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Sep 6, 2006 11:29 AM

Do I want a rice cooker?

Recent threads discussing rice have me thinking about buying a rice cooker. I'm usually very anti-gadget, particularly single-use gadgets. I did have a rice cooker long ago back in the States, so I know that they're fantastic at making perfect rice.

So first off, do any of you use a rice cooker for things other than rice? And second, do you make "perfect" rice without a rice cooker? How do you do it?

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  1. I have a rice cooker which is in the basement. I make rice in the microwave, mostly jasmine but also brown and sticky. It's a lot less mess, cooks perfectly every time and I don't have yet another appliance taking up space in the kitchen.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h

      How do you do this? Put the rice in a bowl of water? How long to you cook for?

      1. re: sku

        For regular long-grain rice, I rinse it, then add water in a microwave-oven safe bowl. Sorry I don't measure the water/rice ratio, I've been cooking rice all my life, but whatever you normally use. For about a cup of rice it takes around 12 - 15 minutes on high. After about 10 - 12 minutes I stop the oven and fluff the rice to check on it. If it needs more cooking, it goes back in. You'll soon get the hang of times etc.

        1. re: cheryl_h

          and remember to use a container at least 2x larger than you think you need :)

    2. I was an unwashed anti-rice maker lout prior to being given one by one of my Japanese friends, preferring to microwave all my rice. Since that initial baptism, I've seen the light and use it so regularly I've gone into apopostic pennance mode.

      I do not use it for multiple purposes but my model swears it can steam broccoli, asperagus, and chicken and fish to perfection. (shrug) I'll continue dirtying up other pans for those dishes. A kitchen without multiple dirty pans after a meal-prep just seems so wrong.

      1. I have a rice cook and love it! I've also used it as a steamer as well for vegetables and it is great.

        My parents have always cooked rice with a rice cooker so that was the only way I knew how to make rice. But recently I've moved to a country where the availability of Asian products are not so prevelant. I've tried cooking rice in the microwave and on the stove top. My husband perfected the microwave rice method which requires something like 5 minutes on high and then 10 minutes(?) on medium. That producted decent but not great rice. I've also tried it on stove top. It is best with a tall, heavy pot: boil water with rice for few minutes on high and then on a very low flame for several more minutes. Then let it sit for a while in the steam. In all, it takes about 20-25 minutes total. This makes good rice.

        In all, the rice cooker is great because you don't have to fiddle around with adjusting the heat and watching the time. Just fill it up with water, press the button, and perfect rice 20 minutes later.

        1. I bought my first rice cooker at a garage sale for $3. I thought it was a stupid gadget but after using it for a while I became a total convert. It's not even so much that it makes perfect rice, it's just that you never have to think about making the rice for a meal again. The fact that you can fill it, set it, and forget about it is what makes it so great. Especially if I'm doing other dishes - like stir fry or whatever - that require last-minute preparation, having the rice ready and keeping warm all by itself, it a wonderful thing. I don't use it for anything else, but it came with a rack which supposedly can be used for steaming stuff. I should try that function someday.

          1. They're worth it--hands down.I was a hardcore skeptic but now can't live without one. It's not necessary to splurge on a hi-end Zojirushi either; a low-end Zojirushi or National works just fine.