Back in March at my favorite trade show, the man on the Cuckoo rice cooker stand glossed over a brand new mannequin in favor of 1 with extra bells and whistles.
“Wait,” I requested, “can we go back one?”
Reluctantly, he did, and it was like catnip for me: a rice cooker that makes use of induction warmth with an choice to prepare dinner it with stress.
In my e book, rice cookers are among the many most handy of kitchen home equipment, making good rice and protecting it heat and prepared for an prolonged time frame. Pressure-cooker rice turned an Instant-Pot crowd craze a couple of years again as a result of it could actually create distinct grains with no mushiness. It’s actually good rice. Induction heating makes for extremely environment friendly and constant warmth. These had been all of the bells and whistles I wanted.
Against the Grain
Chez Joe, we are the form of family that is had the identical good, middle-of-the-road rice cooker for occurring 12 years. It’s secure to say that our machine has been cooking rice or protecting it heat for greater than half that point, so I used to be excited to take the Cuckoo CRP-MHTR0309F (confusingly aka CRP-MH03) for a spin. It’s a 3-cup mannequin that is a part of Cuckoo’s “Fuzzy Series” of cookers, and I wished to see the way it carried out towards a similarly appointed Zojirushi that I reviewed in 2020.
Instead of dragging you on a boring journey via my in depth testing, I’ll simply say that I had a fuzzy collection of outcomes. I’ll provide the top-line abstract.
After greater than a month of heavy rice testing and consumption that includes various kinds of rice on many alternative settings, the outcomes had been so … peculiar … that on the finish, I simply went again and graded every spherical on a 10-point scale within the margin, then regarded on the outcomes. Yes, my style assessments had been subjective, and the truth that the Cuckoo prices quite a bit—round $400—factored into the rating a bit, however the unhappy reality was that solely 1 / 4 of all of the batches I examined scored increased than a 5. Normally, at this a part of the story I’d go deep into the nitty-gritty of all of its capabilities, however with scores that low, there’s not a lot level.
Let’s begin with a praise. I’ll say that it cooked brown rice very properly on its “Super Turbo” setting the primary time I made it, however subsequent assessments on the identical setting with totally different portions of rice left it very al dente as soon as and someway sticky and al dente the subsequent time.
The first batch of white rice I made was cooked into such mushy submission, my spouse Elisabeth mentioned that it reminded her of what her Japanese grad-school roommate known as “rice for sick people.” Every white rice take a look at, stress or not, scored a 4 or under. Even short-grain white on the non-pressure setting, which must be the North Star for all rice cookers, was all around the map; it was advantageous, however actually not $400-list-price rice-cooker advantageous. In a ding that may trigger many rice-cooker purists to show up their noses, there was sometimes browning on the underside of just-cooked rice, and a few attributable to the keep-warm operate.
I checked with a Cuckoo rep to ensure I used to be utilizing the proper sorts of rice, as some producers use particular manufacturers of rice to calibrate their machines. That was additionally a useless finish, as Cuckoo has no most popular manufacturers, saying its machine’s sensible algorithms ought to yield excellent rice.