Built in rice cooker? (cross posted)

justmakeitOctober 2, 2012

We eat a ton of rice, especially since my husband has celiac disease. I am wedded to my rice cooker. But it's a honking big thing sitting on my counter, and I'm wondering if there's such a thing as a built in rice cooker. Ever heard of that?

(cross posted in Appliances forum)

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I haven't and I looked. We have a small new 3cup Zojirusi on the counter. It replaced my 12 year old 10cup zoji. I tried cooking rice in a Gagg steam oven and a gagg inset steamer. The steamer was a mess but the steam oven was OK .. the rice grains were a tad dry and separate. I decided to get another rice cooker but smaller this time. We alsouse t for steelcut oatmeal, porridge, and occasional pilafs. I also have a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker that is shaped like a wide sauce pan and quite like that as well.

For rice storage, you can get a custom drawer lined with stainless and with a lid.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:48PM
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I have a 10 cup zoji right now -- I may follow your example and move to a smaller cooker. I don't have a pressure cooker, but I've been thinking of getting one. I love the idea of a rice drawer, too. Thanks for your help, Lalitha!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:36PM
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I checked into it too. I searched all the japanese sites, but didn't see anything. Thought that maybe zoji or tiger might have something. My mom just got back from japan a month or so ago. I asked if she had heard of such a thing or seen anything like that over there. She said no. Everyone keeps their cookers on the counter. I can't remember ever seeing any home without one there. I was thinking that maybe there is a commercial version that may be built into a stand that you could place somewhere. But, I couldn't find anything like that online. Maybe you could build something where it sits inside of a cabinet and you lift the countertop up like a bin to get inside of it. You'd just need an outlet and some sort of piano hinge or something depending on what counter you get. You'd have to worry about steam inside of a cabinet. Maybe it's not a great idea since the steam and heat would probably ruin a cabinet in time, you'd have to keep it open when you're cooking. I'm sure it would be fine to sit after cooking, but... Well, maybe if it was lined in steel or something.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:33PM
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kimiko232 -- you've done much more research than I have, so now I really doubt there is such a thing. I figured a built in, if it existed, would have to be vented somehow. Having seen the steam thrown out by my zoji, it's pretty clear you wouldn't want to operate it inside a cabinet. Thanks for sharing your research!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:43PM
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Great question! I just assume our rice maker and coffee maker will live on the counter. If we had a good storage spot I think I would be lazy and not put it away anyway since we tend to use it a couple of nights a week. We purchased a good size induction pressure model, but have not yet dedicated any time to figuring out how to make anything but rice. Might have to investigate pilaf now!

I did think enough about it to decide if we have to go with an OTR Advantium the rice cooker would live under it, since it would be mounted over counter rather than the range (need a real hood).

What about a pull out at counter height in one of those types of uppers that sit on the counter? You could pull it out for use, then push it back for storage?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Being Chinese, I grew up eating a LOT of rice.
We always used a rice cooker, UNTIL I learned how to cook fantastic rice in an all-clad tri-ply pot (all types from Walmart or WilliamSonoma) - keeps the steam in, never sticks/burn.

Rinse the rice, put in the correct amount of water.
Cover w/ lid.
Put it on HIGH heat bringing the water to a boil.
Then reduce heat to a Low, let simmer for ~30-40min (depending on amount of rice).
Turn off heat, let sit for another 5-10min.
Then all set (scrape the rice to get the individual grains).

Yay! No more big rice cooker on my counter.
I usually cook 2-3times the amount we need. Put extra in bag/container. Microwave for ~2min when ready to eat (to resteam it).

I even freeze my rice (way better than instant rice - blasphemy!)

Now the funny thing is, I can't cook brown rice on the stove top to save my life. BUT I microwave PERFECT brown rice.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:07PM
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In theory, I love that solution! In practice, I'm too forgetful and at times too lazy to remember to go back to adjust the temp. We are so spoiled with the "rinse, add water, push button, perfect rice" pattern I don't think we could go back. Plus we can set it to have rice just finishing up when we get home from work! DH's latest rice obsession is haiga rice, he gets so excited to cook it.

Freezing rice?! Never thought about that. Glad to hear it works well, we often have some left over and it often ends up in the fridge graveyard since I don't always have a chance to use it. Brilliant!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:25PM
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If you have Miele induction cooktop (other induction may do it also), there's a timer/program that you can program to "cook rice". Program it to come to a boil, then it reduces heat and simmers, and then turns off after set amount of time.
So, it'll just be to do it just like a rice cooker w/ a touch of a button!
I can't wait for my Miele to be install next month!!!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:41PM
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I'm with you, williamsem -- just can't imagine going back to stovetop rice now that I've been spoiled by the rice cooker. I could keep the it in the pantry, but realistically, I know I'm too lazy to put it away, especially because I use it so often.

Huango -- such a simple and elegant solution. Wish I could embrace it, but as I said, I'm married to my rice cooker. That's amazing about the rice setting on the induction cooktop. You'll have to let us know if it really works!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:37PM
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The problem with a built-in cooker is the steam is going to ruin the cabinet, unless you have a dedicated exhaust fan for that cabinet.

I've seen them in restaurants, but unless you want to do rice for 100 at a time, it's not a good idea.

It's on the counter because you use it a lot. That's not clutter, that's equipment.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:46PM
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I think the best solution is to build a little door the rice cooker will slide out of, like this:

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:09PM
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I am with Huango.

It takes me 20 minutes to cook brown rice on my cooktop (see link below).

Also, if you pre-soak rice, it cooks much faster. I did not know this till two weeks ago.

And OT: I hope your DH eats brown rice not white. Large consumption of white rice is a *sure* way to diabetes as it has high glycemic index (plus, it has a very low nutritional value). There are many other great GF "grains" such as quinoa, buckwheat, and millet that rank higher than rice nutrition-wise. (They are not exactly grains, they are seeds.)

I am sure you know that, but just in case... -)

Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking brown rice in 20 minutes

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:14PM
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Isn't it called an "appliance garage"?

Alternatively, you can use a lift-up shelf, like this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swing up Lift

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:19PM
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lazygardens -- "It's on the counter because you use it a lot. That's not clutter, that's equipment." This is very true, and it's good to be reminded that my kitchen is, was, and will be a working kitchen. Thanks!

heidia -- that's a very cool way to store appliances. I wish I had room in my kitchen for something like that, but in the current iteration of the layout, there's no room. I'm giving up uppers cabinets for a lot of windows.

eleena -- no worries about white rice. We're vegetarian and eat only brown rice and quinoa, plus a lot of legumes. Have you ever tried a rice cooker? I never thought I needed one -- making rice on the stove is not exactly a chore -- but it's hard to contemplate going back now that I have one. Sounds ridiculous, I know.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:27PM
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eleena -- I've seen those for stand mixers, but never thought of it for the rice cooker. Hmm, that's an interesting suggestion -- that might work well for this. Thank you.

P.S. I did not realize that presoaking rice shortens the cooking time!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:31PM
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I'll have try the stovetop method again. I have a rice cooker, and I have also switched to brown rice for the reasons eleena cites. I find the rice cooker leaves the brown rice a bit too underdone. I have tried putting more water in (to make it cook longer), but so far no big change.

Before I move to stovetop, any tips on brown rice in a rice cooker?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Yes, I have tried a rice-cooker. Being such a "sucker" for kitchen gadgets, how would I not have? LOL.

When we moved into this house, I thought I had plenty of storage space - but not any longer, and it probably has something to do with my desire to have all the "conveniences" in the kitchen. :-)

The rice cooker is now sitting in the pantry (has been for years, actually). It is a 10-cup version and was taking up too much counter space. As you, I hated moving it all the time. Also, the rice-cooker has a non-stick interior which I have been trying to for some time. IDK, but I really prefer the stove top method. I can then put the pot in the DW while the rice-cooker insert had to be hand-washed. Etc.


Try pre-soaking the rice. Some say that 30 minutes are enough and some do it overnight. You may have to experiment so it is not overcooked.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:48PM
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