Top positive review
53 of 53 people found this helpful
on March 10, 2011
I have tried many different rice cookers purchased from a variety of local stores and was never able to find one that I liked. I finally decided to break down and buy a good one, previously I stayed between about a $30-$100 budget range, but have easily tried over half a dozen different rice cookers.
In my research for a good rice cooker I found that every review hands down all recommended the Zojirushi rice cookers as their #1 choice. Not a single review recommended any other brands as the top pick. Tiger came in as the second choice, but only if you couldn't afford the Zorjirushi, beyond that no one could seem to agree on much else other than the cookers made in japan were better.
So after my research was finished I had decided to go ahead and spend the extra money to get the unchallenged champion.
The very first thing I did when I received my cooker was toss in a cup of standard long grain white rice (the very same rice I had been using in all my other cookers previously). I wanted a good comparison from the before/after.
I did read the instructions but frankly there wasn't really any need to. The operation is about as simple as it can get. Put your rice in using the rice cooker cup, fill water to indicated line in the cooker based on number of cups used, select your rice type then click start, that's literally it.
Rice was finished and I dug right in, the first difference I noticed in the rice was that the very bottom of the rice was almost exactly the same as the top of the rice (never like that in any of my previous cookers). The second thing I noticed was that the rice its self was a little fluffier, lighter and softer than what was created by my other cookers. There is also a new depth to the flavor. Not a different flavor, just... I dunno... I guess a more clear, distinct and robust flavor. There were simply subtleties in the flavor that never existed before with my other cookers even though it was identical rice(exact same bag).
I ate half the rice then put it on the extended warm cycle and left the rest for several hours. I came back 2-3 hours later and finished off the rice, it was almost the same as it was freshly cooked, no dried rice. Not a single grain of rice was wasted, it was all 100% edible and tasted great.
While in my previous cookers all rice pretty much turned out the same poor quality I can easily see how you would suddenly be able to tell the difference with a higher quality rice using this cooker. I have since ordered several top end bags of rice to test with this cooker but I have no doubt I will taste every subtle difference with each (Jasmine, CalRose). My sister has trouble cooking brown rice with her rice cooker as well so we are going to test it out in the new cooker to see how it fares, but based on the performance I've seen already I expect it will turn out great.
-Extremely simple to use
-Medium size (doesn't take up too much counter space)
-Consistent rice from top to bottom every time, not a single grain of rice wasted
-Brings out each subtlety within the rice allowing you to taste the subtle differences between different rices
-Carry Handle in case you need to take it anywhere (not a big deal but nice to have)
-Easy to clean (removable top lid for cleaning)
-Price, the cooker is very expensive, but I don't regret the decision to purchase it at all, worth every penny
-Premium Rice, now that you can taste the difference between the cheap rice and the premium rice you will want only the premium rice.
That's really it, if you enjoy rice as much as I do it's worth the cost. It makes the cheap rice taste significantly better, but once you have tried premium rice in this cooker you won't go back to the cheap stuff. If you haven't already balked at the price go ahead and get it, you won't regret it. If you have a large family or entertain much you may want to get the 10cup version, but for singles or small families this one works great.
I have done some additional cooking and just wanted to update my review.
Brown Rice - Works great, not the standard mush or undercooked stuff that you get with most rice cookers. Each grain is individually plump and tasty, so much so that it actually reminds me more of a normal cooked grain than rice. Not quite what I expected, but turned out great regardless.
Tapioca - No matter what the cookbooks say DO NOT make tapioca in your rice cooker. It was barely edible and made an incredible mess out of the cooker. Luckily the Zojirushi was fairly easy to clean but I will never attempt that experiment again.
I have continued to experiment with different rice and frankly every rice I use has turned out great in this cooker. Though I certainly do prefer the premium Calrose sushi style rice now that I have a good rice cooker.
I also wanted to add some additional information about the warming cycle. When I first got the cooker, I had left the rice in for several hours and came back. I have since left it literally for days. I have no problem leaving the rice on the extended warm cycle for 1-2 days and coming back to finish off whatever is left at that point. There is still not a single grain of rice that is inedible, in fact even the 2 day old rice in this cooker is still better than any of the fresh cooked rice in my previous cookers.
so if you are planning lunch, dinner, etc... don't fret about the rice. Feel free to put the rice in early and simply let it go into the warming cycle to keep it ready to eat for whenever you are ready to serve the meal, and have no fear about the quality of the rice, it will still be great hours or even days later.
The rice has never survived more than two days at my house, what I cook has always been devoured in that time. That being said you can start to taste a slight difference in the rice on the second day, so I probably wouldn't bother keeping it beyond that point, but a two day warm cycle is still quite impressive.
- over a year later, and the rice cooker is still going strong. I have shared my experiences with this rice cooker with several family members who are now extremely interested in picking one up for themselves. None of them believed me when I explained that the Rice Cooker would literally hold the rice on the warm cycle for days and have it be nearly as good when it was freshly cooked. So I have made a point of taking day old rice to several family functions just so they could see for themselves, and this seemed to make quite an impression. I am still very happy with my purchase, the product is still going strong, easy to clean, and still cooks rice perfectly. Again a product I would highly recommend to anyone serious about their rice.
Just a quick update, nearly two years later and the rice cooker is still going strong cooking everything just as well as it ever has. My brother and his family finally purchased their own 10cup zojirushi and my sister is still looking forward to getting one herself some day as well. Again the purchase was money well spent and I would highly recommend this product to anyone.