The Cuckoo Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker CRP-HZ0682FR, a game-changing rice cooker from Korea, has 12 programmes that cater to a whole spectrum of rice cooking (including the Korean classic, scorched rice!) as well as fermenting and baking bread. There’s also a catch-all Multi-cook function for steaming and braising.
Two key technologies make these possible: induction heating and pressure cooking. Its induction technology heats up the whole inner pot – instead of just the bottom layer – for more even cooking, and its pressure cooking function makes quick work of tenderising tough cuts of meat, which saves energy.
We test the rice cooker out, to see if it lives up to its promises.
- Many rice cookers offer functions for cooking sushi and brown rice, but they don’t always work – the grains turn out mushy or clumpy, or brown rice remains gritty. But the Cuckoo proved our reservations unwarranted. We got glistening, pearly grains of sushi rice and just tender brown rice. Jasmine rice and basmati rice were just as perfectly executed.
- What really impressed: It made quick work of beef stew, rendering 1kg of tough shank into supple meat, and coaxing flavours into a full-bodied stew in two hours. This is truly a convincing example of the benefits of pressure cooking, without the paranoia over exploding vessels, thanks to the multiple safety features.
- In spite of its puny size, the appliance packs in a 1-litre capacity – that’s up to four cups of sushi rice and 10 cups of glutinous rice.
- The voice guide – in English, Mandarin or Cantonese – got on my nerves but I took care of that by muting it. The digital display is generally easy to navigate, although I found it tedious to cycle through the long list of programmes.
- What I found lacking was that the names of the cooking programmes weren’t very specific, and the instruction manual did little to alleviate the confusion. I struggled to figure out which function to use for regular white rice, and subsequently found out from the distributor that I should be using the Glutinous Rice mode for jasmine and basmati rice, the Gaba mode for brown and multigrain rice, and the Mixed Rice mode to cook rice with meat and vegetables.
- The inner pot is a breeze to wash, and the drainage dish (which catches condensation when the lid is opened) is easy to remove and clean. The Auto Clean function is also great for clearing the steam vents of rice water or braising liquid.
Making sense of the programmes can be a little daunting, but once you have that out of the way, this rice cooker is well worth the investment.
Cuckoo Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker CRP-HZ0682FR, $749, from major department stores
This story was first published in Simply Her October 2015.