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How many people own a rice cooker?
Old 02-07-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
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How many people own a rice cooker?

I just ordered a $110 Sanyo 5 1/2 cup rice cooker from Amazon. I like rice, but not minute rice, but hate to cook rice cause you have to monitor it closely and it is hard to get it just right. So I bought one of those fuzzy logic ones that is supposed to take care of all of that for you, and do other stuff as well. I didn't start out to buy a $110 rice cooker, but as it goes the more you research and read sometimes, the more you spend. I also went to a Asian supermarket yesterday to buy the good rice, and got stuff to make Miso Soup (something I really like) Guess I'm going Japanese.

Do any of you use them? What kind do you have and what do you make? (Yes, I know. Rice...) How often do you use it?
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:43 PM   #2
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I am from Japan and I own a fuzzy logic Sanyo rice cooker too. (Mine is smaller - 3 cup cooker, I think.) I use mine every 2-3 weeks or so. I cook white rice (short grain) or cook lightly milled sprouted brown rice in it (healthier than straight brown rice. Lightly milled to get more phytic acid off the skin)
Lightly Milled Sprouted Brown Rice 6 x 20 oz. Stand Up Pouch: Amazon.com: Grocery & Gourmet Food
- I use the white rice setting but put slightly more water in it.)

Any flavored rice (with chicken broth, etc) brown the bottom pretty good.

Fuzzy or not, the amount of water you put in determines the length of cooking.

I have this book below. (I was thinking of gifting a rice cooker to someone and I wanted to have it accompanied by something that would help her with her cooking.) I have only made one recipe from it (japanese chestnut rice) but this book shows how to utilize the rice cooker to its fullest potential, although I must say I would probably never use a rice cooker to cook beans in. It does have tons of flavored rice recipes in it, which you might find interesting.


Amazon.com: The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker (9781558322035): Beth Hensperger, Julie Kaufmann: Books
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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We use a rice cooker but then I am of Japanese descent so I grew up with them. I don't know how much better a fuzzy logic one is from the others. The one I have had for 15 years is easy, you can wash the rice (or not), dump it in with the water and push the button. You can also add spice or chicken stock (instead of the water) to flavor the rice.

I would suggest you try different rices. We started out with Calrose and Botan because that is what I grew up with but DW liked a different type whose name slips my mind. Try the different brands plus you can order online. We use it a lot.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:51 PM   #4
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I do not have a rice cooker, but plan to get one some day. Right now I just do "boil-in-the-bag" rice, probably three times a week. The only advantage of boil-in-the-bag compared with old fashioned methods is the near zero cleanup requirements and no monitoring required; the rice isn't that great. I'm sure rice from a rice cooker would be a lot better and may not require too much cleanup.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #5
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I make rice often, usually basmati. Rice cookers work wonderfully, but I don't own one or consider them essential.

1 cup rice, 2 cups water + a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover & simmer till the water evaporates. Do it once, checking every few minutes. After that, note the time it took & use a timer. On my stove, it takes me 9 minutes for a 1/2 cup of rice. It works flawlessly every time.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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I don't own a rice cooker. I use a thick walled teflon coated 2.5 quart saucepan with a glass lid. It is the best pot I own for making rice.
I have a gas stove and can control the boil/simmer cooking very easily.
It is important to let the rice stand for the 5 minutes after the 20 minute timer goes off. I leave it right on the burner for those last 5 minutes.

I fluff the cooked rice with a large plastic fork utensil before serving.

I use a powdered soup starter mix (low salt version) for chicken flavoring to make pilaf. I add other spices like turmeric, or a smidge of granulated garlic, maybe some Mrs Dash. I will sometimes chop fresh chives into the rice before the bring-to-a-boil phase. I never add salt to my rice.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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We've got a Pampered Chef rice cooker that goes in the microwave. It seems to me to do a good job with both white and brown rice, though I'm not a rice snob so I might not be a good judge of such things.

Throw the whole thing in the dishwasher, cleanup is a snap.

Downside: 1 cup dry rice max, so enough only for 3-4 few servings
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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I have a microwave one which i like. very simple and it works well for me.

Amazon.com: Nordic Ware Microwave Rice Cooker 8 Cup: Kitchen & Dining

Just make sure you have the right amount of water in it when you start.
it may take a few runs before you get the ratio perfect.

For 11 bucks i think it's worth a try before buying something fancier.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:11 PM   #9
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I bought a cheap rice cooker made in China. I figured that if they don't know how to cook rice, no one does.

It seems to work fine.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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I make rice probably three or more times per week. Mostly plain white, but sometimes basmatti, or jasmine, sometimes spiced or with stock, depends on what else we're eating. I usually make 1.5 cups, but sometimes double it. I've never had a problem getting it to come out right on the stove, so I never saw the need for a rice cooker.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:21 PM   #11
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I have a Hitachi Chime-o-Matic that became mine when my mother passed in '76. She had it at least 4 or 5 years. Other than cooking rice we have found that it is good for steaming tamales. It is affectionately known as the ding-ding pot.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
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I love my rice cooker, and use it a minimum of once a week.

It's the fuzzy logic kind, with a National brand name (which is really Panasonic), and I've had it for at least 10 years. It's the 10 cup size, although I almost never make more than 4.

I use it for all kinds of rice, and the wonderful thing about these machines is that you simply set it and forget it -- the rice always comes out absolutely perfect.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #13
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What does a rice cooker do for you (I know, it cooks the rice...)? I'm hard pressed to understand how any fuzzy-logic is going to help make rice any better. I suppose it could be monitoring temperature and time, and going for a specific slope, independent of the amount of rice in there. Maybe they can tell the moisture content by the temperature to know when it's done (I think that's how clothes dryer settings work - the less water the higher the drum temp gets)?

Like a few others said, the water/rice ratio is key. Similar to freebird, I use a 2.5Q saucepan (SS) with glass lid (though any lid should do). Bring to simmer, cover on low heat for 20 min, 5 min rest and fluff.

Turns out perfect every time. For some reason DW has trouble with getting rice as good as I make it (it's about the only thing I cook better than her), but I bet she just doesn't pay close attention to the measurements or time.

I even find Risotto easy to make, but it does take attention. Once, I even totally screwed up a 'key' step (getting the rice translucent in the oil before adding liquid). I cussed myself out, but it turned out just fine (maybe not perfect, but close).


I try to avoid special purpose coookware, just part of trying to de-clutter. But that's just me.

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Old 02-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #14
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Have One, Don't use it.

My rice cooker sits way in the back of the cabinet. It's back there with the pressure cooker and the waffle iron that I hardly ever use.

It's just as easy to make rice in the microwave in a plastic container. With the rice cooker there's all that stuff that needs to get washed.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Turns out perfect every time. For some reason DW has trouble with getting rice as good as I make it (it's about the only thing I cook better than her), but I bet she just doesn't pay close attention to the measurements or time.
Quote:
the wonderful thing about these machines is that you simply set it and forget it -- the rice always comes out absolutely perfect.
See? Just two different paths to the same result.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:34 PM   #16
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In addition to what others have said, about proportions and time, the big "secret" to making rice is don't mess with it. Once you reduce the flame, leave it alone. If you're taking off the lid to "monitor" it, you're changing the cooking time. Rice cooks in steam, and when you remove the lid, you release the steam and heat, likely resulting in undercooked rice.

Rice is like your portfolio. Leave it alone and busy yourself with other things.
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best rice cooker
Old 02-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #17
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best rice cooker

We have used rice cookers for decades. The best one out there is Zojirushi. We like the smaller ones, as they seem to cook faster, yet make plenty for our family.

Most important is the choice of rice. My favorite is Kokuho Rose, a korean rice. It's a little sticky, and never dry.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:04 PM   #18
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I had no idea that cooking rice was so expensive, difficult, or even subject to under/over cooking.

We cook rice once or twice a month, usually with chili or Hamburger Helper. I like brown rice, which I hope is a species and not a lack of cleaning.

Our daughter despairs of being the only Hawaii girl in a Mainland college dorm without a personal rice cooker. I've told her that sounds like her personal problem...
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:08 PM   #19
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Ditto Nords!
I thought this was about the Charleston Rice cooker I own, that was $11 at the Condon's department store the first year I got married. Charleston knows rice.
It is a two part aluminum steamer (well, technically three if you count the lid). You put water in the bottom, rice and water in the steamer part, and here's the tough part....you put it on the stove burner.
Yep, that's it. I also use it for broccoli and asparagus.

Geez, them's some complicated dang appliances you folks have out there!
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #20
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I have an electric food steamer with a container for rice. I just follow the instructions, turn it on and leave it alone. It comes out perfectly every time.
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