If you are using a rice cooker, it may happen that you open the rice cooker lid.
The reasons you open the rice cooker may be to check if the rice is cooked or not, to add in some ingredients into the rice, or else.
But should we open the rice cooker while cooking?
Here I will discuss whether you really need to open a rice cooker or not while cooking.
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Can I open my rice cooker while cooking?
You don’t need to open the rice cooker while cooking as long as you are putting the correct amount of rice and water with appropriate ratio (in accordance to the rice cooker serving capacity) into the rice cooker. Opening the rice cooker while cooking may burn your face as the hot steam will burst out from high pressure within it.
Why do you need to open a rice cooker while cooking?
First let me ask you what purpose you want to open the rice cooker while cooking.
My opinion is if you are using a rice cooker instead of cooking rice with a pot on the stove, it is not necessary to do so.
When you are using a pot with a heating stove for rice cooking, maybe you open the lid to check whether the water is still enough, the rice becomes soft, to stop boiling over (opening the lid can help to control the boiling over), or to make sure the rice is not burnt into black.
Today with a low and affordable price, you could get a rice cooker that is able to save your effort to open the lid and monitor the rice cooking status.
A rice cooker will automatically stop cooking once the rice is done cooking, you don’t need to open the rice cooker to check if the rice is completely cooked or not.
As long as you are putting the correct amount of water and rice grains (correct ratio 1:1) into the rice cooker pot, follow instructions from the rice cooker manual.
One thing to be concerned about when opening the rice cooker while cooking is safety.
When the rice cooker is still cooking, there are hot steams within it.
There is a small vent on the rice cooker lid that functions to release the excess steams, to avoid the rice cooker exploding if the steams are overloaded.
The hot steams also help to make the rice cooked and it is hot.
Once you open the rice cooker lid, the hot steams will escape from the rice cooker and may cause minor injury to your body, especially face.
If you have to open the rice cooker because you want to add some ingredients to the rice, then you have to keep a safe distance between you and the rice cooker while opening it.
If you are regularly using a pot (heat with stove) to cook rice and need to open the lid to check if the rice is cooked or not, I recommend you get a new rice cooker instead because it is safe.
What happens if you open a rice cooker while cooking?
While the rice cooker is still in cooking, there would be water steam trapped inside it.
The steam comes from the water you pour in initially.
When the water boils, it will turn into steam.
The steam temperature is high, it helps to cook the rice to be soft and fluffy.
When the rice cooker lid is opened, some of the hot steam will escape from the rice cooker.
The escape of hot steam will disrupt the rice cooking process.
Each time you open the rice cooker lid, the escape of hot steam will lower down the temperature within and longer the rice cooking time.
As water steam escapes faster than rice grain absorbs water, opening a rice cooker while cooking can cause the rice on the top to dry up and not cook well.
End up the rice cooked with not consistent.
Open rice cooker while boiling over
Sometimes we may be forced to open the rice cooker while cooking because of the boiling over problem.
You may face this kind of situation where bubbles are produced inside the cooking rice cooker, the bubbles are getting more, and end up the bubbles spilling over the rice cooker lid.
End up you need to open the rice cooker lid to ease the pressure within to prevent the liquid and bubbles from flowing out from the rice cooker.
But opening a rice cooker while cooking will affect the rice cooking consistency and quality.
How to stop the rice cooker from boiling over?
Rinse the rice with water to remove starch before cooking. When the rice excess starch mixes with water and boils, they will form large and soapy bubbles.
Avoid using starchy rice, but use low starch rice like Jasmine, Basmati and regular long grain rice.
Avoid using rice cookers out of capacity. When you are putting too much water and rice into the rice cooker, this will cause the water to boil near to the top of the rice cooker and boil over. Check the rice cooker user manual to check the correct amount of rice and water to use.
If you are using a pot to cook rice with a stove, then you will need to open the lid to monitor the rice status.
But if you own a rice cooker, you don’t need to open it to peek at the rice as the rice cooker has the ability to monitor rice for you.
Opening the rice cooker while cooking is also dangerous.
Some people open the rice cooker while cooking because of the over-boiling problem, but as long as you are using the correct amount of water and rice with the correct ratio, there won’t be a rice cooker over boiling.