When it comes to choosing the right cooking device to invest in, the decision-making process can be much more challenging than you’d think. Today’s market is overcrowded with concepts and designs, and the choice can often feel overwhelming, especially when comparing two widely loved products such as a rice cooker and the Ninja Foodi.
A Ninja Foodi is a better investment if you’re looking for a multi-purpose device to help you cook as many dishes as possible. However, if you frequently eat rice and want it cooked perfectly every time, choose a rice cooker.
In this article, I’ll take you through the similarities and differences between these two types of cookware. After reading the advantages and disadvantages of each option, you’ll be able to make a better-informed decision about which device fits your needs best.
Basic Similarities Between Rice Cooker and Ninja Foodi
Rice cookers and the Ninja Foodi are both widely popular cooking devices. But similarities are limited, as they’re designed to drive two different functions.
The biggest similarity between the two is their ability to cook rice and grains. However, the Ninja Foodie isn’t specialized for this purpose, and it might be a bit more challenging to find the correct ratios and cook times while using it.
Additionally, both devices offer steam and stewing features. If this is the extent of your cooking interest, your best bet is to choose the device better suited to your budget.
Rice Cooker: Pros & Cons
For rice lovers who love to make the dish on a regular basis, there’s no better investment than buying a device that can help them make perfectly-cooked rice every time, no matter the type of cook time.
However, as the name suggests, the cookware can feel slightly limited in nature. High-quality rice cookers are not cheap by any means, so it’s natural for buyers to expect a broader range of functions from the device.
For example, the Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker (available on Amazon) is a premium model made in Japan that cooks any type of rice perfectly and doubles as a steamer.
Here are some of the many pros that come with owning a rice cooker.
Perfectly Cooked and Fluffy Rice With Minimal Effort
The whole cooking process is automatic, meaning that your job is done the minute you add the necessary ingredients. This means that figuring out the right water-to-rice ratio for your chosen variety is the extent of your responsibilities.
After adding the right amount of grain and liquid, all you have to do is put on the lid and turn on the device. Afterward, you won’t even have to keep an eye on your dish to keep it from burning, as the rice cooker will notify you with an audible signal as soon as the cook cycle is over.
No Need To Account for Different Types of Rice
Different types of rice may require drastically different cooking methods and times to turn out as they’re supposed to. With traditional cookware, you might be required to do a bit of planning and research to achieve this. However, with a rice cooker, these processes are already taken care of for you.
Not only do most rice varieties require the exact same cook time when using a rice cooker, but any differences are already accounted for by the manufacturer, and all you have to do is adjust a few settings according to the included instructions.
Keep Rice Warm As Long as You Need
One of the most frustrating parts about cooking a delicious rice dish is knowing how to deal with leftovers. As you may have witnessed from your previous experiences, when attempting to warm up day-old rice in a traditional pan, you can never be able to achieve even temperature distribution.
Additionally, rice can be very prone to sticking and burning due to its high moisture levels. This quality can often make the warming up process a nightmare not only for the cook but also for the dishwasher.
However, with a rice cooker, you won’t have to worry about burning or sticking, as you’ll be able to eat warm, perfectly-cooked rice for days on end.
Easy to Use and Clean
You likely won’t find a more user-friendly device than the rice cooker. The measuring utensils come included in the box, making figuring out the right ratios a much easier process. Additionally, most widely available alternatives are safe to put in the dishwasher and easy to clean by hand due to their non-stick surface.
Here are the cons of owning a rice cooker.
Has Limited Uses
Most rice cookers are far from a one-trick pony, as they come with a variety of additional functions, including steaming vegetables and making soups and stews. However, there’s more to a cook’s arsenal than cooking grains and vegetables, and a rice cooker won’t offer you much more than that.
Therefore, if you’re someone looking to expand their culinary skills and learn how to cook a wide variety of dishes, a rice cooker might not be the best investment for you.
Limited Utensil Selection
Most of us already have a fully-supplied kitchen drawer with stainless steel utensils waiting for a chance to use them with our newest cooking device. However, this won’t be possible when investing in a rice cooker.
The cookware’s surface is non-stick, which, although great for keeping your rice from sticking, will significantly limit the type of utensils you can use. Therefore, always try to opt for silicon or wood alternatives if you want to preserve the device’s longevity.
Ninja Foodi: Pros & Cons
Those looking for a feature-heavy cooking device that can make any dish significantly quicker and easier to make might be more satisfied investing in a Ninja Foodi (available from Amazon).
You’ll be able to make just about any dish using this cookware. From air frying to sauteing and everything in between, the Ninja Foodi will always have a setting that delivers excellent-quality results.
However, some might feel that the device is too general to create noteworthy dishes, and they prefer more specialized cookware to achieve the results they’re looking for.
Here are the pros of investing in a Ninja Foodi.
This is the biggest selling point of the device. If you buy a Ninja Foodi, the only other cookware you’ll feel the need to use is the oven, as there’s not much else that this product can’t do. Therefore, for those needing to cook often or for a crowd, there’s no better investment than buying the multi-purpose Ninja Foodi.
For this reason, although the device might not be ideal for those looking for a more specialized device, most households would highly benefit from the convenience that this product provides.
Offers Great Value
Considering all the features it offers and all the cookware it replaces, the Ninja Foodi comes at a pretty reasonable price point. At $150, your cookware collection will be complete and easier than ever to use.
Here are the downsides of owning a Ninja Foodi.
When it comes to Ninja Foodi, finding an affordable model is much easier than finding the storage space for it. Especially for those living in smaller apartments, accommodating a 25-pound (11.3-kg) device on their counters might seem like an impossible task.
You might argue that because it replaces a large number of other cookware, the Ninja Foodi actually saves space in the long run. However, it’s often easier to find space for several smaller devices than a single enormous one.
Tricky To Clean
The device’s components, especially the air fryer, can often be tedious and hard to clean. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to put it in the dishwasher, either, as it fails to clean some hard-to-reach places and crevices. Such areas are only properly cleaned by handwashing.