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Zojirushi Rice Cooker - Which one?

  • liu Sep 2, 2007 01:55 PM
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We are considering the purchase of a Zojirushi rice cooker, but which one?

I am especially interested in cooking grains, and I hope to do so without the constant vigilance that is needed when cooking them on the stove top. Also, easy clean-up is a must, so I want the top piece to release so that I can clean it as well as the bowl.

We are considering the NSZCC10 which is a 5+ cup Neuro Fuzzy model, or the NH-VBC18 which is a bit larger and offers the inductive cooking process. With your advice, we will consider any others.

Please let us know how large to go, and should we consider the more expensive models with more features?

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  1. We have had the 5 1/2 cup model for about two years and have greatly appreciated it. I think the size to get depends on how many you are cooking for. Clean-up is so easy.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Bramble

      Thanks, Bramble!
      I have done some research since posting, and I really like the features of the Induction Heating System, Zojirushi #NH-VBC18 (10 cup model).

      Do you use your cooker for anything other than rice? I have read about so many other uses: grains, seafood, veggies, porridge, desserts, etc., but I am wondering if this cooker is really the best for anything other than rice.

      1. re: liu

        I had a conversation with a Zojirushi CSR a few months ago (http://zojirushi.com/contactus/custom... ), and the man I spoke with said that the induction model does its best work with plain rice. But if you plan on cooking anything else in your rice cooker (grains, seafood, veggies, porridge, desserts, etc.), he said the fuzzy logic models outperform the induction models.

        He also said that the differences in plain rice cooked in a fuzzy vs. induction model are so minimal *most* people won't detect any difference at all.

        Go for the 10 cup Neuro Fuzzy (like I have) -- you won't regret the extra capacity...

        P.S. Here's my steel cut oat recipe. Enjoy!

        1 cup steel cut oats
        3 cups water
        Up to 1/2 cup of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.) if desired

        The night before serving, add all ingredients to your Fuzzy Logic ;-) rice cooker. Set timer, and enjoy in the morning. Now, how hard was that?!

        1. re: Joe Blowe

          Thanks, Joe Blowe!
          Your information is exactly what I need; I am between the induction model and the Neuro Fuzzy model...each somewhere in the $200+ range.

          I do want the option for cooking things other than just white rice, so your input about the induction model as perhaps not the best choice is very valuable.

          Also, thanks for the steel cut recipe. We do exactly this in the microwave, but the rice cooker will certainly cut our morning prep time.

          1. re: Joe Blowe

            Joe Blowe - When cooking on stovetop, I use 4 cups of water to 1 cup of steel cut oats, per package directions. Are you sure you should cut the water for the rice cooker?

            Also, I have the small Zojirushi Fuzzy Logic, which only holds four cups of liquids, so I would obviously need to cut your oatmeal recipe in half.

            1. re: omotosando

              I've had very good success with that ratio. I suppose it's the overnight soak along with that fuzzy logic technology that makes it just right! But, I also add a bit of milk to my oatmeal when it's in the bowl, so that thins it out a bit.

              Google _steel cut oats rice cooker_ and you'll see that others are using the 1:3 ratio...

            2. re: Joe Blowe

              The Induction models are also "minicom" (mini-computer) models that use fuzzy logic to determine cooking times. They have internal sensors and measure multiple variables (weight, temperature, humidity) to make judgments throughout the cooking process, just like those the marketing department chose to call "fuzzy logic" models. This is well document inside the manual itself. My review of the model suggests they've actually improved the configuration of the sensors used by the fuzzy logic algorithms. The procedure for heating the internal pan is much more sophisticated, using induction technology which you pay a premium for, as it enhances the quality not only of rice but mixed dishes and alternative grains..

              The fuzzy logic branded models are still in production with abundant inventories, so the company still wants to sell them. I'm afraid you spoke with an uninformed Zojirushi staff person, or one of mixed intensions..

            3. re: liu

              The GABA brown rice feature alone is super cool - basically, lets you pre-heat and germinate the brown rice for an improved nutritional profile. But the important question is how much rice you usually cook - I've heard that cooking a cup or two of rice in a 10 cup model results in not-so-great rice. I ended up getting a smaller, less full featured Panasonic (3.5 C), which has been great for me. I have mostly just used it for rice and rice porridge, though you can definitely use it for a lot of other stuff too.

              1. re: will47

                Thanks, will47, for your vote for the GABA brown rice feature. We are just learning about this nutritious rice, but I wonder how often we might cook it. Alton Brown does not like single-task appliances or gizmos; might this qualify? I hope that I would use this cooker for all grain preparation, including GABA brown rice. Am I realistic?

                I also appreciate your information about purchasing the right size. I will have to give this more thought. I would like the porridge option (large quantity), but I also want to be able to cook just a few cups of rice. Hmmmmm...

                Thanks, again, will!

                1. re: liu

                  GABA isn't a type of rice; it's a process for preparing regular brown rice... basically (as I understand it), you soak the rice for 12-24 hours in warm (body temp) water, and it germinates. Then you cook it. The Zojirushi cooker has a way to do this (more or less) automagically for you.

                  1. re: will47

                    Liu, the GABA mode is only available on the induction models. Like I mentioned above, you *may* not want induction if you plan on cooking other items in the rice cooker.

                    And, IMO, the nutritional claims of GBR/GABA rice are a bit overstated. The amino acid GABA is a good thing, but the amount that is available in a typical serving of that rice is nowhere near the amount you would get in an average amino acid supplement.

                    When it comes to most Japanese health claims, I take them with a rather large grain of salt.

                    1. re: Joe Blowe

                      will47 and Joe Blowe...as I said, we are just learning about GABA, and as is pretty obvious, we haven't learned very much!!! Thanks for all your info. and suggestions about which rice cooker to purchase.

                      So, once again, I am very impressed by all your 'Hound knowledge, and by how quickly you have responded -- exactly to my post. Thanks for being so patient and so helpful.

                      1. re: liu

                        Now the big question is: Where ya gonna buy it?!

                        My vote: Wing Hop Fung (http://winghopfung.com/contactus.html ). Check out their VIP Card before purchase. Might also be a sale going on, too!

                        1. re: Joe Blowe

                          We did check out Wing Hop Fung (the satellite store next to Capital Seafood, SGV, where we frequently enjoy Saturday morning dim sum). You are exactly correct: their prices are very good. I love to wander the aisles here! I also love the activity at their downtown store!

                          Amazon is also an excellent place to shop for this item, as they carry all of the Zojirushi models we are considering.

                          Again, Joe, thanks for your suggestion about the Wing Hop Fung VIP card and about the possibility of catching a sale on this appliance.

          2. If you think that you're going to be cooking small quantities regularly, I can certainly recommend the 3-cup NS-KCC05. It's the only model we have. I've found that three cups is enough rice for about 7 at dinner. And it makes really nice steel-cut oats on the Porridge setting. We've had ours for about 5 years.
            - Richard

            1. Thanks to all for your very valuable input. Pretty much on a whim, we purchased the 10cup induction model #NH-VBC18 at the 3rd floor appliance store in the Korean Mall in Los Angeles. It is still a new toy, so we are trying various "recipes." So far, we have had very good steel-cut oats with dates, white rice and brown rice. We are looking forward to trying more grains.

              11 Replies
              1. re: liu

                hey liu. i have the same cooker - the 5.5 cup model. i've only had it a week or so and am pretty thoroughly in love (though i find it necessary to use quite a bit less water than they recommend). i'm hoping you can tell me about your experiments with other grains! i'd love to cook more than gaba brown rice (wonderful as it is). thanks!

                1. re: traductora

                  Hi, traductora!
                  I am still pretty new to this appliance. It seems to be a workhorse and it seems to have lots of abilities that we have yet to explore.

                  White rice does very well; don't be afraid to cook it a bit ahead and let the machine work its magic while keeping it at perfect consistency and warm at the same time until you are ready for it.

                  I am still making quinoa and lentils on the stovetop in a pan because they are so quick and easy to cook to done-ness. However, we did use the rice cooker to make terrific oatmeal. We used steel cut oats, added water and all kinds of dried fruits (cherries, raisins, apricots, etc.) and some spice (cinnamon, cardamom, whatever you like)...This came out very well. The instruction booklet says that you can prepare this the night ahead, but I am yet a little reluctant to do this. I guess there is nothing in there that would spoil ???

                  I did try short-grain sweet rice; it came out a little wet and paste-y, but at the end I added in some packaged veggies that I had purchased in a Korean market, and the resultant mix was very tasty.

                  So, I am still the rookie here...and I can't wait to hear YOUR experiments and experiences. Please post the details!

                  Try googling "rice cooker recipes" and you will find some specific recipes with proportions. This has been helpful to me, since I had no idea how to determine the ratios. Of course, I have modified them to my tastes. I would send you a link, but I am not sure what you like. I think you will find a lot on the internet.

                  One final tip: I have been soaking the bowl in water when done, and then clean with only a soapy sponge -- nothing scratchy. Perhaps I am being too careful, but I want the clean-up to remain easy or I won't use this appliance. I have heard that when the bowl gets scratched, food sticks and clean-up becomes more difficult.
                  Also, extra paddles are plentiful in the Asian markets...I like the paddle!

                  1. re: liu

                    thanks so much for the reply! i'll definitely add updates if i have any. thusfar i'm just reveling in every variety of brown rice i can find - and always using a bit less water than they recommend. much better that way. and i'm not finding much need to wash the cooker between *every* batch - particularly when there's a couple drops of oil in the water, everything just scoops out nicely!

                    1. re: traductora

                      Nice to hear from you, traductora, and thanks much for your very helpful hint of adding a couple drops of oil to the water for even easier clean-up! I can't wait to try that!

                2. re: liu

                  Problem with a 10 cup rice cooker is that the minimum amount of rice you can cook is four cups. That's what the directions says anyway. That's one of the reasons why I stick with a 5 cup cooker instead because I only cook for two people most of the time. Good luck with your new rice cooker.

                  1. re: Clinton

                    "Problem with a 10 cup rice cooker is that the minimum amount of rice you can cook is four cups. That's what the directions says anyway."

                    Where does it say that?

                    http://zojirushi.com/ourproducts/rice...
                    http://zojirushi.com/servicesupport/m...
                    .
                    .

                    1. re: Joe Blowe

                      It says that on several 10 cup rice cookers I've noticed. One is the Aroma brand which says that on the box. Don't know about the Zojurishi brand though. It has a minimum for rice cooking which discourged me from buying a 10 cup vs a 5 cup.

                      1. re: Clinton

                        You're right about other brands, but you're wrong about Zojirushi having a minimum cooking quantity. And Liu has a Zojirushi...

                        1. re: Joe Blowe

                          Good to know. Have to look into Zojirushi. I guess you get what you pay for?

                          1. re: Clinton

                            Damn skippy, you do get what you pay for when buying a Zo!

                          2. re: Joe Blowe

                            Hi, Clinton and Joe Blowe!
                            I have successfully made 3 cups of rice in our Zojirushi rice cooker, and I would not hesitate to try two. Yes, the bowl seems a bit "macho" for just two or three cups, but it does the job without any complaints.

                            My only reservation with the larger size that we have is that I am not using it to full capacity. I feel like I purchased this really capable appliance and that I have not yet begun to tap into its full powers. However, we are still "playing" with it; talk with me in many months.

                  2. My advice is to buy the biggest rice cooker your kitchen will accommodate and freeze rice in plastic sandwich bags for individual portions, quickly zapped as needed. After much freezing of rice I have learned that the best rice for freezing cooked is parboiled rice aka golden rice, sold in Hispanic and Middle Eastern stores. The grains stay nicely separated.

                    1. I got a good deal on my fuzzy logic model a few years ago in Oakland Chinatown. I use the semi-brown setting all the time to cook brown rice.

                      1. I had old Zojirushi rice cooker (not the fuzzy logic) and I recently changed to a new Cuckoo rice cooker...which is Korean. The instruction is a little vague and the electronic voice alerts are in Korean, but it makes really good rice and is cheaper than Zojirushi.

                        1. I bought the NSZCC10 in January 2008. Had great success making rice and steel cut oats. However, I made polenta and it totally scratched up the inside pan which is not cheap to replace. I don't know if the polenta was to hard or what. Just wondering if anyone else has gotten scratches.

                          1. Slightly off of what the OP was looking for (although maybe they've since purchased a rice cooker?) I am also looking at Zojirushi rice cookers and am wondering if there are any that are NOT non-stick. My super-basic rice cooker that I've had for more than 10 years (and picked up in Chinatown in SF for about $15) is dying on me and I'm ready for an upgrade, but I'd prefer one that isn't non-stick (which most of the Zojirushi models seem to be). However, I remember reading somewhere (but of course can't remember where now) somewhat recently that maybe the Zojirushi pots actually aren't non-stick?? Or, can anyone recommend an alternative that isn't non-stick? I'm intrigued by the VitaClay, but not sure I really want to go that route.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: kkbriggs

                              I think most of the new ones (the higher tech style ones, anyway) are non-stick... and without it, you're going to... well have a lot of stuck rice. I don't love that my rice cooker is non-stick, but haven't seen a good alternative yet. The Vita Clay seemed interesting to me as well, especially since I collect teapots and am a big fan of yixing clay, but I'd be a bit nervous that it would be very difficult to clean.

                              1. re: will47

                                afaik - all the Zo models are non stick. We have a 3 cup, which sits on the counter and a larger 10 cup induction unit. Both Zojirushi models.
                                I'm in the market for a new 3 cup. Nothing wrong with the unit. Noticed some slight chips on the pan and the cost for a new pan *via spare parts* is not cost effective

                              2. re: kkbriggs

                                Hello, kkbriggs!

                                "...(although maybe they've since purchased a rice cooker?)"

                                If you look upstream on this post to September 15th or 2007, you will note that we did purchase the 10-cup Zo induction model. Initially, we used it a lot! It does, however, take a longer time to cook most rice than I can do on the stovetop, so our use of this cooker dwindled. Only 18 months later we hardly use it at all. Maybe we'll get back to it, especially if we have a large quantity to prepare.

                                1. re: liu

                                  If you can plan your menu earlier in the day, and you know you'll be having rice with dinner, try using the timer function. It's nice knowing you can set it and forget it, and then open up the cooker to find perfect rice just sitting around!

                                  With these modern rice cookers, you'll find that 5 hour-old rice is just as good as 5 minute-old rice ;-)

                              3. So all you Zo users, does it take a really long time to cook brown rice in these machines (either the fuzzy logic or induction)? I'd heard that it can take several hours, i.e., much longer than a simple electric rice cooker.

                                18 Replies
                                1. re: Hansel

                                  mine has a separate function for making "GABA" brown rice which does take several hours. The difference between this and regular brown rice is just that the cooking cycle takes longer and it is supposed to conserve enzymes in the rice.

                                  1. re: baloo

                                    What about regular brown rice, how long does that take? Thanks for any information.

                                    1. re: Hansel

                                      I haven't timed it but in my regular Zoji it seems like brown rice takes 2-3 times longer than plain white rice depending on the amount.

                                      1. re: Hansel

                                        Hansel, in case you are still reading this thread ... I was also interested to know about cooking times. I found the manuals for the cookers on the Zojirushi website and the one for the model I was looking at had a table of cooking times.

                                        1. re: Mrs Sparkles

                                          Cooking times for a Zojirushi are as follow:

                                          Models such as LAC05/LAQ05, TGC10/TGQ10, TGC18/TGQ18
                                          40-55 minutes for plain white rice
                                          27-39 minutes for quick cooking white rice setting
                                          1 hour 40 mins for brown rice

                                          Model such as ZCC10/ZAQ10
                                          37-56 minutes for plain white rice (depending on what texture you have selected)
                                          36-42 minutes for quick cooking white rice setting
                                          1 hour 40 minutes for brown rice

                                          Hope this helps!

                                          1. re: Yum Asia

                                            Hi.
                                            Do any rice cookers have a countdown timer that begins once you press Start? This way I would know when to expect the rice to be done. Or is that not possible for rice cookers to know?
                                            Thanks.

                                            1. re: Tallon

                                              Tallon. in our experience, almost all of the modern rice cookers have a countdown timer. HOWEVER: the countdown starts when the rice has reached cooking temperature, not when the "Start" button is pushed. We have not experimented with all of the cookers, but the above is our observation from the ones that we have used.

                                              1. re: Politeness

                                                Thanks guys. I guess it must not be possible for rice cookers to know when it will finish from the Start. To me, I thought this would be a great feature to look for when buying.

                                              2. re: Tallon

                                                I would like to know from the start how long it has to go, but my rice cooker starts counting down when it has about 15 minutes to go. But the more you use it, the more you get a feel for the cooking times. Or at least I do, since I cook more or less the same 3-4 types of rice and relatively the same amounts.

                                                1. re: Tallon

                                                  Both my Zojirushi and my Toshiba (IH models) start counting down at about 15 minutes to go, as other posters have mentioned.

                                                  One thing about using a rice cooker, though, is that it will automatically keep the rice warm and ready to eat for hours after it has finished cooking. So I usually start the rice cooker a couple of hours ahead of time and just let it sit there so that the rice is available whenever I get around to cooking the main course.

                                                  1. re: Tallon

                                                    The timer feature works pretty well, so if you just set the timer for when you want the rice to be done at a particular time, that's a pretty good way to get fairly close.

                                                    1. re: Tallon

                                                      As others have said, most rice cookers only have a countdown timer in the last 15-20 minutes of the cooking cycle. On Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cookers the countdown starts at 15 minutes. No fuzzy logic rice cooker will have a countdown from when you press the 'cook' button, this is simply because each batch of rice is different and takes different amounts of time to cook.

                                                      In the manual for a TGC10/TGQ10 (for example) it lists the cooking time for white rice as between 40-55 minutes. So you add the water and rice and press cook. The rice cooker then brings the water to the correct temperature and starts to steam the rice, the micro-computer chip (ie the fuzzy logic) then makes small adjustments in the temperature to ensure the even cooking of the rice. It's only when the cooking cycle gets to the last 15-20 minutes (when the majority of the water has evaporated) that it will know when the rice will be ready. Each batch of rice will absorb water at a different rate.

                                                      If you like the idea of having your rice ready for a set time, then set the timer - all Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cookers have a time feature - you can then have the rice ready on 'keep warm' for when you arrive in from work! Then it would take any remaining 'guesswork' away from cooking the rice.

                                                      1. re: Tallon

                                                        I have a Zojirushi that does one better. You can tell it when you want your rice to be done. You set the timer function for the time you want, push start, and walk away. The minute the time clicks over to the time you specified, the rice is ready and perfect. The first time we used the timer and the rice finished cooking EXACTLY at 8:00, our jaws hit the floor.

                                                        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                          I think I have the same cooker.
                                                          Which one do you have?

                                                          1. re: liu

                                                            I have the 10-cup induction, model NP-HBC18. I admit the induction heating is overkill, but it is really nice. And I'm glad I got the 10-cup. After all, you can make 4 cups of rice in a 10 cup, but you can't do 8 cups of rice in the 5.5 cup.

                                                            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                              Hi, JK Grence the Cosmic Jester!
                                                              We bought the Zojirushi NH-VBC 18, also with induction heating.
                                                              I, too, like the size, although I can't remember making more than 4 cups of rice. Also, I don't think we are using all its features...but it is a good machine.

                                                              1. re: liu

                                                                I usually do 4 cups of rice at the most, but I have the occasional party where I'll make 8 or 9, so it does come in handy.

                                                                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                  ...and leftover rice is good for stir-fry dishes!

                                            2. I know this thread is getting pretty old but the information is pretty useful to me as I'm searching for a new rice cooker. Thanks to all for your helpful posts.

                                              I'm considering one of the 3-cup models but note that neither has a "sweet rice" (=glutinous rice/ sticky rice) program.

                                              I am currently using a conventional cooker which also doesn't have such a program. I presoak the rice then place it in a steamer basket and steam until cooked. Most of the Zojirushi cookers don't have a steamer basket, which rules out that way of cooking.

                                              Has anyone any experience of cooking glutinous rice in a Zojirushi?
                                              - In the 3-cup models is it possible?
                                              - How good is the result of the "sweet rice" program on the larger models that have it?

                                              Thanks in advance!

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: Mrs Sparkles

                                                I have a 10 cup Zojirushi and I almost exclusively make sticky rice. It comes out great, perfect every time. That being said, I have never made more than 4 cups of rice at once, so it is definitely larger than I need. But it was a gift, so I'm not complaining.

                                                1. re: valerie

                                                  Thanks Valerie. I think all the 10-cup models have a sweet rice program and I assume you use that. Anyone cooking sticky rice without using a sweet rice program?

                                                  1. re: Mrs Sparkles

                                                    Actually, I make "sushi" rice. There is another setting for "sweet" rice, but I haven't tried it. I would assume it would be good because the brown rice and the plain white rice come out perfect as well.

                                                2. re: Mrs Sparkles

                                                  Mrs Sparkles

                                                  You wrote "I'm considering one of the 3-cup models but note that neither has a "sweet rice" (=glutinous rice/ sticky rice) program."

                                                  I am not sure what you are asking? True, the 3 cup rice cookers do not have a "sweet rice" setting but sticky rice usually refers to plain old Japanese short grain rice= "white rice" The cookers have settings for "white rice". What am I missing?

                                                  1. re: bgazindad

                                                    Thanks to everyone for the replies so far.

                                                    Maybe it will help if I add a bit of context . I'm living in SE Asia. My concern is about being able to cook the rice usually referred to in this part of the world as "sticky rice" or glutinous rice. It's different from sushi rice, commonly eaten in northern Thailand and also enjoyed in Chinese dim sum.

                                                    I know this type of rice is also called "sweet rice" in some places (see Wiki), and when I saw the "sweet rice" program on some of the Zo cookers I assumed that's what it was for - since many other cookers on the market here have a program for sticky rice.

                                                    Normally sticky rice is prepared by presoaking in water and steaming in a basket (a bamboo basket over a wok or special rice pan, or in the steamer basket of an on-off rice cooker).

                                                    Since first posting, I got talking to a Chinese woman promoting the Zo cookers here and asked her about cooking sticky rice. She told me that she puts it in the pot with dried mushrooms and dried scallops, adds 3/4 cup water per cup of rice and cooks on the white rice program. No presoaking. I don't think this would work in my current cooker, but it's not a "fuzzy logic" one and perhaps that's the key difference.

                                                    Can anyone corroborate this cooking method for white sticky rice?
                                                    Does anyone have experience cooking black sticky rice in these cookers?

                                                    1. re: Mrs Sparkles

                                                      I have the Zojurushi NSZCC18 10 cup Neuro Fuzzy cooker. I love it to death. I have cooked 2 cups (the rice cooker cups) of rice just fine in it, and it has all kinds of nifty settings -- including one for sticky rice. My husband is addicted to steel cut oats in the cooker, and it makes a fabulous Mexican rice. The very biggest advantage to me of the rice cooker is that it allows me to put the ingredients in there, then walk away. No checking, no stirring. As someone else said, it's "automagic".

                                                      THE best book on the markert for rice cookers is called the Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. I got mine at Amazon. It will tell you absolutely everything you need to now about rice and ricecookers, and may even tell you how to get cable TV reception on it (just kidding). Be prepared to spend some time reading the first part of the book & just absorbing info.

                                                      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_...

                                                      I got that big cooker because we sometimes entertain & I wanted the ability to make larger quantities. I am seriously thinking about getting a smaller model for everyday use. There are only so many appliances can keep on my counter, and the 10 cup Zo has a fairly large footprint, and it's a somewhat awkward shape to fit conveniently in my cabinets.

                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                        Thanks all for replies. I finally decided to go with the Zojirushi and brought home the 5.5 cup IH model yesterday.

                                                        Am yet to try cooking glutinous rice in it but have already used it to cook plain white (jasmine) rice, a tapioca pudding (custard) and arroz con pollo (the whole meal, right there in the rice cooker!)

                                                        I second Patti's comment on the "Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" - tons of inspiration in there to help make the most of these fantastic cookers..

                                                        1. re: Mrs Sparkles

                                                          Mrs. Sparkles and PattiCakes,
                                                          I am the Original Poster. Many months later I feel as though we are not using our rice cooker to its fullest capabilities. So, I thank both of you for your recommendation of the book, "Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook." We just ordered it from Amazon and I am looking forward to some very specific instructions.

                                                          1. re: liu

                                                            Just be prepared to set aside some time to read it. I know, that sounds funny, but the first part of the book is an extensive "text book" on rice cookers in general, different kinds of rices, and basics on how to use your cooker. It's kind of like going to school for Rice Cooker 101. The best thing that this book does is to give you the knowledge/tools to understand what you are doing with your cooker and to give you the confidence to experiment .

                                                            1. re: PattiCakes

                                                              PattiCakes -- Thanks...this sounds exactly like what I need...a rice tutorial!
                                                              And then, as you promised above, I'll have both improved rice and cable TV!

                                                              I loved both your posts !!!! and am anxiously anticipating a better understanding of this potentially useful appliance.

                                                      2. re: Mrs Sparkles

                                                        A quick update, for the benefit of those who follow.

                                                        I tried the method for cooking sticky rice that the Chinese woman shared with me, just using 1 cup rice and 3/4 cup water and setting on the white rice ("regular") program in the Zojirushi 5.5 cup model. The result was pretty good, definitely good enough for putting into a glutinous rice dumpling. To accompany Thai food, though, I think I'll stick with presoaking and steaming over a wok or other pan.

                                                  2. The more you make rice, the more a rice cooker makes sense. It does streamline the process. When making rice on the stove, I cook it on medium until the water level drops below the rice, then cover and turn to low to cook 15 minutes, then finally take it off the heat for 15 minutes. With the rice cooker, the instructions simplify to just close the lid and hit Start, letting me concentrate on the main dish instead of keeping an eye on the rice.

                                                    I will also reluctantly admit that a rice cooker does indeed do the job better than a saucepan. Every now and again I'll burn or undercook rice on the stovetop (especially if I'm in a kitchen that isn't my own), while a rice cooker does it exactly right every single time.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                      There are several more Zo cookers - Induction, Presurrized Induction, Neuro Fuzzy - besides cooking great rice, I want to be able to cook beans - like garbanzos and pintos - my very old Zo cooker did that beautifully. The choices are confusing - don't know which way to go

                                                      1. re: jspence

                                                        "The choices are confusing - don't know which way to go"

                                                        Read what I posted upthread (1st paragraph): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4374...
                                                        .
                                                        .

                                                        1. re: Joe Blowe

                                                          I have but now there are Induction, Pressurized Induction, Neuro Fuzzy, Micom - I want to do rice and legumes -

                                                          1. re: jspence

                                                            To be perfectly clear, according to the CSR I spoke with in 2006/2007, you want a Fuzzy model. NOT an induction model, NOT and induction pressure model, and NOT a Micom model. Neuro Fuzzy.

                                                            If you call Zojirushi Customer Service, they'll be able to further help you.

                                                            1. re: Joe Blowe

                                                              Hi Joe.. why not a Micom? This description on BBB states it has fuzzy logic.
                                                              Are you aware of any difference?
                                                              http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...

                                                              I have a few other questions as I'm considering finally moving "up" from my microwave rice cooker, which has done a fine job over the years.

                                                              When you set yours to have rice ready when you get home.. do you have to adjust the water? I'm sure it doesn't matter, but wondering if the rice soaking in water for hours causes it to be soggy or extra sticky when it finally cooks.

                                                              Also.. I'm curious in a comparison of this model above.. to possibly this sanyo.. cooking.com also sells both:

                                                              http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...

                                                              Thanks to you and anyone else who can jump in with some comparison info.

                                                              This has been a most helpful thread, but I'm not seeing anything other than zojirushi info. Obviously it's a chow fave!

                                                              1. re: grnidkjun

                                                                According to Zojirushi's website, the Micom models are "fitted with a microcomputer chip that adjusts cooking time and temperature according to the menu selected."

                                                                And, "Neuro Fuzzy® is a Zojirushi trademark designating the most advanced Micom (micro computerized) rice cookers."

                                                                After doing my research and talking with Zoji, I went ahead with the Neuro Fuzzy. I'm sure you'll do the same ;-)

                                                                Regarding the timer, no water adjustments are necessary. That's what the processor is there for -- it makes adjustments on the fly and compensates for any variances.

                                                    2. You can cook rice and grains without constant vigilence. I learned this technique from Adele Davis books, back in the 70's.

                                                      Using 2:1 water to grain ration, add a little salt and oil to the water and bring to a rapid boil, covered.

                                                      Uncover & maintain high heat.

                                                      Add grains a little at a time, so boiling does not stop.

                                                      When all grain is added, lower heat, cover, and use toothpick to vent.

                                                      Use a heat difuser - a flat metal device that goes under the pot to prevent burning.

                                                      DO NOT STIR THE RICE, EVER. You can mix in butter, oil etc very gently by lifting the rice with a fork once it is cooked. Stirring makes it mushy.

                                                      Set timer for appropriate time - I use 50 minutes for brown rice, and can't remember the time for white rice.

                                                      This method works every time.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: theoldhag

                                                        And why exactly would you post this information in a rice cooker thread? Do you think we don't know how to cook rice on a stovetop? Do you think this will make us give up our rice cookers?! We are rice cookers, we are legion!

                                                        1. re: theoldhag

                                                          Compared to a rice cooker, your method is overly fussy. To cook rice in a rice cooker:
                                                          1) Put rice in the cooker bowl
                                                          2) Add water to the line in the bowl that corresponds to how many cups of rice you put in.
                                                          3) Push start, and walk away.

                                                          A further benefit of rice cookers: When the rice is done, the cooker beeps to tell you that it's done, and switches to low heat to keep it warm so it doesn't overcook. If I walk away from rice on the stove for an extra hour, I'm going to come back to burned rice. The rice cooker keeps it perfectly cooked for 12 hours.

                                                          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                            With many / most kinds of rice, rinsing is a good idea too.

                                                            1. re: will47

                                                              Ah true. That's enough of a reflex I don't even think about it. I bought a bag of musenmai (no-rinse) rice the last time I was at the Asian grocery and I still rinse it anyway.

                                                        2. I apologize if I'm putting this reply in the wrong spot: I haven't figured whether I'm supposed to reply to the original or to the last post.

                                                          But I asked on a couple other threads about Zojirushis whether anyone can tell me if it's true that the 5.5 models will only cook about 3 dry cups of brown rice. Reading reviews of the NS-ZCC10 on either Amazon or GardenWeb, one purchaser said that 5.5 seemed to be the capacity for white rice but that it seemed more like 3 cups for brown.

                                                          My husband and I only expect to make around 5 cups tops, but we would like the option to make 5 cups of brown rice.

                                                          Thanks!

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Birmingham

                                                            Birmingham: "...can tell me if it's true that the 5.5 models will only cook about 3 dry cups of brown rice."

                                                            The capacity numbers refer to the amount of cooked rice -- regardless of rice variety -- at the end of the cycle. A "10" rice cooker, used at capacity, will produce 5.5 cups of cooked white rice or 5.5 cups of brown rice. The volume of the dry rice before cooking always is less than the volume of the rice after cooking. How the cooked rice capacity translates to dry rice depends upon the expansion factor of the specific rice variety when it is cooked.

                                                            1. re: Politeness

                                                              Hi Politeness, your comment on the capacity being the amount of COOKED rice really confused me because I had always heard the opposite--that it's dry rice. I was just reading the tips at the Zojirushi website and found this under Question 11:

                                                              "The capacity of a rice cooker is stated in the numbers of 6-ounce cups of raw rice."

                                                              So now I'm back to wondering if a 5.5 will be sufficient for us. As long as I can cook 5.5 cups of dry brown rice, I'll be happy.

                                                              1. re: Birmingham

                                                                Hi Birmingham, to answer your question about the capacity of the Zojirushi 5.5 cup rice cookers.

                                                                The 5.5 cup or 1 litre capacity refers to uncooked rice not cooked rice as you say. The 5.5 cup models cannot cook the full capacity of brown rice due to the fact that brown rice expands more than white rice, but they do cook between 1 and 4 cups of uncooked brown rice. For guidance the measuring cup is 180ml so the full uncooked brown rice capacity of a 5.5 cup Zojirushi is therefore 720ml (although we are not sure why the measurement is in ml!!)

                                                                Hope this helps

                                                              2. re: Politeness

                                                                No, the capacity ratings refer to the amount of uncooked rice. Keep in mind that for rice cookers, 1 cup is equal to about 6.1 ounces, supposedly based on the amount of rice needed for one serving. Thus a 5.5 cup Zojirushi rice cooker will handle about 33.6 ounces of rice (4.2 true cups). However, best results are obtained when the rice cooker is only filled to about 70% of total capacity, or in this case, with about 24 ounces of uncooked rice (3 true cups).

                                                                1. re: Clawfood

                                                                  Which is why I got the 10 cup about 5 years ago. I also like that there is plenty of room to fluff the rice once it's cooked.

                                                            2. Hi Liu -

                                                              Happy Easter Sunday !

                                                              We have the NSZCC10 5-cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Maker, which we bought as a pair 17 years ago, along with a Zojirushi Breadmaker.

                                                              Both brown rice, and whole wheat bread are popular in our family. This unit will cook white rice, brown rice, lentils, and using the start of the setting for chopped onions and olive oil, a passable Risotto when one is in a hurry. This is the 220-240v model for Europe, and not the 100v which I'm sure is just as good.

                                                              They clean and store easily below our counter in cupboards. Thus far we have replaced only the rice cooker insert bowl, which someone scratched fluffing the cooked rice. There is a silicone spoon / scraper that comes with the purchase that "someone" forgot to use a few times.

                                                              The bowl and steamer plate vent can be placed in the top rack of a dish-washer, but we prefer to do it by hand. It is easier, quicker, and the parts last longer.

                                                              Unlike stove top rice cooking, this one is truly "set and forget."

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                The reheat function on them is great too.

                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                  Too true.

                                                                  I like to leave the finished rice plugged in and on, but my wife likes to pull the plug and just keep the cooked rice covered. Overcooking is her concern.

                                                                  If it is too cold, she then plugs it back in and uses the reheat function.

                                                                  1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                    I tried explaining that it wouldn't overcook the rice because it is designed to remain plugged-in, but she wouldn't listen.

                                                                    1. re: Clawfood

                                                                      I share your frustration.

                                                                      Back to baking: The braided Easter Zöpfe has risen for a 4th time, and headed for the oven

                                                                      Happy Easter !

                                                                       
                                                                      1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                        That looks beautiful, and I'll bet it will taste as good as it looks. Have a great Easter dinner!