Hi all, I'm hoping you can recommend a rice cooker that will meet my needs. Years ago I had a small Japanese rice cooker with a metal pot and a simple on-off switch. It was basic but worked pretty well. After many years it broke, and I elected not to replace it. (A leg came off, and though it still cooked, it did not balance well.) I found that I preferred to cook rice in a pot, which gave me the ability to match the cooking method to the type of rice.
Well, now I have a baby, and so I have a need for a rice cooker again. I no longer have the time or attention span to stand by the stove and remove the rice the moment it's done. I would like to be able to come home from work, put the rice in the rice cooker, and then ignore it for an hour or two while I play with the baby and put him to bed. Then after the baby is asleep I could make something quick and easy to eat with the rice.
The kinds of rice I cook most frequently are:
Thai Jasmine (white)
Short grain brown rice
And less often I might make some kind of specialty whole grain rice such as Wehani, Bhutanese red, Black, etc.
I would be making rice primarily for two people (and maybe sometimes the baby, but he doesn't eat much), so the cooker should be able to make small amounts of rice well.
Also, I have a concern about the cooking materials. I have removed pretty much all the nonstick cookware from my kitchen due to health/cancer concerns. I have similar issues with aluminum. I don't really trust most items made in China. I would be willing to pay more for a rice cooker that was made of something I could feel confident about, healthwise. Otherwise, I don't think I need a lot of bells and whistles and usually prefer simpler appliances.
Thank you for your suggestions!