Well, the toaster is gone.
And now, partly due to TallySue I want to get a rice cooker.
Does anyone have one? Is it one of those things I'll wish I never had?
I have one. It's nice, but I don't pull it out that often. It is just as easy for me to make the rice on the stovetop or steam my veggies in a steampot on the stove.
I am really not sure why I don't pull it out more often. I can't really put my finger on it.
I love mine but I only use it when I have the kids or a dinner get together with friends. I like that I can put the rice on hours ahead of time and forget about it until dinner is ready and it always comes out the same. I have a Wan Can Cook Rice steamer.
I don't have a rice cooker, I use the following method, works like a charm....even my husband cooks the rice perfect.
Use a pan with a good tight fitting lid....
Add water and rice as per package instructions.
Place a paper towel on top of the pan (cut towel corners off if they hang down to close to the fire), cover towel with the lid.
This is the important part...
Cook rice for the time designated on package...DO NOT PEEK
Perfect fluffy rice, every time.
I program my microwave and so I don't have to "watch" the rice. I usually use brown basmati rice but this would work for white. Just reduce the 2nd phase timing below to 20 minutes or so. Probably would only take a couple of trials to figure out exactly. This keeps me from having to store another appliance which is worth a lot to me. And I never peek, don't need to.
I use a ceramic pot that used to be part of a crockpot that broke. Something like Corning ware would probably work too. Make sure that the water level isn't too close to the top else it could boil over during the first phase. Just a suggestion. I never have that problem.
phase 1 program: cook on high for 10 minutes - this assumes it will get to boiling within 10 minutes but I don't think I ever really tested, doesn't have to be that precise I don't think. Bottom line: I've been doing this for so many years I can't remember how I came up with the 10 minutes. LOL
phase 2 program: cook on 5 for 45 minutes (5 corresponds to half power on my microwave)
phase 3 program: cook on 1 for 10 minutes just to let things to settle out a bit. You can skip this if you are in a hurry but if you do, you still will need to let the rice sit on the counter for a bit (or in the refrigerator) to let it fluff up.
I have a rice cooker/steamer made by Oster. It has 2 clear steaming dishes plus a solid dish to cook the rice in. I keep mine out in the corner of my counter all the time. I can agree if it goes under I won't use it as much. George Foreman is lost to me and he is not far away.
My rice cooker is used mainly for steaming veggies. Mostly brocolli and you won't get any better brocolli or fresh green beans. Salmon is good in it too. Don't bother with a "plain" rice cooker unless you cook a ton of rice. My first was an Aroma and it was cheap and an aggraving critter that was supposed to "pop" when the rice was cooked but would pop early so I spent a lot of time wrestling with it. I usually cook rice longer than recommended in the Oster too - but I buy bagged rice from a Chinese food mart so there may be a difference. Kathy
George Foremans, anyone? I have not taken the plunge yet.
I have heard good things. What do you say?
Those of you who have one...do you use it? Or are you like Kathy...it's stored under, and is forgotten?
An XGF has the smaller original one. I'm not much on appliances like that. It was big enough to cook for the two of us, but it would not do if you had friends over. You had to pre-heat it for what seemed to me like a long time. You have to clean both heating elements and the "drip tray" (which always seemed like an afterthought to me). More trouble than it was worth, to me, considering I could put as much food as I ever cook at one time into the range's broiler and not feel like I had to clean it meticulously as soon as I was done. Not for me...
Ihave a small plain rice cooker, National. I takes small amount of spce in my cupboard, no more room than a pot. The cord is stored inside it. Put rice in with water, connect cord, start it and it shuts off when rice is ready. So easy. You can add any ingredients you want at any time and it still works great, no boil overs, timing, measuring, etc. I used to cook rice on the stove in a pot with a tight lid, had to watch when it started boiling, water level, lower heat, and watch to for all water to be steamed off. Yes, it'sanother pot but we do use it. I might use it even more if it was the type that steamed vegs also. It probably can if I stick a steamer basket in it to keep vegs out of the water. Anyway, one vote for rice steamer. I have a small GF broiler, it's OK, cleans fairly easy, catch drips on paper towel as tray slides around. I would not spend my money on a larger one though.
We have a George Foreman grill & really like it. We've cooked lots of different things in it: chicken, fish, lamb, steak, hot dogs, etc. Ours is fairly small, but not the smallest one; it will cook two good-size chicken breasts. My in-laws have a much larger one; it easily cooks enough meat for six people (with three of those being good-sized men). I just didn't need the larger one. If I'm cooking chicken for dinner & want to do a couple of extra breasts to make grilled chicken salad for the next day, I just put them on afterward. I can't believe how quickly it cooks. It's great for us because we don't need to warm up the entire oven to broil a couple of pieces of fish. We have a nice outdoor gas grill, but we hardly ever use it anymore because the Foreman is so much more convienent. Mine needs less than five minutes to warm up. I don't find cleanup difficult. I just wipe with a wet sponge while it's still hot. I put the drip tray in the dishwasher. I do wish that mine had the removable plates (they weren't avail. when we got ours). Also, mine doesn't have a timer. It's not a big deal, but if I was buying a new one I'd like a timer. We'll definitely replace ours when it dies.
I have a rice cooker whcih is really rarely used. There are so many sections to be washed & the amt of rice it makes it so small. You can use it to steam vegie but I can do that on my stove with less stuff. I hated steaming the chicken & fish though.
George Forman while the food it makes is decent the cleaner up is a pain & the white plastic exterior gets greasy & stained. They now make one they sell on QVC that has the removable grills. I'd go for that one.
Ok, so far I'm in love with the GF.
I did try and find one with a timer, but somehow still ended up getting home with a model that didn't have it. Nonetheless, it makes delicious meat, and so far I'm happy with cleanup.
And last night, reading the manual, I found I could grill onions. OMG!! How delicious!!! I had skinless chicken with grilled onions on the side. What a treat for a quick weeknight meal!
I also find it's easier to steam my veggies on the stove with my basket steamer. Quicker steam time, and less stuff to wash.
Wow. So I must have missed this thread earlier-
TS and rice steamer? And you can do other things than make rice? Please tell me more.
A few years back, we had a student staying with us from Taiwan and he is the one who convinced us to get the rice cooker. Ours has a removeable steaming basket on top which I know now would be a good thing but I have never used because the family is not that great about veggies. I cook up to 3 cups of raw rice, yielding 6, which is great for freezing extras for fried rice or casseroles. I find two cups of raw rice yields the best quality product and we also use the larger bags of rice from the oriental markets. I would keep it on the counter if I had room but in the next incarnation of kitchen (we're building) it will probably live in an appliance garage because we really use it.
I have never felt the need to give up counter or cupboard space for a rice cooker. To me, cooking rice is about the simplest thing there is. As long as you don't peek like Joy already mentioned. I did get an electric roaster a couple years ago, which I know is even bigger, but certainly much more versatile. But, I know some people love the rice cookers. So I guess you need to get what works for you. Kitchens, like people, are very "individual" and what works for some doesn't work for others.
OK, those of you who like your rice cooker--brand and model, please!
I am usually in the washing machine forum, but I got a rice cooker a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd see what everyone is saying. I'm not the type to buy all different types of small counter top appliances. I've always thought that my regular cookware and stove can take care of anything (except a BBQ grill!). I found out that the rice cooker can cook almost anything. The best feature for me is that I don't have to tend to it. When you cook on the stove you have to watch it so things don't overcook and possibly start a fire! The rice cooker cooks whatever is in it and then turns on to a "keep warm" cycle. I have a demanding home business and have never had the time to cook some of my favorite things and now its a snap. I cook all kinds of whole grain cereals in it. And with the timer, I can put all the ingredients in the night before, set the time I want the food to be ready, and when I get up its all cooked and warm. You can prepare a whole meal in one. There is a great book called The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. Beth said that she got interested in rice cookers when her son was going off to college and needed something to cook with in his dorm room. So she developed all these recipes. You can do chili, soup, pudding, she even made a grilled cheese sandwich! Right now I'm cooking Chicken and Barley soup. There are now a lot of rice cooker cookbooks and sites that have free recipies.
My word of advise to anyone looking to buy a rice cooker is to make sure that the inner lid can be removed for cleaning.
I have an electric rice cooker that I bought in Chinatown 7 years ago. It's not a pretty thing (pink flowers on a white background) but I've used it consistently at least 2 times a week as we are big rice eaters.
I love my rice cooker! I prepare the rice, click on rice cook and forget about it. This thing only has 1 setting, "rice cook" and then it clicks over to "keep warm" when it's done. Simple and easy.
Terrapots, I was reading your post and it sounded so familiar to my cooker... I just went and checked, and guess what, I also have the NATIONAL rice cooker :) I still love it. It's not huge, simple to use, and not lots of clean up afterwards seeing as it's non-stick. Perfect rice every time.
Talley Sue: I have a Black & Decker and love it. Use it for steaming rice and veggies. Have given them to each of my daughters. We've had ours for years and use it often.
Recently I had cold salmon cooked in the Oster Steamer. It was wonderful; very moist and flavorful. The cook uses it all the time and swears by it.
Well, I'm of Asian descent so of course I have a rice cooker :-). It's a zojirushi, complete with fuzzy logic and a 12 hour timer, which really makes life easier. We use it a lot, and since our stove has really uneven heat, it's so much easier to use to steam all different kinds of rice.
My DH and I got a rice steamer as a wedding present almost 19 years ago and I thought it was one of those useless gadgets.
I'm happy to say I was wrong. I LOVE my rice cooker, which still works perfectly after all these years. It makes perfect rice (which we love) and is SO easy to use. When it breaks I'll immediately go to my international grocery store and replace it (it's a true, asian rice cooker - not an American brand).
How long does it take for your rice cooker to cook rice? I'd like to get one, but if it takes half an hour to cook rice, it's not worth it to me.
We have TWO rice cookers: a small one that yields about 4 cups of cooked rice and a large one that makes up to 8 cups of cooked rice. But we used ours almost everyday (I'm Chinese and DH's father grew up in China).
Rivkadr, it takes maybe 20-30 minutes to cook rice. What I like about it is that it's pretty brainless to use. I just add rice and water, put on the lid, push the button. The cooker also keeps the rice warm (but not dry), so I can start rice about an hour before cooking the rest of dinner.
the big advantage to the rice cooker, to me, is not that it's faster--it's about the same time as a pot, you can't really rush rice that much. Unless you do what Minute Rice does and take most of the rice *out* of the rice
But it's the brainless stuff that would matter to me. I routinely burn the rice, or don't get it started, or boil all the water way before I remember to dump the rice in.
And we eat rice often--about 4 to 5 times a week.
I still haven't bought one. If I can figure out where to store it, I might.
Isn't it great to know that that they still make rice cookers with the quality of the old fashioned appliances of yesteryear? I was re-reading the posts here, and many of us have cookers that are either approaching old age or have been in their "golden years" for a while and still work perfectly well.
I wish I could say the same about some of my other small appliances which have broken in year 4 or 5.
My Toshiba rice cooker is over 20 years old and gets used about 2 times/week. Definitely got our money's worth! And we will definitely replace it when it breaks.