Rice cooker wisdom

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I think rice and rice cookers are really like knives. It really depends on what you're used to and looking for. I agree that quality of rice and water ratio matter more than what kind of electric rice cooker you're using (for Japanese short grain rice).

But for real, if you get good at using a donabe as referenced by @rickbern it's fricken life changing. The biggest difference is in texture. With donabe you get way more of the もちもち quality while still retaining a nice chewy springiness. In an electric rice cooker once you get the もちもち quality, it's just too soft.

I will say, it only really makes a difference if you eat rice basically everyday. Otherwise you're not likely to notice the small changes. Going from crappy rice to good rice is like getting your first nice knife. Going from good rice to great rice is like going from a tojiro to a yoshikane - if you like knives you'll notice and care about the difference, but most people won't. That level of rice also really is diminishing returns with regards to effort and time spent. If you're like me, it's worth it but for most I don't think it is.

The only thing I wish would catch on is distributing rice as brown and milling it to order for customers. Fresh milled rice doesn't require soaking due to the high moisture content retained (which soaking seeks to imitate). The fragrance of freshly milled rice, both raw and cooked, is just outstandingly different. I personally think that fresh milled rice makes a bigger difference than brand of rice cooker every could.
 

wombat

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won't do much better than any $100 Japanese brand rice cooker.
Not saying I disagree, and intending no offence, but I can’t help but notice that you went on to recommend a $220 rice cooker being sold at a slight discount by an online grey dealer.
I found an unused Zojirushi at around the same price point and then picked up an Australian power cable from Officeworks for $6. Both working perfectly.
 

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Talking about cuckoo (like this), which you chosen standing out, I would say that it may be a possible decision. It is good for a long using, and basmati is really worthy from it. Talking about tiger's rice cooker - you said that sometimes cook 8 portions, some tiger's models can cook almost 10 or 11. Don't know about Panasonic, guess it is not bad.

I wonder - who made pilaf using rice cooker? Is it a good idea? I think that it is not right to cook rice out of the meat and other ingridients, but I want to make this experiment in a correct way.
 

DitmasPork

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I cook a half cup of rice a couple times a week or so, is it worth my time to buy a rice cooker, we eat Nishi short grain from California.

A rice cooker is a non-essential—worth it if that's what you value, if you have the space and money. Nishiki—and any other Japonica rice—cooks up fine in a in a pot, as good as in any rice cooker with a bit of practice.
 
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Recent rice cooker test by Wirecutter:


Winner: Zojirushi NS-ZCC10
Runner-up: Cuckoo CRP-G1015F

That Zojirushi is the one I bought. They mention
It's a little slow cooking rice, that's an understatement😁. I just start rice first before my food prep & cooking. That said it is a great cooker perfect rice. The non stick pot still looks good. Don't use keep warm function when finished open lid & unplug it. Don't like overcooked rice. Depending on type of rice & amount know within minutes of finishing time. Been using it almost 5 years.
 

Pisau

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Don't use keep warm function when finished open lid & unplug it.

Asian mothers tip: Toss and turn rice as soon as it's finished cooking. Ditch the plastic paddle and use a silicon spatula on non-stick to make it easier. Keep warm or cool down or serve afterwards, doesn't matter. But turning the rice asap is the key to rice bliss....

I suppose it's the same philosophy in sushi with the hangiri.
 

ptolemy

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Asian mothers tip: Toss and turn rice as soon as it's finished cooking. Ditch the plastic paddle and use a silicon spatula on non-stick to make it easier. Keep warm or cool down or serve afterwards, doesn't matter. But turning the rice asap is the key to rice bliss....

I suppose it's the same philosophy in sushi with the hangiri.

yep, I do the same. I mix it. Biggest thing for me though is ability to keep rice warm and ready to serve for a week. I also enjoy cheesecake from it.... :)

I got mine and it just works... I am going to recommend others spend $250 on a ricer cooker? I think if you eat it often and used one before, it's an easy investment.. but if you haven't, it's tough...kinda like buying $100+ airpot for tea. I got once 10+ years ago and it works great...
 
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Yes I do turn the rice when finished. Soon as pop the lid. Eat it warm. Leftover with lid left open cools during meal stored in sealed container in frig. That's just two of us so leftover rice sprinkle of water & microwave one minute. When entertain or have family over all rice gets eaten.
 

sansho

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i abuse the crap out of my rice cooker keep warm function. i let it ride until the rice doesn't smell good. it doesn't spoil (like bacterial growth or something). it eventually oxidizes and turns kinda rancid if you let it go too long. usually, i enjoy eating it for at least a few days. hot rice on demand is great.
 
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That's the problem with warm cycles rice can get overcooked with lid down I hate mushy rice.

For us eating rice once a day doesn't work believe me next day rice is left on warm cycle not only uses electricity but not like eating fresh
warm rice. Just two of us lid up to cool while eating than to glass container in refrig. In a bowl just enough for two, 1 minute in microwave. Rice is not overcooked. Up to three days because it works don't want to use electricity to cook rice every day much less having to clean rice cooker. It's different with big families.
 

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Hawaii family here too. Rice is just part of life here. With just 2 of us, depending on the day, we will just cook 1-2 go at a time for dinner, then keep the rice warm until morning for breakfast. I make 2 go if i know I am going to make fried rice with leftovers.
 

sansho

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it doesn't spoil (like bacterial growth or something).

i forgot to mention that i measured the temp of my keep warm mode with a thermapen. it keeps the rice at ~160°F. that's why i feel comfortable abusing this feature.
 
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Hawaii family here too. Rice is just part of life here. With just 2 of us, depending on the day, we will just cook 1-2 go at a time for dinner, then keep the rice warm until morning for breakfast. I make 2 go if i know I am going to make fried rice with leftovers.

Used to eat rice at least twice a day. Now dinner only. Two big scoops, one is enough these days. This rice cooker takes over an hour to cook three cups of brown rice. It's perfect cooked though. Yeh like to make fried rice with leftovers.
 

ptolemy

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That's the problem with warm cycles rice can get overcooked with lid down I hate mushy rice.

For us eating rice once a day doesn't work believe me next day rice is left on warm cycle not only uses electricity but not like eating fresh
warm rice. Just two of us lid up to cool while eating than to glass container in refrig. In a bowl just enough for two, 1 minute in microwave. Rice is not overcooked. Up to three days because it works don't want to use electricity to cook rice every day much less having to clean rice cooker. It's different with big families.

I had many different types of rice in the ricer cooker for yup to a week and it's always same texture... But, I do have a nice cuckoo rice cooker with induction...
 

Michi

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I had many different types of rice in the ricer cooker for yup to a week and it's always same texture... But, I do have a nice cuckoo rice cooker with induction...
A whole week kept at 140 ºF or so? I would expect the rice to be completely awful after that time. Either dried out, or maybe falling apart into mush. But then, I've never actually tried this…

For me, left-over rice goes in the fridge and can hang out there for a few days until I get around to eating it.
 

M1k3

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A whole week kept at 140 ºF or so? I would expect the rice to be completely awful after that time. Either dried out, or maybe falling apart into mush. But then, I've never actually tried this…

For me, left-over rice goes in the fridge and can hang out there for a few days until I get around to eating it.
You get the dreaded dry top, meh middle and soggy bottom 🤷‍♂️
 

daveb

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I've friends from China and Korea that leave their rice makers on all day, maybe a couple days, and simply reload it when empty. Works for them. Rice tastes fine to me.
 
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We don't have dishwasher or drier. I get scolding if leave one light on coming out of room. Even a low amp led bulb. We compost all our vegetable & fruit scraps chop up with Suji 3040 cleaver mix grass, steer manure to cook it. Two side 45 gallon spin composter get black gold in no time compared to layer compost. As one gets ready. Add kitchen scraps to other side. When dump ready side out switch again.

We have blue green & grey bin. I fill the green & blue recycle bin. Every other week . The grey bin every week. We have least amount in grey bin many neighbors have overflowing grey bins every week. I throw junk mail bagged in grey bin because it gets burned in H power plant 20% of Oahu energy. Ash in taken to landfill. Thinking of getting solar panels because since no more net metering now must have storage batteries.
Heard that govt. trying to get more people to put on panels giving 5,000 credit toward battery
system. I do all the cooking she washes dishes because says I use too much water. I know she wants to get electric car too. She is nature & animal lover. Won't let me take plastic bags for produce. Some you have to. We use reusable grocery bags. She has trained me to be less wasteful. But agree with her that we humans waste so much. I'm sure many of the rich folks who are concerned about global warming have much higher carbon footprint then us.🤪
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I use my Zojirushi to make fluffy medium or short grained rice (the 'keep warm' feature is phenomenal). But when I want a good bottom crust I use my Persian rice cooker.

My Pars rice cooker from Iran reliably creates a luscious crusty tahdig, so delicious, so crunchy. It brings rice to another level by evenly caramelizing the bottom surface and the sides. I use a good aromatic basmati, rinsed, add water, salt, olive oil, and a pinch of saffron, crank the timer to 50 minutes, and voila! perfect tahdig every time. The Pars come in various sizes and does have a nonstick pan. One can also make tahdig in a pot on the stove, but with Pars it is easy and consistent and cleans up in seconds.

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ptolemy

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A whole week kept at 140 ºF or so? I would expect the rice to be completely awful after that time. Either dried out, or maybe falling apart into mush. But then, I've never actually tried this…

For me, left-over rice goes in the fridge and can hang out there for a few days until I get around to eating it.

I dont know if it's 140f. If I had to guess, it's close enough

I had basmatti rice there for a week, I had Lundberg wild rice blend, brown rice... Ya, a week sometimes and it's just same as it was cooked. Now, I am not an expert, but I had same experience with zojirushi micom (non induction) and cuckoo now...

Now, I will admit, I am not a rice connoisseur and i never eat it plain, so perhaps you have a point and it's soggy, but I can tell you that I never experienced that.

there are also many cuckoo and zojirushi owners here, who I am sure can comment....
 

Michi

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Now, I will admit, I am not a rice connoisseur and i never eat it plain, so perhaps you have a point and it's soggy, but I can tell you that I never experienced that.
I'm intrigued now. I might try that just to see what happens. If it moves after a week, I won't eat it ;)
 

ptolemy

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I'm intrigued now. I might try that just to see what happens. If it moves after a week, I won't eat it ;)

haha!

I think the right cooker has 2 warm settings (mine) long term and short term...No idea what's the difference, but for me, it just stays same consistency
 

sansho

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I think the right cooker has 2 warm settings (mine) long term and short term...No idea what's the difference, but for me, it just stays same consistency

i've seen that on zojirushis. iirc...
the short term is a cooler temp. they feel the cooler temp gives better flavor/texture results but isn't suitable for longer term storage maybe because less food safe. maybe the cooler keep warm is in the growth danger zone or something.
 

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I’ve bought a Yum Asia two months ago and it’s a great buy so far.

 
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If I get another rice cooker will pay extra for induction. That may be a while five years Zojirushi fuzzy logic still perfect rice from brown to white Saffron rice. Have settings & water levels for diff. rice.

My old 50.00 dollar glass top cookers would start burning bottom after couple years. So the Zojirushi has been a good investment.
 

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40 years +, still going strong. But I don’t think they make them anymore. :(

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