I didn't think I wanted or needed a rice cooker until I heard about the newer models that had settings for porridge. I like oatmeal and other hot breakfast cereals, but I had been making instant oatmeal because it was so hard to cook steel cut oats on the stove without them boiling over or leaving a pot that needed difficult scrubbing. I've had the Sanyo ECJ-D55S for only two weeks, so I don't know about its durability, but I've had great success with everything I've cooked with it.
Recommend this product?
It should be noted that all rice cookers come with measuring cups that hold 6 fluid ounces, and when the recipes in the cooker's manual call for 2 cups of rice, what is meant is 2 of those smaller measuring cups, which is only 1-1/2 cups when using the regular 8-fluid-ounce measuring cups. For most purposes, I find it easier to use regular measuring cups, but it's important to pay attention to the maximum capacity of the pot, which can be recalculated as 4 cups of white rice and about 1 to 1-1/4 cups of dry oatmeal or porridge
A previous reviewer did a great job describing the general operation of this cooker, so I'll just comment on the brown rice and porridge cycles.
It's worth knowing that the different types of brown rice may vary in the amount of water needed. To some extent, the machine can compensate for too much water added, because the sensor will tell when the water is cooked off, but if too much water is used, the rice will be somewhat mushy (while if too little water is used, one can add some more and restart the cooking cycle, or just leave it awhile on the keep warm setting). "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook," by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, discusses the amount of water needed for different types of brown rice, but it's generally 1-2/4 to 2-1/4 cups of water for one regular 8-fluid-ounce measuring cup of rice. This may sound complicated, but my first batch of brown rice, with brown basamati rice, was perfect, the best rice I've ever made. I've also made short grain brown rice and a red rice; the red rice came out seeming a bit gummy, but it tasted wonderful, and the short grain brown rice was excellent. The cooking cycle for brown rice involves a soaking period, and I've been told that brown rice actually benefits from a longer soaking period (two hours or more), so I've made the brown rice using the timer, setting the time for four to eight hours later, since the cycle itself takes about an hour and a half. There is a quick cycle, but it's so easy to set the cooker up in advance, and the rice keeps so well on the keep warm setting, that I haven't resorted to using the quick cycle.
Porridge is the slowest setting, so I wouldn't use it without the timer. I put one-half to one cup of dry cereal in the cooker pot the night before, with the proportional amount of water (which varies from two times to four times the amount of dry oatmeal or other porridge -- rolled oats take less water, while steel cut oats take more). Then I set the timer for the earliest time I expect to want breakfast, because I know it will be fine on the keep warm setting for several hours if I get up late.
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Amount Paid (US$): 109