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60
4.0 out of 5 stars
Crock-Pot 1.8L Saute Rice Cooker Black
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2012
I love it but my hubby is not too convinced. Yes the saute function though handy is a bit slow but love the fact you can do other rice type dishes instead of plain white rice. The cup is only 160ml but it is more than enough for 2-3 people if you follow their ratio of rice:water.
Like the design, it actually sits quite nicely in the kitchen.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This `rice cooker' has a non-stick-lined inner aluminium pot sitting on a hotplate. In the centre of the hot plate is a sprung-loaded thermostat pad. The whole is enclosed in a similarly shaped painted aluminium bowl standing on four small rubber feet. The mains supply is connected via a standard 10Amp plug-in IEC lead.

There is an instruction book with a few recipe examples based on American `cup' measurements. Alas, it is very poorly written and the recipes need to be interpreted into plain English with knowledge of how to cook with the pot and a proper understanding of how it works - which is not well explained in the book.

So then: How Does It Work?

The cooker has three heat functions:
1. rice cooking, when the paddle switch has been depressed (yellow light)
2. keep the rice warm, all the time when neither sautéing nor `rice cooking' (green light)
3. sauté, when the push button is depressed (red light).
Since one of these modes is always active, it is necessary to switch off the mains at the wall or unplug the lead when the cooker is not in use.

The automatic end of `rice cooking' depends on the temperature of the bottom of the inner pot suddenly rising, typically as the last of the water is taken up by the rice, or if it boils dry - a useful safety feature. There is no timer for the `rice cooking' function; it just keeps on boiling at the full power until dry and is no longer being cooled by the boiling water.

The sauté function merely bypasses the thermostat, and applies the full power all the time until the sauté button is pressed again to release it. Beware, check the red indicator light beside the button; this is a simple push-on-push-off switch, and it remains in the last used position even when there is no mains, and the next time the cooker is used it might be already in the full-power unprotected sauté mode.

I measured the power levels on my sample, and they are:
Plugged in, 30 Watts,
Keep warm, 30 Watts,
Rice cooking, 595 Watts,
Sauté, 595 Watts.

I measured the power usage when cooking the same amount of rice (160gms of WR Basmati for two people - a `cup' and a quarter plus two `cups' of water) in the cooker and also in a saucepan on my induction hob, reducing the heat to a gentle simmer as required. The hob was quicker to the boil than the rice cooker, twenty seconds at 1780W vs five minutes at 595W; and then the hob was also more economical on the cooking, average 128W vs steady 595W for twelve minutes each; thus the costs at 13p a unit work out at about 0.5p vs 2p.

In Use.

When cooking the rice, the full power boils the water faster than the vent in the glass lid can allow the steam to escape, so the rattling lid is telling us that the rice is being cooked, and when it stops there is no more steam, so the rice must be done. However, a lot of water also escapes around the edges and splatters across the worktop, so I park the lid at a slight angle to allow the steam to escape in a more civilised manner.

The inner pot gets boiling hot, as one might expect, and the exposed lip can scald fingers, so do not be tempted to try lifting it out. The metal rim of the lid is a loose fit to the glass, and more boiling hot water than one might expect is trapped in the grooved gap between them. The outer casing also gets hot, but not enough to damage skin, and the pair of handles enable it to be comfortably carried to the table to serve the rice.

I was disappointed by the rice cooking; it was no different in result to our usual way of cooking rice. And the instructions are very explicit in that it should not be used commercially; it is domestic only. I guess it only really comes in handy when you have lots of people round for dinner and the hob is full of everything else being cooked.

But as a very basic simple stir fry using the sauté function it works quite nicely, and the large volume encourages one-pot cooking for a quick dish. For example when I had the cold end of a very tasty roast leg of pork left over. I diced two onions, thin sliced four medium mushrooms, some garlic, softened all these in some olive oil in the pot. I cut the pork into bite-size bits and added them to the pot after the onions were beginning to brown. Then I stirred in some hot vegetable stock, and allowed it to mingle for a few minutes, meanwhile a half each of left-over sweet red and green peppers had been diced and softened in the microwave. These were added, and finally I stirred in enough rice for the two of us. Of course it needed stirring again a bit, and checking the water, but the rice thickened it nicely, and some seasoning and five spice at the end before serving produced a nice evening meal from left-overs in about half an hour. Using the hob would have taken a similar time, and only a little less power, but a saucepan doesn't look as good on the table.

Conclusion.

I would have liked it to control the power better, but I don't really see how it could do this automatically. The recipe book is poor. This was a Vine offering, but I don't think I would ever bother to buy one. The stir-fry ability rescues it a star.
Perhaps having two cooking heat levels could have been a useful option, because half the power would have been perfectly adequate for cooking the rice once up to boiling temperature.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 28 December 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you've never thought about a rice cooker before, it's well-worth considering one. You're probably thinking "what's easier than cooking rice?" and you're not wrong - but actually as someone who's cooked his fair share of boiled-dry rice at one end of the scale, and over-watering it at the other, there is a wonderful convenience to just having a gadget that does the job for you.

(If it helps convince you, I know a lot of Chinese people in the UK and have visited China a couple of times - a rice cooker is an essential bit of kit, so learn from the masters...)

This cooker is big. If you're on your own or cooking for two, find a smaller cooker (if not on Amazon then at a Chinese supermarket) because you can't really use this for single or double portions.
You put the rice in, add water up to the line, turn it on and wait. After a while the cooker is finished and keeps your rice warm for you until you're ready. (If you're using it in stir fry, do it the day before and let it go cold).

You can use the cooker to make various rice dishes, adding ingredients to create a jumbalaya or congee. It's really handy for doing large portions of rice for the family or for guests. The only downside is the size so either make sure you've got the space for it, or can store it away. Its black finish makes it more attractive than some of the more clinical devices that are out there, which look like they belong in a lab.

So if you like rice, or want to eat more as part of your low-fat diet, this is a great gadget to have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bought this to replace a cheap Ikea rice cooker I had had for years, which I loved but the non stick coating had started to come away.

I just can't seem to get the rice to cook right with this rice cooker. We eat quite a lot of rice, so I've tried a number of times, adjusting water levels etc. We use basmati rice most of the time.

The temperature just seems to be too fierce. Every time we lose a great chunk of rice which has stuck to the bottom of the rice cooker. I tried the sauté function with veg and curry paste and threw the rice and stock in on top - when it clicked to warm there was a crisp burnt layer on the bottom which means the pot is currently soaking in the sink.

The instructions are almost unintelligible. If anyone can suggest what I am doing wrong, it would be appreciated!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2014
PLS DONT BUY THIS RICE COOKER..

on the first day of use,i just tried to cook 2 cups of rice.after 10 mins, water started splattering to such an extent that it started going into my plug points.it also made lots of unpleasant sounds.i read similar problems on many other amazon reviews but ignored it..i definitely made a mistake.thank god amazon with its excellent service agreed for me to return the product..believe me i have used at least 3 other rice cookers.none of them have this type of problem..this is hugely defective product..pls do not buy..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2014
The rice sometimes gets a bit crispy on the bottom (maybe I still need to master the rice to water ratio) so I always add a little extra to account for this but I've had this cooker for a while now and it works really well and looks good too. Overally, very happy with it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2013
I've had this cooker for a few weeks now and using it is very simple - just add the rice and water, flick the switch and it cooks until the auto keep warm timer kicks in. I've used is for white, brown and quinoa - the result is perfect every time.

The one issue I do have with the design is that the lid does not fit snugly over the rice as it steams, this leads to steam escaping over the edge which then condenses and drips onto the counter. I just put a tea towel over the gap if this happens which soaks everything up, not an ideal solution and a silly design flaw.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was really looking forward to using the rice cooker, especially after reading you can cook all sorts of different dishes in it, not just rice, but pasta and oat based items (I assumed porridge).

So onto the rice. I was expecting that you would dump rice in the bowl, add water, switch it on and it would tell you when it was ready. No. You do add rice and water, but fifteen minutes after you switch it on you have to stir the rice. It's not a major issue, but when it is sold as automatic you don't think you would have to do that.

Cooking the rice could be a guessing game too. The recipe book clearly states that for every one cup of rice (using the cup provided) add 1 - 1 ½ cups of water, but for stickier rice add more water, for fluffier rice add less water and for brown rice add more water. What it doesn't say is roughly how much more water or how much less water. Yes, I do know that it's down to personal taste, but it's going to take a lot of experimenting to get the rice how you like it.

Onto the recipes in the booklet, well, they may as well have not bothered. There are eight recipes, most of them being rice based. One of them for rice pudding is a real mess on. I don't know who came up with it but there are much more simpler recipes out there.

But getting onto using the cooker. It is really easy to use, you add the rice, add the water, put it on, stir them wait for it to cook. Once the rice is cooked the keep warm facility kicks in. It will keep it warm until you unplug it, could be potential for burning here. The recipe book also tells you how you can reheat cold rice. All I will say is, if you do decide to reheat rice make sure it has really cooked through.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 7 November 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It looks stunning and I was delighted when I first saw it, unfortunately it provides the old adage "looks aren't everything".

I tried several times to make some boiled rice and there were a number of issues.

- There is no automatic turn off. On my previous machine there is an automatic cut off, like a safety switch.

- The lid has a very loose fit, and under the rapid boil it has a tendency lift and rattle. Even though there is a vent the rapidity of the boil overwhelmed the outlet.

- There is no temperature control; it is on a full, flat-out, continuous rolling boil. This means that rather than simmering the rice/pasta it is boiled to paste (if you're not careful).

- There is a degree of rice water splatter due to the ill-fitting lid and the rapid boil. This needs to be wiped up before it dries as when it dries it becomes a problem.

- When the water boils down the rice can catch and burn.

The recipe section of the instruction book is very poor. There are recipes that end up almost completely inedible - I would advise against the rice pudding recipe. As I looked at each of the recipes I began to wonder if they had been tried and tested or were just somebody's best guess.

These machines are supposed to make life easier, they are supposed to allow you to sit down and have a minute to yourself rather than standing over a pan making sure that it doesn't boil dry. Except in this case you will need to stand over the cooker because of the rapid boil.

If you are using all the rings on your stove then this is worth using, but other than that I will be sticking to my faithful Breville 4-in-1 or a pan to make my rice.
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on 25 February 2015
2 stars for the instructions that are just plain wrong, 4 stars for the item once you've sorted that out. One star deducted because of the massive steam vent, could easily be smaller.
This was bought to replace our previous rice cooker which lasted 15 years and was used daily. First time I used the new one I followed the instructions and the water evaporated and the rice stuck to the bottom and wasn't cooked. Luckily I switched it off before it burnt. The instructions require you to use less water than you'd use if you were cooking rice in a pan with a heavy lid and no steam vent. Try it with double the amount of water to rice (ie 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water) and you'll be OK.
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