Black and Decker Rice Cooker

Black and Decker Rice CookerIn today’s review we are going to be looking at a smaller and more compact rice cooker, aimed at single people and couples – the Black and Decker Rice Cooker. This is a budget rice cooker, and comes with a very modest price tag of just over $20. Black and Decker are well know for their quality kitchen and diy appliances, so will this product be any different? Lets have a look at that below to find out.

Product Features:

Black and Decker are a very well known household name, and have been creating quality appliances for many years now. They make a range of affordable rice cookers, and we are going to be looking at the RC3303 3-Cup (Cooked) rice cooker. This is their smallest capacity cooker currently available, and also the most popular one in their product line. The capacity is very small, and it will only just provide enough rice for a couple, although we suspect it is more designed for people living alone. The feature list of this particular model is not very long, and it is a very simple and basic model. There are only really two buttons on the front, for switching between cooking and keeping warm modes. The lid is made out of glass, allowing you to keep an eye on your rice as it is cooking. The cooking pot is nonstick, and is removable to make cleaning as easy as possible. Being a smaller model, it does not take up much space at all, measuring in at 7.5″ x 7.5″ x 6.5″.  It does have stay cool handles, which is a nice tough for a cheaper model. Included with this model is a measuring scoop, serving scoop and the user manual. For a rice cooker in this price range, we can’t really ask for much more.

The design of this unit is nothing groundbreaking. To be honest we have seen several older rice cookers with a similar design, so it does look a little dated right now compared to some of the competing models. There is nothing wrong with it of course, but Black and Decker could have possibly put in a little more work to make something that stands out from the crowd. The entire unit is a glossy cream color, with grey along the trimmings.  The main control area is also grey in color, with red and orange lights to indicate the cooking mode. The cooking pot inside is a little loose without any contents, but once you add your rice and water then it will become stable.
Overall there is nothing too impressive about the design, and hopefully the cooking performance will make up for it! Now lets move on to see how the unit actually performed.

As usual we like to start out by testing the models with a small amount of white rice, as this is a fairly simple test which most rice cookers won’t have a problem with. To begin with we used one cup of white rice in the Black and Decker rice cooker, and left the machine for around 15 minutes to work its magic. After 15 minute we returned to see it was still cooking, so we checked again 5 minutes later and we saw the machine had switched to the Keep Warm mode. After the cooking had finished, we noticed straight away that there were two evident issues. The first problem is that there was a bit of a mess around the cooking area where the water had splattered all over the counter. Having used fortified rice in the cooker, there was no need to rinse it beforehand. We suspect the problem may be lessened with rinsing the rice beforehand to get rid of the excess starch, but if you have fortified rice then this will wash off most of the vitamins and nutrients. Not good so far. The other obvious issue was although the rice was cooked, the rice touching the bottom had become very brown. We wouldn’t say it was burnt, but it certainly wasn’t very edible. This was certainly not the best start to our testing.
Next up we decided to repeat the test, except only using half a cup of rice to see if this would make any difference to the water leakage. Paying a bit more attention to the cooking process this time around, we kept a good eye on the rice cooker to see if it would start leaking at any point. Sure enough within a few minutes there were signs that the water was beginning to spatter, and after around 10 minutes it had begun to make a mess over the counter. Once it switched to Keep Warm mode, we could tell that although it had not leaked as much as before, it had still made enough of a mess to cause a problem. The rice this time around was still a bit brown at the bottom, so that added to the disappointment. The bulk of the rice was cooked ok, and was definitely edible. Perhaps it wasn’t as fluffy and light as we would have liked, but there is only so much you can expect from a budget cooker.

After that we packed up the rice cooker, and did no further testing. If the Black and Decker rice cooker cannot perform well in the most basic rice cooking tests, then there is really no real reason to think it will perform well when it comes to more difficult dishes such as brown rice. We know that it is only a budget cooker, but we were hoping for much more from it since it is a Black and Decker. Unfortunately though we cannot recommend this model, and we would advise that you stay clear of this. A much better alternative is the Aroma Rice Cooker which only costs a little bit extra, but does a far superior job of cooking rice. This is a much better option, and can be bought for only a few dollars more.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Stay cool handles

Cons:

  • Bland design
  • Rice at the bottom gets dried out
  • Makes a mess

Summary: The Black and Decker rice cooker is a disappointment. It does come with a very affordable price tag, but the poor cooking performance and mess it makes means we cannot recommend this model. There are many better options out there for a similar price, so steer clear of this one. You can find the full specifications and more on Amazon over here.

Our Rating: 2-stars


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