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Steamer/Rice Cookers

I bought a combination Black and Decker steamer/rice cooker.  It sounded
like such a smart idea to buy the combination but I think that I would be
happier with it if it was a rice cooker only since I 'think' that they
behave differently.  Mine does not turn off automatically when it has

I have a question about cooking brown rice in this appliance.  It cooks
just fine when it is by itself, using the directions that came with it, but
as soon as I mix it with other ingredients, it seems to remain a hard
kernal until I cook the mixture forever, then it still does not soften as
expected.  The other ingredients become mush and the rice still isn't done.
 What would make the rice behave this way?  Does it have something to do
with the amount of water, or is there another reason?

We took this appliance on vacation with us and used it many times in our
motel.  We would make the grain dish and then afterwards steam a package of
frozen veggies.