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How Rice Cookers Work

Induction Heating and Rice Cookers

Some rice cookers take precision a step further with the help of a technology called induction heating. While other rice cookers apply heat directly from an electrical plate underneath the inner cooking pan, induction-heating rice cookers get their heat from an alternating electric current from the wall outlet.

Induction heating, used for many applications beyond rice cookers, is achieved when this current passes through metal coils, typically made of copper. The movement of the current through these coils creates a magnetic field. It is into this magnetic field that the rice cooker's pan is inserted. The magnetic field produces an electrical current inside the cooking pan, and this generates heat. Heat can also be produced from this process if the rice cooker's pan is made out of a magnetic material. This is due to a phenomenon called hysteresis, in which magnetic materials show a resistance to any fast-paced changes of their magnetic level. This resistance creates friction, which contributes to the cooking heat.

Induction heating improves rice cookers in three main ways:

  1. The temperature-sensing methods can be more accurate, allowing for fine-tuned adjustments in temperature.
  2. The heat distribution area can encompass the inner cooking pan, not just radiate upwards from below, to produce more evenly cooked food.
  3. The level of heat being created in the cooking pan can be changed in an instant by strengthening or weakening the magnetic field that is generating it.

These elements create the biggest bonus of the induction heating rice cooker. In the event of a human measuring error, an induction heating rice cooker can make minute adjustments to both the time and the temperature of the selected program because of its sensitivity to temperature, and its precise ability to control it.