Black & Decker HS1000 Review

Many rice cookers come with a steamer basket, but the Black & Decker HS1000 is actually a steamer with a rice cooker. Black & Decker HS1000 reviews on Amazon indicate that many consumers choose this model primarily for its ability to steam vegetables; and on this score, reviews sing its praises. Users report perfectly steamed potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and the like; the unit also has a compartment for eggs, so hard boiling is quickly accomplished. One consumer admits to being an awful cook but says the Black & Decker HS1000 (starting at $20) produces passable food; another relies on it to steam meat and fish, as well as vegetables, and says she's forgotten the stove-top methods. Rice -- white, brown, wild -- also cooks up well, report reviews, although one post on Epinions says there's something of an art to figuring out the rice thing (sticky results on occasion). Most consumers say rice is perfectly done, much like Chinese restaurant rice, with the texture consistent all the way through. One note of caution, however -- take care when removing the lid; consumers say the steam is very hot.

The steamer container sits on a base that holds the water and serves as the heating element. There's an external spout for adding water and a gauge to let you see how much is left; a few users say the unit rarely runs dry mid-steam. There's a 75-minute timer that lets you control how long you want the contents to steam; traditional rice cookers don't afford that choice.

The unit comes with a 5-cup rice basket, which some Black & Decker HS1000 reviews describe as "flimsy"; in fact, several long-time Black & Decker fans assert the quality of predecessor models bested this version. A separate flavor-scenter compartment and another for eggs rounds out the package. The steamer bowl, basket, and lid are dishwasher-safe and its oval shape can accommodate asparagus.

This is the rice cooker for people who love their steamed veggies at least as much as rice.

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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