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Rice Cookers


Kikujiro
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I have a Sanyo 5.5-cup (Japanese 180ml cup ~= 6 U.S. oz.) fuzzy-logic non-IH rice cooker and it does one cup just as well as five. I'm single and if I'm cooking just for myself I'll sometimes make one cup and sometimes two if I'm pretty hungry. I've cooked five cups for four people and that was more than enough.

If you're planning on using your rice cooker a lot, especially if you're going to use it for anything other than white rice, definitely pay the extra for fuzzy logic. I think the greatest feature is the timer. I add my washed rice in the morning before work. I fill the bowl with water up to the indicated line. I set the timer for the time I expect to be home. The rice soaks during the day. The rice cooker will then begin cooking the rice just in time for it to be completed when the time set on the timer is reached. I get the best results this way. It'll hold the cooked rice for several hours on low heat with little difference in quality. Rice made for lunch is still fine for dinner but I don't go longer than that. If you don't allow time for the rice to soak and/or you choose the Quick feature to make the rice cooker rush through the cooking process, the results aren't as good, in my opinion. That might be a case where the IH cookers have an advantage. There's a speed/quality trade-off but if you remember to use the timer, the rice cooker will take its sweet time soaking and slowly cooking the rice without attention from you. You can vary the texture of the rice by adding more or less water at the beginning. Mine doesn't have the feature to make the rice more or less firm at the press of a button but I can't say I've needed that. It sounds cool though!

The bowl never goes past the boiling point so even if you are concerned about Teflon, I don't see it being a problem in this application. It sure makes clean-up easier, especially when you make oatmeal.

I usually eat steel-cut oatmeal (set the timer the night before with the porridge setting) in the morning and have rice (short-grain white, long-grain basmati, brown jasmine, brown short-grain, etc.) probably 5-6 evenings a week. There nearly always is food in my rice cooker! :biggrin:

Edited by esvoboda (log)
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If you are having trouble cooking brown rice in your fuzzy-logic rice cooker and have already tried varying the ratio of water to rice and still aren't getting good results, I have a suggestion. Try leaving the rice to soak for a half hour or so first before beginning the brown rice cycle. My rational is that they may not be allowing enough time for the water to penetrate the rice grains before they begin to cook. That'd leave you with rice that might be too "al dente" for your taste. I think soaking brown rice, due to that exterior rice bran "barrier", helps more than with white rice.

By the way, I've run into stale brown rice at the store more than once. If your brown rice doesn't taste nutty but rather has a funky taste, it's probably stale. Brown rice oxydizes much more quickly than white rice. I find it's best to store it in the fridge or even the freezer, neither of which seem to cause any harm. I now buy my brown rice from bulk bins with high turnover (i.e. Whole Paycheck) and don't encounter stale rice.

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I just skimmed this topic really quick so forgive me if I repeat what others have said but I have had the Zo induction neurofuzzy rice cooker (10 cup one) for 1 1/2 years now and absolutely love it. Worth every penny! It'll cook all kinds of brown rice, sushi rice and everything in between plus has a programmable cycle, etc, etc. I also have Beth Hensperger's Rice Cooker Cookbook, which is indispensable in my kitchen, too. I used to fight with my rice cooker all the time before I bought this model and the aforementioned book and since then I've had no problems!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I received my Zojirushi NH-VBC18 10-Cup Rice Cooker from Amazon.com a few days ago and love it!

I have cooked two cups on the GABA brown rice setting with satisfaction. Texture and flavor were very good. The Long Grain Thai white rice I did last night come out great as well.

I must say that the timer was an unexpected feature that I really liked. Enter the time you want your rice done, walk away and forgot about it. That is a really slick feature for people who work. Load it up in the morning and you come home to great rice ready to eat. It beats the heck out of those instant rice packs you microwave.

Now, I'm off to try a breakfast recipe from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook.

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I received my Zojirushi NH-VBC18 10-Cup Rice Cooker from Amazon.com a few days ago and love it!

I have cooked two cups on the GABA brown rice setting with satisfaction.  Texture and flavor were very good.  The Long Grain Thai white rice I did last night come out great as well.

I must say that the timer was an unexpected feature that I really liked.  Enter the time you want your rice done, walk away and forgot about it.  That is a really slick feature for people who work.  Load it up in the morning and you come home to great rice ready to eat.  It beats the heck out of those instant rice packs you microwave.

Now, I'm off to try a breakfast recipe from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook.

This link gives eGullet a cut when purchased:

The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook

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Nothing says "Good rice" like the naturally cooked kind.

Nature is the best rice cooker.

Void where prohibited. Do not use under the influence of barbiturates or ether. Avoid use while pregnant. Avoid use at all costs. World Peace through beer.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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  • 2 months later...

My new rice cooker arrived today. I now have the Z fuzzy logic 5 cup rice cooker. I have no clue how to use this of course. It has a quick cooking rice feature. What exactly does this mean? You cook minute rice in the rice cooker? The directions that came with this thing are a little unclear.

What types of rice are best for this thing anyway?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I have an old national 5 cup that worked for 10 years. I want to upgrade but I really can't justify it. I only cook rice for me and usually 2 cups (uncooked) is plenty with leftovers. *sigh* one of these days if it dies them I'm buying the super duper models you guys have. I dunno though I think my family uses a national one and its been going strong for at least 20 years now. heh.

Marlene - I think the quick cooking feature is used when you want to cook rice now. As opposed to letting it soak for a bit before the cooking mechanism turns on.

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My new rice cooker arrived today.  I now have the Z fuzzy logic 5 cup rice cooker.  I have no clue how to use this of course.  It has a quick cooking rice feature.  What exactly does this mean?  You cook minute rice in the rice cooker?  The directions that came with this thing are a little unclear. 

What types of rice are best for this thing anyway?

The fuzzy's quick cycle is simply the regular cycle minus the normal 15 minute soak. I use the quick cycle all the time and don't notice much difference except maybe the rice is a little less tender.

You can cook every kind of rice, from white to brown, from wild to sticky to risotto . . . plus porridges, grits, polenta, one-dish meals, and on and on. To get the most mileage out of your rice cooker I heartily recommend you get the cookbook I mentioned a couple posts back. Until I got the book I wasn't exploiting a fraction of the rice cooker's great capabilities.

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I'm glad this came back up. I need to add that book to my wish list. I am sure that I am underusing my rice cooker. About 6 years ago, I bought this National from Williams-Sonoma. It was more like $200 at the time. It was my traditional insane gift to myself after the holidays. Some of my family laughed their butts off when they found out that I spent $200 for a rice cooker. I did retort that it has a retractable cord and that made it worth it. :raz: Actually, I haven't found it to fail at any type of rice yet. But the best thing in the world is how long it can hold the rice at serving temperature. I have gone as long as 6 hours and it was still as good as when it first finished.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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So I have one of my usual stupid questions. Is basmati rice considered to be sweet rice? We did this rice in the rice cooker tonight using the regular rice setting. Although it was good, I wouldn't have considered it fluffy by any stretch of the imagination. It was sort of sticky. I'm wondering if we used the wrong setting.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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As soon as my 29.5 year old Hitachi rice cooker dies, I'll give one of the new fangled ones a try.

Those old Hitachis are hard to beat. My mom has one in avocado. Two settings, cook and warm. Off is when you unplug it. They are as simple as can be, and never fail once you get the proportions right.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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So I have one of my usual stupid questions. Is basmati rice considered to be sweet rice?  We did this rice in the rice cooker tonight using the regular rice setting.  Although it was good, I wouldn't have considered it fluffy by any stretch of the imagination.  It was sort of sticky.  I'm wondering if we used the wrong setting.

The water proportions are different for Basmati, this could have been your problem. I don't use the lines on the rice cooker bowl, instead I use a measuring cup. 1 cup (250ml) of Basmati rice to 1 1/2 (375ml) water. I also add a bit of salt with Basmati and fluff it with a fork (very carefully) about 5 minutes after it is done. I also just use the regular white rice setting to cook it.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Basmati is definitely different. I had a bit more water then I would for white short grain rice. Salt as mentioned is important. I've also found basmati is a bit more forgiving on the exact amount of water (especially more water side).

As for white short grain (korean and janpanese types), my mom thought me a trick for measure water. Wash rice as usual. Then lay your hand flat on top of the rice. Fill rice water water until the water come above your knuckles. Turn on rice cooker. It has worked pretty well for me.

Questions?

What is your favorite brand of short grained rice? I keep going back and forth from Kokuho and Nashiki.

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I dunno. I cook Basmati, Texmati, Pecan rice and others in my National on the white rice setting. It is perfect every time.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Ok, I must be doing something totally wrong. Tonight was regular long grain rice in the rice cooker. 2 cups of rice which I rinsed and strained. Added rice to cooker and water to the two cup mark. I still got sticky rice, not lovely fluffy rice. How do you work these things anyway? :blink:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Ok, I must be doing something totally wrong.  Tonight was regular long grain rice in the rice cooker.  2 cups of rice which I rinsed and strained.

The default measurements are for cooking Japanese (short grain) rice. When cooking other types of rice, you need to adjust the water level accordingly and ignore the default measurements.

When cooking short grain rice using the default measurements, you must use the plastic measuring cup that comes with your rice cooker.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Clearly, I have a lot to learn about rice. So what then are the measurements for regular long grain rice? Remember, the only rice I've ever cooked in my entire life is minute rice.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I have a zo 10 cup fuzzy logic cooker which appeals to me because of my own fuzzy logic.

When I am cooking any kind of long grain rice, especially the kind that need washing like kohuko rose I use a one to one rice to water measurement.

So I can use either the little plasic cup that came with it or a measuring cup or any glass to measure out the rice. Then I wash it in the bowl, making sure to dry the outside of the bowl before I put into the cooker. Then I take the same measuring cup I use for the rice and fill it up with water and dump it in with a some salt; and put it on the regular cooking cycle. Comes out perfect every time. I never bother with the lines for white rice.

For basmati. which is not a sweet rice, I wash it in a few changes of water. Then I put a cloth towel on the counter and put two layers of paper towel on top of that and spread the rice on top of that to dry. The paper towel makes it easier to get the rice up. Then I use the same one to one ratio with just a skosh more water. Comes out mostly separate grains. not like in an Indian restaurant but close.

My mother who never knew any better :rolleyes: , used to make Carolina long grain every Friday night in an open pot. If the rice wasn't done but the water was, she would add a little bit of water until it was. Pretty good tasting rice too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I'm getting ready to pitch this appliance out the window. I've now made Basmati, long grain, converted and just now, Japanese medium grain. I've followed the Rice cooker cookbook recommendations for ratios. i've used the knuckle thing. I still get, every single time, rice that is stuck together rather than fluffy rice more or less separate grains. Now regardless of texture, all of these taste far far better than my old minute rice, so I'm liable to keep using them.

This seems to be a relatively simple appliance. Lord knows I've mastered more complicated ones! Too much water? Too little water? Argh! I tell you, I'm becoming obsessed, and fried rice is likely on the menu for many nights in a row with the experimenting I'm doing.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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So I'm getting ready to pitch this appliance out the window.  I've now made Basmati, long grain, converted and just now, Japanese medium grain.  I've followed the Rice cooker cookbook recommendations for ratios.  i've used the knuckle thing. I still get, every single time, rice that is stuck together rather than fluffy rice more or less separate grains.  Now regardless of texture, all of these taste far far better than my old minute rice, so I'm liable to keep using them.

This seems to be a relatively simple appliance.  Lord knows I've mastered more complicated ones!  Too much water?  Too little water?  Argh!  I tell you, I'm becoming obsessed, and fried rice is likely on the menu for many nights in a row with the experimenting I'm doing.

If you are using imported rice of any kind you will have to rinse it well. Measure the rice and dump it into a bowl or large Pyrex measure and fill with water, swish the rice around with your hand, the water will turn milky. Then dump the wet rice in a colander and run water over it. Toss it in the colander to get as much water out as possible then put it in the cooker pan.

Now add the water to slightly below the correct level for the number of measures you used originally. It will be less than you would add to the dry rice because it compacts when it is wet.

This should give you rice that is fluffy instead of clumpy.

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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All rice I've been using seems to be from the US even the Japanese rice. I have tried this with washing and not washing the rice although I admit I didn't take the wet rice into account when adding water. I could always make another batch now to see what happens. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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