How does a rice cooker work?

Rice cooker consists of an outer body, inner cooking container, heating device, sensors and controls. The modern rice cookers cook rice and many other ingredients efficiently and come equipped with a host of features which makes the process all the simpler for the consumers.

How does it heat the rice?

The heating device of the rice cooker is activated on flipping the switch. The heating device either heats the air around it and transfers the heat to the contents of the cooking bowl by thermal convection or directly heats the cooking container. The cooking container can be made of a range of materials such as steel, copper, aluminium, etc. The heat generated by the heating device causes the water to boil. The type of material of the container also plays an important role in determining the time taken to cook the rice.

How are the rice grains cooked?

The water starts absorbing the heat and soon reaches the boiling point. The boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit. At this stage, the temperature of the water cannot rise and more heat energy starts converting water into steam. The rice grains continue to absorb water and swell. As soon as the water in the bowl finishes by turning into steam and by being absorbed into the rice grains, the temperature of the bowl starts to rise beyond 212 degrees F. The sensors present in the cooker detect the rising temperature and trigger the automatic shut off feature to terminate the cooking process. The automatic shut off mechanism prevents the rice grains from burning or overcooking.

Fuzzy logic rice cooker is an advanced rice cooker which is programmed to adjust even minor fluctuations with regards to temperature, time, etc.  during the cooking process. This type of rice cooker enables customised and optimal cooking of various types of rice such as brown rice, white rice, mixed rice, etc. Rice is also cooked accurately to make different rice dishes such as porridge, sushi, sweet rice, etc.

Induction rice cooker is another advanced rice cooker. This cooker does not use heating plate to heat the container. In this cooker, electricity from the power socket is passed through the copper coils present in the unit. As a result, magnetic field is generated by the copper coils. The cooker is exposed to the magnetic field which generates a current in it. The current, in turn, produces heat to cook the rice grains. Heat levels can be adjusted instantly in induction rice cooker.

How does the rice cooker keep the rice warm?

When the rice cooker is on warm mode, the automatic shut off feature does not switch off the unit but lowers the temperature to a level at which the rice does not cook further but remains warm enough to prevent growth of bacteria in it.