A couple of years ago we replaced our old Oster rice cooker with one a couple of generations more modern: an Aroma Rice Cooker ARC-150SB. This model is feature-rich in comparison, to the old model that cooked white rice and nothing else. The Aroma 150SB cooks both white and brown rice, has a timer that lets you schedule completion up to 15 hours in advance, and even has a veggie steamer tray.
The 150SB cooks 4-20 cups of white or brown rice in its non-stick pot. Operation is simple: put in 2-10 measures of rice (each measure is ¾ C.), and add enough water to reach the corresponding line inside of the pot. You then fasten the lid, hit the ON button, choose white or brown rice, and press "START." If you’re in no hurry, you can use the timer. Aroma’s cooker employs fuzzy logic for optimal cooking time, though white rice usually takes about 35 minutes and brown cooks in about 110. The pot essentially keeps cooking until all the water boils off, then shifts to a "KEEP WARM" setting.
A STEAM function uses the same pot plus a plastic tray that rests in its top. You just hit “STEAM,” then press START repetitively. This sets the cooking time according to a chart in the owners manual. You can even steam while rice is cooking, although the veggies tend to overcook unless you take them out early.
We cook both white and brown rice and have also steamed vegetables like asparagus and cauliflower. The instructions warn that rinsing the rice before cooking will avoid a burnt bottom, which seems to work better for white than brown rice. The timer function works well, though be aware that the minimum time for brown rice is 2 hours
To clean the pot, you lift it out. You also pull a steam vent out of the lid and a little water reservoir out of the space below the hinge. The pot is supposed to be dishwasher –safe, though we always wash it by hand.
Having a non-stick interior, a time, and the brown rice setting are vast improvements over our old basic rice cooker. What I don’t like is that the lid isn’t removable, so you have to wipe it clean instead of washing it. I also have difficulty seeing the water markings on the black inner surface. After dozens of pots of brown rice, I’m still trying to figure out why it always gets crispy on the bottom as if the pot overcooks it. Nonetheless – and maybe because we like our rice a little dry - I give the Aroma Rice Cooker 150SB four solid stars.