I am debating whether or not to buy a rice cooker. I do ok with a pot and a lid,but sometimes when I cook basmati it doesn't come out quite right. Is rice from a cooker noticeably better and worth the cost?
I'm still a pot on the stove rice cook, but I have been considering buying one of the Japanese "fuzzy logic" types. Now if only I had a place to store it.
I use my rice cooker for 2 reasons: it frees up space on the stove top; it uses less energy (supposedly) to do the same job, especially for whole grains with long cooking time. I've never had problems cooking rice, but with a rice cooker you can leave the premises, or just forget about it, and it will not overcook.
For basmati rice, look for other instructions, perhaps from some of the Indian and Pakistani cooks on the site.
In previous discussions of rice cookers on Hotline (you can find them using the search box, indicating Hotline), there have been discussions of brands, non-rice uses, etc. There have been strong opinions in favor of basic rather than smart models.
I think my problem in the pot-lid method is that my lids don't fit tightly enough. I've also tried fitting foil between the pot and lid, but still have some moisture escaping.
A basic rice cooker is sounding good...
I have been using rice cookers for over 20 years they are one of the best tools around. Never any mistakes and perfect rice no matter what the type. The basic works great, no need to spend more than you need, plus they are very inexpensive. I have recently purchased a small model now that it is just my husband and me.
Susancv, would you mind sharing what brand you're using? Thanks.
I bought my fuzzy logic rice cooker when my daughter was about 6 years old, and we'd been spending some time in Japan. To some extent, it defined her growing-up years. I could set up the rice cooker and know "whatever else we're doing for dinner, I know we'll have rice." 20+ years later, I know I could survive without it, but I will never have to. Even if the daughter took the original or it died, I'd get another.
One small note for those worried about space--rice cooker don't weigh that much. Compared to hauling out the Cuisinart or the KitchenAid, my Zojirushi rice cooker is nothing. No way I'd keep it on the counter, but it's very easy to pull out and put away.
Greenstuff has gone over many of the fine points of having a rice cooker. I've used them for over 35 years, so can't do without. But recently my husband wanted a really fancy model with a whole-grain cycle, and a 'special 3-hour whole-grain cycle'. (Personally I can't taste the difference. ) Used it for a while but now we must conserve electricity because of nuclear being down. To make a long story short, I still use the basic cycle. But what really BUGS ME IS HOW COMPLICATED IT IS TO WASH. so many extra parts, simple is fine enough!
I will definitely look into the Fuzzy Logic brand. Can you do different types of rice in it?
Back when I got my Zojirushi, there was no separate setting for different types of rices. However, I've cooked all types, from Japanese sushi rice to Minnesota wild rice (not actually even a real rice) and a wide variety of mixes. Perfect results every time as soon as I learned to add a little oil to everything but sushi rice and to usually cook with a "firm" setting. Now I think most brands do have separate settings for different varieties.
Just to be clear "fuzzy logic" isn't a brand it's a category within manufacturers like Zojirushi. It's their higher end product.
I am looking at the Zojirushi NHS-10 6 cup cooker/steamer /warmer for a little over $50, as you all suggested the basic simple models work well. Thanks everyone!
Update: I returned the 6-cup model for the 10-cup. The cup Zojirushi uses is a smaller measurement than the US 8oz cup. Works great, easy clean-up. Thanks again for the help.