Using HotCook in Oakhouse 2018.11.03
Ever since I have moved in Tachikawa Garden Town in March 2018, cooking is something that I do more often than ever. I guess it’s because there’s a private kitchen in the house and there are many supermarket available in Tachikawa. I was happy with the kitchen in Oakhouse Kichijoji 2 too but it’s always nice to have your own kitchen.
A slow cooker called HotCook is something I got a couple of weeks ago and so far I really like it. I wanted to use this cooker for a long time because it has been one of the most popular cooking equipment for years in Japan. You can find many positive reviews online. On this post, I tell you what HotCook does and how it changed my diet.
■ It’s an automated waterless pot
I’m not sure if you know what a waterless pot is. Staub and LE CREUSET is one of the well-known brands in Japan. It’s a pot made of metal (usually cast iron). The body is heavy like skillet and the heavy lid seals what’s inside when cooking. You do not need to add any water for this type of pot because water comes out of the ingredients and steam by itself.
Usually, adding water is a necessary process if you’re cooking something in a pot to prevent everything from getting burnt. You do not have to add any water with a waterless pot. This makes the food tastes much much better.
HotCook is basically the same as these pots, except that almost everything is automated. All you have to do is to cut ingredients, put everything in HotCook, and press a start button.
For the record, HotCook is not cheap though. The photo below is the same model I got and it’s almost 50,000 Yen. It looks almost the same as rice cooker but the cheapest rice cookers are available around 3,000 Yen. Well, I guess it’s not fair to compare HotCook with rice cookers because rice cookers cannot really do the waterless cooking (even though the lid can seal the food inside). If you compare with Staub and LE CREUSET, which are known to be expensive pots, you understand that the HotCook is not too expensive. Besides, with HotCook, you do not have to be careful with fire as it’s all electric. That’s something very helpful especially for a family with a baby in the house.
■ HotCook stirs food inside automatically!
This is one of the things I like. HotCook has stirring wings and it stirs food inside while cooking. If you’re cooking any food with a pan, you have to stay close to the fire and keep stirring so that food doesn’t get burnt or change fire settings a few times. You do not have to do any of these with HotCook. The photos below are the examples when I set spare ribs and when it’s cooked. You can see that I can just put everything in the HotCook and the machine does the rest.
The stirring wings look like the photo below. The wings keep rotating while cooking, makes the food evenly cooked. The little projections on the surface of the lid make the steam water drip. This is the same mechanism as the waterless pot I mentioned earlier.
Me and my wife Momo made tried several kinds of food so far. We have been trying the dish that has to simmer for a while like a curry, stew, and tomato source. What I liked the best is any type of curry and spare ribs. I did not know that it can cook something that is not watery.
■ Adding the right amount of salt is tricky
At the very first time, I made the meat sauce, I felt it wasn’t salty enough. It’s hard to know what’s the right amount of salt because HotCook doesn’t lose much water during the cooking process which is very different from ordinary cooking.
As long as I can see from other users of HotCook, 0.6% salt of the total weight would be an ideal. I haven’t tried this yet but I guess I’ll try next time. I usually add salt without measuring but I guess it’s not a good idea for a cooker like this.
Soup is something we did not cook before but now we do with HotCook. We did cook three kinds of soup so far. All good but my favorite is pumpkin. It was very smooth with milk and it was better than the pumpkin soup I’ve had in a restaurant. It was even good when it’s cold.
■ Stress-free automated cooking
I can say I’m very happy with HotCook and it really changed our every day diet. The best part of this product is not just the quality of food it makes but also that we don’t have to watch over the fire during the cooking. Cooking is not always easy especially with a baby in the house. Even though HotCook did not make the entire process automated (you still have to cut ingredients!), it still saved a lot of time and it’s a big help for people like us.
Would there be a day in the future that cooking is no longer a house work for us? Well, I’d say HotCook is half way there at least.
Hi I'm Shima. I currently live in a share house in "Oak house Kichijoji 2". It's located in the area of Kichijoji ( It's been voted to the No.1 area where people in Tokyo wish to live since 2004).
Interested in living in Japan? Whether you’re into Japanese culture, language, or modern pop culture, it’s frustrating to know how little information out there about the actual life in Japan. On this series of blog posts, I’d like to introduce useful tips when you actually start living in Tokyo and hopefully in Oakhouse.
Let me know if you are interested to know more about life in my share house and Kichijoji! Message me here [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] for any questions.