on 10/20/2007 6:31:28 PM
I got one as a Christmas gift a few years ago, and thought I'd never use it. But we do, all the time! It makes perfect rice, and I always struggled with getting the texture just right on the stove top. Especially with brown rice I find this a real boon--the only brown rice we liked when I was cooking it on the stove top was Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice, and while speedy, it wasn't cheap (about two meals out of a box). With the rice cooker, I can buy the cheapest bulk brown rice I can find and not worry about how it'll turn out. (I've used brown rice from Aldi's, which I'm assuming is the cheapest of the cheap, and it was just fine!)
Mine is a super cheap bare bones one from Wal-mart, I'm guessing it was less than $20 (one of those Christmas end-of-aisle specials). I've never tried to steam anything in it, but rice it does well. It does cook more rice than I would normally cook if I was using the stove top, but I've actually found this to be an advantage oddly enough--now I always have a cup or two of leftover rice to add to other meals to 'stretch' them, where before I wouldn't have bothered cooking some just to add to it if the recipe didn't call for it, you know?