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The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker Paperback – September 21, 2010

3.1 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

America’s foremost film critic confesses to obsession with “the pot,” an electric rice cooker whose application he’s broadened to create his kitchen’s most versatile appliance. Ebert caught on early that the rice cooker is the crock pot’s virtual twin and can readily duplicate it as a time- and labor-saving appliance. Ebert touts the rice cooker’s health benefits by inventorying its friendliness to low-sodium, high protein, reduced-fat cooking. Ebert’s blog’s many fans have contributed cooker-adapted recipes running the gamut from quotidian boxed macaroni and cheese to spicy beef chili. A few recipes, such as mushroom risotto, call for preliminary action in a skillet before everything gets dumped into the cooker. Scrupulous cooks may find Ebert’s expansive use of the rice cooker the gustatory equivalent of watching Lawrence of Arabia on one’s iPhone—a lot of the product’s flavor and textural detail disappears. --Mark Knoblauch

About the Author

 Roger Ebert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic from the Chicago Sun-Times. His reviews are syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and Canada. The American Film Institute and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have awarded him honorary degrees, and the Online Film Critics Society named his Web site, rogerebert.com, the best online movie-review site.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740791427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740791420
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Sweeney on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not your usual cookbook.

First, it lets you know that you really can cook other foods besides rice in the most basic (or fancy) rice cooker.

Second, it's not an extensive recipe book. There are some recipes, yes, but the book encourages you to try your own ideas.

Third, the text is lively, witty, and entertaining. Roger Ebert's voice is not stilled.

Fourth, buy it just to read it as a book, but you'll probably end up also buying a rice cooker or using the one you have for more foods than rice.
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Format: Paperback
You're most likely to enjoy this book if you buy it understanding what it is:

It's a blog entry.

The book's first section is the long blog entry from Ebert's blog about how to use a rice cooker to make all the food you need to eat. It's a great blog entry. It's funny, and informative, and it really will expand your vision of how you can use your rice cooker. It's well worth reading.

The second section is a bunch of rice-cooker recipes, submitted by Ebert's readers in the blog entry's comments section.

So definitely buy it, if you'd like to read an entertaining essay on how you can eat healthily and well using nothing but a rice cooker and your imagination, and some specific ideas expanding on that idea. You'll probably enjoy it.

But be aware that it isn't very long, it isn't really a 'cookbook' in the traditional sense, and it's all also available on his blog.

I bought it, though, and I have no regrets. And it occurred to me to come write a review because I'm just finishing eating a very tasty supper that I cooked in the rice cooker using what I learned from this book.
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I love Roger Ebert and his writing. It's his wonderful writing that make this an engaging book. If, however, you are looking for hard core recipes, this is not the book for you. Most of the recipes are supplied by posters on his blog. I would have loved more recipes, but that would have gone against Ebert's philosophy of a little of this and a little bit of that. It's all very loose.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is definitely NOT a step by step, add these ingredients, follow these steps kind of cookbook. And I imagine that more than a few purists and self-styled gourmets will turn their noses up at it, but it is very entertaining and informative. If you enjoy Ebert's writing style (and share or at least understand his world view) I can almost guarantee you will enjoy this (cook)book.

In a nutshell, this is a book about how to make good food easily, with a minimum of fuss or equipment. And at least 90% of the time, that is all I have time (or energy) to do. The overriding theme seems to be shortcuts and simplicity, and at least in my opinion, that is a very good thing.
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Like a new guide on an African Safari this book tells you everything you needed to know, but nothing particularly useful! It is cleverly written but spends entirely to much time telling you why you need to have the pot, and of course why you need to have the pot, not to forget why you need to have the pot. I bought the book knowing I needed the pot, I didn't need to be told why!

After I got half way through I figured I could be my own Safari guide, particularly when I got to the multiple pages of people just like you who had bought the pot and decided they needed to say something... I skipped to the end, I'm sure there was useful information in there but I had already been told why I needed to have the pot. There was around 20 pages of recipes, in a 128 pages of book.

For an entertaining read I'd borrow this one from the library, and buy an actual cook book for the pot.
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I love this--it is not so much a cookbook as a celebration of the possibilities of the humble rice cooker recounted by someone whose love of cooking and entertaining has not been diminished by the fact that cancer surgery has forever robbed him of the ability to actually eat anything--
I stumbled upon it in a reference on Ebert's blog and it is in fact like a lengthy blog entry that is inspirational and up-lifting;but if you are looking for a typical one tbsp of this, half a cup of that cookbook, there are probably other ones that will make more sense.
I have already bought a second one for my son and will probably be purchasing many more as gifts, along with a rice cooker of course.
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This is not a cookbook for folks looking for recipes... this is a book for folks looking for an adventure. There are many who write better reviews than me so I will let them, but I will say that this is an enjoyable and fun read for those looking for something food related but not food centric. This is about Roger's life and journeys and his love of food in an entertaining way - much like his reviews.
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I'm single and not a cook and pre-ordered this thinking it would be right up my alley. Not so. Most of the book is very general narrative about the pot being fun and good and trying things out. The few recipes there are require a giant rice cooker, not the 3 cup version I have at home. I ended up making the split pea soup in a large deep pan on my stove and it's tasty, but it wasn't a one step throw it in the pot deal. I also tried the rice pudding, which lacked any pudding element whatsoever. It came out pretty dry, even before baking. I don't recommend this book for recipes for any level of cook.
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