Have a rice day!

This is not a product placement or promotion. I have neither received nor will I receive any money or goods as a result of this contribution. I am only reporting on a product use and a customer service that I have experienced.

Rice. Always a treat.

Before the current pandemic, I was more of a convenience-driven individual and part of the instant rice society – I have now discovered rice in the tournament pack without plastic bags.

Instant rice is simple: pot, water in, boil, add bag and salt, wait 15 minutes, take the bag out, open it, empty it into the bowl, put some on the plate – done.

Bild von ImageParty auf Pixabay

The loose rice was a bigger challenge: washing rice, water and rice in a fixed ratio, stirring, timing. Certainly to be mastered with a little practice, but I had mostly cooked too much rice and the result was – rather negligable. It is an actual art that is well described HERE. And with hours of watering, a proper cast iron pot and a lot of dedication, the absolutely perfect gourmet rice can certainly be created. And who knows – maybe I’ll face up to this challenge some day.

But there are actual “rice cookers” on the market. From the microwave thingy to the sophisticated digital device with timer and modes and, and, and … They promise no burning, no sticking. The perfect rice. And at prices from less than € 15 to € 160.

After a little research, I decide on an entry-level model from the “Reishunger” brand. € 39 from the big “A”, delivery included.

A few days later our friendly DHL man hands me the box with the magic device. I unpack it – and am disappointed.

Somebody had probably already (ab-)used it before – removed the foil on the handle and put unsightly scratches on it, the steam insert sporting a crack. I take some photos and repackage the thing.

In the box, however, there was a yellow, not-to-be-missed piece of yellow paper with a telephone number – just in case you have a problem with the cooker. I’m calling. “All support staff are busy at the moment…” – I can’t leave a message either – <click>. What kind of a customer hotline is this?

So I try again. Now Kim greets me with a nice, courteous voice and offers to help. I describe my problem and get the “damage-control-I-understand-that-you-are-upset” routine. From the textbook, but otherwise appropriate, of course. Now I’m not really “upset”, just a little disappointed and want a solution. She offers an advance replacement without further discussion and I am sent an email with DHL sticker for the return.

The “experienced” cooker went on the trip this morning and around 2:30 p.m., i.e. 2 days after the report, I now hold a new, obviously unused rice cooker in my hands. The film on the handle has still been superficially removed, but is without scratches and the steamer insert without crack. The overall craftmanship is okay for € 39.

And this is how customer service works.

Incidentally, it is also not worth opening a can of worms with the customer about a forty euro item, suggesting “Send this to us – we’ll have a look at it”. In the vast majority of cases, customers complain for a valid reason and just want a quick, satisfactory solution. Exemplary. A straight “A” in my books.

It is 18:14.

So tonight the acid test. With my Thai Curry. I’m hungry.

I take out the insert to wash it once beforehand. At the same time, I weigh rice in a bowl, wash it and pour the wet rice into the cooker. Without the bowl.

Bild von Gerd Altmann auf Pixabay

The cooker is NOT on the mains and the water seeps very intently through all the layers of the rice cooker below to spread out on the countertop. In a panic, I tip the mixture out of the cooker and remove everything that can be removed first. My 2KW vacuum cleaner removes everything else visible around the base plate. I remove the 3 screws on the bottom of the device in order to get to the innards for cleaning – however, the Chinese encapsulation technology is vastly superior to my comprehension – Volker: Stop that – and put the screws back in.
I turn up the radiator in the living room to the max and place the cooker on top – lid open. No rice from the new magic device today.

The following day:

The rice cooker is dry. I shake and tap the cooker, opening downward and a few grains of dried rice flee the scene. Except one. I hear it, but I can’t really locate it. So it gets to stay rent-free.

Now the acid test: The cooker is placed on the stove, I plug the power cable into the cooker and then veeeeeery carefully into the mains – the “warm” light is on. So far so good. Power off again for now.

I am a diabetic and try to manage my carbohydrate balance. In the evening only a few were additionally allowed – that was 50 grams of rice. I wash the rice and don’t repeat the mistake of the previous day. Now add the same amount of water. Looks a bit lost, this mix that barely covers the bowl on the bottom. Will the cooker work with this minute amount?

Plugged in, switched to “Cook”, I set a timer for 20 minutes. After approx. 5 minutes the device switches to warm. My timer blares. I open the device and see – nothing burned. But the rice has the consistency of cold cheese on nachos, so everything is pretty much together and stuck to the bottom. I remove the rice in three parts with the plastic spoon. The consistency is extremely al dente, i.e. not properly cooked through. But this is hardly noticeable mixed with the liquid in the Thai Curry. A little hot water and dish soap – that’s it with cleaning the pot.


There certainly is a minimum amount of rice required for a satisfactory result.

I like simple. Like this rice cooker.

We’re still getting used to each other.

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