Technology surely has its perks, as it can reduce the hard work needed to complete various tasks. This includes cooking rice, for which a rice cooker is such a significant appliance. If you have been using a rice cooker for a while now, you may realize how easy it has become for you to cook pots of rice without burning them. You do not need to keep checking boiling rice after every couple of seconds just to see if they are done or not.

You surely have enjoyed a bowl of rice after cooking it automatically with this appliance. Now, find out how does a rice cooker work to be so efficient. Go through the post to understand its process.

How Does A Rice Cooker Work?

It requires water and heat for a raw rice grain to change to a soft and supple form that is tasty and easy to digest. This process is usually carried out in four steps, namely:
• Soaking process
• Boiling process
• Steaming or absorbing water process
• Evaporation process

While manually each of these stages would have indulges you to monitor the complete cooking process, a rice cooker automatically handles all the stages. Before understanding how the process works in a rice cooker, let’s learn about its basic components.

1. Components Of A Rice Cooker

Depending upon the model of electric rice cooker you possess, your appliance can have multiple features and components. But, the basic parts of a rice cooker include:
The Primary Shell: This shell is insulated to protect you from getting injured due to excessive heat while cooking the rice. This shell can be of various shapes and sizes, depending upon the design and usage.
A Cooking Pot: The raw rice goes into this non-stick pot for cooking. It is also engraved with various levels of water to help steam rice accurately.
An Electric Thermal Plate: This plate is connected to the main power unit. The plate heats the pot from beneath and lets it cook the rice. It is also a pressure plate that triggers the thermostat beneath it while starting to heat.
A Thermostat: This heat sensing device regulates the temperature of the heating plate and ensures that the rice do not burn due to excess heat.
Settings And Buttons: These comprise of low and high heat preferences, auto cut-off, timer, etc. Based on the rice cooker model, you can have multiple buttons and predefined settings.
A Covering lid: A rice cooker can have a fixed covering lid or a removable one. Some covering lids are made of high-quality glass material as well so that it is easier to see the cooking rice without the need to remove the lid. These lids also have a steam valve to let the excess heat vent out at the time of evaporation.

Rice cookers that are complex can have multiple sensors and other parts that can offer these appliances with multipurpose abilities.

2. Cooking Process Of A Rice Cooker

When you add water and rice in the appropriate quantity to the rice cooker pot and set it on the thermal pressure plate inside the primary shell, it triggers the thermostat. Placing the pot immediately starts heating the plate and providing the pot with heat.

Eventually, the water starts to boil in the pot. It takes 100 °Celsius for water to boil. The thermostat beneath the pressure plate keeps track of this temperature. Until the water in the cooking pot stays, the temperature stays at 100 degrees °C .

The thermostat also comprises of a thermometer that is loaded with a spring. The rice sucks all the water present in the pot inside them, which causes the temperature in the pot to rise. The thermostat gets to know that the temperature has risen. Eventually, it triggers the spring to either cut the power supply or switch the pot to a warm mode.

This mode indicates that the rice has been cooked and can be removed from the pot after a couple of seconds. The excess steam vents out of the outlet from the covering lid while the rice cooker is at a resting stage.

Besides the usual process for cooking rice, a rice cooker may comprise of predefined settings for cooking a variety of rice, like basmati, brown, or jasmine. All these rice types may require certain temperature conditions that certain rice cookers can sense using the predetermined settings.


A regular electric rice cooker uses the heat from the plate to warm or boil the contents in the pot. Based on the material of pot used for a rice cooker, its efficiency of transferring heat can also vary.

For instance, pots made of aluminum and copper can show high conduction to heat source, thus helping the rice cook much faster. Even though rice cookers usually cook food at a slow pace, yet their process ensures safety while cooking rice. It gives you the benefit of enjoying delicious rice hassle-free.

Manual rice cooking may need you to stay alert, but a rice cooker removes that frustration of extensive monitoring. Moreover, there are limited chances of mistakes as the process is fully automated while using an electric rice cooker.

Now that you got your answer on how does a rice cooker work, you will feel more confident about using this appliance. You will also appreciate how efficiently it has reduced the burden and frustration upon you because of consistent monitoring.

About the Author James S

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