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Rice Cookers...

We're going to replace the current steamer we use as a rice cooker with an actual rice cooker. So far we've only checked Fry's and Costco. I need to get out to some of the Asian grocery stores.

I was figuring on a computer-controlled ("fuzzy logic" "neuro fuzzy" or other goofy brand name) cool-touch style cooker.

We looked at Zojirushi. They're really cool, but they're also expensive. Right out.

Our Costco has the Aroma Professional Series 20-Cup Sensor Logic Rice Cooker for $30. That's a bargain, and the feature set is interesting, but it's also twice the capacity that we're looking for (its dry rice capacity is 10 cups, the rest we're looking at are 5.5 cup models).

Costco online has the Tiger JAG-B10U 5.5 cup rice cooker for $90. It doesn't have the slow-cooker features of the Aroma, but it does have a "scorched rice" cycle.

Fry's has the Panasonic SR-DE102 5.5 cup rice cooker for $85. It looks comparable to the Tiger and includes a steamer basket, but Panasonic doesn't make their rice cooker manuals available online, so it's hard to tell.

Any rice-cooker geeks out there with opinions?

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
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karisu_sama
Dec. 13th, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
I am VERY pleased with our Zojirushi water boiler - (a water boiler is a must for any Asian household these days, much like a rice cooker.) When visiting Japan, I noticed almost all the Ryokan we stayed in had Zojirushi brand water boilers in the rooms too.

We used to have a "Tiger" brand water boiler, but it decided to spontaneously dispense large amounts of boiling water at random times (with no human touching it) - very unacceptable.

Cheapo rice cookers from other brands have not given us grief, though. We even sent an old/small but still functional unit to college with our elder daughter.
didjiman
Dec. 13th, 2010 06:46 am (UTC)
It kind of depends on what you cook.

If it's the simple rice thing, then any will do. Heck, that's what we did. We have had two rice cookers in 10-20 years, so over time they cost nothing.

But then we have Zjirushi water heater because the previous one lasted all a year or so.. sprung a leak :-(

But rice cooker is old tech. The only question is whether you like to cook brown rice or other stuff or not.

Oh, the current one we have does have one bad feature: the cord is not detachable. Hate that.

Get one with easy to clean interior top would be good too.
trinsf
Dec. 13th, 2010 06:58 am (UTC)
My opinion would be the Zojirushi. Yes, they're expensive, but useful for so many things -- not just a single tasker. We used the one in the house for rice, but also for oatmeal and for complex pilaf dishes. I had only just scratched the surface of what it could be used for. Alas, the one we had in the house was one we purchased for Younger Child; she took it with her to college. Other than that, I would have no idea what to suggest - the other rice cookers I looked at were just so far below what the Zojirushi was capable of doing.
trektone
Dec. 13th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
Zojirushi gets the thumbs-up from me. My sis has had a Tiger (don't know the model) for several years and is happy with how it cooks medium and short grain white and brown rices.
voidampersand
Dec. 13th, 2010 07:04 am (UTC)
I have a small Panasonic SR-G06FG that I got for $19 at an Asian grocery store. It is a 3-cup unit. However, the cup is a Japanese gō, about 180 ml or 3/4 US cup. In theory the unit could handle 2 1/4 US cups but in practice it works best with 1 US cup, which is usually the amount I want to make anyway. This is an extremely basic unit but I'm happy with it because it makes the rice and I don't have to watch it or worry about timing. What it doesn't do well is make pilaf. I use it only for cooking rice with water -- no oil or fat.
karisu_sama
Dec. 13th, 2010 07:37 am (UTC)
1:
We have a basic "6 cup" "Mr. Rice" unit (fairly cheap) with nonstick inner pot, and we usually cook 2 cups (the plastic cup that comes with the cooker, not 8 oz cups) at a time. We put a little olive oil in with the rice & water - that doesn't cause any problems with it. We eat white rice too, but It took us a few tries to realize the secret to making decent brown rice was let the brown rice soak up water for at least half an hour before cooking it. No programmable features and no detachable cord (which makes bringing it to the table a wee bit annoying.)

1.5:
We also have a rice storage & dispenser box, with a lever that dispenses one basic Asian rice cooker cup (~3/4 cup is apparently the standard Asian rice cooker size) per push.

2:
We also have a "VitaClay Chef" rice cooker / slow cooker with an unglazed clay interior pot (the traditional-type unglazed clay pot was very important to my hubby.) It was more pricey, has timer features, and we tend to use it only as a slow cooker, since our cheapie"Mr. Rice" does a fine enough day-to-day job on basic rice.
luckinspades
Dec. 13th, 2010 08:11 am (UTC)
I have an Aroma brand and it cooks white rice AOK by me.

Chris, the boyfriend, has a Zojirushi and it has a frajillion settings for any kind of rice situation I can imagine. The biggest comparison I have observed is that the Zoji keeps rice warm without losing quality a LOT longer. I haven't personally used the Zoji myself, but his parents use is 23/6 it feels like.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )