Panasonic SR-DF101 5-Cup Rice Cooker Review



Before every holiday season, many manufacturers would introduce a hottest product in their categories. Panasonic did just that with a brand new Panasonic SR-DF101, the hottest rice cooker for Christmas 2012. This rice cooker combines the bleeding edge of heating technology, with an easy push-button operation and incredible affordability.

Both Amazon and Panasonic can’t stock the product fast enough to meet the increasing demand by consumers.

Table of Contents (click a title to jump ahead)

Capacity | Heating Technology | Easy to Use | Other Features | Helpful Tips | Customer Reviews | Pros and Cons | Price, Warranty and Where to Buy

5 & 10 Cups of Dry Rice Capacity


This series come with two capacity sizes in 5 and 10 cups. Panasonic and many other Japanese manufacturers measure their rice cookers in dry rice. In essence, the 5 and 10 cups are the equivalent of 10 and 20 cups in cooked rice.

The 5-cup size is one of the most popular sizes on the market of rice cookers. I am guessing it is because the median size of families in the U.S. and around the world. It serves comfortably from singles, small to mid-sized families. The 10-cup size is more suitable for large families or for people who’d like to have more capacity to cook for company or during the holiday season.

Bear in mind while the 10 cups is the maximum capacity you can cook, you may also cook as fewer as 2 cups to yield perfect result. For example, there are three people in my family and I have a 10 cup rice cooker. Often times, I cook 2 cups. But when I host a party, I would cook up to 10 cups. Prices between the two sizes are about $10 more for the larger one. In the long run, it’s nothing if you would use it for 10 or even longer years.

Heating: Fuzzy Logic

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In case you are not familiar with the heating technologies in rice cookers, the continuum from the most primitive to the most advanced is: conventional, microcomputer, fuzzy logic, inducting heating and pressurized heating. For more information, please refer to another post on this site.

The SR-DF101/181 is equipped with fuzzy logic. In the context of rice cookers, fuzzy logic is applied as artificial intelligence programmed into a microcomputer chip. What it’s capable of is to think like a human. You know how we’d adjust the heating temperature and cooking time if we cooked on a stove top. The rice cooker is intelligent enough to be able to do the same on our behalf.

If you cook 2 cups of white rice, the SR-DF101 would know when to heat up the temperature and for how long to yield the flawlessly cooked rice with the right texture and the best-tasting rice. If you happen to cook 5 cups of brown rice, the little cooker will adjust the two variables mentioned earlier again so the brown rice is cooked to perfection.

Easy to Use and to Clean

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The most unique feature of this rice cooker is the easy and intuitive operation. You don’t have to try that hard to figure out how many buttons you have push to do it right. All you need to do is to measure dry rice, add water as instructed and push ONE button.

Cleaning is so easy as well. The non-stick cooking pot needs to be hand washed with warm soapy water. Keep it scratch-free is the goal for the durability of the rice cooker. Under no circumstances should you wash it in a dishwasher and don’t put any sharp objects such as a knife or a folk inside of the pot, either. 

Other Features

LCD and Timer: The LCD control panel is so organized and easy to read. No timer is available.



Menu Selections: There are four big buttons with the corresponding icons on the top of the panel. They are: 1: Quick Cook/Steam; 2: White Rice; 3: Brown Rice; 4: Porridge/Soup. Below the four buttons are “Off” and “Keep Warm”. No need to push these two buttons because when the cooking is complete, it will automatically switch to “Keep Warm”.

Cord: The rice cooker has a detached cord for easy storage.

Color: White

Dimensions (inches for D-W-H): The dimensions and weight for the 5 cups and 10 cups are 9-5/8 (D) x 13-3/8 (W) x 7-13/16 (H), 6.6 pounds; 9-5/8 (D) x 13-3/8 (W) x 9-3/4 (H) x 13.9 (W) x 7.8 inches (H), 7.5 pounds. As you can tell, the difference between the two is in height. The 10 cup is about 2 inches taller.

Accessories: The included accessories are: a measuring cup, a rice spatula and a steaming basket. The User Manual is written in five languages in English, Chinese, Spanish, French and Korean.

helpful-tipsHelpful Tips

  1. The colder weather is here. Why not make a pot of chicken soup in this rice cooker with a simple touch of a button (porridge/soup)? Get an organic hen, add a couple of green onions, a few slices of ginger, a dash of Chinese cooking wine, a few dry dates, and a few pieces of Chinese ginseng. Add water and let the rice cooker do its magic. When it’s done, sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Use the “porridge” setting to cook steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. I bet it’s going to beat the sugar-laden boxed cereals on energy and nutrients.

Customer Reviews

This rice cooker is so new that no reviews are available yet. I’ll be sure to update this section in the near future.

4.3 out of 5.0

Pros and Cons

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ProsThe biggest selling point is the one-button operation that doesn’t take any time to think and then to operate. The six menu options serve the needs for most households whether they are rice lovers or not. In this day and age, everything is in excess. More is not necessarily better as too many options would confuse us and bog us down.

The design of the rice cooker is pristine and minimal. There is no clutter in the Control Panel. What you need is right in front of you. The non-stick inner pot makes cleaning a breeze. The detached cord is a thoughtful touch to help keep the counter free of clutter. The fuzzy logic technology ensures that no matter what you cook is going to come out just right. Having restaurant quality rice is very doable in your own home.

Let’s not forget that this rice cooker is priced so competitively against a few leading brands such as Zojirushi. The price of this model is about 50% cheaper than the comparable Zojirushi rice cooker and about 1/3 cheaper than the previous Panasonic bestsellers.

ConsThere is no timer with this rice cooker which can be a handicap for many people if they want to pre-set the cooking ahead.

Price, Warranty and Where to Buy – Panasonic SR-DF101

One-year warranty is offered by Panasonic. You can buy this rice cooker on Amazon as well as from Panasonic’s website. The price on Amazon is about $15 cheaper than that on Panasonic for both models. Plus, there is a backlog up to four weeks on Panasonic website. If you would like to get it for someone or even yourself, buy it when you can. The holiday shopping can get out of control with inventory issue both online or at retail stores.


For current price on Amazon, please click on the button below:

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