Ricer cooker/steamer?

I went crazy collecting hand made tin lined copper cataplana from portugal. They are the prototype for our pressure cooker. I fell in love with copper, stating collecting them a few years ago… However, I hate to use them bec I worry about messing them up. The ones I use the most are the cataplanas as I have a smaller one for 2 people, a bigger one for a lot of guest, and one in between for my son’s outings in the boat when he sleeps overnight. It is very fast cooking, I usually do a a countdown from 15 minutes with the ones for 2, and in about 10 minutes, the food is cooked. Beware because most cataplanas from portugal or sold in the US are mass produced, the copper is thin. I learned my lesson, bought and sold . It has to be hand made. That is very thick copper which ensures fast flavorful cooking!

too expensive!

How you keep contradicting yourself:

Point 1: You think it’s silly to romanticize the old materials

Point 2: Cooking with clayware is pointless

I did not at any point make any assertIons that my ultimate goal was to specifically purchase a clay rice cooker. Although both Korean and Japanese manufacture them so there must be some benefit I am not aware of. Apparently you aren’t either - I however have elected not to disparage this technique. Hopefully some Korean or Japanese posters will chime in and educate us.

One of things that struck me in Japan is how consistently fluffy and al dente cooked rice is, from 7-Eleven to the 3* sushi bars (with a tendency of increasing perfection at higher price points). That’s what I’m seeking to achieve specifically as it relates to preparing fluffy white unburnt rice (shortgrain, long grain and sweet rice varieties). I currently own a $200 Zojirushi cooker which 15yrs ago was the highest end model available here in the U.S. However I have not been able to replicate my experiences in Japan even when using $30/lb Japanese rice I schlepped from Japan. Perhaps I’m using an incorrect technique. My fascination with $1+k rice cookers honestly is very shallow - cool new gear and throwing $$$ to solve a problem.

My interest in old school “nostalgic” techniques and cookware to prepare rice in its many forms and origins lies in what I have experienced and observed to produce the ultimate outcomes. Examples:

  1. Jiro’s claim that the high pressure iron kamado cooking is the only method to achieve the desired outcome for the rice he sources.
  2. Chinese claypot rice as discussed above by @naf. I have never achieved this in an electic rice cooker - desired degree of burnt rice and you need an open fire to infuse smoke
  3. Paella - same as #2
  4. Fluffy Indian and Persian rice (& burnt)
  5. Burnt Korean rice
  6. Bamboo basket steamed sticky rice in Indochina region
  7. Sticky rice cooked in bamboo
  8. Risotto - time consuming
  9. Super smooth HK style congee

Each of them requires me to tend to the stove or fire and as much as I enjoy cooking; more often than not time is a premium and I would love the convenience of a one touch contraption. I am not aware of any electric rice cooker that can achieve perfection for the items listed above. Perhaps the $1k cooker to achieve #1 or come very close. The genesis of the electric rice cooker after all was for the one touch convenience to prepare a staple starch consumed daily by a very large population of the world.

Your electric cooker looks the same? So does it come with a cute baby too? :yum:
Actually, you and I may have very similar rice cookers. Mine is a 10-year old fuzzy logic rice cooker from Zojirushi.
All civilizations at one point or another were using clayware because human understand clay much earlier than metal – which is also why several religions have gods created human from mud and clay.

Even after our ancestors mastered metalsmith, metal was still very expensive. Most people cannot afford a lot of metal. Metal cookware were shared by communities and later metal cookware were passed down from one generation to another. The idea that you can register a new set of cookware at Bed Bath and Beyond for your wedding is relatively new.

In term of the slightly burned/scorched rice, early rice cookers routinely produced this. If a person has never seen this, he/she can ask their parents and grandparents. This is actually something people tried to avoid for a long time. After the rice cooker technology has much improved, and also the introduction of Teflon to rice cookware (not many know this), that is when burned rice really started to disappear.


I still think it is counterproductive to romanticize something without understanding. I don’t see anything I wrote which is particularly contradicting. I have several clay cookware which is why I know it has shortcomings. As for the statement I wrote about “the benefits of old fashion clay/mud cooking and nonsense…” There is nothing contradicting about it. I have copied an image specifically there. That feature is undesirable to try to reproduce. So maybe you took my statement out of context and misrepresenting my stance?

In case it is unclear, this picture is suggesting that the poor conductivity is a good thing.


I don’t believe it, which is why I said it is nonsense to try to replicate poor conductivity into an electric cooker. Tell me I am wrong. Tell me that you believe a poor conductive material is better for making rice. I am willing to listen.

I have said that I recognized that the existence of pressurized electric rice cookers. Most Japanese sushi chefs use electric rice cookers. Jiro is one of the few who still uses a relatively older setup, but he doesn’t use a clay pot. Jiro believes in high pressure. He does not believe in poor conductivity. In fact, that is the one specific feature he took out. He kept the kamado setup, and he kept the wood cover, but he uses highly thermal conductive aluminum pots. You have used Jiro a few times to support your idea, but you do understand there is a good possibility that Jiro actually will agree with me that aluminum is the way to go, and not clay.

Well, that is certain weird, if not contradicting. Let me clear something here. Anyone is free to buy what they want. What I was criticizing is the marketing concept for building a very technical machine with a clay insert (poor thermal conductivity) and actually put this in the promotion picture. In short, I am saying that I don’t believe in this approach.
It is my understand that you have been criticizing my stance for more than a few posts. Now, you are telling me that you may not believe in the clay part afterall, but rather you simply want the awesome final rice product. So what makes you think I am against good rice product?

wish there is an attached baby
My poms would go wild with happiness.
I actually got my first rice cooker, a panasonic in 1968, when my mentor returned to Japan for vacation. He giftedme my first rice cooker which lasted me me thru 2003 when I had a Chinese carpenter who came and lived with me for 3 years remodeling my house. I do not know what he did but he never wiped the bottom of the inner pot dry, so it shorted out within a few months. I bought another panasonic, and within a year, same thing happened. This latest one was purchased before he left in 2006, it is a large aroma, with all kinds of buttons. It is a large one as the carpenter eats a lot of rice. Since 2012, I have stored it in the closet, just bring it out to make 5-6 cups of rice, then refrigerate the let overs with stretch tite. I use Kokuho red for cooking my everyday rice

Oh yeah, that was relatively important back then. A little bit of moisture is fine, but a lot of water droplets can kill the rice cookers. About refrigerating rice, I noticed that some rice refrigerate well, and some don’t. Some keep their texture, while others just go bad (not toxic or anything, but the texture would get pretty bad). Kokuho type of rice does well. Thai Jasmine rice does well also.

Your entire argument and rabid disdain for clay as a cooking vessel for rice appears predicated on the conjecture that boiling is the sole and only ‘acceptable’ method for preparing rice. Hence your obsession with vessels made of materials with high conductivity.

From what I have been able to gather from the google translation of the website, the $1k Tiger cooks rice by steaming. The earthenware vessel’s poor conductivity helps retain heat and in the process maintain a consistent temperature to cook rice in addition to the primary heat source emanating from the steam. I have no clue if this holds any water but it seems to have some merit worth exploring.

Let me be very EXPLICIT - I am not a scientist/physicist/metallurgist heck for that matter I am not even a good home cook. I do not profess to have any expertise cooking rice in any form or vessel. I am NOT advocating clay or any other earthenware material for cooking rice. I am however open to ANY cooking methodology/equipment/material from any culture no matter how ancient or modern to achieve what I perceive as warm fluffy unburnt white rice nirvana. The more convenient the better.

You believe the marketing of cooking rice in clay is hyperbole but yet you will consider clay ware to cook other ingredients Have you prepared rice by steaming? Have you cooked rice in clay vessel on a regular basis? Have you researched and tested various rice cooking methodologies? Have you tested the Tiger $1k rice cooker or any of the new Japanese rice cookers with an earthenware pot?

Your condescending tone implies you are an authority in this field. I am inclined to postulate you are not and prefer to place my bet on the likes of Tiger/Zojirushi/Toshiba etc. The Japanese have this annoying habit of obsessing over the smallest details in the goal of perfection. Additionally, the audacity of a well established company introducing rice cookers w earthenware pots at a stratospheric $1+k price tag has me intrigued enough to check it out. I am also intrigued with another trend of using a heavy cast iron pot which appears to more closely mirror Jiro’s kamado cooking method. Jury is still out for me on which is a superior technology in rice cooker advancements - doesn’t help that all the marketing is in Japanese and none of these cookers come in a voltage compatible with US electrical outlets.

I am still puzzled why you keep raising the point of me romanticizing clay??? My two posts prior to your assertion consist of #RiceCookerGoals, a link to a $1k rice cooker and a picture of a metal kamado pot… hardly romantic …

On the other hand I can wax poetically about a delicious serving of HK styled claypot rice/“lap mei fan” cooked over charcoal

You know. Obviously, you are making this much more personal than it should. My post was originally about the general population. You should discuss the merit of the cookware and the design. Talk about science and engineering and facts in general, and less about me. If you think what I said about the electric clay rice cooker is factual wrong, then point them out: why a poor thermal conductive clay is the way to go. It may be true. Keep it about the cookware, and not about me.
The clay being a poor thermal conductor and therefore a good heat retainer is a poor argument in this case. If it is a stovetop cookware… then maybe there is a small argument for that because the cookware is exposed to an open environment.
However, this is an insulated electric rice cooker. The insulation is already on the outside, so why build another one inside? An electric rice cooker is build to control temperature. It can control the heating of a thermal conductive insert better than a poor thermal conductive insert. You can always drive a fast car slow, but you cannot drive a slow car fast. An electric rice cooker heater can control the aluminum insert better than the clay insert. Like I said, Jiro and others have made the decision to not use clay. You don’t think he knows what he was doing?

Let me focus on to the basics. I have said that the design of making an electric clay rice cooker is poor, and I have given plenty scientific and engineering arguments. I have asked you about what particular feature you like from a potential clay insert rice cooker, but I haven’t heard any. Your specific stance has been evasive. Once awhile, you will half heartedly point to one thing, but then back off right away – like this insulation argument here. You make a claim and then suddenly says you not sure if this holds water. You also earlier said you are not personally invested the idea of clay rice cooker and that is not your ultimate goal. If you are not sure about something, can you have a leg against the opposite view? I don’t see how you can tell the the other person that his viewpoint is incorrect if you don’t have even know what is right. Let me use an example. If I said I think the Earth is round and I have provided evidence, then you should also provide the counter-evidence that the Earth is flat, showing me that I am wrong. I am cool with that. However, you cannot say “I don’t know if the Earth is round or flat, I actually don’t know, but you are not allowed to say the Earth is round” This is what is happening right now. You have said more than a few times that you are not sure, and at the same time that I am not to discredit the electric clay insert rice cooker.
As for your question about how I can against an electrical version of clay rice cooker, but not a regular cheap clay pot. I have clearly explained that numerous times, and am not repeating again. You can like and buy what you want. I can also make my points and explanations here.


No… this picture you have posted… I don’t think it is an iron pot. It is shiny and silver. Most likely aluminum, and certainly not clay. Even if it is iron (unlikely), iron is vastly closer to aluminum than to clay. For one, cast iron and aluminum are both metals. You have repeatedly point to something you consider to be evidence to only actually supporting my statement, like the Jiro argument earlier and this aluminum insert photo here. This is very confusing, and contradicting.

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Yikes, please excuse my apprehension, if you think your few lines of grade (or middle) school level counterpoints above qualifies as “plenty of scientific and engineering arguments”

Jiro is an old school shokunin utilizing a traditional cooking method. Zojirushi is already attempting to replicate this. Hence the reason I was very excited when I encountered the Zojirushi on display at the BiC store in Toyko - the marriage of tradition and technology. However just because Jiro’s doing it doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to skin a cat. The same analogy can be made for combustion engines vs electric vs hydrogen vs whatever fuel/engine may come down the road; a car vs. helicopter vs plane vs rocket ship etc. or perhaps even teleportation. The ultimate goal being to transport someone or something from point A to B.

As for you, regrettably I don’t consider you an authority in this field. You have a binary view of cooking fluffy white unburnt rice - boil rice in a highly conductive vessel or the highway.

I have expressed several times in this post regarding my frustration on 110V units not being offered for me to purchase. Therefore I’ve elected not to make a stand on these new fangled Japanese market-only electric cookers. I prefer not to proclaim myself a false prophet / an expert by making an affirmative stance on a subject I have no expertise or had the opportunity of testing personally. I’m just not bold enough to make a public stance of discrediting Tiger’s cooker at this point. Does this mean I cannot express an interest or share a new idea?

On the other hand you have not answered the questions from my last post nor provided any hard evidence of hands on testing to disprove Tiger’s cooker and their use of clay to steam rice … instead you continuously refer to equipment & methods applicable to boiling rice and your conjecture supported by few lines of grade (or middle) school science arguments as gospel to condemn the technology. (btw I am NOT an employee/lobbyist/advocate of Tiger)

Haha my bad, I knew you would catch my tardiness with your scientific prowess and I corrected this prior to you response. You are correct it is a metal (generically) pot. I wonder if it contains a copper core…

Pot calling the kettle black.

Well, considering that you don’t know much about science and engineering maybe that is why you cannot tell these are scientific points. Even if that was a cast iron post, it would still be supporting my argument.

No, what you are saying is that you don’t have any evidence and you don’t even know why, but you are also not allowing other people to make a judgement call. You don’t consider me as an expert is fine. The problem is that… do you even have the background to make that judgement? In other words, can someone with even less science and engineering background be a judge of my skill? Probably not. So it is unsurprising that you cannot make a call. I am not even taking this statement seriously, but you should think about why you kept repeating it.

Here is the thing. I welcome people to express their views providing with evidence.

Talk about contradiction. You were the one who started to say you want fluffy white unburned rice like that made by Jiro. I didn’t start that path. Scroll up.

I don’t need to. First, because you are not serious about learning. Second, you don’t even know why they steam, I do. Third, you have answered even fewer questions from me.

No, you haven’t talked about science. I have been begging you to talk about real evidence, but you haven’t. You have been just do this childish argument of: A) I believe Tigers and Zojirushi more than you – which is totally beside the point. or B) Jiro or someone or somewhere have been using clay – which half of what you tried to say ended up supporting my view. Jiro and that photo are supporting aluminum. In fact, I have been encouraging to share your evidence.
Finally, the fact that you cannot even tell aluminum from cast iron from clay shows that you don’t have much hands-on experience. Anyone who have used these cookware can tell one from another. Seriously, if I was arguing for an aluminum insert, and you were asking for clay insert, why on Earth would you use Jiro as a supporting evidence because he is using aluminum and post a photo of an aluminum insert.
Unless, you don’t know what aluminum looks like.

Do you really want to talk about the different engines? I can. What I have been suggesting is that the type of engines need to be based on basic science. Engineering is based on scientific knowledge. So if the science knowledge is not there, engineering cannot happen. People do have intensive arguments about these type of engines based on science. They do not actually do what you have suggested (just throw the kitchen sink in, close the eye, and not discuss). In our community, we always debate and not discourage them. However, they have to based on something, not just pure feelings.

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How cute!!! Can I get one of those on eBay? My husband did not want any and I am too old now anyways, but I would not mind picking up one off eBay, used is okay! I am not talking about the rice cooker… :slight_smile:

Well, he is going to cost more than $1000. :heart_eyes:

I totally brain-farted oven rice!!! Yes, that works out perfectly too, cooking rice in the oven! Isn’t it crazy how many ways there are to make rice? I went through a phase where I wanted to find all the ways to make rice perfectly using different cooking vessels and methods that were available to me. I do things like that now and then, just for the sake of knowing.

I might have to sell some copper…okay, I am willing. he he he.

Well you know what, I am results driven and I like to be able to re-create perfection. For this reason, I usually take notes until I perfect something, then I try to write down all the details so I can re-create it perfectly, every single time.

That is the only reason my rice is perfect every time, because I perfected it and then I follow my perfected directions exactly. I am not saying nothing will ever go wrong in the future, knock on wood, just saying I have reliable directions at least, and I went through a lot of fails to get there. A lot of boil-overs and too mushy or dry-on-top rice…ugh.

Here is a little tip, put 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds to each cup of rice. Cancer hates mustard seeds and dislikes the black variety most of all, so I picked that one. I just throw them in with the rice and we don’t notice them in texture or taste them but they are kinda decorative. I figured if they don’t hurt but possibly can help, why not.

I have heard of that … not the mustard seeds, but the black color food (in general), which is why I think there is this movement of eating very dark veggies to black soy milk to black sesame seeds…etc. I still have some yellow mustard seeds when I was trying to cook Indian foods.

So what kind of rice do you like to cook? You just toss in the mustard seeds, no crushing them…etc.

ANYway I bought this one and like it

14 cups is pretty big. You know. I have the same delay start function, but never bother using it. Have you tried yours?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold