always take a look at our reviews.