Rice Cookers FAQ
Q: Why do I need a rice cooker?
A: Not only does it cook rice perfectly every time, but a rice cooker will keep rice warm and delicious for several hours after cooking. The rice cooker also makes a perfect vegetable steamer, and can be used to prepare a variety of delicious, healthful one-dish meals that can be served directly from the cooker. The rice cooker is a handy appliance for the home kitchen, the dorm room, studio apartment, the kitchen remodel or the ski cabin. It is an all-purpose pot. Consider using it to cook frozen vegetables or entrées in pouches, or to steam fresh vegetables, fish or chicken. It also can be used as a stew or soup pot, or for making risotto. It is much faster to reheat foods in the rice cooker by steaming rather than using an oven.
Q: How does a rice cooker work?
A: All Aroma rice cookers will produce perfectly cooked rice if properly used. All "on-off" or "cook-hold" rice cookers work on the same principle. An inner pot sits on a heated plate that brings water in the pot to a boil. The water boils vigorously until it is absorbed by the food, or boils off as steam. A temperature sensor in contact with the pan senses once the temperature has risen above that of boiling water and reduces the heat to "keep-warm," which keeps the contents of the pan at the proper serving temperature without burning.
Q: Are there any accessories I might need for my rice cooker?
A: Most rice cookers come with a steam tray, a rice-measuring cup and a flat rice serving spoon. There are several other accessories that will make rice cooker recipes even easier. You may already have some of these items in your kitchen. A long-handled plastic spoon is very handy to have when using the rice cooker. The long-handle is important because it will keep your hands away from the steam and hot sides of the cooker when stirring or dishing up, and plastic so as not to scratch the nonstick finish in the bottom of the pan.
Q: Are there any safety precautions I should know about before I begin to use my rice cooker?
A: As with any appliance, there are things that one should keep constantly in mind.
1. Rice cookers cook at very high temperatures and will produce large amounts of steam. Use extreme caution when opening rice cookers both during the cooking and after the cooking cycle. When lifting a detachable cover, always lift it away from your face and arms. Steam may cause scalding. The hinged cover will spring open at the touch of a button; and it is important to avert your face and quickly move your hands to avoid the steam.
2. Do not allow the cooker cord to hang over the counter edge. A child could pull the cooker off; or even brushing against the cord could pull a boiling pot off the counter and cause a serious burn.
3. If a recipe calls for the sautéing of butter or oil, use extreme caution, as you would when cooking with other high-temperature devices like a stove or oven. The inner pot will be hot, so use a long-handled plastic spoon for stirring. DO NOT USE the short handled rice paddle for this type of cooking.
4. It is important to remember that the cooking cycle of rice cookers is controlled by the temperature of the inner pot. When liquid boils off, the temperature will rise, causing the rice cooker to automatically shift into a low temperature 'keep warm' mode. This is fine for making rice dishes but if a recipe calls for steaming or making soups, where copious quantities of liquid are used, the rice cooker will not shut off until all liquid is boiled away. Follow the recipes carefully and do not leave the rice cooker unattended as it will continue to cook at high temperatures when making soups, stews and steaming. Monitor the cooking process and MANUALLY TURN OFF the rice cooker when the time that the recipe stipulates has elapsed.
Q: How long does it take for rice to cook?
A: Generally white rice takes around 10 minutes per uncooked cup of rice to cook. Brown rice will take around 20 minutes per uncooked cup of rice to cook due to the extra bran layers on the grain. Refer to the chart below for general times:
Q: How will I know when the rice has finished cooking?
A: The unit will automatically switch to the Keep-Warm mode once the cooking cycle has completed.
Q: Why does it take longer to cook brown rice?
A: Brown rice takes longer to cook due to the extra bran and starch layers on the grains.
Q: When measuring, do I add the water or the rice to the inner pot first?
A: When using the measurement lines on the inner pot, be sure to add the rice to the inner pot before the water. Not doing so will result in inaccurate measurement and lead to soggy rice. Please also note that the lines on the inner pot are intended for white rice only. Brown rice requires additional water due to the extra bran and starch layers on the grain.
Q: Why does the measuring cup not equal 1 exact cup?
A: The measuring cup included adheres to rice industry standards and is not equal to one U.S. cup, it is roughly ¾ the size of a standard U.S. cup. Please use the cup provided for measuring both rice and water.
Q: What do I do if the rice sticks to the bottom of the inner pot or if it turns a brown color?
A: It is important to rinse rice to remove excess bran and starch layers before cooking. Rinse the rice in a separate bowl until the water is clear. This will help to reduce rice browning and sticking to the bottom of your pot after cooking. You may also wish to add a thin layer of oil or nonstick cooking spray to the inner pot before adding the rice.
Q: The water is bubbling up during the cooking cycle and spewing out of the lid and vent. Is my cooker working properly?
A: To prevent water from bubbling over the lid or out of the vent, please:
1) Be sure that you are using the correct proportion of water to rice. Your product manual includes this chart, or you may view it below.
Please note that these measurements and times refer to the measuring cup provided along with your unit. If you are using a different cup to measure your rice, please note the cup measurements referenced are equal to ¾ of a standard U.S. cup.
2) Rinsing the rice will reduce the amount of bran and starch on it. Excess bran and starch may cause the water to bubble up and produce a sticky residue.
3) Adding a thin layer of nonstick cooking spray or oil to the top of the rice/water mixture prior to cooking may help prevent the water from excess bubbling.
Q: How does a rice cooker steam food and cook rice simultaneously?
A: One of the most convenient features of some rice cookers is the ability to both cook rice and steam food simultaneously, ideal for creating delicious all-in-one meals. To do so:
1. Place the desired amount of rice and appropriate amount of water into the inner pot.
Note: Rice volume will double in size once it cooks. Do not cook to full capacity or it will rise up into the steam tray. Refer to your instruction manual for the maximum rice capacity when steaming.
2. Place the inner pot into the unit and begin cooking the rice.
3. Refer to the steaming guides for vegetables and meats in your instruction manual or look below for approximate steaming times. It is best to insert the food to be steamed toward the end of the rice cooking cycle so that your meal is fresh and warm all at once.
4. Place your choice of vegetables or meat into the steam tray. Open the lid, using caution as steam escaping will be extremely hot, and place the steam tray into the rice cooker.
5. Close the lid and allow the cooker to resume cooking.
6. Once food has been steamed for the appropriate time open the lid, using caution as steam escaping will be extremely hot. Using oven mitts, remove the steam tray and check food to be sure it has been thoroughly cooked. Exercise caution when removing the steam tray, as it will be hot.
7. Close the lid of the rice cooker and allow rice to continue to cook until done. The unit will automatically switch to Keep-Warm when cooking is complete.
8. The rice cooker will remain on Keep-Warm until it is unplugged. Be sure to unplug the cord from the wall outlet when not in use.
Steaming times are approximate and are intended for general reference only.
Q: My unit did not come with a steam tray or steam rack. Am I missing something?
A: While not all Aroma rice cookers include a steam tray, you do have the option to purchase one separately. To purchase a steam tray online, visit the Replacement Parts page or call 800.276.6286 Monday Friday 8:30am-5:00pm PST to speak with an Aroma Housewares customer service representative.
Q: How do I turn the unit off?
Q: How do I use the Delay Timer?
A: 1. Press the "Delay Timer" button (in 1-hour increments) until it displays the number of hours in which you would like your rice to be finished.
2. Press "Cook" after the desired time has been set.
3. Press the "Warm/Off" button to cancel at any time and reset.
Q: I am trying to cook brown rice using the Brown Rice Function and the rice is not cooking. Am I doing something wrong?
A: The engineers at Aroma have developed a fool-proof way to cook usually tough-to-cook brown rice to fluffy perfection every time. The Brown Rice Function will soak the brown rice in a boil bath for the first half of the cooking time, eliminating the need for you to presoak the rice yourself. The water will remain lukewarm during the presoak period. After the unit has finished presoaking the brown rice it will automatically begin the regular cooking cycle.