No Taste With Rice Cooker?

I had a rice cooker i bought a while back here in canada for 65 dollars or so. I cook brown rice and the taste of it is very very good. However just a few months later it didn’t work anymore so i had to buy a new rice cooker. So i then went online and i bought one off walmart canada, it was a cheap one for 30 dollars or so and i figured its a rice cooker so maybe this one doesn’t cook that fast? Thats no big difference for me. It was also a big rice cooker as well you could put tons of cups in it compared to the other one i bought at a store.
Anyways i been using it for quite a bit and noticed that the same brown rice i cook, theres literally no taste to it at all. Brown rice when i first tasted it with rice cooker, i love the taste of it so i rarely ever eat white rice anymore.
Is there a reason there is no taste to the brown rice im cooking now with this rice cooker? I mean im using around the same amount of water as i did with the other rice cooker. And this rice cooker does work… takes mayb 20-25 minutes for it to cook… the other one took more like 30 minutes if im not mistaken.
Does anyone know the reason? I mean, theres literally no taste at it for the brown rice whereas the other rice cooker i used… the taste was great.

It is certainly possible that it is the rice cooker that is affecting taste. When I bought my new rice cooker I was surprised at how much better the rice tasted. So I imagine the reverse should be true when going from a good rice cooker to a bad one.

Speculations:

  • Is the newer rice cooker browning (as in slightly burning) the rice any more or less? They could cook at different temperatures, and maybe you’ve come to appreciate a certain level of browning

  • Are you still using the same type of brown rice? There are many varieties, each with a different taste.

  • Does the newer rice cooker use a special mode for brown race? Some of them apply a curve to the heating, starting slow (to give the brown rice time to soak up water through its husks) and then applying fuller heat later in the process. If that’s the case, you could try pre-soaking the rice overnight and then using another mode on the cooker (such as White Rice) and seeing if that affects the taste

Off the top of my head, I’d say: SALT?

2nd thought: are you buying a different brand of rice?

3rd thought: have you moved? The local water in different regions can have different tastes due to mineral content (or lack thereof) etc.

Moderator Action

Since this is food/cooking related, let’s move it to Cafe Society.

Moving thread from General Questions to Cafe Society.

Hi.
The first rice cooker i bought did have burned rice in it but not that much. This one also has as well. However… this one has much more burned rice… so i pretty much eat the top then throw the burned rice away.

Im using same brown rice i bought back when i used the first rice cooker.
I been living in the same place.

Does the newer rice cooker use a special mode for brown race?

I have no idea. I did however recently decide to soak the rice for 5+ hours before cooking it… taste was same… no taste. When i wash the rice, i wash it for no less than 1-2 minutes. However, i did this back when i used the first rice cooker as well but the taste again was really good.
I never used salt on the brown rice.

That’s really odd. Given how benign rice cooking is, I can’t imagine one cooker producing a significantly different result than another. Unless the cooking/heating curve is just wrong for brown rice - maybe not heating it long enough or high enough in the early stage, so that you’re getting less “cooked” and more “rehydrated” rice?

Im not sure. I just know it takes 25 minutes roughly for brown rice to cook on this rice cooker and the taste is virtually no taste and there is more burned rice at the bottom compared to the first rice cooker. The first rice cooker brown rice taste extremely good.

I mean if rice cooker works… could it be faulty such as it cooks but it doesn’t cook good? There is seriously no taste at all with it. I used a rice cooker back in the usa at home and that one was 100+ dollars and had very good taste. This one here for 65 dollars has very good taste. The 30 dollar one… basically zero taste.

Maybe that’s too fast? (I don’t know. I cook rice on the stovetop and only have an offhand sense of how long long-grain white takes to cook the way I like it.)

For each rice cooker… theres a button you press to turn it on… then you wait till it pops and then it turns off… so im not sure what you mean here?

If I were to quickly boil the water away in a stove-top pot, I’d have tough, likely undercooked rice. Maybe your new cooker is cooking at too high a temperature, so it boils away water and burns the bottom before the rice (especially brown rice) has had time to absorb enough and cook more than just hydrate. Since there’s no controls, it might be that it’s optimized to cook white rice and just isn’t going to accommodate the slower, longer cooking brown rice prefers.

I really can’t think of anything else, given how simple rice cooking and cookers are.

Ya ever notice how restaurant soups (unless they specialize in soups) tend to be somewhat bland compared to the same stuff if you made it at home? It’s because the restaurant keeps a pot over a heater all day, cooking the ingredients down to tasteless little lumps. Then they give the pot a quick swish and scoop up a ladle-full to dump into a cup before bringing it to the patron. The patron gets a bowl full of burned-out soup-stuff and some crackers. There’s little to no flavor left in such an offering.

I’m thinking you’re burning out your flavor.

You noted that the newer cooker has a larger capacity.
You noted that you’re using about the same amount of water.
You noted that you’re cooking for about the same amount of time.

For starters, brown rice requires more water than white rice. Sorry if I’m being pedantic, but not everyone knows this. Those husks soak up more water and that leaves X-amount less for use in boiling.

And if you’re using a cooker with a bowl that’s narrower and measuring the water level by eye or (like I do) by “up to about there on my finger when I touch the leveled top of the pile of washed rice” then you are, in fact, using less water for the amount of rice washed.

This would be why your rice has more burn and why your rice has less flavor.

ALSO: Wash your rice at least 3 hours in advance, then add the correct amount of water, then let it sit in the rice-cooker for 3 hours to give it time to soak up the water. Then cook it. It’s not a decent pot of rice if you don’t let it soak up the water first. I usually let my rice soak for a day or more (though more than a day-and-a-half is probably tempting mold and other bacterial problems to invade) and use a timer to turn it on about an hour before I get home. By the time the rice has cooked, switched itself off at the boiling point, and steamed, I’m just getting home and firing up the wok…

–G!

…wait a sec.

You’re saying that reducing soups and stocks and sauces by heating them for long periods makes them blander and more watery?

That’s not how it works.

If you literally are using the same bag of rice, I think we may have found your problem.

Buy a new bag and report back.

My rice cooker takes nearly 2 hours to make brown rice. (Delicious brown rice).

One thing you might try is to soak the brown rice for half an hour before starting to cook it.

No. Sorry for adding a confusing sidetrack.

Reducing soups and stocks and sauces is done so that the resulting product can be used as an ingredient in another product.

Merely [Over]heating a pot of soup for long periods while occasionally adding water to keep it from thickening – as many restaurants and diners that offer ‘soup’ tend to do – creates a horrible tasteless liquid that no longer counts as soup. In other words, even though it’s mostly liquid, it’s still possible to ‘burn’ soup. Cooks do it; chefs don’t. :cool:

–G!
…and now, back to your regular program…

30 minutes is probably not enough soaking time, particularly with brown rice.

Pauly01: RTFM

About a decade ago I was reading a review of a rice-cooker that was pretty impressive. Apparently it not only had a ‘finish-by’ timer, but it had 12 buttons for different styles of rice – Basmati, Persian, sushi, Japanese, Chinese, Wild, Brown, etcetera. The reviewer said he spent a month making different kinds of rice dishes for family and friends so he could test out each of the buttons and settings. He said it was a phenomenal machine but it seemed overly complex and too expensive for the average consumer, would would generally only use one setting for 90% of the year.

My point is that different end results require different ratios of water:rice and different cooking (and sometimes recooking) times. The first thing to do is consult the manual that came with the new machine for usage and cleaning instructions, as well as the rice-dealer’s website for their advice on how best to cook their product.

—G!

25 minutes seems awfully quick for brown rice to cook. It should be on the order of 45-55 minutes. Sounds like the new rice cooker is cooking it at too high of a temperature. This is also indicated by there being more burnt rice.

As far as soaking, I’ve always got the best results with brown rice by soaking it for at least 6 hours before hand. The end product has more discreet grains and is far less mushy than brown rice that hasn’t been presoaked.