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Rice cooker problem
Old 12-18-2011, 07:20 PM   #1
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Rice cooker problem

There was a thread a while back about rice cookers that I followed when it was active. I thought maybe this would be something to try and perhaps it is better than a pressure cooker as they sound so easy to use. Now I have cooked brown rice in the same pressure cooker for 28 years and today is the 1st bad batch of rice I ever made - it was made in a rice cooker.

It is an Aroma ARC 996, bought at Target this week. I read and understand the directions. I made 2 cups (dry) of long grain brown rice. I chose this cooker because it has a setting for white or brown rice, great sounds like making brown rice will be perfect. The rice is only 85% cooked, it needed more water to finish, it is way too dry and chewy.

The owners manual seems to indicate that you put the rice in the bowl and then add water to the level for 2 cups of rice. I say "indicate" because it doesn't specify to add the water to the 2 cup level then add the rice which would result in more water. It also says that the finish light will come on when brown rice has 25 minutes to finish cooking, it came on and said 10 minutes so I don't trust these directions.

Does your rice cooker say to add the water then the rice so you have more water than putting in the rice 1st? Not too impressed.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:44 PM   #2
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I think your problem is very easily solved. When using a rice cooker, you must use considerably more water for brown rice than white rice. The instructions should have told you exactly how much to use, but if not, just go with 50% more and see how that works. You should be fine.

Also, the normal procedure is to add the rice, then water up to the level line.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your new rice cooker! I have never had any experience with that brand of rice cooker, but I'm sure that soon you will become more used to it and will love it as much as I love mine.

The instructions for my Zojirushi rice cooker indicate that the rice should be measured and added to the bowl first.
Then water should be added up to the corresponding line for that much rice.
There is a different set of lines for brown rice than for white rice, because as Braumeister says, brown rice takes more water.

My rice cooker has never produced rice that is less than perfect, IMO. I love it and will never make rice any other way now that I have it.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:44 PM   #4
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... I'm sure that soon you will become more used to it and will love it as much as I love mine.....
+ 1

Ignore the instructions. If I follow the instructions I get rice that I think sucks. But after trying different amounts of water I found what's needed to make it the way I like it.

T
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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I have a cheap old rice cooker that doesn't specify the type of rice, all it has is an on button and it keeps the rice warm when it's finished. Never use the markings in the unit either and it's not important which goes in first, I just use a measuring cup for the rice and water. Usually for white rice, 1 cup to 1.5 water, for brown it's usu. around 1 cup rice to 2 - 2.5 cups of water, you'll have to experiment to find the right amount. If it ends up dry, you can always add more water to fix it, if it's a little wet, keep it on warm and it'll dry out to the right moisture content too.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:18 PM   #6
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I find it odd that while this rice cooker has a cook button for white or brown rice it does not specify to use more water for brown. I thought that was odd but then again this miracle device is supposed to know how to cook the rice. I'm going to call customer support and ask about the water, I really don't want to have to make multiple pots of rice to find out how to do this. The pressure cooker is fool proof, perfect every time. I like the rice cooker as it is easier to clean and you just start it and walk away vs bringing the pressure cooker up to pressure then resetting the heat. I'm sure this will work out but right now I am disappointed at the result.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
I find it odd that while this rice cooker has a cook button for white or brown rice it does not specify to use more water for brown.
My rice cooker uses the same amount of water for white or brown rice. Basically, 1/2 cup more water than rice is needed. I always measure from the cup and not the lines in the pot part and it comes out fine.

The big difference between the white and brown settings is that the brown setting cooks much slower (maybe 2x or 3x the time) which gives the rice time to absorb the water.

Edit: I just took a look at my rice cooker and it is an Aroma brand as well.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:39 PM   #8
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You may want to go to amazon and check out the comments from people that have been making brown rice with this same unit. DW was reading an article that was stating the same thing, you need to add another 25% more water than what's stated to cook brown rice completely...If you think it's hard with a rice cooker, see if you can do it the old fashioned way, in a pot that isn't non stick! I think it's like anything else, you're just having to adjust to a new appliance.

Here's the link, hope it helps:
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Aroma ARC-996 12-Cup Cooked, 6-Cup Uncooked Capacity Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:52 AM   #9
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Based on the Amazon price, this appears to be just a basic rice cooker, not a miracle device. Perhaps the brown rice instructions were inserted by a marketing person who had never used the appliance. You already have feedback indicating the qualitative and quantitative nature of the changes needed and I doubt that it would take more than 1 or 2 iterations to get an acceptable result. This is no different than having to tweak an oven recipe because not all ovens have the same temperature even tho the setting is the same.

I also had to add significantly more water for brown rice in a basic rice cooker
(want to say 50% more but not sure since it's been a while). Results were fine.

DW then went out and bought a fuzzy logic rice cooker for 8x the price of
a basic machine. It cooks all kinds of rice by itself. I suppose it's a miracle machine but it better be at that price. I know nothing about using it including how much water you use but I do know that brown rice takes
over 2 hrs to cook while mixed rice takes only 30min.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:00 AM   #10
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Always put solid rice (white/brown/dark) into rice cooker at first and then add water, just like always put tea leaves into tea pot before adding water.

Those instruction inside rice cooker carton box only serves as a general guideline, not to be precisely followed. Cooking is an art, not science. My general thumb of rule is the (level) height ratio of rice and water in rice cooker should be around 1 : 1-1.5, depending on the rice type and the vigor of your teeth and stomach.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:50 AM   #11
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Ratio 2 1/4 cups water to 1 cup brown rice. 1 1/2 cups water to one cup white or converted rice. Standard measuring cups. That always works for me. Brown rice cooks longer simply because you added more water. I think the cooker turns off when it senses the water is absorbed because the temp starts to rise.

Simple Panasonic cooker. I also let it sit for 10 mins with lid on after turning off before opening and fluffing the rice.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
I find it odd that while this rice cooker has a cook button for white or brown rice it does not specify to use more water for brown. I thought that was odd but then again this miracle device is supposed to know how to cook the rice. I'm going to call customer support and ask about the water, I really don't want to have to make multiple pots of rice to find out how to do this. The pressure cooker is fool proof, perfect every time. I like the rice cooker as it is easier to clean and you just start it and walk away vs bringing the pressure cooker up to pressure then resetting the heat. I'm sure this will work out but right now I am disappointed at the result.
The brown rice package may have instructions for cooking in a rice cooker, including ratio of rice to water, that might save a lot of trial and error.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #13
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We have toyed with the idea of getting a rice cooker numerous times and never did for one reason or another. We like rice but always just boil it in a pan and let it set to absorbe the water. Minute rice. Big dab of butter, salt and pepper and you're good to go. DW likes the brown rice and I don't have a problem with that but I prefer white rice. None of it has any flavor, just what you put on it. I've had wild rice in restaurants and I like that. Never tried that at home. I guess my question would be, how much better can rice get? What can a rice cooker do that just boiling it in a pan cannot do? I think we have every cooking apparatus made and would add a rice cooker if I knew it was an advantage. Please clue me in.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:32 PM   #14
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This is for cooking real rice, not minute rice. If you tried to cook real rice the old fashioned way , you would spend your time babysitting it and would probably end up with "burnt" rice where it touched the pot.....you actually can get to like that chewy stuff. The rice cooker automates the process so no babysitting is required and the process is consistent , coming out the same every time w/o the "burnt" rice .
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:25 PM   #15
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I have always used the standard Asian approximate way of measuring -- add the rice to the pot, rinse, level out the rice on the bottom of the pot, then with your finger lightly touching the top of the rice add water to fill the pot to the depth of the first knuckle on your index finger. If you like your rice a bit softer/wetter, add slightly more water.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:13 PM   #16
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I follow the rice ratio for my Aroma rice cooker. Brown takes more than white. If I add lentils, I'll add a little more water. It has the level markings inside the pot...I should follow those and see what happens.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:33 AM   #17
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I have always done rice this way: Add water to any pot to the volume that I want to end up with. Then add rice to the center of the water. It will "cone up" under the water. When the top of the rice cone reaches the top of the water, that's the perfect amount of rice to add. No measuring cups for anything ever needed.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #18
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My rice cooker (Sanyo) has water level indicators, pour the rice in by the cup and add water to the corresponding cup indicator on the side of the bowl. The bowl has different water level indicators for white and brown rice, brown rice definitely requires more water. My rice cooker slow cooks the brown rice so it does take a lot longer then white rice but it comes out excellent every time.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:02 PM   #19
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I have always done rice this way: Add water to any pot to the volume that I want to end up with. Then add rice to the center of the water. It will "cone up" under the water. When the top of the rice cone reaches the top of the water, that's the perfect amount of rice to add. No measuring cups for anything ever needed.
very cute technique,presumably for white rice? Seems like you'd need
some measuring instrument for brown rice tho since the volcano would be
a Loihi.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:59 PM   #20
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So here's an update:

I called the customer support number and spoke to a person that has the exact same model as I have. She said that she cooks brown rice and adds just what the instructions call for ie no extra water for brown rice and hers is fine. Her suggestion was to add an extra 3/4 of a cup* of water.

I did that and the rice was much better though a full cup* may have been perfect, I'll try that next time.

*Now beware when I talk about the extra water re 3/4 of a cup! This is the measuring cup that came with the rice cooker. Just by looking at it I was sure that it is not the same as a true measuring cup. Sure enough I just checked it and when I added a 1/2 cup of water from a true measuring cup it filled their "measuring cup" to the 3/4 line!

The rice cooker appears to be a better way to make brown rice than my pressure cooker for 2 reasons. While the pc takes just 30 minutes once it is up to pressure and the rc takes about 80 minutes, the clean up is much simpler with the rc. Also I don't have to watch the rc, I just start it and walk away, the pc requires you to keep an eye on it and when it comes up to pressure you have to turn it down from high to low on the burner. After 28 years it looks like my pc is going to be used just to make beans, no more rice.
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