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Kikujiro

Rice Cookers

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Kerry...

I have one of the lower end models of Zojirushi, it works great! I think I paid about $120 US or so. I'm not sure how much better the rice can get. What I have heard is that over the ocean in Japan, these are cult like items and I'm assuming those "in the know" can eschew the virtues of such a machine.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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I don't want to seem like an asshole, but I've been cooking (brown) rice since around 1966, when Michio Kushi arrived in Boston and opened his little store, Erewhon, on Newbury Street. I can cook pretty good rice in my favorite little pot or, if necessary, any decent pot or pan.

Where are we going when people need these new rice cookers in order to cook something as simple as rice?

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I don't want to seem like an asshole, but I've been cooking (brown) rice since around 1966, when Michio Kushi arrived in Boston and opened his little store, Erewhon, on Newbury Street. I can cook pretty good rice in my favorite little pot or, if necessary, any decent pot or pan.

Where are we going when people need these new rice cookers in order to cook something as simple as rice?

Ah,Erewhon on Newbury: brings me back (way back). I am mostly a white rice girl, but I too just cook my rice in pot. I know many people swear by their rice cookers, but I've never felt the need.

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I don't want to seem like an asshole, but I've been cooking (brown) rice since around 1966, when Michio Kushi arrived in Boston and opened his little store, Erewhon, on Newbury Street. I can cook pretty good rice in my favorite little pot or, if necessary, any decent pot or pan.

Where are we going when people need these new rice cookers in order to cook something as simple as rice?

Ah,Erewhon on Newbury: brings me back (way back). I am mostly a white rice girl, but I too just cook my rice in pot. I know many people swear by their rice cookers, but I've never felt the need.

Yeah. Erewhon on Newbury. That dugout, half cellar, place with all the weird stuff we'd never seen before. Sea weed, miso, tamari? I never did get into the macro religion that sprung up, but Kushi got something going that spread, and continues today. Even in Maine. Good thing I think.

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A decent pot with a lid that fits is all you need. I have an old rice cooker that I use to cook lots of rice for a crowd and when it needs to stay hot for a while.


Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

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Someone is making a lot of money on that rice cooker. You can buy the same one here in Japan for just under 30,000 yen ($390 US).

My rice cooker cost about that 2 or 3 years ago and I love it. It does make great rice, but you have to have good rice to start with. Nothing is going to make bad rice taste good. I choose a rice cooker over a pot for convenience. I make rice everyday and at different times, I need hot rice at 5:20am for my husband's lunch and I don't want to wake up at 4:30 to get the pot on. The timer also comes in handy when I am driving the kids around in the evening and want to come home to a freshly cooked pot of rice. For most Japanese though, it's comes down to space. The average kitchen only has a double burner and in a country that eats soup every day along with their rice, a rice cooker frees up the range so you can prepare another dish.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I'm often rather rude about rice cookers because I cook rice 2-3 times a day and never felt the need for one. But this just takes the biscuit!

For this price I would expect the rice cooker to make perfect rice, wash the dishes, hoover the floor, pick the kids up from school and buy me thoughtful gifts on my birthday.

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People who drive a $500,000 car normally do not have to go any place,

and

people who wear a $100,000 watch do not have to be at work on time,

dcarch

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I'm interested in what Kris said about the units in Japan - still as expensive as any new technology coming on the market but not outrageous. Obviously this was created for that market - so I'm still curious to understand the technology and how it actually cooks the rice compared to a standard rice cooker (or a pot for that matter). Not saying I want one OK!

There is another unit made by Mitsubishi - they call it ultrasonic - they say it has no steam (but then talk about the steam in the rice chamber).

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Rice is thought of differently in Japan. a few years ago there was a long article in the Then WSJ about this cooker and cooker-creap.

I have a 10 cup National ( Panasonic ) that Ive had for years. it has a flat bottom and does Persian rice (the brown bottomed chewy stuff people fight over. it uses fuzzy-logic much like a pid controller

I got it after reading this book, from the library and now own:

the Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook Beth Henspeger

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Rice-Cooker-Cookbook-Porridges/dp/1558322035/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318686697&sr=1-1

I got the machine because it does a lot more than rice: it does milk based items ( oatmeal ) on a porridge setting and does not scorch the milk. just measure and come back.

it also does believe it or not risotto if given the proper rice is as good are you can make 'by hand'

look the book over if its in your local library and decide

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I'm interested in what Kris said about the units in Japan - still as expensive as any new technology coming on the market but not outrageous. Obviously this was created for that market - so I'm still curious to understand the technology and how it actually cooks the rice compared to a standard rice cooker (or a pot for that matter). Not saying I want one OK!

There is another unit made by Mitsubishi - they call it ultrasonic - they say it has no steam (but then talk about the steam in the rice chamber).

I don't think that is true that ultrasonic waves makes the cooking even. It is the opposite.

Ultrasonic waves inside a container creates what is known as "standing wave" pattern, depending on the wave length, geometry of the container, and the viscosity of the liquid. Intensity of the wave energy is very uneven inside. It doesn't not talk about cavitation of ultrasonic energy and what that would do to the rice.

Charcoal-coated bowl, 3.5mm thick , Why?

Do they mean charcoal colored or real carbon is deposited on the cooking surface?

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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the mitsubishi seems to condense the steam so it does not heat up the top perhaps.

cant cook with ultrasonic waves with no water!

:blink:

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People who drive a $500,000 car normally do not have to go any place,

and

people who wear a $100,000 watch do not have to be at work on time,

dcarch

Love it.


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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What is a "Platinum" pot anyway.

This is apparently develops a certain amount of pressure besides just steaming the rice but I don't know how it could produce a better end product than my present Zo - the IH rice cooker.

Like others I do know how to prepare rice in a pot on the stove. However there are times when I want to "set it and forget it" as the saying goes and the rice cooker allows me to do that.

My first rice cooker, purchased a few decades ago, was small, dinged when the rice was done and that was about it. It worked nicely and I used it for years.

I then bought a commercial one from a store selling to Asian restaurants, I think it was a 30-cup model and I used it a great deal when i was catering. I think it may have been a Panasonic.

I don't know when I bought my first Zo but I have had several, moving up through the ranks as the technology improved and I wouldn't be without one.

I gave the Fuzzy Logic Zo that I owned just prior to getting the IH to my daughter and she uses it almost every day.

Say what you will about cooking rice in a pot on the stove. There is nothing like putting the rice and water in the Zo, going off to do something else and coming back a couple of hours later and have the rice cooked and held at the correct temperature.

Platinum pot notwithstanding, I don't see any advantage that this cooker has over the lower end Fuzzy Logic cookers.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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And people who pay over $1000 for a rice cooker never cook anything because they probably have a private chef.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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The induction pressure rice cookers are pretty clever. The induction allows them to use a vacuum insulated pot, removing the need for a keep warm cycle and (in theory) improving the quality of held rice, as well as reducing power consumption. The pressure cooking speeds the process. Very clever, and can be for the $400-$600 range, sans platinum.

As to why use a rice cooker ... well, it is very very convenient, and a good one makes excellent rice (and a poor one still makes good rice). Sure you can make it with a pot, but that doesn't mean a nice cooker doesn't have valuable function.

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I was tempted but I don't have the counter space. And we've pretty much perfected cooking on the stove for various rices:

- Carolina rice - the Julia Child method (salt, double water, stir, boil, stir, cover tightly, simmer 12 minutes, then sit 2 minutes with the flame off, fluff - wooden implement essential)

- Jasmine rice - the Kasma method (rice to halfway metal bowl on a vegetable steamer in a stockpot over water, pour boiling water to 1/4-1/2" on top, steam for 25 minutes - longer if you like)

- Sticky rice - ditto (soak rice overnight, place in Thai sticky rice steamer over water, cover and steam for 15 minutes)

- Basmati rice (rinse 5 times in warm water, bring pot of water to boil and drop rice in, let it cook and strain it)

- Persian rice, yields a tahdig (rinse 5 times in warm water, bring 2-1 water, let it come to the boil together, simmer for 20 minutes until water is gone, put oil or ghee on top, cover and simmer for 40 minutes)

We make these so frequently that they don't feel like an imposition. And it's actually enjoyable.

Furthermore Kasma strongly recommends against using a rice cooker for Thai rices - she says it makes them mushy on the bottom. I haven't tried this, simply reporting.


Edited by patrickamory (log)

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- Basmati rice (rinse 5 times in warm water, bring pot of water to boil and drop rice in, let it cook and strain it)

You should try steam cooking basmati, as in cooking it in just the right amount of water. It results in exquisite rice. I generally wash the rice soak it for 15-20 minutes, drain for 10 and then cook it in just enough water. An important step is to leave it covered and undisturbed for 5-10 minutes after turning off the heat at the end of cooking. Perfect!

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Nobody "gets" the rice cooker until they try it. I should know--for years I maintained that a rice cooker was a pointless waste of space when I could cook perfectly wonderful rice in the pot I already owned. Well, I was wrong. If you like rice, you should consider trying one, so you can see for yourself. I've never known anyone with a fuzzy logic rice cooker to say they still prefer cooking rice in a pot. I'm sure such people exist (one's bound to chime in just after I hit "post" :)) but I've never met one, and I seem to get involved in an inordinate number of discussions about rice cookers, both in real life and online, so you'd think I would have by now.

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Nobody "gets" the rice cooker until they try it. I should know--for years I maintained that a rice cooker was a pointless waste of space when I could cook perfectly wonderful rice in the pot I already owned. Well, I was wrong. If you like rice, you should consider trying one, so you can see for yourself. I've never known anyone with a fuzzy logic rice cooker to say they still prefer cooking rice in a pot. I'm sure such people exist (one's bound to chime in just after I hit "post" :)) but I've never met one, and I seem to get involved in an inordinate number of discussions about rice cookers, both in real life and online, so you'd think I would have by now.

I know exactly what you mean. I have "converted" many people, some by simply giving them one as a gift, but many others by visiting and taking my rice cooker with me to prepare one of my "special" meals.

One friend of many years, who is a very talented cook, declared that we would have a contest to see how both types of rice were accepted by her family. Her husband and sons raved about the rice I prepared, a medley of several rices, and were also impressed by how the rice kept at serving temp without drying out.

The next time I visited, the newest Zo was on the counter along with three cookbooks about what to do with a rice cooker.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Nobody "gets" the rice cooker until they try it. I should know--for years I maintained that a rice cooker was a pointless waste of space when I could cook perfectly wonderful rice in the pot I already owned. Well, I was wrong. If you like rice, you should consider trying one, so you can see for yourself. I've never known anyone with a fuzzy logic rice cooker to say they still prefer cooking rice in a pot. I'm sure such people exist (one's bound to chime in just after I hit "post" :)) but I've never met one, and I seem to get involved in an inordinate number of discussions about rice cookers, both in real life and online, so you'd think I would have by now.

Growing up, we had a family rice cooker that we used daily but I can't justify the space of one in my tiny apartment so I've gone back to cooking it in a pot. It's not a huge deal and I don't miss it at all.


PS: I am a guy.

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Growing up, we had a family rice cooker that we used daily but I can't justify the space of one in my tiny apartment so I've gone back to cooking it in a pot. It's not a huge deal and I don't miss it at all.

Yes, but was it a fuzzy logic rice cooker? I do know people who've abandoned the pot cookers, and I can see why--they're not that great. It's the fuzzy logic ones that are so addictive.

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For years made great rice on top of the stove, no measuring, put in rice,rinse, fill water until covers over rice up to first fingerjoint (as instructed by Chinese grandmother) Also I made great toast in the gas broiler... then came rice cooker, I said "but my rice comes out fine, I don't have a problem!" Now I think I would get rid of the toaster first!.....so I think thats the deal with rice cookers.

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I have the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5-1/2-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System, Stainless Steel which I purchased about three years ago...I totally love it. It cooks every type rice there is flawlessly.

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