The Black & Decker 16-Cup is an inexpensive, convenient electric rice cooker that gives you the simplicity of a one button machine. This small rice cooker takes the guesswork out of making perfect, fluffy rice. Like many other basic rice steamers on the market, this model automatically switches to warming mode once the rice is fully cooked.
The design is functional, if not aesthetically pleasing. The inner pot holds up to eight cups of dry rice and can make up to 16 cups of cooked rice, which is more than double most rice cookers in the same price range. The lid is removable glass with a small steam vent, and the pot has an attached condensation catcher so water doesn’t drain back into the rice. Basic pot rice cookers like this one can get very hot, so be sure to use the handles on the side when handling the unit. When the rice is done, an indicator light on the front of the rice cooker will switch from Cook to Warm. At this point, the only way to shut off the cooker is unplugging it yourself.
One nice feature of this basic model is the attached serving spoon, which has a latch on the side to keep it close when you need it. When you are ready to serve, the lid fits snugly on the same latch. This Black & Decker model is not only a rice maker. It includes an extra steamer basket, which you can rest on top of the inner pot for making vegetables or fish. Both the pot and basket are easily removable, so you can store left over rice or veggies in the refrigerator.
With any basic rice cooker, there is always an additional concern with mess. Since the lid is removable, steam tends to spurt out of the vent during cooking, causing more clean up than with more expensive rice cookers. Although it has an eight cup capacity, we suggest not going above seven cups. This should alleviate concerns with sputtering and overcooking rice at the bottom of the pot.
The Black & Decker 16-Cup is a functional rice cooker, even if its features are very basic. Overall, this is a decent, convenient rice cooker that is also affordable. It also has one of the largest capacity pots when compared to other inexpensive rice cookers on the market. To make bigger batches of rice, you might investigate the Oster 20-Cup Digital 003071.