Experts say that the Sanyo ECJ-N55W is a step up from basic rice cookers like the Panasonic SR-G06FG (*Est. $30) that only cook white rice. The Sanyo is a one-piece unit with an attached lid that can cook a variety of rice types as well as soup, porridge and steamed vegetables. Reviewers say that it does especially well with brown rice, which is typically more difficult to cook. The ECJ-N55W has a keep-warm setting as well, but testers say that it dries out the rice if it is left on for more than a few hours. If you prefer a programmable rice cooker that can keep rice warm for several hours (or even days) at a time, experts say that the Sanyo Micom ECJ-F50S (*Est. $125) is an excellent option that is competitively priced.
We found the most reliable review of the Sanyo ECJ-N55W at Cook's Illustrated magazine, where several models are tested and compared for efficiency, ease of use, features and quality of cooked rice. MetaEfficient.com, a product review website, also compares several models based on their efficiency levels, features sets and price. User reviews at Amazon.com reflect ease of use and durability.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Editors at Cook's Illustrated test eight rice cookers, including the Sanyo ECJ-N55W, for quality of cooked rice, efficiency, ease of use and features. Prices and cooking times are also taken into consideration before ratings and recommendations are assigned.
Review: Rice Cookers, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, Oct. 2007
The Sanyo ECJ-N55W is a step up from the Panasonic SR-G06FG, according to editors at MetaEfficient.com. It costs a bit more but offers more versatility. This article also serves as a nice overview of rice cookers in general.
Review: The Best Rice Cookers, "Siel", March 5, 2009
The Sanyo ECJ-N55W gets an average score of 4 out of 5 at Amazon.com, where most users say that it is easy to use and makes perfect rice every time. Opinion is divided on cleanup of this rice cooker: Some complain that it is harder to clean than those with glass lids and others say that cleanup is simple.
Review: Sanyo ECJ-N55W 5½-Cup Electric Rice Cooker with Porridge/Soup Cooker and Steamer, Contributors to Amazon.com