Rice cooker wisdom

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Nemo

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I'm' tapping into the KKF brains trust again.

My cheapo Breville rice cooker just died. It was one of those round ones with a glass lid. Nothing fancy, no fuzzy logic, only had a cheap nonstick aluminium pan. It only lasted just over a year. The previous one was identical and lasted a lot longer.

Anyway, I'm thinking of upgrading to something with fuzzy logic. I'd prefer something without a cheap and nasty nonstick coating. If it needs a nonstick coating, then I'd prefer a "premium" or ceramic one (realising this may not actually make any difference).

A really long cook time is not ideal. I usually only cook rice for 2 or 3 people, occasionally as many as 8. It's mostly basmati. I'm just starting to discover some of the nicer, aged basmatis, usually from India.

Zojirushi is often recommended in the US but isn't easily available here (Aus).

I guess, of the brands I've seen, Cuckoo, Panasonic and Tiger stand out.

The only brands I can still find with a stainless pan are Tatung and Buffalo.

There is an Australian brand called Kylin (I suspect manufacturing is in China) who do one with a clay pan.

Is fuzzy logic worth it for basmati? No one seems to have a basmati specific programme from what I have seen.

Is induction that much better?

Do the models that cook under pressure give a better result? Are they faster?

Thanks for your perspective.
 
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daveb

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I heart Zo. Have had a 10 cup for 15+ years and a 3 cup for at least 10. I use wooden tools exclusively and both non-stick inserts look like new.

Does AU have different power rqmts than 110VAC?

To me the fuzzy logic is the point of diminishing returns. I've used induction and they're not worth the extra 100.
 

Zweber12

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I went from a Zojirushi to a Cuckoo to a Cuchen and back to a Cuckoo. Currently have a 3 cup; EHS0310FW. Try looking for them on eBay; Korean resellers ship directly from KR globally.
 
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I have a zojirushi and I really only use it for short/medium grain rice of the Japanese variety. For basmati and jasmine I like to use a cast iron pot (I like the enamel lined ones from lê creuset). I feel that I get better results using the pot over the rice cooker for rice that I want to come out drier, where I don’t want the grains sticking to each other. For high quality basmati, I find that soaking the rice is necessary, but this may depend on the brand. And the soak usually lasts an hour. For a quick turnaround, you can make jasmine in under 20 mins and no rice cooker will top that. Happy to share how I like to make if there is any interest.

Sorry, I know this wasn’t the question but I just don’t like the results for basmati even with a high end rice cooker.
 

mobiledynamics

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Convenience aside, I think pot made in general is better. Aside from a -appliance- convince, and or the so called pressure mode, gaba setting etc, in my limited experience, my preference is stovetop.
 

captaincaed

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My Japanese buddy says the fuzzy logic is usually specific to local rice where the unit I is made. If that's the rice you eat, they're fantastic as a set and forget.
 

Nemo

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I heart Zo. Have had a 10 cup for 15+ years and a 3 cup for at least 10. I use wooden tools exclusively and both non-stick inserts look like new.

Does AU have different power rqmts than 110VAC?

To me the fuzzy logic is the point of diminishing returns. I've used induction and they're not worth the extra 100.
Yeah, our electricity supply is 240V AC @50Hz.

Thanks for the perspective on induction.
 

Michi

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We have a Zojirushi with induction heating, without fuzzy logic. It's the only Zojirushi I've ever used, so I can't compare. All I can say is that the cooker always makes perfect rice, no complaints.

The normal setting is quite slow (~45 minutes) because it lets the rice soak first. But there is also a quick setting, which gets things going immediately, so the rice is ready after about 20 minutes. The slow setting makes for better rice, but the difference is small; I use the slow setting only if I happen to have the time to spare. In a blind tasting, I'd be hard pressed to reliably taste the difference.
 

Nemo

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Interesting.

It sounds like a high end unit might not be optimised for the type of rice I cook.

I have recently had to cook rice on a stovetop and getting decent results. I might experiment with soaking.

Downside of stovetop is that it takes up space on the hob that I don't really have and it does introduce an extra thing that I need to keep an eye on at the business end of meal preparation.
 

Nemo

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We have a Zojirushi with induction heating, without fuzzy logic. It's the only Zojirushi I've ever used, so I can't compare. All I can say is that the cooker always makes perfect rice, no complaints.

Wherever did you find Zojirushi in Australia? Does it come with a 240V plug?
 

Michi

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Wherever did you find Zojirushi in Australia? Does it come with a 240V plug?
I ordered mine from a supplier in Singapore on eBay. It did come with a British plug. It's no big deal to either use a plug adapter or to just put an Australian plug on the cord. (Plug adapter was included with mine, so I never bothered changing it.) I just checked, and that seller is no longer around.

Amazon Australia has a few different models available. The model I bought is a NB-HBQ10, which is basically the medium-size version with induction heating.

Be careful when ordering an imported model. If it isn't 230/240V, you'll be up for an expensive and heavy step-down transformer.
 

xxxclx

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I've had my Zojirushi NP-HCC 10 for about 7 years now. I love it and it cooks perfect rice every time. But I suspect the rice-water ratio is more important than the fuzzy logic onboard.

I usually cook aged basmati on the jasmine rice mode and it comes out fluffy and all the grains separate nicely.

I have no direct proof but I think induction might be helpful for larger quantities of rice. I used to have a large 18 cup Zojirushi cooker(non induction and nonstick aluminum pot) for when I need to feed 8 people. When I cook a large amount of rice (for about 6 people) even with the same rice-water ratio and rinsing/soaking procedure, the larger cooker produces a noticeably less good result than the small induction one. The difference is not apparent when I cook for 1-3 people.
 

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Oz specific comment here. We eat rice almost daily four to five cups of jasmine, long white, medium grain, basmati, sushi rice, glutinous, brown, and even red in the order of frequency. When the old kmart special died, the missus wanted something not too expensive (e.g no tiger, zoji, cuckoo, etc), easy to clean, and reasonably fancy (fuzzy logic) so I got her a Pana. The 5 cup model, but the one with 4mm thick inner pan. I got it for less than $200 from BingLee via eBay promo. About 25 minutes to finish cooking in quick setting and auto quick warm with only a few button presses. I rarely let it keep warm though, because I always out of habit fluff rice out afterwards. The inner cheapskate in me had also wanted the Xiaomi IH Pressure for even less, but I was pretty sure the missus would complain later about the required app. The pana is holding up well for now, but we might need a 10 cup one next. Alas, the same pana does not come in 10 cup. So I'd probably go for IH tiger/cuckoo or a downgraded larger pana later on. Rice cookers are even more subjective than knives, I think.
 

Nemo

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Oz specific comment here. We eat rice almost daily four to five cups of jasmine, long white, medium grain, basmati, sushi rice, glutinous, brown, and even red in the order of frequency. When the old kmart special died, the missus wanted something not too expensive (e.g no tiger, zoji, cuckoo, etc), easy to clean, and reasonably fancy (fuzzy logic) so I got her a Pana. The 5 cup model, but the one with 4mm thick inner pan. I got it for less than $200 from BingLee via eBay promo. About 25 minutes to finish cooking in quick setting and auto quick warm with only a few button presses. I rarely let it keep warm though, because I always out of habit fluff rice out afterwards. The inner cheapskate in me had also wanted the Xiaomi IH Pressure for even less, but I was pretty sure the missus would complain later about the required app. The pana is holding up well for now, but we might need a 10 cup one next. Alas, the same pana does not come in 10 cup. So I'd probably go for IH tiger/cuckoo or a downgraded larger pana later on. Rice cookers are even more subjective than knives, I think.
The same one is on at Mr Lee's shop at the same price again now. It is one of the models I was looking at.

How does it go with Basmati?
 

Pisau

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How does it go with Basmati?

Here you go mate, two cups of unrinsed coles basmati (or aldi, can't remember) measured to the dot cooked with "white regular", which is only a single button press away.

pana4mmricecooker1.jpg


The result was pretty much like any other rice compared to non-fuzzy logic cookers: More fluffy, less sticky, and no burnt bottom whatsoever. White soft setting might yield even fluffier result idk.

Now. In terms of durability this is the hardware after almost three years of use:

pana4mmricecooker2.jpg


The inner non-stick is still pristine, while the bottom outer parts (also coated) that contact with bare metal rubbed off just a tad. The inner lid that can be removed for cleaning. I reckon it's not too shabby for two hundred bucks. I'm not sure how long the coating would last, but by the time I'd probably would have upsized anyway. I'd rate this one as a middle ground bang for buck, just don't expect tiger/zoji/cuckoo quality.
 

enchappo

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Oz specific comment here. We eat rice almost daily four to five cups of jasmine, long white, medium grain, basmati, sushi rice, glutinous, brown, and even red in the order of frequency. When the old kmart special died, the missus wanted something not too expensive (e.g no tiger, zoji, cuckoo, etc), easy to clean, and reasonably fancy (fuzzy logic) so I got her a Pana. The 5 cup model, but the one with 4mm thick inner pan. I got it for less than $200 from BingLee via eBay promo. About 25 minutes to finish cooking in quick setting and auto quick warm with only a few button presses. I rarely let it keep warm though, because I always out of habit fluff rice out afterwards. The inner cheapskate in me had also wanted the Xiaomi IH Pressure for even less, but I was pretty sure the missus would complain later about the required app. The pana is holding up well for now, but we might need a 10 cup one next. Alas, the same pana does not come in 10 cup. So I'd probably go for IH tiger/cuckoo or a downgraded larger pana later on. Rice cookers are even more subjective than knives, I think.
Great write up - thanks for this! (And the wear pics in subsequent post)
 

Nemo

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Here you go mate, two cups of unrinsed coles basmati (or aldi, can't remember) measured to the dot cooked with "white regular", which is only a single button press away.

View attachment 158571

The result was pretty much like any other rice compared to non-fuzzy logic cookers: More fluffy, less sticky, and no burnt bottom whatsoever. White soft setting might yield even fluffier result idk.

Now. In terms of durability this is the hardware after almost three years of use:

View attachment 158576

The inner non-stick is still pristine, while the bottom outer parts (also coated) that contact with bare metal rubbed off just a tad. The inner lid that can be removed for cleaning. I reckon it's not too shabby for two hundred bucks. I'm not sure how long the coating would last, but by the time I'd probably would have upsized anyway. I'd rate this one as a middle ground bang for buck, just don't expect tiger/zoji/cuckoo quality.
Thanks for the detailed reply, Mate.
 

M1k3

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Downside of stovetop is that it takes up space on the hob that I don't really have and it does introduce an extra thing that I need to keep an eye on at the business end of meal preparation.
Throw it in the oven?
 

M1k3

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This I gotta try.

Hot water? How much water? Absorption or boiling volume?
Don't overthink it. Same water ratio as before. Letting the rice soak beforehand is a good idea, but, not absolutely necessary.
 

damiano

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Just get one of the cheaper ones with an aluminum pan that does not have a non stick coating. Equivalent of 20 euro something.
 

Quoique

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Get a tatung ricecooker, they have stainless steel options, you’ll give it to your grandchildren (as they do in taiwan). Got mine 10+ years ago, i use it couple of times a week, can’t see what fuzzy logic could improve
 

Nemo

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Just get one of the cheaper ones with an aluminum pan that does not have a non stick coating. Equivalent of 20 euro something.
Can't actually find any without a nonstick pan in Australia except a couple of exxie ones with a stainless pan.

One is Tatung, the other is Buffalo.
 

damiano

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Can't actually find any without a nonstick pan in Australia except a couple of exxie ones with a stainless pan.

One is Tatung, the other is Buffalo.
No Chinese shops where you live? I am always hesitant spending a lot od money on rice cookers because they are usually worse than cheaper basic ones.
 

Nemo

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No (SE) Asian grocer per se although we do have what is probably best described as a South Asian grocer. No rice cookers there though.

I'll have a look next time I'm in Melbourne. Will probably have to wait until omicron settles down, though.
 
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I'm continuing to keep an eye on this thread but as someone who primarily eats brown, black, or red rice I don't think I'm the target audience of any of the cooker makers. If anyone has had stellar results with a rice cooker using whole grain rice please advise?
 

daveb

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Throw it in the oven?

When I make it for my residents (60 - 100 peeps at a time) I do it in the oven. Suitable vessel, hotel pan or pot, add 1 part rice, 2 parts water, very lightly salt. Bring to a boil on stove top and then in the oven covered for 20 min. It's not great rice but it's good rice.
 
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