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Thread: Need advice on buying Zojirushi rice cooker

  1. #1
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    Need advice on buying Zojirushi rice cooker

    This is a lot of money to pay for a rice cooker but all the reviews I have read have been very strong. One question for anyone with this model: does it cook brown rice as well as white rice? Since switching to brown rice, I never make white rice anymore. Do you think this model is a good choice for brown rice? Sorry I can't get the link to highlight!

    Thanks for your advice!



    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10047586&search=rice%20cooker& Sp=S&Mo=3&cm_re=1-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_Sig nDesc1&N=0&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=All &Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=rice%20cooker&Nt t=rice%20cooker&No=2&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty= 1&topnav=&s=1
    Michelle

  2. #2
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    Ours is National (Panasonic) so I can't speak to that exact one, but it makes excellent brown rice. It was about the same price, and I think they're all pretty similar within their categories. I can't imagine you'd regret the purchase.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. #3
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    Mine is a Tiger rice cooker and also makes excellent brown rice. In fact, it is the best appliance investment I've made in a long time. I absolutely love the thing! Plus you can cook polenta, porridge, etc (well at least in mine.. if yours is a fuzzy-logic kind it should be able to, too).

    -carrie

    ps - here's a little article I wrote after getting my rice cooker (more than you ever wanted to know about the things!).

    The rice cooker

    If you don't have a rice cooker, go buy one now! Really, the new fuzzy logic rice cookers are amazing. I've used mine 12 times in the 13 days I've owned it. And no, I haven't been constantly eating rice. You can prepare all sorts of dishes in the rice cooker. Here are some of the things I've made:

    -Sushi
    -Polenta
    -Shitake brown rice casserole
    -Rice pudding
    -Morning oatmeal
    -And yes, lots of rice!

    The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook (http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Rice-.../dp/1558322035) has even more options. Recipes for applesauces, beans, every type of whole grain and entire rice cooker meals are included in this comprehensive cookbook.

    I bought a 3-cup Tiger Fuzzy Logic rice cooker and couldn't be happier with it. When you're buying a rice cooker make sure to get one with a non-stick bowl. The timer function is also very helpful. You can use it to start breakfast while you're asleep or start dinner while you're at work. A keep warm feature will probably be standard on any Fuzzy Logic cooker you buy. I've found it works well keeping both rice and porridge warm. However, the *best* feature is the great rice. Long or short-grain, brown or white, my rice comes out perfect every time. Polenta and oatmeal are stellar, too.

    I can really only think of two disadvantages to a Fuzzy Logic cooker: long cooking time and an inability to cook vegetables.
    Long rice cooking times:
    Rice takes a little longer when using the cooker because the normal cycle includes a soaking period along with the normal rice cooking period. This is the case in all except in the Quick cycle. However, since you can easily overcome long rice cooking times by using the Quick cycle this shouldn't count as a strike against the Fuzzy Logic cooker. With the Quick Cycle you are again down to 20 minutes from start to finish for your rice.
    No vegetable cooking:
    If you get the Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook you'll note that you cannot prepare the vegetable dishes in the cookbook using a Fuzzy Logic cooker. However, you'll also note you can't prepare the porridge dishes in the regular on/off cooker. Each type of rice cooker offers different functionality. Personally, having freshly cooked oatmeal when I get up is more important than being able to steam green beans. You choose your priorities.

    The rice cooker has definitely helped me increase my intake of whole grains. Though I am tracking how much the rice cooker costs me per use it's really just for fun. Helping me eat whole grains is priceless. I have longer lasting energy and feel more alive and healthy with an increasingly whole grain diet. My next experiments with the rice cooker will include creating a quinoa pilaf and germinating brown rice so I can use the "germinated brown rice" setting on the cooker. After that I may move into more "hard-core" whole grains like wheat berries.

    With a few techniques/settings you can create an endless number of dishes. Here's how I've been using my cooker.

    Pilaf dishes:
    These are dishes where you first saute aromatic ingredients (e.g. garlic and onions) in oil. You then saute the grain for a few minutes. Only after it becomes toasty do you add your water and other seasonings (salt and pepper). In the final dish, the grains are usually separate (though not dry) and you end up with a very flavorful dish. Shitake brown rice casserole is an example of a pilaf dish.

    Porridge:
    These dishes result from slow and low cooking of grains. In a fuzzy logic cooker these dishes will take about an hour. One advantage of cooking porridges in the cooker is the lack of stirring necessary. This make polenta, risotto and breakfast cereals a million times easier to prepare. Puddings also fall into the porridge category.

    Regular rice:
    The important thing to remember when preparing "regular" rice (or similar grains such as quinoa) is you must rinse the rice before cooking so it comes out fluffy. By rinsing rice you wash off the extra starch surrounding the grains and your finished product is less likely to scorch. You end up with a dish composed of separate grains instead of one gloppy mess.

  4. #4
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    My zoji-whatever fuzzy logic ten cup cooks red rice (which is a type of long grain brown rice) really really well. I have never used it for medium grain brown rice as I really don't like it.

    Why Can't I ever remember that name as I sit down to type it?
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

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  5. #5


    I have this one from Costco and love it. My girls aren't crash hot on brown rice so I do what we call "hapa" rice - half white rice and half brown rice. It cooks it perfectly and keeps it just at the right temperature.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

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  6. #6
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    That settles it -- all good reviews, so I am buying one!

    Newsomz: what great tips!

    Thanks to everyone for their advice.
    Michelle

  7. #7
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    My Panasonic came with the Ultimate Rice Cooker book free. That helped with the price. I bought it at William Sonoma.
    I love everything about this machine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by newsomz View Post
    Though I am tracking how much the rice cooker costs me per use it's really just for fun. Helping me eat whole grains is priceless. I have longer lasting energy and feel more alive and healthy with an increasingly whole grain diet. My next experiments with the rice cooker will include creating a quinoa pilaf and germinating brown rice so I can use the "germinated brown rice" setting on the cooker. After that I may move into more "hard-core" whole grains like wheat berries. . . . The important thing to remember when preparing "regular" rice (or similar grains such as quinoa) is you must rinse the rice before cooking so it comes out fluffy. By rinsing rice you wash off the extra starch surrounding the grains and your finished product is less likely to scorch. You end up with a dish composed of separate grains instead of one gloppy mess.
    How do you track how much the rice cooker costs you per use?

    For all the wonderful things you're doing in your cooker, are the basic instructions in that cookbook? (At least for the non-fuzzy-logic dishes.) I'm getting the cookbook but not the Zojirushi FLogic.

    Regarding rinsing: I guess it's a tradeoff, where you get the convenience of the rice cooker but you lose some of the nutrients by rinsing rise? Rice producers say not to rinse it, but I know you have to for the rice cooker.

    Thanks!
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by testkitchen45 View Post
    Regarding rinsing: I guess it's a tradeoff, where you get the convenience of the rice cooker but you lose some of the nutrients by rinsing rise? Rice producers say not to rinse it, but I know you have to for the rice cooker.
    You do NOT have to rinse rice for a rice cooker. I have never rinsed rice, and I've been using a rice cooker for almost 15 years.

  10. #10
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    I used to go back and forth on washing and it was just fine either way. I chose not to for pilafs because I think the moisture prohibits that browning. I started washing it most always just because I think of how far rice travels and the processes its gone through since leaving the paddies, and I'd just prefer to wash it. In some cases I can see a difference (you have to rinse sushi rice) but I never heard of the process washing away nutrients. But that wouldn't drive my decision anyhow.

    I probably I have the same machine as mereley; we first saw it at Williams-Sonoma but shopped online for a better price.

    testkitchen45, just take the purchase price and divide by the number of times you've used it. In clothing and shoes I refer to this as the "cost per wearing occassion" .
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  11. #11
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    Washing rice removes starch--and it also removes the nutrients from enriched white rice, which would be an American deal. That is where that came from. As to rinse or not I believe strongly that having the same rule for all kinds of rice makes no sense. I have never washed plain old American rice. However, I always rinse Jasmine and Red Thai and I REALLY rinse Basmati, as well as soaking it. I have done it both ways, and the result with rinsing is far superior. If you read a book like Seductions of Rice, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, they will explain the science behind it. I will share a tip about rinsing, however, because I too find it a pain--or I used to. I don't rinse in a bowl anymore. I now rinse in a sieve--I just leave water running over it into the sink, I shake the sieve every now and then to make sure it all gets rinsed. Much easier than trying to rinse in a bowl and keep little grains from escaping.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    testkitchen45, just take the purchase price and divide by the number of times you've used it. In clothing and shoes I refer to this as the "cost per wearing occassion" .
    Yeah; I was overthinking it--I thought she was figuring out the electricity it pulls or something. As far as I'm concerned, having a rice cooker steaming away on one counter, the slow cooker bubbling away on the other cooker, the ready-to-saute veggies in the fridge, is THE way to go in the pretty springtime, when you don't want to be stuck indoors!

    kcmo727, I don't have the rice cooker you're looking for, but it does a great job on brown rice (programmable Aroma from Target for $29.99).
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  13. #13
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    Zojirushi rice cooker

    After reading the positive reviews on rice cookers I ordered a 3 cup Zojirushi rice cooker. I just got it yesterday and am anxious to try it. I do have a question about making oatmeal in it. There are no instructions for oatmeal and I would like to try it also. What is the ratio of water to oatmeal and which setting do you use? I would appreciate any input and advice that you have about the rice cooker.

    Thanks in advance for your help. I love this forum.

    Maryann

  14. #14
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    I have a Zojirushi rice cooker, and I think it does a great job with brown rice. I would just have one warning to you: it takes a LOT longer than on the stovetop. About 1 hour 45 minutes when I made it the other day. I think it's because on "brown rice" mode it lets the rice soak for a while. I think I might try using the timer mode so the brown rice will be ready when I get home.

    Also, I would recommend getting a good rice cooker cookbook. When DH got me the rice cooker for Christmas, he also got me this cookbook and I love it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Rice-.../dp/1558322035

    The only thing that hasn't worked well out of the book is risotto. Some things you just have to do on the stovetop.

  15. #15
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    I purchased a rice cooker a couple of weeks ago, and have used it several times so far on white rice, and it was great. Last night I decided to try brown rice. It came out fine, but it took 2 hours!!! I kept wondering when the darn thing would get done. Now that I know how long it takes I'll plan accordingly, but our rice wasn't done until after we finished dinner. Somewhat annoying. Mine must do that soak period too, because it didn't have any steam coming out of the top for a really looooong time.
    Cheryl-If I was organized, I'd be dangerous.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfstreamer View Post
    There are no instructions for oatmeal and I would like to try it also. What is the ratio of water to oatmeal and which setting do you use? I would appreciate any input and advice that you have about the rice cooker.
    Hi Maryann.

    I have used it for oatmeal many times - though I usually do steel cut oats. You can follow the package directions (though I think I use a little less water than recommended) and just set the rice cooker to "porridge". I set it up the night before and then set the timer to be ready for whatever time I want it. Very handy for yummy oatmeal in the mornings.

    As for rice - I almost always use less water than what the rice cooker calls for - I really, really hate mushy rice - I like it quite firm.

  17. #17
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    Thanks to all who gave me advice on the rice cooker. I was thinking about buying the rice cookbook and will do so on your recommendation. I thought I might need steel cut oats because of the long cooking time so I will try them. I am anxious to try brown rice and I will be sure to allow plenty of time for them to cook.

    I really appreciate your input. I don't think the instruction book is very helpful but it will probably make more sense after I make some rice and follow their instructions.

    Maryann

  18. #18

    Fuzzy logic rice cooker - favorite recipes?

    I just ordered a 3-cup zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker and the Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. What suggestions do all you rice-cooker-pros have for recipes that I should try (either from that book or elsewhere)?

    Thanks!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by marshcl View Post
    I just ordered a 3-cup zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker and the Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. What suggestions do all you rice-cooker-pros have for recipes that I should try (either from that book or elsewhere)?

    Thanks!
    It's not a rice dish, but the Gorgonzola Polenta is to die for! I did tweak the recipe to lower the fat a bit, but it is sooooo good.

    I made two of the risotto recipes - the one with the caramelized onions and fontina and the dried mushroom risotto. I had decent success with the caramelized onion recipe, but not so great with the dried mushroom - the rice came out kind of mushy. Although I think you can get a decent risotto-type recipe out of a rice cooker, you really need to cook it on the stove top for best results.

    I have found that to get a nice, firm texture - something I am really picky about with rice - I need to consistently cut back on the amount of water or liquid used in rice cooker recipes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by testkitchen45 View Post
    How do you track how much the rice cooker costs you per use?
    Sorry, just saw this

    I just keep a file listing how many times I've used the rice cooker. Then I divide the price by the number of times. I've kind of lost track now... but at the beginning of February (2 months after I bought it) it was around $4.75/use. I've used it many more times now.. in fact daily for a while when I was eating my steel cut oats for breakfast.. so I'm sure the price/use is much lower now.

    -carrie

  21. #21
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    The only rice you HAVE to wash is the Indian Rice-Basmati. It will tell you so on the wrapper. All other rice Never needs washing!
    Curleytop

  22. #22
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    I use a cheapo shut-off, no fuzzy logic ,from linen's and things for $10.00.
    It does fabulous brown rice.
    To me, the crux of what a rice cooker does is to continue heating till the water boils off. I simply adjust my water for brown, white, barley, wheat berries,etc...and that dictates how long it will cook.

    I'd kill for fuzzy logic, I'm just too cheap to spend the money
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

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