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Anybody Got A Rice Cooker They're Fond Of?

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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:24 PM
Original message
Anybody Got A Rice Cooker They're Fond Of?

I'm thinking about buying one; doesn't need to be that big, since it'll just be for my wife and I, by and large. I don't think we need any fancy "fuzzy logic" features, but I'm open to suggestions.

Many thanks.....
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. I used to use one all the time..
then I learned it is much easier cleanup just doing in a good pot with a lid.

1 cup of rice
2 cups of water (plus a li'l more cause I like it soft)
dash of salt
splash of olive oil
splash of caribbean hot sauce

get to boil, cover, lower heat to a wee bit above low

wait 15 min and take off stove. No peeking :D

Then it's just a pot and lid to wash.

Just what I learned. hehe.. I'm just a big kid in the kitchen :P

:hi:
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I agree with Inchworm
Water, Rice (2:1 ratio - two parts water to 1 part rice)....pot with 'good'/not perfect fitting lid.

Bring the rice and water to a boil. Stir. Reduce heat to lowest setting and place the lid on the pot. Let simmer for 18 minutes (no peeking). Turn off heat and let the pot sit undisturbed for at least 10 minutes. Viola! Perfect rice!

(Salt, olive oil, caribbean sauce, et al might be a nice addition, but totally unnecessary. Rice, water, pot, lid, heat source is ALL you need to make perfect rice).
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm with Inchworm
Edited on Sat May-02-09 09:17 PM by eleny
Many love their steamers and use them for other things besides rice. But I used to cook Japanese sticky rice every day for our big dog who had food allergies. And sometimes made a larger batch so me and hubby could have some with our own dinner.

I suggest using a pot with a tight fitting or heavy lid and use a cup of water and two cups of rice. Bring it to a boil, cover, simmer on the lowest heat for 15-20 minutes and that's that. Like Inchworm cautioned - no peeking.

The secret is finding that low temp that works at your altitude. Here at a mile high I'd cook the rice for 20 minutes on the lowest gas setting. Perfect every time.

Good luck!
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Eleny - I think you've got that backwards.....
You said:

a cup of water and two cups of rice.

Don't you mean two cups of water and one cup of rice?
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Thanks!!! Otherwise, it would turn out a sculpture medium!
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. i got mine for $2 at a garage sale
works great as long as I remember to spray the pot with cooking spray b4 I cook
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Interesting about cooking spray.
I bought a rice cooker some years ago. It was an absolute BRUTE to clean, needing TONS of scrubbing. I returned it to the store & exchanged for a different one. It was the SAME! A horror to clean/scrub. I took it back.

When I told my mother of this, she said, "Oh, yer crazy." She went out and bought one. After spending an hour scrubbing it, she took it back. We went back to our good ol' Revereware saucepans.

I think the problem was the aluminum interior. Probably a different interior like stainless or ceramic would have worked OR perhaps cooking spray!
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. yup, they're impossible to clean otherwise
but a spray before you load em, cleans up like a charm
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'd say two options...

You say you don't want fuzzy logic, but the best cooker I ever had was a National Rice Cooker (made by Panasonic, sold mainly in Japan, but you can look them up and get them here). The Japanese take their rice seriously, and they don't ef around.

Either that, or a Le Creuset pot (or any pot, I guess) - and just do a good job cooking.

Anything in-between is a waste of money, IMHO. I had an American "rice cooker" but it was a piece of crap. So, either get a regular but decent cookware pot, or get a serious rice cooker, but don't do anything in-between.
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
7. Thanks For The Advice, Everyone......
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
9. I'm perfectly happy with the $14.00 Rival cooker from Wally's
Edited on Sun May-03-09 11:56 AM by Warpy
All it does is cook the rice. It doesn't have a warming function although the residual heat keeps it warm for nearly half an hour. It cooks a perfect amount for two or for one who keeps it in the fridge for reheating. It sucks up a minimum of counter space. Cleanup is restricted to the removable pot and a lid.

It does a good job on both white rice and brown rice. Best of all, it doesn't burn the rice when I get involved in writing a series of flames on the computer.

Mine is about six years old and I think they're probably up to about $16.00 by now, but they're certainly honeys for the money. When it finally dies, I'll get another one just like it.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. What is the interior surface?
Maybe I'd give it another go, if it isn't like the ones I tried many years ago. (post above)
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Sorta like this, Warpy?


It's a Rival at $14.99, and DOES have a warmer setting.

-6 cup cooked rice capacity
-Cook and Keep warm settings
-Non-stick removable bowl for easy clean up
-External steaming basket included
-Indicator lights to specify cooking cycle
-Tempered glass lid
-Accessories include rice measuring cup and ladle

-$14.99 In Stock


AND HAS A NON-STICK BOWL! I think I gotta get one.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Mine is cheaper
and this one is a bit better. It certainly looks like a best buy for the buck.

The counter footprint looks to be about the same but it'll do more rice than mine will.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. It's a plain aluminum pot
which is perfectly fine for non acid foods and probably fine for acid foods.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. All of the Asian made rice cookers have "fuzzy logic". It is what gave rise to genre.
We have a cheap-o with an Asian brand name we never heard of. I want to say we paid $20 or $30 for it - not a lot at all. I would bet even cheaper ones work just as well.

The fuzzy logic works on some algorithm of time, temperature and moisture. I'm not sure a more expensive cooker uses a better logic. I would guess the price just gets a prettier case and maybe more durable/cleanable interior.

Ours has a teflon coated pot that is removable. While we wash it, it can probably get by with a simple rinse. Then the inner lid needs a cleaning every few uses. That we do, indeed, just wipe off.

We've had ours for many years. It looks and works like new. We just use it for cooking rice.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. sounds like mine
a zojirushi, by any chance? This is our second one: the first was a cheap model that the rice stuck to all the time, but this one has a teflon-coated pot like you describe. I think it's about 10 years old.

When we first got one I thought it was a gimmick. Now I find I'm using it 3-4 times a week, for a variety of grains. What I like about it is that I can start the rice while I'm deciding what to make for dinner, and the cooker will keep it warm until everything else is done. Plus, it frees up a burner, and requires no attention other than turning it on.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. I LOVE my rice cooker....

Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Rice Cooker


drop in any kind of rice with the usual ratio of water
and press down the lever and put on the lid
when the pan's temp begins to heat, because the water is all absorbed, it shuts off

it's small and fits in my cupboard
teflon coated pan never sticks
the lid goes in the dishwasher
we've used it at least once a week for a long time and it's still like new...


I LOVE my rice cooker, no watching the pan, no timing, no boil over sticky mess, no stove-top pan to wash - a rinse will clean it. It does it's job without any attention - I can go off and forget it... How many things in your life are that easy?
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
17. There's a selection here...
(I can't vouch for the company or the link, but just to give you an idea of the options...)

http://www.quickspice.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/scstore/...

This looks pretty close to what I used to use:



I didn't buy it, it was at work, bought by someone who spent a fair amount of time in Japan. We spent a lot of time and soy sauce eating rice - carbs, however, do add up, but damn - it was good rice. You have to get the short grain to get the "stickiness".

National is a subdivision of Panasonic, and is mainly known outside of the U.S., not so much in this country.


I also bought a cheapo "rice cooker" from Wal-Mart, but it was a piece of crap, and frankly I did better with my Le Creuset pot than that piece of junk.


Let us know what you decide to do! If you take your rice seriously, though, I really do recommend the National Rice Cooker with Fuzzy Logic. It makes perfect rice.


- Tab
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
18. You Traditionalists Ought To Like This.

As part of my regular Sunday night Oriental cooking ritual, I did some Korean glutenous (sticky)rice the regular way: in the usual pot I use, 2:1 water/rice, bring to boil, cook over low heat for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for 10 more minutes. Results: perfect.

I'm still thinking about a rice cooker, but it's gratifying to have something turn out well, using the old fashioned methods.........

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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Amen to that ............
The simplest is the best. You don't need a rice cooker.

Now, what will you do with the $$$ you just saved?
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-05-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. How About I Buy A 20-Lb. Bag Of Rice With It?

Seems like that's about the smallest amount you can buy in our area Oriental markets......
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-05-09 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I can get five pound bags,
which last me about a year.

Maybe a good bottle of wine? A big fat steak?

Or, given how things are going, a hamburger, fries, and a Coke?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-05-09 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Look around, most markets rebag it five pounds at a whack
If you get desperate, you can always go to Wally's. They have Calrose in five pound bags in the Asian section.
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Lorax Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
22. Aroma 8-cup from Target
I bought this one a couple of years ago at Target.

http://www.target.com/Aroma-8-Cup-Cool-Touch-Rice-Cooke...

As a matter of fact, I think the price is still the same. I use it at least once a week, more if I'm on an Asian cooking kick.

The insert thingy-thing where you put the rice and water comes out for cleaning. I guess they are all like that. It has to be hand washed to preserve it's non-teflon non-stick properties. I've never had anything stick that couldn't be cleaned out after a short soak in hot water.

Yes, you can make rice in a good pot with a well-fitting lid. I had done so for years. However, I now prefer the rice cooker because:
1)It frees up a burner on the stove top.
2)It will make rice without making my kitchen ridiculously hot in the summer.
3)Use the delayed start and the keep warm features to make sure the cooking-challenged members of the family will actually eat real food if you aren't home at dinner time. I used this more when I was really into the crockpot but now I'm using the pressure cooker more so it's not as much of an issue. Plus I'm always home these days.
4)If my attention is drawn to something else (like a dog stealing something, pooping somewhere, or a teenager screaming about a dog stealing, pooping, etc.) then my rice will be ok. The rest of my meal could be ruined but at least I'll have rice to eat.
5)Perfect rice ALL the time. No matter what.
6)Dogs can't steal rice in a rice cooker.

The only con I can think of is that I haven't been able to figure out how to make a Tahdig in a rice maker. For that I break out the enameled cast iron pot.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-05-09 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. What happens when you try
to make tahdig in the rice cooker?

I make mine in an old cast iron pot, too, and it's never failed me, but I would think a rice cooker, with its consistent low setting, would be ideal for this. It would, maybe, be a bear to clean out, but the oil on the bottom should minimize that.

Now you've got me curious. And hungry..........................
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Lorax Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. It never crisps
The rice cooker automatically switches settings from cook to warm when the rice is cooked. I'm thinking there must be a sensor that makes the switch when steam stops coming out of the vent.

I've tried it with various combinations of butter and oil added to the rice either before cooking or in the middle of a cooking cycle and only ended up with buttery rice. Which is nice in it's own right, but it's not tahdig. I've even tried adding the oil/butter at the end of a cooking cycle and then putting it through a second cook cycle. That attempt resulted in a very slight crispness of rice at the bottom of the cooker. But again, not really tahdig.

I do love tahdig and when I first got the rice cooker I did a lot of research into how I could make it happen in the cooker. I think I remember seeing somewhere that there are rice cookers sold specifically to make tahdig. They either weren't available in the US or they were expensive, but for some reason I just gave up.

I have no business owning a rice cooker that can make tahdig. If I did, I'd be eating tahdig every day. That is the last thing I need.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Fuzzy logic kicks in when the water has been absorbed
and the temperature of the pot starts to rise above the boiling point of water.

If you lived at this altitude you'd get the crispies, water boils at 200 degrees. I always have a little brown at the bottom of the pot.

It's why the cooker will do both brown and white rice.
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