Panasonic SR-DE103 5-Cup Rice Cooker – Full Review
Ready to retire an old rice cooker or trade up to a better one? The Panasonic SE-DE103 5 Cup Uncooked “Fuzzy Logic” Rice Cooker is one that’s well worth considering. Capable of delivering up to ten cups of cooked rice per cycle, it’s suitable for busy families as well as for couples and singles who want to pack leftovers for lunch or make multiple dinners ahead of time. Because it offers a slow cook function and even a bake function for making cakes, this small appliance is versatile enough to replace a few other items that might be taking up valuable space in your kitchen.
This innovative rice cooker is chock-full of fantastic features. A carry handle lets you take it along to potlucks and other gatherings, a domed lid prevents water from dripping down on the finished product, and a steamer basket lets you cook vegetables and other foods while making rice. The control panel is easy to read, with large LCD numbers. There are several cooking options we’ll go into in depth in the next section, including options for white, brown, and sticky rice, plus a 12-hour keep warm feature and a generous 24-hour preset timer ensure that your food is ready when it’s time to eat. Fuzzy Logic technology adjusts the cooker’s power and cooking time automatically, ensuring you get precise, consistent results each time you prepare a meal.
Although the Panasonic SR-DE103 rice cooker delivers an abundant amount of cooked food, it features a surprisingly small footprint that makes it easy to keep on the countertop for added convenience. In the event you prefer to store it in a cabinet, you’ll appreciate its slightly squared profile, which makes saving space simpler. This rice cooker is easy to clean thanks to a nonstick inner cooking chamber, and its detachable power cord makes for faster, easier storage.
What’s missing? Good instructions. The operating manual is written in several languages and a few things aren’t clear. Luckily, the rice cooker redeems itself by being very easy to use, with intuitive controls that don’t require much detective work to figure out.
These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning and operating the Panasonic SR-DE103 5-Cup “Fuzzy Logic” Rice Cooker.
Many popular rice cookers are big and bulky, with round, pot-shaped profiles that take up lots of space on the countertop and are awkward to store inside cabinets, especially crowded ones. The Panasonic SR-DE103 makes a whopping ten cups of cooked rice, yet it manages to fit in a space that’s just a little bigger than the average sheet of paper. It’s footprint is 10 inches by 13 inches, and at 8.25 inches high, it is easily tucked away when not in use. Just a little larger than the average toaster, this rice cooker is sized right for small kitchens, RVs, and even cramped boat galleys.
Clean, Attractive Exterior
With a white chrome finish housing that matches many popular kitchen appliances, the Panasonic SR-DE103 rice cooker has a smooth, unimposing shape. It is very easy to keep clean, and its champagne-colored control panel adds a welcome touch of class. The LCD control panel is situated on the front of the rice cooker, allowing for easy reading, even from a short distance away.
Unique Lid Design
Old-style rice cookers often have lids that allow water to drip down onto the finished product. Not a huge downfall, but not exactly nice, either. Panasonic got it right with this lid design, which is gently domed to prevent water from dripping down onto the food below. In addition, the lid opens and closes with a touch, adding convenience and contributing to the rice cooker’s appealing appearance.
Removable Non-Stick Cooking Chamber
Like many of the best rice cookers on the market, this one is fitted with a lightweight, removable cooking chamber. Not only does this make serving simpler, it also makes for easier cleanup. Made of aluminum and covered in a durable nonstick coating, the cooking chamber is very easy to wash with a little soap and water.
Eight Menu Settings
Amazingly versatile, the Panasonic SR-DE 103 offers eight different menu settings, four of which are for rice only. These include white rice, brown rice, sticky rice, and quick cook rice settings. As different types of rice require different cooking processes to come out with the right texture and flavor, this is something you’ll probably appreciate. Additional options include steam, which allows you to steam fish, poultry, vegetables, and other foods that cook quickly, porridge, which is designed to deliver perfect oatmeal and grain hot cereals, and slow cook, which is ideal for soups, stews, meats and more. The cake setting allows you to bake your favorite cake recipes, and it can be used for other favorites such as brownies, fruit crumbles, and quick breads such as cornbread, banana bread, and lemon poppy seed bread. The more recipes you try, the more you’ll like what you can do with this rice cooker.
Excellent Programming Options
If your schedule tends to be on the tight side and you often rely on fast food, you’ll appreciate the Panasonic SR-DE103 for its programmability. You can add ingredients and program the appliance up 24 hours before the cook cycle begins, helping to minimize the amount of time you need to spend in the kitchen. I like to finish dinner, clean up, and set the rice cooker for the next day’s dinner. The following day, I come home knowing I have only a few steps to take before dinner is completely ready to eat.
Automatic Keep Warm and Shut Off Features
In the event you’re not quite ready when your rice is, you’ll appreciate the automatic keep warm feature. It gently heats the rice without scorching or overcooking, and it lasts for up to 12 hours. The rice cooker shuts itself off automatically when the keep warm cycle has finished.
With all the Panasonic SR-DE103 rice cooker has to offer, you might expect it to come at a high price. Surprisingly, the cost is just a little more than a low-end rice cooker with a simple on / off function. It favorably compares with more expensive, high-end models.
“Can you use this appliance to cook rice with broth or do you have to use water?”
You can use any kind of liquid to cook your rice or other grains, i.e. vegetable broth, coconut water, chicken stock, etc. I have even replaced some of the water in recipes with tomato juice to make red Spanish rice.
“The time was pre-set on the cooker when it arrived, but it’s not my time zone. How do you reset the clock on the rice cooker?”
Hold the hour button down, and this will activate a mode that lets you set the cooker time using the hour and minute buttons located on the front. When you get to the correct time, which will be in 24-hour format, press the OFF button to set the time.
“How long does the “Keep Warm” function last?”
According to the manufacturer, you can keep rice warm for up to twelve hours..
“Does the preset timer work for options other than rice?”
Yes. You can use it for whatever you like. I’d be cautious about putting uncooked meat into the rice cooker and allowing it to sit for an extended period of time. In addition, cake batter that’s left to sit loses its volume so cakes might come out flat if allowed to remain unbaked inside the cooker for too long.
“How long does the “cake” cycle last?”
You can set the cooking time for the cake cycle so that it lasts between 20 and 65 minutes.
“About how long does it take to make a full 5-cup batch of white rice?”
On average, this takes 30 to 40 minutes. The fuzzy logic system automatically stops the cooking cycle when the rice is done.
“Is the cooking pan dishwasher safe for the top rack?”
Although I’ve heard other reviewers saying they have washed the cooking pan in the dishwasher, it really ought to be hand-washed. Because it’s nonstick, it only takes a few seconds to rinse, wipe clean, and dry.
“Does this rice cooker work at high altitude? I live at 7000 feet and rice doesn’t do well on the stovetop here.”
Yes, it works at high altitude, but it does take a little longer to finish since water’s boiling temperature is lower at higher altitudes.
“Can you steam eggs inside this rice cooker?”
Yes, it makes fantastic steamed eggs.
The Panasonic SR-DE103 5-Cup (Uncooked) “Fuzzy Logic” rice cooker offers excellent value for the price. Its numerous settings make it a valuable addition to the kitchen, and in my experience, the appliance does all the manufacturer claims it will, and then some. If you are tight on space and want a single appliance that will perform several functions, this is a good option to consider. While not the nicest or fanciest rice cooker on the market, it is a wonderful mid-range model that makes plenty of food. Its programmability makes it particularly useful for people with busy schedules. While some reviewers have complained about product defects, this is something that unfortunately happens with even the most expensive appliances from time to time. A one-year warranty is offered with this unit, and in the event of a manufacturing defect, it ought to be covered. Be sure to register your product to take advantage of the warranty if needed. All in all, I give this appliance top marks for its value, versatility, and ease of use.
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