Friday, May 21, 2010

Review: Miracle Exclusives ME81 Stainless Steel Rice Cooker/Steamer

Lisa's been very picky about rice cooker, since she didn't like any of the ones with the non-stick coatings, which she thinks will cause poisoning as they come off and gets into the food. So she bought a VitaClay Claypot/Rice Cooker, which is a rice cooker with an inner pot made from clay, rather than aluminum. I didn't like this rice cooker: it's slow, and furthermore, fragile. As a ham-fisted engineer and chef, I tend to just fill the pot with rice, dump it into the rice cooker, and then once in a while the pot will crack and all the water will spill out.

After breaking the expensive rice cooker this way, I went on-line to look for something better that would still satisfy Lisa. I eventually found the Miracle Stainless Steel Rice cooker. A Chinese person cannot bear to live without a rice cooker for more than a day or so, so I paid the $4 rush fee to get it right away. For $74, what I got didn't look like much: the usual badly written manual, a stainless steel pot, a steamer with lid, a rice paddle, and a plastic measuring cup for rice.

I had originally planned to make something else that day, but once I saw the steamer I decided to buy some salmon and steam it. I rubbed the salmon with salt, encrusted it with pepper, stuck some ginger slices on it and then stuck a few pieces of tomatoes on it. I then stuck the whole thing into the rice cooker, with some rice and water in the pot. 25 minutes later, everything was done, which makes this the easiest cooking I've ever done! The rice was a bit soggy because I used a bit too much rice, but that got corrected the very next time I made rice. The fish was nothing short of delicious!

The Amazon reviews point out that the pot was hard to clean. That's not true. Just soak the pot in water and leave it for a bit and everything will work correctly. You can also use the rice cooker without the steamer, which is great. There are no complicated settings, just "cook" and "warm." The instructions just say to let brown rice steam for an extra 15 minutes for it to be correctly cooked. The price seemed steep for what you got, but on the other hand, nobody else seems to sell stainless steel inner pots without non-stick coatings.

Hang, by the way, told Lisa that Teflon is the most inert material out there, so even if you did ingest it, it would pass harmlessly through your body! So next time I'll buy one of the $30 non-stick coated rice cookers. In any case, if you buy into Teflon poisoning/aluminum poisoning, then I can recommend this rice cooker.
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