Author Topic: Rice Cookers?  (Read 1037 times)

Alchemisst

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Rice Cookers?
« on: May 13, 2022, 07:02:27 AM »
Any recommendation on rice cookers? Are the $300+ Tiger ones worth it? I heard that the induction/ pressure cooking ones cook and taste a lot better and are faster?

svosavvy

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2022, 07:14:38 AM »
Never owned a rice cooker.  I always cooked on the stovetop with mixed results at best.  Then we got an instant pot for xmas.  Rice is my favorite thing to cook in it.  It is foolproof great every time.  I cook 4 cups of dry standard brown rice at a go.  This will feed the family that evening and have 2 meals worth of leftovers.  Once rice in the pot has cooled after the meal I put plastic wrap over the metal insert and put it in the fridge.  Just my two cents.

Freedomin5

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2022, 07:15:30 AM »
A rice cooker is so unnecessary. I grew up in a family that ate rice every day. We had a rice cooker. Now, I've replaced it with an electric pressure cooker, which I use to make rice, as well as many other things. It is so much more versatile than a rice cooker.

FIRE Artist

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2022, 07:47:31 AM »
I have a pressure cooker, and while it can make rice, as a household of one I just find the little Black and Decker 3 cup to be perfect, it gives me rice for 4 meals for one person, or if you were a couple, rice for two meals (North American use of rice as a side, not the main part of the dish).  I think that unit is about $20.  They are not a buy it for life item, I am on my third unit in 20 years.  Think of it more like a hot pot than a fancy bit of kit.   

I didnít think that pressure cooked rice was all that, and the cleanup afterwards is much easier with the non stick pot and light glass lid of the rice cooker vs. The stainless steel instant pot pot and the big clunky lid with gasket and valves etc.  Sure, you can buy a non stick insert for your instant pot, but that is likely more than the cost of the rice cooker. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2022, 07:58:43 AM »
My wife bought a small Betty Crocker rice cooker for 20$ about fifteen years ago, and we've been using it regularly ever since.  They're not necessary at all (totally possible to make rice in a pot on the stove), but I'd say it's handy if you eat a lot of the stuff.  You just throw the rice and water in, hit the lever, and about 15 minutes later you've got rice.

Tigerpine

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2022, 08:04:20 AM »
I've owned a number of rice cookers through the years, and I love them.  Tiger is a good brand, although ours currently is a Zojirushi.

I've never had an IH rice cooker, but I did have an IH burner some years ago.  The speed that they provide probably derives from the quickness at which they boil water.

If you eat rice every day, I think a rice cooker is worthwhile to have, although I personally wouldn't bother paying extra for IH.  If you can plan ahead just a little, the extra time needed for a "regular" rice cooker is at worst a minor inconvenience.

I do have a stovetop pressure cooker, but I've never tried to cook rice in it, as I've always had a rice cooker on hand.  The advantage to me to using a rice cooker is that the rice comes out the same every time you use it.  Oh, and you don't have to babysit it as much as the stovetop pressure cooker.  I have a bad habit of occasionally getting preoccupied and forgetting about the stove.

NorCal

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2022, 08:13:14 AM »
I still have the cheap $20 rice cooker I bought in college. Works fine, and not sure what a fancier one would add to the process.

JLee

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2022, 08:16:41 AM »
I use my Instant Pot for rice. It's awesome.

HipGnosis

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2022, 08:25:50 AM »
Quite a few variables that you don't provide make suggestions limited to broad ones.
I thought I hated rice when I got transfer orders in the Air Force to Japan.  Once I was I Japan, I learned of all the varieties of rice and realized all I had had before was minute-rice (which I abhor!).
I came back from Japan with 2 rice cookers (big and medium).
I am now single and eating brown rice, which I cook on the stove. 
New rice cookers have a setting for brown rice, but don't do well with small amounts.
I still have the two rice cookers - their 'warm' setting is great for taking food to pot-luck type gatherings.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2022, 08:46:36 AM »
About 15 years ago I was living with some college guys, and one of them had a Tiger rice cooker that used to be his Vietnamese mother's. Anyways, he wasn't much of a cooker and when he left, along with some other items, he left his rice cooker. To this day, I still use it at least two times a week.

It's basically an older version of this one:
https://www.google.com/search?q=tiger+rice+cooker&client=firefox-b-1-d&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjfidCc2tz3AhWpCDQIHR3PAVsQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1232&bih=633&dpr=1.36#spd=9279600124789339098

bacchi

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2022, 09:36:57 AM »
I have a $35 "multicooker" that I've used 2x/week for years. It has a mode for white rice, brown rice (works for lentils), veggie steaming, and a few other things.

A pressure cooker will get you rice faster but I'm in no hurry. I set it and forget it.

Sandi_k

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2022, 10:23:35 AM »
As a couple who makes rice bowls once a week or so, we've been happy with a microwave rice cooker. Personally, I hate appliances on the counter, except for the toaster and the coffee pot.

Advantages: add water and rice, and cook; no stirring or burning. Plus, the ceramic pot and lid can be thrown in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

Just search for ceramic rice pot microwave on Amazon; you'll find both Korean and Japanese versions, and varying sizes as well, for ~ $40.

chemistk

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2022, 11:51:48 AM »
Take this with a grain of...rice, as we pretty much don't eat rice in my house. My kids won't touch it, at all, except if it's in sushi or if it's in a 'not looking like rice' form. I've tried to get them to like it, hard, to no avail. No sense in making a bunch of rice only for basically me to eat it.

So that being said when I do make rice, it's *gasp* instant or stovetop in a 2qt pan.

But specifically for rice cookers, not only have I heard excellent reviews of the Zojirushi line of rice cookers, but I also happened to be looking at a review article for one yesterday:

https://www.cnn.com/cnn-underscored/reviews/zojirushi-neuro-fuzzy-rice-cooker

jeninco

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2022, 03:12:09 PM »
We also have (and recommend!) the zojirushi neuro fuzzy rice cooker (a gift from a japanese-american family member). It's not that heavy, so it lives in a cabinet and comes out once/week or so when we have rice.

I will say, it's super-easy to use, and I cook a LOT. Starting off the rice and being able to walk away frees up a little brain space for making whatever else we're having with it.

I'm curious to hear folks' opinions about using an IP (or similar) for cooking rice -- I'm mildly interested in getting rid of the rice cooker, the pressure cooker, and at least one crock-pot if we can genuinely do all those things in one appliance.

JLee

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2022, 04:07:52 PM »
We also have (and recommend!) the zojirushi neuro fuzzy rice cooker (a gift from a japanese-american family member). It's not that heavy, so it lives in a cabinet and comes out once/week or so when we have rice.

I will say, it's super-easy to use, and I cook a LOT. Starting off the rice and being able to walk away frees up a little brain space for making whatever else we're having with it.

I'm curious to hear folks' opinions about using an IP (or similar) for cooking rice -- I'm mildly interested in getting rid of the rice cooker, the pressure cooker, and at least one crock-pot if we can genuinely do all those things in one appliance.

I primarily use my Instant Pot for rice.  It does other stuff of course, but I've found rice is most often why I use it.

GreenSheep

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 08:22:03 AM »
I love my Zojirushi rice cooker. It's nice that I can throw the rice and water in there when I think of it, press "Start," and have rice ready and waiting when I'm ready to eat later. I don't have to think about what time I plan to eat and make sure I start the rice 90 minutes before that.

I also use it almost daily (well, nightly) for steel cut oatmeal. I put the oats and water in the night before, set it to be ready when I get up in the morning, and then have hot, fresh, perfectly cooked oatmeal first thing in the morning.

windytrail

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2022, 12:56:01 PM »
Another recommendation for the instant pot because it does so many other tasks besides rice: cook dry beans in less than 90 minutes, steam potatoes, make yogurt, soups, slow cooker, etc.

Freedomin5

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2022, 05:35:50 AM »
My electric pressure cooker has a "rice" function. I use it in exactly the same manner as I did my rice cooker. Put the rice and water in, put the lid on, press the button, and it beeps when the rice is done. The rice also cooks a lot faster in a pressure cooker than in a rice cooker.

JLee

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2022, 06:14:06 AM »
Another recommendation for the instant pot because it does so many other tasks besides rice: cook dry beans in less than 90 minutes, steam potatoes, make yogurt, soups, slow cooker, etc.

Beans is a great point - I made baked beans yesterday immediately after making a batch of split pea soup. Without a pressure cooker that would probably have been a multi-day endeavor instead of a few hours all-in.

PoutineLover

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2022, 06:52:02 AM »
I have a cheap rice cooker that I've used at least weekly for about 12 years now, it was probably $15-20 dollars. It works fine, and I think it's a lot simpler and less likely to burn than cooking on the stove. I did get an instant pot more recently, which I love for many other reasons, but I held on to the rice cooker because it's so easy and doesn't take up much space, and sometimes I want to use the ip for the meal and make rice too.

Moonwaves

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2022, 07:19:22 AM »
I bought a cheap Russell Hobbs rice cooker last year and I love it and hate it in about equal parts. It does not have a brown rice setting and so it has been a bit of a faff trying to figure out quantities of water and time to get something decent. Which means I've only actually used it about three times. I can see the potential though. Either I'll switch to white rice for a while once all I currently have is gone, or (more likely) I'll just reclaim the counter space.

Dave1442397

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2022, 03:03:13 PM »
My Filipina wife has always used a rice cooker, and I find it quick and easy to use. Pour in a cup or two of rice. Add water until it reaches the first knuckle of your finger when touching the rice. Flip the switch and off it goes. Ours switches to warming mode once the rice is done.

All of the big Asian markets around here sell them, and I don't think ours cost more than $15 (we've had it at least 20 years).

Rubic

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2022, 03:58:30 PM »
Another recommendation for the Zojirushi rice cooker!

I had foreign students from China and India live with me and they were seriously impressed with the quality, consistency, and ease of rice cooking.

Something I learned along the way ... I would cook about 3x amount of rice that I needed then store the excess in ziplock freezer bags for quick reheating on a later date.  Useful for when you're in a hurry for a hot meal.

Adventine

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2022, 05:44:42 PM »
My Filipina wife has always used a rice cooker, and I find it quick and easy to use. Pour in a cup or two of rice. Add water until it reaches the first knuckle of your finger when touching the rice. Flip the switch and off it goes. Ours switches to warming mode once the rice is done.

All of the big Asian markets around here sell them, and I don't think ours cost more than $15 (we've had it at least 20 years).


The good old Filipino knuckle method of cooking rice :D That's the way I did it for 30 years.


Now that I'm in the States, I don't have a rice cooker. Haven't really needed one because we have an Instant Pot at home. Most of the time, though, my husband prefers to cook rice on the stovetop.

myrrh

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2022, 08:55:52 AM »
The knuckle method is what my Japanese mother taught me as well. :D

I have no recommendations on rice cookers except the instant pot. Every cheap rice cooker I've tried has burned the rice on the bottom and I don't like that you can't buy one without the autowarm (aka burn more) feature. I'm too cheap to try a $300 rice cooker, especially since the instant pot works fine!

lucenzo11

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2022, 09:13:10 AM »
I have a fancy rice cooker with induction heat and I love it. Zojirushi NP-GBC05. Great rice cooker, but not for everyone. I received it as a gift so I didn't have to personally justify the pricetag, but that's definitely a consideration.

I really like rice and usually make it once or twice a week. Previously I would usually make stove top, 15 minute white rice. It usually came out okay, but about a third of the time I would over or undercook it if I was distracted with other cooking. I would also make brown rice but that had a higher failure rate. The rice cooker pretty much simplifies it down to a very basic task with little thought. Pretty much set it and forget it. Not a fan of a unitasker in my kitchen especially one that takes up counter space, but the quality and convenience of it is what allows me to make the exception.

White rice takes about 45 minutes, there is also a quick cook that does it in about 30. Brown rice is over 90 minutes, but comes out perfect.

As for whether you need a fancy rice cooker or even a rice cooker at all, I would ask yourself these questions:
1. How often do you make rice? If it's less than once per week then you do not need a rice cooker or you should got with the cheap $20 cooker.
2. What type of rice are you making? If you just make white rice, you do not need a fancy rice cooker and can get a very simple one. If you are making brown rice, I would suggest getting a rice cooker with a dedicated brown rice setting. IMO, it does make a difference. You can still do it with a regular setting, but you may have to practice it a bit with the ratios of water and rice to get the desired result.
3. Can you measure out water and rice accurately? If so, then you probably don't need induction heat. The best benefit of induction heat is that it can make very small adjustments to heat and compensate for variations, like if there is too much water. With my rice cooker, I could add half a cup too much water and get the same result as if I measured perfectly. Kind of idiot proof and not something that everyone needs.
4. Do you need any timer system? When I was going to work everyday, the timer was really great. I could set my rice before I left for work and program it to be ready at 6. I'd come home at 5:30 and my place would smell amazing. Then I could focus on cooking the rest of dinner. Now that I'm working from home, this doesn't matter as much to me, but it's still nice that I can set it in advance in case I have a call that will take up most of my afternoon. The warming setting is also nice because if I got stuck at work, the rice would still be warm when I got home.

I can't speak to an InstaPot or pressure cooker but would think that most of them could produce good results in a quick time.

Hope this helps!

Sandi_k

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2022, 11:06:25 AM »
The knuckle method is what my Japanese mother taught me as well. :D

I have no recommendations on rice cookers except the instant pot. Every cheap rice cooker I've tried has burned the rice on the bottom and I don't like that you can't buy one without the autowarm (aka burn more) feature. I'm too cheap to try a $300 rice cooker, especially since the instant pot works fine!

And that's why the microwave rice cooker is so excellent. No burning, and we get to dump in water + rice and walk away. I hate standing at the stove for 20+ minutes.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2022, 11:18:36 AM »
I'm at higher altitude (approx 6700 ft) and always had mixed results with stove top method. My wife got me an instant pot a few years ago and it's a game changer. It's now used 2-3 times a week for rice/beans, and it's perfect every time. I've used it a few other times for tough meats like pork shoulder, chuck roast, etc., but mostly beans/rice and now the instant pot is a requirement for me going forward to always have on hand.

GreenSheep

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2022, 12:45:15 PM »
And that's why the microwave rice cooker is so excellent. No burning, and we get to dump in water + rice and walk away. I hate standing at the stove for 20+ minutes.

Why do you have to stand at the stove? Even before I had a rice cooker, I'd just put the rice and water in a pot, bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer until done. I only had to keep an eye on it until it boiled, and even then, I wasn't standing at the stove. I was putting away clean dishes, working on another part of the meal, etc. You can hear when it starts to get close to boiling.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2022, 04:38:18 PM »
+1 zojirushi neuro fuzzy! The "have my rice ready at X" timer feature is super. Put the rice and water in at noon, ready at 5pm sharp along with dinner. It also makes a mean oatmeal, hot and ready as you wake up. Would replace it with another identical model if it broke.

Sandi_k

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2022, 11:17:26 PM »
And that's why the microwave rice cooker is so excellent. No burning, and we get to dump in water + rice and walk away. I hate standing at the stove for 20+ minutes.

Why do you have to stand at the stove? Even before I had a rice cooker, I'd just put the rice and water in a pot, bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer until done. I only had to keep an eye on it until it boiled, and even then, I wasn't standing at the stove. I was putting away clean dishes, working on another part of the meal, etc. You can hear when it starts to get close to boiling.

Too many experiences with getting distracted and leaving the kitchen to later finding it scorched. Both DH and I are distractable cooks.

GreenSheep

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2022, 05:20:46 AM »
And that's why the microwave rice cooker is so excellent. No burning, and we get to dump in water + rice and walk away. I hate standing at the stove for 20+ minutes.

Why do you have to stand at the stove? Even before I had a rice cooker, I'd just put the rice and water in a pot, bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer until done. I only had to keep an eye on it until it boiled, and even then, I wasn't standing at the stove. I was putting away clean dishes, working on another part of the meal, etc. You can hear when it starts to get close to boiling.

Too many experiences with getting distracted and leaving the kitchen to later finding it scorched. Both DH and I are distractable cooks.

So set a timer! :-) You can even use your phone timer (if you're a person who always has your phone in your pocket) if you're afraid you'll be too far from the kitchen to hear a kitchen timer.

Sandi_k

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Re: Rice Cookers?
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2022, 10:42:43 AM »
And that's why the microwave rice cooker is so excellent. No burning, and we get to dump in water + rice and walk away. I hate standing at the stove for 20+ minutes.

Why do you have to stand at the stove? Even before I had a rice cooker, I'd just put the rice and water in a pot, bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer until done. I only had to keep an eye on it until it boiled, and even then, I wasn't standing at the stove. I was putting away clean dishes, working on another part of the meal, etc. You can hear when it starts to get close to boiling.

Too many experiences with getting distracted and leaving the kitchen to later finding it scorched. Both DH and I are distractable cooks.

So set a timer! :-) You can even use your phone timer (if you're a person who always has your phone in your pocket) if you're afraid you'll be too far from the kitchen to hear a kitchen timer.

Nah, we already have the problem solved with the microwave rice cooker. ;)