HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

Question about new rice cooker and minimum rice portions

duckdown Feb 6, 2014 10:11 AM

Hey folks, I bought a rice cooker at Costco today, it's a 10 Quart "Tiger" brand that looks great and was a great price.

Was just about to use it when the instruction manual is saying the minimum amount of rice you can use is 2 CUPS ? 2 cups is a gigantic amount of uncooked rice, way too much for 2 people. What gives?

Can I ignore this warning and just use appropriate portions with 1 cup of uncooked rice? Or is something catastrophic going to happen, like burned or improperly cooked rice?

What is the reasoning behind setting such a high minimum amount of rice?

Just curious if anyone could give any insight on this, because it's going back to Costco if there is no other way around the 2 cups minimum

Thanks for your time all!

  1. a
    autumm Feb 6, 2014 07:59 PM

    While you can get away with using less rice than called for (add a bit of oil help) even if I doubt I'm going to use the full 2 cups of (uncooked)rice I make the recommended minimum. Rice is pretty cheap, and it's nice to have around for a couple of days for a quick fried rice when the What's for dinner? hits. I usually only make brown rice, so the convenience of having the rice cooker make it perfectly even if I toss some later is a trade off I"m willing to make. (I cook for 2 adults and a toddler)

    1 Reply
    1. re: autumm
      sueatmo Feb 11, 2014 04:16 PM

      And there are all sorts of different rices to try in the bulk food area of many grocers. Bought that way, it is usually pretty cheap.

      And, you can cook some of the ancient grains in the cooker, too I think.

    2. r
      ricepad Feb 6, 2014 02:43 PM

      2 cups is way too much? Hell no...you gotta eat more rice! Christ, I can eat 2 cups by myself!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ricepad
        JWVideo Feb 6, 2014 04:51 PM

        Two cups of cooked rice or two cups put into a rice cooker? :>)

        1. re: JWVideo
          ricepad Feb 7, 2014 01:45 PM

          If I'm really hungry….BOTH!

        2. re: ricepad
          sueatmo Feb 11, 2014 04:15 PM

          If I ate white rice, then I'd make at least 2 C at a time, I think. You can reheat it so easily in the micro. Or make fried rice.

          My fave is Calrose white. I just love that stuff.

        3. j
          JWVideo Feb 6, 2014 11:22 AM

          With my 10 cup cooker (now a near antique at 30 years old) I can make 1 cup but it does tend to cook unevenly, as chem says. I can get around that by adding more water. That tends to result in mushy/sticky rice. Great if you prefer that semi-risotto style (which some do) but I mostly do not.

          Anyway, I live alone and inevitably make more rice than I eat at one sitting. (Heck, I have trouble making single servings of almost anything). I just stash the leftover rice in the fridge. I have no problem with reheating that rice the next day (or two). I reheat in the MW or by steaming a serving in a basket in saucepan for a couple of minutes. (Or, if I'm making another stir-fry, I put the serving on top of the mesh spatter screen that put over the pan.) Or, I make rice pudding. Or puree it for a substitute for cream in soups. Or 1001 other uses.

          Of course, I know people who will eat rice at one meal and not want any more for a week or two. I know others who hate left-overs. If you are in either boat, then, by all means, take the big thing back to Costco. Look for a smaller rice cooker. IIRC, Zojirushi has a 3-cup "Micom" model that is readily available on-line and at some stores, and seems to be pretty well thought of. I think I've seen a 3 cup Black and Decker rice cooker at Walmart that is supposed to make 1 to 1.5 cup portions (which seems to be the main complaint about it -- most people want more.)

          8 Replies
          1. re: JWVideo
            Hobbert Feb 6, 2014 11:27 AM

            Yeah, unless you're cooking rice for large groups, it's crazy to have a 10 cup. I have a 3 cup Zojirushi (I'm the only rice eater in my house) and it's perfect.

            1. re: Hobbert
              c oliver Feb 6, 2014 11:30 AM

              Well, color me crazy :) I was just not going to pay that much money. And it works fine for me.

              1. re: c oliver
                Hobbert Feb 6, 2014 11:47 AM

                Haha I'm not saying you have to get some high end rice cooker- it's just funny to get a 10 cup when a 3 cup would do. Target sells no name 3 cup cookers for less than $20.

                1. re: Hobbert
                  c oliver Feb 6, 2014 11:53 AM

                  Well, son of a gun, of the couple of dozen they show, one actually is that small. Good to know.


                  1. re: c oliver
                    LMAshton Feb 7, 2014 05:36 PM

                    I've come across more than a few one-cup rice cookers in Singapore and Malaysia...

              2. re: Hobbert
                Chemicalkinetics Feb 6, 2014 12:53 PM

                Same here. I intentionally bought a 3-cup Zojirushi rice cooker. Freshly cooked rice taste better than reheating rice, anyway. We may have exactly the same rice cooker. Probably the best rice cooker I have to date.

                1. re: Hobbert
                  rasputina Feb 6, 2014 02:52 PM

                  I have a 10 cup rice cooker. It's not crazy and no I don't cook for large groups. I cook for 3 people.

                  1. re: rasputina
                    Chemicalkinetics Feb 6, 2014 03:00 PM

                    Some people consider 3 people is a large group -- like me. :)

              3. duckdown Feb 6, 2014 11:04 AM

                Thank you all for the speedy responses

                I am going to try it with one cup. Yes it came included with a plastic measuring cup, I wasn't sure if this was equal to a standard cup or not. In fact overall the manual is very very vague about what exact measurements to use so I'm sure there is a learning curve involved here, especially with basmati!

                Thanks again folks, going to try it out now

                4 Replies
                1. re: duckdown
                  c oliver Feb 6, 2014 11:06 AM

                  BTW, I don't use that little cup, which appears to be a good bit less than a cup.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    duckdown Feb 6, 2014 11:40 AM

                    I was gonna ask about this actually; what kind of ratios are you using for basmati? 1 rice to 1.5 liquid ?

                    1. re: duckdown
                      c oliver Feb 6, 2014 11:44 AM

                      1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid.

                      1. re: duckdown
                        sueatmo Feb 11, 2014 04:13 PM

                        Depends on the rice. One of those little cups is probably 3/4 C. I think this is considered to make a serving.

                        Find this book in the local library: The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. There are charts for different sorts of rice, and she covers the different sorts of cookers as well. And there are lots of recipes.

                  2. Chemicalkinetics Feb 6, 2014 10:33 AM

                    <2 cups is a gigantic amount of uncooked rice, way too much for 2 people.>

                    That is because you bought a 10-cup (cup or quart?) rice cooker. Surely, you can appreciate the difference between using a commercial 50 cups rice cooker and a 3 cup small residential rice cooker. There is a hard upper limit, but there is also a lower limit as well.

                    <Can I ignore this warning and just use appropriate portions with 1 cup of uncooked rice?>

                    Yes, you can.

                    <Or is something catastrophic going to happen, like burned or improperly cooked rice?>

                    Most likely not burning, but you may get inconsistently cooked rice.

                    <What is the reasoning behind setting such a high minimum amount of rice?>

                    Because it is a 10-quart rice cooker.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      rasputina Feb 6, 2014 02:54 PM

                      I bet it's a 10 cup not a 10 quart. I have never seen a 10 quart rice cooker at Costco.

                      ok he probably bought this one, since it's a Tiger


                      1. re: rasputina
                        duckdown Feb 6, 2014 03:02 PM

                        This is exactly it! Thank you, 10 cups, sorry folks

                        1. re: rasputina
                          sueatmo Feb 11, 2014 04:10 PM

                          Ooh, nice and nice price!

                          I am now trying to figure out how much rice I can make in my 5 cup cooker! I need to have about 12 servings. I don't think I can make it happen. I paid much more for mine, which looks a lot like that one about a decade ago.

                      2. h
                        Hobbert Feb 6, 2014 10:19 AM

                        2 things:

                        A rice cooker cup is not a standard cup. Your rice cooker most likely came with a little plastic cup to measure with.

                        Also, burnt rice is not a catastrophe. Give it a shot and see what happens. I use less than the "minimum" in mine and it's fine.

                        1. c oliver Feb 6, 2014 10:18 AM

                          I probably have the same cooker and just use one cup with no problem.

                          Show Hidden Posts