Do you know how to clean a rice cooker? Rice cookers are one of the most useful and trustworthy pieces of kitchen appliances available these days. These electric-powered appliances can cook rice precisely within just a matter of minutes, hence saving you a lot of time to make perfect rice.
But like any kitchen appliance, rice cookers can get dirty over time from cooking greasy foods or from simply being used every day. Regular cleaning of a rice cooker is crucial to ensure that it will stay in good condition and keep performing as expected. Cleaning a rice cooker is also important because of health and safety reasons. If you forget to clean it for a few weeks, there is a risk of food remnants growing mold and bacteria.
But how to properly clean this electrical appliance? Is there a specific method to follow? What are the safety precautions when cleaning? This guide aims to answer these questions and more.
Cleaning a rice cooker is a fairly straightforward process. The best way of cleaning depends on your cooker’s model and brand. Features of your rice cooker can influence the process such as removable parts for easier cleaning, and the unit featuring a non-stick coating in its cooking bowl. The majority of rice cookers available on the market these days have some parts that go into the dishwasher which makes the cleaning even more hassle-free. Generally, the process of cleaning a rice cooker involves the following steps:
The first thing you should do is wait until your rice cooker cools down and is ready to touch. Unplug it from the wall and wait. Make sure the interior pot doesn’t contain any food residue. If there is, take it out as much as you can. Avoid submerging the pot with the plug electronics into the water.
2. Soaking and Rinsing
Take out the inner pot of the rice cooker and soak it in hot water with a dishwashing detergent until the food particles are off or you can simply keep it soaked overnight. Next, rinse until no dish soap remains and then dry with a dishtowel. Don’t use a paper towel as it will break off and stick to the cooker’s parts.
Soak the inner lid inserts, cups, spatula, and anything that comes loose from your rice cooker, e.g. measuring cup, ladle, steam cap/steam basket, condensation collector, steamer tray, etc. Be sure to clean the lid gasket as well. Finally, clean the heating element but make sure it is completely cooled before doing so. Avoid using spray cleaners.
3. Wiping the Inside
Wipe the inside of the rice cooker with a dishcloth or soapy sponge. Wipe the knobs and the control panel. Avoid using abrasives like brushes, steel wool pads, scouring powder, or the abrasive plastic that comes attached to the back side of some sponges. Also, don’t scrape with metal utensils or sharp knives as they will leave scratches. Do the same for a lid that is undetachable from the rice cooker. Rinse and dry with a clean towel.
For cleaning, you can use any quality cleaning solution or paste but avoid using white vinegar. Water paste and baking soda also work well. Use a damp cloth or soft sponge to wipe the interior and exterior of the rice cooker.
Finally, let all parts and your rice cooker air dry for a few hours then you can put it away.
There are certain safety precautions you must take when cleaning a rice cooker to avoid damage and injury. These include the following:
- Unplug your rice cooker before you begin.
- If you have used the rice cooker recently, be sure to let it sit for about 30 minutes before you start the cleaning process to avoid burns. An important thing to note is that different models of rice cookers cool down at different rates. So, be sure to check the user manual.
- Different models and brands of rice cookers have different instructions for cleaning. That’s why it is important to read the instructions that came with your rice cooker. If you lost the manual, don’t worry; you should be able to find it online using the model number on the side or bottom of your unit.
- Be careful not to get water inside the electrical part where the power cord plugs in as it will permanently ruin the electrical components of the cooker.
- If you are using a chemical cleaner, then it is recommended that you carefully follow instructions to make sure no harsh chemicals get inside the device where they might contaminate the food.
- Never use abrasive cleaners as they will scratch the appliance.
- Make sure that the rice cooker is completely dry after you have cleaned it before you plug it in for the next use. Never wet the hot plate inside even when you are performing the cleaning.
An Important Tip on Cleaning a Rice Cooker
The best time to clean a rice cooker is right after you have used it. Don’t wait until the inside of the cooker becomes a hard mess and starts producing unpleasant odors. When rice goes bad, it promotes bacteria growth which can cause botulism. It is a fatal form of food poisoning so you must do everything you can to avoid exposing your family to it.
When you are done using the rice cooker, you will often see burned or hard bits of rice stuck in it. You can use a chopstick or a wooden spoon to gently remove these right away. Alternatively, using a wet cloth, moist rag, or sponge can also work.
Cleaning the rice cooker promptly after each use will prevent the buildup of bits of burned rice inside it. It will also extend the life of the appliance.
Final Thoughts on How To Clean A Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are extremely useful when you want to cook perfect rice or authentic Asian dishes conveniently. They are an important part of modern kitchens. The good news is, they are also easy to keep clean. Proper care and cleaning of a rice cooker is just another duty for some individuals. No matter how you look at it, it is recommended that you clean this kitchen appliance on regular basis. Follow the above-listed guidelines, safety precautions, and simple tips and you will master the skill to clean a rice cooker. I hope you enjoyed this post, leave your comments below and let me know what you think. 🙂