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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
#1 On My "Essential Kitchen Tools List"
on November 17, 2010
For as long as I can remember, we've used the one-button type rice cookers and it always did the job. So after moving out and getting sick and tired of cooking rice (and it took me a couple of wasted burnt, soggy, undercooked batches and not to mention some phonecalls home to get the rice right!), I did some research and found Zojirushi. I never imagined paying so much for a rice cooker, but even at 2 and a half years of use, boy am I ever so glad I did! Plain, white rice is absolutely delicious! Whether it be jasmin, basmati, short-grained.... It's always tender and never over or undercooked. The bottom of my rice is not scorched. (*) And since the pot is non-stick, I never have rice stuck in the bottom of the pot.
Because this rice cooker has so many settings, I discovered many different ways to enjoy rice, the main staple of my culture. Never before have I bothered to eat healthy brown rice, because it was complicated to cook (my excuse... it's really not complicated to let the rice soak for 30 minutes before cooking it....) and it since it's "healthy", must taste healthy. But with the brown rice setting, it's fluffy, tender and has a warm, almost nutty flavour. I made my very first sushi rice with the sushi setting. It also has a porridge setting. My mom used to make me congee (Chinese rice porridge) when I was sick, so now I can just easily make it myself and for my family (**).
If you like your rice softer, you can choose the "Softer" setting. Conversely, there's a setting for harder rice. There's even a setting for sweet rice.(***)
My favourite feature has to be the timer. Silly to say but, I Love coming home to the smell of freshly-cooked rice. With this it's possible. I just prep the machine and rice in the morning (takes me all but 2 minutes) and push the cook button... And Bam! It times it to make sure it finishes cooking by the time I get home.
With the porridge setting, you can also make oatmeal and steal-cut oats. Thanks to the timer, I awaken to the pleasant smell of a perfectly hot breakfast waiting to be savoured.
There are cons to this cooker. First, it takes much longer to make rice. On the stove top, it took me about 10-15 minutes to make rice. On the usual switch-on rice cooker, it takes about 15-20 minutes. But even on the Quick cook setting on the Zojurushi, it takes about 35 minutes. But hey, good things come to those who wait, I guess.
It's a big appliance. It's really huge. I'm not quite used to the size of it and it was hard to find a place to put it in my little kitchen.
The rice pot is easy to clean, but I find a bit fragile. I always use the laddle it comes with or one made of bamboo. I once washed it with a sponge on the scrubby side by accident (It was an ordinary/innocent little Scotch sponge, I didn't think it'd do much damage!), and I noticed fine marks in my pot.
All-in-all, it's an excellent rice cooker, especially for those who Love rice it all its forms.
My cooker came with the
- detachable aluminum (I think) inner lid
- plastic "bumpy" laddle
- laddle clip for resting laddle on unit.
- 2 mesuring cups (because 1 cup uncooked rice is not 1 standard cup.)
- Instruction manual
Also, when I purchased my cooker, I had heard that the one "Made is Japan" is of higher quality than the one "Made in China". I am unsure of the veracity of this source.
(*) However, I have noticed sometimes when I leave it alone too long after it's done, that there is a taaad but of browning at the bottom.
(**) However, the rice mesures and porridge settings are set for Japanese rice porridge, which is thicker than the Chinese one, so to get the exact consistency, I just add hot water/broth after the cooking cycles ends. It doesn't quite work by adding more water at the beginning of the cooking process; I suspect it has something to do with the cookers computing system.
(***) The timer does not work with the sweet rice setting.