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Rival RC61 Review

Think Twice

Cheap, fast, and attractive (the pot is red), the Rival RC61 boasts curb appeal. Still, consumers gripe that the bottom of the rice gets hard if you leave it sit too long in keep-warm mode and the starchy rice water tends to boil out over the top. It comes with a steamer basket for meal-time extras and a glass lid.

With its super cheap price and attractive red color, the simple on/off Rival RC61 (starting at $19, Amazon) looks like a good value. And it is, say Rival RC61 reviews, as long as it works. Many negative reviews, most notably posted on Amazon, say durability is limited to months and sometimes even weeks. Detractors also gripe about starchy debris that seeps out of the steam vent or between the lid and the pot (even with small amounts of rice) and an end product that's mushy or crusted. On the other hand, this on/off rice cooker boasts quite a few fans. In reviews on Target and Overstock, consumers write that it produces rice just right, in amounts suitable for one or a few eaters (think college students). They also like the results with steel-cut oats, assorted rice varieties, and the cooker's ability to keep dips and soups at eating temperature.

The Rival RC61 is listed as a 6-cup rice cooker, but unlike most other models, this means it produces 6 cups of cooked rice, which is the approximate equivalent of a 3-cup (uncooked) rice cooker. There's a keep-warm setting in addition to the on/off cook mode. It comes with a steamer basket, separate glass lid, measuring cup and plastic paddle, and a nonstick inner pot that some consumers use on top of the stove to ready ingredients like onions and ground meat prior to starting the rice-cooking cycle. The removable components should be handwashed.

The price of this electric rice cooker is certainly cheap enough, but that may not be sufficient reason to overlook its weaknesses. Some people can tolerate both mess and risk, but if that's not you, the Rival RC61 isn't the rice cooker for you, either.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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