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Jul 28, 2006 05:29 PM

Best rice cooker/vegetable steamer?

My cheap $50 Hitachi rice cooker just broke, it lasted 10 years. I'm older and want something more impressive. Any geat ideas.

My rice cooker did double duty as a vegetable steamer and Cajun boudin cooker. Can they all do that?

I live in Los angeles and I've seen some pretty impressive looking devices at the Asian supermarkets like Mitsuwa.

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  1. Check out Zojirushi products. They make two lines of steamers: basic models akin to old school Panansonic/National cookers; and wowie models like the "Neuro Fuzzy" that cook almost anything anyway you choose. Rock solid build quality/great value.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagemusha

      Make sure you're getting the ones made in Japan and not China! I say this because my mom was so adamant about it when buying a new rice cooker two years ago... and it's made an impression on me, :D. I'm buying a rice cooker in a week or so and I'm getting a Zojirushi.

    2. My impression is that componentry matters more than place of assembly. I have Japanese-made hi-end Zojirushi and offshore-assembled low-end Zojirushi and am happy with both. There is, however, a considerable premium on the more complex Japanese-made cookers that I feel is worth it. It's a good brand. They also make killer coffee makers.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        Could you say a little more about the difference and what exactly it is that makes the Japanese one better.

        How do you make coffee in a rice cooker?

        1. re: Kagemusha

          I love my fuzzy logic Zojirushi - it's used for Japanese medium-grain rice 99% of the time, (these days it's the Tamaki Haiga rice - I'm under the ridiculous illusion that the extra bit of germ lowers the glycemic index... true, but not enough to eat another bowl), but when we do anything from basmati to wild rice, it comes out perfect. Even combinations, including pasta, lentil, and various pilafs from the box with the flavor packet, all turn out perfectly cooked. I've never tried boudin...


          I wish I could program mine to overcook the rice a bit - just at the bottom. My favorite part (we would fight over it) out of my mother's daily pot was the okoge - the lightly burnt layer on the bottom. In fact, we would complain when the rice was perfect, and there was none!

          1. re: applehome

            I have three Hitachi Chime-O-Matics that I got at thrift stores for just a few (i.e., 2 to 4) bucks each. After falling in love with the first one I bought the others to protect myself against theft, fire, flood, etc. These simple little machines make a beautiful, even skin on the bottom of the rice, which the end user can control by varying the time he waits after the chime to turn off the machine and take up the pot. I love rice and keep usually ten, give or take, varieties on hand, and I have never desired any fancier rice cooker than these simple, cheap ones.


        2. tatung works good... its a taiwan brand... it may not be as impressive loking as the japanese ones; however, it does the job and you can make everything and anything in it

          1. One thing to consider with the new rice cookers is if you want a teflon-lined one or not. I did not want teflon and bought a Sanyo which has been doing just great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: joltgrrl

              I have lived in Korea for a few years and over here it is unanimously believed that Cuckoo makes the best rice cooker in the world. It will cost you a pretty penny, though.

            2. got a Sanyo a few months ago -- very happy w/ it