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Electric Rice Cookers
Rice Cookers Cooking Time
They are a convenience in some ways, no doubt, but electric rice cookers may not save much time. Generally speaking, rice cookers take at least as long as the stovetop method, and consumers say fuzzy logic rice cookers are the biggest time hogs -- never mind the rinsing and soaking that's necessary for some rice varieties.
Cooking rice for the right amount of time is a no-brainer with the multiple settings on fuzzy logic rice cookers, although we read some reports bemoaning the confusing directions in the included cookbook for the Sanyo ECJ-S35K. But figuring out cook times and proportions for an on/off electric rice cooker may involve trial and error and dogged sleuthing. Consumers ding the Cuisinart CRC-800 in reviews on Cooking.com for providing inadequate information about cooking times for different rice varieties. Reviews of the Panasonic STG-06FG say experimentation is in order, and one consumer says Google is a helpful source for the best ratio of rice to liquid when deviating from the standard white rice.
Rice Cookers Pot.Nonstick cooking chambers are common on rice cookers at all price ranges and featured in all the rice cookers on our list. These nonstick pots are usually made of Teflon, so clean-up is a breeze. Most require hand washing, but the Cuisinart CRC-800 and Black & Decker HS1000 are dishwashwer-friendly. The Sanyo ECJ-S35K, our favorite cheap fuzzy logic rice cooker, boasts a titanium lining, which is the primary reason one consumer chose this model, only to notice flaking after three years of use. This doesn't seem to be a common problem with the Sanyo or the on-off Aroma ARC-1266F, but we did come across at least a few reports of flaking or chipped linings with the other electric rice cookers we researched, although usually after months or years of frequent use.
Consumers who want to avoid a chemically-coated surface altogether have far fewer choices. Some opt for the all-plastic Black & Decker HS1000, and one user even suggests substituting a Pyrex glass bowl for what the reviewer describes as a "flimsy" plastic rice basket.
Rice Cookers Durability.How long a rice cooker will last depends on several factors, ranging from how often it's used to how it's maintained (are you damaging the lining by scooping out the rice with a metal spoon instead of a plastic or wooden utensil?).The Zojirushi NS-RNC10 earns high marks for longevity from consumers who report having used a previous unit for upwards of 10 years, although several repeat purchasers are slightly disappointed at the quality of new models and some say the machine slips out of cook mode into keep-warm mode way before the rice has actually cooked. A few consumers provide similar commentary about the Aroma ARC-1266F, Cuisinart CRC-800, and Rival RC61. Scattered reports also some Rival RC61 units conk out entirely soon after purchase.
Light up the month with an energy-efficient light bulb. See how your frugal month results stack up against those of our reporter.
Our reporter took the frugal month challenge and saved $328 during February by forgoing haircuts and new clothes and finding free entertainment.