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Rice Cookers


Kikujiro
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Here's a link to an Amazon review of the Zojirushi rice cooker I bought years ago, and which I still use three or four times a week.

Zojirushi rice cooker

Zojirushi cookers have a great reputation, and there's a model to suit every budget. Amazon carries many other brands as well.

My rice cooker makes brilliant rice, and this particular model is a good size for one or two people.

And it's adorable. Remember how automobiles looked in cartoon shorts from the 1940s -- always smiling and friendly? This rice cooker has that same "smiling car" quality. Maybe I've been single too long, but I do appreciate a friendly appliance.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm looking to get a new rice cooker. What is the best one current available?

I'm currently aware of two induction rice cookers, and after reading that induction is very good at small temperature changes which I presume is an important aspect of rice cooking in a machine, I'm focusing on them at present, although certainly willing to look at any machine.

One is from Zojirushi and the other from National

Their stats look pretty similiar (to me), so am curious what (if anything) makes the National worth the extra $100.

And if there are any other rice cookers I should be looking at, please let me know. Thanks.

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I have Zojirushi and my folks have the National. I can't comment on price but for short grain rice and basmati both have turned out excellent rice. It also does Black beens and rice really well.

There are couple areas of problem (however minor) I have with Zojirushi. When cooking brown rice, I presoke. Even with the presoke, the rice doesn't come out as done as I would like. I've taken to using the stove top. In addition if I use chicken stock or water with a bit of salt, the rice (brown or white) comes out a bit brown on the bottom.

Other than that, I've owned my current rice cooker for almost ten years with a weekly usage rate of about 5 to 6 times per week. No problems.

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I have had a Zojirushi 10 cup fuzzy logic cooker for a few years now and very happy with it. Although we don't use it to make brown rice, we do use it 2-3 times a week for normal white rice cooking. We are very happy with it. Although it does have a brown rice setting, we never got it to come close to cooking brown rice fully. Even following their directions to a T.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Presumably, Soup and johnder don't have the induction models, because those are relatively new. Like me, they probably have the "fuzzy logic" cookers. I have a Zo, and it is now maybe 11 years old. So I can certainly say that Zo made good products as of the mid-1990s. Whether the current models are as good, and whether the induction models are worthwhile, I couldn't say. Certainly, the induction model should shave a couple of minutes off the cooking cycle, primarily because it will get everything up to temperature quicker. I've also heard, at least anecdotally, that the new units are better at cooking brown rice than the older ones -- and they have this new GABA setting that will supposedly make you live to be 120 years old.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Yes, I definately don't have the induction model. The fact that it could be a quicker cooker for my rice doesn't matter to me, but if it did solve the brown rice issue I would consider purchasing it. I would be curious to find out the results if you end up getting it.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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My very basic, 3-cup National rice cooker is now 12 years old. I use it 4-5 times a week for white jasmine rice, brown Basmati rice, millet, quinoa and steaming, as well as the occasional steamboat. Everything cooks perfectly (although brown rice turns out better if I soak it for 30-45 min. before pressing the button). I expect many more years from the machine - my mother's larger (6-cup?) National has been going for over 30 years now and she uses it EVERY night. She also has a 10-cup for company, of a similar vintage, but used less often.

By the way - I find that large-capacity cookers don't cook small quantities as well as a smaller machine. So if you routinely cook only 2-3 cups, the 3-cup cooker will do a better job.

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By the way - I find that large-capacity cookers don't cook small quantities as well as a smaller machine. So if you routinely cook only 2-3 cups, the 3-cup cooker will do a better job.

Agreed. Size is important--in this case, don't get a large rice cooker to cook small quantities.

A bit of Googling of Japanese sites shows that the newer IH cookers produce a noticeable improvement in quality of cooked rice compared with pre-IH cookers. The pre-IH cookers tend to produce softer rice with a slightly higher moisture content. (Not good for Japanese rice, which I assume the OP is interested in.) This confirms my anecdotal comparisons.

The chief difference between the National cookers appears to be the steam option. It doesn't say if it has a removeable lid like the Zojirushi, which is handy for cleaning.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I have several rice cookers, including the Zo "Neuro" fuzzy logic cooker.

I have a small old Zo with the locking lid, that I use for small batches of plain long grain rice.

I also have an old Panasonic commercial cooker that takes up to 23 cups of raw rice from when I was still doing some catering.

I haven't had any problems cooking brown rice in any of them. In the Neuro, as in the others, I simply add additional water, half again what the directions call for and set it the same as for regular rice.

I do the same thing for cooking whole wheat, kamut, steel cut oats, barley and etc.

This was suggested by a guy in my local health food store several years ago. He said all the cookers have a sensor in the bottom that touches the inner pan and senses when the water has all been absorbed. I don't know if he is correct, just that this method works for me.

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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I bought one of the new IH rice cookers a little over 2 months ago, it is a Sanyo that is most likely not available outside of Japan. :raz:

I love it! It cooks brown rice better than any other rice cooker/pan method.

You first pick the kind of rice from plain white, brown, sprouted, brown-sprouted, no wash, etc then you ca achoose the texture desired from things like normal, softer, harder, chewy, etc as well as special settings for okowa (sticky rice), rice to serve with curry rice (harder than average), sushi rice, etc. It also has the typical setting for okayu (rice gruel) and mixed rice dishes.

It cooks Jasmine, Basmati and American long rice perfectly as well, they don't have setting for these kinds of rices but I just use the typical white rice setting.

I find their normal rice is a bit soft for my liking to always set it to katame (firmer).

The typical rice course cooks in 38 minutes quite a bit faster than my old fuzzy logic Zojirushi and the fast course can cook in 18 minutes and it makes incredible rice.

It looks like this

gallery_6134_1003_11683.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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that does look like a pretty cool one.

are the sanyo models available in the states comparable in quality and features to the ones in japan?

and actually, what model # is that sanyo? and is it the top of the line of sanyos in japan?

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My Sanyo is ECJ-FK18, the 18 refers to the 10 cup model (if it was FK10 it would be the 5 cup).

This is not the top of the line for Sanyo but pretty close, I paid 31,000 yen ($300) for it but the actual price in stores is closer to $400, the top of the line ones are in the $500 to $600 range....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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The American models look pretty similar:

http://www.sanyo.com/appliances/small_appl...m?productID=896

I don't think that one is induction-based though.

I have that Sanyo rice cooker and am very pleased with it. It does a nice job with no burning, including brown rice. No complaints. I've probably run a couple hundred batches of rice through it by now.

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  • 3 months later...

Do those induction heating rice cookers come in smaller models available in the USA? The two models listed above seem to be the only ones I can find with nothing smaller.

I am thinking that ~5 cups is a better size for a single person like myself. I use what I think is about 3 "Japanese" cups of rice which makes more then I can eat at one time with just about enough left over for a healthy snack the following day.

What I keep reading suggests that I would do better with a smaller model. I currently have a cheap Wal-Mart 10 cup Panasonic model and I was looking at getting a new "fuzzy" logic (Micom) model rice cooker in the 5.5 cup capacity. That will cost me about $160USD. The 10 cup IH model listed above is available for $220USD at my door but, I am a little concerned that it is too big for me.

Any thoughts on small amounts of rice in a 10 cup rice cooker? Does it really make a difference?

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As far as models go, my brother, my mother and myself all have pre-IH Zojirushis. Mine is a very basic three-cup model, and my mom and brother both have ten cup cookers. Since I haven’t tried it for anything other than white rice, I have no major complaints. My mom couldn’t care less, but my brother loves his Zoji with fuzzy logic. He just loves to use it to make jook.

What I keep reading suggests that I would do better with a smaller model.  I currently have a cheap Wal-Mart 10 cup Panasonic model and I was looking at getting a new "fuzzy" logic (Micom) model rice cooker in the 5.5 cup capacity.  That will cost me about $160USD.  The 10 cup IH model listed above is available for $220USD at my door but, I am a little concerned that it is too big for me.

Any thoughts on small amounts of rice in a 10 cup rice cooker?  Does it really make a difference?

Ditto to those that said yes. If you’re just cooking for yourself, I think you’re best off with a small-capacity cooker. In addition to my three-cup cooker, I also have a ten-cup model (a Sanyo). I primarily use the three-cup, since it’s just for my husband and myself. Neither of us are slouches when it comes to eating, and the three-cup model makes a sufficient amount of rice. I tried using the ten cup cooker for us once, but it just didn’t come out right. That was a while ago, so I don't remember what exactly the problem was, but I think it turned out too dry. I now just use it for company.

BTW, if you haven't already seen it, Zojirushi has a great faq page on their site which may further help with your decision-making process here:

Rice Cooker FAQ at Zojirushi

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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For those who are cooking rice for 1 to 3 persons, why don't you steam the rice instead? I've a family of 5 (OK, small eaters) and I've been happily steaming rice for 3 years now. All (genuine) thanks to my confinement lady who scratched my teflon-coated bowl. It's so easy; I use a stainless steel container to steam...no aluminium or teflon worries, and the rice comes out beautifully grain by grain.

TPcal!

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Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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I have a Zojirushi that is the 10-cup Neuro Fuzzy logic. About 1-year old now. I have used it exclusively with brown rice, and it comes out perfect everytime, whether I cook 1 cup or 5 cups (dry measure). The teflon cooking pot comes out with non-hot handles, and has lines indicating water levels for every type of rice depending on how much dry rice you put in.

doc

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