Written by: Emily Reynolds
Whenever I make sticky rice in a pot, I always just end up with a sticky mess on the stove top. Not until I went to Japan in 2008 did I finally see the light: a Sanyo Rice Cooker & Steamer EC-505 that literally makes rice with the flick of a switch.
This electric rice cooker is perfect for those of us who like to keep things simple. It plugs directly in to the wall, waiting for you to fill its belly with freshly-washed rice. Add the stainless steel steaming tray filled to the brim with veggies of your choice and watch it steam them as it cooks the rice to perfection. Just flip the switch as you would when walking into a room and poof: let there be rice!
When the rice is done (about 15-20 minutes later), the switch automatically flips to the ‘keep warm’ setting. (I guarantee you’ll be listening with anticipation for that telling ‘click.’) This function keeps your rice nice and hot for as long as you like, which is especially useful for potlucks or busy households, where not everyone can make it to the dinner table on time.
Unlike other more versatile Sanyo rice cookers, the Sanyo Rice Cooker & Steamer EC505 does not have heat settings, timers, or options for things like tofu and brown rice. For chefs looking to consolidate their cooking time, these advanced units are a better choice; but for those of us who just like to supplement a healthy meal with fresh, fluffy rice, you can’t get any simpler than a rice cooker whose only two settings are ‘cook’ and ‘stay cooked.’ Plus, it looks pretty chic on the counter and comes with all the desired accouterments: white enamel finish, glass lid, and plastic white spatula for serving.
- Easy to use (just plug it in and flip the switch!)
- Steams veggies while it cooks rice
- Nonstick pot makes it easy to clean
- Keep warm setting is great for casual dinners or potlucks
- Glass lid has a breathing hole that prevents water boiling over
- Not programmable
- Limited to 5 cups (yields 10 cups of cooked rice)
The Sanyo Rice Cooker & Steamer model EC-505 isn’t the fanciest piece of kitchenware, but it cooks enough rice for a family of 10 and really helps free up your hands while you tend to other, more sensitive aspects of dinner preparation. It’s an essential addition to any kitchen — one I wouldn’t want to live without.