The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Can I use rice cooker to cook other things, for example... ?  (Read 3140 times)

Offline majorminor

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
I was given rice cooker as a present, cheap one from supermarket and I was wondering why it says I should not cook other foods in it , especially alkaline or acidic foodstuffs. I was wondering what would be the problem with cooking vegetables for example,  in the rice cooker. I know a lot of them are alkaline ... the ones I would most like to use are broccoli , cauliflower and green beans. Anyway, I am thinking there will be some reaction with the inner pot which is okay with me as long as there are no health ramifications. I do not mind if the usage of the product is the  only reason not to cook other stuff. Appreciate any advice on this. Thanks.

model no. CFXB15GS


 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4106
  • Thanked: 245 times
    • View Profile
Modern rice cookers are microprocessor-controlled, with a thermostat and pre-programmed algorithms for cooking the rice perfectly and keeping the rice warm. These algorithms are probably "tuned" for the chemical composition, mechanical form and thermal conductivity of rice.

Putting in other things like heads of broccoli or cauliflower would not achieve the same goal as they wouldn't pack in against the sides of the bowl or conduct heat in the same way, and they will probably require a different cooking time. For mechanical packing, green beans would probably work better - but a layer of water could perhaps steam them all.

On the bowl lining, rice is chemically fairly mild and not very abrasive; a rice cooker does not require mechanical stirring. An economical non-stick lining designed just for this application may be unsuitable for acidic or alkaline foods, or meat with bones, or recipes which require stirring.

In Japan, there are apparently a variety of recipes you can use in a rice-cooker, but they seem to be "wet" things like cake & soups, rather than "chunky" things like broccoli:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_cooker#Additional_features

There is a video here about cooking more than rice in a rice-cooker:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/rice-cooker.htm

In the end, you just need to try it, and expect a few mistakes... Just be aware that by ignoring the instructions you are invalidating any warranty on the device.

PS: A cynical view is that this warning is intended to make you buy their vegetable steamer appliance as well...
« Last Edit: 25/04/2013 08:04:48 by evan_au »
 

Offline majorminor

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Thanks!
I will be checking those links out.
 

Offline JP

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3366
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
I'm guessing it probably has an aluminum inner pot with no coating on it.  Aluminum can react with acidic foods (and I believe alkaline as well) and leach aluminum into your food.  I don't think aluminum is particularly harmful in low doses (some research has connected it to increased Alzheimer's risk, but other research has not), but its probably not a great idea to be eating lots of aluminum, and it can't help the food's flavor.
 

Offline confusious says

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Your rice cooker is specifically for rice, usually by utilising the 'lost water' method whereby you put just the right amount of water in that is absorbed by the rice in the specified time. If you want to cook other vegetables, especially saving energy, I strongly suggest buying a pressure cooker :)
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums