Rice cookers are the ultimate lifesavers for families that eat a lot of rice because they no longer have to worry about the rice getting overcooked and mushy or having undercooked rice.
Also, they free up stovetop space for cooking other food items. They’re also great for restaurants and other food outlets that need to make rice and keep it warm and available at any time.
Why get a Zojirushi rice cooker in particular?
While there are many brands of rice cookers on the market, and some are cheaper than Zojirushi, we highly recommend getting this one.
One reason is the generous 5.5-cup uncooked capacity. This is more than many other cookers. Also, its simple interface is easy to use and it is easy to clean.
It has a sturdy, non-stick black inner pot with easy-to-read white markings inside it that tell you how much water to put in for different types of rice.
What makes this rice cooker different though is the induction cooking method it uses as opposed to having a bottom element. This evenly warms the entire pot rather than just heating from the bottom.
As a result, you will never end up with overcooked or browned rice on the bottom. As with other rice cookers, it has a useful Keep Warm setting.
How Long The Keep Warm Feature Works On Zojirushi Rice Cooker?
What is a Keep Warm setting?
This is a feature on all rice cookers that ensures the rice is kept warm once it is cooked. You don’t have to serve it immediately but can just leave it in the pot until you are ready.
The question is, how long can you keep the rice warm in a Zojirushi rice cooker before it spoils?
Is the Keep Warm feature safe?
How long can you leave rice keeping warm before it spoils and is no longer safe to consume? Can it be left all day? Or overnight? Several days?
Raw rice contains bacterial spores. These are usually not killed during the approximately 20-minute cooking time. They cause cooked rice to spoil relatively fast (within 2 hours) if it is left at room temperature.
The bacteria multiply rapidly, releasing toxins that cause the food to spoil and eventually become unsafe for consumption. The rice may look okay but will not be safe to eat.
After several hours, you will be able to see and smell that the quality has deteriorated. It will either become tough and dry or slimy and yellowish in color. If consumed, it can give you a nasty case of food poisoning. Not worth it!
However, the Keep Warm feature means that the rice is kept at a higher temperature than that of room temperature. It can still not be kept warm for longer than 12 hours. That’s your cut-off point.
The Keep Warm function operates at around 150˚F which is the minimum temperature to inhibit bacterial growth. Beware of rice cookers that offer an Extended Keep Warm function as this is set too low for both serving the rice and keeping it safe.
My Keep Warm Feature Doesn’t Work
Now that we know how long you should keep your rice warm, let’s troubleshoot a few issues. What if the Keep Warm function doesn’t work as it should?
- The issue may be with the rice. If you’ve put more rice in than the maximum recommended amount, you could run into problems. It won’t cook properly and the Keep Warm function may not click on.
- The inner pot may be damaged. Check it regularly for chips or dents. If it’s dented, the heating plate won’t settle properly, the rice won’t cook, or the Keep Warm feature won’t kick in.
- The battery for the display may not be working. Zojirushi rice cookers are designed with a lithium battery. If the Keep Warm feature isn’t working, check the display. If the display has all zeros on it, the lithium battery has gone flat and it needs to be replaced.
- There may be power supply problems. If there are power interruptions to the rice cooker, they will mess with the programming and hinder its ability to switch on the Keep Warm feature. You may need to reset the program.
Zojirushi rice cookers are among the best on the market due to their large capacity and induction cooking method. The Keep Warm function may be safely used for up to 12 hours but no longer.
If you have rice left after that time, it is safe to keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or freeze it for up to a month.