CLOSED Hamilton Beach rice cooker review and giveaway: Carb season doesn’t have to be boring!

*Disclaimer: Hamilton Beach sent me a rice/hot cereal cooker free of charge for me to review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Farewell, store-bought pasta, overcooked and dumped in cheese sauce in a hurry! Go away, sad-looking pilaf, grey and textureless like an unfinished cooking experiment! Time to say good bye, soggy sandwiches long-forgotten in the fridge, brimming with wilted lettuce! Who needs such uninspiring carb overloads? Not me, that’s for sure 🙂

I’ve never been a fan of carbs, yet the cold season is fast approaching and I know I’m going to need carbs to keep me warm and energetic during the fall & winter months. If you’re like me and need an extra “something” to get you motivated and interested in experimenting with carbs, a rice cooker might just be what you need! I admit I was very excited when Hamilton Beach contacted me and offered to send me a rice cooker to test and report on. Along with rice, this versatile Hamilton Beach appliance can cook hot cereal and whole grains, and even steam veggies and fish. From quinoa to farro, shrimp to grits and steamed asparagus to salmon – the possibilities seem endless!

Right off the bat, I liked the stylish design and stainless steel appearance of the rice cooker. The control panel featured a variety of intuitive options: three for rice and grains, one for hot cereals (including oats and grits), one for steaming, and lastly one for heating/simmering, to be used with foods such as prepackaged rice mixes, soups, stews and beans. I also liked the fact that some of the rice cooker components were dishwasher-safe – which to me is a great time-saver.

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I decided to use this rice cooker to make two dishes, one savory and the other one sweet. The first recipe was a millet salad. Fiber- and protein-packed, millet is quickly becoming a favorite grain in our household, and I was anxious to see how it would turn out in the Hamilton Beach rice cooker. I followed the recommended grain-to-water ratio for millet and cooked it on the “Whole Grain” setting, as per the rice cooker instructions. Still, for unknown reasons, the millet stuck to the bottom of the pan and some of it turned out dry and crunchy as a result.

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After breaking down the millet chunks with the enclosed rice paddle, I was able to add the other ingredients: chopped colorful bell peppers and cucumber, a bunch of fresh cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice (optional) – and voila! Easy and flavorful carb delight!

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The carb-loaded millet becomes supple and light as a feather in the company of the texture-laden veggies, while the rustic cilantro strikes a high fresh note and makes the dish complete. Lastly, the red pepper flakes come from nowhere and bring delicious overtones of sophisticated spiciness, surprising your taste buds, which were hoping for a respite. Sooo good!

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Print Recipe
Millet salad
Instructions
  1. Put the millet, water and a dash of salt in the rice cooker pot.
  2. Cook the millet on the "Whole Grain" setting.
  3. Once the cooking has finished, take the millet out of the pot and put it in a bowl. Let it cool.
  4. One by one, add the chopped bell peppers, cucumber and cilantro. Mix with a spatula until well combined.
  5. Add the extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes and ground cumin. Mix well.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional).
  7. Mix again and serve!

As of late, I have become a big fan of farro, a grain I had the pleasure of tasting at recent Chicagoland culinary events. For my sweet dish I decided to use farro to recreate one of my favorite childhood desserts. In its original formulation, this dish has a religious connotation and symbolizes earth, rebirth and wholesome nourishment. I changed the recipe to include a variety of dried fruits, and went ahead and added one extra cup of water because I wanted to make sure the grain would not stick to the bottom of the pan.

The cooking of the farro was a great success!

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I used no granulated sugar because I wanted to rely on the natural sweetness of the dried fruits, but you can (of course!) use some to make the dish sweeter, as per your preferences. I added one diced Granny Smith apple and ground walnuts for an assertive bite, and finished off with copious amounts of cinnamon.

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This dish is exciting, vibrant and wholesome and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a carb-loaded yet healthful vegan dessert. I really liked that the cooking process did not alter the natural crunchiness of the farro. The last thing I wanted was for the farro to turn out bland and mushy!

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Print Recipe
Farro, apple and dried fruit fall dessert
Instructions
  1. Put the farro, water and dried fruits in the rice cooker pot.
  2. Cook the above on the "Whole Grain" setting.
  3. Once the cooking has finished, take the farro mix from the pot and put it in a bowl. Let it cool.
  4. One by one, add the diced apple, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Mix until well combined.
  5. Add sugar (optional) and mix again with a spatula.
  6. Serve the dessert decorated with extra slices of apple.

Overall, I was pleased with the performance and versatility of the Hamilton Beach rice cooker. I will keep experimenting with it and I will probably add extra water every time, just to be on the safe side. With a sturdy appearance and an array of useful grain, veggie and protein cooking options, this rice cooker is likely to satisfy carb aficionados and seekers of quality appliances alike.

Hamilton Beach is offering Chicago Loves Panini readers the chance to win one rice cooker/hot cereal maker similar to the one I tested, to cook delicious recipes this fall!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and answer the following question: If you were to win, what would you cook in this rice cooker?

Giveaway open to US residents only. One entry per person. Deadline for entries is 6PM central time on September 23rd, 2016. One winner will be chosen on or around September 24th, 2016 by using a random number generator and will have 72 hours to respond to the winner notification email. I reserve the right to pick an alternative winner if the original winner does not contact me 72 hours after receipt of winner notification email.

Good luck!


74 Comments

  • Ryan Campbell

    September 9, 2016

    I just found a Japanese breakfast recipe for Tamago Kake Gohan the other day. It is rice with an egg mixed in (and other stuff if you want). That is the first thing I would make in the rice cooker.

    Reply
  • HS

    September 9, 2016

    I would make rice cooker jambalaya.

    Reply
  • Donna

    September 10, 2016

    I’d start with white rice and then start experimenting from there! I’d like to try the millet salad.

    Reply
  • Yona

    September 10, 2016

    I would cook jasmine rice because I love the way it smells and tastes.

    Reply
  • Mary Beth Elderton

    September 10, 2016

    one of the first things I might make would be Black and Brown Rice Pudding with Pecans and Figs–sounds fancy but simple and delicious 🙂

    Reply
  • Cheryl

    September 10, 2016

    I would cook Louisiana style rice dishes like dirty rice, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and shrimp creole.

    Reply
  • Natalie U

    September 10, 2016

    I would try some kind of arroz con leche.

    Reply
  • Heather

    September 10, 2016

    Jasmine rice!

    Reply
  • Aaron

    September 10, 2016

    I would simply make rice in this rice cooker because I am not a good rice cook.

    Reply
  • Sylvia Svihel

    September 10, 2016

    I would make a wild rice soup.

    Reply
  • Faye Gates

    September 10, 2016

    I would make my mom’s spanish rice. I could eat it every day.

    Reply
  • Kim O

    September 10, 2016

    I would make spanish rice. It’s really good.

    Reply
  • Char

    September 10, 2016

    I would love to make jasmine rice with extra butter, yum! Thank you so much for the great offer 🙂

    Reply
  • Kimberly H

    September 10, 2016

    If I won this rice cooker, I would want to make white rice, or fried rice, YUM! Or perhaps even some jambalaya style rice!

    Reply
  • Cindy Peterson

    September 10, 2016

    We are eating so much quinoa these days I would first cook a big batch for our weekly meals.

    Reply
  • Justin Sparks

    September 10, 2016

    We really like rice in this household but I would love to try a new recipe of some sort if I were t0 win this great prize.

    Reply
  • Alex

    September 10, 2016

    Just lots and lots of brown rice!

    Reply
  • Paul Gardner

    September 10, 2016

    If I won, I would cook me some cajun rice in this cooker!

    Reply
  • Edye

    September 10, 2016

    I’d make brown rice with veggies and tofu 🙂

    Reply
  • KENNETH OHL

    September 10, 2016

    I would make my moms spanish rice

    Reply
  • Austin Hanczarek

    September 10, 2016

    Steamed vegetables and white rice

    Reply
  • Elizabeth Halbritter

    September 10, 2016

    I would make my Moms rice pudding and all kinds of things…..

    Reply
  • Elizabeth W

    September 10, 2016

    I’d love to try quinoa!

    Reply
  • Carol

    September 10, 2016

    I would make rice cooker jambalaya

    Reply
  • Wehaf

    September 10, 2016

    I would mostly us this for rice and for steel-cut oats.

    Reply
  • Kristi Kellberg

    September 10, 2016

    I would make my famous Mexican Rice that tastes better than any restaurant and would cook
    easily in a rice cooker. Then I would try new rice blends to compliment my entrees. Wow! I could
    even steam veggies.

    Reply
  • Stacie H

    September 10, 2016

    I would love to make yellow rice!

    Reply
  • Natalie

    September 10, 2016

    If I was the lucky winner of this rice cooker, I would make garlic chicken rice!

    Reply
  • Kristin McCall

    September 10, 2016

    If I won I would cook up a batch of chicken flavored rice for my husband. That is his favorite.

    Reply
  • kerry j

    September 10, 2016

    rice, rice and more rice of all colors, shapes and flavors….yummiee!!

    Reply
  • Richard Brandt

    September 10, 2016

    I would cook up a whole mess of brown rice.

    Reply
  • Karrie

    September 11, 2016

    I would cook jasmine rice

    Reply
  • Steph

    September 11, 2016

    I would make sticky rice

    Reply
  • Seyma Shabbir

    September 11, 2016

    If I won I would love to make chicken biryani or Chicken Perde Pilav.

    Reply
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  • Julie

    September 11, 2016

    I would make all kinds of rice!

    Reply
  • jberry

    September 11, 2016

    Without a doubt, I’d put a dent in my endless supply of Kamut.

    Reply
  • Audrey T

    September 11, 2016

    I would cook Basmati rice to perfection to go along with my curry chicken.

    Reply
  • Margot C

    September 11, 2016

    I would like to make Mexican Cilantro & Lime Rice in a Rice Cooker.

    Reply
  • Julie Murphy

    September 12, 2016

    brown rice to make chicken fried rice

    Reply
  • Amy G

    September 12, 2016

    I would make Chicken and Yellow Rice!

    Reply
  • shannon fowler

    September 12, 2016

    it would be hard to chose between a mexican rice and a fried rice.most likely i would do mexican first, and then the following day do fried rice.

    Reply
  • Mchele

    September 12, 2016

    We really love to Spanish and Mexican rices, but I’ve never been very successful at making them well, so I think this would make a huge difference.

    Reply
  • beth

    September 12, 2016

    I would probably do some sort of quinoa dish.

    Reply
  • Karen F

    September 12, 2016

    I would make wild rice with chicken.

    Reply
  • Destiny

    September 13, 2016

    White rice, brown rice, oats, and any new recipes I think sound delicious!

    Reply
  • Maggie

    September 13, 2016

    I would cook up some rice to use for my grandma’s rice pudding!

    Reply
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  • Darlene Carbajal

    September 14, 2016

    I would love to cook rice in this!

    Reply
  • Kristen

    September 14, 2016

    I really want to try to copy the Pineapple Fried rice with shrimp from our favorite local Thai place.

    Reply
  • Lesley F

    September 14, 2016

    I would make wild mushroom risotto

    Reply
  • Candace Miller

    September 14, 2016

    I would cook salmon and rice.

    Reply
  • Jennai

    September 15, 2016

    I would make Chicken Biryani

    Reply
  • David

    September 16, 2016

    We would use it for rice primarily, but we also cook lentils in a rice cooker.

    Reply
  • Alina

    September 16, 2016

    Growing up rice was a staple in my family. It’s still today with my children as well. I’d make rice pilaf first which is my daughter’s favorite.

    Reply
  • Stafford

    September 16, 2016

    I would first cook long grain wild rice in this. YUM!

    Reply
  • Sean

    September 16, 2016

    I plan on making spanish rice first. This post is making me hungry.

    Reply
  • Jeffrey

    September 18, 2016

    I would definitely make some steel cut oats for breakfast. I like mine with diced apple, candied pecans, raisins, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and a splash of pure maple syrup!

    Reply
  • latanya

    September 18, 2016

    I would make spanish rice

    Reply
  • Mallory Roberts

    September 20, 2016

    If I won I’d make white rice for one of my favorite fall/winter dishes, arroz con leche. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  • ERICA WEAVER

    September 21, 2016

    O WPULD LOVE TO COOK YELLOW MEXICAN RICE OR AUTHENTIC RED BEANS AND RICE

    Reply
  • Daniel M

    September 21, 2016

    i’d cook rice, it goes with just about everything

    Reply
  • Heather D

    September 21, 2016

    I would mostly just cook rice. My husband eats rice with every single meal and our rice cooker broke so this would be great!

    Reply
  • richelle bowers

    September 22, 2016

    i would make Spanish rice

    Reply
  • Margot C

    September 22, 2016

    I think first off I would make a fluffy perfect classic Jasmine Rice.

    Reply
  • Leah Shumack

    September 23, 2016

    I would do a red beans and rice recipe! It’s one of our favorites!

    Reply
  • Sarah Cool

    September 23, 2016

    I would make a spicy indian biryani with basmati rice

    Reply
  • Allyson Becker

    September 23, 2016

    I am unleash my wild side, and make some cajun rice!

    Reply
  • Angela W

    September 23, 2016

    I would make sticky rice.

    Reply
  • Sue V

    September 23, 2016

    i would first try some basmati rice for curry

    Reply
  • Debra Oliver

    September 23, 2016

    I would make white rice a few times a week. We eat it with everything!

    Reply
  • Jennifer H.

    September 23, 2016

    I would cook Chicken Fried Rice!

    Reply
  • John H.

    September 23, 2016

    I would make Spanish rice.

    Reply
  • Carol

    September 23, 2016

    Butter rice / Chicken rice

    Reply

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