I bought an Oster steamer some time ago (looks like this one with the lcd from this one) to steam corn. Eventually, i used it to make rice, after figuring out that the tray holding the rice needs water too; the steam isn't enough. Silly me.
Although i still love the look of the corn, i no longer eat it as often, now that i have satisfied my craving for folate with a supplement. This supplement is not the usual folic acid. That does not seem to do the trick for me. It is Metafolin which "is the pure stable crystalline form of the naturally-occurring predominant form of folate." Whatever it is, it does the trick for me.
But, i still make corn and offer it to others and sometimes eat a bit myself. Regardless, i use it for rice and brown rice, which is probably my favorite food(s). Other than parboiled rice, i find steaming superior to cooking, whether due to the amount of water or agitation hurting the kernels.
Now, years later, the steamer is showing some age. The plastic lid is chipped, the drip tray doesn't get all the drips, and the coating over the heating element is cracking off. Mind you, it still works well. Though, i feel it might hit its end of life some time (not necessarily too) soon.
Concurrent with my steamer observations, i have been hearing about the rice cooker. These have been around for a while but have gained popularity in recent years. The word rice alone was enough to catch my interest. But then i would wonder why i needed a specialized steamer. Well, between wanting rice, gadgets, and having tasted rice from other people (which may have been higher quality rice), i began to covet a rice cooker to call my own.
Of late that got stronger, aided by my ailing steamer, so i searched for (something like) rice steamer reviews. I must have read a few articles but was most impressed by this one, which recomended a cheaper Hamilton Beach model and also a more expensive Zojirushi model, depending on intended use.
After going going back and forth, reading the reviews, and really asking myself what size i needed, i ended up purchasing a Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA on Amazon. I went with the Zojirushi because i want it for brown rice, and have been happy when buying more expensive appliances from companies with known for quality which end up working well and that for a while. You really do get what you pay for.
I filled two bowls, some on this side and some on that side, i knew which was which and my friend did not. He chose the steamed rice calling it sweeter and therefore determining it was from the cooker. I also chose the steamed because it was more watery which was better than the drier stuff from the cooker. Well, not dry, but it looks like a little more water might have helped. Though, i went back and forth on whether the steamed rice tasted watery and if i truly liked it or not. In any case, the rice cooker is much easier to clean and dry off.
More tasting with other brands and varieties may follow.