14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Best cooking tool I've ever bought,
This review is from: Zojirushi NS-TGC10 Micom 5-1/2-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
I've had this rice cooker for almost a year and it has been the best kitchen-tool investment I've ever made. I use the rice cooker almost every day for a wide variety of grains. I'm now contemplating getting the 3-cup model in addition because the rice cooker is so versatile and essential to our daily meals that there are times I could employ two of them.
I've been delighted to find that I can make no-hassle (and fantastic) polenta, any kind of hot breakfast cereal (ready to eat when I get up), excellent rice (which my kids love because "its just like the Chinese restaurant rice"), and perfect grains every time - quinoa, spelt, barley. The only thing I haven't tried yet is amaranth.
I wasn's sure I'd use the timer function, but it has become essential, especially as I pre-soak and ferment all my grains now (a la Nourishing Traditions.) The porridge setting, too, has made busy mornings that much easier. It takes a little experimentation to find the right proportions of water-to-grain for porridges (I recommend getting The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker for a handy reference guide for all grain/water ratios) but too little water is easily remedied by opening the lid when the timer goes off, stirring to mix water that hasn't been fully incorporated, and adding water to the desired consistency. The porridge will stay on "Keep Warm" until you're ready for breakfast. I make oats, steel cut oats, cream of wheat, cream of brown rice, and others using the porrodge setting.
Other reviewers have mentioned that having the wipe the inside lid after every use is a pain, but I've found it takes just a moment. Unlike other rice cookers I've had, there is almost never an explosive mess of cooked-on grain schmutz on the lid, so cleaining is fast and easy. The no-stick pot is great, too.
If you are cooking for 4 or more regularly, I recommend the 5 1/2 cup size; you'll have leftovers, but not too much. Porridge for one (which is what I use it for) comes out just fine, despite the small amount of grains in the pot (hence, the need to stir after cooking.) If you are cooking for 1 or 2, then the 3 cup size should be adequate