Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Panasonic SR-DE103 Rice Cooker Review

For the holidays my wife bought me this lovely Panasonic fuzzy logic rice cooker.  Before writing a review of our new rice cooker we wanted to give it a good work out for a while.   We wore out two regular Panasonic rice cookers over the last 20 years.  We eat rice two or three times a week with stir fries, Mexican, Indian, etc.  The results are in, we love our new rice cooker.   The difference between a regular rice cooker and this one is Fuzzy Logic.  The old rice cookers were on high heat until the rice was done and then turned itself off to a warming stage.  The new cookers adjust the temperature to the amount of rice being cooked.  During the cooking cycle the unit cycles the heat output to match the various stages of cooking.  Yes, it understands almost done and just starting.  But all you have to do is put in the rice, add water and push the start button.  So how is the rice?  Perfect rice every time.  Just like the rice you find in good Asian restaurants.   Much better than our old rice cooker, from the bottom of the pot to the top, each grain of rice is cooked to perfection.  Note: -except for the time I lost count of rice scoops and added an extra cup of water, rice was a little soggy that time-Operator error.  One feature we all love is the push button lid.  Just push the button and the lid smartly snaps open to reveal perfect steaming rice.  This unit also cooks soups, oatmeal, cakes (yes, cakes).  The unit comes programmed for White Rice, Quick Cook, Brown Rice, Sticky Rice, Porridge, Cake, Slow Cook and Steam.   Using the menu system is also easy and intuitive.  
Should you purchase this rice cooker?  If you cook a lot of rice and notice that the rice is much better at Asian restaurants than what comes out of your own old fashioned rice cooker-then yes, this is for you.  The unit is slightly larger than our old cooker but the carry handle is handy for moving the cooker from counter to tabletop.  Before purchasing, the one negative comment we noted from Amazon was the lid was not removable for cleaning.  We have only used our cooker for rice and steaming so nothing but steam is on the lid, it wipes off easily and cleaning the lid hasn't been a problem.
Perfect rice every time  (if you measure correctly!), snap open lid, easy cleanup, detachable cord and a well designed and comfortable carrying handle all bundled in an attractive unit, this Panasonic rice cooker is a welcome addition to our kitchen.

Update 4/23/13
This rice cooker prepares 1 scoop of rice (yielding almost 2 cups cooked) perfectly.  Preparing one scoop of rice in our old rice cooker would yield tough rice (almost browned) on the bottom.  We still love our new rice cooker.

Panasonic SR-DE103  5 cup (uncooked) rice cooker (Amazon)
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  1. This cooker sounds great. Seems like something you could use as a hot plate or take to a potluck. I was wondering if it cooked wild rice, just as well? My old rice cooker failed miserably in this respect. Also, I'd need to know if the heating elements or unit was coated with non-stick, for this could emit fumes harmful to my pet bird. Thank you!

  2. This cooker comes with an inner cooking pan: "Black nonstick coated aluminum". The Environmental Working Group has a lot of data of interest to bird owners concerned about non-stick coatings. Haven't tried wild rice in our new cooker, but will give it a try and post the results.

  3. I was hoping this unit could replace my slow cooker, while giving me the benefit of the rice cooker. Have you used the quick cook setting to brown meat or onions and then proceed with the slow cook?