How Long Do Rice Cookers Last And How Can We Extend It?

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Many rice cookers are inexpensive and make cooking rice a breeze. Many models last several years, depending on how frequently you use them. Over time, though, they do wear out. So, how long do rice cookers last? 

If you use your rice cooker a few times a week, it can last for about seven years. It may only last for about five years if you use it daily. If you use it a few times a month, it may last as long as ten years. It’s time to replace your rice cooker if it no longer cooks rice properly.

How Long Do Rice Cookers Last?

Most rice cookers last between five and ten years. Your rice cooker may last for a shorter or longer time, depending on the brand and how often you use it. Sometimes, rice cookers can last as long as 12-15 years.

How Do I Know If My Rice Cooker Is Working?

You’ll know your rice cooker is working if your rice is cooked correctly. Each model works differently. Check your instruction manual for how your rice cooker should look as it cooks. 

Rice cooker turned on with a logo of Fooducopia on the upper left side of the image.

The display on my Aroma rice cooker circles as it cooks. It counts down the minutes once there are 10 minutes left. After cooking, it switches to “Keep Warm”. Your model may work differently depending on the brand. 

Rice cooker in 1 minute time with a logo of Fooducopia on the upper left side of the image.

How Do You Know When To Replace Your Rice Cooker?

Like other appliances, rice cookers wear out eventually. If your rice burns or doesn’t cook thoroughly, those are good indications you may need to replace your rice cooker. Below are more signs you should replace your rice cooker. 

6 Signs You Need To Replace Your Rice Cooker

  1. The Teflon coating of your inner pot is scratched. Scratches may mean chemicals are leaking into your food as it cooks.
  2. Your rice is either too mushy or too dry. If your cooker no longer cooks perfect rice as it used to, it’s likely time to get a new model. 
  3. The power cord is frayed or worn. A damaged power cord is a huge safety issue. Contact the manufacturer for a new cord or buy a new rice cooker. 
  4. Your rice cooker boils over. Over time, the sealing gasket and vents can get dirty and stop working. If your cooker boils over and you can’t stop it, get a new rice cooker. 
  5. Your rice cooker smells while it’s cooking. First, make sure all parts of your cooker are clean. Then, sanitize it with a bleach solution. If you’ve tried cleaning it, but it still gives off an odor while cooking rice, get a new cooker.
  6. Your rice cooker shuts off early. If your rice cooker no longer cooks for the appropriate length of time, this may mean the heating element or thermal fuse has worn out. This issue can cause a fire hazard, so get a new rice cooker.

Tips For Helping Your Rice Cooker Last Longer

If you take good care of your rice cooker, you will help it last as long as possible. Here are my go-to tips for extending the life of your rice cooker.

Measure Your Rice And Water Correctly

Cook within the capacity of your rice cooker. Rice cookers can cook different amounts of rice– usually 6 cups, 8 cups, or 10 cups. Make sure you never exceed the maximum capacity of your rice cooker. 

If you add more rice or water than your cooker can hold, it will boil over. Starch may get trapped in the vents and lead to mold growth.

Use the measuring cup that came with your cooker to measure your rice. Then, add water to the matching line on your inner pot. This way, you won’t overfill your rice cooker.

Clean It As Soon As Possible After Use

Sometimes, my evenings get busy, and I can’t clean my cooker immediately. If this happens, I always take out the inner pot and the lid before I go to bed. They air out on my counter overnight so they don’t hold onto moisture. This way, I help eliminate bacteria growth or funky smells. 

Clean All Parts Thoroughly

Wash the inner pot and lid seal in hot, soapy water. Ensure you’ve washed off all stuck-on food and starch residue. 

Rice cooker accessories washed in a sink filled with bubbles with a logo of Fooducopia on the upper left side of the image.

Wipe the inside and outside of your appliance to remove any spilled food. Use a damp cloth to wipe the heating element and dry it immediately. Don’t let the heating element or the front display soak in water–this will ruin your rice cooker.

Check the steam vent and sealing ring periodically to ensure they are clean. Sometimes, starch can build up around those parts and cause your cooker to malfunction.

Finally, ensure all parts are completely dry before storing your rice cooker. 

Store Your Rice Cooker In A Safe Place

If you leave your rice cooker on your counter, you may accidentally damage it. Store it in a cabinet or on a shelf while not using it for best results. 

My rice cooker is compact enough to store on a small kitchen shelf. It’s much smaller than either my Instant Pot or my Crockpot. This way, I keep it safe from accidental bumps or spills.

The Bottom Line

Most rice cookers last 5 to 7 years with moderate use. Some models may last longer than others. To make your cooker last as long as possible, clean it after each use and keep it safe from kitchen spills.

Sarah Pearce Avatar


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