By popular demand, here is more about my mini rice cooker. It's a
National brand (same company as Panasonic) Model SR-CF05N. 3-cup
capacity (most are 5-10).
"Fuzzy Logic" cookers are supposedly better at controlling the cooking
so that the rice or porridge or whatever, comes out just right. Some
cookers even have special brown rice programs -- mine doesn't but it
handles brown rice and whole grains just fine for my purposes (except
for wild rice, when I try to cook wild rice in the cooker the grains
always end up burst, edible and cooked through, but burst). With my
cooker I don't don't get "bottom rice", the crusty layer of starch
lining the bottom of the cooker (so maybe "fuzzy logic" is more than
just marketing BS).
This 3-"cup" model (rice cooker cups are 6 oz, not 8) has a bowl with
a dimpled bottom which they claim makes small portions come out
better. I dunno if it really does help, but I can cook single
servings in this. They recommend that if you want to keep just a tiny
portion on keep-warm that you mound it up in the middle to prevent
dry-out. This is the only fuzzy logic rice cooker I've found that's
under 5 cup capacity. There is a really small 1 cup rice cooker, also
made by national, but it isn't fuzzy logic and doesn't even have a
keep warm function or a timer, but at around $30, it might be worth
investigating for those who want to do small portions. With the 3 cup
model, I can do rice for up to 3-4 people as well.
And yes, I meant to say 1/4 cup grains and 3/4 cup water. On the
porridge setting the single portion of cracked grains comes out almost
like a very moist, sticky pancake that falls apart, but there is no
bottom crust. On the rice setting, whole (not cracked) grains don't
stick together. I've done wheat berries and kamut and they are both
great in the cooker.
There is a summary of rice cooker types at:
And they sell a model (which seems the same as mine despite the slight
difference in model number). I have never bought from these folks, I
got mine at the Japanese supermarket Yaohan in Cupertine, CA (for $89,
I think). The online store url with the model in question is:
The downside of this model is you have to remember to clean out the
lid and rim. It has a metal plate the floats in the lid like a
suspended ceiling, and starch and stuff gets above where you can't see
so you have to remember to take it off and clean it regularly. And
rim crevices are hard to get to sometimes.
An amusing note: the manual for my cooker gives instructions for using
the preset timer and then says "Caution: do not put any ingredients or
seasonings into the cooker when using the timer." That would kinda
defeat the whole purpose of using the timer, would it not? I wonder
what the Japanese or chinese or korean versions actually say. They
probably mean to use only rice/grains and water and no extras. And,
reading the manual, I see it also has a cook timer, you can tell it to
cook for a preset length of time. Hmmmm, possibilities.