Do you have a hard time getting your rice to cook the way you want it? Perhaps, you want it very soft and mushy, but it turns out hard?
Or do you want it very hard, but it turns out mushy instead? Well, you can avoid these situations with a rice cooker.
A rice cooker is an electrical appliance for the kitchen that cooks your rice quickly, easily, and exactly the way you want it.
What this means is that those frustrating days when you can’t get your rice to cook the way you want are gone; however, like all kitchen appliances, you need to clean and maintain it regularly for it to work optimally.
Table of Contents
Cleaning a rice cooker
Before you clean your rice cooker, you should first unplug it from the electric source. If you do not do this, you are in danger of electrocution should the water get into the wrong place. Also, you should:
1. Never expose any of the electrical parts to water. These parts include the hot plate inside the cooker that provides the heat when you turn it on, the base of the cooker that plugs into the wall, the plug itself, et cetera.
Always make sure that all these parts do not enter or touch the water.
2. You should only clean your rice cooker when the hot plate is completely cooled off. Remove the lid and the pot, and check the hot plate before you begin the cleaning.
If water should get onto the surface of the hot plate, it can cause irreparable damage to the hot plate.
3. Read the safety instructions that accompany the manual of the rice cooker. The manual is very important to the operation of the cooker.
In it, you will find how to operate the rice cooker, how to clean it, and how to make simple repairs, among other things. The manual will also tell you how long you need to wait before the hot plate is fully cooled.
If you really want to clean your rice cooker, you should clean each part individually. By doing this, you will get into the parts that you cannot clean if the cooker is whole.
Separating the parts assures you that every part of the cooker is thoroughly cleaned, which will ensure that your unit performs at its best. The steps to follow are:
1. Remove the inner pot and leave it to soak in soap and hot water mix. If there are stuck-on stains or crumbs of food on the pot, you can use a spatula or plastic spoon to get them off.
If you do this before soaking the pot, it will allow for better and optimal results.
2. Your rice cooker comes with utensils that also need washing. You only need your dish soap and warm water to wash these utensils off. Wash them while the pot is soaking.
3. Wash the pot after an hour, soaking it in the warm water-soap mix. If there are still stuck-on bits of rice on the inside of the pot, you can use a spoon or a metal sponge to scrape it off.
However, make sure you are very careful when doing this so that you do not scratch the pot’s surface. Wash the pot after this second round is scraping, and rinse it well.
4. If your cooker’s lid is detachable, you should wash it also like other parts of your cooker. Making sure every part of your rice cooker is clean is essential to the performance of your unit.
If the lid is not detachable, then you should use a sponge soaked in hot soapy water to clean it off. Rinse it off with a moist cloth and dry it off with a dry cloth. Try not to wet the inside of your cooker.
A dishwasher is a perfect machine to wash all the detachable parts at once. Not only will it deep clean the parts, but it will also save you the stress that comes with washing the parts yourself.
When you have washed every part of your cooker thoroughly, make sure to dry them completely before you couple them back.
Other Cleaning Tips
After you remove the pot, you can also clean the inside of your cooker. A moist cloth should be all you need to clean this part of your cooker.
However, if you have stuck-on stains on the hot plate, you may need sandpaper to scrape it off. A metal instrument can scratch the surface of the hot plate and damage it.
This will affect the working process of the cooker whenever you use it after the cleaning.
However, sandpaper is better material as it can remove these stains without damaging the surface of the hot plate. The moist cloth can remove the rest.
Remember that you do not have to douse the hot plate in water. The cloth doesn’t have to be dripping with water, just wet enough to clean the surface of the hot plate.
What if the stains were to be on the outside of the cooker? A moist rag will also come in handy here. In many cases, because of the food recipe, you might make a mess of the cooker’s exterior.
In such cases, dip a rag into soapy water, squeeze well, and clean the mess away. Use another rag dipped in ordinary water to clean the soap foams away and dry with a dry cloth.
Cleaning Stubborn Stains
If you’ve got very stubborn stains to take care of, you might find a cleaning solution useful. Baking soda and water, vinegar and sugar, and vinegar and water are some of the cleaning solutions that can help in this regard.
If you are using a commercial cleaner, then you should make sure it does not get into the cooker.
To achieve this, spray the cleaner onto the rag and use the rag to clean off the body of your rice cooker.
You can also use this method to clean the cord of the cooker, but you must be very careful not to cause any damage. If you want your cooker to last very long, you should consider all of these things before you do anything else.
Never forget that every part of the cooker must be completely dry before you plug it back in for another use.
Let’s talk about the component parts of your rice cooker, so you know which one is detachable and which is not.
Different Rice Cooker Parts
To operate your rice cooker effectively, you should know the individual components that make it tick. Check them out below:
This part of your cooker releases the steam that gathers in the inner pot. Since the cooking process involves water boiling, and sometimes, the temperature can reach 100 degrees centigrade, steam will form.
This steam must be allowed to escape from the cooker. If not, there will be an increase in pressure, which will also cause an explosion.
This is the reason for the steam release feature.
The float valve regulates the opening and closing of the steam release. You should always ensure that this valve is kept open whenever you are cooking to allow the moisture to escape.
However, when it is warm, you should close the valve to prevent heat loss into the environment.
The lid fin functions as a secondary key to the lid located on the left and right sides of the cooker. The lid fin has no hook.
It is in the inner pot that the real cooking takes place. You should mix your water and rice according to the amount you need.
This component is perhaps the most important part of the cooker. Without it, the cooker cannot produce the necessary heat to provide energy to the pot, which will then engage the cooking process.
If you are looking for the heating element, you will most likely find it at the bottom of the cooker.
The exterior pot receives the heat generated from the heating element and then transfers it to the inner pot through conduction.
A rice cooker is structured so that the exterior pot sticks to the outside of the interior pot. This arrangement allows heat to be easily transferred from the exterior pot to the inner pot, causing the food to boil.
Lid Fin Slot
This is the container that houses the lid fin. From the lid fin slot, you can open and close the lid fin. The lid fin slot is attached to the handle of the cooker.
This is the part of the rice cooker that houses the other components of the cooker, including the heating element, exterior, and interior pots, among others.
It is resistant to heat, and because of its plastic and polymeric nature, the cooker housing is an insulator.
This is the part of the rice cooker that houses the spoons and the scoops you use while preparing the food.
Base and Heating Unit
This is the housing of the heating element, and it is located at the bottom part of the rice cooker.
You can identify the control panel on your cooker since it is in the form of a temperature display. It has a sign that differentiates between cooking and heating and buttons to adjust the operation of the rice cooker.
It is on this panel you control every activity your cooker does. The control box is housed in the control box.
Lid open and close mark
The lid opens, and the close mark is a marker that tells you when the lid is open or closed. It is also a control to open or close the lid.
The cooker handle makes it easy to carry the rice cooker from one place to another. It also allows you to operate the college without necessarily touching it.
The lid is the cover for the inner pot. It also serves as a heat loss control because it keeps the heat in and prevents it from wasting in the environment.
Lid position mark
The lid position mark tells you whether the lid of your rice cooker is opened or closed.
It functions as a handle to help you open or close the lid.
The power cable collects electrical power from the source and sends it into the cooker. It is connected to the base of the cooker to the heating element unit, which will then heat up and pass heat into the interior pot to cook or heat up the food within.
It collects the water vapor condensed on the inner lid so that it does not drip back into the rice. You will find the condensation collector at the back of the rice cooker body.
Knowing these parts will help you understand how to clean each of them better—which ones are better off without water and which one of them you must clean with soap and water.
Some safety precautions you must keep in mind while cleaning your rice cooker include:
- Do not expose the electrical parts to water
- Clean only after the hot plate has had time to cool off
- Clean your cooker after each use to prevent food from sticking to the wrong places
- If you are using chemical cleaners to clean your cooker, make sure to avoid the interior pot and the hot plate. In fact, do not clean any part of your cooker that will hold your food with any chemical cleaner. If any chemical renters into the cooker by mistake, take a moist rag and clean it off. Vinegar and water or salt solution are enough to clean the interior parts of your cooker.
- Always unplug the cooker before you begin your routine cleaning on it.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners on your rice cookers.
You do not require much to clean your rice cooker. You only need your regular dish soap and warm water.
However, try not to get water on the hot plate or the other electrical parts of your cooker. Clean your cooker regularly to make sure it works optimally.