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Your opinion needed: Spend more money on Crock Pot or Rice Cooker? I need both.

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I have a 20+ year old Rival crock pot and a 10+ year old Aroma rice cooker. I need to replace both. I am willing to buy a more expensive replacement for one of them. Give me your opinion - Which one should I pick and why?

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  1. I've never used a rice cooker but I am going to go with rice cooker, if you even need to spend the extra money at all. The expensive crock pots have all the bells and whistles and you don't need them at all. All you need is a dial for "low, medium, high". Even so, ours has bells and whistles (digital thermometer that connects to the unit in which you can have it auto shut off at a certain temp, auto shut off after a set time, etc) and can be found for under $50 at Target.

    1. I actually prefer the old fashioned (read "cheap") crock pot. They get hotter than the new ones. Do you need a new one because your crock doesn't work?

      I don't have a rice cooker as I prefer to cook my rice in a pot on the stove. I would consider how much you use them as a priority for replacement first. Some people love their rice cookers, I don't relate so can't speak to that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sedimental

        I'm a mom to 3 busy kids - high, middle and elementary. I've used the rice cooker since my youngest was a baby. Really out of necessity, put rice in, hit cook button, leave it. Nice to not have to worry about it.

        My crock and rice cooker both cook unevenly. They both have a hot spot on one side.

      2. If I had read this a few days ago, I would have answered that I couldn't possibly choose as I use both often.

        My husband just brought home an Aroma rice cooker that also also has slow cook and steam cook functions. I haven't tried it yet so can't say how it works but I'm very excited at the possibilities.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jlhinwa

          Oooohhhh. Can you try it and report back? I would be interested in that.

          1. re: sedimental

            Definitely. I expect I will be able to try it out by the end of the weekend. I think the steamer function can be used at the same time as the rice cooker function, which is very exciting to me. It also has a timer so it can be preset to start. I am sure other rice cookers have had that feature for years, but the one I had been using happily was a very basic model.

            I'll report back in a few days.

        2. Depends on how you use them. How often do you use each? What's been frustrating you about using them? Do you need elaborate bells-n-whis or are simple controls enough?

          I have both (well, I have 3 crockpots LOL). I go for lower-end, simple, sturdy. :)

          Edit: Also, what is your budget for new appliance(s)?

          1 Reply
          1. re: DuchessNukem

            Both have a hot spot on one side so they cook unevenly. I really don't have a budget but am naturally cheap so I don't want to buy fancy versions of both.

          2. Spend a small amount on a rice cooker. The difference between the high end and everyday ones in actual use is very small. We have a $22 Black and Decker that works just great. My wife and her break everything children ruin the bowl with metal instruments in about a year or 18 months anyway, so I get a new one. I do the same with $16 or $18 dollar drip coffee makers. In both cases, they are simple appliances that produce a LOT OF STEAM. That wreaks stuff, no matter how much it costs.

            Forget crock pots, get a big monster slow cooker... My wife thought I was nuts when she saw this:

            http://reviews.walmart.com/1336/70805...

            It is cheaper on sale at Macy's and Amazon. Every party or get together we end up using it for something.

            6 Replies
            1. re: justicenow

              I completely disagree. I've had cheap rice cookers. There is a significant difference.

              1. re: rasputina

                Agreed. The difference between cheap-o rice cookers and the expensive fuzzy logic, etc. ones is night and day. I love my zojirushi.

                OP never really said what the budget is for the appliances, though. I'd say that a $300 rice cooker is way better than a $20 one, but if the question is whether to buy a $20 or $40 rice cooker I don't think there would be much difference.

              2. re: justicenow

                I was under the impression that a slow cooker is a crock pot. Where did I go wrong?

                I'd always opt for a rice cooker.

                1. re: Rella

                  I could well be very wrong, but I think of a crock pot as a round small cooker that holds maybe 2 quarts.

                  Slow cooker is oblong or rectangular, much larger, and generally more temp control settings.
                  They claim you can roast a 16 pound turkey in the one I supplied the link for.

                  We have groups of 18 - 25 for a football game or some other reason my wife dreams up fairly often. I use the big one for meatballs, ranch beans, chili, squash soup, chowder or whatever else is floating my boat that day.

                  I still say cheap rice cookers do the job just fine, and you still need one if you sometime have unskilled folks cooking in your kitchen.

                  I keep my knives for my use only, for example. Otherwise they may end up in the yard being used to dig weeds, for example. I do keep a decent set of decent knives for general use by others, and I keep them all sharp.

                  1. re: justicenow

                    Ah, ha!
                    I have the crock pot of old - in the 70's, I think.

                    My slow cooker is just too hot and the lid bubbles up and steam goes all over. I use it mainly outside. Whatta mess.

                    Neither gets used much. But between the two the rice cooker gets used 100:1.

                    1. re: justicenow

                      crockpot is a brand of slow cooker, that is all.

                2. You can get a great crockpot for about 40-50 dollars. I've got 3 of them. If my rice cooker dies I'm getting another Zojirushi.

                  1. Can you elaborate a little on what you use each appliance for and the frequency? Without much to go on, I have to go by how I use mine.

                    I have a Zojirushi induction rice cooker that I can't live without. It keeps white rice for up to 2-3 days at the ready and every grain is as white as the next since it doesn't sit on a heating element. I often throw raw chicken thighs, veggies, and seasonings on top of my rice and push start -- tender delectable one pot meal ready and waiting. I even do large batches of pumpkin oatmeal in it to store in the fridge for breakfasts. But if all you do is plain white long grain rice and are not fussy about your rice, it's overkill.

                    I'll admit to having 3 crockpots of varying sizes but I didn't purchase any of them. The one I use most is a 3 quart oval with Hi/Lo dial, and I think those can be had for around $15. I have a larger one that's digital, but the size is overkill (omg, washing the crock, heavy!), and I don't need a timer or anything beeping or flashing at me, so I've only used it a couple times.

                    If you knew there are rice cookers that have a slow cooker function, would you buy a more expensive one and skip thecrockpot? Slow cookers are one trick ponies, but with the array of features out there you can find a rice cooker that very nearly spoon feeds you.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mlou72

                      Wow, you have kept rice in the Zo for days? If I have leftovers I just hit reset let the rice cool and put it in the fridge to reheat later. I didn't realize you could leave it in there on warm for that long. All afternoon sure I do that, never tried 2 days though.

                      1. re: rasputina

                        The high end zojirushis have a short term and a long term keep warm function. The long term one keeps it warm for up to 3 days, I think. I usually just make the rice i need (since my zoji is so easy to use and has a timer function I can set it in the morning to be ready when I get home!).

                        1. re: akq

                          I better get out my manual.

                          ***********
                          ok checked my manual, and looked at my rice cooker. I never even noticed the extended keep warm! Read the instructions and now I'll start using the extended keep warm. I've been worried about leaving it going to for too long.

                          Thank you so much for posting this, I'm usually a pretty thorough manual reader but missed it.

                          1. re: rasputina

                            You're welcome. I've never used the extended keep warm function, but now I kind of want to try it, too!

                    2. I use the rice cooker weekly. Crock pot less often. I really don't have a budget for either. I would like a rice cooker that cooks brown rice well, my current one doesn't cut it. I use the crockpot for basic crock pot cooking - roasts, beans, pot lucks.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: suburban_mom

                        It's probably more than you want to spend, but the nice fuzzy logic zojirushis are awesome with brown rice. they actually cook all the rice so there's no unpleasantly crunchy bits. They also have a GABA brown rice function if you're into that.

                      2. Warning: Some crockpots (including the most famous brand) have a badly designed cover handle. The cover is glass, the handle is plastic. From the inside, the handle is held on by a screw going into a column of plastic, but most of the handle assembly is obviously hollow., sort of a hollow dome with the column in the center. The plastic holding the screw breaks from the stress of the weight of the glass if the handle is used to change the angle of the cover too often (bad leverage) and the glass cover falls. If you are lucky, like I was, the cover falls without breaking and no one gets burned. Then I replaced the handle with a wooden drawer pull and held it on with a stainless steel screw. The crockpot company does not respond to complaints nor are relpacement handles in stock.

                        I have also seen the same cover/handle construction on cheap supermarket covered pots and pans.

                        1. buy a new rice cooker and go to a thrift store/goodwill and get a $5 used crockpot?