Kitchen Gadgetry


#922

Jessica Jones begs to differ.


#923

Would owning a rice cooker be redundant, if you already have an Instant Pot?

My Zojirushi rice cooker died today, and I discovered that I can actually make a decent pot of rice in the Instant Pot. More to clean up because of the non-nonstick pan, but otherwise it works well. I only used my rice cooker for rice.


#924

The consensus earlier (I think in the “what did you cook recently” thread) seemed to be that rice cookers make better, more consistent, more controllable rice and that that was worth a dedicated device. I remain skeptical, but I’ve never had a dedicated rice cooker. If you have, and still think the Instant Pot does acceptably, you’re probably fine sticking with that.


#925

FWIW, I haven’t replaced my rice cooker and just use my multi-cooker.

It’s slightly annoying when I want to make two things with it for dinner. But that’s kinda rare and I just suck it up and make rice on the stovetop.


#926

It depends on how often you make rice.

If you make it several times a week, I think it makes sense to have a dedicated appliance. I also have never had rice out of an instant pot that was as good as even a cheap dedicated rice cooker, but that could be a question of dialing in the technique. But, if you like the product from the instant pot, it might make sense for you to just use the one.


#927

I cook rice in a pot on my stove.


#928

Rice cookers are genuinely useful. I love being able to throw a cup of rice and some water in a machine, press a button, and know that I’ll have perfect rice at X time without having to even slightly monitor anything, turn down a temperature gauge, etc.

Is it necessary? No. But it is pretty nice to be able to just say, “At six p.m., there will be perfect rice - I pressed the button.”


#929

Yep, that is the use mine is getting, and it is an enormous relief for my style of cooking (which is to prepare 4-5 dishes all at once once or twice a week).


#930

Thanks for the rice cooking feedback. Yeah, since my rice cooking needs are fairly predictable and simple these days, I’ll probably just stick with the Instant Pot for now. Only issue is fine-tuning the proportions (1:1 is not quite right, despite what I’ve read – a bit more water seems better) and the non-nonstick pan (adding a little olive oil is said to help).

Regarding the old rice cooker, it’s a 4-year-old Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup and not under warranty as far as I know. Issue is that the buttons are unresponsive, while the digital display still shows the current time. This suggests that the clock battery is still functioning and has not lost power – I’ve read that a dead clock battery can sometimes cause the device to stop working, or something. (The manual’s troubleshooting section does not list this specific issue.)

Only thing I can think of that I might do, short of shipping it to Zojirushi and paying for a repair, or just throwing the thing away, is to remove the four screws from the bottom and replace the clock battery, which may require some light soldiering. Not sure if I’ll feel like doing that, but I might. Until I muster up the energy to give that a shot, I’ll just toss it in the closet and use the Instant Pot instead.


#931

Have you called Zojirushi? Even when things are not technically under warranty, reputable companies (and Zojirushi is such a a company) will sometimes help you out if you ask.


#932

Hmm, good suggestion. I asked, and they could only refer me to an authorized repair center and the nearest is in a different state. Total cost would likely be equivalent to or exceed the cost of just buying a new rice cooker.


#933

Awwww, I’m sorry to hear that. :(


#934

Yeah, the beauty of the rice cooker is it frees up range space, and allows you to juggle one less thing while cooking, and it comes out perfect each time. I hate stove top rice cooking, I always worry about fucking it up, even if it is extremely idiot proof. I also hate timing multiple things while cooking, and the spacious rice cooker eliminates timing as the rice is good for a while after cooking in the cooker.


#935

Rice cookers are great, I just can’t dedicate the space on my counter to one, and I hate gadgets that I need to take out and put away.


#936

Veering further off on my dead rice cooker tangent, I now face the new challenge of learning how to cook sushi rice properly in my Instant Pot. Anyone done it before? What’s the water to rice ratio (I found it’s more than* 1:1 for jasmine rice despite internet advice), and would olive oil (to minimize sticking to the pan) screw it up? I’m thinking yes, yes it would screw it up. I only have enough for a specific number of batches that I intend to make this week/weekend, so don’t want to sacrifice any before my next shopping trip.


#937

I pretty much do 1:1 with rice, sometimes a tad more. I use a rice cooker thought.

The only thing I know about Japanese rice is they really, really wash the rice before they cook it. They push down on it and mill it. It’s to get rid of the old hard bits outside. I’ve done it a couple of times, and it does seem to make it … better rice.


#938

Definitely do a thorough washing of the rice ahead of cooking. That should help keep the sticking to a minimum. There will always be some outside of a well-made rice cooker, IMO, but hey, that’s rice for ya.

I wouldn’t add oil. Even a little may throw off the texture later on down the road.


#939

I never bother to wash basmati rice, but it helps with jasmine/sushi rice.


#940

First step is to not use jasmine rice for sushi :p

EDIT: I’ll add a few other tips.

Rinsing really well is important, as noted above.
Once the rice is done cooking, take off the lid and start fanning the rice while slowly fluffing it. Don’t let any of the moisture in the pot re-accumulate on the rice.
After that is done, season as specified in your recipe.

For pressure cooker specific things, I’ve found that slightly less water than specified on the package works best, especially with brown or semi-brown rice.


#941

Definitely haven’t been doing that; poor phrasing on my part.

Thanks for the tips, guys. Sounds like washing the rice thoroughly, washing the pan vigorously, using a 1:1 ratio and no oil will minimize any isues.