Rice has been in the heart of Asian cuisine for ages. So much so that it’s the world’s highest consumed staple. Despite being so popular, it’s hard to cook rice to a perfect consistency. The key is to have the right tools at your disposal. Rice cookers are an important addition to our kitchen. It allows effortless cooking almost instantly, so you can enjoy your lunch quickly without having to wait for hours. Rice cookers function like pressure cookers and slowly boils to prepare the rice. The automated device comprises of a heat source, cooking bowl, thermostat, sensors, etc. The thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature. 

They are relatively easy to use, therefore secured a place in most households. Electric rice cookers automate the traditional cooking approach by electronically controlling heat and timing. This minimizes the cooks work because when the cooker is set, it will cook without the need of constant attention. Besides, it also helps to free up the stove so you are able to cook multiple items in it at the same time as you cook rice in the cooker. This shortens your overall cooking time and will enable you to prepare meals faster.

However, many people wonder are rice cookers toxic or safe to use. Uncooked rice contains the species of bacteria bacillus cereus that results in serious food poisoning. These survive from cooking and multiply rapidly at room temperature. Nevertheless, they don’t grow at the temperature above 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, if the keep warm feature of the rice cooker is 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit higher, it can keep rice warm inside the rice cooker without the bacteria effecting it.

How Can Rice Cookers Be Toxic?

Rice cookers can be toxic when the interior is coated with non-stick coating materials. Although the non-stick coating prevents rice from sticking, it can release harmful chemicals when the Teflon is scratched.  The non-stick region is coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) which is made with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or Gen X. Hence, Teflon is toxic and must be avoided. 

Teflon is safe to use only when not scratched or overheated (exceeding 500 °F). The standard temperature at which the cooker operates is 212, thus the chances for the Teflon to overheat is very low. However, Teflon is likely to be scratched easily with metal utensils; this leaches out aluminum from the pot. Aluminum enters the body and accumulates in the brain, thyroid, kidneys, lungs, and liver.  High levels of aluminum in the body can have fatal consequences. The toxicity can lead to liver disease, thyroid disorders, and testicular cancer. In one study, it was brought to light that patients suffering from Alzhemier’s disease had high concentrations of aluminum in their brains.

Non-toxic Rice Cookers

If you are looking for safe rice cookers, you must avoid those with Teflon inner pots. The inner pot of the rice cooker makes all the difference. They can cause great harm to you and your family’s health. When non-Teflon rice cookers can perform just as well as the ones with Teflon in it, then why choose Teflon over your well-being? It’s time to be smart and choose the best product from all aspects. Health should be our first priority. Everyone wishes to live a long life.

The common choices are clay rice cooker, ceramic rice cooker, and stainless-steel rice cooker. They come with varied benefits like the semi-porous quality of clay boosts the flavor and texture, while the stainless steel rice cookers are dishwasher friendly. The ceramic rice cookers have the inner pot made from natural minerals and kiln-glazed. These are absolutely chemical-free, non-stick, easily washable, and versatile. By using any of this equipment, you can rest assured that the safe cooking surface has no side effects on your health. 

A Guide to Rice Cooker Safety

Rice has been cooked for generations without the aid of any specialized appliance. Yet, you might be the one in dire need of this unitasking device. There will be no failure in cooking your rice just the way you desire anymore. However, as electricity is used to heat water, the cooker poses a safety risk. Hence, it’s important to ensure the safe usage of rice cookers.

Safety First

  • Purchase the appliance from a renowned dealer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Register the rice cooker. In this way you will easily be able to repair or replace faulty products.
  • Check the plug type and match it to the place you live in. Regularly monitor the plug and socket for arcing sound, temperature, and burn marks.
  • Make sure your house is equipped with RCD (residual current device) in the fuse box (consumer unit). RCD protects from electric shock and lowers the risks of electric fires.
  • If you don’t have RCD in your fuse box, install RCD socket or use RCD plug for safety.
  • Place smoke alarms and heat detectors in your home to be alerted in times of sudden fires.
  • In case of fire, immediately call 911.

Safety Use

  • It’s advisable to keep the cooker away from shelves, cupboards, curtains, etc. since the escaping steam might spoil the material.
  • The bowl shouldn’t be filled with food or water.
  • Be extra careful while pouring food or water into the cooker. Don’t drop food into the boiling water from very far. Spills can leave you scarred. 
  • Keep the power cord and socket dry at all times.
  • Never leave the appliance unattended for long hours.
  • Ensure that everything is switched off before dismantling or cleaning. The cooker should be dry before use.
  • Don’t immerse the cooker in water for cleaning purposes. The base of the cooker is electric; thus, it can only be wiped.
  • Turn off after use. 

What is the Safest Rice Cooker?

Rice cookers can be used to cook several food items. Along with making versatile dishes, it’s vital to ensure that you’re using a safe rice cooker. If you are more concerned about your well-being rather than being a lazy cleaner, then you should select rice cookers manufactured from just stainless steel. Better safe than sorry! Stainless steel is believed to be indestructible compared to ceramic and clay. There is a huge demand nowadays for stainless steel rice cookers for its durability and several other benefits. This is perfect for cooking rice without any dangerous leakage. Few of the popular safe rice cookers have been mentioned.

1. Aroma Simply Stainless Steel Rice Cooker – Non Toxic Rice Cooker

The Aroma Simply Stainless Steel Rice Cooker contains inner pot made from non-toxic 100% surgical-grade 304 stainless steel. A perfectly safe appliance as it doesn’t have Teflon or other non-stick surface components. It has automated warm function that keeps the rice warm and ready to serve for up to 12 hours. It supports 6 or 14 cups of cooked rice. Aroma uses bi-degradable and recyclable materials to sustain the environment. 

2. Oyama Stainess Steel Rice Cooker – Non Toxic Rice Cooker

The Oyama Stainless Steel Rice Cooker is Teflon free and consists of Stainless Steel (304 Grade) inner pot and steamer tray. It has features to keep the rice warm for almost 12 hours.

 

3. Tatung Stainless Steel Rice Cooker – Non Toxic Rice Cooker 

The Tatung Stainless Steel Rice Cooker  is perfectly safe to use and environmentally responsible at the same time. The package comprises of a Stainless Steel – 18/8 (grade 304) inner pot, steamer plate, measuring cup, inner pot lid, and a rice spatula. The rice cooker supports four modes: braise, steam, rice, and stew.

4. Zojirushi Rice Cooker – Non Toxic Rice Cooker

The ZOJIRUSHI RICE COOKER is the cheap cooker that support only the very basic settings: ON and WARM. They are dependable and can last for years despite their modest price range. 

All of the rice cookers above are safe to use since none of them contains harmful Teflon or any sort of non-stick coating in the inner pot. Each of them has an uncoated stainless-steel inner pot which has direct contact with the food. They also contain the automatic keep warm function which prevents rice from sitting in the room temperature.  It’s recommended to cook in small portion so that the rice doesn’t dry out. In terms of health and safety, Aroma Simply Stainless Steel Rice Cookers are the best. It has easy features which are understandable by anyone, even someone using a cooker for the very first time. 

Conclusion

Since rice is one of the most consumed items in your house and needs to be cooked daily, you might often wonder are rice cookers toxic or not. While there are some unsafe ones, we’ve provided a list for your ease, so that you can choose the safest rice cookers with the beast features for your home. Non-Teflon rice cookers prove to be the safest ones to use. Hence, without further ado, narrow down your needs based on the capacity, features, time, multipurpose, etc., and find your desired kitchen friend.