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Jan 4, 2005 12:53 PM

rice cookers

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Pros, cons, suggestions?

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  1. I have a Zojirushi NS-RNC 10 with the locking lid. I absolutely love it. Rice stays fresh for several days. I have also used it for Brown Rice and Wild Rice both of which require slightly more H2O than the conventional stove top method.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sven

      I heard the Zojirushi brand is the best as well. You can get the most expensive one ($199), but it doesn't have many more advantages over the one that costs $79. I plan on getting the $79 one (see link).


      1. re: LB

        Zojirushi is by far the best I have tried. Unlike some of the cheaper rice cookers it makes rice/beans and rice/veggies and rice etc. almost impossible to overcook. I never tried a fuzzy logic one (as mentioned by the previous poster these can be $199 or higher) I just replaced my 10 cup locking lid cooker(I had the previous one for 4 years, several moves and dents from it being knocked on the floor) the 2 months without it was painful.

    2. j
      Jim Washburn

      I cook a lot of rice and could pretty easily justify spending some bucks on a nice rice cooker if I wanted to, but I am quite happy with my cheap ones. For boiled rice I use a Hitachi Chime-O-Matic. With this one you have to wait at least 20 minutes after it goes "ding." Makes excellent rice, and if you like a skin on the bottom of the rice (which I do), just let it sit on WARM for an hour or so. For steamed rice I use a Rival model 4450 with excellent results. I see both these units fairly regularly at thrift shops priced at about $4.


      1. Consider getting a stainless steel rice cooker...meaning one with a stainless steel interior cooking bowl.

        Miracle makes one, I am sure there is another brand (one with a Japanese name, I think), but I don't know the name off the top of my head.

        I haven't used one myself (so can't comment on the ease of cleaning/stickiness), as I have a first-generation Panasonic fuzzy logic one that refuses to die. Still, I do worry about the effects of the aluminum bowl + nonstick surface (and I just recently replaced the bowl because the nonstick surface wore off...hmmm...gee...wonder where that coating went :::burp:::)


        1. Yes, I agree with the other posters the Zojirushi brand is a great line of rice cookers and hot water pots.

          If you happen to be in a an Asian market, most likely they'll have them stored above the shelves or behind the customer service counter. They come in tiny/small(1-2 cups), medium, large(10 cups) and extralarge(restaurant size) I think. I have the large, it's at least 10 years old and works perfectly. It has a handle on the lid, makes it easy to carry and a retractable cord for easy storage.

          Tips for using a rice cooker: Fill with the amount of rice you'd like to eat within 2 days (it holds it warm nicely). Wash the rice in 3 waters and fill with cold water about 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch above the rice. My mother showed me how to estimate with my last digit on my pinky when I was a little girl. Snap the lid down and just hit cook, really easy. Let it sit for another 5-10 minutes after the lever has popped up and fluff rice with paddle before serving. If there are leftovers, they can sit in the cooker for another day without much harm. But if you know you're not going to eat the rice scoop it into tupperware and stick it in the fridge, it reheats perfectly in the microwave or great for making fried rice.

          Tip: Don't place the rice cooker underneath a cabinet, it releases a good deal of steam and over time will damage wood cabinets. An open air counter or table is your best bet.

          Tip: When you're finished using the cooker wash the non-stick container by hand, don't put it in the dishwasher it'll shorten the life. (You can also buy replacement bowls too if you need it in the future.)

          Also, if you're still in the Asian market look for a "stickless" plastic rice paddle. It's usually white, plastic, & has small divots or bumps on it, it comes in 2 sizes. Really helps keep the rice from sticking to the paddle. It also doesn't scratch the interior of the bowl.

          It's easy to make coconut scented rice. Fill the bowl with the amount of rice you'd like, wash 3 times, drain, pour in a small(large if you like the taste) can of coconut milk, stir, and fill with cold water till it reaches 1/2 to 2/3 inch above the rice. You can also throw in a few pandan leaves for a really nice scent, just hit "cook".

          Besides "Zojirushi" brand, "National" is also a good brand for rice cookers. I've never owned one myself, but friends I have like theirs.

          I hope this 411 helps!


          5 Replies
          1. re: jg

            Please don't change the subject headings.

            1. re: W

              I do not post to message boards often, and I guess I don't know the "rules". I read this board sometimes and the replies to questions sometimes flow back in the dozens and it's hard to make out what you've read last, I mistakenly thought it would break up the pattern of the replies to make it easier to get back to a particular link you might want to read. Also, I've seen it done before on this site so I thought it was ok to do. Why shouldn't the subject lines be changed? Is it to make searches easier? I just want to know for future reference. Sorry for the mistake.

              1. re: jg

                Paragraph 2 From the "Read this First" page...

                Unlike some web communities, we discourage use of subject titles to communicate. So please don't change titles frequently (e.g. "Good Point!" or "Thanks!" or "I Prefer the Chicken!"). Change them only when conversation has digressed to the point where the old title no longer fits. REASON: many users read our boards via a nifty tool called HotPosts, which shows only recent postings - check it out via the link atop our home page. HotPosts are unthreaded, so readers can't follow the context of chatty subject titles.


            2. re: jg

              I agree that National is also an excellent brand for rice cookers. It goes by Panasonic in the US. If you want to try out a fuzzy logic cooker (which I think is a bit better than a standard model, though not necessarily worth $200), the Costco website has the Panasonic 10-cup Fuzzy Logic cooker for $115. A quick glance at Amazon shows they seem to have some good deals too. Be careful though, as some of the product descriptions don't specify the cup capacity, and there's a big difference in price between the 5-cups and 10-cups.

              1. re: jg

                I will get a Zojirushi, but which one? There seem to be three 10-cup models: 1) regular ($60-90), 2) micom fuzzy ($128), 3) neuro-fuzzy ($174-240). Prices are from Amazon.

                I read a review that said the neuro-fuzzy cookers do porridge, polenta and risotto well. Anyone tried these in their Zojirushi?

              2. I like rice cookers and I've had excellent results with inexpensive models without the fuzzy logic or other bells and whistles. However, if you do not cook large amounts of rice on a regular basis you may want to consider a more flexible appliance. I have a Black and Decker steamer (see link below) that I am fully satisfied with. It will only cook two cups of raw rice at a time but that's all I ever need and the results are as good as any I've had with a rice cooker. In fact I think the steamer is a little better when it comes to cooking brown or wild rice. (I've tried making arroz con pollo and other rice based dishes in a rice cooker but I've never been happy with the results.) A steamer can do vegetables, seafood and makes a darn good appoximation of a street cart hot dog. So that last one is probably not a big selling point but if you are on a low calorie, low fat, low salt, low flavour diet you could steam skinless chicken breast and broccoli all at the same time. Again, a steamer, even the larger ones will not cook as much rice as a rice cooker but if you don't need that a steamer is an option to consider.