Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

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Shreela
Bento-ing from: Houston › Texas › USA
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 32 weeks ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I live in Texas, US, and bought a cheap Walmart model for $15-20 (Black and Decker). It came with a plastic cup, and has lines on the inside of the cooking "pot" to match how many plastic cups of rice I put into it. I can put up to 7 cups, which is a LOT of rice for 2 people. Sorry, I haven't measured the amount that goes into their plastic measuring cup. I keep it in my 20lb bag of rice.

I make our regular dinner, then spread out the *remaining* rice in a shallow dish to cool, then put the rice into 2 ziploc baggies (gallon size) like Biggie does with her hamburger, flatten, then use a chopstick to "score" or press lines like tic-tac-toe, so that I have 9 squares with the flattened ziploc baggie. After doing both baggies, I freeze them flat. When I want a small amount of rice, I break off 1-2 squares (one is enough for me alone). I put 2 heaping tablespoon of Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon (Caldo con sabor de Pollo) in a 7 cup batch of rice to give it extra flavor (use less salt than called for!) Knorr Bouillon 1kg is about $5-6 I think, which is much cheaper than the little bouillon cubes.

I warm soup, cook pasta/noodles in the rice cooker too, and usually put a few eggs in it so we can have hard-boiled eggs later on, since I'm already using energy. It came with a plastic steamer rack for steaming veggies (or dumplings), but I can't cook a full batch of rice when I'm steaming veggies.

I knew how to cook rice in a pot just fine. I also played around with cooking it in a casserole dish in the oven ala paella, and even in a thermos ala Kurt Saxon (don't try thermos rice unless your thermos has a wide mouth!), before hubby found his rice cooker in storage. It is SOOO much easier to use a cheapie rice cooker than cooking it in a pot! I used his rice cooker so much it finally broke, and I bought another one very soon afterwards. I imagine the only way I'll ever cook rice in a pot again is during power outtages, or if I have to cook at someone else's house.

Unless one of those huge, fancy, multi-settings rice cookers can also be used as an electric griddle, and crockpot, I'll stick with the cheapie rice cookers.

BlindRob
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I've progressed through several of the stages of rice cooker use and ownership, so let me add a few comments that may also cover a few points not already raised: For years I made great rice in a regular saucepan. Then an Asian woman told me she couldn't live without a dedicated cooker, and that planted the seeds of doubt so eventually I bought a simple, small, marketed-to-North-America on/off model. That had a few quirks I didn't like, such as baking the bottom layer of cooked rice into a wafer-like material. This was actually quite tasty but made it difficult to, for instance, judge the amount of regular rice that would be obtainable in the end, so eventually I got a larger version to ensure I had a sufficent margin of cooked vs baked rice. This was one with a hinged lid and among other things took up way too much space, plus the lid was not detachable and therefore very difficult to clean properly. So, after some more input from Asian friends plus research on Amazon, I obtained a fuzzy logic Zojirushi 5 cup model. This is a fantastic rice appliance and (1)can be preset for any of the different rice types you will ever see. Nearly absolute reliability and cooking consistency aside, its particular advantages are (2) its timer features, allowing rice to be ready whenever you need it (3) its setting that allows it to make rice porridge or congee, which is quite nice once you're tried it (4) its regular vs quick cooking settings, the former allowing it the time to make rice of even better texture and appearance. The disadvantages of a fuzzy logic model are that (1) they don't allow you to do such things as steam vegetables (important to some of my Western friends), and of course (2) the much higher price. Stove top cooking is of course the most versitile and cheapest method of all but for good rice you pretty much have to be there keeping an eye on the pot- now that I've gotten away from that, it would be hard to go back. And, whatever method you use, you certainly have to measure rice and water correctly, and have the means and patience to heat slowly and carefully, which seems to be the major problems for some. And by the way, when Asian cookers refer to 3 cup, 5 cup, 10 cup sizes etc, they are NOT referring to regular US cooking cups but to a special Asian measure that is about 3/4 of a US cup. They do provide the measuring cups, which are as a rule flimsy plastic worth about a penny with even the most expensive model cookers. And don't ever think you will reach the pinnacle of cooker ownership- me, I'm currently eyeing fuzzy logic INDUCTION cookers, much more expensive than my regular fuzzy model.... ^_^

Ai
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

As a busy 20-something, the rice cooker you are using is just fine. I'm Chinese and grew up in Malaysia. There has never not been a rice cooker in the house.

Make sure you are following water ratios for your Japanese rice. It takes less water than Jasmine/Basmati rice, and you may need to experiment.

A 10-cup cooker _is_ a bit much. I'm single, so a 3-cup cooker serves me well, but my family at home has a 5-6 cup cooker, and there are 5 of us, plus we like to make rice once and then use it for the entire day. Luckily, because you don't need a fuzzy logic cooker, a new (and smaller) cooker shouldn't be expensive.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_2_11?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&fiel...
The cheapest cooker there is less than $20!

Don't throw away your 10-cup one-touch cooker! You can use it as a slow cooker if you can find something that cooks in the same amount (ish) of time. Especially if you have a non-stick rice pot--have you ever tried chicken rice by putting the chicken in on top of the rice?

jojokat-jo
Bento-ing from: Woodbury › New Jersey › USA
Joined: 18 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

We almost exclusively eat brown rice. I found an oven method to make perfect brown rice in the oven (Cooks Illustrated Magazine - May/June 2004). I altered the rice / water amount to make Japanese Medium Grain Brown Rice for onigiri (or at least my version).

1 cup rice washed in an 8x8 baking pan. Boil 2 cups of water with the lid on to minimize evaporation - once boiling add a bit of salt. Pour the water over the rice and cover tightly with foil and bake in a 375* oven for 1 hour. Double the amounts and bake in a 9x13 pan.
Remove from the oven, loosen the foil and let sit for another 15 minutes. The rice is cooked through but still retains that nice chewiness that brown rice has. And it is sticky enough to make onigiri.

I like this method because I don't have to find room for another appliance either in my cabinet or on my counter.

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 33 weeks ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

That method would use a fair bit of electricity though.

single bento boy
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 1 week ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I currently have a 10 cup model that cost me around $30 US. It's a simple one with white, brown, quick white, and steam settings. I like it, but I was able to make rice just fine on the stovetop as well. What I don't like it that I need to make a minimum of 2 cups uncooked rice which winds up being around 6 cups after cooking. That's a lot of rice for one person and I find myself throwing away old cooked rice.

I'd like to know more about which models let you germinate the rice before it cooks (GABA rice). Does anyone have experience with these cookers? It looks like they cost around $285 US which is way beyond my means at the moment, but I'd be interested in one if it were less than $150.

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 6 days 12 hours ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

Whenever I have sprouted brown rice, I've just left it for a day or two to soak (channging the water every few hours) until it sprouted a bit, as I would sprout any seed. Though I have to admit this is a lot of waiting around, snd sometimes the rice just won't sprout at all and turns nasty and inedble, so I haven't done it in some time. It seems to depend on how fresh the rice is, so I wonder how useful a sprouting cooker would be.

anon.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

If you find cooking rice in pots theraputic, then use a pot. Otherwise I suggest you fall in love with a Zojirushi induction cooker. I splurged on it last year when I about a new house. When a guest gets the tour of the house, they are introduced to the Zojirushi as well. Seriously. When we were poor 20-somethings like many other posters, we had the on/off $12 cooker. It died just as we moved after many years of reliable service. I did my research and was very skeptical of a cooker in that price range that seemed to promise near-orgasmic rice. It's just rice, right? My hubby smiled kindly and let me order it anyway. It's been worth every penny. So long as you use the cup to measure (3/4 of U.S. cup) it's a no-brainer for white, brown, sweet, sticky, and GABA brown (the ultra healthy stuff) rice. The liquid lines are printed inside for each kind. I add stock, veggies, meats anything and it sings me a little ditty when it starts and again when it's done. It will hold beautifully for 3+ days in the cooker. Non-stick is way cool, delay function and so on. But the best part is how much better the rice tastes. It becomes a major player in an ordinary meal rather than the bit of starch to round things out. I noticed another brand that was clearly made to be a look-alike to confuse people at Williams-Sonoma recently. Sure it was cheaper, but it didn't have nearly the functions of the Zojirushi. After having the real thing, I just don't want any other kind. If you love rice but Zo. is out of your price range, save up, put it on your Christmas list or wedding registry. Accept no substitutes!

anon.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

find some cheapo rice-cooker online or sumthing makes cooking rice alot easier
also determining the amount of water to be used when cooking rice is fairly simple even without specific measurements. should work for all rice-cookers

stick ur finger in ur rice use it as a yard stick using ur thumb to measure the level of rice.
place ur finger on the surface of the rice level and fill with water until it is roughly the same as the level of ur rice.
cook it and u shud get perfect rice.
(by perfect i mean in terms of chinese cooking where the rice grains are whole and are able completely seperate from one another-think of fried rice)

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 25 weeks ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I love my rice cooker,
Oh yes I do,
I love my rice cooker, '
All through and through,
I love my rice cooker, I do,
Oh rice cooker, I love you!
(apologies to Bye Bye Birdie!)

I'm not sure what is wrong with your stove top method, but it's possible to make decent stove top rice. That's how I learned how to make rice as a child. We ate long grain rice back then, and ate it with butter.

It's I-8oz cup of raw rice to 2-8oz cup of water, plus pinch of salt. Bring water to a boil, pour in rice, bring back to boil uncovered, turn down heat to low, put on cover and simmer for 20 minutes. DO NOT open lid until 20 minute time is up. ( This was drummed into us kids very well by my mom! I guess it gets gluey if you open it before then, but we thought something much worse would happen! My mom would get mad at us! LOL!)

This is for making long grain western type rice, that is fluffy and separate, not at all sticky. I made this for years. A lot of Chinese restaurants around here makes this kind of rice too, for local tastes so I knew no different for years.
As a child I read a story about a Japanese kid getting rice balls for lunch and I thought that sounded delicious, so I tried to make them like in the story, but alas they just didn't' work. Now I know it was the wrong kind of rice. LOL!

But then found sushi, and sushi rice. MMMMMMM! Well that was a turning point for me. I had to know how to make this wonderful rice!
So I embarked on my rice journey. I learned about different kinds of rice, and ways of cooking them that I'd never heard of. Like rinsing the rice. ?!!?? Why would one do that? But I tried it and wow, what a difference! Then I had friends who said, if I really wanted good rice I had to get a Rice Cooker. A special appliance just for cooking rice?!!? Why would I do that? But I got a cheap one button Rival cooker and wow! It was a big difference too! Plus I did like how it freed up a stove burner for other things. The first one I had lasted about 8 years.

When it finally bit the dust I bought another one, but it broke in like a month, so did a second one, I took them back. I guess the quality control had gone downhill. So I saved a bit and bought a Panasonic Fuzzy logic 5-cup rice cooker with non-stick coating. It has several settings and a timer. And now I LOVE my rice cooker!! It makes the best rice I have ever had! And with even more rice cooking tips from Maki, I am in rice heaven!! Every batch comes out perfect! I've made soup in it, brown rice, steel cut oatmeal, slow cooked stews, and even baked a cake! It has settings for all that. Now I'm getting even more picky and thinking about getting another one just for rice as sometimes cooking spicy stuff in the bowl will make the next few batches of rice taste of the spice. So maybe another for just rice and this one for other food and meals. Panasonic is apparently National in Japan, fyi.

So if you eat rice everyday or even several times a week, I'd advise you to get a good quality rice cooker. One buttons sound like they are fine if you get a good brand. But if you can save up I'd get one that does a little more, especially the timer part. You won't regret it, and you'll wonder how you got along without!

Sandrine
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I live in France and searched for a Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker for years, I finally found a UK based company which supplies to the UK and Europe (and maybe Australia) called Yum Asia. I cooked good rice on a stove but my Zojirushi takes the thinking out of cooking and saves so much time, it's great to be able to press a button and you get perfect rice. The timer function is fantastic and there is light fluffy rice waiting for me when I arrive home from work - there is a sushi rice, brown rice and porridge setting which all work brilliantly, the model I have also bakes cakes (the cheesecake produced is amazing!). My rice cooker looks good too with a nice stainless steel fascia. Zojirushi's are so easy to clean, I just wipe the inner non-stick bowl and inner lid clean with a damp cloth when the cooking is done - because the cooker is fully sealed the outside doesn't get dirty - that's all the cleaning needed!

If you are in the UK, Europe or Australia and want a Zojirushi rice cooker do check Yum Asia out, my Zojirushi was well worth the money - I got DHL delivery which was within 4 days of payment. The couple that own the company know a lot about rice and rice cookers and answered all my (sometimes silly!) questions and helped me choose which size model was right for my needs. I cannot recommend them enough!

Anyway, the website is at www.yumasia.co.uk

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 13 weeks ago.
I finally succumbed

After all these years I finally caved in and spent some proper money investing in a decent rice cooker.
I've just got back from a two week stay in a small house in Tokyo and the rice cooker there was the final spur into making this investment.
We got the Sanyo ECJ-FS50. You can get it from Amazon UK. At Yodobashi camera it was 15,000yen but that brings it to about £105 at the current exchange rate (would have cost around £60 this time last year... :( ) and Amazon are selling it in the UK for £110.
The cooking bowl is nice and thick (3.5mm) and titanium coated, I notice the main difference between this and the cheap cooker I used to have (which will now be used as a steamer by my parents) is that the steam that comes out doesn't have a strong rice fragrance. Unlike the American model, it beeps when the rice is ready (this machine has some rave reviews from Amazon US but a consistent complain is that there is no final ping)
There was a bewildering amount of rice cookers for the Japanese market at the Tokyo Electrical store and at least one of them boasted how other cookers let a lot of the rice's umami flavour escape along with the steam. I guess that enticing rice fragrance I used to get now stays within the rice, which can't be a bad thing.
It's early days yet, I've only been using this new cooker since Monday, but I'm already completely seduced by its charms.
I also partly blame all of you who have posted here for egging me on to make this purchase!

For anyone interested, we considered the Sanyo cooker to be an equivalent to Japanese models that retail for around 10,000yen - however, an electrical transformer for the EU/UK would cost at least 10,000yen (over £50). It seemed worth it to spend 5,000yen above the cooker's 'worth' to get a machine with the right voltage + and the instructions are in English too!

Alice Reiner
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I bought the Sanyo ECJ-FS50EU (which is the European one to the one you bought) in January 2008, it lasted 3 months before the electronics inside it went. I had the option of repair or money back and as I wasn’t confident that the problem wouldn’t happen again I took the money. I also didn’t like the fact it wasn’t a dedicated rice cooker, there were too many other functions on the cooker - I eat rice everyday (sometimes twice a day).

I looked around and ended up buying a Zojirushi NS-ZAQ10 (made for UK/European power so no transformer needed and all instructions in English!) and wow, what an amazing rice cooker – it’s worth spending out the extra to get a premium product. From my understanding (what Asian friends have told me) Zojirushi is a status symbol in Asia and for good reason, the build quality of my machine is unbelievable with a heavy duty inner pan. Other cheapo ones you can buy in the UK really aren’t worth it as they spit starchy water out everywhere and burn the rice.

Fuzzy logic is the way to go and after comparing the Zojirushi to the Sanyo, I would choose the Zojirushi every time. Hope you have better luck with your Sanyo than I had with mine :)

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 13 weeks ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

Thanks for the warning, Alice Reiner, and I'll be sure to keep the receipt safe.
Ours is also the Sanyo ECJ-FS50EU (which the Sanyo website says has 'fuzzy logic'), I'll just need to keep my fingers tightly crossed regarding the electrics on my cooker and hope the defect you encountered was a rogue one.
I had the luxury of shopping in Akihabara where I got to thoroughly inspect and handle a whole range of cookers for the European market (as well as swoon over those for the Japanese market), the Sanyo had one of the sturdiest pots in its price range. Despite our own fondness for elephants (Zojirushi means 'elephant mark') we genuinely liked the Sanyo model best.
When it comes to a 'premium' rice cooker I'll be holding off for a while, we have our eye on some truly magnificent beasts, but these at least 3 to 4 times more expensive and will most certainly require a transformer.
http://www.yodobashi.com/ec/category/003002001001/index.html?SortType=01...
I can dream... :D

UPDATE
I'm delighted to report that it's 6 months later and the Sanyo is still going strong

Harper
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 27 weeks ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I received a 10 cup Zoijirushi rice cooker as a gift many years ago and it worked great but took up a lot of space on my counter and was too much for a single person so I found I didn't use it as much as I expected. I would make a huge batch and freeze one-cup portions to use later which was fine but not really how I wanted to use one. Before that I used a wonderful inexpensive double-boiler type pot that I've never seen anywhere since. Its inner pot had holes around the top and was otherwise solid metal. The rice and its water went into the inner one and boiling water in the outer pot. The only problem I had was forgetting it on the stove -- yikes. [I just did a quick search for stovetop rice steamers and there is a similar pot called Metro at Target -- however it is $30 and you could buy an inexpensive Rival rice cooker for less than that].

I recently bought a very small cooker [3 cup] when it went on sale and finally am using a rice cooker the way I wanted to -- for meal-sized portions rather than huge batches. I find I am using it all the time. And it has a steamer rack. I have also had good luck cooking other items on top of the rice for a one-pot type meal. No more forgotten pots on the burner! And it is just so darn cute http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-NS-XBC05WR-Micom-Cooker-Warmer/dp/B000MD... [I got it for 50% off and could barely justify it at that price but I've been happy with the purchase].

So I guess I'm saying what most commenters have said -- depends on what you would use a rice cooker for and whether your budget permits. I did have a small inexpensive rice cooker that worked fine [I actually didn't mind that slightly browned rice on the bottom] but it only lasted a few months so I would recommend getting the best you can afford.

Harper
Denver, Colorado USA

schwarzi
Joined: 2 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

I use my rice cooker really often. At first I didn't think that I needed one but by now I think I couldn't live without it! :-)

fuseki
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

Well I don't know about anyone else here, but I have been trying to improve my rice cooking in a pot and weighing whether or not it may be better to get a rice cooker. I am not really willing to shell out even $25 for one of those cheapy ones at Wal-Mart if I can make it just fine in a pot. What I do for my pot-cooked rice is I put the rice in the pot, rinse it about twice, then fill the pot just a centimeter or two over the rice. I use Botan because I like it the most and appreciate sticky rice more. Then I bring the whole thing to a boil and once it is boiling really well I turn the burner off, cover the rice, and wait. After 10 minutes or more, I check it. If it's not done, I add a tiny more water and bring it back to a boil to try again. The rice usually doesn't come out mushy and porridge-y if I don't over-add water. Usually it's just right and does not burn. Another important factor to me is the pan. I use a cute little pan that happened to probably be expensive and has a slightly thicker copper bottom. I have done rice in it over a dozen times and only burned it once or twice yet.

Alice Reiner
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)
fuseki wrote:

Well I don't know about anyone else here, but I have been trying to improve my rice cooking in a pot and weighing whether or not it may be better to get a rice cooker. I am not really willing to shell out even $25 for one of those cheapy ones at Wal-Mart if I can make it just fine in a pot. What I do for my pot-cooked rice is I put the rice in the pot, rinse it about twice, then fill the pot just a centimeter or two over the rice. I use Botan because I like it the most and appreciate sticky rice more. Then I bring the whole thing to a boil and once it is boiling really well I turn the burner off, cover the rice, and wait. After 10 minutes or more, I check it. If it's not done, I add a tiny more water and bring it back to a boil to try again. The rice usually doesn't come out mushy and porridge-y if I don't over-add water. Usually it's just right and does not burn. Another important factor to me is the pan. I use a cute little pan that happened to probably be expensive and has a slightly thicker copper bottom. I have done rice in it over a dozen times and only burned it once or twice yet.

....or you could buy a Japanese rice cooker (like Zojirushi) and have perfect asian rice at the touch of a button which is a hell of a lot easier than this. I set my rice cooker on the timer function so that its ready for when I get in from work. The cooker is easy to clean and I've had it now for 6 years used it everyday and the inner bowl is as good as new. Yes they are expensive but if you eat a lot of rice and want a cooker that wont let you down then get one of these Zojirushi babies.

Mitchi
Bento-ing from: NRH › Texas › USA
Joined: 6 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 16 weeks ago.
You don't NEED one, but they're spiffy

As someone who grew up in a very rural part of the Philippines (where pot cooking is done by 99% of the population), I honestly prefer using a rice cooker. I eat rice everyday, and being able to set the rice in a pot and leave it without risking it burning is VERY handy. For years my mom used a rice cooker that my dad gave her as a wedding present when she first moved to the US, one which still cooks the rice perfectly, despite it being almost 30 years old O_0

I just use some cheapo 3 cup rice cooker i got from CVS and it works spectacularly. You really don't need a ton of features on a rice cooker, you just need one with a switch to turn it on that keeps the rice warm when it's done. Perfect rice every time and I can let it cook while I'm doing chores or walking the dog. I do want one of those spiffy pressurized ones though. I had one for a while till a friend borrowed it and broke it. I've even used the plastic microwavable ones with great success (until that too was borrowed and broken ;_;).

klg
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

Microwave Rice
We have had simple rice cooker for ~35 years - a wedding gift. Still works fine. If I am just making a cup or so I use a smaller metal bowl inside and add equal amounts of water to rice and to cooker.

However I found and tested this microwave recipe for our college daughter.

I have tried this and it works fine. It cannot be rushed – it will take 20 minutes or so no matter how much rice is made.

Note that rice will double to triple in volume when cooked.
Within reason it will reheat – so making a couple of days’ worth at once is ok.

This recipe can be scaled up.

½ cup regular rice (never “minute”)
(I like half white and half brown or red rice for variety)
1 cup water or chicken broth (you will need a bit more if brown rice is used)
A dab of oil – butter, olive, canola whatever. Important!

Add all to a ceramic bowl of at least double the volume of ingredients.

Microwave uncovered on Hi until it boils – around 2 minutes.
Cover and microwave on half power for ~15 minutes- checking every 5 minutes or so to be sure it has enough moisture and for doneness.
And a bit more liquid if needed and keep cooking until soft but not mushy.

To reheat – add a few drops of liquid depending on how dry it is, cover and microwave on Hi until hot.

klg
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

Microwave Rice
We have had simple rice cooker for ~35 years - a wedding gift. Still works fine. If I am just making a cup or so I use a smaller metal bowl inside and add equal amounts of water to rice and to cooker.

However I found and tested this microwave recipe for our college daughter.

I have tried this and it works fine. It cannot be rushed – it will take 20 minutes or so no matter how much rice is made.

Note that rice will double to triple in volume when cooked.
Within reason it will reheat – so making a couple of days’ worth at once is ok.

This recipe can be scaled up.

½ cup regular rice (never “minute”)
(I like half white and half brown or red rice for variety)
1 cup water or chicken broth (you will need a bit more if brown rice is used)
A dab of oil – butter, olive, canola whatever. Important!

Add all to a ceramic bowl of at least double the volume of ingredients.

Microwave uncovered on Hi until it boils – around 2 minutes.
Cover and microwave on half power for ~15 minutes- checking every 5 minutes or so to be sure it has enough moisture and for doneness.
And a bit more liquid if needed and keep cooking until soft but not mushy.

To reheat – add a few drops of liquid depending on how dry it is, cover and microwave on Hi until hot.

Lazria
Re: Rice cooker help(do I really need one?)

As many others have stated, you don't need one, but it helps. If you can shop online you can often find great deals. 3 years ago I bought a 3-cup zojirushi cooker - simple one, only 1 function lever to press. It ran me $30 shipped off Cooking.com. It's ONLY burned twice and both times are MY fault.

1) It doesn't do well with brown rice
2) it doesn't like anything but plain water.

Considering I only use Jasmine long grain rice, I have no issues (I know about the rice - it's cheap and yummie).

But I've used microwave steamers before - boil in bag rice for sushi (NO beating me - it worked and they never knew the difference) and typical pot cooking for rice. Cookers are easier, but by no means 100% needed. Good luck to everybody!

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