Tiger JAZ-A18U Review
Pros: While this basic on/off model eschews bells and whistles, people who eat rice frequently have found that the Tiger JAZ-A18U (starting at $70; available on Amazon) dramatically improves the quality of their rice-based meals. The rice turns out so fluffy and evenly cooked, without getting mushy or burnt on the bottom, that users come away pleased they shelled out the extra dollars instead of settling for a cheaper rice cooker or stovetop preparation. In fact, the long-term payoff of this machine is its biggest advantage, as it can keep going for decades. Many Tiger JAZ-A18U reviews at Walmart.com come from users who say they've owned this machine for years, and their parents have owned similar models for even longer. One user claimed to be buying a new one after 12 years only because the lid no longer locked as tightly as it once did.
Cons: As with all on/off rice cookers, which lack pre-programmed settings for different types of grains, it may take a bit of trial and error to get ideal results when cooking brown rice and other varieties. Some users also gripe that after a few days rice kept warming begins to go bad, although one reviewer comments on Amazon that the indefinite "keep warm" cycle is perfect for making specialty items such as black garlic, and it helps the pot double as a slow cooker for more commonplace delicacies such as ribs. Finally, there's some grumbling on Amazon that this model is Chinese and not made in Japan, suggesting it's cheaper quality, but most reviewers don't make the distinction. (The Tiger JAZ-A18U is about half the price of the Japanese-made version, which starts at about $130.)
Features: The Tiger JAZ-18U is a 10-cup rice cooker, meaning that it makes 20 cups of finished rice. Operation is as easy as can be -- press the "on" button (the only button there is), and the machine cooks the rice and switches to "keep warm" when cooking's complete. The pot will stay in this warming mode until unplugged, but the instructions recommend that rice be eaten soon after it is made. Although the machine comes with a steamer basket, it doesn't have a steaming function. Steamed vegetables can be made either on top of the rice or separately in the pot with the proper amount of water. This rice cooker also comes with a measuring cup and paddle. The power cord is retractable, and this model has a moisture collector that is easily removable for cleaning. Users say the nonstick pot cleans up with little fuss, as well.
Takeaway: The Tiger JAZ-A18U may not be the cheapest machine on the market, but many users consider it well worth the extra outlay. They say it makes large quantities of perfect product nearly every time and is liable to outlast a majority of its competitors.