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I got a fuzzy logic rice cooker back in January 2018. I used it quite a bit for cooking rice, as it pretty much takes care of the process all by itself. I have also created some recipes here (usually "throw a bunch of things in and let it get on with it").
I know mom got, and hid for me to find, a Philips multicooker.
Well, in tidying up the kitchen, one of the boxes at the bottom was... a larger Moulinex multicooker. This, sadly, was on the floor so got affected by the damp. I've cleaned the bits inside and run it on the oven cycle for a while. The utensils seem okay, but the unit itself smells a bit naff, like an old church. ☺
Here's my rice cooker:
My rice cooker.
Being called "Compact", it's a small cooker with a capacity of 4 cups, or a little under one litre. It's a good single-person size. With nine programmes, it can cook rice, steam veg, make soup, or porridge... Interestingly this one has different cycles for white rice and brown rice (they don't cook the same!), as well as a rapid mode for rice cooking. The rice cycles include a built-in delay for absorbing water before cooking - giving away the heritage of these devices as smart rice cookers.
I've put a cup mug to the right of each so you can get an idea of their relative sizes.
The one that I just found is a larger Moulinex:
The bigger Moulinex.
This one has a capacity of 10 cups, or 1.8 litres, so more aimed at being family size. It claims to have twelve programmes, but I only see nine on the front panel (rice, risotto, reheat. baby food, stew, soup/steam, yoghurt, oven, and wok/fry). Perhaps they count "keep warm" and "differed start" as programmes?
The primary difference between this and my rice maker is that it has a wider range of possible temperatures. The oven mode runs at 135°C, the wok/fry mode runs at 160°C, and yoghurt at 42°C.
It seems that the rice setting is one simple option (for all types of rice) so here the rice making abilities are less important as it becomes a more multi-purpose kitchen utility. Certainly, one ought to be able to grease the inner bowl, pour in some cake dough, and let it get on with making a cake.
And, finally, the one I found back in 2020:
The Philips monster.
This monster is the biggest of them all, with a maximum capacity of 3 litres. It doesn't say what that is in cups, but it's just shy of twice the capacity of the big Moulinex, and four times the capacity of my rice maker.
This one is interesting. The obvious front panel (the black bit) offers size programmes - jam, fry, rice, oven, soup, and stew. But then along the top is risotto, boil, steam, roasting, yoghurt, reheat, and manual.
If you're wondering about the difference between roast and bake, the latter allows you select a temperature between 60°C and 160°C, and a duration between 20 and 120 minutes, while roast is fixed at 1 hour with 35 minutes at 130° followed by a pause with beep for you to turn the food over, and then start the second stage which is 25 minutes at 120°C. The difference between oven and manual is a greater temperature range (30°C to 160°C) and duration (5 minutes to ten hours). I'm not sure, however, if the machine would survive ten hours at 160°C...
Interestingly, the English instructions tell you how to make porridge in the jam setting, while the French ones tell you how to make jam. There's internationalisation for you!
The only downside of the Philips multicooker is that it doesn't come with any utensils. The flat rice paddle that you can see is from the Moulinex. They both came with a rice paddle and ladle, in white plastic.
This is a somewhat bittersweet find. It's kind of cool to know that mom was thinking of me, and she had her faculties right until the end so it won't be that she forgot one, I think she felt that the Philips device was better (and with adjustable temperatures and a fully manual mode, it's hard to see how it isn't).
But it's also sad because I think she went out and got these at different points when she had an idea that things were...not as good as hoped, shall we say? A sort of "I'll leave this for Rick to find after I'm gone".
I know mom was a strong person, but damn, the presence of mind to even think of something like that...twice!
I made a recipe in the Philips, but I'm not going to write it up today. It's late and I'm hungry. Soon, soon.
A slight aside
The Philips multicooker came with a nice glossy cookbook. I took this to read...and try to imagine how much I could cock up the recipes - the depressing thing about cookbooks is the smouldering wreckage on your plate just doesn't resemble the photo in the book...but I don't know where I put it.
I found a Philips recipe book online. Not sure if it's the same one or not, but it has some useful recipes and it is aimed at their multicooker range. Apple cinnamon outmeal, beef stroganoff, chili con carne, honey lemon chicken, chocolate walnut cake, and dozens more.
Let's just say that HP Instant Ink offers me 100 pages a month. This month, I used 99 of them. ☺
Another little aside
While looking for info on the Philips multicooker, I came across a Philips Pasta maker. Basically you put in flour and water or water/egg and it'll mix the two together and push the result out of an extrusion disc, with different discs for different types of pasta. It's actually capable of making macaroni (separate disc) and seashell pasta (separate disc) as well as sheets of lasagne (supplied disc). The entire process takes about 10-15 minutes.
I would like to say "I'm interested", but it costs about €160ish for the basic, or an extra €60ish for the smarter one that can weigh the flour inserted to tell exactly how much water is necessary. For something that just mixes dough and presses it through some holes, it seems kind of pricey.
So for now, I'll watch various videos on YouTube, and laugh to myself at the number of people using the big flat white thing to cut the pasta to size. Uh... no. That's intended for levelling off the flour in the scoop. The thing you're supposed to use to cut the pasta to size is the thing that looks like an ice scraper. With a nice solid handle because, well, because hacking through dough does take some effort.
For some reason the Americans in the YouTube videos seem to pronounce as pahsta, with the 'ah' like the 'a' sound in archive.
I say it like the 'a' in cat. "Pasta", rhymes with "Raster"...because southern British English is what is known as non-rhotic. In less nerdy terms, we're missing most of our 'r's. Well, we stuck lots of 'u's into our words, so I guess something had to give. ☺
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|David Boddie, 1st February 2022, 23:57|
Techmoan reviewed a Philips pasta maker back in 2018 for about the same price: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgTcKeefcbU
|J.G.Harston, 2nd February 2022, 13:22|
A couple of years ago I saw a fascinating documentary on NHK about the development of the electric rice cooker. The engineer spent months testing designs on his family.
|VinceH, 3rd February 2022, 01:10|
I've heard both (well, ish) pronunciations of pasta from (different) Americans - it's obviously a dialect/regional accent thing.
See (hear) also pronunciations of Sri Lanka and kebab (Sri Lonka and Kebob).
(Felicity? Marte? Find out!)
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Last read at 14:47 on 2023/01/27.
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