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Rice Cooker: useful?

I recently purchased a Krups electric rice cooker/steamer (I think it's 10 or 12 cup). So far I have just done Mexican rice, using both white rice and brown, and I really love it. What else can I do with it? Do you think this would make a worthwhile Christmas gift for my married daughter? She does a lot of Mexican cooking, but I an concerned about storage issues versus amount of use. I've seen a lot of Wolfgang Puck rice cookers when I do internet searches; are they good? As good as the Krups?

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  1. "What else can I do with it? " Doesn't it come with some kind of cook book or suggestions? With some rice cookers you can use it as a veg steamer as well as cook porridge and sushi rice. Only you can answer the question about your daughter's storage issues.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sandih

      Yes, mine did come with a pamphlet with some suggestions. When I post a question on Chow, I'm looking for something beyond that, and perhaps the benefit of other's experience, not a somewhat smug reply. Sorry to have bothered you, Sandi.

    2. here are a couple of past threads on rice cookers:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/288545 rice cooker must haves, 2002-2005

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/323629 do i want a rice cooker, 2006-2007

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/409207 is a rice cooker worth it, 2007

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/441072 considering a rice cooker, 2007

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/437485 Zojirushi Rice Cooker, 2007-2008

        1. re: Stephanie Wong

          Polenta? How do you cook polenta in a rice cooker, Stephanie?

          1. re: chuckl

            Bring liquid to a boil, whisk in the polenta, let it cook to desired doneness (stirring occasionally). Adjust seasoning & add flavorings as desired -- butter to loosen or grated cheese to tighten. If I'm using diced red pepper or fresh corn kernels, I'll add those late in the process.

            Originally tried this method to free up a burner on our stove. Now we regularly use the rice cooker for polenta so we don't need to "watch" it closely and it will hold for hours. Plus the non-stick bowl is an easy clean-up. I think my husband uses the congee setting; I just adjust it manually as I go.

        2. My microwave has a rice setting on it, and it cooks perfect rice with a touch of the button. What I don't need is another large thing to store, that I don't use ALL the time!

          1. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/din...

            an interesting commentary on rice cookers- we useours only for rice- and I was a skeptic at first- but it's nice to free up the stove and not have to worry about burning...

            3 Replies
            1. re: qwerty78

              Thanks so much, qwerty & Kaimukiman. Those links are exactly the type of direction I was hoping for. Loved the article in the NY Times. I think I'm going to get that book.....

              1. re: PattiCakes

                welcome!

                ps: i do have a rice cooker (doesn't everyone in Hawaii?) It is one of the old simple kinds with only an on switch, doesn't even have a "keep warm" setting. I use it all the time even though I am capable of making perfectly acceptable rice on the stove. It's just a nice thing to have.

              2. re: qwerty78

                I only use mine for rice too, and I love the rice so much that I make it at least twice a week. Our preference is short grain sushi rice.