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Aroma NutriWare Stainless Steel Whole Grain Gourmet Review

Home Test of Aroma's NutriWare™ Stainless Steel Whole Grain Gourmet™

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Aroma NutriWare Whole Grain Gourmet NRC1000

Aroma NutriWare Whole Grain Gourmet NRC1000

Photo © Aroma
It's a very impressive appliance with its surgical stainless steel pot and it boasts multi-function cooking (and steaming) abilities. But just how well does the NutriWare Gourmet perform all these different cooking feats? I took it to task to find out if it's as versatile as it claims.

Product Description

Aroma NutriWare™ Whole Grain Gourmet™ comes with a surgical steel (non-reactive) cooking pot, colander and steam tray, tempered glass lid, measuring cup and bamboo serving paddle.
  • Digital controls - Fuzzy logic on-board micro-computer
  • 18-cup capacity (cooked white rice)
  • Cooking pot, colander and steam tray are non-reactive surgical stainless steel
  • Preprogrammed functions for White Rice, Brown Rice, Pasta/Boil, Steam and Keep-Warm
  • Handy measurement lines inside of the stainless steel pot
  • Recipe booklet included and more recipes from site
  • Visit MyNutriWare.com for further detail
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • MSRP: $149.99

How the Aroma NutriWare Whole Grain Gourmet Performed

March 5, 2010 This cooker is as impressive out of the box as it is in the picture - quality made and the stainless pot, colander and steam tray are premium grade, very nice to cook with and clean. The manual has handy rice/water measurement charts and the recipe book includes helpful nutritional information, whole grain recipes and tips. This is a family-sized cooker - you can cook 9 cups of white rice (18 cups cooked); or 7 cups of brown rice (14 cups cooked).

I used the Gourmet for white and brown rice, boiled pasta, steamed vegetables and cooked a variety of whole grains including steel-cut oats, couscous, barley. I also made numerous soups, plus stir-fried vegetables and more. I must stress that before using the Gourmet, read the tips on cooking rice. The rice/water measurements given are merely guides and I often had to adjust the water depending on the type of rice or whether it had a tendency to be sticky (possibly not enough rinsing prior to cooking).

I also sometimes had to shorten the preset cycle so that it wouldn't dry out and stick when it was cooked. You do have to stir/scrape the bottom often with a wooden spoon when cooking rice. As explained in the manual, stainless is not nonstick and although I did grease the interior, rice would tend to stick on the bottom more often than not. Adding a little more water and stirring, helped to moisten and make it fluffier. When the cycle is over, it auto shifts to Keep-Warm. You can choose that setting to keep soups or foods warm after cooking or just to complete the cooking.

My Overall Impression

I love the stainless steel components, they clean up nicely and are a pleasure to use. The preset cycles for rice sometimes had to be shortened. It performed very well for whole grains and I loved making soup in it. Being able to sauté vegetables and meat on the White Rice setting, then add the rest of the ingredients including grains, and simmer - all in one pot for a few minutes - was extremely handy. Split-pea soup (after presoaking peas overnight) cooked and thickened nicely, on two White Rice cycles (just over an hour).

As much as I love the stainless steel pot for everything else, when it comes to cooking rice I'd prefer a nonstick finish - that's just my preference. But the stainless is ideal for those who would rather not cook with nonstick finishes and it cleans up very well. The stainless steel pot is more durable - there's no nonstick finish to scratch or peel over time. The Gourmet comes with a colander for cooking pasta and it does this well but capacity is less than I expected - levels are marked. The steaming process was excellent.

The Whole Grain Gourmet performs well especially for whole grains and holds a lot of promise for the busy cook. With its multi-function abilities for steaming, cooking whole grains, rice or pasta, making soup or one-pot meals, it has proven to be a versatile cooker and as I found, possibilities are endless when it comes to whole grains. For performance, ease of use, cleaning and function - it gets a thumbs up. I've downgraded the rating slightly because rice has to be carefully monitored to avoid sticking and burning.

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