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Do induction rice cookers take too long?

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I love rice and am considering upgrading my rice cooker. I've been researching the Zojirushi induction style cookers, but was a little taken aback to read that brown rice (which is mostly what I want to cook) takes several hours in this machine. Maybe the fact that they are programmable makes up for this. Any users out there? Do you find these cookers convenient and do they really make better rice than the standard rice cooker?

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  1. I can't speak for these kind of cookers, but that's a loooong time for brown rice. As you know 40 to 50 minutes should be about right for Cali brown rice on the stovetop.
    For long grain white rice including basmati I like my microwave cooker just fine - 12 to 14 minutes, easy to clean up.
    I'm also interested in what these induction cookers do best.

    1. From the Zojirushi website:
      GABA BROWN
      "This is not a new variety of brown rice, but a newly discovered way of cooking brown rice to “activate” it and increase naturally occurring gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid in brown rice believed to have health giving properties such as lowering blood pressure, improving kidney function and relieving stress. The brown rice is “activated” by soaking the rice at 104°F for 2 hours before the actual cooking begins."

      Presumably, you could still cook the brown rice in a normal time and not worry about the GABA part.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ccbweb

        If anything, induction rice cookers take less time to cook brown rice than neuro fuzzy logic rice cookers(these are also programmable as well) which were considered to be the best possible rice cookers until the induction rice cookers came along. However, the better quality with the neuro fuzzy logic came with a tradeoff in that it rook longer to cook rice, especially brown rice, than the more cheaper rice cookers out there- it takes my Sanyo fuzzy logic around 80 minutes or more to cook brown rice.

        If you're going to really be cooking a lot of brown rice, than I'd suggest the IH if you can afford it as it will cook brown rice faster and better. With my Sanyo fuzzy logic ricecooker, I have no complaints about using it for white rice. But, with brown rice, I feel its a little off sometimes.

        1. re: hobbess

          80 minutes??? which Sanyo do you have? I just purchased a Sanyo.

      2. Brown rice can take up to a couple of hours on the stovetop too in my experience. And definitely takes a couple of hours in my rice cooker. But brown rice is one of the big reasons I love my rice cooker - what you should do (and I think you alluded to this a little above), is put the rice in the cooker 5-17 hours before you want to eat it and set the timer on the rice cooker. The rice will get to soak for a nice long time, and you'll have perfectly cooked rice at whatever time you set the timer for. It just requires a little advance planning. Just be careful - you can't leave brown rice on "warm" for anywhere near as long as white rice, or it will discolor.

        The downside of the Zojirushi that does GABA brown rice is that AFAIK, it is only available still in the 10 cup model, which is too big for a lot of people's needs. I have a Panasonic or Sanyo 3.5C that does brown rice perfectly.

        3 Replies
        1. re: will47

          will47 -- I am curious about your 5-17 hour soak, which I assume is without heat.
          Is there no danger in that long period for bacteria to begin to take hold?

          1. re: liu

            Yeah - no heat on mine. Never really thought about it one way or another, but so far it hasn't given me any problems. Usually I'll put it on before bed if I want brown rice ready by 8:30 the next evening.

            1. re: will47

              We have the Zojirushi induction rice cooker.
              I don't find it that simple to use...sometimes the rice is a little too wet and sometimes it is overdone and too mushy. I'm sure it is not the appliance -- as it seems to have all the bells and whistles - rather it is the operator. I will have to get serious and reread the instruction booklet.
              Nevertheless, I am still reluctant to let any grains sit in water for more than a couple of hours without rinsing; I do think it is a ripe environment for bacterial growth.

        2. 3 cups brown rice soaked over-night, cooked with 4.25 cups water takes less than 60 minutes in a Zojirushi NH-VBC18 induction type.

          2 Replies
          1. re: a priori

            Thanks for this very helpful info, a priori. I will try it this week.

            I know it's a good machine and sometimes I have been successful, but it is only great if it performs EVERY time...and I haven't got that down yet! Specifically, I am finding that if the rice is done before we are ready for dinner, it seems to get too soft as it remains on hold...and I thought that holding the rice to perfection was its selling point.

            1. re: liu

              Wow - this all sounds rather complicated. Maybe I should just stick with my cheap rice cooker, which I'm pretty satisfied with. Lately I've been making Haiga rice in it (a partially milled short grain brown rice that is really delicious) and it seems to come out perfect. I'll have to think about it. Thank you for all your advice.