Rice Cooker


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Rice Cooker

Postby TwoPynts » Oct 11th, '10, 16:18

My anniversary is coming up and I'm looking to get a 5-6 cup rice cooker as a gift to my wife and myself. We eat rice several times a week. I want one that is going to last, and makes great rice. I've done a good bit of research already, but it just occurred to me that perhaps I could get some feedback from the people here on TC. Tea and rice aren't totally unrelated. :mrgreen: I don't want to spend more that 150 USD, but I do want to get something good. I keep hearing how Zojirushi is the ultimate in rice cooking, but you have to pay for that expertise. I am looking hard at the Panasonic SR-MS102 and will probably go that route if nothing else stands out. I recently purchased a Panasonic bread maker and love it.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001T9D6BG/

Any thoughts, experiences and suggestions are welcome.
User avatar
TwoPynts
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Jul 9th, '1
Location: Florida

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby laura99 » Oct 11th, '10, 19:07

I don't know anything about rice cookers, but the Kindle board that I sometimes frequent has a very active thread on them. Have not looked at it myself, but thought it may be helpful. (Some of these same people got me started on my tea journey in the Tea thread, even though most love Teavanna I am grateful to them for it :))

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,7743.0.html

Good luck!
User avatar
laura99
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Mar 4th, '1
Location: NC, USA

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby rdl » Oct 11th, '10, 20:21

do you plan on cooking white rice or brown? i had a Zojirushi which was perfect for white rice, but even following their directions i never was successful making brown rice.
there are Zojirushi models that meet your budget, but many are not made in japan. i quickly checked the mitsuwa website since i have seen them in their store, but i don't know who has the best prices.
http://shop.mitsuwa.com/eng/egoods/eres ... irushi&p=1
good luck.
User avatar
rdl
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Feb 24th, '

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby TwoPynts » Oct 11th, '10, 22:15

Thanks for the replies. We cook mostly white rice, but I was hoping to start cooking more of the healthy brown.

Time to go check out the links! :D
User avatar
TwoPynts
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Jul 9th, '1
Location: Florida

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby wyardley » Oct 11th, '10, 23:03

I have a Sanyo (3.5 C model) which I've been pretty happy with overall. Zojirushi now has some 3.5 and 5 C models which have a GABA mode, which lets you do GABA (germinated) brown rice using the cooker. This is a feature that used to be on some of their bigger models, like a 10C one.

Keep in mind that the volumes are for dry rice. My 3.5 C model cooks enough rice for 2 people for 2-3 meals (freeze leftover rice in saran wrap "hamsters", which you can microwave later, unless you're making fried rice, in which case put it in the fridge).

If you make brown rice, get a model that has a timer, so that you can put it on in the morning and have it ready for you when you get home.

If you still want a 5C cooker, for Zoji, I'd check out NP-HBC10 (more expensive, and higher than your budget) or NS-TGC10. For Sanyo, I'd look into ECJ-F50S or ECJ-HC55S.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1927
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby debunix » Oct 12th, '10, 00:41

I had a fuzzy logic Panasonic, and then bought a Zojirushi when I wanted to stash one in two different places. Both make excellent brown rice, but I virtually always set up my rice overnight for breakfast or in the morning for dinner, so the rice has a nice long 'soak' before cooking. Works with short and long grain brown rice, red rice, black rice, sticky rice, sweet rice, basmatic rice.
User avatar
debunix
 
Posts: 5034
Joined: Jan 10th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby TwoPynts » Oct 12th, '10, 10:04

Great feedback so far, thanks folks :!:
User avatar
TwoPynts
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Jul 9th, '1
Location: Florida

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby skilfautdire » Oct 27th, '10, 05:47

Apart from being able to possibly set a timer to start cooking, what are any other advantage of using a rice cooker over cooking the rice in a pot on the stove ? I've seen a readily available mid-priced Zojirushi ($~150) and the gadget part in me says "neat", but then the other part (often represented by mrs., though !) says we already cook rice on the stove, so what's the use of a dedicated rice cooker ?

Indeed, what are the advantages ? Does it produces a better rice ? We mostly use brown (sometimes short grain genmai) rice.
User avatar
skilfautdire
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Nov 5th, '0

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby TwoPynts » Oct 27th, '10, 10:35

I ended up getting the Aroma ARC-856 12-Cup Sensor Logic Rice Cooker. It cost me $53 which is a lot less than more well know RC brands. It also got good reviews which have held up so far. It does make great rice, better than stove top and easier to get just right than on the stove as well. Haven't tried brown rice yet (just white Basmati) but plan to soon.
User avatar
TwoPynts
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Jul 9th, '1
Location: Florida

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby nonc_ron » Oct 27th, '10, 11:20

Don't overlook Ye Old Crock Pot.
Image
Google any of these.
CROCK POT CHICKEN AND RICE
CROCK POT CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP
CROCK POT PUDDING (RICE)
CROCK POT SPANISH RICE
LOUISIANA RED BEANS & RICE
CROCK POT BROCCOLI & RICE CASSEROLE
CROCK POT BROCCOLI RICE CHEESE
CROCK POT WILD RICE CASSEROLE
CROCK POT STEW WITH RICE
CROCK POT STUFFED PEPPERS
User avatar
nonc_ron
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Aug 28th, '
Location: The first State (DE)

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby iannon » Oct 27th, '10, 13:03

ive been using a "vitaclay" rice cooker for the past year and a half or so. The main reason we got it is because my wife liked the idea of a clay pot vs. teflon or lined aluminum or whatever. Of course a little more care is involved with it being clay and breakable and all. but we use it all the time..not just for rice but slow cooking beans and soups and stews and such.
User avatar
iannon
 
Posts: 1631
Joined: Dec 30th, '
Location: The foot of the great Smoky Mountains

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby skilfautdire » Jan 2nd, '11, 15:41

I was wondering if a rice cooker was that useful at all. Update: I bought a Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 for $156 CDN at Newegg. One of those using fuzzy logic. I figured that since the mean product of Zojirushi are rice cooekrs, they could not afford to make crappy ones that would break after 2 years. If Panasonic puts out a crappy rice cooker, they can sell more TVs.

Tiger (the ones made in Japan) and Zojirushi (all made in Japan perhaps - this one is) are the main two rice cookers companies that owns the market in Japan.

We eat mostly brown rice and it cooks it quite nice. Short, medium and long grain, on the 'brown rice' cycle. It cooks it so it can be easily picked up with chopsticks, eg. the basic cooking does not produce a rice with all grains dryly distinct. We don't use chopsticks, but that's to give an idea of the result.

And so I got a 15kg bag of new crop genmai rice at the Japanese grocery store. This is certainly not the cheapest rice around. It is, if I'm not mistaken, a semi-brown rice. Anyways, I cook it on the 'semi-brown' cycle and it yields a rice that is sooo good just by itself. No need to add anything else. Each spoonful is so tasty. But it is expensive and we do not cook that rice regularly.

Brown rice congee (porridge) is more involved. The 'porridge' cycle by itself will not do it as it is meant for white rice. So what I've done so far is to put the rice into two 'porridge' cycle in the evning, and then add stuff to it and program the timer to have it ready the next morning, still on the 'porridge' cycle. Makes for a nice breakfast. And beats monitoring for hours rice cooking in a pan on the stove (and the corollary scrubbing of the pan whent it's done).

But the most amazing and interesting thing that I'm only starting to explore, is that this little fuzzy machine can do a lot of other stuff. I did some Jewish varshinkes (kasha and small noodles with onions) as well as an apple sauce (*). The apple sauce is basically chop 8 apples, and put them in there, add a bit of sugar, a bit of water, some cinnamon, close the cover and throw the fuzzy machine on the 'porridge' cycle. After some time when the machine emits its little ring tone (when will they offer downloadable ringtones for rice cookers ??? :-) ) the apple sauce is ready.

To somewhat answer my previous question, no a rice cooker is not only for cooking rice. Cooks great rice, but also does a lot more.

(*) See at your favorite bookstore: 'The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook' - most recipes are for both standard and fuzzy klogic rice cookers.
User avatar
skilfautdire
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Nov 5th, '0

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby iannon » Jan 3rd, '11, 01:32

oh yeah! like i was saying..I use my clay pot rice cooker for tons of stuff..cooking rice :shock: soups. stews.chili, even cooking dried beans. its perfect for that.
User avatar
iannon
 
Posts: 1631
Joined: Dec 30th, '
Location: The foot of the great Smoky Mountains

Re: Rice Cooker

Postby skilfautdire » Jan 3rd, '11, 07:27

One thing I was wondering before getting it was what about that fuzzy logic stuff ? I've done a lot of crockpot cooking. That's easy enough. The electric clay devices resembles crockpots and low-end rice cookers which do not have any of that fancy control stuff. Many of the clay units seems to be made with Chinese zisha clay.

Surely enough, as seen in the rice cooker cookbook that I've mentioned, some things simply cannot be done in fuzzy logic units. Mostly steaming-based operations (custards and dumplings for instance). Unless the fuzzy device is a multi-device which supports that (Tiger makes some) which is not the case of run-of-the-mill fuzzy rice cookers like the Zojirushi we got.

Despite this, as I've discovered, plain fuzzy rice cookers can do quite a lot of things, including cooking beans and lentils, a lot of grains like bulghur, oatmeal, israeli couscous, regular couscous and all that.

So that was my concern before getting a fuzzy logic device: OK, it cooks rice, but will the 'logic' of it prevent it from doing other stuff ? It could make a distinction from the regular crockpot/slow cooker types. And it does, to some extent.

All in all a good buy. In retrospect I could perhaps have chosen one that also allows crockpot operations (some can even bake some types of cakes) but that's OK. With all it can do in a relatively unsupervised way it already has proven quite useful.

One thing that I start to see is that the fuzzy device will toggle into 'keep warm' mode when the temperature exceeds the max temp for water. Eg. it will stop cooking. This might mean that as long as there's water in the pot it will cook. As soon as there's no more water, and the temp starts to rise above 100C (212F I think) then it will think that it has finished cooking whatever there was to cook. With that in mind I presume it is possible to devise recipes that uses just the right amount of water to cook (with some ingredients possibly making some of their own as they cook) knowing the device will stop when done and will simply keep things warm at about 65C. For hours. And then it'll switch to 'extended keep warm'. The 'porridge' mode seems to work somewhat differently, though.
User avatar
skilfautdire
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Nov 5th, '0


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation