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alan7147
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I am actually looking to buy a rice maker.  Does anyone have an opinion as to their favorite brands.  I have done some research and it seems like a lot of people enjoy the Zojirushi  brand.

That's what I have. Mrs JPW bought it when she was in grad school. It's been used about once a week for 7 or 8 years and never a problem. The "Keep Warm" setting works very well.

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I am actually looking to buy a rice maker. Does anyone have an opinion as to their favorite brands. I have done some research and it seems like a lot of people enjoy the Zojirushi brand.

That's what we have and have been using it for nearly 7 years now, on average of about 4-5 days a week with the only sign of wear being a little discoloration. It does have the water and rice tick marks on the inside for those without finger creases.

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I don't know if you have the new ones. But I have an old-fashioned one that has a smaller sized bowl that you set inside. I love it for when I buy the frozen Chinese steamed breads. Do a sort of double boiler with a teensy bit of water in the cooker bowl and is much, much better than using the microwave. Probably generally good for steaming anything. The new-fangled ones are crap. Though I am sure you could set another bowl within the existing one.

Thanks for the tip, while it is new, it is the old style with a small bowl and a single button, it makes great rice. Interesting when my wife and I went to get one at Super H the appliance women that helped us decided told us the same thing about most of the rice cookers, and said that the Japanese brand that we ended up buying was the best for making good rice. It is very similar to the one my parents had and used regularly for about 25 years.

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The one unitasker I cannot live without is my rice cooker.

People who have rice cookers always say this. I am rice-cooker-less, and I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Is it that hard to cook rice on the stove? Am I really missing something here?

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People who have rice cookers always say this. I am rice-cooker-less, and I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Is it that hard to cook rice on the stove? Am I really missing something here?
Honestly, I like being able to toss my rice in the cooker, set it, and have it do its thing while I'm making the rest of dinner. With only two burners in the whole joint, the rice cooker is pretty much indispensable. We have rice for breakfast many mornings, so we're big fans of the timer function (the rice doesn't seem to suffer for being in the cooker overnight). Also: takikomi gohan.
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People who have rice cookers always say this. I am rice-cooker-less, and I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Is it that hard to cook rice on the stove? Am I really missing something here?
I love my rice cooker, yes I do. Let me count the ways.

Well, first and foremost, the neuro fuzzy logic thingie means you don't set the timer, you don't need to know whether the rice will cook faster and need less water because it's greenish or slower and need more water because it's dryish, the sensor senses and cooks until the water is cooked away, just right, every time. Turn it on, forget about it, it's ready when the fat pot sings ("twinkle twinkle little star" is what mine sings).

The rice comes out fluffy and separate grains, never sticky, never stuck together.

It sits on the counter and doesn't use up space on the stove, which is good because we have a four burner.

It doesn't put out heat which is good when it's hot outside.

Easy to clean.

I still use stove top for Persian rice to get tah dig (crispy brown crust), and find that using a folded up cloth between pot and lid does a lot of good things for rice, but still use rice cooker if I don't want tah dig.

My mother's rice cooker is not neuro fuzzy logic and I don't love it, and she doesn't love it, either. Mine intimidates her (as do computers and cell phones) but she likes it better than hers.

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People who have rice cookers always say this. I am rice-cooker-less, and I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Is it that hard to cook rice on the stove? Am I really missing something here?
It's one less thing I have to watch while I am in the kitchen. Just flip the switch and walk away. It means that I can put on some rice for eating with leftovers and go for a jog. And when you're Asian and eat rice nearly every single day, it is totally worth it. In comparison to when I have made it on the stove, it is more consistently cooked. My stoves have had hot spots so there would be spots that are brown.
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It doesn't put out heat which is good when it's hot outside.

Then how does the rice get cooked if there is no heat applied? I would assume there would need to be heat, but I am guessing you mean it uses perhaps less (and less obvious?) heat, right?

And what's with the neuro fuzzy logic? Are ll of the rice cookers out there like this these days more or less? How much will one of these set you back? I am loathe to get a unitasker like this, but we've been eating a lot more rice of late and I do like the idea of getting it done right every time and being able to not have to keep an eye on th pot while I do other things. I do not like the loss of counter space, but it might be worth it. Maybe.

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Then how does the rice get cooked if there is no heat applied? I would assume there would need to be heat, but I am guessing you mean it uses perhaps less (and less obvious?) heat, right?

And what's with the neuro fuzzy logic? Are ll of the rice cookers out there like this these days more or less? How much will one of these set you back? I am loathe to get a unitasker like this, but we've been eating a lot more rice of late and I do like the idea of getting it done right every time and being able to not have to keep an eye on th pot while I do other things. I do not like the loss of counter space, but it might be worth it. Maybe.

I can't speak for Ilaine's rice cooker, but our Tiger is well insulated and does a good job of keeping the heat contained. Steam escapes through the top, and that's really the most remarkable bit of heat.

Most of the modern rice cookers are fuzzy logic, I believe. Azami bought ours for around $30 USD (he thinks), but it's a) not very fancy and b ) not a Zojirushi.

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And what's with the neuro fuzzy logic? Are ll of the rice cookers out there like this these days more or less?
I don't know about the fuzzy logic on these other ones. The old school ones seemed to run on the logic of, there's no more water in here to steam, turn off. So by knowing how much water to put in it would take more or less time to either cook or reheat the rice. The old school ones do let out a substantial amount of steam. As to its bulk effect on the room temperature, I don't know. The newer ones make no sense to me. I have a problem with them being too insulated because I find that it leads to mushier rice because all the moisture gets trapped inside. The keep warm function I've found to dry it out. I am not a fan of the new-fangled ones.
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I don't know about the fuzzy logic on these other ones. The old school ones seemed to run on the logic of, there's no more water in here to steam, turn off. So by knowing how much water to put in it would take more or less time to either cook or reheat the rice. The old school ones do let out a substantial amount of steam. As to its bulk effect on the room temperature, I don't know. The newer ones make no sense to me. I have a problem with them being too insulated because I find that it leads to mushier rice because all the moisture gets trapped inside. The keep warm function I've found to dry it out. I am not a fan of the new-fangled ones.

Has anyone ever had their rice get semi-burned/crispy on the bottom, or do I just have a cheap-o cooker? Most of the rice comes out great, but the bottom of the pot always has a crusty layer. Is there a solution, or am I perhaps cooking too long? Sometimes I avoid this by cutting off the power earlier, but that defeats the purpose of having an automatic machine, since I always have to monitor it.

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It's not necessarily a unitasker. I lived for three months on a small isolated Pacific island rock with a "kitchen" that consisted of a single ring burner, a rice cooker, a sink, and a bar fridge. You can make pasta or noodles or potatoes in a rice cooker; you can also steam veggies.

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Has anyone ever had their rice get semi-burned/crispy on the bottom, or do I just have a cheap-o cooker? Most of the rice comes out great, but the bottom of the pot always has a crusty layer. Is there a solution, or am I perhaps cooking too long? Sometimes I avoid this by cutting off the power earlier, but that defeats the purpose of having an automatic machine, since I always have to monitor it.
No, but we've occasionally gotten browned (scorched?) spots on the bottom. I've chalked those up to inaccurate water measurement on my part. What kind of cooker do you have?

Ours also doesn't dry out the rice when using the keep warm function.

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I've owned national and jiroshi (sp?). Both are fine and have lasted a long time and do a fine job with all the varieties of rice I cook (e.g., asian short grain, basmati, long grain, wild rice, barley). I've paid around $100 for the last one I picked up at Super H.

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I've had a Zojirushi (not fuzzy logic, model is NS-MYC18,I think it was $90) for 8 years, use it 3-5 times weekly, & would not be without it. I usually turn off the 'keep warm' cycle, too. I have the Beth Hensperger 'Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook', but will shamefully admit the only thing I've ever used my rice cooker for is plain cooked rice, which it does, perfectly, every time.

I took a Thai cooking class the other day & I was dumbstruck that the teacher didn't have a rice cooker (not that it's difficult to cook rice, but the rice cooker is awesome).

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I can't speak for Ilaine's rice cooker, but our Tiger is well insulated and does a good job of keeping the heat contained. Steam escapes through the top, and that's really the most remarkable bit of heat.

I have found the same from the Tiger that we recently bought. The retractable power cord is also a big plus, just one less thing to either get in the way or loose.

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No, but we've occasionally gotten browned (scorched?) spots on the bottom. I've chalked those up to inaccurate water measurement on my part. What kind of cooker do you have?

Ours also doesn't dry out the rice when using the keep warm function.

I checked, it's an Oster. About 7 years old. I've tried numerous solutions, like adding more water and rubbing the bottom with oil first. Oh well.

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Years ago some friends of ours stayed at my in-laws house for one night while they were visiting Phila. When they left they gave my mother in law a rice cooker as a thank you present. She said that she didn't know if she would use it, but a month later told me that she doesn't know how she ever got along without one for all those years. She still uses it and thinks it is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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Here's our scenario. Family of 3, including a vegetarian almost-teen who wants to start making her own cucumber rolls for lunch. She generally prefers brown rice (inc. for sushi). Does a 5.5 "cup" induction machine look like the best bet for us? I tend to be lazy about rice (sometimes substituting Israeli couscous when I make Indian food, just because it's faster and easier and still tastes good), although I actually appreciate lots of different kinds when someone else makes it. Risotto and biryani are all-family faves in case that makes a difference (e.g. if some cookers handle more complex main dish recipes better).

Any brand preferences? Or brands to avoid?

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I got a combo rice cooker slow cooker that does pretty well except I have to add more water than suggested for basmati and sometimes it is still a little undercooked, so perhaps not the krups combo if you are making complicated rice dishes. But it does good sushi rice and brown rice and jasmine rice.

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Here's our scenario. Family of 3, including a vegetarian almost-teen who wants to start making her own cucumber rolls for lunch. She generally prefers brown rice (inc. for sushi). Does a 5.5 "cup" induction machine look like the best bet for us? I tend to be lazy about rice (sometimes substituting Israeli couscous when I make Indian food, just because it's faster and easier and still tastes good), although I actually appreciate lots of different kinds when someone else makes it. Risotto and biryani are all-family faves in case that makes a difference (e.g. if some cookers handle more complex main dish recipes better).

Any brand preferences? Or brands to avoid?

You can pick up a 3-cup rice cooker for about $30 at any local Asian Mart. (even Target or online too)

If you get a smart rice cooker (fuzzy) that can cook brown and regular and sushi rice, it'll be like $120.

I know with the standard 1 button cook/warm cookers you can cook pasta, hard boil eggs, and make rice and then mix things into it (ex: byriani)

If you make rice at least once a week, it's worth getting a cheap rice cooker for the consistency, speed, and ease.

If you want to do fancier things with rice and plan to use it more frequently (every day, every other day) or want to have a timer so that it will automatically make rice ready by dinner time or in the morning, get the more expensive, fuzzy one. I will be jealous.

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I decided that we wanted a GABA feature for veggie daughter, so we got a Zojirushi induction model. First batch of cucumber rolls (white rice) turned out really well. GABA brown is cooking away as I type. The machine is very simple to use and to clean, albeit pricy. Fuzzy logic may be more versatile (except for the GABA rice aspect).

Next project: find or grow leek sprouts, LOL!

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I decided that we wanted a GABA feature for veggie daughter, so we got a Zojirushi induction model. First batch of cucumber rolls (white rice) turned out really well. GABA brown is cooking away as I type. The machine is very simple to use and to clean, albeit pricy. Fuzzy logic may be more versatile (except for the GABA rice aspect).

Next project: find or grow leek sprouts, LOL!

Great call, you'll find a ton of versatility with that device.

This was probably posted earlier, but here's the rice cooker cookbook from which I have obtained the most helpful recipes: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Rice-Cooker-Cookbook-Porridges/dp/1558322035/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252876666&sr=8-1

You can probably get it for next to nothing on half.com or elsewhere.

Have fun with your new machine. Especially with cooler weather coming on, you'll have many comforting meals in store.

Imagine the congee you could make with leek sprouts. :rolleyes:

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Great call, you'll find a ton of versatility with that device.

This was probably posted earlier, but here's the rice cooker cookbook from which I have obtained the most helpful recipes: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Rice-Cooker-Cookbook-Porridges/dp/1558322035/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252876666&sr=8-1

You can probably get it for next to nothing on half.com or elsewhere.

Have fun with your new machine. Especially with cooler weather coming on, you'll have many comforting meals in store.

Imagine the congee you could make with leek sprouts. :rolleyes:

Thanks, I've just ordered it!

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I'm thinking about getting a new rice cooker.

It's just 2 people eating, and usually only 1 person (me) eats rice

It's between Zojirushi's

- NS-LAC05

- NS-VGC05

Anyone have experience with any of these models?

Here's the comparison chart Zojirushi provides (attached).

The only difference I can tell is that NS-VGC05 is a little smaller than LAC05 and cooks cake and rinse-free rice and has a detachable cord.

NS-VGC05 is nice looking and cooks brown rice, but no cake or rinse-free rice. It has a retractable cord and I don't think I'll ever cook rinse-free rice or cake in it, so I don't care about those features. It is a little bigger than VGC05 but has a color LCD screen.

Both of them have quick-rice and half-cup options, which I like, as well as timers.

Right now I have a Cuckoo rice cooker that makes a cup of rice in about 15 minutes (I don't always let it "rest" after cooking). It only has "cook" and "keep warm" options. It was about $30 from the Lotte in Fairfax.

Also, do you think the local asian marts will have these models, and if so, at the same price or different prices?

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I'm thinking about getting a new rice cooker.

It's just 2 people eating, and usually only 1 person (me) eats rice

Neuro fuzzy logic is the way to go. Also, while you may not want to cook more rice than you can eat, you could also make congee/porridge, and steel cut oatmeal.
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Also, do you think the local asian marts will have these models, and if so, at the same price or different prices?

This may be a tad late, but I really like the retractable cord function. It's easy to store and get out of the way when you unplug it. At Maxim's in Rockville this wknd, they had the 10-cup versions for $169. Maybe you can price-point that way.
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This may be a tad late, but I really like the retractable cord function. It's easy to store and get out of the way when you unplug it. At Maxim's in Rockville this wknd, they had the 10-cup versions for $169. Maybe you can price-point that way.

I think I'm going to go with the NS-LAC05.

I absolutely refuse to get anything over 5 cups though! That's just a waste because even with a 3-cup machine I rarely make over 1 cup and I freeze the leftovers. At that point, even though the one you showed, goodeats, it'd take up more space than it's worth. I think I'll try to make it out to Lotte (they have the best selection in Virginia that I've found) and if that doesn't work, it's Amazon for me!

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I bought the LAC recently off of Amazon because they were having a 30% off sale.

http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/ricecookers/ns_lac.html

I tried 1 cup of white rice on white rice setting (not quick rice), and it was about 45 minutes.

The rice came out MUCH better than my cook/keep warm Cuckoo cooker--no burnt or crispy parts and no excess moisture.

I'll continue to use it and see if it lives up to the price tag though.

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I bought the LAC recently off of Amazon because they were having a 30% off sale.

http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/ricecookers/ns_lac.html

I tried 1 cup of white rice on white rice setting (not quick rice), and it was about 45 minutes.

The rice came out MUCH better than my cook/keep warm Cuckoo cooker--no burnt or crispy parts and no excess moisture.

I'll continue to use it and see if it lives up to the price tag though.

I love, love, love my NS-LAC05. I'd insert an audio file of my singing the praises of this device, but small children would run in ph33r.

To get the most from your machine, expand beyond rice and venture into oatmeals, quinoa, barley, amaranth, oat groats, and other grains/grasses/pseudocereals. The versatility and ease of preparation will impress you.

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Welp, my 7-year old Fuzzy Logic Zojirushi has suffered the dreaded battery fail. And, yes, I can still cook with it by resetting the clock each time I plug it in and, yes, I could send it into Zojirushi for replacement (for a cost I can't quite find, probably a lot), but I think it's time for a new one. So, my question to you is, should I continue to look at Zojirushi (looking at the HBC10 or GBC05), or should I move to Tiger, Panasonic, or even Korean like Cuckoo?

That also raises another question: should I consider pressure rice cookers, like the one Zojirushi model and most of Cuckoos? I imagine they are more flexible and (perhaps) faster, but it seems like they come with a lot more to clean after each use.

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Welp, my 7-year old Fuzzy Logic Zojirushi has suffered the dreaded battery fail. And, yes, I can still cook with it by resetting the clock each time I plug it in and, yes, I could send it into Zojirushi for replacement (for a cost I can't quite find, probably a lot), but I think it's time for a new one. So, my question to you is, should I continue to look at Zojirushi (looking at the HBC10 or GBC05), or should I move to Tiger, Panasonic, or even Korean like Cuckoo?

That also raises another question: should I consider pressure rice cookers, like the one Zojirushi model and most of Cuckoos? I imagine they are more flexible and (perhaps) faster, but it seems like they come with a lot more to clean after each use.

Well, I think the first question is what are you trying to cook or want to cook in your apparatus?

If you are just doing variations of rice, then stick to a fuzzy neurologic cooker. I would actually move on to a cheaper brand, as I have heard recently of zojirushis failing on a few folks. Might want to do a quick google search review on some of the brands you are looking at. I have a Tiger and have had it for the past 3 years. It's a small capacity, 3 cup cooker that has made nice congee or rice/veggie meals in it. Panasonic is also reputable, but I am not sure how their cooker line is. Good luck!!

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I have been using my little rice cooker (2 cup) from Hitachi for more than 12 years. It doesn't have any special features like fuzzy logic, it just cooks rice and keeps the temperature. If I were you I would stick with Zojirushi. I have heard many good stories about Cuckoo brand but it is more expensive than Zojirushi and I can't find a small size like my current one.

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What is the attraction to the fancy rice cookers? Perhaps because my mother was from the low country of South Carolina I grew up having steamed rice. And now that’s the only way I fix rice. It seems so easy and fool-proof to me. Put water and rice in the top of the steamer, and water in the bottom, and put it on the stove. About a half hour after the water starts boiling, the rice is ready. If you’re not ready to eat it, just leave it on the stove and it stays warm. Impossible to burn or otherwise ruin. If you cook much rice you really should get a rice steamer and give it a try.

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I'll add my vote for the Zojirushi. I don't buy many gadget type items but this one gets used weekly. I do make rice on the stove top sometimes for various reasons but the Zojirushi is great for sushi rice and brown rice. I especially like the timer feature for the brown rice (including GABA brown rice) so that I can set it in the morning and have it ready when I get home from work.

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What is the attraction to the fancy rice cookers? Perhaps because my mother was from the low country of South Carolina I grew up having steamed rice. And now that’s the only way I fix rice. It seems so easy and fool-proof to me. Put water and rice in the top of the steamer, and water in the bottom, and put it on the stove. About a half hour after the water starts boiling, the rice is ready. If you’re not ready to eat it, just leave it on the stove and it stays warm. Impossible to burn or otherwise ruin. If you cook much rice you really should get a rice steamer and give it a try.

This is pretty much technically the same as old school electric rice cookers, which I have. The fancy, new ones work on the same notion technically aren't any different.

The rice cooker is for people who eat rice almost every single day. It also doesn't take up a burner that can be used for cooking, and gives me one less thing I have to pay attention to if I am cooking multiple things at once, or if I want to cook some rice while I go to the gym. I don't have to worry about all the water on the bottom from completely evaporating, and eventually burning the rice or ruining a pot - yes it is still possible to ruin if you are inattentive.

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To add to what synaesthesia wrote, I like to think of my fuzzy rice cooker as a hybrid of a crock pot and rice cooker.

I love that:

1. I can set my timer in the morning before I go to work to find cooked rice ready for me when I return home.

2. I can cook congee on the congee setting and not have uncooked rice on the regular setting, and have it ready for breakfast by allowing it cook overnight.

3. I can add meats or veggies to my uncooked rice, put it on the "veggies" setting and have a rice medley for my next meal, instead of worrying about an accompanying dish with my rice.

Agree about not worrying about burning the pot because I have done that before too.

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I'm thinking about a programmable rice cooker for Mr. lperry for Christmas. (Shhhhh. Don't tell.) He likes steel-cut oats, but never makes them because of the time required, and this appliance would let him wake up to breakfast. I'm guessing I want a fuzzy logic one?

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I'm thinking about a programmable rice cooker for Mr. lperry for Christmas. (Shhhhh. Don't tell.) He likes steel-cut oats, but never makes them because of the time required, and this appliance would let him wake up to breakfast. I'm guessing I want a fuzzy logic one?

Yeah. For oatmeal I've used the porridge setting and that's only available on the fuzzy logic cookers (as far as I've seen). And goodeats lists many of the reasons I need a fancy cooker. I love the timer both for Sunday night rice that I can set up in the morning and for morning porridge I can set up at night.

I'm now at the point where I'm ready for a new one, and I'm thinking I'll check out the local Asian markets for their prices versus Amazon and Newegg. I've heard conflicting anecdotes on the price savings available. Some say great bargains abound, others, not so much. Any hints on which markets might give a better price? Lotte? H-Mart?

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If you do go looking, please report back. :)

Will do, assuming weekend doesn't blow up somehow (e.g., blood donation goes wrong, get caught in Beltway weekend fun...) I'll have to remember to get out my iPhone and the fun Amazon app with the barcode scanner. Nice, simple price comparator that.

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