Recommend me a rice cooker

I have some $20 rice cooker acousin bought me after she freaked out that I, a Wong, did not own a rice cooker. I measure 1 cup Calrose rice to 1-1/4 cups water and push the button.

It works great.

When my fiancee moved in with me, I had been living on my own for a couple of years while she was still in what was effectively student housing, so I had a much bigger/better selection of kitchen toys. The one thing she brought with her that we kept was a rice cooker. I had been one of the people saying “I make my rice in the pot, it’s not that hard, and it’s just as good! Why would I want another unitasker on my counter?!”, but after living with a rice cooker for a couple of years, I’d never go back. We have one of the nice Zojirushi models on our wedding registry and, as the person who does the weeknight cooking, getting one will more than make up for the hours of my life that disappeared while she picked out china patterns and crystal. Both in satisfaction at something shiny to play with, and in literal time because of some of the new features we don’t have right now.

Dude. Seriously? I hope you’re not asian.

Different rice has different uses and cooking requirements. “Fragant” rice (jasmine rice) is a long grain rice. Basmati, another type of long grain rice, is also very distinctive. In contrast, Japanese and Korean cooking uses medium grain rice that is starchier and doesn’t have the aroma that jasmine rice has. The varieties aren’t “higher quality” or “tastes better”, inherently. There’s also short grain rice, usually used in speciality dishes or desserts.

If you try to make sushi with long grain rice, not good. If you try to make Thai or Vietnamese rice dishes with medium grain rice, not good.

Personally, I’d go with one of two approaches on opposite ends of the spectrum: either go with a simple pot (which requires practice and skill) or go fuzzy logic (Zojirushi), particularly if you’re cooking multiple varieties of rice frequently and don’t want to monitor it constantly.

This kills me every time. I won’t even do jasmine rice in my el-cheapo rice cooker(s). I didn’t realize that there were rice cookers that could do it without destroying jasmine rice. I’ve always grown up with the cheap ones, so I never really knew how the technology has advanced. I’m impressed. I’ll definitely have to shop around, if my wife and I ever get back to eating rice regularly. Back in college, I was eating at least one bowl of rice a day and even today, I’ll go through a pot of white rice until I burst. But, we’ve cut back a bunch now, and we’ll cook maybe two pots of rice a month.

So, as it stands, I rarely use my rice cooker since its a hassle to pull out of cabinet where it is stored. Sometimes its just easier to throw the rice on the stove. Rice is fairly straightforward and doesn’t need much tending on the stove anyway, and I rarely use more than 2 other burners simultaneously.

We have a 15+ year old Zojirushi my wife brought with her and it’s never given us a problem. No idea if the new models are that reliable but they certainly knew how to make them.

All we cook in it is Jasmine rice.

Got this one at costco for 30 bucks.

I am loving it. Seems to have all of the zojirushi abilities for about a fifth of the price.

I don’t think I could ever spend that much on a rice cooker, the 30-50 dollar aroma one I got works just fine, it also has a veggie steamer tray you can use to steam while cooking rice.

Also, making rice in a pot blows. I just love that I can set the thing and then go about cooking, it clears up a step and guarantees a perfect cook with no effort. If you make rice a lot, it is a time saver.

That still requires you to pay attention to when it boils, and to time the “leave alone” portion.

Only really the first part… You don’t want to let it overboil. But you can leave it alone for however long you want. The rice is only going to get better, although I guess eventually it’ll get cold.

Ultimately, it’s rice. Cooking rice is something folks have figured out how to do pretty much perfectly, for a few thousand years.

Like I said though, I don’t actually hate a rice cooker (although I’d rather if it somehow correctly measured water for the rice automatically), I just can’t justify devoting counter space to one.

Most rice cookers come with a rice scoop. There is a water level marker on the inside of the cooker which shows you how much water to add per scoop of rice. Adjust accordingly but it is usually quite forgiving since it’s not an exact science.

Then do what we do, and put it away in a cupboard when you’re not using it. We like to keep our kitchen top mostly clear of appliance clutter, save the microwave and kettle.

Also, I’m guessing all you “do it in a pan” advocates have yet to let your rice burn because you got distracted by something important, and then had to spend the next few days alternatively scrubbing it and boiling your wife’s favourite pan with bicarb soda to try and get the baked-on carbonised crap off. :) (ahem)

Here’s a fun tangent: do you guys have a Tiger/Zojirushi water pot too?

I do have a water pot, but I do not think it is Zojirushi. It is something comparable (i.e. has settings for green tea, black tea, etc.).

Whatevs man. Just add a little more water than rice, or more specifically, a little shy of 1.5x rice by volume. (For Japanese style short-grain rice, which is what I always make, because I’m boring). Measuring the water is the easiest part of making rice in my rice cooker. (The hardest part being bending over to scoop the rice out of the giant bag, which lives on the floor because ow, my back).

I kind of wish I did, but an airpot is counter-item too many for me, so I just have a stovetop kettle.

I wouldn’t begrudge people who did it the other way (airpot+stovetop rice), but for me, if I’m boiling water for tea/coffee, etc that’s usually the only thing I’m doing, whereas for me, if I’m making rice, I’m also usually using the stove.

My wife and I just drink a ton of tea over the course of a day, and we just got tired of putting the pot on and waiting each time. Indulgent? Sure. But it is one of the better extravagant creature comfort purchases we’ve ever made in terms of being constantly used.

I kill my rice with 3:1 water and boil it covered on high till the water is gone. Probably not the best, but it seems like the fastest (other than buying frozen rice and nuking it for 5 min.)

Living in Japan I don’t have any recommendations for an American rice cooker but I do have to say that anyone who thinks rice should be cooked in a pot is a fool. Rice cookers are amazing. I wish all of my good and appliances would cook by themselves without any input from myself. If you eat a lot of rice then rice cookers are a must.

What would be a good cooker for one person? I don’t have a lot of wiggle room where I live, but I’d love to have a smallish one stashed in my cupboard, just so I could cook up a serving or two whenever I needed.

They sell small rice cookers that only have a 3 cup (or whatever) amount.

Ya, I’ve done that. It’s horrific.

I actually forgot a pan once to the extent that it boiled everything away, and started burning the rice, making tons of smoke. I pulled the thing off the stove, but the handle was hot, so then I put it on the ground, where it proceeded to burn a circular ring into the linoleum.

I was renting at the time though. Sorry landlord!

Still though, I don’t have trouble making rice in a pot.

I bought the Zojirushi NS-VGC05.