Earlier this season I had the chance to attend an editor’s event, the Panasonic Summer Tasting Preview, where I got to check out some of the innovative kitchen appliances from Panasonic. This was a full on cooking demo with Panasonic’s Chef Hadar Cohen Aviram who showed us how easy (and fun) it is to use Panasonic kitchen appliances such a Panasonic Rice Cooker, Microwave, and Induction Oven,
One of the items that caught my eye at the Pansonic event was a 5 Cup (uncooked) Microcomputer Controlled Rice Cooker – Stainless Steel/White – SR-ZG105 .
A Japanese Staple
I am willing to be that every Japanese household has at least one rice cooker, but I never tried one personally. My basic (former) method for cooking rice was merely to dump some in a pot with boiling water and hope I didn’t burn it, or it didn’t come out too chewy or crunchy.
That’s not an issue anymore since I upped my kitchen savvy with the Microcomputer Controlled Rice Cooker Rice Cooker by Panasonic.
Rice Is Nice!
I was somewhat intimidated by the rice cooker at first. There are so many options to choose from, including a variety of different rice types not to mention other types of food pre-sets.
The good news is that even if you’re not gadget-savvy, you will find success because this Panasonic rice cooker has a microcomputer and advanced Fuzzy Logic® that continually control and regulate heat for precise cooking.
All you really have to do is use a pre-set and the cooker does the rest. If you get distracted, the smart keep warm function will keep your rice warm for up to 12 hours.
These photos below show my first attempts at cooking rice in the Panasonic rice cooker. You can also see that instead of guessing how much rice to water is needed, Panasonic has added measurements on the side of the cooker to help you know how much rice/water you need.
The first photo is of brown rice. It takes longer to cook and mine wasn’t perfect (it was a bit dry) but it’s not the fault of the rice cooker, I just didn’t add enough water. Practice makes perfect.
The second attempt to use the rice cooker (with white rice) was done quickly and was amazing and perfect!
Read on and you’ll see that I’ve come to love this rice cooker not just for grains, but for main courses too!
The pot features a 6-layer diamond fluorine-coated, non-stick inner pan that transmits and retains heat. It’s also easy to clean.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of cooking rice, you can select 13 automatic menu options for a variety of rice (e.g. white, brown, jasmine, sticky and streamed, multigrain, quinoa, quick cook), plus hot cereals, soups and more (I made BBQ chicken in it set as a slow cooker-see below).
Panasonic 5-Cup Rice Cooker is approximately $150 depending upon where you purchase it. It comes with a rice scoop, steamer basket and instruction book.
I didn’t set the 24-hour timer, but it’s really great to know that this multi-tasking multi-function rice cooker can make dinner ready the moment you walk in the door.
Rice Cooker Chicken:
After I tried cooking rice with the Panasonic Rice Cooker I felt like branching out. I have quickly come to adore the fact that appliances like the Panasonic Rice cooker give even non-experts a chance to make great meals.
I could have used an Instant Pot or Chefman Multi-cooker, but I had the Panasonic rice cooker out on my counter. I knew it could do a lot more than just cook rice.
The Zen of Slow Cooking
Meg and Jane are two busy moms that created The Zen of Slow Cooking unique spice blends ($7/2 packets per pouch) made specifically for slow cookers. The idea is to just drop a spice packet into your slow cooker (albeit with a bunch of other ingredients) and into your slow cooker or multi-function cooker and add excitement to dinner.
The Zen of Slow Cooking offers 9 varieties of spice blends and there are a few recommended recipes for each. At the time I wrote this I was still testing out the Southwest Fiesta and Indian Dal spice blends but you can see how great the results were for the Smoky BBQ. I have no doubt the other blends will be just as yummy.
The slow cook mode on the Panasonic Rice Cooker along with a Smoky BBQ Spice Blend from the Zen of Slow Cooking made chicken that absolutely perfectly cooked, fragrant and moist.
We loved the pulled chicken fiesta bowls I made with that chicken!
Things to Know
The sizing on the packets is for a 4-quart Instant Pot, but for those who have smaller pots or want to make smaller portions, you can probably just cut the recipes by half. The only caveat is that lentils and dried beans may cook differently because adjusting liquid ratios don’t always work perfectly.
When I tried The Zen of Slow Cooking Indian Dal spices to make enough for a larger group of people I split my chicken recipe in half, using both the Instant Pot and the Panasonic Rice cooker. The texture was slightly different on each, but still, delicious!
Whether you’re a busy mom or someone who just wants an easy way to make flavorful meals without a hassle, the Zen of Slow Cooking can help.
I really liked the idea, but there should be more recipes listed on the Zen of Slow Cooking Website. Additionally, some of the recipes that are listed require so many bits of ingredients it’s a pain to gather them all. However, the “set it and forget it” nature of slow cooking that may inspire you to use your Panasonic Rice Cooker or Instant Pot/Slow cooker more often.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PANASONIC RICE COOKERS VISIT: http://shop.panasonic.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ZEN OF SLOW COOKING VISIT https://www.thezenofslowcooking.com