Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity 37549 Review

With six programmable functions, this bargain-priced rice cooker makes up to 14 cups of perfect white or brown rice and other grains. It can also warm, simmer, or steam.

Pros: The Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity 37549 (starting at $33; available on Amazon) was selected by The Sweethome as the best rice cooker of 2016. The site's reviewers say this programmable rice cooker has great functionality for the price, works comparatively quickly, and made excellent rice of all kinds in testing. From long-grain white rice to short-grain brown rice, the final product comes out aromatic and sweet. The rice grains stand out individually, instead of clumping together.

The steamer basket that comes with this rice cooker is cited in many consumer reviews. Users say they like to prepare full meals in this machine, with vegetables and cut-up meat thrown in. There are also positive mentions of stews, soups, and even hard boiled eggs made in this rice cooker. One of the most appreciated features of the Hamilton Beach 37549 is the delay start -- it can be set up to 15 hours ahead, which allows hot cereal in the morning or a steaming meal ready and waiting at the end of a workday.

Cons: This machine might not be ideal for large families. The Hamilton Beach 37549 claims to yield up to 14 cups of cooked rice, but several reviews on BestBuy.com note that the stated amount is deceiving. Users claim that the cooked rice can fill 14 scoops of the included 180 ml measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker, but that's not as big as a standard American cup (about 240 ml). Many say the rice cooker makes about enough for two or three people as a main course, and could feed more as a side dish. Beware of over-filling, because there are warnings from more than a few users that making rice in large batches, and sometimes even smaller ones, causes this machine to overflow. There are also a few complaints that the rice gets a bit burnt on the bottom after sitting for a time.

Features: The Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity 37549 can be programmed for six functions: white rice, whole grain, quick rice, steam, heat and simmer, and keep warm. It keeps rice warm for up to 12 hours, which is good for families who eat at separate times. It comes with a steaming tray, measuring cup, and paddle. The nonstick inner pot is dishwasher-safe, and a detachable inner lid liner helps make cleanup easy.

Takeaway: The Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity 37549 lives up to its name and is applauded for convenience, cooking different types of rice, and no-fuss cleanup. For the price, its ability to make perfect rice makes it a good choice.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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