I have owned and used any number of rice cookers over my lifetime. Anyone that grows up in a Chinese family and eats rice will have used a wide range of rice cookers on a daily basis. The Neuro Fuzzy logic series from Zojirushi wins hands down! (I will now refrain from writing an ode to my rice cooker.)
I know a lot of you are wondering what in the world would possess you to buy a rice cooker that costs nearly $200. Actually, considering how much work I put this thing through it is well worth the money. Actually America’s Test Kitchen, Bee at rasamalaysia.com and any number of other foodies out there would agree.
I love that I can make ANY kind of rice, and it cooks up perfectly every single time. Yes, even brown rice. In our household, we know brown is better, but we fudge and cook 1/2 and 1/2 instead which makes it a bit more palatable. If that is still too much brown for you, try a 2 part brown 3 part white mixture. To save time, I have a large storage canister where I have it premixed for ready use and also so that I can just cook 2 cups worth at a time.
It also cooks up good jook (rice porridge). I frequently will add finely minced meat, shredded chicken, or some ginko nuts and let it work its magic. No more stirring and checking to make sure it doesn’t burn on the stove. It is easy to just add a bit more liquid to make it more soup-like (Canto style) since the measurement will turn out a thicker xi fan (Taiwan style).
I have the 10 cup version above which I recommend over the 5 cup version which is way too small. Keep in mind the cups are Asian rice cup measurements not actual American standard cup measurements. It has 2 sets of timers so you can set this up in the morning for freshly cooked rice as soon as you get home or at night for jook in the morning (I would not advise putting meat in here overnight). I just pull out some pork fu aka floss instead. Supposedly, it cooks up really good oatmeal, but I don’t want to eat that much oatmeal in the morning.
This is one of the less expensive models in their Neuro Fuzzy line. The more expensive ones have fancier finishes and a few more bells & whistles.
吃飯了! Sik fan la! (Chi fan le!)
edited on 12/19/14: So, in the interest of full disclosure, we no longer eat brown rice for the reasons outlined by this blogger. You can research more about this if you like. We were sold after reading the research in Perfect Health Diet. http://ancestral-nutrition.com/why-white-rice-is-healthier-than-brown-rice/