Tuesday, October 27, 2015

$29.99 rice cooker is better than one that costs three times the price

CHEAPER AND BETTER: The Aroma Professional Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker and Steamer, left, was $29.99 last week at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro, compared to the Panasonic 10-cup Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker, which I bought in April 2013, when it listed for $89.99.


In 2013, I ordered a new Panasonic rice cooker with lots of bells and whistles from Amazon.com, and my wife refused to use it.

She remained loyal to my first electric rice cooker, also from Panasonic, even though it was more than a dozen years old and the inner pot often burned the bottom of white rice.

On top of that, the inner pot was cracked, and Panasonic no longer stocked a new one.

She felt the new Panasonic cooker was slow, and didn't like all the condensation that accumulated in the U-shaped channel under the lid.

The new cooker also took nearly two hours to cook organic brown rice, which is all I prepare at home. 

I smell a bargain

Last week, I walked into Costco Wholesale in Teterboro and an Aroma Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker and Steamer immediately caught my eye, especially the low price, only $29.99.

The Panasonic cooker I got from Amazon.com cost $67.99, but listed for $89.99.

The Aroma 3000SB cooker is nearly 30 minutes faster than the newer Panasonic cooker when preparing brown rice, and it has a neat feature to catch and drain condensation.

My wife used it to make white rice on the regular setting; it also has a "quick rice" setting that does the job in 10 minutes.

FASTER BROWN RICE: The Aroma cooker is faster when it comes to brown rice. Here, I added grated Pecorino Romano Cheese before I reheated leftover organic brown rice, prepared with red kidney beans, organic diced tomatoes, and peeled garlic cloves, for breakfast with two cage-free organic eggs.

MORE CHOICES: The 20-cup Aroma 3000SB rice cooker, above, has more functions than the more expensive Panasonic cooker, below.

OOPS: The Panasonic rice cooker is the first I've ever seen with a spatula server that doesn't fit inside.

LONGER WARRANTY: The Aroma rice cooker has a 5-year warranty, compared to 1-year warranty for the Panasonic cooker.

FOR CONDENSATION: This plastic collector, which catches condensation from inside the Aroma rice cooker, can be removed to throw the water into the sink.


  1. So you now have three rice cookers? Sounds like a plan, man.

    1. No. The oldest is in the garage on the way to the recycling center.

  2. The reason why many Asian folks invest in brands like Zojirushi and Tiger is because those Rice Cookers last! Parts can be replaced! If you still have the Aroma Rice Cooker in 15 years or even 5 then you have your proof. We live in a disposable Culture and should concentrate more on a few quality products that will LAST. I also wonder if you use your Rice Cooker as much as the typical lets say, Korean Family!!! That is heavy use! I seriously doubt that Aroma Cookers can match a Tiger (made in Japan) cooker that will last for YEARS!!!! I appreciate your point of view but am very skeptical.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Phoebe.

      Yes. Time will tell with the Aroma rice cooker, but I did receive a comment on Facebook from someone who has been using one for two years without any problems.

      My wife cooks white rice three or four times a week, and usually makes enough for leftovers. And she really likes how the rice comes out with the Aroma.

      I cook a large quantity of brown rice or quinoa maybe once every two weeks, enough for a week's worth of meals.

      No. I don't think we use the cooker as much as a typical Korean family.


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