Caring for your rice cooker is not exactly rocket science, but it does require a bit of your patience to keep it functioning properly for the estimated life of the product, or longer if possible. To avoid mistakes that could end up costing you, following is a guide to making your rice cooker last and ensure you are able to enjoy the convenience of it for a long time.
Unless you have previous extensive experience with rice cookers you will want to at least skim the instruction manual. I know very few people are interested in reading the technicalities of their newly acquired kitchen tools, readily relying on the buttons to be self explanatory. A lot of the times that is the case, but taking the precaution to go through the directions you will at least know you will get maximum performance each time you use it.
Another tip that should be obvious, but might be ignored by the more adventurous chef is to cook only food that should go in the rice cooker. Some models are very efficient nowadays, and there is a wide variety of foods you can make using one of these. There are some that will even bake, so that is an added bonus. If you are still tempted to test your rice cooker with a food item that is not on the list it is at your own risk. The settings on this kitchen helper are designed to work with certain food textures ranging from grains to vegetables. Timing for anything else that it is not intended for will evidently not be on the manual, therefore leaving you with the task to be babysitting whatever creation you are concocting so it can come out right.
As it is an electrical kitchen tool you will want to make sure you have good counter space while in use. Positioning it near a sink or cramping it with other items such as a blender or toaster could damage the surface of your other kitchen appliances and hurt the functionality of your rice cooker. Also, avoid leaving any kitchen cloths too close as the rice cooker can sometimes be used for prolonged periods of time.
Furthermore, since it is used for a longer amount of time, trust your rice cooker instead of opening the lid to constantly check on the food. You are interrupting the cooking process for which the food already has a timer for and might end up with different results than those expected.
Finally, you have to be meticulous about how you clean the rice cooker. You cannot stick it in a dishwasher and forget about it. Before getting started on cleaning it make sure it is safe to handle, as in it’s not too hot. Get rid of any food that might be stuck on the inner pot and proceed to soak in water. It is recommendable that you use a soft sponge so you do not damage the inner pot.
Hopefully this mini guide to making your rice cooker last comes in handy.