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Mar 7, 2011 07:55 AM

Some Questons For All Of You Rice Cooker Afficianados Out There. Thanks!

Okay, I'm convinced that after buying 40 pounds of rice, I might benefit greatly from an automatic rice cooker. I figure this will be my only-ever purchase, so I want to do it right. I've been studying them on the web, and I do believe I want to spring for the Zojirushi that has the GOBA setting, but there are at least a couple of questions the web doesn't seem to address.

First off, with a GOBA setting on the rice cooker, I find that means it preheats and coddles the brown rice to start the germination process before cooking. Healthy! That's a good thing. But I have also discovered that it is possible to buy GOBA rice (apparently already pre-germinated) but it's a bit on the pricey side and seems to come in sealed predetermined quantities, probably for freshness. So my question here is does anyone know whether the Zojirushi GOBA setting requires the special rice, or does it bring about the benefits of germination in plain old every day not terribly expensive brown rice? That would be a good thing! I mean, why pay for a GOBA setting if you still have to buy the pregerminated expensive rice, right?

Next Question. There seem to be two kinds of rice cookers I'm not clear about. One cooks rice. The other cooks rice with pressure, apparently similar to a pressure cooker. But there is no information on line that I've been able to find that clarifies whether this is a feature that simply reduces the overall cooking time (the way a pressure cooker reduces food cooking time) or if it does something special to the texture or flavor of the rice. Anybody know the answer?

I have decided to go with the induction type. Hey, I live with an electric company that charges not only my arms and legs, but those of my children, so anything that reduces electrical consumption is the way to go in my book. So the only remaining dilemmas are those above. Any information is greatly appreicated. Thanks!

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  1. Induction is good.

    The Zoji doesn't appear to need the special pre-germinated rice, but it's GABA setting is a bit on the short side of things unless that slightly elevated temperature makes up for the shorter time. AFAIK no one has actually measured GABA in rice at 104ºF for 2 hours vs rice soaked at RT for 20 hours.

    The Pressure IH vs regular IH has been discussed earlier though that really settled nothing:

    Depending on whether you're willing to believe Zoji's marketing, the pressure cooking makes for fluffier rice.

    1. plain brown rice germinates w/ the GOBA setting. i like the flavor of it as well.

      i have the zojirushi induction w/ the goba setting. use it often. i use it to make rice, other grains, and rice soups. you cannot go wrong with it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: thew

        Can you detect a difference in brown rice (taste, texture) with and without the GABA setting?

        1. re: wattacetti

          it's very subtle, but yes. the texture is softer (not surprising as it spends 3 times as much time in water) and the taste is a little more delicate. Not a huge difference, and the only thing, for me, that determines which i use is my time frame

          1. re: thew

            +1. The first time I made GABA brown rice, I couldn't tell the difference at all. I was ready to start my rice yesterday at 1:00 for dinner last night at 7:00, so I figured "why not germinate"? I used regular short grain brown rice and I did notice a slight difference. It was plumper than normal. I think it took about four hours.

      2. Thanks, guys. Very helpful information. I think I know what I'm gonna do! '-)

        1. Okay, one more question please and then I think I'll have it nailed. I hope so anyway! I've narrowed it down to two models of Zojirushi. One is a ten cup bells and whistles model and the other is a 5.5 cup bells and whistles model. Now, at 77 years of age, it seem likely to me that someday one of my kids will be using it to cook their rice. So other than counter space, which isn't all that much, will the larger model cook small amounts as well as the smaller model? I mean, there is only TWO DOLLARS difference, and being the bargain hunter that I am, it seems to me that I get more bang for the buck with the larger model, but if it requires that I cook four cups of rice every time I crank it up, that ain't gonna work when I'm cooking for one! Any and all advice and information is GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Caroline1

            Caroline1, we eat a LOT of rice; and we often serve rice when we entertain. We have a nominal 5.5 cup rice cooker.

            Over years and decades, we have needed to make more than one batch within one day maybe twice or three times. Resist the "more is better" urge; you almost certainly will never need the extra capacity of a 10-cup, unless you invite the entire squad of the Dallas Cowboys over after a game. And the cooking bowl of a 5.5 cup rice cooker will fit in the dishwasher without a problem (that is how we usually clean ours, 300 times a year), whereas a 10 cup size bowl may disrupt things in there.

            1. re: Politeness

              Makes sense! You've convinced me. Thanks!

              The new computer is here but still in the box. This has not been a week to do what I want to do. It's been mostly do what I have to do. I'm tired of it. I want to play! Maybe tomorrow....? Or Saturday...?

          2. It is more than a month later than the last post but I am into the same decision making - with a slightly different twist. I am basically on a macrobiotic diet and eat brown rice EVERY day. We have had a Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 neurofuzzy model for years and can't live without it. In fact, my husband uses it every day for his rice mixture which is why I need a second, smaller, unit for MY rice choice. But the GABA option intrigues me - especially as lowering blood pressure is a priority and can't quite figure out whether spending all the extra money for an induction model (and getting stainless steel when I have an all white kitchen) will really nutritionally be of benefit. Maybe I should be asking this on a nutritional web site rather than chowhound. I know the rice will turn out perfect -- but has anyone done any research on whether the GABA function is really nutritionally better than the "brown rice" function on the neuro fuzzy model which takes about 2-3 hours to cook? Thanks!

            2 Replies
              1. re: phrekyos

                Thank you, phrekyos, for the article. It provided a lot of information and is helpful. However, a macrobiotic friend also replied to me on this topic and reported that he does not recommend cooking the rice with electricity at all, and prefers a gas stove top! But I think I will get the GABA electric rice cooker because I know I won't get around to soaking rice at the right temperature for 20 hours before cooking it. Thank you again for your help.