Rice cookers..which one?

artsyshellJanuary 6, 2007

Hi everyone am looking to buy a rice cooker, with a gift card I recieved. My options are Rival 16cup, Toastess 20cup, Black and decker 24cup, or Oster 10cup. Anybody have any of these or can anyone reccommend one of these?

Thanks so much.

Shelley

ssommerville@shaw.ca

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texas-weed

Shelly my advice is to use that certificate for something else. A rice cooker is a uni-tasker and just takes up a lot of cabinet space. I received one for Christmas a few years back, used it once, and then gave it away.

Once you know the secret to cooking rice, there is no better way than a good heavy pan with a tight fitting lid for perfect rice every time.

If you are going to get one, find one where the size fits your familys needs and uses fuzzy logic timing. That is a fancy word for one that turns itself off when it reaches 213 degrees. The logic is when the temp reaches 213 all the water is gone.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 11:33PM
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jackidr

I have the Oster, but can't say that I would purchase it again. The rice sticks to the bottom and scorches. This is my second rice cooker. First was a salton and it did the same thing. When it died, I went up a little to the Oster. I guess you really have to go with the high end ones to get one where the rice doesn't scorch on the bottom. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 12:28AM
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artsyshell

Thanks for the help and info. I will reconsider wether I really want to get one, and if I do, I won't get the Oster.
Thanks

Shelley

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 4:14PM
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asolo

Recent thread on this forum. Many opinions as well as my own. Scan back until you find this:

Rice Cooker Report
Posted by: asolo on Mon, Mar 13, 06 at 18:12
23 follow-ups, last one posted on Fri, Nov 24, 06 at 11:32

Disagree with previous posters. I've cooked rice stove-top for decades. Liked it fine. Rice cookers much more convenient and do a better job. If you don't eat much rice, not much point. If you do, and if you LIKE it, quality cookers produce superior results -- plus the convenience.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 6:54PM
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kitchendetective

I gave my DSD a Zojirushi neuro-fuzzy-etc. one for Xmas. She LOVES it. Is using it to make sushi. I have an old basic one that was a gift--National or Panasonic or something, you just plug it in and forget it. I do use it and find it is worth owning, however, ordinarily, I do not cook in aluminum and the lining of this is aluminum, which I would try to avoid, were I to purchase one for myself. I believe the Zoj. is stainless.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 11:34AM
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justadncr

I love my rice cooker! Sure you can make rice with a good pot with lid but can you ut it on and go for a walk and it stops when it is done. Or you call your kids from work and tell them to put on rice and its done when you get home no matter how late you are. I also cook cous cous, millet and other grains. I still am amazed it knows when it is done. Mine sticks alittle in the bottom but I would never give it up!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 1:35AM
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suzyq3

justadncr, I love mine too. I have a 10-cup Panasonic fuzzy logic cooker. Fortunately, it has a nonstick interior, which has not deteriorated at all and makes it a breeze to clean.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 11:56AM
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torontoontario

I think I made a bad purchase. I bought 2 Cusinart Rice Cookers (7 or 8 cups), one for home and one for weekend home. They always seem to overflow, even when I just cook 1 cup of rice.

Does anyone else have experience with Cusinart? It looks great. The rice comes out OK. But what a mess.

I tried it for oatmeal and it boiled over so badly, I will never do that again.

Any comments are very welcome.

Thx.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:43PM
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bubbamike

I have a 15 year old Zojirushi micon and love it. It works perfectly. I use it to cook brown rice, barley, oatmeal, 10 grain cereal, steel cut oats, so on and so forth. Hardly a unitasker. Those who don't know better always like to throw that around. Anyway I set it to make breakfast before I go to bed and my cereal is ready when I awake, I rince it out and set it to make my rice and it is ready when I get back from work. A neat tool. If I was buying now I'd get the Zojirushi induction fuzzy logic cooker.

Oh and Zojirushi is a great company. I lost a part a couple of years ago and called and they sent it to me for free. You can't beat their service.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 11:04PM
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asolo

Torontoontario......this sounds suspicious.

Often times the "cups" mentioned in the cookers directions refer to their own enclosed cup...not a regular measuring cup. For example my "five-cup" Panasonic includes a "cup" that is actually 3/4 of a regular measuring cup in volume. Using the enclosed cup works perfectly. If I put a five full measuring cups in there, I'll bet mine would overflow, too. Do you think that might be it?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 2:53PM
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torontoontario

Asolo:

Thanks for your thoughts. While, I do use the enclosed 3/4 cup measuring cup, I think I added a bit too much water. It was just ever-so-slightly above the line. I used 3/4 cups of rice and added water to the 1 cup line. I'll let you know how this experiment works out.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 9:17PM
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asolo

FWIW.....

The graduations in my cooker's bowl measure out to about 1.25x as much water as rice. Coinicidentally, that's also the ratio recommended by the directions on the Kokuho Rose rice I prefer.

Another tip received directly from a member of the Koda family (growers of Kokuho Rose) is to rinse and cook using bottled water. Seems like a silly extravagance but the result was noticable by everyone at my table.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 3:52PM
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torontoontario

So, even in a pot, one uses water only at 1.25x the rice? No wonder my rice has never turned out very good - perpetually overwatering.

That's interesting about the water. I use reverse osmosis water, which is like bottled.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 11:01PM
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danab_z9_la

A few comments from a guy who cooks hundreds of pounds of rice per year in quantities ranging from 1 cup through 25 pound batches.

1) All good brands of rice cookers will form a crust when cooking rice. This crust should have a slight brown color to it. As this slight brown crust forms in the cooking process, it produces an aroma that actually flavors the rice. The chinese save and use this crust to make the "singing" rice that they add to some soup dishes.

I regularly cook Jambalya in 15 gallon cast iron pots using 25 pounds of rice. I purposedly try to form a brown crust on the bottom of the pot to add extra flavor to my jambalaya. We Cajuns call this crust the "Gratin". The trick is to get the rice to brown on the bottom of the pot and not burn. I also manipulate the heat in an attempt to cause each individual rice grain to split along its seam....this adds extra mouth feel appeal to the finished product. Cajun jambalya judges look for this grain split in competition cooking.

The crust or gratin that forms in a rice cooker pot is very easy to remove. Just add water to the pot and let it soak for awhile and the crust is easily removed with a scrub pad.

2) I use several Hitachi brand electric rice cookers from 8 cup to 23 cup. I highly recommend them. Besides rice, I use them to cook potatoes, dirty rice, and small batch jambalayas right in the rice cooker. One day I will post some of these rice cooker recipes.....they're easy and very good.

3) I also have two Progressive International Corp. Microwave rice cookers which I use most of the time for small batches of rice. Rice is cooked in 12 to 15 minutes. The cooker is made out of high temperature plastic. No crust is formed in this cooker as the temperature doesn't get high enough to form a crust. Since the cooker is non-reactive, unused rice can be stored in the cooker in the refrigerator. To heat up cold rice from the refrigerator just add a little water to the cooker contents and put in the microwave for a few minutes. This cooker is super easy to clean as nothing sticks to the high temperature plastic. They cost from $10 to $15. I highly recommend this type cooker too. (This cooker also works well as a steamer for fresh vegetables.)

4) Water to rice ratio varies with type of rice cooked and personal preferance. I always use long grain rice because I like my rice grains to be separate. For large batches of rice as in Jambalyas I use 1.25 volumes of water per volume of rice. This ratio for long grain rice produces the consistency that I like. Some cooks use a 1 to 1 ratio to produce a drier rice and others choose to use a 1.5 to 1 ratio to produce a softer rice.......personal preference.
Use medium or short grain rice for a softer or more sticky finished product.

5) In summary, rice cookers are great at consistently producing excellent rice.....unattended. Buy the type and size rice cooker that is suitable to your needs. IMO every kitchen should at least have the microwave variety.

Dan

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 11:19PM
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asolo

Hey danab z9 la...

Thanks for this post! Printing out and saving for future reference.

Don't think I'll ever do 25lbs at a crack, but this is great info.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 6:53PM
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danab_z9_la

One other comment.......

Some people complain about the texture of rice that is cooked in a rice cooker. I agree that the texture will not be right if you skip the following simple step:

It is VERY VERY VERY important to gently lift and turn the contents of the rice cooker a minute of two after the rice is cooked....after the bell goes off in case of the Hitachi brand cooker. This is necessary so as to open up the packed rice inside which then allows for better rice steaming. If you do not perform this gentle mixing step, the rice will not steam blossom as it should and will be a little tougher than it should otherwise be. It will be cooked but won't have the right mouth feel.

The same holds true for the microwave cooker......gently mix the contents a minute or two after the cooking time has elapsed.

Try cooking both ways and you will see what I mean.

Dan

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 8:00PM
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