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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our Fuzzy Rice Cooker (a.k.a. My Korean Rice Cooker)

We've been using our 10-cup rice cooker for years and I felt that we needed something smaller and just use the big one only when we have guests or parties at home. Other than save space, a small rice cooker will also help save electricity consumption. I've had this idea at the back of my mind but I never really went to appliance stores and have a look at what's out there.  A month ago, I noticed an attractive rice cooker in one of the KDramas that the Husband and I were watching. It was red, square-shaped and it talks! It looked like a small robot. I searched the net (googled "Korean rice cooker") and there I found the same kind of rice cookers. It turned out that such rice cookers are used in Japan and Korea. It came in different brands, functions and prices. The more features the rice cooker has, the more expensive it is. 

The better term for this kind of rice cooker would be a (1) Smart Rice Cooker or (2) Fuzzy-logic Rice Cooker.  I only call it my Korean Rice Cooker only because I saw it being used in a KDrama. 

How different is a Fuzzy-logic Rice Cooker from the basic rice cooker? 
Fuzzy-logic rice cookers have computer chips that direct their ability to make proper adjustments to cooking time and temperature. Unlike basic rice cookers, which complete tasks in a single-minded, mechanical manner, the process behind the fuzzy-logic rice cookers needs a bit more explanation. The fuzzy sets theory, first proposed by UC Berkeley professor Lotfi Zadeh in 1965, laid the groundwork for fuzzy logic, which he also put forward in 1973. Fuzzy sets theory has to do with mathematical sets, or groups of items known as elements. In most mathematical sets, an element either belongs to the set or it doesn't. For example, a sparrow would belong to a set of birds, but a bat wouldn't. In fuzzy logic, though, elements can belong to sets in varying degrees. So since a bat has wings, it might belong to a set of birds -- but only to a certain extent. Fuzzy logic is basically a way to program machines so they look at the world in a more human way, with degrees of truth. Instead of cold, hard parameters and strict data sets, fuzzy logic assumes a more practical approach. Using numbers, it incorporates non-definitive words like "slightly" or "almost" into its decision-making processes. As a result, the use of fuzzy logic in rice cookers helps to ensure properly cooked rice because it gives the appliances the ability to make judgment calls similar to those a person might make, albeit typically better than those a hungry, impatient person might make. (source)
Some functions of the Fuzzy-logic rice cookers: cook white rice, brown rice, sticky rice, sushi rice, pasta, soups, stews, bake cakes etc.

I thought that such rice cookers doesn't exist here in Australia so I just daydreamed about it. The Korean brands we saw online were really expensive ranging from AUD$200-AUD$400  so I dodged the idea because I don't want to spend that much just for a rice cooker.

Then one weekend, we passed by the rice cooker section of Myer and found a Panasonic Fuzzy-logic rice cooker priced at AUD$130.00. I was elated to see it but decided to think about it. Two weeks after, I was reminded that we have unused points that we need to redeem. When I looked at the kitchen appliances section of the redemption website, I saw the Panasonic Fuzzy-logic rice cooker we want!!! I was very happy! Imagine, we'll have the rice cooker we want without paying a cent. Such a great blessing! In less than two weeks, my Korean rice cooker arrived.
Our Fuzzy Rice Cooker (a.k.a. Korean Rice Cooker)
Our Fuzzy Rice Cooker (a.k.a. Korean Rice Cooker)
Our Fuzzy Rice Cooker (a.k.a. Korean Rice Cooker)
Our Fuzzy Rice Cooker (a.k.a. Korean Rice Cooker)
Our Fuzzy Rice Cooker (a.k.a. Korean Rice Cooker)

So far, we've been happy using the Fuzzy-logic rice cooker. It hasn't given us any problems. Its functions include cooking white rice, brown rice, sticky rice, cake and soups. It has Keep Warm and Quick Function buttons. It can also be using for steaming food. 

We've only tried cooking white rice and brown rice, both came out perfectly, like it was cooked using a stove and not a machine. When cooking white rice, the LCD will have a countdown of nine minutes. When cooking brown rice, the countdown will start at 13 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, you'll hear a beeping sound and it'll automatically shift to Keep Warm

Even if we re-heat our rice a couple of times, the bottom rice doesn't burn (walang totong!). 

It can cook up to five (5) cups of rice so it's perfect for a small family.

Cooking time for white rice takes about 45 minutes and 1.5 hours for brown rice. It takes longer for the rice to cook using the fuzzy-logic rice cooker but the rice comes out always perfect. However, that's when the Quick Cook function comes in. When using the Quick Cook function, cooking time is shortened to 20 minutes for white rice and 45 minutes for brown rice.

For any home who would like to own a rice cooker that does more than cook rice, check out these Fuzzy-logic rice cookers and see if it'll fit your lifestyle.