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Rice Cookers


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In my experience depending on the rice it's really pretty hard regardless of the rice cooker to make less than 2 cups of rice. The secret however is that rice freezes rather well. You can do this with Sushi rice without an issue just warm up with a little water in the microwave.

That being said, it really dependings on what you are looking to spend. You can go upscale and get a Zojirushi or you can buy an AROMA for about $20.

Never trust a skinny chef

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I also have the Zojirushi 5-cup neuro fuzzy rice cooker. I use it more often for just myself than I do for myself and my boyfriend, but it works well either way. I do find that I need to make at least 2 cups (rice-cooker cups, aka gou, aka 180ml) for best results. But the keep warm function works very well, and I take rice for lunch each day so it's not too much of a problem to eat that much.

Jennie

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Another option (screeching to be heard in the background) is a microwave cooker. Those are fine for small batches, as most rice cookers only really work well with larger quantities that you will probably ever use. Cheap, easy, and consistent.

They reheat rice well too.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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As I mentioned I am a big fan of my Zojirushi 5 cup neuro fuzzy, however I agree that a microwave cooker works very well (no screeching required). I have one on the boat and I use one when I go north to work for a month each fall. The only problem I have had with them is their tendency to spill water in the microwave. I tend to place it in a pyrex cake pan to prevent cleanup.

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Hi All,

Any ideas on a good rice cooker? I was thinking of the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy 5 cup model. Any thoughts or other suggestions? It's just for my wife and I so the 10 cup seemed too big.

Thanks,

Joe

I thought the neuro fuzzy was too expensive and got the regular zojirushi 5 cup for my wife and I.

I regret it now, since the neuro has a timer and can make porridge. I really wish I could use the timer and have steaming hot steel cut oats waiting for me in the morning.

Mine also has a tendency to spit up when I try to make brown rice in it. Not sure if this is common to all 5 cup zojirushi or a fluke with my model.

That said, it does a great job with the Thai Jasmine rice I make 90% of the time, so there's no real reason I can justify replacing it.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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something my grandmother used to do was for small amounts of rice she'd just put the amount that she wanted to cook in a stainless steel bowl with the water in it and put that in her large steamer. she rarely used the full capacity of the cooker but seriously, if she didn't have the big one there'd be so many times where she'd regret not having a bigger one in case of friends or family coming over. personally if i were you i'd just go for a big one and if you do'nt want to use the full capacity of the cooker just do what my grandmother did.

bork bork bork

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Thanks for the advice. I'll spend the dough and get the "Z" Neuro logic 5 cup. I too love steel cut oats and the slower they cook the creamier they are. Besides I need another kitchen gadget and this is a good excuse to get one:)

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My roommate gave me my rice cooker, and I have been happily using it, but I have never heard of problems with making less than the proper amount of rice in the rice cooker.

What happens? Maybe I've been having inferior rice all along and never knew it :huh:

thanks all

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Thanks for the advice. I'll spend the dough and get the "Z" Neuro logic 5 cup. I too love steel cut oats and the slower they cook the creamier they are. Besides I need another kitchen gadget and this is a good excuse to get one:)

Ah, kitchen gadgets!!! Remember, the one with the most toys when they die - wins. I might just win.

Just wanted to add one thought re rice. When I was a kid, whenever my mom made rice, for dessert we would have a bowl of rice drizzled with maple syrup and cream or milk. Comfort for sure.

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Hi All,

Any ideas on a good rice cooker? I was thinking of the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy 5 cup model. Any thoughts or other suggestions? It's just for my wife and I so the 10 cup seemed too big.

Thanks,

Joe

I thought the neuro fuzzy was too expensive and got the regular zojirushi 5 cup for my wife and I.

I regret it now, since the neuro has a timer and can make porridge. I really wish I could use the timer and have steaming hot steel cut oats waiting for me in the morning.

Mine also has a tendency to spit up when I try to make brown rice in it. Not sure if this is common to all 5 cup zojirushi or a fluke with my model.

That said, it does a great job with the Thai Jasmine rice I make 90% of the time, so there's no real reason I can justify replacing it.

We've been known to plug our non-fuzzy rice cooker into an ordinary appliance timer, so the rice will be ready just when we get home. Didn't someone say they wanted another gadget? :biggrin:

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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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.

Note that I wrote the above in July '05. I neglected to mention that I have been using rice cookers since I saw a Toshiba in the May Company back in the '70s. I used it constantly until it gave out, then proceeded through various Sunbeam, Panasonic, Sanyo, Salton, Rival, Hitachi, Westinghouse and finally the Zos, first the regular one, then the fuzzy logic.

I didn't wear them all out, but they all got a fair amount of usage. I did get some as gifts that I didn't use and passed on to other people and as far as I know, they all worked fine too.

I can safely say that I never used one that didn't cook rice just fine. Sometimes I had to do a bit of juggling, to get other things cooked correctly, but never a problem with rice.

Perhaps I have been lucky. During my catering days, I got one of the big Panasonics which can handle a lot of rice and keeps it perfectly for hours.

I think they are incredibly handy and like the fact that I don't have to worry about the rice or the pan. I have in the past, created rice "stepping stones" because I forgot about the pan on the back of the stove and got involved in a book, in the garden or even, on one occasion, went shopping, only to return to a kitchen that smelled like I was vulcanizing something. When I chiseled it out of the copper pan, the tin lining came with it. That prompted me to get my first automatic cooker.

I like the Zo "Neuro fuzzy" very much, there are now other brands on the market that are less expensive and that are said to work just as well. (Same thing happened with bread machines).

However, being an inveterate appliance/gadget collector, I have just sprung for the new induction rice cooker, also by Zo. After I have given it a test drive, I will report back.

"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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We've been known to plug our non-fuzzy rice cooker into an ordinary appliance timer, so the rice will be ready just when we get home. Didn't someone say they wanted another gadget? :biggrin:

MelissaH

MelissaH,

I'll have to try it when I get home; but, I don't think the switch on the non-fuzzy zojirushi will stick in "cook" position unless the rice maker is receiving power.

I always thought it was some sort of safety feature; but, now that you mention the timer option, I'm seeing another reason why it might work that way.

-Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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  • 1 month later...
I have several rice cookers, including the Zo "Neuro" fuzzy logic cooker.

I like the Zo "Neuro fuzzy" very much, there are now other brands on the market that are less expensive and that are said to work just as well. (Same thing happened with bread machines).

What might they be?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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This is the ones carried at Amazon

Scroll down to see the less expensive ones.

There are also vendors on ebay that sell them. I have come across them several times while looking for another item.

By the way, I have tried cooking several things in the new Zo induction cooker and it is very speedy. Cooks significantly faster than the "neuro" and so far, everything has turned out beautifully. Rice, white, both long and short, a mixture of Lundberg brown rices. Sweet rice, a 7-grain cereal mix and "pinhead" oats. I also cooked a batch of cracked barley which turned out much better than when cooked on the stovetop, and it didn't require constant attention (stirring) so that it all cooked evenly. There were no hard, semi-cooked granules in the batch.

I even used it for steaming baby potatoes and each one was perfect, all were cooked evenly, no mushy, overcooked ones as often happens with boiling.

I am very impressed with this appliance.

"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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  • 4 weeks later...

Does the induction heating on the Zojirushi make the extra cost worth it?

I like the idea that I can set it up before work and have the rice ready when I come home but if I decide when I come home from work that I want some rice I like the shorter cooking times that the induction cooker would take over the other fuzzy cooker.

Does it do Thai sticky rice? (Or would the other cookers also do sticky rice?)

I also heard some conflicting info regarding oatmeal. (could I do some quaker oats oatmeal in the rice cooker?)

Thanks,

Jeff

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I've narrowed down my choices of rice cooker between the Sanyo ECJ-D55S 5.5-Cup Micro-Computerized Rice Cooker and the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker.

I decided against the induction heater and larger machines only because of size and counter space limitations.

I can't tell the major differences between the Sanyo and Zojirushi. They seem like the same machines besides button layout and the canister to cook the rice in.

Also, Would these machines do Thai sticky rice?

Is the zojirushi worth another $60 or is that just for the brand name?

Thanks,

Jeff

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Also, Would these machines do Thai sticky rice?

Thai sticky rice needs to be steamed, not just cooked, so I don't think that any rice cooker will be able to handle that rice correctly. It would be wonderful if they could, though.

I have the Zojirushi 5-1/2 cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker, and it's been very good... reading through this thread has definitely made me want to try cooking oatmeal in it for breakfast, something I hadn't thought of before.

Before the Zojirushi, I bought a cheaper Panasonic model, which the store clerk said had a non-stick cooking bowl - it didn't, and it was a horrible mess to clean. Took it back after one use and paid the extra to exchange it for the Zojirushi model.

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Does the induction heating on the Zojirushi make the extra cost worth it? 

I like the idea that I can set it up before work and have the rice ready when I come home but if I decide when I come home from work that I want some rice  I like the shorter cooking times that the induction cooker would take over the other fuzzy cooker.

Your induction cooker should be able to do both, timer fuctions are pretty much standard on any decent model.

I have a Sanyo induction heater and wouldn't trade it for anything, the timer lets me keep 3 pre-programed times in there, so with one push of the timer button the rice will be ready at 5:20 am and with two pushes of the button it is ready at 6:00pm, three pushes and my rice will be ready at noon.

I am much happier with my Sanyo than I was with my previous Zojirushi.

Does it do Thai sticky rice?  (Or would the other cookers also do sticky rice?)

I also heard some conflicting info regarding oatmeal.  (could I do some quaker oats oatmeal in the rice cooker?)

I have yet to meet a rice cooker that can do sticky rices, I have tried with Japanese sticky rices but they just don't work well...

I remember reading somewhere else on the boards about someone raving about oatmeal cooked in a rice cooker. Unfortunately I can't remember who or where... :hmmm:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Does it do Thai sticky rice?  (Or would the other cookers also do sticky rice?)

I also heard some conflicting info regarding oatmeal.  (could I do some quaker oats oatmeal in the rice cooker?)

I have yet to meet a rice cooker that can do sticky rices, I have tried with Japanese sticky rices but they just don't work well...

As for sticky rice, my new induction rice cooker (bought a couple of years ago) makes fairly good sekihan (sticky rice plus azuki beans). My older one (not induction) tended to produce rather soggy, sometimes mushy sekihan.

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So far in the induction cooker I have cooked long grain Basmati, Suna Massouri, Jasmine, Calrose short grain, Lundberg mixed brown rice, Thai sweet rice, sticky purple rice and sticky black rice with sesame seeds (also black), baby potatoes, 7-grain cereal mix, steel cut oats, cracked wheat, buckwheat groats, white corn grits and barley.

Everything has turned out nicely, including the sticy rices. The buckwheat did not get quite done enough the first time I tried it but I just added some more water and started the cooker again.

The second time I used more water and it turned out perfect.

"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 have been able to find the sanyo induction heater in the US. Only the large Zojirushi model.

My decision is now between the sanyo 5.5 cup and the Zojirushi 5.5 cup (both fuzzy logic).

Jeff

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I've narrowed down my choices of rice cooker between the Sanyo ECJ-D55S 5.5-Cup Micro-Computerized Rice Cooker  and the  Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker. 

I decided against the induction heater and larger machines  only because of size and counter space limitations.

I can't tell the major differences between the Sanyo and Zojirushi.  They seem like the same machines besides button layout and the canister to cook the rice in. 

Also, Would these machines do Thai sticky rice?

Is the zojirushi worth another $60 or is that just for the brand name? 

Thanks,

Jeff

I have that Sanyo. I use it almost every day. I've had it about a year and a half and I do not have a single complaint. It's reliable and delivers. The non-stick coating on the thick bowl is still like new. I think Sanyo got this one right. I'm a former Zojirushi owner.

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  • 8 months later...

What's the current state of rice cooker technology? What's "good enough" and what's excellent? And what's the difference?

Today I was looking at a new item in a nearby Asian market, a Tiger brand Micom Rice Cooker/Warmer, 5.5 cup (model JAG-S10U). $130 US. Says it will cook brown rice as well as white rice, porridge, steam food, etc. and then keep it warm for hours. I was curious about the brown rice function in particular, because some say that most rice makers do not do well with brown rice. At another store I saw a smaller version (3 cup), same brand for $10 less.

Anyone have any experience with these models?

Any other new(er) models you have experience with? Are there other models you are pleased with...in any price range? Pros and cons?

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