A rice cooker is a handy appliance in the kitchen that helps to cook rice efficiently and faster than other means. More advanced rice cookers have temperature sensors that automatically control the temperature.
So, How Often Should You Replace Your Rice Cooker?
A standard rice cooker should be replaced after 10 years for ordinary usage, or after 5 years of heavy usage. More sophisticated brands can last up to 18 years. The secret to rice cooker longevity is proper maintenance and regular cleaning. Every appliance needs proper maintenance for effective functioning and so should your rice cooker.
Six Reasons Why Rice Cookers Stop Working
The rice cooker’s lifespan is reduced as you use it.
And just like any appliance, it will eventually run into technical problems and eventually stop working.
There are quite a several sources of fault for your rice cooker.
Here are some reasons why rice cookers will eventually stop working:
1. Faulty Power Cords
Power cords can develop some problems.
They are vulnerable to damages through the everyday usage of the rice cooker.
If the power cord is damaged, the power connection from the main socket is severed and therefore the appliance will not work properly.
If the rice cooker is not powered, check for cuts or worn outs in the connection cables to ascertain the integrity of the power cords.
2. Damaged Internal Circuitry
If there is damage to the internal circuit connection, the power connection is not reaching the appropriate place.
Survey the rice cooker to check for loose wiring or broken connections.
3. Faulty Thermal Fuse
If your rice cooker is overheating, then it is likely that the thermal cut-off will run into problems.
When the maximum temperature is reached, cooking beyond the threshold level will overheat the appliance.
This overheating will break the thermal fuse hence power connection will be incomplete.
You can check if this thermal fuse is still working. The rice cooker can overcook the rice and damage itself if the fuse is faulty.
4. Dead Battery
Some rice cooker models use a lithium battery to power the LED displays.
Check if the batteries are still powered and consider replacing them if they are dead.
Sometimes the batteries may be damaged.
Remove the damaged batteries and replace them with new ones.
There are simpler rice cookers that run displays by electricity and therefore they do not require batteries for power.
Check your rice cooker manual for more information on the types of lithium batteries to use and how to replace them.
5. Accumulation Of Food Spills Between The Plate And The Dish
As part of the structure of the rice cooker, the pan is made removable for easy cleaning.
Since the pan can be removed, food can drop in between the plate and the dish.
The dropped food debris is charred while cooking which can damage the pad.
Ensure that you thoroughly clean the dish to avoid this mess. And also remember to check the plate before reassembling after cleaning.
6. Deformities In The Pan
Dents are a teething problem that not only makes the pan ugly but also shortens the lifespan of the rice cooker.
Do not bang your pan around while cleaning to prevent the formation of dents.
Wash it gently with the right scratching material. Dents can destabilize the pan at the rice cooker’s base.
This will cause uneven heating in the rice cooker and therefore the rice may be unevenly cooked. What a spoil!
If you are experiencing this, you should replace the pan or buy a new rice cooker altogether.
Five Common Problems in A Rice Cooker When Preparing Rice
1. Undercooked Rice
If your rice cooker is faulty, temperature control can be a problem.
You are likely cooking at high temperatures.
Water is steamed out before the rice is properly cooked.
Here, add ¼ cup of water and cook for another five minutes.
If possible, see how you can lower the heat in the rice cooker temperature.
2. Overcooked Rice
This happens when you put too much water. You cannot undo this. Simply use less water in your next cook.
3. Rice Jutting To The Pot
To avoid this, let the rice cook slowly until the water bubbles have disappeared. Now, open the lid and let the rice cool before serving.
4. Bubbles Forming And Spilling Over The Rim Of The Cooker
Here, you are cooking at a high temperature or, perhaps, you have put too much rice in a batch.
To prevent spillage, reduce the batch size and lower the temperature.
And when the bubbles are beginning to disappear, allow the rice to simmer.
5. Leftover Water
If your rice is cooked but there’s still water in it, discard the water carefully and return the pot to heat.
What To Consider When Replacing A Rice Cooker
There are different types available.
For instance, a standard rice cooker lacks all the bells and whistles of a more expensive multifunctional rice cooker.
A multifunctional rice cooker has specific features such as buttons for different types of foods.
Other types include induction rice cooker, ‘smart’ rice cooker, and Jar-o-Mat rice cookers.
2. Size And Capacity
Rice cookers are measured in liters, pounds, cups, etc.
If you live alone, you should choose a 2-3 cups capacity rice cooker. Large rice cookers can have up to 30 cups capacity.
This is ideal for a big family.
Each rice cooker has its settings. For example, reheat, brown rice, white rice, and many more.
4. Inner pot
There are four different types: non-stick, ceramic, stainless steel, and clay.
Clay is natural and eco-friendly and can cook your rice evenly.
Stainless steel is durable and cheaper. Ceramic is natural and safe but fragile.
Non-stick is another popular option. It is easy to clean however, the coating wears off.
You should consider buying trusted brands.
Popular American brands include Aroma, Hamilton Beach, and Black and Decker.
Six Rice Cooker Safety Tips
- Rice cookers can heat up to high temperatures posing a safety hazard if not used correctly.
- Always buy from a renowned seller and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use RCD protection in your fuse box to protect you and your property from serious faults.
- Do not overfill the bowl with rice or water.
- Never leave your rice cooker on for long hours unattended.
- Unplug your rice cooker before cleaning It.
To maintain the general usefulness of your rice cooker, you need to invest in its maintenance and ensure proper usage.
As you have noted above, your rice cooker can serve for up to a decade or so depending on how you use it.
And when you are finally ready to replace your rice cooker, choose one with great qualities that will match your cooking prowess.