Joseph Joseph is a brand known for rebooting typically mundane kitchen tools with smart designs and splashes of color. The company’s M-Cuisine line, as the name suggests, applies those standards to products meant for the microwave. The M-Cuisine portfolio includes colorful microwaveable bowls, popcorn makers, pasta cookers, mugs and plates, and of course a rice cooker. Yes, this $20 gadget lets you quickly cook rice, oatmeal, and other grains in the microwave, freeing precious counter space from the tyranny of a slow and boring electric rice cooker.
It’s smaller than an electric rice cooker, but it can cook as much rice as an electric cooker. Since it’s a microwave cooker, there are no plugs, no heating units, and no switches and knobs. It doesn’t take up any more space in your cupboard than its two-liter cooking pot requires.
There are five parts: the cooking pot, a colander, a measuring cup, a lid and a rice paddle (aka a flat spoon). Everything fits inside the cooking pot for storage. The lid is held on tight by the rice paddle, which twists into a couple notches on top of the cooking pot to secure everything in place. It also looks great. The colander and lid are both black, the measuring cup is clear, and the cooking pot is white. The rice paddle is red, adding the visual splash of a pop color Joseph Joseph is known for.
But ultimately this thing needs to cook your rice, not just look nice in your cupboard. Happily, the rice cooker gets the job done. The included guidelines tell you how much rice and water you need, and how long you need to cook it. Instructions are included for several different styles of rice and grains, and for several quantities (depending on how many people you’re cooking for). I tried brown rice, white rice, jasmine, and basmati, and got a successfully cooked pot of rice every time with no excess water sitting at the bottom. Best of all, what takes my electric rice maker a half hour only takes the Joseph Joseph five minutes.
Because microwave ovens aren’t consistent across brands or models, you will probably have to noodle around with cooking times to get the perfect pot of rice. This can’t be blamed on Joseph Joseph, but you should anticipate the need to make adjustments—especially the first few times.
The cooking guidelines don’t come with instructions for “brown rice,” but do come with instructions for “whole grain rice.” Both, of course, as the same thing, but it would be helpful if the company used colloquial terms that simple folks like me will instantly understand. This is compounded by the fact that “porridge oats” is the only non-rice grain listed in the cooking guidelines. I’m assuming this to be something that we ruffians like to call “oatmeal”, but I’m not certain and am slightly afraid to give it a try.
The cooking guidelines would be better served by including more than just rice and porridge oats, anyway. Can the Joseph Joseph cook cous cous or quinoa? I’m assuming so, but I’d be flying blind when trying to do so because there are no guidelines written for them.
Quibbles aside, the Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine rice cooker cooks a nice pot of rice, does it faster than an electric cooker, looks good doing it, and takes up little space when not in use.
8/10 – Excellent, with room to kvetch.