how that rice cooker knows when to shut itself off? Ain't that
a smart machine? And to boot the rice comes out right no mater how
much you cook!
Well the truth is that the rice cooker doesn't
know it's cooking rice or anything else for that matter. What it
does know is temperature, that's it. Read on my inquisitive
Look inside your rice cooker with the cooking pot
removed and you'll notice a spring loaded button in the center on
the bottom. That button it the whole trick. What does the button do?
Well the button contains a thermostat and a spring. The thermostat
(like in your air conditioner system) senses temperature. The
thermostat operates an off-on switch. Here's what happens. (we'll
get to the spring in a moment).
We put raw rice and tap water in the cooker portion
of the pot, turn it on and depress the "cook" button (a
switch). The heating element comes on and the rice begins to cook,
very simple. The water temperature will only get so high, and, with the water in
the pot the temperature of the bottom of the pot stays around
212ºF. In a sense the water is controlling the temperature of the
pot. Well, when the water boils out the heating coils just keep
heating because that's all they know how to do. The bottom of the cooking
pot begins to get hotter than the boiling temperature because the water is not there
controlling the temperature. The thermostat senses the rising
temperature and, at a preset temperature, tells the
cook button to activate (the "ding").
The "ding" switch (cook button) pops up
causing the heating coil to go from "cook mode" to
Now to the spring under the button. The spring
keeps the button touching the cooking pot at all times, it's always
pushing against it. So if the pot overheats at anytime the
thermostat will catch it and go to warm mode. It's very important to
keep that button and the bottom of your cooking pot clean for proper
How does the rice come out right no matter how
much you cook?
A certain amount of rice takes a certain amount of time to cook
with a certain amount of water. That's why we always measure rice
and water proportions "exactly". The rice cooker doesn't
know time it only knows temperature.
It's common sense that one cup of water will take longer to boil
out than 2 cups of water right? Well them smart ole rice
cooker pot makers figured that out and marked the cooking pot so you
actually put a little less water in for each cup of rice. This would
help reduce the cooking time some. A quick check of this theory gave
me these results. Now remember a cup of cooked rice in a rice cooker is
3/4's of a cup of raw rice.
1 cup rice - uses 1.5 cups of water
2 cups rice - uses 2 3/4 cups water
3 cups rice - uses 4 cups of water
Now... go brag to your friends about how smart you are!.. oh, and
tell them about Cooking Louisiana too...