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Large but light, Russell Hobbs' rice cooker can make up to 14 portions of rice and has a glass lid for quick peaks.
The Russell Hobbs large rice cooker is a surprisingly light cooker, weighing just 2.2kg. It has a footprint of only 18cm tall and 34cm wide – impressively compact, given the claim it can cook up to 14 portions of rice. It has a transparent glass lid, which we like as we can track the progress of the cooking. Strong handles make moving the rice cooker feel secure. However, we are a little concerned by its legs and feet, which feel pretty flimsy with no rubber to stop the cooker from sliding around on the worktop. The cooker comes with a measuring cup, rice paddle and steamer basket, enabling it to double up as a steamer.
Read our full round-up of the best rice cookers here.
The rice cooker is straightforward to use, but needs better instructions, especially for those not used to an electric cooker. For example, measurements and liquid ratios are not explained well; there's more detail on steaming than simply cooking rice. Thankfully, the cooker is simple to use, with just one switch, and there’s no need for timings as the cooker does the work for you. Once the measured water is all absorbed during cooking, the cooker switches over to 'keep warm'.
It is imperative to give the bowl a quarter of a turn each way before starting to cook, as this ensures the bottom of the bowl makes good contact with the element. Unfortunately, we missed that instruction the first time around and learned that we must follow it as the rice did not cook.
The cooker does emit a fine spray of droplets from the lid when the rice is boiling, but this is nothing to get too worried about. However, it may be best to keep the cooker away from small hands.
We were impressed by the cooked rice – mainly the white, which cooked quickly with excellent results. However, 4 cups of brown rice took 40 minutes to cook, plus the recommended 10 minutes of resting time in the pot, making a lengthy 50 minutes total. The automatic switching to 'keep warm' once cooking is finished is useful, though the instruction book warns against leaving it in this mode too long as the rice will go soggy.
This rice cooker loves volume, so it's handy for those who like to make a large quantity of rice in one go, though of course it is also possible to cook less. The inner bowl and the lid are dishwasher-friendly. We especially like the minor but handy feature of the lid hooking onto the handle, which helps avoid a messy work surface. At the price, this is undoubtedly a functional piece of kit and particularly good for cooking family-size quantities of rice. We did not test the steamer.
Russell Hobbs 27040 large rice cooker specifications
Food capacity: 2.5L
Dimensions: 32.2 x 24.5 x 22.6 cm
Guarantee: two years
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