For a long time, I didn't see a need for a rice cooker. What's the big deal, I thought, of cooking rice on the stove? However, as my life got busier and busier, I began to want one. For one, I cook rice at least twice a week, often more. Second, I thought it would be convenient to start up a rice cooker and then not worry about the rice until I was ready to put dinner on the table. This Zojirushi model is perfect for this. After the rice is cooked, it automatically switches to a "Keep Warm" setting.
A few tips about cooking rice in this model:
1. Follow the water/rice ratio directions on the rice box, NOT in the manual.
2. Fluff the rice when the cooking is complete and then let it steam longer on the "Keep Warm" setting. If you don't fluff, sometimes the rice browns a little on the bottom.
3. Use high-quality rice.
Although I rarely use converted rice (Uncle Ben's Original), I decided to give it a shot in this cooker. The results were barely satisfactory, since the rice browned on the bottom. I don't have this problem with jasmine and other premium rices. I suppose unplugging the appliance immediately after the cooking is done (and letting it steam without the warmer on) might help. My own solution is to stick with the better rices.
Other reviewers have noted a spitting through the steam hole during cooking. This is less of a problem with small quantities than large. The starchy steam doesn't bother me since the same thing happens to the side of a saucepan when I cook a lot of rice on the stove. The cooker is SO easy to clean that I can't imagine complaining about a wipe down of the counter. (Hey, I have to do that anyway!)
You'll be surprised by how simple this appliance is - and how well it works. Recommended for people who cook small to medium amounts of rice at least two times a week.