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Rice Cookers

Reproducing the Taste of Stove-Cooked Rice

Water in the small cup in the top right is heated to become high-temperature steam. (Panasonic)

The inside of a hot-steam rice cooker (Panasonic)

The quest for better taste continues today, and various manufacturers keep coming out with new models. The latest IH rice cookers even have IH coils in the lid, so that the inner pot is heated at high temperature from all around. The result is rice that tastes as if it's been cooked on a traditional kamado stove. Innovations have also been made in the materials and shapes of the inner pot to achieve better heat generation. Other technologies developed by manufacturers include pressurizing the rice with the steam that's generated during cooking, which gives the rice a stickier, fuller consistency, and applying ultrasonic vibration to help the rice absorb water better.

In 2003, Matsushita developed a high-temperature-steam IH rice cooker that brings out the sweetness and aroma of rice by using very hot steam at 130 degrees Celsius (266 degrees Fahrenheit). There seems to be no end to the race to develop better and better rice cookers.