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DO I NEED TO KEEP MY RICE MAKER ?

c
cstout May 26, 2011 04:04 PM

I have learned how to make very good rice from "STIR FRYING TO THE SKY'S EDGE" & was wondering if I should keep that bulky pot around or just send it on to the thrift shop? Does anybody use it to make other things besides rice? I am in one of those "purging" modes & just want to simplify my life, but maybe I shall see if you all can talk me into keeping it a while longer? I am wishy washy that way & can be convinced of anything at the drop of a hat, you all know how it goes with those gut wrenching feelings when it comes down to letting things go. I simply must find more room in my kitchen somewhere though. Please help, I am standing here with it & explaining to it that it is time to move on, & it is pleading with me, "no wait, the chowhound people will come up with something else I can be useful for". What's a girl to do??????

  1. q
    Querencia May 26, 2011 04:32 PM

    My rice cooker is big and when I make a potful of rice I can supply myself for weeks of hasty meals. If I use converted (parboiled) rice it freezes nicely---grains don't mash together---do not try this with basmati. I put the cooked rice in plastic sandwich bags, portion size, and freeze it. Very, very convenient. For that reason alone I would hold onto a rice cooker. I guess it depends too on how often you want rice for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Querencia
      c
      cstout May 26, 2011 09:49 PM

      You are absolutely right in deciding how often you want rice for dinner. Being that I will never cook for more than 4 people (except for Thanksgiving & Christmas), I think it is wise for me to just make a batch of rice for a couple of meals & call it good. For folks that have a larger family, I think your idea is fantastic for putting in sandwich bags. Your comments are appreciated by us all.

    2. monavano May 26, 2011 04:34 PM

      I bought a rice maker before I got the guts to use my pressure cooker. The rice cooker is toast! I can make amazing, amazing rice in minutes vs. waiting 40+ minutes for brown rice to cook. Not going back!

      3 Replies
      1. re: monavano
        w
        Wisco May 26, 2011 04:40 PM

        Oh cool. How long do you cook the brown rice under pressure? And I assume you use the same amount of water as if you were cooking it normally...

        1. re: Wisco
          monavano May 27, 2011 06:34 AM

          about 12 minutes!! I know, so short!
          I do brown basmati rice, btw ;-)

        2. re: monavano
          c
          cstout May 26, 2011 09:51 PM

          I have not tried brown rice in the cooker. Must do that before we part ways. Thank you.

        3. c
          christy319 May 26, 2011 04:41 PM

          I'm here to tell you that I make a lot of rice and have only ever used a regular pan. If you don't use it anymore, get rid of it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: christy319
            c
            cstout May 26, 2011 09:54 PM

            Christy319, you are a girl after my heart....I am thinking along the same lines, but as I said before, that cooker is really squacking about that. I really think it would be happier in a larger family though. So for now, it sounds like he will be heading for a happy hunting ground.

          2. inaplasticcup May 26, 2011 05:23 PM

            Donate.

            1 Reply
            1. re: inaplasticcup
              c
              cstout May 27, 2011 09:53 AM

              Gosh, that was a real firm statement, yes, I think I will do excactly that. Also, I just noticed that someone is talking about rice baked in the oven...got to go check that out. Thanks, you just pushed me over the edge.

            2. s
              S_K May 26, 2011 06:30 PM

              My rice cooker is the awesomest rice cooker! It will cook brown rice, white rice, slow cook, cook on a timer, quick cook, bake bread, bake cake...all at the most perfect temperature because it has fuzzy logic so it will cook the perfect rice at any altitude. To be honest, I spent a bit more on this gadget because I eat rice often and I just have to press two buttons--one to select and one to start.

              If I didn't use it, I'd probably give it to a family member who would want it.

              1. m
                modthyrth May 26, 2011 10:50 PM

                I'm not a fan of single-use appliances, but I LOVE my rice cooker and wouldn't dream of getting rid of it.

                I did more with it in my dorm at college, and mostly use it for just rice now. But it's so incredibly easy to just pour in the rice/quinoa and water and push a button, and have the veggies steaming on top. That's most of a meal right there!

                I've also been known to make improvised quinoa biryani in the ricemaker.

                And when I make glutenous rice cake, throwing the sweet rice in the rice cooker sure beats stirring it over the stovetop for an hour!

                I think Querencia's point is the salient one, though. If you don't make rice very often, I can see it not being worth the cabinet space. Me, I could eat rice at every meal. LOVE the stuff. I'm having my rice cooker buried with me as a burial good, I love it that much.

                3 Replies
                1. re: modthyrth
                  c
                  cstout May 27, 2011 10:01 AM

                  My cooker is quite antiquated...could never do all that. Perhaps it is me who is the antiquated one though. Perhaps I should look into more rice recipes. And don't you know as soon as you walk out the door from leaving it at the thrift store, you have that sinking feeling you did the wrong thing? I even thought of giving it to one of my friends, but they would rather go out to eat than cook their own food....just cannot bring them around. Your suggestions are very helpful...thanks for contributing your cooking ideas,

                  1. re: cstout
                    inaplasticcup May 27, 2011 10:12 AM

                    I know exactly how you're feeling, but I think you might miss it momentarily, and then it'll be an out of sight, out of mind thing. Isn't there something like a 3/6/9/12 month rule for disposing of things? I.e., if it hasn't occurred to you to use it within a reasonable amount of time, it probably isn't all that useful to you. When's the last time you used it?

                    Btw, "I am wishy washy that way & can be convinced of anything at the drop of a hat." That was too cute for words.

                    1. re: cstout
                      m
                      modthyrth May 27, 2011 01:39 PM

                      Oh, my rice cooker is not only pretty old at this point (circa 94), but it's the cheapest version made at that time, I'm sure! No fancy fuzzy logic for me. If mine can do it, they all can, I'm sure. ;-)

                  2. c
                    ChiliDude May 27, 2011 04:15 AM

                    Years ago a coworker gave me a recipe for making rice in the oven. Since we now have an empty nest, we take a cup of raw rice and add about one and a third cups of water to rice that has been coated with a combination of heated olive oil and melted butter in a ceramic casserole. It is first brought to a boil on a cooktop and them transferred to the oven which has been preheated to 400 degrees. Cooking time in the oven of the covered casserole is 17 minutes.

                    If i correctly remember, the method was from the New York Times Cookbook.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ChiliDude
                      c
                      cstout May 27, 2011 10:03 AM

                      That sounds like a wonderful method...will try to find the recipe you are referring to. Thanks.

                      1. re: cstout
                        c
                        ChiliDude May 28, 2011 01:19 PM

                        This is the recipe according to Craig Claiborne...

                        Ingredients:

                        1 1/2 Cup(s) unsalted chicken broth
                        1 Cup(s) rice
                        1 Teaspoon(s) finely minced garlic
                        1/2 Cup(s) finely chopped onion
                        2 Tablespoon(s) unsalted butter or margarine
                        1 bay leaf

                        Directions:

                        1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
                        2) Melt half the butter or margarine in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion wilts.
                        3) Add the rice and stir. Add the chicken broth and bay leaf and cover. Bring to the boil.
                        4) Bake the rice for exactly 17 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the remaining butter or margarine.

                        We use water and do not include bay leaf, garlic and onion. We add turmeric to add yellow color, and a dash of cayenne.

                        1. re: ChiliDude
                          c
                          cstout May 28, 2011 09:04 PM

                          Hi Chilidude...who needs a rice cooker when you can make this great recipe in an oven? I am keeping tabs here & the old rice pot is getting closer to taking a long ride. I realize the other people have newer/fancier rice cookers & they love theirs, but since mine is a "one pot wonder"...I am wondering why I should keep that ol thing around, expecially when I have to soak it for a day just to get it clean. I am off to cook me a pot of rice right now, thanks to you...really sounds delish...thanks again for your time...saved me from searching for an hour or two on the net.

                    2. roxlet May 27, 2011 05:23 AM

                      I love that my rice cooker can hold the rice perfectly for hours. If I know that I'll be getting home and trying to get the dinner on the table FAST, I need only to heat my main dish up, and the rice is waiting for me. We never wanted a rice cooker until an Asian friend of ours gave my husband one for his birthday. We have never looked back, and I wouldn't dream of getting rid of it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: roxlet
                        c
                        cstout May 28, 2011 09:10 PM

                        Roxlet, glad you like your maker...as I have said to others posting on this subject...mine is old & does not have any of the features you all are mentioning. I truely would like to have a newer version, but that would sort of defeat the purpose of me trying to downsize my kitchen stuff...I hate to let anything go, but as time goes on, one finds a need to just get down to basics in kitchen ware, cooking, & life in general. Thanks for your input,,,,,real nice folks to jump in here to comment. Love to you all.

                      2. lilham May 27, 2011 05:37 AM

                        If you don't need it, chuck it. However, Grace Young might talk about making rice on a pot on the stove. But in reality, every east asian family that cooks has a rice cooker. (Not sure about those in the Indian subcontinent). To us, cooking rice on the stove is a distinctly western thing to do! Of course, the ones we have usually have 1) a timer so you can put the rice on before you leave home, 2) can keep the rice warm in case you arrive home late, 3) non stick so you don't end up with rice stuck at the bottom of a pan. If you are looking for one, get a fuzzy logic one from Japan. And they come in many sizes, down to ones that cook for only 2 people.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: lilham
                          inaplasticcup May 27, 2011 07:16 AM

                          I grew up with a rice cooker too. But I much prefer the stovetop method for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the space inefficiency factor. And most nights I find that stovetop rice is done within the time it takes me to get all other dinner components together.

                          It's funny how indispensable it seemed to our household when I was growing up, but I have absolutely no use for one now. My mom has also chucked the cooker after decades of using it.

                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                            c
                            cstout May 27, 2011 10:56 AM

                            Yes, mine is definately a chucker,,,,but read on....lilham has caused me to go crazy, please forgive me for answering that post under your reply.

                            1. re: cstout
                              lilham May 27, 2011 05:37 PM

                              Oh what have I done. Btw, I only cook rice in my rice cooker. My mum steams in it while the rice is cooking but I found it impossible to take the plate in and out. So I dont have any recipes to share. I pack bento style lunches and prefer to use fresh rice for it. So often times my rice cooker gets a twice daily work out. I don't think most non asian household would make rice this frequently!

                              1. re: lilham
                                c
                                cstout May 27, 2011 09:38 PM

                                What is a "bento style lunch"?? Also, how can you steam in it while rice is in there cooking??? Please forgive me for being so dumb....

                                1. re: cstout
                                  lilham May 28, 2011 01:46 AM

                                  Have a look at www.justbento.com. The word usually means a japanese style lunch box where rice is the center of the meal (instead of a sandwich). However, it can also refer to the concept about packing lunch that makes use of a variety of textures, colours and tastes. So you can do a sandwich centric bento with salads, fruit, pickles, chutneys etc as sides.

                                  1. re: cstout
                                    lilham May 28, 2011 01:50 AM

                                    Oh forgot to answer the steam bit. My mum has a little stand that can be used with a rice cooker. The stand can support a plate. It's traditional to make your steam egg dish inside the rice cooker (at least in Hong Kong). Basically, you lower your plate with the steam egg mixture down to the stand at some time during the rice cooking process. And it should finish the same time as the rice. But since the rice cookers for 2-4 people are so small, it's really hard to lower and lift the plate up. If you see what I mean.

                                    1. re: lilham
                                      c
                                      cstout May 28, 2011 09:16 PM

                                      lilham...I will check out the bento website you mentioned...sounds like you have much to share in the way of cooking different dishes...this way of cooking is all new to me...I am German & Polish & have never been exposed to all these wonderful foods....thank you so much for sharing.

                          2. p
                            pickyconsumer May 27, 2011 11:04 AM

                            cstout, rice cooker can be used for stewing meat, boiling water, making soup etc. It has many functions. So if you keep it, it can have other uses/ If you do not want to crowd your kitchen get rid of it.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pickyconsumer
                              c
                              cstout May 27, 2011 09:36 PM

                              Thank you so much for giving me another idea for the cooker.

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