The Aroma Housewares Arc 150SB is a top of the line digital rice cooker that will handle all the heavy work when it comes to preparing dinner. This isn’t your traditional rice cooker. In fact, it can handle a variety of dishes including veggies, cake, stews, soups, oatmeal, and quinoa. The cooker’s larger cooking capacity is one of its biggest selling points and just one of the rests that this model is crushing the competition.
Our Verdict: If you’re looking for a model that comes equipped with a wide selection of cooking functions and comes with a higher cooking capacity, then this model a perfect option. You’ll find a dedicated white and brown rice button, a sauté and simmer feature that’s perfect for meats and veggies, and a delayed start timer that allows you to get dinner started before you get home. This is a great, feature-packed model that comes with several accessories, a large LED display, and a nonstick pot that’s easy to clean. This model will be perfect for larger families or for the buyer who caters or hosts their own dinner parties. The biggest issue is the minimum cooking capacity of four cups, which will make this cooker a poor choice for the small family.
Overview and Features
This isn’t a standard rice cooker. It’s labeled as a multi-function cooker and one that allows you to cook a wide range of dishes including rice, any type of grain, stews, tarts, cakes, yogurt, and meat. The built-in steamer function is crucial since it works to retain the food’s nutrient content. Boiling veggies actually zaps the veggies of their important nutrients since the water leaches vitamins and minerals, so by the time the food is cooked, the nutrient content can dip by thirty to fifty percent. When you steam veggies, they cook faster, have a much firmer texture, and they retain their nutrient content.
Aside from the cooker’s ability to steam your favorite veggies to perfection, it can whip up a large batch of white or brown rice, or make fluffy jasmine rice, in a fraction of the time it takes on the stove. So, if you’re tired of overcooking or undercooking your rice, this model is a perfect solution and one that can handle a variety of other tasks in the kitchen.
The pot is made out of aluminum and features a thick nonstick coating that makes it easier to serve and clean. The pot is also dishwasher safe, however, if you want to increase the lifespan of the pot, I recommend cleaning it by hand in order to prevent damaging the nonstick coating. The lid of the cooker is made out of a thick plastic and cannot be detached for cleaning.
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make sweet rice, this programmable model is a great option. As I mentioned earlier, this model comes loaded with several presets that make this model beginner-friendly. You can choose a preset based on the type of food you’re preparing, whether it’s soup, oatmeal, or rice. The cooker also comes equipped with a sauté then simmer function, which is perfect for meats and tough veggies. This will allow you to try out some great one-pot meals, for a dinner prep that’s basically hands-off. The controls consist of a fifteen-hour delay timer, power button, number display, slow cook, keep warm, steam, flash rice, brown rice, and white rice.
Unlike competing models in this price bracket, this model can cook up to twenty cups of rice. The biggest drawback is that it has a cooking minimum of four cups, which means you can’t use it to cook a smaller portion of rice, which can be an issue if you want to make dinner for one or two people.
This model comes with a steam tray that you can use to prepare veggies, egg rolls, perogies, and more.
Sauté then Simmer
This function allows the cooker to reach a higher temperature in order to brown or sauté foods. This is perfect for sautéed veggies, or if you need to brown a roast before you set the cooker to the slow cooking function. Once the cooker has reached a higher temperature to brown or sauté the food it will switch to simmer mode once you add liquid. This is a great feature to have and one that’s designed to save you plenty of time in the kitchen. You can also use this function for packaged meals, homemade risotto, chili, and Spanish rice.
This model comes complete with a total of twelve cooking options, so all you have to do is add the correct ingredients, water, and press a button and dinner will be done in no time. You’ll find separate buttons for cooking white and brown rice, which is a big deal. Typically, when you cook brown rice on the stove, not only does it take significantly longer, but you usually end up over or undercooking it. Many competing models of rice cookers do not come with a dedicated brown rice button, and simply have one rice button to prepare every type. This can be frustrating considering the longer cooking length that brown rice requires. The fact that this model has a dedicated brown rice button means when you’re cooking brown rice, it’s going to turn out perfectly, every time.
Aside from the steam tray, this model comes with a soup spoon, rice spatula, and a measuring cup.
If you’re preparing dinner before the family gets home, then you’ll appreciate the stay warm feature which will kick on once the rice is finished cooking. This feature will keep the rice warm and ready to serve, without continuing to cook the rice. You can use this feature to keep your rice warm for up to ten hours, which is pretty impressive.
The delayed start feature is perfect for busy families. To use it, you’ll add the rice and water, program the timer to begin cooking at a specific time and you can arrive home from work with a fresh pot of rice that’s ready for serving. It’s also a great feature if you don’t want to have the rice cooker on stay warm all day. Instead, you can enjoy the freshest rice possible.
Hands down, this is one of the best rice cookers for 2020. Using this model is very intuitive since the large buttons are clearly labeled and specific to the type of food you want to cook. You can use the included plastic steam tray for veggies or meats, even at the same time you have a pot of rice cooking. Cooking a large batch of rice can take anywhere from thirty minutes up to one hour, depending on how much rice you’re making. During this time, if you’re steaming veggies, you may have to set your own timer to remember when to pull the steam tray out since the dedicated timer will function on the rice cooking process.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Low price
- Includes steaming tray
- Dedicated brown rice button
- Cooks up to twenty cups of rice
- Nonstick coating on inner pot for easier cleanup
- Has a minimum cooking capacity of four cups
- Cannot detach lid for cleaning
Aroma Housewares Versus Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Rice Cooker
The competing model by Zojirushi is a much better option for the smaller family. It has a three-cup cooking capacity with a one-cup minimum cooking option. However, this is a very simple rice cooker and it doesn’t come with a variety of cooking programs and features like this model by Aroma Housewares does. It can also be very limiting if you’re looking for a model that can make a bigger batch of rice for your next dinner party. But, if you’re on a budget and only need to make a small batch of rice at a time, then the competing model is a much better alternative considering the AH model has a minimum cooking capacity of four cups and comes with a stepper price tag.
Conclusion and Rating
This model is the perfect solution for busy families or anyone who wants to take a more hands-off approach to preparing dinner, especially after a long day at the office. The Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB digital rice cooker is efficient, reliable, and can cook a variety of foods, so you’ll get plenty of use out of this appliance. However, the fact that you can’t remove the lid can make this model difficult to clean. Additionally, the lower minimum amount of rice you can make at one time can also be a drawback. Overall, it offers a solid performance and comes equipped with intuitive controls that make it easy to prepare some of your favorite dishes in no time at all. I gave this model a rating of four and a half out of five stars.