When we think of the messiest possible items we cook in our kitchens every day, the likelihood is that rice will not end up anywhere near the top of the list. True, if spilled all over the kitchen it can be something of a nightmare to pick up, but mess-wise in general cooking terms it is rather minimal. It can make a bit of a mess of a pan in the way of gloopy starch and residue, but that’s about it. That is, unless you manage to burn your batch, for which your reward will be chiseling your dinner off the pan or swiftly hiding it before anyone has the chance to subject you to ridicule.
These are two things you can certainly eliminate the chance of if opting to use a rice cooker, as it is impossible to overcook rice when used properly and read the rice cooker instructions. In addition, the stationary nature of unit makes it incredibly difficult to knock over and spill rice all over your kitchen. Of course, you still need to keep your rice cooker clean in order to maintain both good working order and hygiene, but the task can be incredibly simple with just a few easy steps.
All you really need is some standard dish soap, hot water, a sponge and perhaps a little food-safe anti-bacterial spray, though this is entirely optional. As with all such appliances and utensils, cleaning is much easier if done as quickly as possible after cooking. Of course, this does require at least waiting until the cooker has cooled down to avoid burning yourself, but we’d like to think that such is simply common sense! One more opening tip…unplug the electric rice cooker unless you plan on boiling your hands as you recently did with the rice! Again…common sense.
The next step is to remove the inner pot and wash it well in the warm soapy water. This should then be thoroughly rinsed and dried with a clean cloth, ensuring not to use too much abrasive force if the pot has a non-stick coating. Remove the non-stick coating and your next cleaning job will be a thousand times harder, believe me!
If the cooker’s lid can be removed, do so and clean in exactly the same way as the inner pot. On the other hand, if the lid is fixed by a hinge, clean as well as possible with a cloth or sponge soaked in the water, rinse with a clean damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Leave all washed components to air dry for a minimum of 30 minutes or longer to ensure any missed moisture is removed.
Wipe down the exterior of the rice cooker with a damp cloth using a little soap or perhaps an antibacterial cleaner if preferred. Should you opt for the antibacterial approach, carefully check first that it can be used safely on the material in question and if in doubt, don’t use it!! Furthermore, never allow spray cleaners to get inside the cooker trough vents or openings as this could contaminate future cooking.
The final step is to remove any stray grains of rice you may find along the way and reassemble the unit. It really is as simple to clean a rice cooker as it is to use one!