People often neglect to clean their rice cookers. Sure, they might occasionally wipe down the outside with a damp cloth and run it through the dishwasher (if that’s an option), but most people don’t realize that there are many more steps involved in maintaining this appliance.
For example, your cooking pot should be washed with hot soapy water regularly, even if you’ve only used it once or twice since the last time you cleaned it. And of course, make sure to unplug it before cleaning!
But I’m getting ahead of myself…let me back up and give some context about how to clean rice cooker and why caring for your rice cooker is actually essential.
What is a rice cooker, and what does it do?
A rice cooker is one of the most versatile appliances you can have in your kitchen. It’s not just for cooking, rice-although it does that wonderfully well. The beauty of this appliance is that it functions as a steamer, slow cooker, browning pan, warmer-and it even makes congee! Congee is another name for porridge, and it is a thick, very nutritious Asian food made from white rice.
How to use a rice cooker
Using a rice cooker couldn’t be simpler! Take one cup of long-grain white rice (or medium grain if that’s what you have), add one and a half cups of water, stir, and then let the cooker do the rest. Of course, other factors will influence how long it takes to cook a batch of rice. That’s why I recommend checking out my post on how to cook perfect rice in a rice cooker.
Why you should clean your rice cooker
If you neglect to clean your rice cooker, it can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. If you’ve ever noticed that your rice comes out tasting slightly off, it may be because the cooker has not been cleaned recently. Bacteria can flourish between uses and cause all kinds of awful flavors in whatever you cook next! And if you’re using the slow cooker function on your rice cooker, that can spell trouble as well.
How to clean your rice cooker
To clean your rice cooker, wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth, and you’re good to go. You’ll also want to start by unplugging it-safety first, of course! If you have a removable cooking pot, then pop it in the dishwasher or wash it by hand with soapy water until all the cooked rice has been removed.
Harsh detergents are not required because you can’t use them anyway-they will damage both the nonstick surface inside the cooking pot and the appliance’s electrical components. It’s also vital that you do not use an abrasive scrubber on either one. After letting, it air dry (or giving it a quick towel dry), put everything back together, and you’re good to go!
Tips for using a rice cooker
- It’s best to use the steaming function in the rice cooker to cook vegetables and other types of foods instead of frying them in oil or butter in a pan on your stovetop. This way, you’ll get that delicious fried flavor without all the added calories or fat! Just spray down your cooking pot with some nonstick cooking spray before adding any food if it is sticky, rather than using water.
- When cooking white rice, always remember to add an extra cup of water, which will expand while it cooks! That will prevent the sides from caving in when you lift the lid. If there are any problems during cooking time, make sure you check out my post on troubleshooting a rice cooker.
- Don’t use too much water when cooking your rice. The more water there is, the harder it will be to clean your rice cooker afterward.
- You can add a bit of butter or oil to add some extra flavor to your steamed vegetables if you wish! Just make sure that you have spotless anything that has contacted them before boiling something else.
- Do not use any metal utensils in the cooking pot unless your manual tells you otherwise. Using a wooden spoon is a better idea because it won’t scratch up the surface and cause problems down the road.
- Don’t keep all this information in your head! Please write it down and keep it with the cooker. That way, if a problem were to arise or you need a specific tip for cooking a particular food, you’ll have everything at your fingertips.
How do you clean a rice cooker after use?
After using a rice cooker, you can wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and unplug the appliance. To properly clean the cooking pot, fill it with warm water and allow it to soak for an hour before washing as you usually would (using mild dish soap and not harsh abrasives). Allow to air dry before putting back in your rice cooker.
How do I clean my rice cooker with vinegar?
To clean your rice cooker with vinegar, first unplug the appliance and empty any remaining water. Fill it up halfway with white distilled vinegar and allow to soak for an hour before pouring it back out. Let air dry before putting back in your rice cooker.
How often should I clean my rice cooker?
It’s best to clean your rice cooker if any bacteria has grown between services after every use. You can soak the cooking pot for an hour and then pop it in the dishwasher or wash it by hand.
How do you clean a stainless steel rice cooker?
To clean your stainless steel rice cooker, wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and unplug before gently scrubbing it with dish soap. For tough stains that won’t budge, use an abrasive cleaner or baking soda, which is gentle enough for stainless steel appliances. Allow to air dry, and don’t forget: safety first! Don’t plug the rice cooker back in until it has completely dried off.
How do you clean the heating element in a rice cooker?
The heating element in a rice cooker is located away from the cooking pot, and it’s best to leave it well enough alone. If food were to spill onto or stick to the heating element, soak as much as you can with vinegar before using a gentle brush (like a toothbrush) to remove any remaining food particles. Do not use harsh scrubs or chemicals that may damage your rice cooker.
Can you wash the inside of a rice cooker?
Unless your manual says so, it’s best to avoid cleaning the inside of a rice cooker. When you lift the lid, the inner workings will only be exposed, and nothing should enter that compartment when cooking.
We hope you learned How to clean rice cooker and How to clean a stainless steel rice cooker. Remember to keep your appliances unplugged and not in use until they are fully dry. If you have any questions, please give us a shout via email or in the comment section!