imafan26 wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:34 am
I have been watching a lot of you tube at home. I watched this video comparing rice cookers. The winner was an Aroma insulated rice cooker with digital controls. Now, I had to agree with a lot of the commenters. No. 1 how could an aroma beat out the zojirushi for cooking rice. It makes the best quality rice if you are fussy about that kind of thing. It could only lose out on price because it is 2 to 7 times the cost of other rice cookers and takes more than twice the time to make a pot of rice. The people conducting the test were not rice eaters and I suspect their testers weren't either because they talked about the value of having a rice cooker around if you only eat rice once or twice a month. I also seriously doubt that their definition of good rice is anything remotely close to those who eat rice every day. They also defined good rice if it was tender and fluffy. And to top it off, they said the most important accessory was the cup!
The zojirushi has a lot of functions for different kinds of rice and it can slow cook rice for over an hour. It can do other things like saute (not very well). It has a round bottom so for the zojirushi measuring the correct amount of water is a must, as the two finger method won't work. But it does cost about $200
The Aroma for most people is not even the second best cooker. Tiger is what most people here have as a second choice for an insulated cooker. It is made in Japan and is well known to be a quality cooker. Aroma is made in California (the owner is Chinese). Who do you think knows rice better? Americans or Japanese?
The Aroma sells for about $50. The tiger with simple on off lever sells for about $70-$80. A multifunction Tiger sells for about $130.
If you eat rice regularly, you know that almost any rice cooker can make good rice if you buy a good quality of rice and get the ratio of water to rice right. Flavor can be enhanced by adding the Jasmine, sake, or pandan flavoring and it does matter if you soak the rice overnight , wash, don't wash ( I am not talking swishing, I mean actually rubbing the rice between your hands. P.S. don't forget to save the rice water to water your plants especially honohono orchids). How much water you use depends on the type of rice, but also is it is new crop or second crop rice. The only way you can actually do that is to use the first pot of rice from a new bag as a test to figure out how much water you need. New crop rice uses less water. Different types of rice use different amounts of water and have different textures and "fluffiness" when they are done. A rice cooker like zojirushi has a tighter seal so it loses less water so it needs less water to start with. Normal rice cookers are steamers and need more water because it is designed to release steam.
What this test did not mention was that the fancy cookers zojirushi and even the Tiger, don't last long. Digital components and if you use the keep warm function a lot will shorten the life of the cooker in daily use to anywhere from 6-8 years.
I have a really old fashioned. Well almost old fashioned. I did have a Toshiba that you had to put water in the outer pot, but that was a really long time ago. I have 2 rice cookers, a 10 cup and a 5 cup cooker. It is known that rice cookers do have minimums in terms of rice that they can cook well. A 5 cup rice cooker does not make good rice unless there is at least 1.5-2 cups of rice. Any thinner and you will get a rice pizza.
I do have an Aroma, (I prefer Toshiba), it is at least 20 years old. It may be older. I used to use it daily, but now I don't eat a lot of carbs and I don't like to cook too often so I make 4 cups of rice at a time and cook my rice and boil a few eggs while I am at it about once a week. The eggs and rice will last about 4 days. Some weeks I don't make rice at all, and I don't use the keep warm function. So, this has extended the life of my cooker quite a bit. Twenty years though, of daily use is not unusual for this type of rice cooker. I don't remember what I paid for it but today's price it would be around $15. That is less than a dollar a year, can't beat that kind of durability.
The 5 cup Aroma has a simple mechanical lever/switch and it cooks for about 20 minutes, it does not have any fancy functions besides the keep warm function, it is not insulated, and it makes perfectly good rice if I get the water to rice ratio right. And if I lose the cup, which happened when my husband lost the cup down in the disposal and decided it was a brilliant idea to spear it to get it out. Totally ruined the cup! But any cup will do as long as you don't exceed the cooker's capacity and you use the same cup or two fingers to measure the water. P.S. A rice cup is less than a cup. The cooker will make up to 5 cups of cooked rice but there is only about 3.75 cups of raw rice that actually went into the cooker.
I thought about it. My unfancy rice cooker can do a lot of things the fancy cookers can do without the extra cost and fancy buttons, up to a point. It did come with a steam rack, so it could always be used as a steamer. When I cook rice, I regularly put raw eggs in the shell on top of the washed rice and make boiled eggs for the week. Vegetables can also be steamed on top of the rice in the same way. If you want to make jasmine rice or flavored rice, I can add the pandan, lemon grass, miso, or broth instead of water. Jasmine rice uses less water so it has to be cooked differently. Sweet rice has to be soaked overnight. I also make hapa rice (half brown and half white rice), I don't like brown rice, it spoils fast and is denser. Sweet rice can be mixed with the regular short grain rice and soaked overnight and it gives it a softer texture. Sake and less water is used for making sushi rice. Usually it is better to make sushi rice on the range as it does a better job than the rice cooker since the rice does need to be drier and the sake helps to soften and preserve the rice longer. Instead of water, dashi or broth can be used. Long grain rice ( it is really a grass), is tasteless and does not absorb flavors well after it is cooked so it is better cooked with a broth. Besides steaming vegetables, boiling eggs, and substituting for the water, tamago gohan is an easy meal to prepare in the pot. I simply add the egg to the hot rice as soon as it pops off and cover it to let it finish for 15 minutes.
I decided to make a one pot meal with my simple no frills cooker. It had to be able to cook in the 20 minutes the cooker would be on, because it has no timer or temperature settings.
I used half a breast from a Costco rotisserie chicken(cubed), reconstituted dried shitake mushrooms, some of the mushroom water,one packet of hondashi, dried shrimp (ebi would be better. I used Filipino dried shrimp which is less salty. Ebi is pretty pricey at $23 lb), a tablespoon of oyster sauce, a tablespoon of soy sauce, 3 packets of truvia mostly to cut the bitterness of the soy sauce, a tablespoon of sake, 1 tablespoon of mirin, 5 oz. of frozen mixed vegetables (still frozen), and 3 (rice cup) cups of short grain rice. I used 3 cups of mushroom water. I actually should have used less water. I did not squeeze out the water from the mushrooms, so I should have counted that as the water as well and did 2.5 cups of water instead. I put it all in the pot and pressed turned the cooker on. 20 minutes later, it popped off, and 15 minutes after that it was ready. The rice was a little mushier than it should have been because I ended up with total water being more than the 3.5 cups I intended. It is also new crop rice, so I probably should have cut the water by a half cup more. It tasted pretty good. It has enough salt for me with all the salty ingredients, but other people would probably want to add more salt than I did. Rice absorbs a lot of the salt. The rice was less mushy the next day after the rice had more time to absorb more of the water. I will be eating this for at least 6 meals.