Is it safe to use a scratched rice cooker?

Rice cookers can be a great investment especially in an Asian household since rice is a staple food in Asian countries. The traditional method of cooking rice is the stovetop method like how most mothers do. However, rice cookers make things easier for everyone. Rice cookers consistently cook light and fluffy rice unlike cooking rice on stove. However, there are also precautions you need to know in using rice cookers.

Is it safe to use a scratched rice cooker?

Non-stick coating on rice cookers can release dangerous chemicals when they get scratched. Experts do not recommend purchasing non-stick pans and rice cookers because they end up on landfills where they teach toxic chemicals in the environment. The rice cooker, according to a recent experiment, may leave high levels of arsenic in our rice. Arsenic is a toxic which occurs in an organic form and an inorganic form. Rice absorbs high levels of the inorganic form of arsenic since it grows on water. 

People have questioned the safety of Teflon-coated cookware like non-stick pans and rice cookers. Some avoided buying Teflon-coated cookware since it does not only harm our body but also the environment.

Is food cooked or heated by electric rice cookers bad for your health?

The scratches release toxic chemicals that leach on the rice. Using poor-quality electric rice cookers can cause adverse effects to human health such as food poisoning and abdominal pain. Low-quality rice cookers do not often reach the standard which can cause any health problems. The non-stick coating in low-quality rice cookers are usually painted with a gloss to resemble the glossy non-stick surface in genuine pots. Cooking in a rice cooker can only be harmful when there are scratches in the coating. You’d often encounter an uncooked rice when you use a low-quality rice cooker. Usually, the rice at the bottom is burnt while the top surface is uncooked. 

Why is rice cooked in a rice cooker not good for your health?

In general, rice contains high levels of arsenic that contaminates the rice as a result of industrial toxins and pesticides used to grow rice. Severe arsenic exposure leads to health problems including heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Simply boiling rice over water can’t significantly remove arsenic in rice. Whether you cook your rice in an electric rice cooker or pot, there are still traces of arsenic in the rice. According to the experts, you can reduce the amount of arsenic by soaking it overnight before being cooked the next day, which results to an 80% decrease of arsenic. Keep in mind that cooking rice in scratched rice cookers can be as harmful as simply boiling rice without soaking it overnight.

Which brand of rice cooker is the best?

Japanese brands may be the best rice cookers since Japan is known to manufacture high-quality products including rice cookers. However, Japanese rice cookers can be quite expensive especially when you are on a tight budget. However, there are still promising brands that offer high-quality rice cookers in a reasonable and affordable price. In choosing rice cookers you should consider several factors such as the size, power consumption, and features.

Zojirushi is considered the best brand of rice cooker manufactured in Japan. However, this brand is quite expensive. There are advanced features that comes with a Zojirushi rice cooker. This brand may be pricier but it can be worth the splurge. However, brands like Panasonic can also be a reliable brand for rice cookers.

Why are Japanese rice cookers expensive?

Most Japanese rice cookers have more advanced technology that comes with the price. There are certain features added in Japanese-manufactured rice cookers which makes them pricier. Japanese rice cookers have specific settings for the type of grains you’ll cook. Some Japanese rice cookers also have a porridge function to make it easier to cook steel-cut oats. A Zojirushi rice cooker has a timer function that lets you set something to be ready as much as 24 hours in advance. Moreover, these rice cookers are high-quality and less likely to malfunction in a short time.

Does rice taste better in a rice cooker?

Most people argue that rice in a rice cooker tastes better. It might be because rice cookers cook rice perfectly all the time. But in reality, there’s no difference in terms of taste between the methods. Rice basically tastes the same in either method. It sounds silly to think that the method can change the taste of the rice. 

Can you cook raw meat in a rice cooker?

Yes. The warming setting of the rice cooker can cook any meat even a whole chicken. It requires minimal effort in cooking meat with rice in a rice cooker. The length of the cooking process depends on the type of cooker you have. Just like the normal stovetop method of cooking meat, you have to defrost the meat before placing it in the cooker with the rice. Place 2 cups of rice and four cups of water in the cooker. Then chop the chicken into small pieces and put them in the cooker with the rice. Cook the chicken and the rice in the normal setting. Cooking chicken with rice is a safe procedure but keep in mind to avoid using warm water to defrost the chicken.

Can I fry in a rice cooker?

Stir-frying vegetables is possible in a rice cooker since stir-frying does not need a high temperature to cook food. To stir-fry in a rice cooker, drizzle a bit of cooking oil in the rice cooker. Close the lid and start the normal rice cooking cycle. Once the outside of the container warms up, you can start frying. Avoid frying frozen vegetables in a rice cooker. Defrost the vegetables before putting it in the rice cooker. The melted water from the frozen vegetable can cause the oil to pop which can cause burns. 

Can you boil water in rice cooker?

Of course. You can cook almost anything in a rice cooker and boiling water is basic. A basic rice cooker works by heating liquid in the pot to steam or boil. However, it is still recommended to boil water in a kettle for safety purposes.

Can you deep fry in a rice cooker?

Unless your rice cooker functions as both rice cooker and deep-fryer, you can’t deep fry in a rice cooker. The temperature in standard rice cookers does not get high enough deep fry food.

What else can you cook in a rice cooker?

Rice cooker is considered as a holy grail especially for college students who live in apartments or dorms. Aside from cooking rice, there are other recipes you can cook in rice cookers. 

You can basically cook any breakfast food in a rice cooker. You can boil eggs in a rice cooker. Most students’ go-to food is instant noodles and the rice cooker is their best friend especially during finals week when they become too busy to prepare for their meal. Oatmeal and hot cereals can also be cooked in a rice cooker. Soak the oatmeal in the rice cooker overnight and cook them in the morning. In addition, you don’t have to worry about cleaning the rice cooker since the oatmeal won’t stick on the pot. Another staple breakfast food you can make using a rice cooker is pancakes! Just fill one third to half of the way of your rice cooker bowl with your favorite pancake batter then cook until set. 

Moreover, you can cook dishes in a rice cooker. You can steam meat and vegetables in a rice cooker using the steaming stray while cooking the rice. Steaming meat and vegetables can enhance the flavor of the rice. You can also cook your favorite Mac and Cheese in a rice cooker. You don’t have to keep on checking your stove until your macaroni is cooked.  Pasta lovers can cook their pasta in the rice cooker, even an entire pasta and meat sauce meal. 

Since you can boil water and eggs in the rice cooker, there’s no debate whether you can cook soups and stews in a rice cooker. Click to warm when the soup looks cooked. The rice cooker can also be a perfect medium to make desserts.  Some rice cookers have a pudding setting so try making use of that setting and make your homemade pudding using a rice cooker. 

Your favorite cheesecake can also be made in a rice cooker. The rice cooker can mimic the oven when it comes to baking. All you have to do is mix the ingredients and throw it in the rice cooker and switch on the normal rice cooking cycle and you’re ready to go. If you prefer chocolate cake, just mix in the ingredients (even without milk and eggs) and wait for about an hour. If you’re craving for a banana bread, just mix the ingredients, pour the batter in, and cook on the regular rice setting for an hour and a half. If you wish to make pastries easier in a rice cooker, use a rice cooker with a cake setting.

What should I look for when buying rice cooker?

In buying a rice cooker, you have to take note of several factors you have to consider. The last thing you want is buying a poor-quality rice cooker that may cause injury, malfunction, and health problems. A rice cooker is a good investment especially when you eat rice on a daily basis (like most Asians do). You have to consider how many people will eat rice in your household. The size of the rice cooker matters. If you’re living alone or with a partner, a 3-cup model of rice cooker is best for you. For a family of 4 to 6, purchase a 5 to 6 cup model. A 10-cup model rice cooker is best if you live with a lot of people in the house.

Moreover, if you have a small kitchen space, a multi-purpose cooker is best for you.  The controls in the rice cooker must also be user-friendly. Also, you must consider the features you want in a rice cooker. The more advanced it is, the pricier it gets. Automatic keep-warm setting can also be convenient since you don’t have to worry about your rice becoming overcooked when you still have other things to do.  Look for a rice cooker with detachable inner lid to make cleaning easier. Choose a rice cooker with a rice bowl that is easy to clean. Most rice bowls have non-stick coating to make it easier to clean with soap and water. Another factor to consider is the power cord of the rice cooker. It is better to purchase a rice cooker with a detachable power chord for hassle-free storage. Also consider the warranty of the product. The longer the warranty, the more confident the manufacturer is tht the product is less likely to malfunction.

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Is it OK to leave rice cooker on warm?

You can leave the rice on warm for a few hours if you wish to keep the rice warm before you eat them. However, keeping your rice cooker on warm for a long period of time is not recommended. A cooked rice that is kept warm for several days is susceptible to bacterial growth and food poisoning. Electric rice cookers can keep the rice warm for up to 12 hours without it becoming spoiled. 

How do I make my rice cooker not sticky?

Most rice cookers have non-stick coating to prevent the rice from sticking on the surface and make it easier to clean. Cooking rice in a rice cooker is more convenient and easier- you don’t have to watch the rice to cook in the rice cooker. Rice cookers cook rice perfectly almost every time. There are some cases, however, when rice still sticks on the bottom of the rice cooker. The trick here is to rinse the rice, especially long-grain rice, thoroughly. The starch in the rice makes it sticky. Another trick is to rub the bowl with butter or spray a pan spray on the rice bowl. This works especially for rice bowls without nonstick lining.

Furthermore, use the correct amount of water for you rice. The more water you use, the softer and stickier the rice is. When the rice is cooked, leave the rice in the cooker for at least ten minutes to let the steam disperse throughout the grains. The rice stuck on the bottom of the pot will gently loosen as it absorbs the steam. 

Advantage and disadvantages of using rice cooker

Cooking rice in a rice cooker is easy and almost perfect. You don’t have to constantly watch the rice to boil since it is set to cook the rice on its own settings and it does not burn the rice (unless you use a low-quality rice cooker). Cooking rice in a stove pot can be quite messy since you have to watch the rice to cook and turn off the stove to prevent the rice from burning. In a rice cooker, that’s not the case. It stops cooking when the rice is cooked. This can be helpful especially when you are easily distracted. 

The rice cooker is also easier to clean since they have non-stick coating which makes cleaning the pot hassle-free. A rice cooker is also versatile-you can bake a cake or steam vegetables in it. 

Brown rice in standard rice cookers doesn’t cook evenly. In some models, the rice turns crusty while in some it turns sticky. The steam from the top of the cooker condenses on the steaming vent and spills over, which requires more cleaning.

 

References:

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