Any rice cookers still being manufactured with a bell?

kaylasmom and I received a Hitachi rice cooker, Model RD4053 for our wedding in 1983, and it has been the longest-lasting appliance we’ve ever owned. It still works, of course, but now we want to give a rice cooker to a friend (kaylasgodmother, in fact) for her birthday.

kaylasgodmother is blind, which is why we’d prefer to find the RD4053 again. It has a chime that rings beautifully when the rice is cooked. Problem is, Hitachi appears to have dropped it from their product line, and I’m having a hell of a time finding a similar product (nobody even has one on ebay).

Do any Dopers know where I might find a rice cooker (approximately 2-quart capacity would be fine) that has a bell to let you know the rice is ready? Thanks in advance for any responses.

I see another Hitachi model with a bell, the RD4056P, but the one store on the Internet that I can find with them says they’re out of stock. You might want to contact them and see if they can get more.

This one by Breville says it has a bell. The review on Amazon isn’t very favorable, but I think the reviewer might have at least one unreasonable expectation - most rice cookers leave a crunchy part on the bottom. The fuzzy-logic ones have settings to avoid it, but those cost two to four times more than this one.

Black and Decker apparently makes a food-steamer/rice-cooker thingus, but I’m equally wary of that one. It just doesn’t look like a rice cooker.

I have one similar to that and I love it. Works fine for rice, IMHO, and it’s a multi-tasker. Has a bell.

If you have an asian grocery store (ie a store that sells mainly ingredients and products typical of Asian cuisine, usually imported) they often have a large selection of rice cookers for sale at good prices.

Does it need to be a bell? My Zojirushi beeps when it’s done, and if all you want is basic rice, the start button is a raised bump, so should be readily possible for a blind person to locate it.

Granted, it’s not as simple as press down the big lever/button*, but it does a good job of making rice. *My Z repalced a venerable Panasonic that announced it was done with a mighty CLACK, up to the day it announced its retirement with FZZZZZT! It was a bit primitive in that done was done, and there was no keep-warm option.

And, did you really mean two quarts of rice or two servings? If she’s making two quarts of rice, I’d hope she has some help to eat the rice, and said help could be tasked with making the rice. The Z I got will do up to three servings. Its primary downside is cost - think it’s about $100.

Enlighten me. Is rice really better when made in a specialty cooker? I just put rice and water in a pot, bring it to a boil on a stove, cover it, and set a timer for 15 minutes. Seems to work, but is there something better?

If I cook rice in a pot on the stove, I am much more likely to burn it for some reason. Having a rice cooker makes it easier for me. The rice is consistently cooked with some crunchy-but-not-burned bits on the bottom.

And you can take out the inside pot bit for transporting to pot lucks, or for refrigerating the leftovers.

Not necessarily a bell, no, although the presence of a beeper tends to make me think it’s pricier than we feel comfortable with. The primary benefit we’re looking for is that our friend be able to hear the “ready” alarm from across the house. I’ve never been convinced that the “click” I hear on most rice cookers these days is really loud enough.

Well, some looking around suggests to me that the model number we have is a 5.3 cup rice cooker. I’ve never done a volume test of the bowl; I just eyeballed it and thought it looked like about a half gallon.

Biggest advantage for me is the timer. I can load the rice in the morning, set the timer, and have fresh rice waiting when I get home. It’s also great for oatmeal which I load up over night. Plus I have a fancy fuzzy logic one with a Teflon bowl so I never have burnt rice to clean up.