The “Logic” of Rice Cookers

by Amy Chang

The Logic of Rice Cookers (2)There are several types of electric rice cookers but the styles that tend to cost more and are considered the “top of the line” are those that incorporate fuzzy logic in the design. Although fuzzy logic is used in many devices such as computers, washing machines, subway cars and refrigerators, it is a particularly good asset in the kitchen.

A rice cooker that employs fuzzy logic has a computer chip designed based on the Fuzzy Logic Sets Theory which was initially proposed in 1965 by Lotfi Zadeh, a professor at UC Berkeley. Essentially, the theory involves mathematical sets and their elements. Elements usually belong to a mathematical set or they don’t. However, fuzzy logic asserts that an element can belong to more than one mathematical set when criteria or standards are shifted.

The application of fuzzy logic is primarily to machines in order to give them more flexibility in evaluating data. By using fuzzy logic in computer programming, a more human approach to strict parameters and hard data sets is possible. In essence, fuzzy logic imparts a computer or machine the ability to make judgment calls to a certain degree. The actions taken by the machine are subject to more nuanced interpretations of data.

In a rice cooker, the application of fuzzy logic allows the appliance to determine that rice is either cooking too slowly or too fast and alter the programmed action or setting in order to adjust to the situation. So, if rice is cooking too fast, for example, the cooker will lower the temperature to slow the cooking down.

Rice cookers with fuzzy logic are able to have many more settings and capabilities than those that do not. In order for the fuzzy logic to work at its best, there has to be many options for the rice cooker to choose from in order to adapt to any given situation.

This basic principle benefits the consumer in that there will be many settings on a fuzzy logic rice cooker. These may include brown rice, sweet rice, sticky rice, and mixed rice, sushi rice, and hard rice, soft and wet rice.

Although electric rice cookers with fuzzy logic are preferred by many, they are not the only kind of rice cooker available. There are the standard rice cookers, rice cooker / steamers and rice cookers featuring induction heating.

Even without fuzzy logic, standard electric rice cookers can come with many settings. They can also be as simple as having only “cook”, “warm” and “off”.

Many people feel that rice cookers featuring induction heating are even more effective and accurate than fuzzy logic cookers. Both induction heating and fuzzy logic rice cookers will offer more options than the standard models and the opportunity to use a wider array of recipes.