on August 13, 2005
I purchased my Zojirushi Magnetic Induction Rice Cooker because I wanted a first rate cooker. I knew that I would be getting a high-quality product simply because it is 100% engineered and manufactured in Japan. I was also curious how the "Magnetic Induction" worked and what benefits it provided over traditional heating coil-based cookers.
As it turns out, the magnetic induction thing is very, very nice. There is no heating coil at the bottom of this cooker. Instead, magnets are cycled on and off around the pan causing it to heat up perfectly evenly. The thing that amazed me about this cooker is that the traditional "skin" of browned, crusty rice always found at the bottom of other cookers is totally absent. Every single grain of rice you put in is wonderfully cooked coming out.
While this cooker has a large capacity, it handles small quantities wonderfully. As a single bachelor/student, I can't say enough how nice it is to be able to cook only a single cup of rice when I need it. In traditional coil-based cookers, if you want a single cup of rice, you have to cook one and a half or two, because quite a bit becomes crusty/burned at the bottom of the pan. Not with this cooker!
I also have yet to come across a variety of rice that this cooker could not handle. I've used it to cook aromatic Indian basimati rice, wild rice, rice for sushi, Asian white rice, and wild rice medleys. Every single one has come out perfect.
Clean-up is a breeze. The pan simply lifts up and out with two nice plastic handles; they're cool to the touch... no oven mitts required! The non-stick is the highest quality I've ever encountered. It feels as though the inner pot is armor plated. One swipe, a rinse, and it's ready to go again.
To be sure, this cooker is at the high end of the price scale. Having said that, in light of the build quality, cooking excellence, and ease of cleaning... it was worth every penny!
on July 17, 2005
I have been an avid white rice eater since my birth. Over the years scientific evidence has slowly accumulated that white rice is probably not as healthy as once thought.
I remember coming to the US in 1980 as a graduate student from India and then being diagnosed with essential hypertension. My first blood pressure measuring device had a manual that claimed that exclusively eating rice and fruit juice would mitigate (and even cure!) hypertension. Today neither fruit juice nor rice (at least the white polished variety) are considered all that healthy. The former because of the sugars contained and the latter because the body converts the starches to glucose.
I have attempted unsuccessfully to wean myself of white rice and switch to Indian wheat tortillas (chappatis) over the years. I have also tried switching over to eating brown rice. Unfortunately, my eighties era rice cooker (also a Zojirushii that still runs after 17 years of daily use) was never able to make the brown rice without it becoming hard and almost inedible.
Finally, I decided to look into acquiring a new rice cooker that could handle brown rice. After much research on the web, I came across the new Zojirushii induction heating based cooker. This model (NH-VBC18) has the latest induction heating technology and the earlier fuzzy logic technology.
I obtained this cooker over the web from Comfort House (note other reviewers have claimed that they could not get one from Amazon) in California for $225. The unit arrived promptly in 3 days after I paid for it with my credit card. The same day that the cooker arrived, I went over to my local Indian grocer in Sugar land and bought brown Basmati rice. A 4 pound bag of brown basmati (brand name Kohinoor) costs $5.99 - approximately 50% more than equivalent quality white basmati. For those who have not heard of basmati, it is the fragrant long-grained rice from the foothills of the Punjab in India and Pakistan.
The adventure began that evening when I made my first batch of the brown basmati. I used the brown setting on the cooker and carefully measured the prescribed amount of water. The rice came out 90 minutes later well cooked but a bit dry. The next day, I tried the semi-brown setting and the results (60 minutes later) were perfect! I am delighted with the exquisite brown basmati produced by this machine - I do not miss my white basmati anymore and have convinced my wife (she was skeptical of my new toy) to switch over to eating brown rice also.
The unit is beautiful to behold and is very functional too. It plays a musical chime when it is programmed and also when it starts the cook cycle and when it ends the cycle and switches over to the keep warm cycle. If you do not like the musical chime, you can reprogram the unit to beep. The unit also has a GABBA brown cycle that takes 3 hours to cook brown rice and supposedly increases the GABBA (nutrient) level in the rice - I have yet to try this option. The manual can be a bit confusing as it has been translated from Japanese but it is eminently readable. Oh, by the way, this cooker is made in Japan.
The machine is very easy to clean. The inner pot lifts easily, has built-in lifting lugs and a non-stick interior. The plastic steam vent case comes off easily and needs only to be rinsed and re-inserted. I have never had any overflow of water or steam from the unit.
I fill the inner container with brown basmati and water in the morning before I leave for work and program it to be ready in the evening. Note that it is very important that the correct amount of water be added and that the rice be measured with the cup that comes with the unit. I have had the warm cycle run for 4 hours after cooking without any noticeable hardening of the rice. I have not tried out any fancy recipes and am not likely too. Mostly, Indians like to cook plain rice and add curries and other condiments later on while eating. Furthermore, I have read elsewhere that adding meat, vegetables and spices directly in the cooker may leave odors that may persist for a while.
I have been delighted with this machine - it is worth every cent. I feel fuller after eating brown rice and the added fiber content is helpful the next morning too !
Highly recommended to all those wanting to switch to brown rice.
on May 11, 2006
I am now a believer. I thought this was a pricey item, but so many reviews averaging five stars was compelling and I ordered the cooker. Maybe this is a reiteration of what others have already said - but here's a comparison with my old $20-$30 rice cooker:
- ONE cup of rice can be cooked here if you need it. I bought some expensive wild rice and I didn't want to make it in bulk, just enough to savor. There is no burned, gelated bottom layer, even with one cup. The cheapo cooker would have had a burned layer and much soaking and washing afterwards. The absence of a localized heat point makes it possible to cook one to ten cups perfectly.
- No false readings. The cheap cooker would switch from cook to warm if: 1) It was tapped accidentally, 2) If rice happened to cook faster near the center and bottom, 3) if a bird chirped. If tripped too early, the rice would never cook well again and often had to be thrown out because of a hard center.
- Excellent warming function: Cheap cooker, eventually causes a sticky layer at the bottom. This one, even if you turned off the cooker, will reheat the rice the next day and completely "refresh" it - you can't tell it wasn't cooked the same day. No spoilage either. I was skeptical when one review said the rice could hold for days. But now I believe it can.
- Only the bowl needs to be cleaned. Cheap cooker required a washing of the lid as well, sometimes the area around it. The heavy nonstick bowl in the Zoji is a pleasure to clean. No brush required. Water, soap, wipe, dry.
- The time remaining function is very useful, even if it only comes on during the last ten minutes or so. I can pace my cooking to be done so that the rice is ready at the same time. Cheap cooker, just keep guessing. When the cheap cooker rice looks cooked it's actually steaming to get the center hardness out.
- All kinds of rice cooks well. The bowl has markings for all kinds of rice so you never have to guess on the measures. Sushi rice cooked perfectly, short grain, long grain and basmati rice came out picture perfect. Cheap cooker, you get it right once but often get it wrong when the rice changes.
- Cool-touch handles on the bowl are nice, no mitts or towels needed to serve. And the rice empties easily. Unlike the cheap cooker, which needed mitts and lots of effort. Trust me, with guests coming over, this wasn't pleasant to see.
- I read about the bulkiness of the whole cooker. It is bigger than my cheap cooker, but because I don't have to accommodate spill space around it, or keep heat-sensitive items at a distance from the sides, the overall footprint is about the same.
- I can't comment on the longevity, but the construction and design seems very well thought out to me. I've been through three cheap cookers (Maybe about $70-80 worth) and this might be a long-term keeper.
- Every time a cheap cooker failed or burned out, I'd keep the aluminum bowl inserts to use alternatingly when the other was in the wash. With this cooker, I felt a bit insecure having one bowl, but since it's so easy to clean and put back in, I don't need to leave one bowl soaking in the sink or going through the tough-scrub dishwasher cycle. You'll be done washing this one with less effort than it takes to load it into a dishwasher.
- Are there any cons whatsoever? Maybe. Not enough to cost any stars, but here: A cuisinart-styled finish would be nice. A shape better than this large tooth-like shape would also be nice. My kitchen doesn't normally do white plastic, so a choice of finish would be welcome. The buttons and text are big, and there's a bit of Japanese tech culture built in, with the melody, lots of controls, and stuff. Fortunately they are easy to use. A menu button where you pick the kind of rice, a warm button, an oddly named "Reset" button, and some controls to set the clock and delay etc. The manual is also reminiscent of the old Panasonic VCR's but once you glean the basics from it, you can put it away.
Once you start using it, these cons fade into the background just because it's SO out of your way at all times. Go ahead, make rice for two meals. Or four.
Update: I had to see how rice would hold up for a few days. I had one batch going four days, and left the cooker on Warm. I'm guessing the cooker retains the rice at a temperature too high for the bacteria/fungii that cause spoilage, because the rice was indistinguishable from a fresh batch even FOUR days later. Why no fifth day? Because we finished it all. Wow.
on March 1, 2006
I am an American who was raised in Bangkok Thailand from age 4 to age 11. So during those years, my otherwise western palette became accustomed to Asian cuisine, specifically hot Thai food. And the rice had to be cooked Asian style - not Western. When we moved back to the US in 1973, there were no Thai restaurants, no Thai condiments in grocery stores and I was sorely disappointed for many years. And no rice I tasted for those next few years was anything like my beloved Thai cooked rice.
It was not until the late 80's and 90's that I started seeing things like fish sauce in specialty stores and Thai restaurants starting to open up. And of course, their rice rocked.
I have always cooked rice in pans following the instructions on the package to produce a tolerable food compared to what I'd eaten in beautiful Thailand so many years ago. When Thai curries and recipes became readily available in the late 90's I bought a rival steamer that did a passable job cooking rice. It certainly tasted better than it did from a pan, so I cooked my rice and my Thai food happily. I've always preferred the food of my childhood to the chagrin of my wife because she prefers typical western fare (meat, potatoes and bread). And I'd cook the rice either in chicken stock, or I'd make stock with one of those bullion cubes with some water. But the steamer lacked something and over the years, I could not help but wonder if all those rice cookers I saw in Asian specialty markets for $80+ each had something special going for them. But most of the people running those places had problems speaking English well, even though they really went out of their way to help you. I knew I wasn't going to get a good explanation on what features they had.
Now we have 3 children, ages 18 months, 7, and 10 years. And because of me, they all have an Asian preference in food. The two older kids love Chinese and Japanese foods and get excited when we order out for those. My oldest son likes to eat the steamed rice from Chinese and Japanese restaurants, but finds the rice that comes from my Rival steamer to be substandard (as do I). He's always complained about what my Rival makes, but he devours his restaurant rice greedily.
It was time to do some research.
So I started looking at rice cookers since I like eating rice with almost every meal anyway (despite the complaints of my wife). I looked at all the models I could find and kept leaning more and more towards the Zojirushi Induction Heating system cooker. Number one because it's the very top of the line and two because of the other reviews I read here. I did research for 3 months, reading up on all of them. Now the Zojirushi NH-VBC18 runs $230. That is high. But I'd already made up my mind that I was going to get a fuzzy logic cooker because I already have a steamer that I can steam other foods in, so I didn't need a cooker that could steam other foods besides rice.
So I took the plunge and bough this thing from Amazon. I was blown away at how simple it was. Just a heavy metal bowl that fits in a cistern like depression. The cooker itself is beautiful, its curves reminded me of the body design of a Porsche 928 S. It has a shiny white surface and an array of buttons that once you get familiar with it, aren't too intimidating.
My family knew the cooker had arrived, even though they weren't home yet because I'd told my wife. My son wanted to try the Forbidden rice badly. I didn't want him to be put off by a bad initial experience, and none of us had tasted that rice before. So I told him he'd be able to have a little bit, but took advice from another owner who posted a review and mixed it with some white rice.
My wife asked me to cook some rice while she did some shopping with the kids, so I mixed about 20% Lotus Foods Forbidden rice with 80% Nishiki Japanese short grain. I made 2 cups and washed the rice thoroughly. Now I said I normally add stock, but this time I went light on it, wanting to try the natural flavor of the rice from this thing. I needed 2 cups of water, so I added 1 cup of Swanson chicken stock and 1 cup of water purifier filtered water and kicked this baby off on regular. I already knew what to expect (the white rice turns purple when you mix it with Forbidden) so there weren't going to be any surprises.
The kids got home and couldn't wait to try the rice. For a long while I couldn't tell them how soon it would be done. It must have cooked for about 25 minutes before it finally said it had about 13 minutes left to go.
When the rice was finally done, I served it (they loved the purple color) and man, they REALLY tore into it. I barely got a bowl of it myself and after 3 big helpings each, the rice was gone. The taste was unbelievable. I was absolutely stunned!! And I'd cut way back on the stock too. I'd never tasted rice so good.
Clean up was a breeze with the no stick inner pan. After getting all the rice out to store (no way was I wasting a single grain), I placed it in the sink and let it soak with some warm soapy water for about 20 minutes. It cleaned up in a flash. After that, all you do is remove the inner cover and clean that with a dry cloth and the rinse out the steam vent. It took maybe 2 minutes to clean it unless you count the soaking time, which I found out later wasn't even necessary.
And using it is dead simple. After washing the rice, put in liquid up to the mark equivalent to the number of cups of rice you put in, and close the lid. Then push the menu button until the style of rice you are cooking comes up and hit the "cooking/reheat" button. The cooker will play the melody from "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (or ABC/ Baa Baa Black sheep, whatever you want to call it - same tune) and start cooking. For a while, it won't give you any clue as to how soon it will be done. Then all of a sudden, it starts a countdown timer showing how many minutes are left. I've yet to figure out what the complete tune is, but it is different from the start tune.
This cooker is rather large - it cooks 10 Japanese cups of rice (about 7.5 American cups) which will feed a family plus lots of guests. So it has a large footprint on the counter. It's about 15" x 11" which might not seem like much, but as any cook knows - on a kitchen counter that is a LOT of real estate. I wanted to keep this thing on the counter since it has a clock on it and it's designed by the japanese with much the same intent as a coffee machine in the western world. That it is supposed to get used so often that it never gets put away. My wife would not hear of me taking up that counter space (she and I share cooking responsibilities and take turns preparing the family meals, but she considers the kitchen "her" space, so I keep this thing on top of the refrigerator when not in use.
A note regarding using stock. Many chinese restaurants add chicken stock to their steamed rice which is why many vegan vegetarian friends of mine don't eat it. I have always added stock to rice when I cook it myself, but this steamer cooks up a VERY flavorful batch of rice every time you use it. My personal recommendation is that you use only a little stock because you do not want to overpower the flavor of the rice that this machine makes. Also, if you are a vegan, I highly recommend Swanson's vegetarian vegetable stock. It is delicious and like the chicken stock, a little bit goes a long way with this cooker.
I may try 25% stock to 75% water next time (anyone have any ideas on proportions for using stock?) All these years pining for authentic Asian prepared rice and the secret was the dang cooker all the time. I can laugh about it now.
I am now cooking the comfort foods from my very happy childhood. Just tasting Thai meals I cook now gives me flashbacks from the warmest memories I have growing up overseas. I can't wait to make fried rice with cold, leftover rice from this thing. I've made good fried rice before, but never starting with rice this perfectly cooked. It's all about quality, baby!!
Last night, my wife picked up some Chinese food from a local carry out place we've come to like and my son made her call me and have me steam some rice. I asked him why he wanted my rice and not the restaurant rice and he screamed over the phone "Because your rice is better, Dad. Steam some rice for us to have with this Chinese food!!!"
You bet I was beaming with pride. I got it right this time. I HIGHLY recommend this cooker. It is expensive, but if you can save up to pay the difference, I promise you, it will be the last rice cooker you ever buy. I have about 12 different rices stocked up at home now to be able to cook an accompaniment to any main dish. As I am a westerner by birth, and an Asian by culture cuisine, I truly feel like I have finally come home to the food of my culinary origin. My children are going to be very similar too.
One last item - if you buy this cooker, I also recommend getting "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. It gives you a thousand other ways to use your cooker to create nutritious meals for your family and th
I have a 3 cup micom rice cooker that I really like, but have been wanting a bigger one since I do a lot of potlucks and cooking for my church. I almost bought a 5 cup similar to the 3 cup I already have, but I kept looking at this big boy and wondering if I should take the $$ plunge. It it is the top-of-the-line for Zojirushi and features induction heating and brown rice activation, which appealed to me. Amazon had a sale, with an additional $25 off, and free shipping, so I forked out the big bucks and don't regret it.
My first impression out of the box was that this was a really big guy! I've not had a 10 cup before and was surprised at the size. This cooker will take up some counter space. My next impression was the quality of the cooker--all the parts are sturdy and well-made. The inner lid is made of stainless and is easily removable. The cord does not retract on this model, but that is not a problem per se. It has a carrying handle, great for toting to potlucks. The control panel is huge and very attractive and functional. The buttons are easy to push and read and are very colorful. The pan is a very nice nonstick and is thick, with markings for white/mixed rice and porridge. There is a cooking well around the perimeter of the bowl that catches dripping and condensation. Underneath the inner lid is a condensation plug that can be removed. It plays a cute little melody at the beginning and end of the cooking cycle; you can program it to beep instead if desired. The instruction book is OK, with some nice recipes. It is written in several languages that are grouped separately; i.e., the English instructions are all in one section together, then the Chinese, Japanese etc., not all intermixed in together.
When I first plugged the VBC in and started cooking, I was startled to hear a fan or motor-like noise. That is the induction heating system that is the hallmark of this cooker. The VBC does not have the traditional coil at the bottom of the inner pot, but instead has little magnets on the sides that heat the bowl. You can hear the heat cycling on and off; dont worry, there is nothing wrong with the rice cooker!! This seems to give very even heating to the rice without burning, even when cooking 1 cup. So far, I do believe that this is a better method of heating than the coil, and I wonder how it will hold up mechanically as time goes by. The VBC also has a keep warm function and an extended keep warm function. I have used the basic warming function but not the extended. The basic does a fine job for shorter times without burning the rice. I usually have no need for the extended keep warm; I don't like the idea of keeping rice warm for days, I would rather refrigerate and reheat it, which this unit will also do.
I have cooked mainly brown rice in this. It has a function that increases the nutritional value of brown rice. This takes nearly 4 hours to do as the rice must stay at 104 degrees for a long time to activate the nutrients. I cannot tell any difference as far as taste and trust that this is better for me nutritionally. Use one of the two timers for this function and have it ready when you come home from work!! I dont know how I lived without a timer before!!
Other types of rice have turned out well for me also. I just went to my first potluck with some Nishiki white rice in the cooker and was the hit of the party. Now everybody wants to come to my house for rice!! As far as white rice goes, the cooker has a setting to make the rice harder or softer, which I appreciate as I like slightly harder rice. In the past, I had to tinker with the water level in order to achieve this, sometimes with bad results. Not in this guy---so far it has been right on. There is also a setting for porridge, which I have not used, and one for rinse-free rice using the included additional green cup as opposed to the clear cup that is included. As in most Japanese made cookers, the cups are calibrated for Japanese rice and hence are smaller than the traditional American cup, so be sure to use the cups that come with the cooker. The rinse free cup is even smaller in capacity than the standard cup because of the milling process that the rinse-free goes through.
The only gripe I have about the cooker is that it is a little more difficult to clean than my 3 cup. The condensation plug has a ball inside it, so I always make sure to give this a good rinsing in hot water so that crud does not build up inside the chamber that houses the ball. Also, be sure to clean each time you use the cooker as about 1/2 teaspoon of water collects in the hole where the plug goes and settles in the bottom. There are also some nooks and crannies in this hole that need swiping. I leave the lid up overnight even after cleaning to let it air out. This is a little more work, but for great results, it is worth it.
All in all, I am very pleased with this cooker and believe the induction heating, brown rice activation, and overall construction quality of the cooker make it worth what I spent. As for longevity, only time will tell, but I am confident in the quality of this cooker. It does have a one year warranty and is made in Japan.
on June 4, 2006
I have never written a review on anything before, but I am so impressed with this rice cooker that I just have to do it. This thing has changed my life!!! Seriously!!!
I love to cook and I love to eat. I have always loved rice, but when making it at home it just never turned out quite as good as in the ethnic (chinese, japanese, korean, inidan, spanish, etc) restaurants I frequent. I would make jasmine, basmati, etc in a pot. This would come out, what I thought at the time, to be decent rice.
I decided it was time to consider a rice cooker.. When I initially set out on this endeavor I had no idea that there were such sophisticated rice cookers available. "Fuzzy Logic" WTF??? OK......
I read so many rave reviews on Zojirushi rice cookers that I just had to try one for myself and see if this thing was all that.... I decided on this induction cooker. Yes it is more expensive, but I liked the idea of the machine not having heating elements. Using magnetic induction, the bowl itself becomes the heat source.. Very cool!!!!!
Well I'm here to tell you, this cooker makes the best rice I have ever tasted period!!! Far superior to any rice I have ever had!!! Honestly, I cannot emphasize this enough.. The cooker makes perfect every time without fail!!!!!!! The rice is so mush tastier than I even realized rice had the potential to be...
I always wanted to eat brown rice for the nutritional benefits, but I could never get it so that it wasnt slightly undercooked, starchy, mush.
The brown rice that comes out of this cooker is out of this world!!!! Tastier than any rice (white, brown, or other) that I have ever had. And it's brown rice to boot!!! I will never cook white rice again... Brown rice is so much healthier, and now I'm realizing, delicious too!!!
I followed another reviewers advice and bought Kohinoor Brown Basmati rice from and Indian grocery store and cooked it using the semi-brown technique. It is so so delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!! The rice stays in the cooker on extended warm cycle and tastes as good the next day. I have not tried as other reviewers have done and gone several days, but based on my experience, I can believe that it would be as good in several days. Rice stays perfect in testure and maintains it's moisture.. Perfection......
Now that I have this cooker I cannot imagine life without one. Before my purchase I figured I would store it in a cabinet and use it once a week or so. I was so wrong. This thing has a permanent spot on my kitchen counter and will be used just about every single day.
If you are considering this cooker, buy it. It is worth every penny.....
on December 30, 2005
If your into eating Rice daily., like we do.. we're Asians and Rice is involved in our foods everyday. We had a 15 yr. old Zojirushi Rice cooker (and its still cooking great, but the bottom of the Rice would get burn/yellow due to sitting for a few hours).
Well one day i was searching around for stuff and came across this "Zojirushi NH-VBC18 10-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System".. at first.. the price was way out of my range.. but after a few weeks of researching and reading and seeing the item at a local retail store., we decided to buy one.
I found one on eBay for $192.00 + $19.95 SH = $211.95 + $1.45 Insurance (optional but paying this much, i needed insurance) - 10% off (PayPal Coupon for the Holidays) = $194.20 (the seller is tri228). At my local retail store its $190.99 + 8.25% Tax = $208.41 so i save a few buck here and there. The seller still sells this unit with cheaper shipping.
The TRUE TEST., you HAVE to READ the manual for the cooking settings and you HAVE to MEASURE it right. We used Jasmine Buddha Rice., and the RICE turns out PERFECT! nice and Fluffy (using the REGULAR setting, if you want it to be a little softer but still fluffy, just used the SOFT setting).
We had guests and friends over for dinner like we always do from time to time, and they asked us.. WOW your RICE is GREAT, what brand of rice did you used? well we also tested with different White Rice and found the same results.. GREAT PERFECT FLUFFY Rice.
We also test the WARMER, to see if the rice would get burn on the bottom and to see if the rice will stay fresh for days.. well it did.. We had the WARMER for 115 hours (almost 5 days) and it taste, looks, smells just like the first time we made it.
So far so good, we had this unit for about 3 months and still cooks GREAT! we haven't tried Brown Rice yet.. but like from other reviews its will do the job just perfect.
Just remember this.. Zojirushi is known for their Rice Cookers & Electric Dispensing Water Pot in Asia and in the Asian Community in the U.S. Don't buy anything else they make (other products they make don't have good reviews and won't last)
This is WORTH EVERY PEENY! Fast to cook, taste great, rice turns out perfect, easy to clean, looks beautiful in the kitchen, and your friends will see, smell, taste and notice the difference in the Rice when you serve to them for lunch or dinner (well for us, it breakfast, lunch & dinner)
Hope this Info. helps.. :)
on July 23, 2006
If you eat rice everyday get this rice cooker! It will save you money, your health over the long haul. It does it all: white rice, brown rice, mixed rice(rice with veggies). The rice comes out perfect in texture, stays hot for hours(we've tried up to 21 hours) with no sticking to the pan. The timer is also handy, in case you need to pre-soak the rice and get home to a freshly cooked bowl. Since nothing sticks and the inner lid and pan come out, cleaning is simple.
We're vegetarian(Indian) and rice is the staple. For us, if you screw up the rice, you screw up the meal. This cooker will not let you screw up your rice. You may have to adjust the amount of water added based on tastes/cuisine/type of rice, but for someone who's a daily rice eater, this should be simple. It makes brown rice a pleasure to eat, something I never thought possible.
The brown rice cooking times are loong! 1 hour 20 minutes for regular brown rice and 3 hours plus for the GABA setting.
The battery(for the clock) can only be replaced by Zojirushi.
on November 21, 2005
First let me say that I concur with all the positive comments below about this rice cooker. I really have nothing unique or insightful to add that isn't already mentioned but, I can confirm that my expectations were met based on those reviews.
Clean up is a breeze. Everything should be this easy to clean.
Small amounts of rice (two cups) come out perfect in this rice cooker. Even if you are a bachelor with no cooking skills, you can make wonderful rice in this thing. Get "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger, Julie Kaufmann and you will impress dates, friends, parents ... everyone!
The timer function is so much more useful then I imagined originally. I can load it up at night and wake up to perfect rice for breakfast and a healthy brown bag lunch option. I can come home to perfect rice. This beats microwave meals, fast food, and canned options in every way.
Cost - Is it really that expensive? How many lunches at work are replaced by "brown bagging it" with rice from this cooker? Canned soup runs $1 a can on sale while a 5lb bag of GOOD rice runs ~$3-5 for those tasty exotics and premium California rices.
Say good bye to that ~$30 rice cooker from Wal-mart which over cooks and under cooks your rice at the same time. Say good bye to the burned rice on the bottom and dry rice on the top with that cheap rice cooker.
And, yes the keep warm function really works. While I would not recommend keeping cooked rice in this thing for days as mentioned below by another poster, it works extremely well for shorter periods of time like between lunch and dinner (load it up once for both meals if you are single like me).
on April 26, 2006
All the rave reviews are correct. My previous rice cooker was a National (Panasonic) Fuzzy-Logic unit that produced very good results, but this one is superior across-the-board. (I only wish it had a "Steam" function like that one.) Every kind of rice I've cooked in this machine (white, brown, basmati, etc.) has emerged as the best I've ever made in both texture and taste. (However the "GABA-Brown" setting, while it may be extra-healthy, produces rice that is a bit too soft for my taste.) And this cooker has produced the best oatmeal I have ever made. My National couldn't come close, and also bubbled up and made the lid messy when cooking oatmeal. This one doesn't. (Use the "Porridge" setting.) Because it uses a strong magnetic field to create its heat, keep vulnerable items away. (Magnetic tapes, computer disks, TVs & other electronics, etc.) AVOID IF YOU HAVE A PACEMAKER OR OTHER MEDICAL ELECTRONICS! And if you are concerned about the health effects of ELF & EMF (as I am), just don't stay closer than 2 feet for an extended period of time - the magnetic field diminishes very quickly with distance.