Cuisinart CRC-400 Review

Cuisinart CRC-400 Review 

Cuisinart CRC-400 Summary

4.6 out of 5

The Cuisinart CRC-400 looks sleek on the outside, and has all of the functions and features you’d ever need from a Rice Cooker. A few users however, have complained about the quality of the rice cooker. We’re not sure if this is a valid representation of the model as a whole. In our review, we found the Cuisinart CRC-400 to perform quite well.

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Cuisinart CRC-400 Introduction

Rice cookers are becoming ever more popular. Whether it is because rice is perceived as being healthier than other staple food stuffs like potatoes or, just because it is easy to cook rice when using a rice cooker. Rice has always been simple to cook in theory but there are so many types of rice and then there are a number of different sub-types within them. Many people have their way of cooking rice and the amount of water that needs to be added and time taken that, to someone who rarely cooks rice it can be confusing. How much simpler then to have a kitchen appliance that cooks rice to perfection on all by itself.

Rice cookers are available in a wide variety of sizes and features offered that the options can be as confusing as the rice that they cook. The Cuisinart CRC-400 is a smaller 4 cup (dry rice) capacity rice cooker with simplified cooking options. Rather than several push button rice cooking programs and timing options, the Cuisinart CRC-400 just has a cook and warming position on a single switch. The Cuisinart CRC-400 automatically switches to warming one the rice has been cooked.

The Cuisinart CRC-400 has been around for over 10 years, the first review on Amazon was in 2004, and the square ‘modern design’ as Cuisinart call it, does look a little dated when compared to many of the modern kitchen appliances. It is small and compact with a footprint of only 10.7 inches x 10.1 inches and is a little under 10 inches tall. It is finished in stainless steel with chrome handles and the cooking bowl and lid are safe to wash in the dish washer. The Cuisinart CRC-400 also double as a steamer, and when filled with the recommended amount of water, the Cuisinart CRC-400 will switch over to warming when all the water has evaporated.

Our Cuisinart CRC-400 Review

Physically the Cuisinart CRC-400 measures a compact 10.7 inches x 10.1 inches and is just under 10 inches tall. It weighs 6.4 lbs. it is finished in brushed stainless steel and has 2 chrome carrying handles on the sides. The design is over 10 years old and, despite Cuisinart suggesting it has a ‘square modern shape’ it does look a little dated among all the curves on most modern kitchen appliances.

The only change in the design over that time seems to be that a retractable power cord was replaced by a static power cord that is not retractable. The Cuisinart CRC-400 has a 4 cup capacity. This refers to the quantity of dry rice and is measured using the Cuisinart CRC-400 cup, which is about ¾ of a standard US cup. 4 cups of dry rice cooks in to about sufficient for 8 servings. A user of the Cuisinart CRC-400, in answer to a question commented that they often cook as little as ½ cup of dry rice very successfully and the Cuisinart CRC-400 manual gives quantities for cooking 1 cup of dry rice but then suggests later on in the manual that a minimum of 2 cups is cooked at a time.

The Cuisinart CRC-400 is very simple to operate. A given amount of rice is placed in the cooking pot and a corresponding amount of water added. The rice cooker is then set to cook. When the rice is cooked the Cuisinart CRC-400 automatically switches over to the warming mode. Cuisinart suggest that the rice is left on the warming mode for a while to complete cooking the rice. Many of the adverse comments about the Cuisinart CRC-400 refer to it bubbling over and creating a mess when more than 2 cups of rice is cooked. One user, which several others agree with, has found away round this unfortunate problem.

By not using the glass cover and using the steam tray instead the problem of bubbling over and creating a mess is avoided. As the solution was suggested almost 10 years ago it is surprising that Cuisinart have not adopted this suggestion or modified the CRC-400 to compensate. Their rating and customer satisfaction would certainly be increased. The Cuisinart CRC-400 also doubles as a steamer, the same principles being used in the cooking of both rice and steaming. To utilize the steaming function, just add the steaming tray to the top of the cooking pot. The steaming works on evaporating the water that is placed in the cooking bowl before switching on. When the water is all evaporated the cooking switches over to warming mode.

There are suggestions in the user manual regarding the correct amount of water to add for given weights of foods. To cook more just add more water of to have your vegetables a little firmer reduce the amount of water added. If the food being steamed is left on warming they will continue to cook so removes them as soon as possible.

Cuisinart CRC-400 Specifications & Pros/Cons



Key Features

  • Combined rice cooker and steamer in 1 appliance
  • Small footprint of less than 11 inches x 11 inches
  •  3 year Cuisinart warranty
  • Dish washer safe cooking pot, lid and accessories
  • Easy clean brushed stainless steel finish to outside
  • Single switch operation
  • Automatic switch over to warming mode after cooking is finished
  • 4 cup rice capacity (uncooked)
  • When following the instruction in the user manual, if cooking more than 2 cups of rice the Cuisinart CRC-400 bubbles over and causes a mess on the rice cooker and work surface
  • According to the user manual the rice still needs additional time after the cooker switches from cooking to warming
  • Small compact design – with a footprint of under 11 inches x 11 inches and a height of just 10.7 inches the Cuisinart CRC-400 will fit in to the most compact or crowded kitchen
  • 4 cup capacity – the Cuisinart CRC-400 will cook 4 cups of dry rice which, when cooked, equates to up to 8 servings
  • Dish washer safe – all the removable items on the Cuisinart CRC-400 are able to be washed in the dish washer
  • Easy convert from rice cooker to steamer
  • 3 year limited manufacturer’s warranty
  • Rice cooker and steamer – the Cuisinart CRC-400 operates as both a rice cooker and a steamer combined in 1 appliance
  • Warming mode – when the rice is cooked or, in the case of steaming, the water has evaporated, the Cuisinart CRC-400 automatically switches over to warming mode.
  • Single switch operation – the Cuisinart CRC-400 has just one switch to operate it. The switch is illuminated as either cooking or warming.
  • External finish in easy to clean brushed stainless steel – with chrome carrying handles at either side
  • Tempered glass lid – with stainless steel rim and vent hole to allow steam and pressure to escape to reduce bubbling over
  • Included in package – rice measuring cup and rice spoon

Community Reviews

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Our Final Conclusion For The Cuisinart CRC-400

The Cuisinart CRC-400 is a very compact rice cooker and steamer combined. It has been around, with minor modifications, for well over 10 years and it is beginning to show its age. It will cook rice and steam very well if care is taken but there are some issues that let it down. Many years ago it was mentioned, and continues to be complained about, the rice bubbling over and causing a mess when more than 2 cups of dry rice are cooked. This is one of the major cause of dissatisfaction with the Cuisinart CRC-400.

In all that time Cuisinart have made no effort to correct this problem or even alter their user manual to promote the alternative method which avoids the problem. To anyone who is knowledgeable about kitchen appliances the CRC-400 seems like a model that is there to fill a gap in Cuisinart’s range of kitchen appliances rather that a serious attempt to produce a competitive rice cooker and steamer combination. Users, however, seem to either love or hate the Cuisinart CRC-400.

On Amazon it scores a rather low 3.4 out of 5 from nearly 500 reviews. It has one of the highest percentages of 1 start ratings seen from a manufacturer that usually produces such high quality kitchen appliances.