Rice Cooker Technology

by Amy Chang

Rice Cooker TechnologyThe technology involved in the design rice cookers has become far more complex than the original bamboo baskets. Much advancement has been made over the past few decades and it seems that the research is continuing to improve the performance and convenience of this popular appliance.

Standard electric rice cookers are designed with a temperature sensing device, an electric heating element and an interior cooking pan. The inner cooking pan holds the rice and water and is encased by the outer shell which is usually made of heavy plastic or stainless steel.

The heating element boils the water and rice while the lid keeps in the steam similar to the stove top cooking method. The temperature sensor engages the warming setting once it determines the temperature and time cooked has completed the cooking cycle.

Electric rice cookers that are equipped with fuzzy logic are controlled by a specially programmed computer chip. The programming allows the rice cooker to respond to certain variables that can occur during the cooking process with more subjective responses.

Essentially, fuzzy logic enables the rice cooker to make judgment calls based on the data received by the sensors. For instance, if the temperature of the water is too high and causing the rice to cook too fast, the rice cooker will automatically lower the temperature to slow the cooking down.

By being able to discern various situations that can arise during the cooking cycle, the rice cooker equipped with fuzzy logic is able to more accurately produce properly cooked rice. The programming also allows for more options in types of rice to be cooked by the rice cooker as well as other foods.

While the rice cooker featuring fuzzy logic is considered superior to the standard rice cooker, those featuring induction heating are considered to be even more flexible and accurate. Induction heating is a process by which heat is produced by the creation of a magnetic field of which the inner pan of the rice cooker is a part of.

The magnetic field produces an electric current that generates heat in the inner cooking pot of the rice cooker. The design implementing this technology allows the pot to be heated entirely as opposed to the bottom-to-top method employed by the other rice cooker designs.

The use of induction heating results in much more sensitive temperature and cooking monitoring mechanisms. Adjustments made in the controls are more finely tuned and the rice cooker is capable of more settings and cooking variations.

Most models that have the induction heating in the design usually also feature fuzzy logic. This combination yields the most accurate and desirable type of rice cooker available. These models can cook anything from perfect standard rice to an impressive loaf of bread.