Having looked at a wide range of medium to high end rice cookers over the past few months, it is now time to shift our focus to possibly the cheapest rice cooker you can currently get – the. With a very modest retail price of only $15.99, we wondered what kind of results we would get out of this machine. Could we get acceptable rice at such a low cost? Keep reading to find out more.
Prior to having seen this rice cooker, we had never heard of Imusa before. Their company history isn’t very substantial, so we’re not too sure how reputable their brand name is. They do make quite a big range of cookware according to their website, so there must be some success in their product range. Turning our attention towards the rice cooker, we are greeted by a very simple and plain looking unit. The company logo is on the front of the machine, and the entire unit is a white shell. The lid is made out of tempered glass, and it has a steam spout to prevent too much pressure building up. The lid isn’t a very tight fit however, and it feels a little loose once it is in place.The handles are made out of cool touch material, which is a nice addition on such a cheap model. There is only one switch on the front which allows you to change from warm to cook modes.
The cooking pot has a nonstick coating, but we were quite skeptical about how long such a cheap coating would last. We didn’t test it for a very length period of time, so we can’t say how durable it really is unfortunately. Included is a steam tray, which is nothing to really write home about. It feels quite fragile, so we’re not too sure how long that will last either. Overall the machine feels pretty cheap and hastily put together, but this is what we expected at such a low price.
The instructions were easy enough to follow, but there was no recipe guide of any sort included. We begun by testing out some white rice, three cups to be exact. We used the included measuring cup, and stuck in the recommended amount of water. Having switched on the unit, we came back ten minutes later to be welcomed by the site of the unit boiling quite ferociously on the counter top. It hadn’t made much of a mess at that point, but assuming we had arrived five minutes later we would have had a bit to clean up underneath the machine. Lifting the lid up relieved some of the pressure inside, but it started boiling over again just two minutes later. After around 20 minutes it switched to warming mode, and we had a look to see how the rice had turned out. First impressions weren’t great unfortunately, with the rice being a bit burnt at the bottom of the unit. The rice on top wasn’t too badly cooked, but it was a little sticky. The nonstick coating made sure that cleanup was somewhat simple, then we decided to test it out again. The time we made sure we got the exact requirements as per the manual this time (fearing we had put in too much water before). Sadly for us, we got more or less identical results as before, with the unit threatening to turn into a volcano around 10 minutes into the cooking cycle. Again, we had to lift the lid off a few times to ease the pressure, and the cooking results were more or less the same as before.
We decided to be clever on the third attempt, and add a little less water thereby hoping to prevent the unit boiling over. This almost seemed to work, but with three cups of rice it still wasn’t happy. It seems this model suffers from two problems. The first issue is that the steam release hole is too small, and it cannot release a large enough amount of pressure to stop the unit from overflowing. This would not be a problem however if the unit didn’t operate at such a high temperature. We aren’t sure exactly how hot this unit runs, but if it ran cooler then we suspect the steam release hole would have a chance to do its job with relative ease. At first we thought we had gotten a faulty unit, but after reading several user reviews of this model it is very clear that we are not the only ones with this particular problem. We should note that on the fourth attempt we only tried with one cup of rice to prevent the water from spilling out. This did seem to work, and no water spilt out during this attempt. However the rice was still a little sticky, and some was a bit scorched at the bottom. Clearly this is not any fault of ours, since other reviews have talked about the same issues.
So there you have it. We didn’t run any more tests after that, as it seemed like we would be wasting our time. Having followed the included manual to the letter, there was not much more we could do. Other reviews complained of the same issues, so it certainly wasn’t an isolated incident. With such a low price however, we weren’t really sure what to expect. Having seen how the unit performs, we can definitely recommend you save up a little extra and look into getting something that has a bit more potential. There is no mention of a warranty either, so we’re not sure how long you have to send it back for repairs or replacement. Either way, we suggest you stay clear of this model.
- Incredibly cheap
- Stay cool handles
- Tends to bubble over when cooking
- Runs too hot
- Feels cheap and brittle
- Cooked rice is bit sticky
We were hoping for a better performance from the Imusa rice cooker, but were left disappointed by the performance. It tended to boil over, and we were left with scorched rice at the bottom, and sticky rice on top. User reviews described the same issues, so we strongly suggest you avoid this model.