How an automatic rice cooker works

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But how does the rice get in there?


Yesterday I dropped and shattered the lid of my battered but still functional 20 year old Panasonic rice cooker, effectively putting an end to it. (Not worth looking for a new lid when I have an almost new replacement in the garage, waiting for its turn.)

This explainer brought me closure.


Nice RESIST poster in the background. Pretty sure you were the reb who showed that to me for the first time. Great poster. Looks like that unit has cooked its last (unless you have a lucky replacement lid hanging about in just the right size (extra points for glass)

We have an InstaPot™®© but after the novelty of the pressure cooker part wore off, the rice cooker we’ve had for 20 years is our go to for perfect rice. I’ll try some slow cooker InstaPot recipes one of these days.


That’s too bad.

I bought a Black & Decker small cooker maybe 20 years ago, for ten dollars. It still works fine. But somewhere along the way, the handle broke, so I have to pry the lid off. I keep meaning to find a new knob, but the Instant Pot has replaced the rice cooker.


I read that as “atomic rice cooker.” Now that would be something (almost as cool as the Solar Fork).


Now that I understand “Curie point”, it explains how once my wife reaches a certain temperature, she is no longer attracted to me.


People who find cooking white rice difficult are playing with a deck missing many cards:

  1. X volume of rice goes in pot.

  2. 1.5 × X volume of water goes in pot.

  3. Heat to maximum, lid on.

  4. When the pot boils reduce heat to minimum, and set the timer for 17 minutes (near sea level).

  5. Remove from heat.

It ain’t rocket science. It ain’t even making bread.


Depending on the rice, your instructions may work.
Husked or not? Which rice variety? Washed in cold or hot water?
And you definitely forgot to state if you have a lid on your pot. Also, don’t get me started on risotto…


What’s really blowing my mind is that I bought, what looks like, the exact same jacket from a thrift store the other day for $1.99.

(My dogson doesn’t seem to care.)

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I replaced mine when it started rusting out. I got a Sanyo ‘fuzzy logic’…when I do not like as much as a one button. Also with the fancy models you can’t use the steamer basket to steam some fish or veggies while the rice is cooking.


You’re skipping the part that you actually have to

  1. Use up a burner on the stove
  2. Use more power for that burner than the rice cooker
  3. Actually hear the timer, walk into the kitchen and turn off the burner.
  4. Scrap out the burned rice if you miss step 4.

A rice cooker is more convenient. Push the button and forget it…it switches to warm when done.
Also, it’s nice to store the insert in the fridge and add a bit of water to reheat and push the button again…it reheats and steams old perfectly.


Instant pot. 1:1 rice to water ratio. 3 minutes cook on white rice + 10 minutes under pressure rest time. Done.

Pressure cookers are the way to go, I have a very awesome zojirushi induction rice cooker that cost 5x as much as the instant pot that we used to make rice in the past, but the instant pot rice is so good there’s no reason for us to use anything else.


We replaced the knob on our 30? 40? year old rice cooker last year. Around $1 from aliexpress.

If you’re making rice all the time, like we do in Hawaii, automating and error-proofing the process is well worthwhile. When we get hit with a bit of weather (hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, eruptions) which kills the electricity then we revert to using pots on portable gas burners. For those here without such a burner there are other options:


Oh! Yeah… definitely a white rice assumption there. And there is no may work about it. It just works (washed or unwashed is at the preparers discretion).

Thanks for the lid reminder.


@d_r , @Avery_Thorn

You seem to be having a discussion with someone other than myself. I was responding to the posted video’s first sentence, which was not about convenience or appeal but about difficulty. Cool? Cool.


People actually watch the videos before commenting on BB?


Ah. In that case, I’d like to posit that some people may sometimes make statements that aren’t meant to be taken literally.

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Es gibt Reis, Baby!

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People who can’t understand the appeal of a rice cooker aren’t the sharpest crayons in the box.

  1. Scoop rice into bowl with provided scoop.
  2. Rinse and drain the rice as desired.
  3. Fill bowl to line on side corresponding to number of scoops.
  4. Put bowl in machine and lid on bowl.
  5. Push button.

No waiting for the pot to boil. No time-sensitive removing it from the heat. No worries if you get doing something else and can’t make it back to the kitchen until 20 minutes after boil. No worries about not turning the heat down enough or too much.

And it costs $15 and is basically perfect for anything that requires boiling water. I’ve used mine to steam veggies, make instant mashed potatoes and stuffing, cook pasta, and heat broth; and I’m sure I’ve only begun to scratch the surface.