Black & Decker RC1412S Review

Think Twice
This simple on/off rice cooker yields up to 12 cups of cooked rice and works well as long as it lasts, but in many cases that's not long at all, reviews suggest.

Pros: The Black & Decker RC1412S has a very low price (starting at $27; available on Amazon) and a simple one-touch on/off design. It holds 12 cups of cooked rice, and reviewers say the rice comes out very well after a bit of experimentation. One of the main advantages of this rice cooker is its speed. Several reviewers note on Amazon that it produces a full pot of rice in only 20 minutes, which is fast compared with other rice cookers and about the same amount of time it would take on the stove.

Cons: The problems with the Black & Decker RC1412S start with the instructions. Reviews on the Black & Decker site complain that directions for preparing vegetables and other steamed foods mentioned in the manual are nowhere to be found. They also say that, although there are detailed charts for cooking all types of rice -- white, yellow, brown, and wild -- they are complex enough to negate the ease and convenience associated with using a rice cooker.

In reviews on Amazon, users agree that it's not always easy to achieve the perfect consistency with this machine. While one user says it works as well as expected or even better, another notes some burning at the bottom. Unlike the usual rice cooker cup that holds 180 ml, the cup that comes with this model holds just 150 grams of rice, which is roughly 5 ounces, or about two-thirds of a standard American cup. Reviewers say this is fine for a small family, but it may not suit a larger clan.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the Black & Decker RC1421S is its longevity, or lack thereof. Despite the fact that there is a two-year warranty -- a year longer than the other inexpensive models we looked at -- several reviews on Amazon tell of units that lasted just a few months, with some breaking down after as little as two uses.

Features: Once users figure out the complicated water-to-grain matrix, all that's left is to switch on the appliance, and the rest takes care of itself. When cooking is complete, the machine switches to a warming mode to keep rice heated indefinitely -- the only way to shut it off is to pull out the plug. The Black & Decker RC1412S comes with a removable cup to catch condensation. The cup, along with the included paddle, steamer basket, and measuring cup, can be put in the dishwasher. The nonstick pot makes cleanup easy by hand.

Takeaway: Although the price of this rice cooker may be right and it can produce terrific rice with a bit of trial and error, the apparently limited shelf life of this machine makes it a non-starter for people who rely on rice as a daily meal staple.

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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