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Rice cooker suggestion please

I have a rice cooker that is just awful. I know a lot of people have them and love them so I'm curious as to what one you may have and why you like it. I would rather not spend a fortune on one. If that's the only way to get one that works right than I'll stick to making my rice the old fashioned way. I just thought for convenience it might be nice to have one. I have a cheap Oster one now and no matter how I adjust the ratio of rice to water it refuses to come out right. It's really not worth the space it's taking up in my cabinet.

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  1. what grain of rice, short? do you wash it? have you tried soaking it?

    I have used 3 different rice cookers often, each for 6 months of the time (moved continents each time and didn't bring them with me, they didn't stop working) and the price range was from $12-$15. The first 2 cooked short grain rice perfectly with only rinsing the rice, and filling to the correct fill line. The lastest which was $12, is the only one I have had a problem with. Its possible also its the rice, but I have corrected the rice by soaking the rice for at least 20 minutes and filling it just slightly past the water level, and now my rice comes out perfect again.

    I have never tried using any different grain of rice in a rice cooker so I have no experience with that, I've only cooked Japanese short grain rice/sushi rice. I am sure a more expensive one would work better and have options such as timers and stuff, but I doubt you'd have to get too expensive to be able to cook rice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: TeRReT

      I tried rinsing the rice. I've tried different types of rice. I've adjusted the amount of water. I'm convinced it's the cooker and not me. I think it's not consistent with the temperature or something like that. This one is going in the trash. Cooking on the stovetop was never an issue, i just wanted convenience. I've read a bunch of other posts on rice cookers and looked at product reviews and I'm beginning to think that they are not worth the bother.

      1. re: pinkpoodle

        A good rice cooker is not supposed to be much bother - really, for cooking plain white rice, it should be a matter of filling to the right line and pushing one button. The more basic models should also work pretty well, and usually only *have* one switch. My in-laws have a couple of the very basic type, with just a single switch, and they've been working perfectly for probably 15+ years.

        If you don't want to spend too much, and have an Asian market nearby, you might check there.

        1. re: pinkpoodle

          I agree with Will47. If you only cook rice once a week or so, and don't need your burner space for something else, then just cook your rice on the stove. I have a very poor quality Black and Decker rice cooker that cost about $20, cooks 3/4 of the rice very well and scorches the rest. I still use it when I have to, but if I'm cooking for non-family, I use the stove.

          1. re: pinkpoodle

            I only cook Japanese sticky rice, so no other rice is of concern for me. At the moment I am only using it for myself, but soon will also use it for my girlfriend. After having cooked rice for years without one, and only being introduced to one by my girlfriend, I won't go back to the stove top. The rice cooker is so easy, at the moment its mildly less convenient, because i like to soak my rice for 20-30 minutes, but its really not that big of a deal, i just plan for it, but normally i don't have to soak it and just rinse the rice and turn the cooker on, then i make whatever else i want and by the time i'm done my rice is done and i've not had to worry about any boiling over or anything. I can't wait to have a more expensive rice cooker someday, but for now my $12 one is sufficient for up to 4 people :P

        2. You don't need a high-tech rice-cooker (some of the ~ $30 ones work pretty well); personally, I've only ever had the microcomputer controlled type. I had a Sanyo 3.5 C in the past; these are now available for about $100, so not as cheap as some, but not a bad deal. I did have some problems with it recently (after a boiling over incident), but I've owned it for at least 5-6 years. We now have a Zojirushi 5.5 C induction model, which is working pretty well so far. These are around $240.

          I do think it's a gadget that you only really need if you cook rice several times a week or more, but it's handy for a few things:
          1) Produces Asian style rice well / consistently with minimum of fuss.
          2) Timer mode is really useful, especially with types of rice that take a long time to cook (e.g., brown rice).
          3) Porridge setting is great for steel cut oats, especially with the timer....
          4) Keep warm mode. With white rice, you can actually just leave the rice in there all day if you're eating rice at both lunch and dinner.

          Are you rinsing your rice a couple of times before cooking it?

          If you're happy with your stovetop rice, and don't make rice every day, I'd just stick with that approach.

          1. My rice cooker is the microwave. 4 minutes on high, 12 minutes on medium. 2 c. water, 1 cup rice in a tall lidded bowl with a vent. Perfect rice EVERY TIME.

            1. I really like my Cuckoo (big-time Korean brand) rice cooker, but it's probably what you would consider a "fortune". It was like $300 or more; I don't remember the exact price. It's the high end induction + pressure + micom type.

              It produces excellent rice when it comes to koshihikari and similar short-grain east Asian-type rices. Other types of rice... not so much. They range from "okay" (Jasmine/Basmati too sticky) to completely inedible (the American long-grain white generic rice turns out hard).

              So... match the rice cooker to the type of rice you like. Check to see what kinds of rice are recommended and what programs/settings it has.

                1. I have a Zojirushi, and I like it. What is your budget?

                  It really has to do with how often you make rice dishes. You will have to consider the overall long term cost to you. Ask yourself this. How much would you willing to pay for an electric rice cooker makes good rice for you while freeing you to work on other tasks per usage? Yes, think of it as per usage. Would you pay 25 cents each time to have an electric rice cooker instead of the old fashion stovetop method? How much does it worth to you per usage? 10 cents? 25 cents? 50 cents? Let's say 25 cents.

                  Now ask yourself how often do you cook rice? 1 times a week? 5 times a week? Let's say 2 times a week. So this is 50 cents per week, or 26 dollars in year. In other words, a 75 dollars rice cooker would give you a good return when you use it for over three years.

                  1. I have a zojirushi (not induction) which I have grown to love, but the first couple of batches of rice were soggy because I put the water in before the well-rinsed rice. Once I got the order correct, the results were fine. I especially like that it will have hot oatmeal ready for me in the morning and polenta cooking is painless.

                    1. I think I'll check out some of the ones you all suggested. I think I just got a bad one.

                      1. As long as you get a rice cooker from an Asian brand (like Zojirushi, National, Cuckoo, etc), you should be fine. very convenient and produces good rice fast. first, wash rice in cold water a few times. then, equal ratio of water to rice in cooker, hit the button ... done!