Why Every Family Needs a Cuckoo Rice Cooker

This smart appliance makes meals so much easier.

March 23, 2023

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been using rice cookers daily to make rice for my family. My mom would call from the restaurant she ran to and tell me to put the rice on before she came home. So, I would wash the rice three or four times until the water ran clear, then measure the water up to my knuckles and plug it in.

Because all the rice cookers I used were fairly low-quality, I used to think they were all the same. And then, a few years ago, my mom got a top-of-the-line, super fast, high-pressure CUCKOO Rice Cooker. Seriously, this thing talks to her and tells her exactly what it’s doing at all times, like an attentive spouse. Her CUCKOO lets her know, amidst all her other busy house work, when the rice is ready, and what stage of the process it is in. Instead of only using bottom heat, the CUCKOO 6-Cup IH Pressure Rice Cooker uses induction heating to surround the inner pot with heat, and pressurizes it at 29 PSI to have six cups of rice ready before you even finish cooking your proteins.

But I didn’t need a 6-cup cooker for my small family, so I got the CUCKOO 3-Cup Micom Rice Cooker. Before using my new rice cooker, I doubted there could be much of a noticeable difference between the $25 model I had before, and this $100 model. Now, after using it for several weeks, I’m seeing a huge difference in the rice I’m eating — even if the quality of the rice I put in isn’t top-notch.

Here’s what I’ve tested in my CUCKOO rice cooker: white rice, brown rice, multigrain rice, and quinoa — and each grain has come out impeccably, much to my surprise. I think the key to this rice cooker is that it has a separate setting for each of those grains.

For the white rice, I tested a low-quality long-grain white rice bought from my local grocery store, and the result was fluffy rice perfect for eating with any protein. It was also moister than it usually is when I cook it on the stovetop in a normal pot.

For brown rice, I tested a short-grain brown rice, and the CUCKOO cooked it to a perfectly chewy consistency, so it wasn’t at all crunchy, but not too moist either. Often, I find that rice at the fast-casual restaurants I go to is too crunchy and not fully-cooked, and I wonder what kind of rice cooker or pot they’re using. The CUCKOO is brilliant at sensing when the rice is done.

For multigrain rice, I tested a hearty 12-grain Korean rice I bought at HMart, and I wasn’t even precise with the amount of water I added in. But to my relief, the CUCKOO again calibrated the level of moisture precisely, so that every grain was fully cooked without being soggy. I was surprised because 12 grains would surely have 12 different cooking times.

For quinoa, I tested white quinoa. My major problem in the past has either been burning the bottom of the pot when making quinoa because I’ve neglected it or added too little water, or ending up with soggy quinoa because I’ve added too much water. Not this time — it came out fluffier than it’s ever been when I made it on the stovetop, and I was overjoyed!

You can use a preset timer to have your rice ready just when you want it done. You can also make a lot of different recipes: soup, stew, congee, paella, pork loin, etc.

If you’re looking to be healthier, try making your own blend of grains, veggies and proteins for the CUCKOO, like mixing brown rice, wild rice, dried lentils, split peas and chickpeas — I was really pleased at how well-cooked all my legumes came out. I love my InstantPot, but it can’t cook rice like this — and I know, because I've tried.

One thing I’ve noticed about the rice cookers I’ve used throughout my life? They tend to form a crust on the bottom. Sometimes, that’s wonderful, because you can use it to make a crunchy, toasty rice stew (see nurungji or nureun bap). But often, I just want regular rice, three cups of it to feed my family for the next few days. And the CUCKOO gives me perfectly consistent rice all the way through, which I can mix up evenly with my rice paddle and not have to separate into two containers.

When you’re all done, there’s a detachable inner lid that you just press a latch on, and it pops off so you can clean it in the sink. Then, you can press the auto-clean button and the CUCKOO will steam its interior to keep the crust and stains away. This is a state-of-the-art rice cooker for a very low, reasonable price that you can expect to make perfect rice, soup, stew, and even proteins for years.

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