Panasonic SR-DF101 Review
Pros: Techlicious named this model its runner-up among all rice cookers, after a Zojirushi machine that costs about three times as much. Quite a find at the lower end of the price spectrum, the Panasonic SR-DF101 (starting at $66; available on Amazon) is a "fuzzy logic" rice cooker that takes advantage of computer technology to sense when the moisture in the rice has evaporated and moderate the cooking temperature and time to achieve optimal results. Experts say the machine's simplicity won't intimidate novices, and it makes rice with wonderful flavor and aroma. Users agree, and enthuse that it also makes brown rice, grain blends, and cereals quite well. The unit is fairly compact and easy to store.
Cons: Although the Panasonic SR-DF101 is advertised on Amazon as staying on the "keep warm" setting for up to 12 hours after cooking, the instructions recommend that rice be consumed within five hours. Some frequent rice eaters consider this time too short, preferring to keep their pots warm for days, and reviews on Amazon report that rice starts to get a bit burnt on the bottom after a few hours. In addition, several Panasonic SR-DF101 reviews mention that, although measurements are provided in the instructions, it takes a lot of experimentation to get the proportions correct. Also, there is no delay-start feature on this rice cooker, a disappointment for those who like to have food waiting for them when they get home. Another thing this model lacks is a collector for condensation. One review on Amazon advises that liquid puddles inside the lid, making quite a mess.
Features: The Panasonic SR-DF101 holds up to 5 cups of uncooked rice, yielding 10 cups cooked, which might not be enough for some households. It comes with a steamer, rice paddle, and measuring cup. The nonstick interior is easy to clean, and the hinged lid can be wiped with a towel. There are buttons for quick cooking or steaming, white rice, brown rice, and porridge or soup.
Takeaway: While the Panasonic SR-DF101 has a few issues, the prospect of getting a fuzzy logic rice cooker for such a low price was irresistible for many consumers, most of whom really like the machine. They see it as a welcome alternative to more expensive Japanese models, agreeing it's easy to operate and makes extremely good rice.