Rice Cooker Report

asoloMarch 13, 2006


Purchased Panasonic SR-MM10NS from Williams-Sonoma a month ago. $160.00. Vastly superior flavor/texture compared with previous stove-top methods and much more convenient. Costs too much, but I'm completely converted. Easy to learn. Easy to use. Easy to transport with its own handle. Power cord winds up inside. Cooked rice ready when you say, then kept warm while you're doing other stuff. Really like it.

This is the model Wall Street Journal article last December mentioned as their favorite of the group they tested. Can't speak to the others, but this one's a winner. Highly recommended.

Best white rice found to date is Kokuho Rose varietal from Koda Farms in California. Wonderful stuff, and even more so prepared in the new machine.

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I have the Cuisinart rice cooker and LOVE it. I can't live without it.

I completely agree with you on the Kokuho Rose - you can't beat the huge bag from Cost-co...this rice is for people who like short grain, sticky rice. I, personally, cannot stand seperated rice...so this is perfect for me!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 2:39AM
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I have a Pampered Chef Microwave Rice Cooker. Make great rice, not to mention, mashed potatoes, rice pudding, and even cakes.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 5:21PM
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I bought an old Zojirushi one off Ebay, the kind they had before fuzzy logic rice cookers, and it is absolutely fantastic. I haven't had a problem with it, makes lovely rice, perfect every time. We use Nishiki since we like sticky rice :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 2:33PM
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I too bought the Zojirushi nuro fuzzy logic unit off Ebay. I am not sure logic will every justify spending over $100 on a rice cooker, but boy do I love it. We now have rice several times a week, and I think I am ready to try sushi.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 11:24PM
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We've had a Zojirushi for quite a few years - DH insisted we needed to get one after he got used to using a rice cooker when he lived in Japan for awhile. I'm not into having a lot of small appliances so I wasn't in favor of getting something with such a specialized use - especially when I never really ate rice. I also thought I could never justify the price of it.

Well, I was wrong. That thing has gotten more use than any other small appliance we've ever had. Since it makes rice so hands off easy, we have rice as a side dish much more often than we ever used to. I'd never be without one now.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 11:29AM
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I have the Panasonice SRMM10NS fuzzy logic from Williams Sonoma. Was a gift. No instructions in the sealed box. I figured out how to use it, but now (6 mos later) I've got an message when I plug it in. "H01" Mind looking it up and telling me what I need to do next? I'd appreciate it! Hunted all over for the directions on the website, to no avail. Tried emailing, but all I get from Panasonic is a "pre-recorded" email.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 12:01AM
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Regret to tell you book says error codes H01 -- H06 mean "ask for service".

Warranty is one year parts and labor.

Call 1-800-211-7262 or visit web-site panasonic.com according to warranty slip.

Sorry for your trouble. Mine's been working like a champ.

Williams-Sonoma's a good outfit. Maybe chance of exchange for new?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 11:55AM
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suz_in_ffx, yes, asolo is absolutely right about WS's return/exchange policies. You should not have a problem getting a new machine from them. I have exchanged items long after buying them when they developed a problem. WS has always been extremely accommodating.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 12:23PM
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Thanks so much for your report! I've been thinking of buying a rice maker for some time, and now that I'm going back to work full-time, I'm especially interested in finding some good time savers. This sounds like it could be one :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 6:09PM
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I purchased a 7 cup rice cooker made by Wolfgang Puck. I really like it. It does brown a little too much at the center of the bottom of the pan but otherwise works great. I have expanded my use of it and made lentil soup, stuffed bell peppers and a cabbage dish last night. I have really put it to use.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 11:14AM
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just my 2 pesos worth:

I boil rice in a pan on the stove for 10 minutes, then I drain it and put it in a bamboo steamer for 10 more minutes. It comes out perfect for me. ( I like my rice "fluffy" rather than "sticky". )

Sometimes I add tumeric to the boiling water (1st phase). The tumeric gives the rice a nice mellow-yellow appearance and tumeric is said to be very healthy.

I live at 6500 ft. altitude. If anyone cares to try this method and lives at a different altitude, you may need to adjust your cooking times a little bit to compensate for the altitude differential.

Best Regards,
Bruce (Junkmanme in New Mexico)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 11:10AM
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A friend who cooks millions of rice dishes gave me a plain, plug-in rice cooker in 1983. She told me I needed one, and I couldn't imagine why. I have used it ever since--right up until the present. I think it was made by Panasonic. I've thought about fancier ones, but I am very attached to this one. It's still in perfect condition, so I am sticking with it!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 4:30PM
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Can you use these high-end rice cookers to properly cook barley or steel-cut oats?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 8:12PM
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krustytopp, yes, you can. I highly recommend a cookbook entitled "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Haensperger, Julie Kaufmann. You can probably pick up a used copy on Amazon or eBay for a good price.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 11:26AM
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I purchased a Zojirushi induction model about 9 months ago, love it. It makes perfect rice that is hard to achieve otherwise. I use the soft setting and use Thai jasmine or Kokuho rose rice. Having a rice cooker I now make sushi 3 to 4 times a week.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 12:41PM
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I was just reading the Korin Catalog and noticed that their Zojirushi rice maker has a "porridge" setting.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 5:24PM
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I've ordered "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" suzyq3 mentioned to help me decide if a rice cooker is what I want for cooking grains.

According to the many excellent reviews of this book, fuzzy-logic cookers cannot be used as steamers.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 6:29PM
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"According to the many excellent reviews of this book, fuzzy-logic cookers cannot be used as steamers."

Krustytopp, I have no idea why any review would say such a thing. The book has a chapter on steaming, and the booklet that came with my fuzzy logic rice cooker has a chapter on steaming. The cooker, in fact, comes with a perforated steel steaming rack.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 11:23AM
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I cook mostly wild rice - the real stuff - not the supermarket paddy rice. Do you know if any of these rice cookers would accomodate wild rice?
Thanks for any help!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 3:37PM
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I'd second Bruce's post above. I have a Zojirushi and rarely use it; I prefer rice fluffy and separate rather than sticky, and I haven't been able to produce non-sticky rice in a rice cooker.

My technique is very similar to Bruce's. All you need is a saucepan that has a tight fitting steamer insert top. Boil the rice in the bottom of the saucepan for 8-10 minutes in a volume of water at least 3 to 4 times more than the volume of rice. (you can add a little salt and/or butter to the water if you want.) After it boils for 8-10 minutes, strain it into the steamer insert at the sink; run hot water through the rice until it runs clear to remove excess starch. Put about an inch of water in the now-empty bottom of the saucepan, put it on to boil, place the steamer insert with the boiled rice on top, cover the whole shebang. When it comes to a vigorous boil cut down the heat to medium and start timing; ten minutes later the rice will be perfectly fluffy and separate.

Basically boil for 8-10, drain & rinse, steam for 10.

This works well with long grain American rice. It also works with basmati, although you won't get the exquisitely separate grains you'll find in Indian cookery.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 4:54PM
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niinetta, yes, the fuzzy logic rice cooker will accommodate wild rice. The cookbook I recommended to krustytopp has a section with the basics and recipes.

arley, I've never noticed my rice being particularly sticky, unless of course I use medium- or short-grain. The long grain varieties come out fine. But the convenience of a rice cooker would take precedence over any subtle difference for me anyway. **Usually rice is a side dish for us, and I love the fact that I can throw it in with water and a little salt, turn it on, and...that's it. I also like the "keep warm" feature that allows me some latitude in timing.

**I have made one Asian-inspired chicken, rice, and veggie dish from "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" that was very simple and quite good.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Posted by asolo on Mon, Nov 20, 06 at 17:14 on appliances forum thread:
Copied/pasted from previous post on similar thread. Thought belonged here as well.

Slightly off-topic but very important IMHO......
Use bottled water for both rinsing and cooking rice. You'll notice the difference. Suggested to me by a member of the Koda family (Kokuho Rose growers/sellers) and found to be excellent advice in my own experience. Using their rice, my Panasonic cooker (Willams-Sonoma), and bottled water I'm getting regular compliments from my guests -- and, really, who notices white rice? I find it very interesting to have people notice and ask me what I'm using and how I did it. Apparently its not just me.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 2:42PM
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That is interesting, asolo. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 11:32AM
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I concur with washing the rice before cooking. I recommend it to my automatic rice cooker blog readers as well. I believe the washing is important to remove excess starch. I also heard it washes the talcum powder off of some imported rice brands. Anyone else heard of this? I'd be curious to know.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:27PM
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I also own a Zojirushi Fuzzy Logic rice cooker. While very expensive, does make perfect rice each time and has promoted us to eat more healthy rice. We also have "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" which, we agree, is a great book.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 9:26AM
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